Photo Credit: tu.tv
Fnatic vs Vitality (3-1)
The first game of the LCS playoffs was between Europe’s Fnatic against Vitality. The game began with a quick trade of turrets, with 2 going down for each team by the 5 minute mark. Vitality would grab the first objective advantage in the first dragon of the game, but Fnatic quickly answered back with a kill by Febiven onto Vitality’s Cabochard. Objectives would be traded once again as Vitality took another turret, but Fnatic grabbed 2 dragons. For there, the game quickly snowballed for Fnatic as they took several objectives, and a clean team fight ace to claim Baron Nashor and eventually the game.
The second game was firmly in control of Fnatic from start to finish as they took objective after objective with little resistance from Vitality. Vitality managed to put up 5 kills total in the game, but did not grab a single tower, dragon, or baron by the end when Fnatic closed out the game at 33:47.
Vitality finally answered back in the 3rd game of the series. An early double kill by jungler, Shook, gave the team a much needed early advantage. From there, they would grab 2 towers and a dragon, but Fnatic wasn’t going to go down easy and responded with 2 towers of their own and a kill. However, Vitality continued to build up their lead slowly and two big team fights including a team fight ace at Fnatic’s base allowed Vitality to take the game.
The 4th game was the most back-and-forth game of the series. Just like the first game, 2 towers were traded for both teams at the start but Fnatic went one further by picking up a kill and the first dragon for themselves. However, Vitality managed to win a significant team fight despite losing the second dragon which they used to start building a lead of their own. Fnatic managed to secure more objectives around the map without giving up any kills and began to pull ahead. A 1 for 3 team fight gave Vitality a chance to comeback in the game, but Fnatic took the Baron and 4 kills with it to increase their lead to 6k gold. A clean sweep of Vitality in their base quickly ended the game.
Photo Credit: Reddit
Origen vs Unicorns of Love (3-0)
The first game began with another meta-lane swap start with two towers being traded by both teams. However, Vizicsacsi fell victim during this period and gave up a kill to Origen’s ADC, Zven. This gave Zven a great start into the game which he would later use to carry the game along with mid-laner, PowerOfEvil. Origen would maintain a lead throughout the rest of the series, cleaning up objectives and skirmishes. They would completely prevent the Unicorns from picking up another objective aside from the first 2 towers that were traded in the lane swap. UoL would pick up 7 kills in the game, but 4 kills at the inhibitor line of the Unicorns and later their last player being picked off in defense of the nexus would give Origen the first game.
In the second game, Origen came out of the gate strong with a first kill less than the 1 minute mark and following it up with another kill before the 5 minute mark. However, the Unicorns picked up 2 kills of their own and proceeded to snowball their lead to 4.4k gold at 23 minutes. Unfortunately for them, a lost team fight would result in Baron being given over to Origen, who used the opportunity to push down 3 turrets and an inhibitor. During the attempt for the inhibitor, Origen also picked up 4 kills with a triple kill from top laner, sOAZ. UoL would pick up a few more kills and objectives throughout the series but eventually, Origen closed out the game with a strong push into their base and picking up an ace and the nexus.
You would think that it the Unicorns had learned their lesson from the previous game when they lost after being up 4.4k gold. However, once again they failed to close out the game and allowed Origen to take back the lead. The 3rd game began as expected, with a lane swap and two towers being traded to both teams. The Unicorns grabbed kills and objectives to take an even larger lead with 4.7k gold at 24 minutes. Unfortunately for them, a poor decision to engage a team fight at Baron, lost them 4 kills and the Baron to Origen who quickly proceeded to even out the gold deficiet. Another team fight at Baron gave Origen 3 kills which they used to close out the game, ending with Zven getting a quadra kill to end the game.
Photo Credit: Youtube
Cloud 9 vs Team SoloMid (1-3)
In one of the oldest rivalries of League of Legends, Cloud 9 took on TSM for the first game in the NA LCS Playoffs. The two teams have met each other numerous times in the finals, but this time it was for a spot in the semifinals. A tower and kill were traded for both teams early in the game with nothing significant happening until the 8 and a half minute mark. Cloud 9 managed to pull off a great team fight, getting 3 kills, a turret, and a dragon. They continued to push their lead, getting another 4 kills across a few skirmishes and 2 towers. TSM responded with a tower of their own, but couldn’t close the growing deficient, and C9 pushed in for the win at 25:35.
The second game began the same way to the first with a tower and kill being traded. TSM grabbed an early advantage by trading objectives better than C9 to come out with a 4k gold lead. They would continue to pick up objectives throughout the map, and with several team fight wins, TSM built their gold lead all the way up to 10k. TSM’s control of objectives were too strong, and successful tower pushes, dragon, and Baron kills would let the team close out with an ace in Cloud 9’s base.
Game 3 proceeded the same way as game 2 with a tower being traded in the beginning of the game. TSM would succeed in several ganks and individual skirmishes across the map to grab a lead. They would continue to choke C9 out of the game, slowly but surely, and the game ended with a whopping 23 kills for TSM with both Bjergsen and Doublelift ending the game deathless.
Cloud 9 came onto the rift strong in game 4 with a quick kill on Svenskeren by Rush. They followed this up with a kill onto Bjergsen later at 8 and a half minutes. However, a team fight allowed TSM to grab 3 kills and push the lead back into TSM’s advantage. It didn’t help that later at 19 and half minutes, TSM ace’d Cloud 9 and grabbed the Baron to add insult to injury. This allowed TSM to grab a quick 10k gold lead and drive home the game to advance to the semifinals.
Photo Credit: Reddit
Liquid vs NRG Esports (3-0)
Unlike the other matches in the quarterfinals, NRG were outclassed at every opportunity by Liquid. The first game saw Liquid taking a gold lead from farming despite NRG grabbing first blood at 7 and a half minutes. Liquid proceeded to grab 5 unanswered towers and a team fight kill to put their stamp of authority on the series. The silver lining in the cloud for NRG was a Baron steal by Moon, but even that did not prevent Liquid from easily closing out the game at 28:24 with 11 kills to 1.
The second game didn’t result in much change from the first. Dardoch of Liquid had a huge game, ending up with a scoreline of 12/2/6 and was a huge factor in the win for Liquid. The game started out with the standard tower trade, but Liquid would continue to rack up kills and objectives for the next 20 minutes. A desparate team fight allowed NRG to come ahead with 1 kill and pick up a turret, but they were quickly cleaned up by an ace from the respawned Liquid. The game would continue downhill for NRG at that point with Liquid pushing ahead to secure the second game.
Unfortunately for NRG, the third game didn’t result in much of a difference from the previous games. Liquid took an early lead with several kills and would slowly starve NRG in the 37 minute game. NRG did put a fight by grabbing some kills to try and even out the gold difference, but Liquid kept piling on objective after objective that culminated in an ace in NRG’s base.