Team SoloMid closes out perfect start to Summer Split

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NA LCS Power Rankings pre-summer split power rankings (4:44)

The NA LCS is back in full force, and so are our Power Rankings. Emily Rand joins Phil Murphy to break it all down. (4:44)

Team SoloMid 1 - FlyQuest 0

Team SoloMid picked up its second victory of the North American League Championship Series Summer Split by taking down Flyquest in a 25-minute stomp Sunday afternoon.

It was yet another game where the old and new styles of League of Legends clashed, as Team SoloMid (2-0) put its faith in Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen's abilities at the semi-defunct Marksman position to the test. FlyQuest, on the other hand, was happy to abandon the orthodox metagame and instead ran a terrifying kill lane consisting of Jason "WildTurtle" Tran on Brand and Kevin "KonKwon" Kwon on Nautilus.

Unfortunately for FlyQuest (0-2), it got limited mileage out of the bot-lane duo thanks to a combination of safe play from TSM's bottom lane and how far behind the rest of FlyQuest fell in the early game.

The rest of the map was where the game was decided, however, in the middle lane. In what can only be described as a show of arrogance, Jang "Keane" Lae-young decided to take Gangplank into the mid lane to face off against Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's Irelia -- a lane that is traditionally disastrous for the Gangplank. This game was no exception, as not only did Keane fall catastrophically far behind in creep score -- he was down 20 CS in the first seven minutes -- but he also failed to find a chance to leverage his Ignite into a kill, meaning he more or less entered the game with but a single summoner spell.

Unsurprisingly, Bjergsen snowballed off his early lead and was one of the driving forces behind TSM's lopsided win, especially when backed up by the nigh-invulnerable Dr. Mundo piloted by top-laner Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell.

Team SoloMid will go on to face off against Clutch Gaming at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, while FlyQuest will have its next chance to get on the scoreboard at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, when it takes on 100 Thieves.

-- James Bates

Golden Guardians 1 - Team Liquid 0

The Golden Guardians picked up an upset victory over Team Liquid on Sunday in the North American League of Legends Championship Series in Los Angeles.

Team Liquid (1-1) switched up its draft from Saturday, putting AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng on Vladimir in the bottom lane. The pick fell flat, however, as Golden Guardians (1-1) punished him early and often and took him down twice at Level 1. The early death put Golden Guardians jungler Juan Arturo "Contractz" Garcia's Graves up with a nice lead that he spread to other lanes to help his team start to run away with the game.

The bottom lane wasn't the only problem for Team Liquid, though, as Golden Guardians top-laner Samson "Lourlo" Jackson received gank assistance from Contractz, turning a creep-score deficit in lane into a gold advantage across the Rift. Lourlo quickly became a huge damage threat, which enabled the Golden Guardians to group up and push to win in 22 minutes even. Lourlo finished with an impressive 8/0/4 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) and the most damage dealt to champions.

In the end, it was the Golden Guardians' traditional-team composition that was the difference as it easily rolled over Team Liquid's more experimental draft. It was a painful lesson for Liquid that it likely should have learned prior to Sunday's contest, given that it decimated a Vladimir bottom-lane carry composition from 100 Thieves on Saturday.

Team Liquid will kick off Week 2 of the Summer Split by facing off against Counter Logic Gaming at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the Golden Guardians look to start a win streak against Cloud9 later that day at 7 p.m. ET.

-- Ben Wong

Counter Logic Gaming 1 - 100 Thieves 0

Bouncing back from a loss to its longtime rival, Counter Logic Gaming secured its first win of the split by taking down 100 Thieves on Sunday during the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split.

It was an uncharacteristically slow, steady game as far as the current patch is concerned, perhaps since both teams selected traditional team compositions, with Ezreal CLG AD carry Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes and Lucian for 100 Thieves ADC Cody "Cody Sun" Sun, respectively. The teams found only one kill apiece in the first 12 minutes, and thanks to a strong objective game by 100 Thieves (0-2), the gold remained within 2,000 past the 20-minute mark, even as CLG (1-1) began to run away with the kill score.

Unfortunately for 100 Thieves, it couldn't manage to stop bleeding kills. CLG top-laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya on Ornn and support Vincent "Biofrost" Wang on Braum provided plenty of crowd control, and mid-laner Choi "Huhi" Jae-hyun on Syndra had no trouble capitalizing to delete members of 100 Thieves. CLG was even diligent enough to knock down the top turrets quickly, eliminating the potential win condition of 100 Thieves top-laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho on Singed before he had a chance to split-push.

With absolute teamfight dominance, Counter Logic Gaming secured a 3-for-0 exchange in the top lane, granting it a free Baron buff at 23 minutes. From there, it simply barreled down the lanes, taking turrets and kills as it pleased to end the game just shy of the 30-minute mark while giving up only a single kill all game.

Having bounced back from its previous loss, CLG can look forward to a chance to take down Spring Split champion Team Liquid at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday. Later that day, 100 Thieves looks to find its first win of the split against FlyQuest at 8 p.m. ET.

-- Brendan Hickey

Echo Fox 1 - Clutch Gaming 0

After a bug froze the game, league officials granted Echo Fox the victory over Clutch Gaming on Sunday in the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split.

Echo Fox (2-0) surprised viewers for the second day in a row with another role swap, this time sending ostensible top-laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon into the jungle on Taliyah, while regular jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett took to the top lane on one of his signature picks in Rengar. This went well enough for Huni early on, but less so for Dardoch, who, despite displaying excellent mechanics on his champion, was repeatedly ganked as Rengar's lack of a reliable escape was heavily exploited by Clutch.

Meanwhile, chaos reigned on Summoner's Rift. Kills were traded back and forth across the map, with Clutch Gaming (1-1) staying ahead by a single kill for most of the early game, and the bodies continued to drop at a faster and faster rate as the game drew on. However, Echo Fox's flawless objective control granted it a steadily growing gold lead throughout the game. Echo Fox had a monopoly on Elemental Drakes and turrets alike, taking four of the former and six of the latter in the first half-hour of gameplay.

Unfortunately, due to an unresolvable bug causing the game to crash, the game went to a ruling after an elongated pause at 31 minutes. Due to Echo Fox's advantage in gold and objectives, League officials granted it the victory.

Despite the anticlimactic result, Echo Fox can look back on a well-played Week 1 as it takes on OpTic Gaming at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday. Just beforehand at 6 p.m. ET, Clutch Gaming will look to hand Team SoloMid its first loss of the split.

-- Brendan Hickey

Cloud9 1 - OpTic Gaming 0

Cloud9 put together a slow and steady victory against OpTic Gaming in the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split on Sunday to round out Week 1 of the split.

A slow early game meant things stayed close, with the relatively few kills and objectives traded back and forth. OpTic jungler Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham's Xin Zhao found first blood as part of a double kill in the top lane, only for Cloud9 AD carry Yuri "Keith" Jew to strike back on the bottom side by taking the first turret on Lucian. By the 20-minute mark, the teams were tied at a single dragon and three turrets apiece, with OpTic Gaming (1-1) up three kills to one.

Despite OpTic's small kill lead, Cloud9 (1-1) maintained a slight gold advantage throughout the early game, one that only grew over time. Cloud9 simply had the better map movements and got more farm onto its champions while simultaneously taking a map-pressure advantage. As the game crested toward the 30-minute mark, this had translated into a turret lead and a shutout of OpTic vision.

With OpTic still up four kills to two, Cloud9 jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen initiated a crucial pick onto Akaadian at 33 minutes, and an additional kill gave Cloud9 the go-ahead to go for Baron. With the kills tied up but Cloud9 more than 10,000 gold ahead, it was no trouble to push through the base and end the game in 39 minutes.

With each team even at 1-1 on the split, both will look to break away from the middle of the pack Saturday. OpTic will go up against Echo Fox at 7 p.m. ET, while Cloud9 faces off against Golden Guardians at 9 p.m. ET to close out the day.

-- Brendan Hickey