Although not holding a win streak like their counterparts in The Outlaws, Clutch gaming finds itself in the midst of one of the most turbulent cases of the Spring Split North America has ever seen.
Games 1-4 : The golden ratio
Clutch Gaming, or CG, currently has a 1:1 win rate out of four games, a perfect 50% and sitting at 5th out of 10, we’re fairly neutral. the leaders of the league are at 4-0 and 3-1 (Echo Fox in first with Cloud 9 and 100 Thieves tied for second) the lack of a 4th place team leaves something on my mind : Within the next week, a major upset will occur. Of course, it won’t necessarily work in CG’s favor, but the next shift in places might make the difference between 7th and 3rd place (there are currently no teams in either placing)
Games 1-4 themselves, though, were expected as they unraveled. For anyone unfamiliar with League of Legends, there might be some disconnect: “Surely,” you might say “You can’t be exactly right so early on !” and while technically correct, League’s pacing and play-style make a comeback extremely difficult. Damage and level scaling, tower and gold advantages all add up and strengthen a single aspect of the game – but I won’t presently go into how to play League of Legends.
Game 1 – Golden Guardians
Generally, first blood is a decent indicator of who will win in a given match. The bonus gold and early lead on a laner (assuming the kill happens early, which it doesn’t a lot in North American championships) helps the game snowball (which means to begin rolling in one team’s favor, usually in an unstoppable way) and move accordingly.
Six minutes after the first blood, CG is ahead 3-0 in kills and a tower on mid and bot lane.
After a 40 minute match, game 1 ends 7-2 in favor of CG.
Game 2 – Echo Fox
In a turn around from game one, a first blood against CG almost immediately followed by a kill on midlaner Febiven set the scene for game 2 against Echo Fox.
Ending after 32 minutes and at 9-4, game 2 was CG’s first loss in the NALCS, but ultimately a fair loss against the best team currently in the league.
Game 3 – Counter Logic Gaming
An exciting match for anyone watching, game 3 felt like the best of Europe and Korea (where lively and fast paced matches are the norm), likely due to Midlaner Febiven and Jungler LirA from both servers respectively.
The highlight of this match, however, was not the first blood, but the Pentakill made by the aforementioned Febiven on Azir.
Game 4 – Team Liquid
A match whose outcome was almost expected. There’s no denying that both CG and TL have amazing rosters backing them, but the faces to meet here were much more than just interesting- they were exciting. In the beginning.
Unfortunately, it was clear very early on who would take the lead. Although towards the mid-game of this titan match, the tower lead nearly evened out, Team Liquid’s Doublelift was playing more aggressive than I can recall from previous years. Moreover, the Tristana pick into Caitlyn (effectively speed Vs. range) had a way of shaking out into a snowball game for TL. I am by no essence of the word a “professional” at League of Legends, so I feel I should be wary going into this: what needs to change is the synergy of our botlane comps. TL’s CC + Damage comp of Taric and Tristana made for a wall that was difficult for Apollo, Hakuho or even LirA to breach – Even with a great effort from his Sejuani.
Just keep your head held high, Houston. Regardless of how these matches turn out immediately, there’s still a reason it’s known as “Clutch City”