2016 NA LCS Summer Finals
All good things must come to an end, and with this past weekend, the North American League of Legends Summer Split is officially over. The playoffs reached their final conclusion, and only one team was left standing. Fans packed the event as the teams battled it out in Toronto, Canada, and there was plenty LOL action to be had. The series ended with two match-ups. Battling for third place was Counter Logic Gaming vs. Immortals, and for the championship title, Cloud 9 took on Team Solomid.
CLG vs. IMT
It took five games for Cloud 9 to launch past Immortals in the semifinals, but only three matches for TSM to sweep CLG. With both teams hoping to score points for the world tournament, these two teams went head to head.
Immortals utilized sharp strategy in their picks and bans, keeping Bard banned away from Aphromoo at all times, but flexed their other bans between Gnar (3), Gangplank (2) and single bans for Vladmir, Karma, Jhin and Syndra. In the top lane, Huni ran two matches with Gnar and the other three with Ekko. Reignover took control of the jungle with two Elise picks and three Gragas picks. At mid, Pobelter picked Vladimir( 3), Karma (1) and Cassiopeia (1). The bot lane duo of Wildturtle and Adrain ran Ashe, Sivir (2) and Ezreal (2) for Turtle and Trundle, Taric and Karma for support.
On the other side of the rift, CLG consistently locked out Rumble and Tahm Kench, and flexed their final bans for Gangplank (3), Sivir and Vladimir. Darshan played a consistent with all five matches on Shen. Likewise, Xsmithie in the jungle ran the entire series on Rek’sai. Aphromoo in support ran four with Braum and one on Alistar. Sitxxay at ADC ran three Jhin matches, one with Sivir and another with Kalista. Huhi at mid had the most diverse roster with two games at Malzahar, one Syndra, one Kassadin and one Vel’koz.
Game one of the series commenced with CLG spending considerable time invading the jungle, placing wards and stealing farming opportunities. They also secured three kills within the first ten minutes. Things began to heat up in the top lane, and by the nineteen minute mark, CLG had scored another three kills and a 5k gold lead on IMT. While Jhin is unloading a curtain call on IMT in the top lane, Huni came behind and ganked him. CLG’s lead increased after a 4-1 trade in the bottom lane, and an epic 5-3 team fight in the river, from which CLG barely survived. Though IMT tried to stall the game out, CLG continued to dominate, with Darshan making a backdoor run on the base while the rest of the team baits Baron. CLG Aced Immortals and finished the match.
Things were closer in game two, but Immortals took a slight lead after securing the first turret kill in the top lane. CLG countered, however, with a triple kill on the bot lane then wrapped it out with a double kill up top. Immortals shifted things around with a team fight in the river, opening the way up for them to take the top and mid T1 turrets. Another team fight resulted in a close Ace for IMT, then a second Ace a few minutes later. Between these two plays, Immortals pushed through the mid lane, melted turrets and took the win.
In the third match, CLG applied a lot of bot lane pressure early on, resulting in a 3-2 with first blood and a five on two dive for first turret and the dragon. IMT came back with a 5-0 trade in the river and a dragon of their own. After this, the match slowed for a considerable amount of time, as each side focused on farming and objective play, with only 200 gold separating the two teams at the thirty-five minute mark. Immortals then won 4-0 in the bot lane, moved to secure Baron then rushed to take the bot lane inhibitor. They then moved to the mid inhibitor, but CLG shut four of them down and push two turrets themselves. Immortals then won a team fight for the Elder Dragon, rushed to take a nexus turret, came back secured the dragon, then moved for Baron. CLG stole the Baron kills, however and win the team fight, who then secure the bot lane inhibitor. A team fight in the jungle finished the match, as Immortals secured enough advantage to push the nexus and take the win.
CLG kicked off match four with a lot of early game pressure yet again, setting up Stixxay to get hot on his Jhin pick. IMT shifted things after a bot lane team fight, but ultimately moved to more passive plays, focusing on farming and objectives. As CLG moved to take an infernal drake, Huni made an impressive feint against the team, who chased after him long enough to let IMT take the dragon themselves. After a double kill, CLG moved to Baron, but IMT applied enough pressure to make them peel off. CLG then moved to take it again, but this time IMT countered by making a play for the Elder Dragon. Despite things being even, CLG won the next team fight, and crack IMT’s base, but have to withdraw as the team respawned. After another Baron, however, CLG managed to tie the series and take the win.
Whatever steam CLG had in the tank, it ran out at the end of game four. After a long day of extended matches, the team showed signs of fatigue, and it showed in the final match. Immortals pushed them hard, securing the top lane and gaining a sizable lead. They had a 7k gold lead at twenty minutes and a 14k lead at thirty minutes. In the end, they managed to dominate the team fights, wreck inhibitors and decimate the base. Immortals takes the third place seat 3-2 against CLG.
Cloud 9 vs. TSM
The championship match happened this past Sunday, between two-time champions, Cloud 9 and three-time champions, Team Solomid. This series went four games, and despite the results, there were impressive plays by both sides. Before diving in, let’s look one last time at their picks and bans.
C9 had consistent ban picks with Karma, and Sivir, hoping to lockdown the Karma, Sivir, Olaf combo that is so nasty. They flexed their third bad between Gangplank (2), Vladimir and Cassiopeia. Impact had a strong day with this top lane Shen, and an even better showing on this three matches with Gnar. Meteos jungled two games with Rek’sai, one with Gragas, and with a pocket pick Zac. Jensen ran the mid lane with two picks for Vel’koz, one Cassiopeia and one Taliyah. In the bot lane, Sneaky ran three games with Ashe and one with Jhin, while Smoothie ran three with Trundle and one with Braum.
For TSM, their ban list consisted of four Syndra bans, three for Tahm Kench, two Gangplank bans, and a single ban for Gnar, Olaf and Vladimir. With their champion select, Hauntzer ran three games with Ekko and one with Shen. Svenskeren rotated between Gragas and Rek’sai in the jungle. Bjergson evened out with two picks of Vladimir and two for Cassiopeia. Doublelift carried with three games as Jhin and one as Lucian, and Biofrost played a versatile path with Tahm Kench, Braum, Trundle and Bard.
Things heated up early in the first game as Jensen scored first blood against Bjergson. In the bot lane, C9 applied a lot of early game aggression, scoring kills and first turret. After this, the team began to snowball, gaining multiple kills, three dragons and two Barons. TSM tried to even things out with a mid lane team fight, but a 3-3 trade kept things in favor of C9. After another team fight, C9 cracks the top lane, the nexus and a game one win.
The game took a role reversal in-game two as Bjergson, aided by Svenskeren score first blood on Jensen. This time, TSM begins to apply pressure in the bot lane, and gains the advantage, holding a 5k gold lead at the nineteen minute mark. Despite their efforts, Cloud 9 couldn’t keep up with their pace, and are shut down in-game two.
In the third match, Cloud 9 seizes an early advantage, but TSM shifted things back to their favor after a double kill near the mid lane. Despite a 3k gold deficit, C9 continues to threaten and make plays, but TSM continues to build their momentum. They secured a 4-1 trade before taking Baron, then Aced Cloud 9 to shut the game down in just under thirty minutes.
The final match of this series kicked off with C9 once again taking some early aggression. A predicted play by Jensen, however, results in TSM ganking him as he tried to escape the raptor’s nest in TSM’s jungle. This sets the pace for Bjergson to get fed on his Vladimir, which C9 had difficulty countering. Impact kept things even with stellar play on his Gnar, giving his team room to push on both sides of the rift. A sudden base race gives TSM an advantage with a top lane inhibitor, but a team fight for TSM turns to C9’s favor as Impact wrecks the team with his Gnar ultimate. After another top lane team fight, TSM secures kills while C9 gets a bot lane turret. It all fell apart on a mid lane team fight, from which TSM aced Cloud 9, moved to take turrets and secure Elder Dragon. They then baited the Baron, wiping C9 in a final team fight, pushing for the Nexus and securing the championship. TSM wins the day with a 3-1 victory over Cloud 9.
With this, TSM became the first four-time championship team in the NA LCS. Their performance qualifies them to compete in the world tournament, and because of CLG’s victory in the spring split, TSM’s victory secures the ride for them as well. The remaining four playoff teams, Cloud 9, Immortals, Liquid and Envy, must face a gauntlet competition for the third North American team to enter the tournament. Liquid and Envy will square off this coming Saturday, the winner to face Cloud nine, and the winner of that matchup to compete against Immortals.
Despite the NA Summer Split losses, these teams have the opportunity to shine once more against the best in the world, but only the strongest will survive. This concludes the NA Summer Split coverage here on Joystik Revolution, Stay tuned for more League of Legends action in the coming weeks.