C9 crushes TSM in season opener; P1 shows their mettle in series against FOX
Cloud 9 takes decisive win over Team SoloMid
Game 1 opened with Cloud 9 seizing a sizable lead thanks to smart early rotation and excellent play by Sneaky and Smoothie in the botlane. With WildTurtle’s Kalista and Biofrost’s Zyra chunked down low thanks to synchronized ultimates, Cloud 9 was able to guarantee first blood, first tower blood, and the first dragon of the game. While TSM was able to claw their way back in thanks to superior teamfighting, they ultimately gave up too much in a Baron attempt and let their slight edge slip away. Cloud 9, in the driver’s seat once more, were able to close out the game.
Team SoloMid brought out a few niche picks in game 2, including Hauntzer’s Trundle and Bjergsen’s Katarina, but the new champions didn’t pan out quite the way TSM wanted them to. With both of TSM’s sololanes forced under tower by their lane opponents, Contractz was able to play aggressively elsewhere, securing early kills and objectives for his team. This time around, there was no comeback for TSM – Cloud 9 were able to take a 36 minute victory with little answer from their rivals.
Contractz was the surprise star of the series. His early jungling was crucial in guaranteeing Cloud 9 their edge, and his Kha’Zix in particular proved to be deadly. Racking up 15 kills in your first two games is an excellent way to make a good impression on your team, and it’s certainly a good way to silence the critics.
Phoenix1 pulls out two miracle wins against Echo Fox
The showdown between Echo Fox and Phoenix1 was a fantastic display between the two rebuilt teams, neither of which had been favorites in the previous year. While Echo Fox routinely held leads against Phoenix1, it was always a single crucial mistake that cost them the game – and ultimately, led them to two straight defeats.
The mistake in game 1 was giving Inori Rengar. While P1’s jungler was unable to accomplish much throughout the early game, he became an absolute terror once the game went late. In two consecutive teamfights, Inori managed to assassinate FOX’s backline – with some help from Ryu’s Lissandra – in order to turn the game and pick up a win.
Despite losing game 1 in such a stunning fashion, FOX came out strong again in game 2. Looper’s Singed was an absolute nightmare for P1 to deal with, and Froggen proved once again why he’s the best Anivia in the world, going 2/0/2 through the laning phase. However, FOX grouped up just a bit too much during a dragon fight, allowing Ryu to land an incredible three-man Command: Shockwave that saved his team from a certain loss. With Echo Fox dead or recalling, P1 ran straight for the Baron, picking it up shortly after it spawned and closing out the game in short order.