There must have been something in the water at the LCS studios in Los Angeles. After months and months of waiting, CLG fans finally got to see the true potential of the team. CLG dominated Cloud 9 in their first game of the week and came back strong in a second game against TSM. Coast fans were also treated to two wins in week 5 with ZionSpartan having two dominant performances on Jax. XDG saw yet another roster change with the retirement of Bloodwater. The team moved Zuna to support and brought in NickWu to take over the jungle. Will CLG continue to play at full potential? Can ZionSpartan throw Coast on his back and carry his team to victory? Lets take a look at week 6 of the NA LCS.
Saturday, February 22nd
The Dignitas hype-train seems to have derailed momentarily in week 5. With an overall total team KDA of just 1.1, the team struggled against the top two teams in the LCS. Although Jinx was not banned, Imaqtpie choose to go with Caitlyn and Sivir instead. Although Dignitas lost both games, they did have some positive aspects to their gameplay. Their rotations and objective control kept them somewhat relevant in both of their games, and they need to expand on that in week 6 if they want to be successful. The team threw at Baron during both games; once against Cloud 9 and twice in a row against TSM for easy picks and a free Baron buff.
Evil Geniuses played well last week, going 1-1 against Curse and Coast. Like Dignitas, they showed great rotations towards objectives after ganks and teamfights. Pobelter had a great week 5 with a KDA of 4.1 on Kayle and Leblanc. Snoopeh was the one to pull out the niche pick for EG this week, playing Volibear in both games with mixed results. Although they lost their 52 minute game to Coast, their ability to stall the game out and continuously rotate for towers was very impressive.
In their first meeting, EG faced what looked to be a re-invigorated Dignitas team. Scarra’s Ziggs was able to beat out Pobelter on Zed, building an aggressive Archangel instead of going for early armor. The move paid off, and allowed Scarra to snowball into the late game. Although Scarra won the first matchup, I think that the bot lane will decide the second one. Look to see if Imaqtpie can get going again on one of his hyper-carries.
Team SoloMid continued their 10 game tear through week 5 with wins over Dignitas and CLG. Bjergsen once again proved that he can’t be banned out with an impressive showing of an 8.2 KDA on Nidalee and Kha’Zix. After three straight games without dying, Dyrus was finally brought back down to earth and ended the week with a KDA of 7.5. TSM looked great in teamfights, and it seems like all of their communication issues have finally been resolved.
Although Team Coast won both of their games last week against Curse and XDG, the team still has a lot to improve on. ZionSpartan was able to carry the team from the top lane with two dominating performances on Jax, but the team still looked lost in their shot calling and decision making. Coast had a few questionable calls around Baron against XDG that only worked out because ZionSpartan was fed out of his mind and was able to clean up the fight. Shiphtur also showed up in week 5 on Nidalee with a monster KDA of 24 (7/0/17).
In their first meeting, Bjergsen dominated on Zed in the mid lane, leading TSM to a 30 minute victory. Once again, I think that Bjergsen will be a problem for Shiphtur in mid. TSM–or any other team– probably won’t let ZionSpartan on Jax again, so it will be up to Shiphtur to try and carry his team. Coast needs to work on their team fighting and decision making, and I don’t see them slowing TSM down.
Curse had a decent week 5, going 1-1 in their games against EG and XDG. In his second week back in the LCS, SaintVicious went 1/13/21 on two games as Leona. His shot calling–while aggressive–seemed to lead Curse into trouble. Fights were started too early, brushes were face checked without vision, and their focus in some fights seemed scattered. SaintVicious also got caught out a lot while warding, so we will have to see if he can improve on that for week 6.
Cloud 9 also went 1-1 in week 5 in their games against CLG and Dignitas. While they did look good in their loss against CLG, Cloud 9 couldn’t really have done anything against a newly improved CLG that team-fought perfectly. Cloud 9 looked strong in their second game against Dignitas, rotating well and capitalizing on positioning errors.
In their first meeting, Cloud 9 took a 33 minute win over Curse with impressive Draven play from Sneaky and a dominating performance from Balls on Rumble. Curse will have their work cut out for them this week, and will have to work on their premature engages and aggressive shot calling. I don’t see Curse winning team fights late game due to SaintVicious’ tendencies to start fights too early, so IWillDominate will need to exert early jungle pressure on Meteos and try to get his team snowballing.
The spinner worked. Even though CLG went 1-1 in week 5, they showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in the NA LCS. The team looked amazing in their win against Cloud 9, playing the game almost perfectly and dominating the second place team every step of the way. Against TSM, CLG once again looked sharp in their team fights and rotations around the map. DoubleLift and Link’s positioning in team fights were almost perfect, giving CLG an almost untouchable back line. Dexter looked a little antsy towards the end of the game against TSM, running in alone and trying to force fights that were just not there. I’m sure CLG will have addressed this over the break, and will come back strong in week 6.
XDG made yet another roster swap, announcing that BloodWater will retire from the LCS and be replaced by Zuna. XDG has then opted to fill the empty jungle with NickWu. The decision was made by XDG’s management to have NickWu come in and have BloodWater retire now rather than to have him retire at the end of the season and look for someone if they were to face relegation. If XDG looked shaky before this decision, this very may well be the decision that ends their season. With LMQ looking unstoppable in the challenger league, XDG is going to have to shape up very quickly if they want to keep their spot in the LCS.
Although XDG won the first matchup, I don’t see anything that they can do to win their match against CLG this week. CLG had a strong showing against the top two teams last week, and the new roster swap will force 2 players on XDG into positions that they may not be comfortable on yet.
Sunday, February 23rd
Cloud 9 faces EG for the second time in the first matchup of day two. In their first matchup, Cloud 9 was able to take the game in 31 minutes. Even though Cloud 9 won the game, EG’s rotations and response to Baron pressure kept them close in the game. Cloud 9 ultimately won the game because of their great team fighting skills, and will have to use it to their advantage in their second matchup.
I see Cloud 9 coming out strong this week. After a disappointing loss to CLG, they are going to come out swinging. EG will have to once again use their great rotations that they showed in their previous games against C9 and Coast to try and get as many objectives as possible and stall out the game after losing teamfights. If Pobelter can get rolling early and shutdown Hai, EG may be able to draw Cloud 9 out into deep waters.
TSM comes into their third match with Curse having two games up on SaintVicious and crew. TSM won both games, but Curse played better in the second game with SaintVicious in the lineup instead of Zekent. They were able to rotate well around the map and apply jungle pressure to TheOddOne, but ultimately lost the game after a fight at TSM’s blue buff went heavily in TSM’s favor. Bjergsen went off on Voyboy in both games, posting a KDA of 13 (15/1/8) against Voyboy’s KDA of .36 (1/11/3).
Curse may have to pull out a new comp for this matchup. With Xpecial’s recent domination on Thresh, Curse may have to ban it, forcing SaintVicious onto a support that he is not comfortable with. If TSM can draw a support ban, it will free up Bjergsen to play whatever he wants, making the mid lane a bad spot to be in for Voyboy. I don’t see Curse winning a straight up team fight against TSM, so look for Curse to pull out a poke/seige comp against the first place team. If they have any cheese that they’ve been holding on to, this may be the game to try it.
In their second game of the week, CLG comes into the matchup one game up on Team Coast. The last matchup was played with a substitute roster of Chauster in mid and Link in the jungle, so Coast will have to face the new CLG roster for the first time. In their last matchup, Coast made a questionable call at Baron that lost them the game. The Baron call, along with a risky invade from ZionSpartan at level 1, helped CLG snowball a lead that Coast could not come back from.
This game may be brutal for Coast. CLG is coming off of a monster week, and probably–barring any sort of miracle–a win off of XDG. CLG’s team fighting looks very scary now, and their calls look decisive and deliberate. Coast will have to avoid questionable Baron or Dragon calls in order to stay in this game. Once again, I don’t think that CLG will let ZionSpartan on a carry champion (they may ban out riven as well), and Shiphtur will be forced to carry the game against a Link who finally looks at home in the mid lane.
Meeting for the third time, Dignitas will finally have a rubber match with XDG. In their first meeting, Dignitas took a victory with a dominating performance by Imaqtpie on Jinx. XDG answered two weeks later with Xmithie having a flawless 10/0/8 performance on Sivir. In their second game, Dignitas threw the game at the dreaded “b-word” and continues to have problems in knowing whether or not they can do Baron.
XDG is coming into the third match with a new roster, and we still don’t know how NickWu will synergize with the team. There were obvious synergy problems between Zuna and Mancloud, so we will have to see if NickWu can develop the same relationship that Xmithie had with his mid lane. XDG will have to pull out all the stops if they want to stand a chance against Dignitas. The KiwiPie bot lane will be a huge test for Zuna and Xmithie. Zuna will have to prove that all the re-structuring around him is worth it and show that he can call the shots effectively while playing support.
That wraps it up for week 6 of the North American League Championship Series. CLG looks to continue to play at their maximum potential, while XDG looks to find success with a new roster.
Be sure to catch all of the action on www.lolesports.com, starting at 3pm EST/ Noon PST.