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LCS Rundown: Paradigm Shift

LoL Simon “Leoverse” Garnace

The plot thickens as the LCS weekend returns to the center stage and 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.

The Empire Strikes Back.
The old guard has come in resurgence for its throne after an undefeated weekend to move up the standings in the tournament series. After enduring disappointing setbacks at the start of the split, the veterans have now found their stride coming out with decisive victories across the board.

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

CLG: the faithful shall be rewarded.
Standing at a second-rate record (1-4) and receiving criticism for their uncharacteristic play, CLG emerged as the unlikeliest challenger to take down the then-undefeated Echo Fox. Fortunately for CLG, faith transcends all barriers.

Coming into the opening match of the weekend, alongside a brand-new patch update, CLG looked to shut down FOX first and foremost through the draft. CLG strategically locked in the recently-buffed Nunu with Kalista for utmost objective control and secured the sought-after Zoe pick for the Mid Lane.

Following the pick and ban phase, CLG stayed true to their objective-oriented composition to win the game outright. After a solo kill or two and rampant skirmishes here and there, the gold differential remained irrelevant until CLG secured the Baron Nashor at the 29-minute mark and got in control of the game’s tempo.

CLG later on threw the lead with an unfavorable 3v5 teamfight due to CLG Huhi’s Zoe getting caught out by FOX Fenix, giving FOX leeway to secure the Baron and contest for the Elder Dragon. However, FOX’s poorly set up dragon take was punished by a decisive engage by CLG Stixxay that led them to lose the trade five-for-nothing, the Elder, and subsequently, the match.

To secure their win-win record for the weekend, CLG later on demolished FlyQuest through their superior map rotations and play execution -- taking down every spawned Dragon, every inhibitor, and a massive 16k gold lead by the match’s end.

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

G2’s come back for its kingdom.
The Kings of Europe have been quite the curveball  throughout the split, nabbing wins against Misfits Gaming and Splyce but all the while losing to Roccat. After solely retaining Luka "Perkz" Perković from its championship-winning lineup, who could blame them?

Fortunately for the organization, G2’s roster is filled to the brim with potential waiting to be cultivated from the ground up -- and it’s starting to show from their performance the past weekend.

In their kickoff match versus Splyce, G2 looked methodically on-point as Perkz dictated the flow of the game with his zone control in Zoe Trouble Bubbles and Paddle Stars. With a 7-2 kill score, 7-towers advantage, 10k gold lead, and every dragon takedown  in a 42-minute game, G2 took on the role of snake charmers and let Splyce heel on its tail end.

Against H2K, G2 pulled off an identical approach -- securing advantages through well-timed takedowns that opened up the map for greater objective control in their favor. An 18k gold lead, 11-2 in tower takedowns, and six Tears built on H2K’s Sheriff all signify of the coming reign waiting for the rulers of old - if they keep performing the way Kings should perform.

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

TSM’s storybook rise to the top.
TSM Bjergsen’s intuition of their weekend performance was no thoughtless remark -- it was a foreseeable conclusion based on noticeable improvements in scrims that later manifested in their gameplay on-stage .

In an abysmal start to the split, Team SoloMid proceeded game-after-game with tremendous early-game losses. Their  primarily reactive playstyle was a flashback of TSM’s performance in the Worlds Group Stage, despite having a reshuffled roster.

Thankfully for TSM, it looks like time is all the roster needs to move forward in the standings. Now, Bjergsen and co. are finding wins that aren’t from late-game scaling compositions of old that solely rely on stalling out the game and capitalizing on mistakes instead of proactive and well thought out play (for reference: W2D1, OPT vs TSM).

Facing the winless Golden Guardians, TSM put on a stellar performance amassing a sizeable gold and tower advantage despite having a scaling composition in Gangplank and Kog’Maw; thereafter, TSM closed out the match with an 8-0 killscore in a little above thirty minutes.

TSM’s test however came in their match against 100T. Despite losing first blood, TSM maintained a steady composure by taking first tower bot side into securing the succeeding dragons to gain the upper hand. TSM then followed up their lead with superior map control to set up picks and secure the Baron Nashor, completing the 2-0 weekend run.

Given the roster changes present amongst the teams, it was all but anticipated that the old guard would stumble at the start and pick up steam later on as they learned to gel as a unit. Now, it’s time to see if they can pick it up a notch and floor the competition as the split moves forward.

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

MSF Hans sama’s fearsome Kog’Maw
Hans sama picks up the double as he outplays Splyce’s bot lane duo.

FOX Fenix’s slippery Cassiopeia
Fenix slithers in with a clutch kill 4-on-1 before going down.

VIT Jiizuke’s weekly highlight reel
Jiizuke with yet another game-changing outplay against UOL

TL Olleh'S Tahm Kench gobbles a minion
We’ve all been there and TL Olleh is no exception.


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 3                                          NA LCS Standings - Week 3

Check out the NA LCS & EU LCS VODs.

Images courtesy of Riot Games.

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Simon “Leoverse” Garnace
League of Legends Journalist. Freelance writer. Klepto nasus is the best of all time.

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