Battle Report: Week 6 NA LCS

July 08 2015

Week 6 of the NA LCS pit Team Liquid (8W-4L) against two formidable opponents: Cloud9 (3W-9L) and Team Dignitas (8W-4L). While the former is still trying to find their identity, albeit with a substitution for Meteos with the return of Hai, the latter defeated us in the first half of the split. We wanted revenge.

Honestly, we played well in both matches. Cloud9 definitely played better with their shotcaller, but even that wasn’t enough to beat out our 5v5 team fighting. Team Dignitas on the other hand just couldn’t do much against the boys in blue. The week ended in a smashing 2-0 for us and we’ll hopefully use this momentum to carry us past the second half of the split.

Day 1: Team Liquid vs Cloud 9

Coud 9 made a surprising substitution this week. They swapped out Meteos for Hai, who stepped down a few weeks back, in the jungle. With their shot caller back in the line-up, Cloud 9 played better and for the most part out-rotated Team Liquid. But unfortunately for them, we saw through their ruse and brute forced our way into their team.

Team Liquid: Nautilus, Gragas, Yasuo, Corki, Annie
Cloud9: Fizz, Rek’sai, Twisted Fate, Tristana, Alistar

In the early game, Team Liquid didn’t play badly, but Cloud9 did hold a small lead. However, a fight in the river and an over-zealous play by TL would net Cloud9 5 kills to our 2, giving them a significant lead in the midgame.

From there, things looked bad, as C9 began to make small sacrifices for objective control, taking out all of top lane and almost an inhibitor. Again, we make the decision to fight and come out with the short end. Overall, TL didn’t make great midgame decisions, but eventually Cloud9 would falter.

C9 would decide trying for the inhibitor and Baron was a good idea when all 5 of the TL squad were ready to fight. Sure, they’d secure an inhibitor but they slowly began to lose fights that closed the gap on the gold lead. Hai’s shot calling is good, but there’s little you can do when your team is trying to control two objectives—that’s not going to fly.

Team Liquid would secure Baron off the sacrifices C9 made for the inhibitor (2 deaths), and then it was basically over. TL would just push mid and tower dive with sheer force, often resulting in 4 kills to 1.
C9 wanted one last attempt at the baron, but TL kicked it into overdrive and just went in, crushing C9 4 kills to 1 and securing Baron. With all 3 inhibitors down, Team Liquid would take the game at the 41-minute mark. We finally closed games and we played this one out patiently. Kudos to C9 for definitely playing better though.

Day 2: Team Liquid vs Team Dignitas

Having lost the first time around, a win for Team Liquid would put them in a tie-breaker position at 1-1. A loss would have put us 2-0, giving Dignitas the edge in a tie situation. However, Team Liquid went into this one with confidence, even after coming off a loss in their last run versus Dig.

"I think Dignitas is playing really well right now. But at the same time I feel like we should have beaten them [the last time we played]," Alex "Xpecial" Chu said in a LoLEsports interview. "And I feel like when we play them again, we'll just beat them because I feel like we're a better team."

And well, he was right. Dignitas did not expect what was coming from this resurging TL squad.

Team Liquid: Maokai, Rek’sai, Twisted Fate, Sivir, Thresh
Team Dignitas: Shen, Ezreal, Evelynn, Varus, Alistar

In all honesty, much of our win could be placed on how we drafted. We got a priority pick in Sivir and opted to run a heavy tank composition. On the other hand, Dignitas went with a poke composition around Ezreal and Varus—it’s fairly easy to catch a poke composition in the act when you can brute force yourself in with a Sivir ultimate.

"I think what mattered the most this game were our priority picks and how we drafted," Quas told Riot after the match. "I think we drafted perfectly, and we just naturally played team fights really well because our champions had so many synergies together and they were pretty bad against what we had."

And well, he was right. Dignitas failed to do the one thing their team was good at: siege. Every time they tried, we would stop it in their tracks or react to a play. Team liquid played a methodical game and waited for Dignitas to make a move—usually, Dig reacts but they grew desperate.

It wasn’t before long Team Liquid would just brute force their way into Dignitas’ base and take the win at the 27-minute mark. It was a flawless game and we were able to close it out.

Closing games

The one thing that gave us trouble at the beginning of the Split was our simply closing games. We’d hold leads, come back from deficits, but we just couldn’t close out. These two games finally showed what we can do when we just group and win. Hopefully we can continue to do so as we move on and fight higher-tiered teams like Team SoloMid.
FeniX is coming out of his shell

He was once the rumored “Scrim God.” Now he’s an incredibly potent mid-laner, potentially top 3, who just holds leads against his opponents. And it’s not just the small leads too. His mechanics in fights are top notch and he can leverage the team alongside Piglet who just dodges everything.

While I love the idea of Quas carrying games, having an aggressive midlane carry is going to help us in future matches.

Overall, the weekend was great for Team Liquid. 2-0, and now tied for 3rd, we enter into week 7 fighting against Team Dragonknights (1W-11L) and Team SoloMid (9W-3L). Don’t forget to cheer us on every weekend!

Writer // Ken Serra
Art Credit // Riot
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