NA LCS: CLG narrowly defeat Envy Us
The NA LCS semi-finals are set, and it's CLG who claimed the remaining spot.
Dignitas started the North American LCS playoffs with a bang, taking down Cloud 9 on Saturday night, but Counter Logic Gaming did things the hard way against Envy Us. The five game series was tough viewing for fans, but a great spectacle for neutrals.
Despite having strong early game junglers, game one started tentatively, with no kills in the opening ten minutes. First tower went the way of Envy, giving them a small lead, but the first skirmish a few minutes later ended with three kills apiece and more or less the same lead as before. Envy followed it up by taking down rift herald but were forced away from the pit before they could actually pick up the buff. The baron pit proved to be Envy’s undoing again when they tried to take down the big purple wurm itself, only to have it stolen by Omargod’s Zack. That swung the game decisively in CLG’s favour, eventually putting them 1-0 in the series.
First blood came a little quicker in game two, but the action then came thick and fast for a while, with four kills happening around an early infernal drake. Envy were the team to take advantage of the early action but the first team fight, about 25 minutes in, went heavily in CLG’s favour, narrowing the gold gap. Within minutes, though, Envy grabbed a couple of picks around the baron pit and were back in the driver’s seat with a purple buff to call their own. CLG couldn’t hold out for long and the series was tied up within a few minutes.
Darshan’s Maokai was the beneficiary of first blood in the third game, and followed it up with an assist soon afterwards. In fact, CLG were up 4-0 before Envy even got their first kill, but a fight over infernal drake went 4-0 in Envy’s favour and put them in the ascendancy. Envy picked up a second infernal drake and extended their lead to 5k as kills and towers were traded through the mid game. Seraph’s split pushing Trundle was able to take down an inhibitor by himself and forced CLG into a fight over the baron, which Envy won with ease, handing them a 2-1 lead in the series.
Envy started game four as the ended the third - on the front font, taking a 2-1 kill lead early on. The series looked to be spinning out of control for CLG as they went down 5-1 before the 10 minute mark. The kills slowed down from there, but Envy’s lead stayed solid until the third dragon spawned. CLG picked up multiple kills and the ocean drake itself before heading towards baron. They were forced away from the pit, but picked up more kills, closing Envy’s lead. The momentum had turned in their favour and the following teamfight led to an ace, which led to baron for CLG and a lead which turned out to be insurmountable.
Kog’Maw made an appearance for Nisqy in the middle lane for the deciding game of the series but CLG secured first blood via a top lane roam. CLG picked up the infernal drake at the cost of their jungler’s life, but were happy with a 2k lead approaching the 20 minute point. Envy kept the kill score even and with the gold discrepancy staying the same, the game was appropriately close. It was a nail-biting fight around the baron pit that steered the game decisively in CLG’s favour and, mere moments later, they were through to the semi-finals.