The beginning of this seasons’ Quarterfinals took an unforeseeable turn, with an underdog smashing the competition and the seasons’ former leader continuing their gradual deterioration and barely pulling off a victory to move forward to the semifinals.
Team Dignitas VS Cloud9
#5 Team Dignitas entered the Quarterfinals this year as a underdog to the powerhouse #4 Cloud9. Based on Cloud9’s history, it seemed that they would would win invariably against Team Dignitas. Sure, they had had some embarrassing losses, but when conversing about Playoffs and Finals, Cloud9 is a given piece on the chess board. Except this year… This year, they got destroyed, narrowly avoiding a complete sweep in a best of 5 series and losing 3-1.
Analyzing the outcome
Delving into Cloud9’s dismal performance (comparatively), the Jungler C9 Contractz seems to be a large part of the fault. Across their 3 losses, this Jungler managed to account for a whopping 25% of the teams deaths and only 15% of the kills. His assists were pretty much average and comparable to the rest of his team. When looking at the performance of a single player, KDA ratios don’t always tell the full story, but the simple fact is that Junglers should account for about 25-30% of team kills and should seldom have the most deaths. ‘C9 Contractz’ managed to lead his team in deaths in 2 of their 3 losses. Coincidentally (not really) Team Dignitas’ Jungler ‘DIG Shrimp’ went 4/4/14 and 2/0/15 these 2 games, and his beautiful play-making and game-breaking abilities were shown as he drove his Mid-lane teammate ‘DIG Keane’ to go 7/1/7 and 7/2/7. You cant assign all the blame to one person, but quite simply put – ‘C9 Contractz’ failed his team this time around. We don’t expect him to go anywhere after a few bad performances compared to his past triumphs, but it is definitive of the LoL competitive scene – Every click and every death is imperative to the outcome of a game in which these elite gamers rarely offer their enemy team more than 20 kills.
Counter Logic Gaming VS Team Envy
We expected #3 Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) to advance to the semifinals over #6 Team Envy. After all, CLG was #1 up until week 6 and held a top 3 spot entering the playoffs. What wasn’t expected was a Game 5 that would end it all. Team Envy wasn’t supposed to have much of a chance at all with former leader, and not that they didn’t play well – it just seems CLG has been getting worse every week. In fact, CLG lost a game every week for 3 weeks in a row before the final week of the regular season, where they were barely able to pull off a win against Team Dignitas to avoid a plummet to #5. As recently as week 8 they lost to this seasons’ worst, #10 Phoenix1. The real question ahead is – will we see the early season CLG at the semifinals, or the continued gradual deterioration of what used to be a dominant team at the beginning of this season?
Analyzing the outcome
These two teams played very conservatively with neither team getting more than 20 kills across all five games. It’s fairly typical for a LCS match to stay under 20 kills on either side, but the longevity of these games makes this series a phenomena among LCS matches. Not a single game ended in under 30 minutes – they were all 35-40 minute matches. Both of these teams were determined not to feed; in the first 3 matches neither team received more than 14 kills. These games were not determined by kills or dominant gameplay – slow and steady seemed to win this race as all wins were heavily reliant on gold income and depended on who could farm better. To say the least, these matches were rather unexciting compared to the average fast paced chaos of other LCS matches.
There is no blame to place here, everyone played decently well. Sure, there are always bad performances, but every player in this series was able to limit their bad performances down to 1 or 0. But if there is one person who shone bright to reel in the victory for CLG, it’d have to be ‘Stixxay’, the dominant Tristana ADC. ‘CLG Stixxay’ had an amazing series performance, accounting for 44% of his teams’ kills and only 13% of their deaths across the series. He dominated time and time again with Tristana, playing every match with the champion except match #3. He went: 5/1/5 , 4/0/2 , 8/3/7 , and 9/1/7 in that order with Tristana. The only match he didn’t dominate was match 3, in which the ADC decided to play Jinx and went 2/2/3. Most astonishing is the fact that Team Envy never banned Tristana. One could say they dug their own graves at the Champ Select screen for Match 5 – they should’ve known to ban Tristana – , and sure enough ‘CLG Stixxay’ eliminated them in Match 5 going 9/1/7 and dealing the most total damage to champions in the entire match.
Don’t miss the semifinals August 26-27th! Watch the events live here.