After much delay for the 4th of July LCS summer split extravanganza, the games started off with a bang as Curse and Vulcun came out of their respective corners swinging with one of the craziest level 1 fights at Curse’s red that we’ve seen in sometime. Ending 3-2 with almost every summoner in the game spent and a 2-0 Voyboy Vladimir, both teams decided to play passive 2v1 lanes for the next 6-10 minutes of the game. After trading 2 kills top for Vulcun’s tower, Curse seemed to be put on the back foot for the rest of the game from Vulcun’s split pushing strategy. Whenever Curse took an advantage in one lane, Zuna’s split pushed Tristana top or Sid’s split pushed Shen bottom would take one right back. The effectiveness of the split pushing combined with Jacky’s fairly ineffective Twisted Fate roaming was turning this game into a ticking time bomb in Vulcun’s favor. Once again, Saint’s weak smite mechanics cost Curse objective control, turning a debatable smite war at a Dragon to a full on team fight that Curse lost as they turned to fight, costing them the teamfight and Dragon. The objective dominance continued as Vulcun moved towards Baron, securing Baron and they pulling a fast one on Curse. By hiding in the Baron pit, they were able to ambush Saint and friends twice in the game, taking the advantage of having Baron and instantly capitalizing. Vulcun’s superior map and objective control, combined with the lockdown they put on Voyboy’s Vlad, rendering him ineffective in most teamfights, let Vulcun cruise control to a fairly easy win over Curse.
Another chapter of the “Oddbowl” started off with some hyper aggression (normal play) from Reginald, securing a first blood on his Zed. TSM’s advantage was quickly negated however as VES invaded into TSM’s blue and denied Oddone’s blue, causing his Nasus to fall behind very quickly. The lasting effect of this was felt in toplane, where Oddone went to assist Xpecial/Turtle top against Cris/Nk, which resulted in a 3-0 wipe in favor of Elise and Evelynn, while simutaniously allowing bottom tower to be taken from Dyrus’ Jayce in a 2v1 vs Draven and Sona. After some curious moves from TSM, (possible miscommunications) VES was able to take a dragon and continue their map pressure against TSM. Reginald was split pushing the entire time to some effectiveness, however he was unable to kill Elise in 1v1 scenarios due to Rappel being a great way to stop the amplification of Zed’s ultimate. Unfortunately for VES, for every good play they made, they seemed to make 1.25 bad plays, and it started to catch up to them. They had TSM on the ropes at the start, even securing a Baron, however they seemed unable to push the advantages that an early fed Evelynn should have been able to produce. Allowing TSM to get 4 dragons during the game as well as allowing TSM to outfarm them, it seemed that TSM’s experience got the better of VES, who simply misplayed the advantages that they granted themselves early. After a 5-0 wipe on VES near Baron, TSM was able to march down the middle and end the game handily, handing VES another heartbreaking loss after such a promising start, with VES leading more 60-70% of the game easily.
The first game that didn’t start with a level 1 brawl was C9 vs Dig, which besides a red invade into Dig by C9, was a fairly slow and high farm game, with first blood not even occuring until 10 minutes into the game, which was claimed by Scarra’s Zed. Kiwikid’s TF, while low farm in lane, is roaming effectively to assist on ganks and towers, mostly in the botlane where Qtpie’s Graves is manhandling Sneaky’s Draven. Despite all of their botlane dominance and pressure though, Dignitas fails to secure one dragon the entire game which is a fairly curious occurance. This game was a game that was truly dominated by splitpushing tactics by both teams though, never allowing a teamfight to swing the map one way or the other. However, Dignitas started to fall behind due to their ability to directly teamfight C9, due to the dominance of Meteos’ Zac (who wasn’t banned for some reason). Combined with Lulu ult, Zac’s ability to disrupt and break Dig’s formation was crushing, especially during a deciding Baron fight. Dignitas attempted to pull off the fog trick that Vulcun was using earlier by hiding inside the baron pit, only to have Meteos bellyflop on top of them with no fear and crush their formation. Allowing C9 to grab champions such as Zac and Jayce as well as getting ZERO dragons and ZERO barons through the game eventually proved to be too much for Dignitas to overcome, letting C9 eventually grind the game out to a victory.
CLG vs Coast started with both teams invading each other’s reds. Both teams knew this was occuring and the teams simply traded red buffs to start the game. CLG, knowing the power of Evelynn jungle, simply decided to bite the bullet and pay down for the pink wards to avoid the early Eve ganks in all lanes. First blood was handed off to Doublelift after some amazing play by both Chauster and Link to ensure a clean trade on the kill. CLG appeared to regress a little into their old style of farming big and not contesting dragons. They had a gold advantage going into the midgame, however they did not have the items to back this up, with Coast picking a big teamfight mid on them before they had a chance to buy some big ticket items such as Double’s infinity edge and Link’s Deathcap. This fight set the tone for the rest of the game, allowing Coast to snag the first baron and push into CLG’s base, backing them into an ever familiar farm from the base position. CLG is obviously no stranger to this situation, however they appeared unable to pick themselves back up from it. Coast’s crushing map and objective control allowed them to pick up four dragons and two barons on CLG, eventually winning them the game and denying CLG’s lategame composition from reaching the late game.
CRS bans: C9 bans:
CRS picks: C9 picks:
Hoping to stop the C9 hype train, CRS picked a team composition that relied on early game prowess and skirmishing power to end the game quickly on their terms. Things were looking up when EDward got first blood in the 2v2 matchup and Voyboy’s Kennen managed to solo Balls’s Rumble. However, after not pressuring a vulnerable Twisted Fate for the first 10 minutes of the game, C9 picked up 2 kills in the mid lane and destroyed the first middle turret. Immediately following, Hai ult’d to the bot lane and C9 picked up that turret as well. At the next dragon fight, Rumble got to use his Equalizer in Jarvan’s Cataclysm which resulting in Kennen being zoned from C9’s backline and Ezreal got to cleanup resulting in a triple kill for Sneaky. After Voyboy and Nyjacky ganked Balls up in the top lane, Hai and crew managed to get 2 kills on them and took Baron uncontested since Saintvicious was pushing down bottom lane. Against a Baron’d up team, EDward lands a 1-man Leona ultimate onto Hai but C9 once again cleans up and they get middle inhibitor turret and inner bottom turret. Following, C9 aced CRS for 1 death on their side and managed to take down 1 nexus turret before the middle inhibitor respawned. They backed, came again, and won a teamfight 4-1 to end the game.
TSM bans: CST bans:
After already making the day better than the entirety of last week’s MLG Anaheim’s performance, TSM looked to end the game with another win. First blood occurred when TheOddone went bottom for some lane presence but was hooked by DayDreamin’s Blitzcrank and Jarvan was there to follow up and squish all of Zac’s blobs. Shiphtur then roamed down which resulted in Sona dying but the kill went to Blitzcrank and not to Caitlyn. Minutes later, Shiphtur repeats himself minutes later and it looked like CST were on TSM’s heels. However, when CST sought to siege TSM’s 2nd bottom turret, things went wrong. Even after Blitzcrank hooked Karthus and CST instagibbed him, Dyrus went into hammer time on his Jayce and got him a triple kill. After their respawn, CST attempted to sneak a Baron and almost succeeded but TSM caught them which resulted in a 4 for 1 trade and both the inner middle turret and top turret. After a recall, TSM proceeded to steamroll CST’s base and Dyrus ended on a flawless 9/0/7 line.
“Draven is trash.” Words that Doublelift had to eat this game as for the first time in his competitive career, he chose Draven in champion select. The game started off slowly with bigfatlp attempting to play catchup with his jungle as he smote his first buff when Chauster was in experience range. However, CLG managed to fend off with a level 1 Jarvan vs a level 3 Lee Sin and jiji was able to recover. By the time a dragon dance came around, Thresh sacrificed his life for 4 of VES’s and CLG proceeded to take dragon and a turret out of it. Even with a big Nien at a 3/0/3 stat line, Cris’s Elise got a surprise kill even after Nien retreated back to his tower. After a couple of sneaky Baron’s from each team, CLG managed to siege successfully and split push their way to the inhibitor turrets in all three lanes. At their final stand, Lee Sin landed a Sonic Wave and managed to combo kick Draven into the frontline of VES. However, after receiving every shield possible from his team, Doublelift lifesteal-tanked while Link blew up VES’s backline with some Xerath sniping. CLG dominated the fight 4-0, aced VES at the nexus turrets, and took the game win.
Vulcun picked up first blood off Crumbzz as he attempted to help Scarra out in the 2v1 lane topside. However, with blue buff pressure from the support and jungler, his Xin was caught in between and when he tried to reconnect with Zed at the turret, he essentially died for free. Vulcun seemed to have a strangehold over on map pressure considering that Twisted Fate was rendered useless as Xmithie camped middle lane for 2 kills on Kiwikid. Following shortly after, an engagement bottom lane led to Shen ult’ing in, Vulcun killing Imaqtpie and taking the first dragon of the game. As Shen played cat and mouse with Dignitas top lane, he created enough pressure to allow Vulcun to take the middle turret for free. Dignitas took to split pushing and Graves took a kill off of Tristana in a duel. However, as the ticking time bomb is wont to be, Zuna enacted his revenge the second time Imaqtpie came around. Both teams engaged in a base race, Dignitas taking the top inhibitor and Vulcun taking middle inhibitor. However, even while pushing up, Dignitas neglected to ward Baron and Vulcun took it completely uncontested. After a flash Crescent Strike initiation from Xin Zhao onto Ryze, Tristana was left to do as she pleases and just melted Dignitas. Vulcun won the teamfight 3-0 and took their place as 2nd seed in the LCS.
1. Cloud 9 HyperX, 10-2, 83%
2. Vulcun Techbargains, 8-4, 67%
3. Counter Logic Gaming, 7-5, 58%
T4. Team Coast, 6-6, 50%
T4. TSM Snapdragon, 6-6, 50%
T6. Team Dignitas, 5-7, 42%
7. Team Curse, 4-8, 33%
8. Velocity eSports, 2-10, 17%
NA LCS Week 4 Highlight Videos
courtesy of LoLVods