A pair of nail-biting games start off the 3rd week of the WCS, and five teams are tied for first!
Note: The score next to each team’s name includes this week’s results.
Warning: This recap contains spoilers! If you want to watch the games un-spoiled, head over to twitch.tv/wardbaron.
UConn (1-2) vs Ohio State (2-1) (VOD)
Week 3 of the WCS began with UConn headlining once again. Standard bans were thrown by both teams, with one notable exception – neither team found the new Kassadin threatening enough to ban (or pick). Lulu somehow snuck through the bans, and UConn picked her up first for Mister Flaccid. Ohio State was happy to respond with Vi for CoryNat, and both Jarvan the 4th and Katarina made their first appearances on jasmine33 and TheHungryToaster.
The story of the early game went something like this: newcomer Ohrmuzd on top Shyvana sprinted ahead of Chuckie Chan with an early kill and an already favorable bully-lane. TheHungryToaster, who had picked Katarina into Lulu knowingly, called upon help from CoryNat to keep the lane close to even. Meanwhile, jasmine33 had a bone to pick with bot lane, and visited frequently enough to get Clara and Alice a score of 3/0/3 by the 20 minute mark. Even though Ohio State got the first Dragon of the game, it was hard to tell who had a significant advantage.
It all hit the fan at 22 minutes. Ohio State set up for what looked to be a clean Dragon, but UConn wasn’t having it. The fight broke out, and Chuckie Chan managed to corner Nitrogen in a 1v1, the perfect situation for a Nasus that was a little behind. The rest of UConn helped Clara and Alice kite a vicious Katarina and Shyvana, and UConn ended up with an Ace and a Dragon without giving up a kill.
The game continued at breakneck pace for the next 10 minutes, until Ohio State maneuvered themselves into a safe position to Baron. Using the buff’s massive stat boost, they pushed and secured the first inhibitor of the game. A few solid rotations later, they were knocking on UConn’s Nexus at the end of a truly exciting game.
MVP(s): Ohrmuzd and TheHungryToaster
Ohio State’s strategy just simply wouldn’t have worked had Ohrmuzd not been dominating the top lane. He and TheHungryToaster leaped into the fray together, shredding UConn with enormous damage output.
CSUF (2-1) vs Cal Poly (2-1): Match of the Week (VOD)
CSUF ended up with much the same team as last week, repeating Renekton, Kha’Zix, and Morgana. DkBnet and IlleagoVinDeago switched roles, however, with the former picking up Orianna and the latter Lucian. Cal Poly has fielded more players than any other team so far, using two of their substitutes in the first three games. Meanwhile both That Jungle Main and Kigger have earned MVP spotlights in their team’s previous wins, so the jungle was likely to be a hotspot in this game.
Cal Poly sprinted to an early lead, finding kills in mid and bottom and a Dragon by 12 minutes. Vruen kept a cs advantage against Martel, despite some help from Kigger, but Rumble was happy to roam the map to help his team.
There were literally too many incredible plays between 15 and 30 minutes to fit in this recap. As soon as one team found an edge, the other would respond somewhere else on the map to equalize it. The game felt like an egg balanced on a rooftop, threatening to tumble either way into one team’s favor. Nonetheless, Cal Poly created a small gold advantage that grew over time, and destroyed CSUF’s mid inhibitor at 29 minutes.
Out of the blue, CSUF turned around a dive at their top inner turret in a 4-for-1 trade, giving them an uncontested Baron and evening up the gold. This would get the ball (or egg) rolling back in their favor, leading to a push down mid lane, their own inhibitor kill, and a gold advantage.
The game continued over the next 15 minutes; a sequence with enough tension to make you want to tear your hair out. Up until the final moments, it was very hard to tell who would come away with the victory.
53 kills, 7 dragons, and 3 barons. This was the most intense game so far in the WCS, and I highly recommend watching it. (Note: If the VOD doesn’t include the entire game, check the twitch channel past broadcasts!)
MVP: Kigger and All of Cal Poly
Kigger played a huge role in getting Cal Poly the early lead that they enjoyed, but it would be unfair not to recognize the indomitable spirit of the entire team that kept them going throughout this game.
CMU (1-2) vs Texas Tech (0-3)
Texas Tech was not able to field a team this week, and forfeited the win to CMU.
UCLA (2-1) vs Arizona (2-1) (VOD)
UCLA returned to the stage this week with JigbYte on Draven and jaroz on Gragas once again. Arizona opted for name synergy in their lineup, with nhocBym on Nocturne and Xholu on Xerath, and brought along a new ADC: El Gato de Queso.
A few close calls in the bot lane turned into cash grabs for JigabYte, transforming early adoration stacks into a 10 minute Bloodthirster. At the same time, A Stick stuck his neck out to solo Dragon and put UCLA ahead in the laning phase.
Aggressive positioning and warding put Arizona’s lower jungle into UCLA’s control, and a 6 thousand gold lead by 15 minutes didn’t hurt. Then, all of a sudden, UCLA realized that they were properly grouped and warded for an 18 minute Baron, and took it uncontested.
Despite UCLA’s lead, Arizona had the presence of mind to grab a kill and a turret before UCLA rallied and pushed top. Later, a two-man Baron from UCLA gave Arizona the window to take a kill, but they bit off more than they could chew and ended up losing their middle turret and inhibitor.
UCLA pulled together and charged the bottom lane, diving past the inhibitor turret and taking the nexus turrets. Despite UCLA’s best attempt to give stuntopolis a pentakill, Xholu cut him short with just the quadra. A minute later though, Arizona managed to snipe JigabYte and jaroz found a quadra kill of his own. UCLA then took down the nexus at 33 minutes.
Once again, JigabYte shows what can go wrong if you let a Draven get out of hand! While every member of UCLA worked seamlessly together, and jaroz actually had a higher KDA, it was JigabYte that put them in the position to take two early Barons and the game.
Standings and Final Remarks
(2-1) UCLA, Cal Poly, Arizona, Ohio State, CSUF
(1-2) UConn, CMU
(0-3) Texas Tech
Week three concludes with some absolutely crazy games! Five teams are currently tied at 2-1, and the games we’re seeing are a testament to how closely matched these players are.
In other news, Gragas has shown his face in every single game so far, being banned 4 times and picked 5. Lulu and Renekton come in a close second, showing up in 8 out of 9 games.
jaroz currently holds the highest KDA of any player that’s played in more than one game at 10.25. Not bad!
See you next week!