LCS week 2 Day 1 Recap: Mediocre Start, exciting Middle, Head-scratching Finish
The first day of week 2 of the League of Legends Championship Series has wrapped up. The start of the day saw an absolute snooze fest and a colossal throw. The middle was a match between two of the expected favorites that lived up to the hype. And the final matches saw interesting games with very interesting implications. 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 EG (2-1) > Dignitas (2-1)
TLDR: EG take the win in one of the most boring games of the competitive season so far.
Summary: Well, that was 46 minutes of my life I will never get back.
Evil Geniuses ran the Karma smite top strategy and predictably fell behind in the early game. Unfortunately for Dignitas, they had no idea how to properly push a lead even with such a powerful early game champ like Renekton. This gave EG plenty of time to scale up. Unfortunately for the viewers, that meant a whole lot of nothing happening. I tip my hat to CaptainFlowers and Kobe for having been such good casters and doing such a good job at filling for time that this game was almost watchable. At the end of the day, EG ran back the whole gold lead and took their 2nd victory of the split in one of the most painful games to watch of any major region. I am happy that it’s over and eagerly await Sunday so I can have more to say about these 2. And also forget this game ever happened.
Game 2 Immortals (1-2) > 100 Thieves (2-1)
TLDR: Huhi figuratively and literally throws a free victory away. IMT finally gets a W in 2022.
Summary: Will someone please tell me what I just watched?
That was 100 Thieves wiping the floor with Immortals for almost 33 minutes. WildTurtle was the only real point of power as the rest of 100T completely ran over IMT at all stages of the game. The top/jg duo of 100T was a combined 10/1/11! They had a 5.7k gold lead and soul spawning in 25 seconds.
And then Huhi flashed into the entirety of IMT to get a mediocre Sett ultimate, died, his whole team had to follow him so they died, and Immortals ran down the mid lane to win the game. WHAT? I can’t even really be happy for Immortals, they didn’t win, 100T lost. Huhi quite literally handed them their first win of 2022 on a silver platter, and I can’t even take this game as a sign that things are finally turning around. I’m just baffled and horrified at what just happened. Can we just count that as a loss for both teams? Or at least half a loss for both?
Game 3 Team Liquid (2-1) > Cloud9 (2-1)
TLDR: Team Liquid disrupt the church’s teachings with clutch plays from Bwipo and a stellar performance from Hans Sama.
Summary: Another match between C9 and an expected favorite/Lock In finalist, another exciting game.
Team Liquid established a point of power early in the bot lane. Winsome’s Rakan overcommitted and Elya’s Thresh punished him dearly as Hans Sama picked him up for 1st blood and Santorin’s Viego cleaned up Berserker’s Jhin. However, Cloud 9 had one point of power TL couldn’t ignore.
Blaber picked Karthus jungle with First Strike. A money-making machine with a global undodgable ultimate. Any time he presses R and Berserker follows up with the Jhin ultimate, the fight ends before it can begin. All from a million miles away. The game rested on a knife’s edge for its entirety. Summit’s Aatrox ran wild as TL didn’t buy heal cut until the late game. Bjergsen was always a scaling threat on the Corki. Fudge actually got to play someone who wasn’t an enchanter in Irelia. At 26 minutes, Team Liquid had stacked 3 dragons with soul on the way in 23 seconds. But Cloud 9 had a 3k gold lead and a Baron buff. Berserker opened the Curtain Call; Blaber channeled the Requiem…
…and Santorin flashed in to stop the channel.
Blaber ulted too far forward. With a massive source of C9’s damage gone; the fight was far more even. C9 took the infernal dragon anyway, but Team Liquid proved they had killer instinct and a way to stop C9’s game plan. C9 took the 2nd Baron and secured a 4k gold lead, but they over chased and the scaling carries of TL in Bjegsen and Hans Sama had a field day. They secured kills and got the Infernal Soul off it. Bwipo caught out Blabber with a good Gragas cask which allowed TL to siege the mid lane and break the base after another cask from Bwipo onto Summit, but the respawn from Blaber and his and Berserker’s ult forced TL back.
It all came down to a fight in mid lane at 37 minutes. Blabber channeled the Requiem in the back line… but Bwipo had yet another clutch Gragas ultimate to stop it from coming through. He then ducked out of vision and flashed back over the wall to stun up Blaber and Fudge. Hans Sama quickly deleted Blabber, ripped through Rakan before his engage could go through, focus fired Aatrox to pop his Guardian Angel, flashed away from the turnaround from Fudge and killed him after popping his GA while Bwipo finished off Berserker who could only stopwatch.
That was a game with massive positives for both teams! Team Liquid get a statement win against the LCS’s hottest new roster who is also a major rival. Cloud 9’s strategy almost worked again and there were very clear mechanical flaws (Blabber’s ultimates) that can most certainly be fixed with time and practice. The team is still all but impossible to plan against. I would not be opposed to seeing this in the finals come April.
Game 4 Golden Guardians (1-2) > CLG (0-3)
TLDR: Golden Guardians post another strong early game, but CLG almost fight back
Summary: Golden Guardian’s woes when playing with a major lead have been upgraded from an unfortunate anomaly to a worrying trend.
You would think a 10k gold with Baron buff and a 5 kill deathless Aphelios would be enough to close out a game cleanly. But nope! CLG somehow managed to hold on for 16 more minutes! CLG found time to scale up and get their key items. GG were playing a bit scared and wouldn’t go for the jugular. Fights started to go CLG’s way. Lost had an absurdly low damage share for an 8/0/7 Aphelios (less than his Viktor, and his XIN ZHAO). It took Golden Guardians Hextech Soul, 3 Barons, and their previously mentioned massive gold lead to finally finish CLG off! They can be proud of their first win, and their ability to get early leads is something that could take them far. But they have to fix that late game.
As for CLG, they still remain incredibly underwhelming. Contractz had yet another low impact, very bad game (2/7/5 Lee Sin, completely outmatched by Pridestalkr. The solo laners were serviceable I guess, but nothing more. They aren’t so bad it’s kind of offensive like some of the other bottom tier teams in League of Legends have been, (2021 CLG and Victory Five, 2020 Spring Vitality, 2019 Jin Air Greenwings) they just kind of exist. And then lose.
Game 5 Flyquest (3-0) > TSM (0-3)
TLDR: Flyquest continues to perform above expectations. TSM have front seats on the struggle bus.
Summary: So who had Flyquest as the only unbeaten team in all of LCS and LEC on their 2022 bingo card? If so, what are the next lottery numbers?
That game honestly wasn’t even close. Flyquest finally moved away from the enchanter top lanes and won even faster than they did on those! TSM were completely outmatched individually in every position and it only got worse when it came to teamplay. Johnsun’s Jinx and Toucouille’s Zoe had all the tools they needed to pop off as they went a combined 16/1/18. The frontline in aphromoo’s Leona, Kumo’s Ornn and Josedeodo’s Jarvan IV were a big reason why. TSM could do nothing as they were wiped off the face of the earth by the LCS’ top team (from a record standpoint). This is not something I saw coming at the start of 2022 and I doubt many others did either. TSM still look completely lost and all on different pages and it is looking like it’s going to take most of Spring to get together on this rate. It was a bit expected and is not a reason to start chopping off heads, but it could end up being a rough few months for any fans of the black and white brigade.