Only two more weeks remain in the North American League Championship Series and there is still plenty of room for surprises and upsets. Week 7 certainly had its fair share of both. Here are some of the notable moments from the NA LCS this past weekend.
Team Liquid wins twice
As depressing as it sounds, Team Liquid actually winning a match in the NA LCS is kind of a rarity, so imagine the surprise of NA LCS viewers when Liquid won not once, but twice this past weekend.
Their first win was against Team EnVyUs, which is rather surprising to see. EnVy has been on the rise as of late and picked up wins against Cloud9 last week. The series went to three games, and despite the effort of EnVy’s jungler Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo — which took the form of a great Baron steal — Liquid managed to close the series out 2-1.
The second win was against Phoenix1, which has been on the downswing as of late. The result was a much more decided 2-0 victory in the favor of Liquid. In Game 1 they took the lead and took it to a death-less victory. Game 2 was closer, but again Liquid wrestled a lead and transitioned it to a victory.
Although the victories are sweet, the team is still at the bottom of the standings in ninth place, only one win over Phoenix1, which is now in last place. With large opponents like Cloud9 and Immortals still left for them to face, it’ll be interesting to see if Liquid can keep it up and upset the standings.
Ssumday and his scary tree
Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho made a name for himself in Korea as a master of the top lane Maokai, and with the latest patch giving the champion a boost, Ssumday set up a clinic on how to play the giant tree-man.
Even more impressive is the fact that Maokai has a whole new ultimate ability that changes the way he plays, yet Ssumday was able to utilize it in so many effective ways, proving that he’s still got it.
Dignitas took down Team SoloMid in a solid 2-0. and in large part thanks to Ssumday’s reliability in the top lane. He was a monster that refused to die, chased down members of TSM relentlessly, and used intelligent TP’s in order to be where he needed to be.
It’s good to see a Korean player go back to his roots and give a whole new region a lesson on what happens when he gets a hold of Maokai.
A three-way tie no more
The match between Immortals and CLG was particularly crucial this week, as the winner was probably rise to the top, given that TSM had already lost to Dignitas. The match was entertaining, and fitting for a first-place-decider match, at least for the regular season standings. After trading a match each, Game 3 was a tug of war as both teams traded leads one after the other.
Immortals clinched the Game 3 win with a great team fight, and if the recordings of the players during the match is any indication, it is one that shows a very verbal, communicative, and solid shot-calling between teammates across two languages, as both Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung and Lee “Flame” Ho-jong were active in letting the team know what to look at and what was on the table.
It’s good to see a team with international imports take a large part in team communication, and perhaps that’s the secret of their success.
Cloud9 is on the chase
Cloud9 has been struggling, but Week 7 could be a great turning point. After picking up two match victories against both Phoenix1 and Dignitas, they are now tied with Dignitas and EnVy with a clear shot at the playoffs.
Both wins were in 2-1, which shows that the team is not on completely stable ground, but also put on display how well Cloud9 can play under pressure, especially looking at the match against Dignitas.
Game 2 was a one-sided victory for Dignitas, and the concern from Cloud9 was palpable, but Cloud9 came right back in Game 2 with a one-sided victory of its own, with over a 10k gold lead by the end of the game. Game 3 was the closest in the series, but Cloud9 managed to take the lead and then the game.
Fans of Jeong “Impact” Eon-young have much to be happy about, as he was more of the Impact that the fans have come to love. His performance as engaging top laners like Shen and Jarvan IV displayed solid decision making, as he was the exact player that his team needed in the series against Dignitas.
Cloud9 doesn’t need to face any more of the heavy hitters for the next two weeks, giving them ample time to resupply and shore up their short comings with relatively less pressure. The team that is poised to give Cloud9 the most amount of trouble is most likely going to be EnVy, and seeing as EnVy already took one match off of Cloud9, a revenge match is in order.