A new team joins the WCS! Some breakaway starts to take hold, and the weekend ends with an upset!
Warning: This recap contains spoilers! If you want to watch the games un-spoiled, head over to twitch.tv/wardbaron.
CSUF (3-1) vs UConn (2-2)
UConn was not able to field a team this week, and forfeited the win to CSUF.
Ohio State (3-1) vs WWU (0-1) (VOD)
As of this week, Western Washington University will be taking the place of Texas Tech for the remainder of the WCS.
After a stellar performance last week against UConn, Ohrmuzd stayed in the top lane for Ohio State and picked up Renekton. WWU, the new kids on the block, decided to bring some new champions to the WCS table with RoyalWaves‘ Amumu and Friendship Club‘s Zed. Nitrogen, ADC for Ohio State, switches from his safer marksmen Ezreal and Lucian to a more aggressive Draven.
ThatOneGuy and Senketsu S2 are quick to capitalize on Ohio State’s missteps in the bot lane, and Ezreal finds his way into 3 kills by the 10 minute mark. Things didn’t look so good for WWU elsewhere, though, as CoryNat and Ohrmuzd dominated the jungle and top lanes for Ohio State. More than one blue was stolen away from RoyalWaves, setting his build back significantly.
Ezreal continued to collect kills and gold, accelerating to 8/2/4 by 17 minutes and giving him the tools to carry his team. Disaster struck when ThatOneGuy was removed from the map shortly before an intense Baron fight, in which CoryNat‘s clutch smite kept the buff out of WWU’s collective hands.
As usual, TheHungryToaster did what he does best – farming out the early game, gathering kills in the mid, and becoming unstoppable by the late game. His outstanding Gragas play helped Ohio State siege and dive their way to victory.
CoryNat‘s fearlessness and counter-jungling helped balance Ohio State against ThatOneGuy‘s early lead, and put both Ohrmuzd and TheHungryToaster in positions to carry. He also gave us another example of why Wukong will be receiving a nerf in the upcoming patch.
Cal Poly (3-1) vs Arizona (2-2) (VOD)
Last week I mistakenly called El Gato de Queso a sub for Arizona – it is, in fact, RedCoupa after a name change!
Both of these teams stepped into the ring last Saturday with a 2-1 record, looking to stomp the other and keep up with the ongoing WCS arms race. Arizona banned out Kigger‘s jungle Wukong with pleasure, but Cal Poly was happy to take a first pick Vi for him instead. Xholu abandoned his Xerath for the first time, picking up Ziggs as a similar long-range mage.
Arizona quickly turned up the heat in mid and bot lanes, where Xholu and El Gato de Queso had a range advantage. Things turned sour for them, however, when Martel‘s Rumble started to steamroll top, punishing Jax with the yordle’s patented Flamespitter. Both Xholu and Martel found success in and out of their lanes, roaming to support both teams when profitable.
When Cal Poly finally pulled together to siege, the discovered it was nearly impossible to take a tower under the wave-clearing of Xholu‘s bombs and El Gato de Queso‘s Peacemakers. Instead, Cal Poly pulled back into the jungle, luring Arizona out with a move towards Baron. iSmurfy single-handedly set up Cal Poly in this trap, catching Arizona off-guard with a Solar Flare and charging forward to lock down the team.
Cal Poly’s guerrilla warfare awarded them with a turret, dragon, and baron, setting them up for the win a few minutes later.
Martel‘s Rumble was a force to be reckoned with, ending the game at 7/0/11 and keeping Jax from becoming a beast out of the laning phase.
UCLA (2-2) vs CMU (2-2): Match of the Week (VOD)
Prior to this game UCLA has played every week, showing a good variety of champions and a strong tendency to snowball. CMU, on the other hand, had only played in the first week, receiving a win and a loss each in forfeits for the previous two weeks. It is because of this context that I call this the Mach of the Week.
UCLA opened up with some role swapping – JigabYte took the week off and stuntopolis hopped into the top lane with Fiora. EmperorOng swapped down to ADC, and SlyferDice returned for another run at support Janna.
A whole new bot lane came in for CMU, as subs Tesseractx and MeNoHaxor stepped up with the storied pair Lucian and Thresh. The new support made life difficult for EmperorOng and SlyferDice, using Dark Passage to pull Tegroplease into a picture-perfect gank that became a 3 for 0 and dragon. Kha’Zix used his early lead to Evolve Wings first, allowing for resets and chained kills across the map.
Zeyz and Tessseractx played lane bullies in mid and bot, pushing around jaroz and EmperorOng and topping the cs and kills by 16 minutes. CMU never let up the aggression for a minute, keeping their foot flat on the gas and snowballing into the mid-game with considerable momentum. In a display of cunning, they gathered to sneak a 19 minute Baron while Tesseractx distracted UCLA deep in the bot lane.
By 20 minutes, CMU had amassed a 13k gold lead. 3 minutes after that, it was up to 18k; 7 turrets and an inhibitor to nothing. The biggest stomp so far in the WCS seemingly came out of nowhere. Granted, both teams had changes to their player roster since the last time they had played, but the surprise was no less potent. With the win, CMU stepped up to the second place tier, tied with the very team they just beat.
CMU’s new ADC showed fantastic control of the agile Lucian, abusing his strong mid-game scaling to become an insane threat with a 14 KDA ratio.
Standings and Final Remarks
(3-1) CSUF, Ohio State, Cal Poly
(2-2) Arizona, CMU, UCLA
*Western Washington University replaces Texas Tech from this week onward.
While this week was a little less of the breakaway I had predicted (we still have two 3-way ties), we are starting to see some star teams emerge. Still, the season so far has been filled with close games and upsets, and there seems to be no end in sight!
Meanwhile, Draven and Wukong remain undefeated in the WCS through 3 games, while Vi maintains the highest performance with a 5-1 record.
See you next week!