LCS Week 1 Day 2 Recap: Actual Excitement and Hope Incoming?
The final day of week 1 League of Legends Championship Series has concluded, and what a day it was. We saw stomps, fiestas, surprises, and a match between titans that left everyone begging for more. I will be breaking down the results of each game in depth and giving a quick headline of how it went.
Let’s get started.
Game 1 100 Thieves (2-0) > CLG (0-2)
TLDR: Reigning champs go up against a development roster.
Summary: Well that was completely expected. 100 Thieves dominated Counter Logic Gaming throughout almost all of the game. While CLG did show some signs of a fight with Palafox’s Yasuo being a point of power, it was nowhere near enough. 100T controlled every fight they took from start to finish. The other 4 members of 100T were excellent, but this game was the Closer show. His Xin Zhao took over the game early and never looked back. CLG could only get 1 Infernal Drake and tower in the objective department. Closer had the rest on lockdown. He took both Heralds, 4 dragons, 2
Barons, and ended 6/1/9. It was an expected stomp from one of the expected favorites.
Meanwhile for CLG, there is little to take from this. They were never expected to win this, and they didn’t really look competitive. Palafox had some good moments, but Contractz had a very rough weekend. Slight disappointment after the better-than-expected Lock In, but too early to make judgment calls.
Game 2 Dignitas (2-0) > TSM (0-2)
TLDR: Dignitas play the late game better on their way to a perfect week.
Summary: Dignitas closed out a perfect week with great play from all 5 members as they continued to subvert all pre-season expectations. It wasn’t a dominant victory as TSM fought back tooth and nail the whole way through. But Dignitas won primarily through their new additions. River’s Jarvan IV is looking like a must ban. Blue was deathless and a massive source of damage. Biofrost was on point with his Thresh hooks and lanterns. Meanwhile Neo and FakeGod were the sources of scaling they needed when the game went late. Gwen and Aphelios wreck shop in the late game and few members of TSM could really stand up to them.
The game that was practically on a knife’s edge (2k gold lead for TSM, 3-2 dragon lead for DIG) broke wide open as Dignitas outmaneuvered TSM on the map perfectly. TSM tried to send 4 to fight for Baron while Huni took dragon. Instead, Dig burned Baron down before they could even get there, killed the late TSM members, and took dragon soul because Huhi can’t fight a whole team on his own. The play backfired horrendously, and it was all DIG needed to close out the game.
Dignitas continue to play well above expectations and are quickly picking up momentum and fans. TSM had a rather quiet week as neither Tactical nor Spica had great weeks. Way too early to count them out and it isn’t like they were expected to win it all, but the pieces of TSM that were supposed to be known quantities (Spica was summer MVP last year) didn’t really play up to expectations.
Game 3 Cloud 9 (2-0) > Evil Geniuses (1-1)
TLDR: Another strange pick, another win for Cloud 9. But EG don’t make it easy
Summary: That might have just been the most entertaining LCS regular season game in years! Cloud 9 busted out another enchanter in the mid lane with Soraka for Fudge while the rest of the draft was fairly standard. Meanwhile Evil Geniuses mostly stuck to tried and true picks until they selected Tryndamere for Impact.
The game was a slugfest from start to finish. Blaber was unkillable in the early game thanks to the enchanter in the mid lane and early dragon fights went C9’s way. Meanwhile, despite the unusual pick and it not really being a type of champion Impact is known for, Impact had a fairly dominant lane over Summit’s Camille. Cloud 9 were usually one step ahead of EG, but EG did make heroic efforts to stay in it. Inspired and Impact in particular were key factors in keeping the game as close as it was. Impact was a complete monster in fights as he chopped down the squishy members of Cloud 9 while not dying. Inspired actually stole the first elder dragon to keep EG alive!
In the end it came down to a do-or-die fight at the 2nd elder dragon. Impact found a flank and took out Fudge before the fight could truly begin. Danny was quick to follow by shooting down Winsome, but Summit and Blaber bought time on the frontline. They bought enough time for the star of the show Berserker to run wild. His Aphelios was fully online, and he made sure to let EG know it. A triple kill for the rookie ADC would seal the deal and put an end to the spectacle.
This was one of those games where it’s just unfortunate that one team has to lose. But EG simply made too many mistakes. Jojopyun did not have a good game on the Viktor and Danny couldn’t keep up with Berserker. Cloud 9 ends the week in spectacular fashion. Berserker just had one of the best individual ADC performances of any single game this year around the world. He showed why Gumayusi said multiple times last year that he was afraid o losing his job to Berseker. With games like these, its not hard to see why he received hype> (Side note, how is it fair that T1 had three amazing ADCs?) Cloud 9 had plenty of skeptics and even more haters. After this week, they have become converts to the Church of LS. I want a full best-of-5 between these 2 ASAP.
Game 4 Flyquest (2-0) > Golden Guardians (0-2)
TLDR: Flyquest steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Golden Guardians can’t close out
Summary: Surely Flyquest can’t keep getting away with this. Can they? Flyquest once again busted out an enchanter top, but this time it didn’t look so hot. Karma top only really got Johnsun’s Jinx ahead, but Toucouille and Josedeodo were not. Licorice was absolutely massive on Gwen. Golden Guardians had a 7k gold lead at one point!
But Golden Guardians let Flyquest back in it. Olleh consistently overextended while looking for engages. They couldn’t pressure down Johnsun. They abandoned the strategy that got them the lead. It all came down to a baron fight where Josedeodo, against all odds, stole it. Flyquest cleaned up the fight and took the game off it.
There are a lot of questions surrounding both of these teams after this week. Golden Guardians have shown that they can hang around in games and even get early leads. But they also shot themselves in the foot many times this week. Perhaps with a few smarter decisions, their record would be reversed. Meanwhile Flyquest has questions of sustainability. They have two wins, but how long will it be before the league figures them out? Do they have anything else up their sleeves? I am interested in seeing if they can keep up their winning ways in the coming weeks.
Game 5 Team Liquid (1-1) > Immortals (0-2)
TLDR: Team Liquid get back to business.
Summary: And there’s the bounce back! Truly textbook regular season Team Liquid.
Not knowing how to play early game apparently was not a Guilhoto thing. It was an Immortals thing. Team Liquid suffocated Immortals across every position while Santorin bounced back with a great Xin Zhao game. Hans Sama was untouched in teamfights on Jinx while Bwipo was a menace on the Tryndamere. Elya is performing well enough that people aren’t begging for CoreJJ to hurry up and come back. He has been doing well for a rookie who was put on the spot and deserves recognition for that. IMT couldn’t really do much of anything this game. There were a few picks here and there, but they never amounted to anything.
Team Liquid clean up their act and finish the week at .500. Immortals only looked slightly less terrible than the last few games. At least Xerxe was better than yesterday? That’s about the only positive so far. WildTurtle is just depressing to watch, PoE looks to have regressed, and Revenge is stalling out in development. Also, Destiny is here I guess. Not much reason to have hope so far. They need to grab their first win of 2022 fast.
That’s week 1 of the regular season in the bag. And…
…some of these things are not like the other. You have early favorites in 100 Thieves and Cloud 9 sharing the lead with Dignitas and Flyquest. Both Lock In finalists are only 1-1. 3 expected bottom tier teams went winless, but TSM also followed suit. The LCS is actually looking to be quite exciting this year. I don’t know when the last time I could truly say that was.