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LCS Rundown: Follow Through

LoL Simon “Leoverse” Garnace

The LCS weekend returns to the center stage as leaderboards further unfold on the Rift.

From the classic upsets to textbook League of Legends, the NA and EU representatives have set their sights on every region’s year-end end game: Worlds.

Missed it? Don’t fret, we’ve handpicked cross continental highlights throughout the Rift to catch you up for the coming week’s matchups and narratives.

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Photo: LoL Esports. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lolesports/

VIT Jizuke: The Italian Stallion unleashed

The play speaks for itself.

Team Vitality’s up-and-coming mid laner Jiizuke put on quite the show in their matches versus rival contenders in Fnatic and Misfits Gaming.

After receiving significant jungle assistance from VIT Gillius in the mid lane, Jiizuke put the team on his shoulders and put on a 1v9 for ages to come with his timely roams bot side and remarkable side lane pressure. Starting with his 1v2 outplay by the Inhibitor turret down bot to evaporating FNC Hylissang’s Janna up top, Jiizuke was the undeniable MVP of the back-and-forth match.

Despite VIT’s loss against  Misfits however, Jiizuke still found opportunities to keep Vitality afloat through a notable solo-kill against FNC Caps and initiating favorable skirmishes through well-placed Sleepy Trouble Bubbles.

Truly, the Italian Stallion is one to watch out for as he runs rampant in Europe and maybe soon, on the World Stage. Jesus, Jiizuke!

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Photo: LoL Esports. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lolesports/

Echo Fox stands above the competition

After a dominant showing on the reinvented roster’s debut week, Echo Fox still had everyone cautiously optimistic of the team’s run as a contender for the championship title.

This week however, Huni and co. have shown their dexterity on the Rift with convincing wins over Cloud9 and Team SoloMid -- securing the undisputed topmost spot within the NA LCS.

In their almost-too-close-to-call match versus C9, Echo Fox were consistently a step behind Sneaky and Smoothie’s superior lane priority through Unsealed Spellbook. Despite being constantly shoved in with their structures slowly chipped down, FOX held their composure and stayed true to their win conditions throughout the game. Even after losing Baron to a steal from C9, FOX stayed proactive and initiated a teamfight that shifted the game’s pace in favor of the foxes. In the end, FOX’s teamfight-heavy composition outscaled C9’s push comp to hand them their first loss of the split.

In the same vein, FOX demonstrated their ability to play from behind in their game versus TSM. 11k gold behind and two  inhibitors down, Echo Fox held on long enough for their late-game carries in Gangplank and Tristana to scale. Due to the team’s decisive engages and senior in-game synergy, they were able to outmaneuver TSM and secure the impressive comeback win.

Echo Fox’s comeback performance  even prompted a feature on Riot Zirene’s The Breakdown.

Although it’s too early to make decisive statements of the team’s impending performance for the coming weeks, Echo Fox’s decisive and well-oiled caliber of play might be enough to push them a step closer towards the trophy.

Given the lion’s share of pre-season rankings placing Echo Fox in the bottom half of the standings, aren’t you entertained?!

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Photo: League of Legends. http://leagueoflegends.com/

Unsealed Spellbook on EVERYONE

First, it was Malzahar. Then came Ryze. Then Sivir. It’s everywhere.

Unsealed Spellbook has rippled throughout competitive play worldwide. From the prerequisite keystone of Vladimir to niche adaptations as seen in Tristana, Unsealed Spellbook has introduced a novel strategy of sacrificing laning prowess in favor of map pressure through teleports.

Unsealed Spellbook offers champions unparalleled utility otherwise unavailable to them, given the reduced 225-180 seconds cooldown of Teleport and the switchable summoner spell feature of the keystone rune.

Still not convinced? Here’s an in-depth breakdown by Blitz Esports on why the rune is exceedingly effective in professional play.

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Photo: League of Legends. http://leagueoflegends.com/

Off-meta: Veigar

A yordle of mischievous proportions, Veigar bursts onto a meta predominantly run by the niche mages in Azir, Ryze, and Malzahar (with the occasional Zoe).

Considering the present optimal meta state wherein mids take Unsealed Spellbook to survive the laning phase, it all makes sense. Late-game scaling: check. Considerable zoning: check. Endless need of flash: check. Veigar provides prospective teams an equally utility-heavy and bursty mage in a teamfight oriented meta with games that last over an hour long, perfectly suited to scale indefinitely and show off the yordle’s strengths on the Rift.

For instance, in Splyce’s victory versus FC Schalke 04, Splyce was consistently behind from the 18-minute mark and onwards. However, Splyce was able to hold out the game until they could overpower Schalke with their impenetrable battle lines and consistent damage output thanks to Veigar’s insane waveclear and effective zone control in Event Horizon and Dark Matter.

The same holds true for Giant Gaming’s victory against G2 Esports. Giant’s Veigar and Caitlyn carry-duo of zone control and incredible range were able to hold out G2’s sieges until they could turn the match on its head by the 36-minute mark and close out the game within the next three minutes.

Who else better pull out the Tiny Master of Evil than Europe and run with it? Except for LemonNation, of course.

Plays. Plays Stopwatches everywhere
The LCS wouldn’t be the LCS without its crowd-roaring, game-changing highlights.


CG Febiven’s Pentakill
Febiven shurima shuffles Counter Logic Gaming off their feet in his first-ever competitive pentakill.

STYLE POINTS: Golden Warp

SPY Kobbe’s Pentakill
EU answers NA, as Kobbe’s Zilean-empowered boots-less Caitlyn runs over Schalke 04.

Top Die courtesy of 100T SSumday
Impact finds himself taken down by Ssumday’s gnarly Gnar

With that all said and done, what could be in store for this week’s LCS action?

Watch the LCS splits unfold as teams clash in the highest-tier of gameplay this weekend on Youtube and Twitch.

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EU LCS Standings - Week 2                                                     NA LCS Standings - Week 2

Check out the NA LCS & EU LCS VODs.

Images courtesy of Riot Games.

QUICKPOLL

Which rune do you prefer being widely-used in competitive play?

Stopwatch
Thank you for voting!
Unsealed Spellbook
Thank you for voting!
Simon “Leoverse” Garnace
League of Legends Journalist. Freelance writer. Klepto nasus is the best of all time.

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