Worlds: WE squeak past C9 to claim last semi-final spot

LoL Michael “Zechs_” Radford

The semi-finals of Worlds 2017 will be an all-Asian afair after World Elite eliminated Cloud 9 in a nail-biting five-game series.

Jensen gave Aurelion Sol his Worlds 2017 debut in the opening game against World Elite and his counter roam put Cloud 9 in the lead early on.Two kills for one in the top lane put the American team over a thousand gold ahead after just six minutes. Cloud 9 then went bottom with their entire team to secure first tower gold, three more kills and an infernal drake. Sneaky’s Caitlyn then went top to grab a second tower and a 5k lead for the rampant C9 team. WE started their fight back 20 minutes in, using a teleport flank to take two kills and mid lane tower. C9 still had a significant lead, but the next team fight put paid to that. WE caught their opponents out around the baron, securing multiple kills, a baron and an infernal drake

Three towers later, the buff wore off and WE were ahead 1500 gold. A second baron went WE’s way, but it was traded for an infernal drake, leaving the gold totals almost identical. The game dragged on, getting messier and messier, with third baron being traded for another elder drake, but with neither team able to get a solid foothold. Then, finally, 53 minutes in, World Elite found the fight they needed to close out game one.

Cloud 9 continued the off-meta picks, locking in Singed for game two. First blood was in the mid lane this time, though, with Contractz’s Jarvan narrowly escaping after killing Xiye’s Corki. First tower went WE’s way a few minutes later and the Chinese team held a small gold lead after 10 minutes. Kills were sparse until towers started being traded. The first proper skirmish went C9’s way, leaving them 4-1 up overall, but down a thousand gold after WE secured their 5th tower. C9 played more decisively in game two, though, taking baron down on-spawn as two WE players chased Singed in the bottom lane. C9 took a small lead but getting greedy for an inhibitor backfired and resulted in an almost dead even game. The respawned baron became the site of C9’s game-winning play, eventually resulting in four kills and a second baron buff for the American team. That was enough for C9 to push into WE’s base and tie up the series.

Singed returned for game three but he conceded first blood to 957’s Cho’Gath in a botched 2v1 gank. Sneaky and Smoothie convincingly won a 2v2 scrap in the bottom lane just before another one broke out in the middle lane as both junglers converged. The teams were tied on gold ten minutes in but a successful collapse onto the bottom lane secured two kills for C9 and a 1k lead. C9 continued to push their advantage when WE overextended to try and pick up kills from a disastrous skirmish in bottom lane. A third tower 16 minutes in but them 5k ahead and looking in full control. By the time baron spawned, C9 was up 6-0 in towers and WE had no way to defend against the easy baron kill that followed. An easy nexus kill followed that, and C9 had a surprise 2-1 lead in the series.

Both teams picked more standard champions in game four and Impact had less fun on Trundle than he did on Singed in the early game. He gave up first blood to a three man gank, which was followed by a second kill on Contractz who had tried to invade WE’s blue buff. The Chinese team picked up another kill and first tower gold, opening up a 3k lead with an infernal drake to boot. It took 18 minutes for C9 to get a kill on the board but WE answered with two kills of their own. Baron died almost immediately after spawning and WE were starting to run away with the game. A miracle team fight kept c9 in the game, but down 10k gold, it was little more than a bump in the road. A second baron was enough to see WE past the finish line and onto a game five.

With Silver Scrapes out of the way, the decider got under way without any technical issues. Both teams played tentatively in the early game, the first kill not happening until nine minutes in but it cost C9 a tower and a 1k gold deficit. Another fight in bottom ended up trading three kills and a tower for another tower, equalizing the gold completely. A third tower and first kill put WE back in the lead, but the game really turned on the first team fight. WE only grabbed one kill but they trapped Contractz in their jungle and turned for baron. Now WE were in full control, with a 3k lead and a second infernal drake. The baron buff led to multiple towers and an inhibitor but not quite the victory. Cloud 9 held on, but a second baron was the final straw and gave WE the boost they needed to end the series.

Michael “Zechs_” Radford
<p>Michael &quot;Zechs&quot; Radford is an esports veteran and has been writing about professional gaming for longer than he cares to remember. He currently lives in Leeds and is hoping his upcoming offspring will be talented enough to play esports professionally rather than just write about other people doing it.</p>


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