Cloud9 tops Team SoloMid with teamfight dominance

Cloud9 dominated teamfights in a win against Team SoloMid on Saturday. Riot Games

Cloud9 1, Team SoloMid 0

Week 6 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split opened with Cloud9 dominating teamfights on its way to victory against Team SoloMid in Los Angeles.

The early game gold race was close with Cloud9 (4-7) dominated the teamfights and neutral objectives and Team SoloMid's focus on knocking turrets evening out the losses. However, the early teamfights gave kills to Cloud9 jungler Robert "Blaber" Huang's Kindred, giving him a nice lead in lane as well as quickly scaling him into a huge damage threat in the mid game.

The late game quickly became the Blaber-show as he engaged fights, knowing that he had Lamb's Respite and mid laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen's Lulu to protect him if he got into trouble. The game plan worked beautifully for Cloud9 as it won teamfights and quickly evened out the turret disadvantage and started to take control of the Rift.

Team SoloMid (5-6) struggled to find an answer for Cloud9's teamfight engages, whether it turned and fought or tried to flee the results were the same. Soon the map pressure was all Cloud9's, giving it the ability to force fights over Baron, win and take the buff. Cloud9 ended up needing two Baron power plays before finishing off Team SoloMid's Nexus. By the end, Blaber earned himself kill participation on all but one of C9's kills to finish with a 5/2/10 KDA (kills/deaths/assists).

Team SoloMid looks to even out its Week 6 record against FlyQuest at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, while Cloud9 tries to climb the standings against the first place Echo Fox at 6 p.m later that day.

--Ben Wong

OpTic Gaming 1, Counter Logic Gaming 0

OpTic Gaming won a grind-out game against Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday in the North American League of Legends Championship Series.

With OpTic (5-6) struggling throughout the first half of the summer split, a strong showing was needed to inspire confidence in a potential playoff run in the second half. Its complete dismantling of CLG (5-6) was just what the doctor ordered, as OpTic exercised some serious control over the game from the start.

After securing the first teamfight eight minutes into the game, OpTic never looked back in terms of its control on the map. OpTic leveraged that early lead into objectives across the map as it outmaneuvered CLG at just about every turn. While CLG tried to win scattered fights here and there, OpTic seemed wholly unconcerned and simply continued racking up objectives. This control over every inch of the map culminated in an uncontested 29-minute Baron from OpTic that seemingly set it up on the road to victory.

Even with the powerful objective in hand, though, OpTic couldn't lock up the game in the face of CLG's immense stall tactics. Even though CLG never managed to gain any semblance of momentum during the late game, it managed to prolong the game for another 16 minutes after OpTic picked up that first Baron. CLG mid laner Choi "Huhi" Jae-hyun did what he could on Orianna with a 3/1/3 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), but it simply wasn't enough. Once OpTic picked up its second Baron at the 44-minute mark, it moved right into CLG's base to close out the 45-minute win. CLG ended the game with a 6-to-4 advantage in kills, but had no dragons and just two towers to its name while OpTic pulled in four dragons and 11 towers of its own, and that sealed the deal for OpTic to stay alive in the playoff hunt.

CLG will try to break its three-game skid against 100 Thieves at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, while OpTic will look to make it four straight when it takes on the Golden Guardians at 7 p.m. ET to close out Week 6.

--Wyatt Donigan

Echo Fox 1, FlyQuest 0

Echo Fox debuted its new-look lineup to great success in a lopsided win over FlyQuest during Saturday's North American League of Legends Championship Series slate.

With Echo Fox (7-4) making sweeping changes to its roster prior to this week's game, adding AD carry Lawrence "Lost" Hui and support Andy "Smoothie" Ta while promoting sub mid laner Tanner "Damonte" Damonte to permanent starter, there were plenty of questions about how the new lineup would perform. If this game was any indication, this roster will be just fine as the team heads into the second half of the season.

To its credit, FlyQuest (6-5) opened up the game with an early first blood, but that was both the start and end of the positives for FlyQuest in this match. Echo Fox took full control over the proceedings on the back of a massive 4-for-1 teamfight win at 17 minutes that put the team up a whopping 6,000 gold. That was all that Echo Fox needed to put itself in the driver's seat for good as FlyQuest was unable to stand up against the onslaught as the game progressed. Echo Fox didn't let FlyQuest breath after that teamfight, securing another 3-for-0 three minutes later that led into the only Baron of the game. With the buff in hand, it wasn't long before Echo Fox wrapped up the 25-minute win after yet another teamfight victory inside FlyQuest's base.

Special mention is certainly in order for both Lost and Smoothie, who joined the starting roster just this week and showed why Echo Fox put its faith in the duo. Combining for a flawless 5/0/16 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) on Varus and Tahm Kench, respectively, the pair demolished the bottom lane matchup and was a terror in teamfights. If this is the kind of performance that these two, along with the rest of the team that only gave up three kills and a single tower all game long, are going to put up in the second half of the season, Echo Fox could be on its way to a strong showing this summer.

Echo Fox hopes to keep the momentum going against Cloud9 at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, while FlyQuest will try and bounce back with a match against Team SoloMid earlier in the day at 3 p.m. ET.

--Wyatt Donigan

Team Liquid 1, Golden Guardians 0

Team Liquid overcame an early onslaught from Golden Guardians to pick up a big win during the North American League of Legends Championship Series on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Golden Guardians (5-6) clearly looked to emphasize the bottom lane by drafting Heimerdinger for bottom lane carry Matthew "Deftly" Chen and Fiddlesticks for support Matthew "Matt" Elento, and it paid off in the opening minutes of the game. When Liquid (7-4) poorly engaged in a bottom lane fight at the 3-minute mark, Matt went off for a triple kill to assert his team's early dominance on the game.

Over the next 10 minutes, the game proceeded on a kill-per-minute pace as Golden Guardians kept on pulling in kills to pad its lead. The only problem was that the Guardians didn't account for Liquid steadily gaining a gold lead as time went on, which allowed Liquid enough space to pick up a pair of kills at the 27-minute mark that led right into an uncontested Baron. While it took another 14 minutes for Liquid to wrap up the win, that one sequence was all that Liquid needed to wrestle away momentum.

In the final 14 minutes, the Guardians only managed five kills while Liquid put up a whopping 10 in an impressive showing of patience and resiliency to close out this game. From top laner Jung "Impact" Eon-yeoung's 6/2/8 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) on Gangplank to jungler Jake "Xmithie" Puchero's 5/1/11 KDA on Trundle to bottom lane carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's 5/3/11 KDA on Varus, Liquid stood tall and showed that it remains one of the best teams in the league. With the win, Liquid moved back into a tie with Echo Fox (7-4).

Liquid will now prepare for a tilt with Clutch Gaming at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, while Golden Guardians will try and get back on track against OpTic Gaming at 7 p.m. ET later that day.

--Wyatt Donigan

100 Thieves 1, Clutch Gaming 0

In the longest game of the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, 100 Thieves took home a crucial win over Clutch Gaming to close out Saturday's slate in Los Angeles.

A win for 100 Thieves (7-4) meant that it would put itself in a three-way tie for first place with Team Liquid (7-4) and Echo Fox (7-4). A win for Clutch (4-7) meant that its playoff hopes would still be alive as the second half of the summer split continues to shake things up. Both teams knew what was at stake, which led to a marathon slugfest that has become the norm when these teams go to bat.

Coming out the gate was 100 Thieves, who picked up a bevy of kills all across the map as its composition was ready to fight early and often. While this did give it a slight advantage, 100 Thieves never managed to get truly comfortable for nearly the entire 56-minute contest. Clutch Gaming showed once again that it is one of the most resilient teams in the NA LCS, as mid laner Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten's Syndra and brand-new AD carry Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin's Ezreal kept Clutch hanging on with scattered picks. Before long, though, 100 Thieves simply bled Clutch dry before setting up for the win.

It wasn't until 100 Thieves picked up its second Baron of the game past the 50-minute mark before it was able to really gain a bit of breathing room. Even then, though, one small misstep could have spelled disaster with all these teams having full item builds at that point. In the end, it was 100 Thieves top laner Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho who was ready to pack things up, as he razed the exposed Nexus by himself as Gangplank while everyone else was fighting at the door of Clutch's base. Not only does the loss mean that Clutch will now need plenty of help to have a shot at the playoffs, but it was a lackluster outing for its revamped roster that includes Piglet, jungler Galen "Moon" Surgent, and support Phillippe "Vulcan" Laflamme.

Clutch will try and salvage its week with a matchup against Team Liquid at 5 p.m. ET, while 100 Thieves takes on Counter Logic Gaming in the preceding match at 4 p.m. ET.

--Wyatt Donigan