Side by side with ESL Pro League and ESL Overwatch Atlantic Showdown, the Riot Games baby, League of Legends Championship Series had their Semi Finals in both Europe and North America. While some outcomes of the matches were expected, some surprised the hell out of everyone. This article will help you get up to speed with what happened.
Immortals vs. Cloud9
One win behind of Team SoloMid, Immortals were definitely the favorites in this Semi Final match. While it was somewhat expected that C9 would put up a fight, bringing Immortals to four games at least, C9 exceeded expectations by taking the match to five. The outcome of the last game wasn’t what Immortals expected as well. C9 won, making their way to the Finals. Is it just me or is it quickly becoming a trend that Immortals dominate the Regular season, make it into the Semi Final and then lose?
The first match was won by Immortals in 33 minutes, with great performances by IMT’s Top, Jungle, and ADC, while Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi on Sivir was the only impressive player on C9. C9 didn’t allow IMT to get going properly, even though Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin took William “Meteos” Hartman’s Rek’Sai, while Eugene “Pobelter” Park also took away Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen’s LeBlanc. C9 adapted with Gragas and Syndra. Also, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon went for Riven to adapt to the Rumble, which he used to great effect in the previous game against Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong’s Gangplank. It seems as if C9’s comp corrections went better than IMT’s as they won the match, tying up the score. As everyone knows, Riven is a champion which can either be godlike or useless, depending on whether it can snowball or not. Well, in this game, it didn’t.
The third match had further adaptations from the last two matches in a Gangplank ban by C9, even though they used it to great effect themselves in the previous two games. I guess they were worried that IMT would use their Blue Side first pick on it. The fact of the matter was that IMT’s Kennen, Rek’Sai, Viktor, Ashe, and Taric lost against C9’s Gnar, Gragas, Zilean, Sivir, and Trundle. Huni’s Kennen wasn’t successful at all against Impact’s Gnar. The poor ninja yordle got spanked by his shape shifting kin, only getting 1 kill and 5 assists to 8 deaths. C9 won the match, Jensen’s Zilean and Impact’s Gnar carried the team on their back.
Trying to come back, IMT finally got Gangplank for Huni, Elise for Reignover, Taliyah for Pobelter, Ashe for WildTurtle, and Taric for Adrian. On the C9 side, the team tried to close out the series with Ekko Top, Rek’Sai, Lissandra, Jhin, and Tahm Kench. It didn’t go well for them, however. Ekko got rekt by Huni’s Gankplank, Reignover’s Elise went to town on the whole C9 team with a 6/1/6.
The final match of the series started with Immortals playing on Blue side and banning Sivir, Gnar, and Vladimir, while C9 got rid of Huni’s Rumble, Adrian’s Karma, and Huni’s Gangplank. To battle on the rift, IMT picked Lissandra Top, Rek’Sai Jungle, Taliyah Mid, Jhin ADC, and Trundle Support. C9 answered with Ekko Top, Gragas Jungle, Syndra Mid, Ashe ADC, and Tahm Kench Support. Picking an off-meta champion like Lissandra Top with a Final spot on the line was a very big gamble. In this case, it didn’t go well for IMT, as Huni went 1/6/3. The rest of IMT didn’t do well either, leaving C9 as the victors of the match.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting seriously annoyed with Huni. Lucian Top, now Lissandra Top, is it just me or is Huni like a small child who plays whatever he wants whenever he wants and then tries to carry the game instead of trying to be part of a wider strategy? Of course, it’s easy to say these things when you’re not the one making decisions. Who knows, maybe Immortals’ coaching staff and the rest of the players agreed that it’s a good idea, but it’s not the impression I get from watching IMT’s matches.
TSM vs. CLG
The El Classico of NA LCS with high stakes to boot, this match promised to be very interesting. Well, it delivered on the promise, even though the matches themselves weren’t as close as they could have been if CLG played a little bit better, as TSM won 3-0. Around 10 minutes into the first match, it had to be remade due to an Aurelion Sol bug. In the remade game, everything went almost the same, with Taliyah being picked instead of Aurelion Sol. It wasn’t enough to help CLG win the match. The MVP of the first game was Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg on his Cassiopeia with a 5/0/2 score.
The trend of Bjergsen owning people continued in Game Two as well, this time on Lissandra vs. the champion which made him famous, Syndra, played by CLG’s Mid laner, only with Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell helping out on Gnar. The last game was A Bjergsen show once again. CLG tried to stop Bjergsen’s Lissandra with Kassadin, but it didn’t go very well for them. I could talk about this match but the fact of the matter is that TSM was just the stronger team. Period.
Despite the hype which comes any time TSM faces CLG, the fact of the matter is that while the two teams were somewhat close in the Spring Split, it’s simply not the case these days. I don’t think that Cloud9 can actually defeat TSM in the Final. Bring them to five games? Maybe. Defeat them? No.