By Tanner Kinney
It’s been two weeks since the last article, mostly because I unintentionally skipped over the semi-finals matches. So, let me just sum them up here: Echo Fox are memes and Clutch Gaming don’t know how to play around Baron. The two teams that moved onto the final match were Team Liquid and 100 Thieves. For 100 Thieves, it was their freshman split, and they were already fighting for the title. For Team Liquid, they were fighting for their first title victory in their entire history in the LCS, which is as long and storied as TSM and CLG. Former teammates were battling each other for a shot at the LCS banner and Spring Split trophy. It was truly a highly anticipated match-up.
So, of course, it was over in three games. The entirety of game five between Clutch and 100 Thieves almost lasted as long as the whole series. Life is full of disappointments. Massive, terrible disappointments. Like Clutch Gaming, and the ADC meta, and Zven and Mithy’s botlane duo. So how did this final shake out, and who secured the coveted third place award of almost greatness? Let’s go over the games.
Echo Fox and Clutch Gaming both return to form
The match between Clutch and Echo Fox was, admittedly, probably going to be a loss for Clutch. Clutch had failed to beat Echo Fox during the regular split and, despite impressive games against TSM and 100 Thieves, still had their record of losing every single scrim against every single team. Echo Fox may had gone mental, but were still the second place team during the regular split. Team Liquid handled them soundly, sure, but that doesn’t make them any worse of a team. If anything, it makes Team Liquid a better team. Yet every time you don’t have faith in Clutch, they pull out some crazy wins. So, for some reason, I had faith in Clutch to win. And then they got smashed in three quick games. Surprise!
Admittedly, I didn’t watch much of this series, as I was dealing with other things. Yes yes, I’m the fraud analyst, I get it, please no flame. Anyways, the bits and pieces I did see showed a very poor picture for Clutch Gaming. The whole team got horribly outclassed, but particularly the jungler Lira just got completely outpathed and dumpstered by Dardoch. Even with the numerous bugs and Chronobreaks, Clutch could not find a timeline where they won this series. Echo Fox, on the other hand, re-entered the timeline where they were actually winning games. Some fans wondered where this Echo Fox was during the end of the split. Others wondered different questions:
Image from Reddit
So Clutch Gaming end their first split in fourth place, and Echo Fox finally place above seventh in a split. Both teams seem to be content with the results, even if they are a bit disappointed. At the very least, anime hero Hakuho can finally return to doing what he really loves: watching anime.
Had a fun time in Miami despite our series loss; as a team i think it was a good run for our first split together. Now i got all this free time to watch anime :^)
— Nick Surgent (@CG_Hakuho) April 10, 2018
Let’s Go Liquid (Earned by Steve)
So we reach the finals. Team Liquid versus 100 Thieves, a member of the old guard versus a new kid, horse versus bandit. Truly, this was going to be a match to watch. 100 Thieves impressed with their taking of first place during the regular split. Team Liquid came into playoffs swinging and took down their previous two opponents with relative ease, despite Echo Fox being placed higher in the standings. They were going to battle it out, former friends facing each other, and glorious combat would ensue. This series would go to five games, and then after it all ends and the smoke clears, the champion would be crowned. This would be a finals to remember, unlike EU LCS where Fnatic completely outmaneuvered G2 Esports.
Team Liquid decided they wanted to spend more time vacationing in Miami, and ended the series incredibly quickly. They absolutely smashed 100 Thieves, to the point where it looked like members of 100 Thieves were straight up intentionally feeding. It was kind of horrifying what Team Liquid did to 100 Thieves. Yet, I can’t feel bad for the Thieves. They played their hearts out, certainly, but Team Liquid was just a better team.
To 100 Thieves’s credit, they did look pretty close in the early game of game one. Yet, Team Liquid was able to secure every single dragon, Rift Herald, and Baron in the entire series. The macro play for 100 Thieves was just off. The game two draft also seemed like a big question mark for 100 Thieves, since they put their hyper-carry ADC Cody Sun on everyone’s favorite mid-game champion, Ezreal. This is versus Doublelift, a legend in his own right, and possibly the most successful player in the West. Everyone else truly is trash.
four times, three teams 🏆🙂 pic.twitter.com/0wmhcqGIsP
— Yiliang Peng (@TLDoublelift) April 9, 2018
100 Thieves don’t seem too beat up about it though. I’d like to believe that just making the finals was a huge achievement for them, considering it is their first split and all. They just need to improve their macro game, and then they can contest second place again. Coach of the Split Prolly is the most successful coach to never win a title, after all. At the very least, 100 Thieves owner Nadeshot can chill and play some of the best game released ever: FORTNITE!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!!
To all my twitch followers and YouTube subscribers:
I’m officially back from Miami. I have a few meetings at the Rocket Mortgage Team House this morning and then after, we stream and play Fortnite until our hearts content.
I can’t wait, see you soon.
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) April 10, 2018
There are no predictions to make either. MSI is still a few weeks away, so that will be covered once we get there. I’ll probably end up making some predictions and power rankings the week before, so watch out for that. Now, onto new Patch talk. Not much has changed! Really, for once. The only major change was the addition of the reworked Irelia, who is very strange. She’s strong though, very strong. I’ve moved back to my home in the top lane for the ranked grind, and fighting her is a pain. I haven’t lost lane to her yet though, because I’m the best top laner in Gold elo. Some junglers were also buffed, like Gragas and Elise, to give more magic damage options in team compositions. I have my doubts whether it will change the meta (my guess: not really), but it’s nice to see Elise get some love. She’s fun to play. A few runes got reworked, particularly Manaflow Band, and the result is an obvious drop in power for those who use the rune. It’s still good, but feels much less impactful. Presence of Mind buffs are fun though. I imagine on champs like Ashe, Varus, or possibly even Sivir it might be a decent option now, but that’s a hard maybe. And Swain got a tiny nerf. Please, continue to ban Swain. He’s still busted.
Until next time, thank you for following me through this split of the LCS, and I hope your ranked games go better than mine. I’ll leave you with another Sneaky cosplay. He’s the cutest girl I’ve ever seen on the internet.
— Zach Scuderi (@Sneaky) April 11, 2018
Sources: YouTube, Twitter
Images: YouTube, Reddit, Twitter
Tanner is a Film and Media Studies major and a Digital Media minor. His Neo Yokio review won a second-place CSPA Golden Circle award for the 2017 semester. He enjoys playing JRPG’s of any variety, regardless of how obscure and strange it is. Tanner is also the host of Byte at the Movies, the premiere movie discussion live-stream.