So Day 1 of the NA LCS went about as expected, with a series of mostly-dominant games. However, the reasons why these games were so dominant (or in one case, close) shed light on how this NA LCS is going to play out. Catch a game-by-game analysis of the first day of Super Week after the break
Most of the games were extremely dominant: one team just rolled over the other all game. There seemed to be 3 calibers of teams:
Cloud9 showed that their spot at the top is unchallenged, dispatching the two contenders — TSM and XDG — in impressive fashion. They didn’t show up to play, they showed up to win.
TSM/XDG stomped their non-Cloud9 game, showing why they deserve to compete for the top of the NA scene. It’s a bit awkward to draw conclusions in that they both beat EG.
CLG isn’t really a fair target. Their jungler isn’t around for week 1, so they pulled in their Coach, HotshotGG, to play mid, and put their mid laner in the jungle. But their fault or no, they aren’t ready for today’s games.
Dignitas’ loss to CLG is made extra embarrassing by the confusion around their roster. They haven’t done a good job of disproving any ideas that they don’t belong. They’ll probably lose tomorrow to TSM, which leaves Coast as a must-win game for them if they’re not to be the 8th place NA team.
EG did get rolled over, but they also played the best that NA has to offer. They’ll have a chance to prove themselves a bit more against CLG tomorrow
Curse may have won their game handily, but it was vs Team Coast, who seemed to make mistakes left and right. They’ll get a chance to prove themselves tomorrow, when they take on XDG
Nobody really expected TSM to beat C9.
Cloud9 has struggled to get the following that TSM has (56.75% of fans chose TSM to prevail over C9), but C9 is the dominant NA team to beat, and the only real question is whether Vulcun or TSM will sit under them at second place. They are the Fnatic of the NA scene, and as we analyze team’s standings, we’ll start to ignore losses to Cloud9, while taking note of victories against them. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where they don’t take the #1 slot in North America.
TSM is a strong contender for the #2 slot, and it’s pretty clear that XDG (formerly Vulcun) is their only competition. But much as Fnatic dispatched Gambit Gaming easily, TSM fell to Cloud9 is a commanding showing.
But I think few people expected the spectacle that was to follow. First, the champion selections were very odd, with Hai picking Teemo mid, Balls picking up Renekton, and Sneaky picking up Caitlyn! Sneaky has long-been one of the lower gold members of Cloud9, but in this game he rolled ahead to a huge gold lead, with the highest gold per game and minute of the day. However, in many ways, it was Cloud9 as usual, as they abused the zoning potential of Teemo’s shrooms to completely dominate objective control, and behaved with almost clinical precision, using the extremely dominant frontlines of Meteos and Balls to facetank everything for Hai and Sneaky.
The OddOne chose Nunu, which I consider to have been a critical mistake. Nunu doesn’t exert lane pressure now, and while Meteos is not the farming jungler he was in S3, he still knows how to hit 6 fast. Nunu puts almost no pressure on the map, and allows Meteos to do exactly what he wants. I think they were hoping to shut Meteos down, but Nunu has been a very weak champion recently. Bjergsen’s Gragas and Wild Turtle’s Lucian both put up an admirable showing, but were no match for the organization of Cloud9.
CLG vs Dignitas, on the other hand, was just a bit sad to watch. HotshotGG seemed incapable of hitting spears (the crowd started cheering whenever it happened). The usually strong Rush Hour lane made too many early mistakes, and the Zac pick was a bit baffling, falling very behind early and not being a very common/strong pick vs the current meta of top laners.
And yet despite all of that, Dignitas was unable to make any major headway against CLG. The composure and organization advantage should have gone to the intact Dignitas linenup, but instead it was CLG who remained calm under pressure despite a slight disadvantage, taking a quick and decisive lead in the late mid-game and securing the win.