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Stropse Today (10/5): The Favorites Begin to Emerge

Welcome to Day Three of Groups. We have a lot to cover as there were intense games, upsets and unique approaches to the game.

G2 vs MCX

Despite a hectic and bloody early-game, Machi Esports (MCX) eventually found themselves outplanned and out-maneuvered. Soon, even the strongly performing Hsieh “PK” Yu-ting couldn’t power through the cat-and-mouse game delivered by the experienced European powerhouse G2 Esports (G2).

In a suitably G2 fashion, the game began bloody with a first-blood onto PK through a 4-man top-river flush, starting the lead that would allow G2 Martin “Wunder” Hansen to bring oppressive engage and damage to later fights. MCX weren’t content to just sit down, however, with an immediate level 2 gank onto Luka “Perkz” Perković and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle that burned Perkzs’ flash and heal while Mikyx lost exhaust. This loss of priority in the bottom side threatened to get G2’s bottom-lane dove under turret, and thus began MCX’s reversal onto using that priority to constantly punish Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, even resulting in Huang “Gemini” Chu-hsuan killing Jankos for the second blood after continuing the harassment into his top-side jungle. This, however, allowed Wunder to cut-off Gemini as he roamed down from the top-lane, securing his second kill of the game over his 0/1 lane opponent. 

The game proceeded in a back and forth fashion, next resulting in Wunder dying 1v1 in the top-lane to PK despite him being behind CS and two kills. Afterwards, PK became a consistent threat to G2, with no one being able to handle him resources were constantly dedicated to try and play out the clock on his Realm of Death, a strategy that wasn’t always successful. Things were teetering between an even game and a small gold-lead in G2’s favor until a miscalculated attempt on MCX’s part to try and engage onto the constantly out-positioning G2 resulted in them being aced and losing Baron. Once the gold lead began to build, despite G2 losing some fights off of miscalculations against PK’s insane 1v1 capability and general raid-boss status, they eventually caught PK out of position and annihilated him before he could react, causing his team to crumble quickly afterwards.

SN vs TL 

After two unexpected losses to both G2 and Machi, TL and Suning look to put themselves in the second seed behind the European powerhouse. Importantly for TL, they are looking to add NA’s first win after a 0-5 start for the region.

What was unique about today’s games showed two new picks to the meta including Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin on the Jax and Tang “huanfeng” Huan-Feng on Draven. TL kept it relatively standard with eyes on Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen on his Syndra. 

The early game was relatively quiet until Lê “SofM” Quang Duy took over on the Nidalee and bot lane smashed Edward “Tactical” Ra. As the game grew long, Suning took a 24 minute ocean soul and five towers. Everything looked to be in Suning’s favor. And then Jensen stole the baron.

While there was a brief moment of optimism among TL, Suning crushed those hopes taking a convincing win.

DWG vs PSG

Another day, another game of DAMWON domination. This team is looking better and better every day, and many around the League of Legends competitive scene are placing them in the top two best teams in the world along with Top Esports.

PSG Talon actually played a decent early game. It was impressive to see the PCS team hold their own against DAMWON, especially after watching a North American team look completely useless the game prior. PSG support Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing once again proved to be the heart and soul of this team, essentially acting as a second jungler along with Kim “River” Dong-woo. The support-jungle duo secured two early kills onto Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. Kaiwing’s play was proactive, constantly flash-rooting over walls to lock up kills.

Despite securing those kills, it seemed as though PSG Talon never really had a chance this game. As soon as the mid game hit, DAMWON began flexing their incredible teamfight skills.

The highlight player of the game was without a doubt Nuguri. Going up against Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang’s Lulu, which Nuguri actually introduced during Day 2, the DAMWON top laner had an absolute field day on Kennan. His Slicing Maelstrom’s annihilated the PSG Talon members, and the top laner never even gave them a chance.

JDG vs RGE

With all the “safety pick” Renektons bringing shame upon the crocodilian slayer, JD Gaming (JDG) finally show in an excellently performed match not only how a Renekton is supposed to smash lane and the early game, but just how hard a support can carry, leaving Rogue (RGE) bruised and battered on the other side of this magical journey.

Both teams opted for non-aggressive starts to the lane-phase resulting in a blood-less game for the first eight minutes of the match. JDG saw this as their chance to try and steal away the Rift Herald while they had vision control of the top-river and multiple members of RGE were absent. RGE, as many players in League of Legends (especially professionals) are capable of, didn’t need vision to speculate that JDG were trying for the sneaky play. RGE came just a second shy of trying to steal the Rift Herald kill and instead opted to murder Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok and Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao as recompense for their troubles. RGE figured that they would be able to win this engagement considering that Lee “LokeN” Dong-wook was farming bottom-lane, making this a possible 4v5. 

What they hadn’t accounted for was the pressure and power that Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran had accumulated during lane-phase, coming into the bout as his jungler and support disengaged to run RGE down, killing Kacper “Inspired” Słoma  in the process. Despite Zoom and Zeng “Yagao” Qi dying in the process of this counter-engage they came out ahead with getting the kill and three plates on the bottom-lane turret on LokeN who continued to push that advantage with the Rift Herald to take the first turret bottom-lane and continue to farm plates on the mid-lane turret. Down but not out, RGE intended to use their hard engage, especially from their support Blitzcrank Oskar “Vander” Bogdan to catch the many immobile ranged carries on JDG. These engagements, however, were not foiled by the monster croc who himself was getting caught at times, but instead were thrashed by LvMao who used Bard’s Tempered Fate to turn game-turning engagements from Vander into counter-engagements that tore RGE apart. With a final pincer onto RGE as they attempted to lure away JDG from gaining the Mountain Dragon Soul JDG went on to conquer the game by running down RGE through 2nd tier, 3rd tier, AND Nexus turrets to absolutely destroy them, taking the victory for JDG from their cold and dead hands. 

FLY vs UOL 

After TL’s loss earlier in the day, FlyQuest had a massive task to earn NA’s first win at groups. Their task was to take down the Unicorns of Love: the LCL’s hope at Worlds. For FLY’s Mid-Laner: Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage, he was going up against his former team, where he made his professional debut in the EU LCS.

The game started at a low point for Colin “Solo” Earnest who broke the most death records with nine (five of which happened in the first twenty-minutes) but his team acquired cross map plays with PowerOfEvil soloing Lev “Nomanz” Yakshin. While FlyQuest had five towers, UOL garnered three straight dragons and a potential Infernal Soul sub-thirty minutes.

The game went on a knife’s edge for a bit longer but it changed at the Infernal when PowerOfEvil singlehandedly fended off an Infernal Soul long enough to allow FlyQuest to take the win against UOL.

TOP vs DRX

For more information about this match, click here to view our Marquis Matchup of the Day.

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