Battle Report: NA LCS Week 3

June 17 2015



Team Liquid’s schedule is getting tougher and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. Our matches against Cloud9 and Team Impulse, particularly the latter, prove that we have what it takes to challenge top teams.

Coming into week 3, TL went with less experimentation and more normal picks. Quas was given a carry-oriented top lane champion in Hecarim and Xpecial was given more engagement power through the Alistar and Nautilus. The only difference was having IWillDominate on a more carry-style jungler in Ekko against Cloud9, something we haven’t seen in a long while.

Through Team Liquid’s classic team fighting ability and methodical play, TL would go a perfect 2-0 in Week 3, entering Week 4 tied with Counter Logic Gaming for 1st with a 5W-1L record. It was a great week and both matches against C9 and Impulse could have gone either way.


Day 1: Team Liquid vs Cloud9

Cloud9 has seen a lot of trouble in their matches coming into the Summer Split. After Hai left the team, it’s going to take a few games before C9 will be back to their normal selves; the roster stayed the same since their inception in 2013, a single swap is pretty major. While you never know what can happen in a game, Team Liquid entered this with confidence, locking in Ekko and Hecarim.

Team Liquid: Hecarim, Ekko, Le Blanc, Corki, Nautilus
Cloud9: Fizz, Nunu, Lucian, Nautilus, Azir


In this game, I can’t say Cloud9 ever played poorly, as most of Team Liquid’s kills and advantages were the results of solid team fights and map awareness. Simply, Team Liquid played their composition better and used their gains to leverage more advantages. Balls locked in a Fizz that looked to build tanky and disrupt, but the trickster isn’t as good of a tank as Hecarim or Alistar. The rest of Cloud9 would slowly fall in the team fights to Quas.

It’s difficult to take down TL in extended team fights and we proved that here. Every opportunity to play a 5v5,TL took because of the sheer damage they had to offer in their composition. Cloud9 was too reliant on Nunu’s “Blood Boil” granting Azir the attack speed needed to win these fights but even Shurima’s zone control barely phased TL. Putting all your eggs on one player is never good; you can rely on Sneaky to be consistent, but even the mightiest fall when dealing with a fed Quas and an AP assassin in Le Blanc.

Team Liquid would take the game 23 kills to 8 at the 39-minute mark.





Day 2: Team Liquid vs Team Impulse

Team Impulse has done nothing but improve since the start of the Spring Split. While they haven’t started hot in the Summer Split, with a 3W-3L record, they’re still a formidable opponent with top tier solo laners. Much like Liquid, Impulse is the other play-offs bound team to come into the new split without a roster change and they’re out for blood. TL won the Spring Play-offs series 3-2 against them, securing third place.

Team Liquid: Hecarim, Sejuani, Le Blanc, Tristana, Nautilus
Team Impulse: Rumble, Lee Sin, Kassadin, Kalista, Annie


This game was a nail biter. With Rush’s lee Sin applying constant pressure to all our lanes, there were plenty of kills to be had. IWillDominate’s Sejuani trailed behind Rush, resulting in a multitude of skirmishes that lead to 11 kills (Impulse: 6 – TL: 5) before the 10-minute mark. The following minutes had both teams basically even on towers. What kept Team Liquid ahead of the game were the CS leads which accumulated into a steady 2k gold lead that built itself up.

Team Liquid played this game to their own win conditions perfectly: hold off Impulse. Their goal was met with exceeded expectations as not only were they able to match Rush’s early game Lee Sin pressure but they maintained the lead through CS and dragon. Piglet’s mechanics on Tristana combined with a strong frontline will make life for any team difficult in the late game. TL was just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off; Impulse had to end as the Sejuani late game far outweighs the Lee Sin.

The game for 32-minutes was close. In fact, the score was tied 9-9 up until the fight that led to Team Liquid’s victory. With Impact and Adrian getting caught in the midlane, the result was a baron in favor of Team Liquid. From there, the pressure just couldn’t be stopped and the TL team fight was too much for Impulse to handle.

Team Liquid would beat out Impulse in a rather methodical game at the 34-minute mark, 12 kills to 10. The game was close up until one catastrophic team fight.





Quas the carry

Quas once again proved he can carry games. He’s versatile and plays any champion handed to him with maximum effectiveness. His Hecarim on both days was a driving force in Team Liquid’s victories. Moving into the coming week against Team SoloMid and Diginitas, I’m curious to see how Quas will fare. With what he did to Impact and Balls, I think we’re going to be just fine.


It’s not over

We still have two months of NA LCS to go but Team Liquid is entering the harder part of their opening schedule. With Team Dignitas and Team SoloMid back-to-back, not to mention Counter Logic Gaming the week after, we’re looking to prove we’re a contender at worlds. But again, we must see how we fare against more top teams, even if they’re still adjusting to the Summer Split.

Pros:


-We contend against play-off bound teams
-We’ve unlocked the power of Quas

Cons:


-Cloud9 isn’t playing their best, so that win is just ‘ok’ in my book



Writer // Ken Serra
Art Credit // Riot
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