Team Liquid crushes CLG to start Week 2

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Team Liquid 1 - Counter Logic Gaming 0

Team Liquid started off Week 2 with a victory against Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday in Los Angeles.

The reigning North American League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split champions went with a stronger scaling team composition, meaning Counter Logic Gaming (1-2) would need to make plays early and often in order to win. CLG jungler Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin's Sejuani picked up first blood early on, but that was his last successful act of aggression as Team Liquid (2-1) surged afterward.

Liquid learned from its mistakes in Week 1 by drafting a team composition that was centered around AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng on a marksman champion, even if it was the magic damage scaling Kai'Sa. Moving forward, Team Liquid seems ready to play more traditional champions in the bottom lane, which might give other teams the opportunity to plan their drafts around those comfort picks.

Team Liquid predicted and countered pretty much any plan that CLG tried to throw at it. Whether it was trying to surprise the bottom lane with a five-man gank or camping in a bush near middle lane waiting for a chance to strike, Liquid consistently came out ahead or at least even. These victories culminated with Team Liquid breaking open its gold lead with a 5-for-0 ace and a Baron power play that took all of Counter Logic Gaming's inhibitors. CLG desperately tried to find a pick with a Hail Mary engage, but it was too late as Team Liquid easily dodged and went in for the final teamfight win before knocking down the Nexus.

Next up, Team Liquid looks to knock down the yet undefeated Team SoloMid at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday while Counter Logic Gaming will try to bounce back against Clutch Gaming later that day at 4 p.m.

-- Ben Wong

Clutch Gaming 1 - Team SoloMid 0

Clutch Gaming continued its recent dominance of Team SoloMid with a fourth straight victory against TSM on Saturday during the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split.

In a sea of quick one-sided matchups, Clutch (2-1) and TSM (2-1) slugged it out in a 45-minute contest that went down to the wire. After an incredibly slow early game that didn't see Clutch pick up the first blood until the 15-minute mark, things kicked into high gear as Clutch struggled to stave off a resilient TSM bunch.

With leads in every land and a sizable gold lead at 30 minutes, it should have been time for Clutch to take Baron and begin setting up for a fairly quick win. TSM had other plans, however, as jungler Jonathan "Grig" Armao raced into the Baron Pit to steal away the powerful objective and bring the game to a standstill. While the contest did last another 15 minutes, it turned out that all TSM could do was delay its fate.

TSM certainly gets credit for managing to almost come away with a win here, but in the end, it was wholly unable to stop the Clutch duo of mid laner Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten and AD carry Apollo "Apollo" Price from absolutely tearing through TSM at every turn. Anytime that TSM threatened to make some headway in its comeback attempt, the Clutch pair was right there to knock TSM back down to size. Febiven and Apollo ended with a combined 15/0/18 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) as they essentially put Clutch on their backs to walk away with the win. After Clutch finally broke through with a late Baron and Elder Dragon secure, all it took was one final teamfight victory inside TSM's base to lock up the 45-minute win.

Clutch will now turn to its match against Counter Logic Gaming at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, while TSM hope to prevent a 0-2 week when it faces Team Liquid in the preceding match at 5 p.m. ET.

-- Wyatt Donigan

OpTic Gaming 1 - Echo Fox 0

OpTic Gaming handed Echo Fox its first loss of the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split in a hard-fought match on Saturday in Los Angeles.

North America witnessed its first home-grown use of the current meta's gold-funneling strategy in Week 2, and fans were treated to a double dose of it. Echo Fox's draft sent top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon into the middle lane on Irelia with the summoner spell Smite. On the opposite side of the coin, OpTic Gaming's gold funnel team composition was built around mid laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage's Kai'Sa. Huni earned the advantage early, as the top laner registered a first blood, but Echo Fox's newfound strategy ran amuck during the mid game.

OpTic Gaming (2-1) decided to use its gold funnel combo to gank the side lanes and take objectives. As a result, the rotations throughout the mid game funneled plenty of resources into PowerOfEvil to make up for his early deficit. Suddenly and efficiently, OpTic Gaming began to siege down turrets and neutral objectives, creating a comfortable lead that Echo Fox (2-1) wasn't able to recover from.

While Huni and Echo Fox were winning the 2-vs-2 gold funnel strategy in the first half, the overall team composition predicated on the team's ability to finish off the Nexus in orderly fashion. Withstanding a handful of aggressive barrages, OpTic Gaming finally scaled to the point where it could win teamfights confidently, as top laner Kieran "Allorim" Logue's Ornn would kick off the engage with Call to the Forge God, picking up a 6/0/7 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) in the process. The inevitable winning push came after OpTic Gaming scored an ace while tearing through what remained of Echo Fox's base and Nexus, locking up the sub-40 minute victory.

OpTic Gaming finish off Week 2 in a matchup with FlyQuest at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, while Echo Fox hope to bounce back against the Golden Guardians at 5 p.m. ET later that day.

-- Ben Wong

100 Thieves 1 - FlyQuest 0

100 Thieves made short work of FlyQuest to pick up its first win of the North American League of Legends Championship Series on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Despite both teams coming into this game with equal records, 100 Thieves (1-2) looked to be a few steps ahead of FlyQuest (0-3) from start to finish in this game. Both teams drafted fairly standard compositions with AD carries in the bottom lane, which shifted more of the focus onto the top side of the map. Indeed, it was top laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho's Aatrox and mid laner Yoo "Ryu" Sang-wook's Lissandra that ended up having the biggest impact on the game for 100 Thieves.

After picking up the first couple kills of the game, 100 Thieves took full control of the game on the back of an ace that it snatched from the jaws of death. Ssumday was surrounded by members of FlyQuest inside the Dragon Pit at 15 minutes when he somehow managed to keep himself alive with a sliver of health, thwarting FlyQuest's plans of an easy kill. Not only that, but 100 Thieves banded around its top laner and secured a clean ace that changed the outlook of the game completely.

With the ace in hand, 100 Thieves was suddenly in full control of the game with an 8,000-gold lead to boot. From there, it was simply a matter of building on the lead and preventing FlyQuest from gaining any momentum. 100 Thieves did just that by running through FlyQuest in every ensuing teamfight on its way to a dominating 20-to-7 advantage in kills by the game's end. The driving force behind 100 Thieves' teamfighting prowess was Ssumday, who finished with a 9/0/9 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) and 40 percent damage share in his team's 28-minute win.

100 Thieves hopes to go 2-0 on the week when it faces Cloud9 at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, while FlyQuest will continue searching for its first win against OpTic Gaming earlier in the day at 3 p.m. ET.

-- Wyatt Donigan

Golden Guardians 1 - Cloud9 0

Golden Guardians closed out Saturday's North American League of Legends Championship Series slate with a comeback win over Cloud9 in Los Angeles.

In tune with the ever-evolving League of Legends meta, Golden Guardians (2-1) opted for the "funnel" strategy in this game against Cloud9 (1-2). The strategy saw AD carry Matthew "Deftly" Chen's Kai'Sa playing from the jungle in an effort to funnel as many resources his way as possible. Ideally, this should allow him to hit late game, hyper carry status quickly to dominate the map. Cloud9 seemed ready and willing to go toe-to-toe with this strategy, however.

Meeting Golden Guardians at every turn was Cloud9 mid laner Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer's Swain who was obliterating champions with relative ease. Anytime a member of Golden Guardians was within his reach, he deleted them off the map in seconds, which allowed Cloud9 to stop Golden Guardians in its tracks. With the help of Goldenglue, Cloud9 secured every major objective around the map in the early and mid games and went up by almost 7,000 gold.

Even though Cloud9 was in control, Golden Guardians never gave up hope on its gameplan and started to close the gap through scattered teamfight wins in the late game. Even when Cloud9 picked up its second Baron at 35 minutes, Golden Guardians found a bevy of kills that resulted in a negative powerplay for Cloud9. Once that buff expired at 39 minutes, Golden Guardians found a 3-for-0 teamfight on the back of the finally unlocked Kai'Sa of Deftly. With momentum now in hand, Golden Guardians secured the next Baron after another teamfight win before focusing its attention on closing out the game. Cloud9 tried to prevent its demise by initiating a base race, but Golden Guardians easily won the race by splitting its team up to raze Cloud9's Nexus while preventing its own from even being touched.

Golden Guardians will return at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday to face Echo Fox, while Cloud9 look to get back on track earlier in the day at 4 p.m. ET.

-- Wyatt Donigan