It all began with Dignitas: 10-2 1st place NA LCS team dropping a game in the week’s upset special against 7th place team compLexity. (VOD coming soon). coL jungler Lautemortis on his favorite champion – Cho’Gath – was unstoppable in this game, posting a 4-0-4 score by the time coL took the game’s final Baron before pushing to the nexus for the win. Meanwhile, Curse was set to play rival CLG in the rubber match of their 1-1 LCS series tie. After making critical errors in week 4 against their rivals, Curse needed to play a clean game to come away with a win.
(Curse vs CLG week 5 LCS – MLG Dallas VOD)
CLG began the game with issues, with jungler Chauster out of the lineup due to illness, CLG was forced to send in former midlaner Bigfatlp – AKA jiji. Jiji playing mid displaced new CLG solomid Link, who moved to top for the matchup, while HotshotGG shifted to the Jungle. With this setup, CLG was playing with a sub who has not been practicing with the team, and two key players out of their normal positions. Perhaps to compensate, CLG attempted an early jungle invade, which resulted in first blood after a good reaction from Curse. Aphromoo – on Lulu – got caught by Wraiths and began the tough game for CLG. CLG attempted to gain an advantage over Curse by sending their superior poke ADC lane to mid, as Doublelift‘s Caitlyn would surely fare better against NyJacky‘s Ryze than Cop‘s Miss Fortune would against Jiji’s Gragas. Curse did not allow the lane swap to throw them off their game, and sent their ADC/Support to middle lane also. Elementz‘ Sona used her sustain to help MF win the lane despite Caitlyn’s superior poke. Though CLG banned away Saint Vicious‘ favorite jungler Xin Zhao, Saint picked up Jarvan IV and dominated CLG while HotshotGG – jungling with Shen – simply could not keep up with Curse’s aggression.
The loss for CLG should have cast a darker shadow on their odds to remain in the top 4, but team MRN who was in a good position to move up the ladder dropped their first MLG Dallas game to team Vulcan (VOD) who got an absolutely brilliant performance from top laner Sycho Sid. With upsets all over the LCS, by the time Riot leaves Dallas this weekend we might see a few more shakeups in the standings. Stay tuned as the EU LCS begins and the NA games continue.
Curse vs CLG – 3/15 7pm PST
Split in their season series at 1 game apiece, #2 Ranked Curse and #4 Ranked Counter Logic Gaming are both playing for more than just respect and bragging rights this week. Curse, who began the season 8-0, coasting in first place has fallen behind 10-2 Team Dignitas. This week, Curse has matches against 3 of the top 4 NA LCS teams and must find success if they want to climb back into 1st place. Meanwhile CLG holds on to their 4th place spot with MRN on their heels meaning CLG needs every win they can get to remain in the top half of the standings.
These two rivals met in week 1 in a game where Curse looked very comfortable and confident. Showing off the aggressive playstyle that got them ousted from the CLG roster, Voyboy and Saintvicious lead Curse to a decisive victory over their former teammates. CLG owner and top laner HotshotGG never seemed to settle in, missing a key Baron steal and getting caught out of position by a diving Voyboy several times.
The second time CRS and CLG met this season was a completely different story as Curse seemed to have abandoned the quick aggressive strategy that brought them success in week 1 in favor of a slower split-push based strategy lead by a solo-queue inspired AP Tryndamere build employed by Voyboy. CLG – responsible for popularizing the split push strat in the NA scene – responded very well, isolating Voyboy and keeping his pushes from splitting their attention.
Who will break the tie and claim bragging rights over their rivals? Both teams have previously fallen to mistakes and miss-plays like HotshotGG getting caught out of position in game 1, or NyJacky putting Kayle’s invulnerability on Voyboy’s Endless Raging Tryndamere. Whoever can clean up their game and make no mistakes should walk away with a win this week.
Prediction: Curse over CLG in a close match.
Head 2 Head Highlight: Mid Lane
Last time they matched up, Link outfarmed NyJacky – who seemed uncomfortable and slow to react on Kayle – by 30cs at points. Curse will need NyJacky to be playing at his best if they hope to break the 1-1 series tie in their favor.
MRN vs CLG – 3/16 7pm PST
The last time these two met, the result was one of the best games of the season; the game took 3 separate contests over Baron to decide. While MRN held a significant gold lead later on in the game, CLG made good plays to remain in the match until the final team fight near Baron proved to be too much for HotshotGG’s team. Last time, CLG banned out Tristana as an answer to the recent success found by MRN ADC Heartbeat – but Heartbeat just picked Kog’Maw and carried anyway. With Heartbeat showing flexibility and MRN top lane MegaZero at the top of his game, can CLG adapt and find another way to shut MRN down? If not we may go into week 6 with a new 4th place team.
Prediction: CLG over MRN in a drawn out split push contest.
Head 2 Head Highlight: Top Lane
With their last match being so drawn out, the split-push style of CLG might be where this game is decided. Can MegaZero beat Hotshot at his own game? If he does, MRN might pull out another win over CLG.
Any Game Dignitas Plays (3/15 6pm: vs coL – 3/16 5pm: vs GGU – 3/17 2pm: vs Vulcan – all times PST.)
Dig is a first place 10-2 in the NA LCS, and this week they face off against 3 of the “bottom 4” NA teams – none of whom they have lost to on the LCS stage. For Dig, this is an opportunity to put greater distance between them and 2nd place team, Curse (who have 3 tough matches this week). Until Dig is knocked off the first place throne, every match they play is must-see-TV, especially this week where any of their 3 games could be the week’s upset special. Worth noting: the only “bottom 4” team they aren’t facing? The best looking of the bunch – 5th place MRN.
Player 2 Watch: Iamaqtpie
Team Dignitas’ ADC Iamaqtpie is giving de-facto “#1 ADC” CLG Doublelift a run for his money recently with incredibly consistent and explosive play. If QT can keep up his dominance against his opponents this week, chances are Dignitas will still be #1 when we preview week 6.
Any match you’re looking to see that we didn’t cover? Leave us a message in the comments and check back tomorrow for our week 5 EU LCS “3 Must See Matches” preview. Need to know how to watch the games? Check out our article on watching professional League of Legends. Plus, later today check back for the results of the #sorryliam Twitter contest where 3 lucky winners will take hope 1380RP each!
With many pro teams at the Intel Extreme Masters tournament this week, there is no LCS action scheduled for the weekend of March 7th – March 11th, 2013. With IPL6 cancelled, it’s time to focus on looking ahead to next week’s LCS matchups and to take a look at what’s happening in Germany for the IEM World Championships. Beware readers who missed IEM action this week and still want to see the games they’ve missed, spoilers lay ahead. New summoners who want to learn how to see the action unfold, take a look at our guide to League of Legends pro-streams.
IEM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2013
BenQ sponsored Gambit (formerly Moscow Five) has emerged from the group stage with an undefeated 5-0 record against group A opponents. Gambit’s success in IEM is unsurprising considering their history in the tournament and strong showing at the Season 2 World Championship. Gambit’s streak includes a win over LCS rival Fnatic who did not qualify for the IEM playoffs which kick off tomorrow and wrap up Saturday. Gambit and Fnatic have been duking it out in the standings, with Gambit leading the European LCS division at 9-2 and Fnatic right on their heels at 8-3. Two of Fnatic’s LCS losses, however, come from none other than Gambit Gaming. These two teams are developing quite a rivalry as Fnatic fails to qualify for the IEM playoffs and now has to turn their attention for their next big test, a rematch against the former Moscow Five in LCS competition on March 23rd.
In group B EUW LCS favorites Evil Geniuses (formerly clg.EU) and SK gaming, have each come out with lackluster performances which has kept both teams out of the playoffs. Meanwhile Korean powerhouse teams CJ Entus Frost (4-1) and SK Telecom T1 (4-1) – who will each make IEM playoff appearances – are vindicating commentators who contend that Korean teams are the best in the world by leading the pack ahead of other international contenders; including 3rd place group B team Anexis eSports (3-2): a European team whose victory over SK helped lead to their surprisingly strong group stage showing. Looking at the brackets, it’s possible we will see Gambit and a top Korean team in the final for a showdown to help fuel the “east vs. west” debate which has been so prominent in the e-sports scene. In fact, if Frost – recently acquired from Azubu by CJ Entus – beats French team Millenium in the first round, we’ll see Gambit square off with a big Korean team as soon as the semi-finals.
Bracket courtesy of IEM, click the image to visit the official site for more info.
WEEK 5 LCS MATCHUPS
Week 5 promises to be an opportunity for some major shake-ups in the North American LCS standings. While division leaders Dignitas (10-2, 1st place) and Curse (9-2, 2nd place) do not play one another next week, both teams have an interesting slate of week 5 matches which could help define the second half of the season.
Dig Rolls On
After a rocky 0-2 start with losses to Team Solo Mid and Curse, Dig went on a 10 game tear – the longest LCS winning streak to date. Next week, Dig matches up against 3 of the “bottom 4” NA teams; none of which have managed to knock off Dignitas yet in LCS contention. CompLexity (1-8), Good Game University (2-10) and Vulcan (4-9) all have a shot at proving they can hang with the top 4 by taking down number 1, but while riding their seemingly unstoppable winning streak, Dig is poised to come out of week 5 an impressive 13-2 record. Keep an eye on the March 17th matchup against Vulcan, who have proven they can take down top 4 teams after a win against perennial powerhouse Counter Logic Gaming (7-4) as they may have the best shot of ending Dig’s impressive run.
Can Curse Keep Up?
Curse, who began the season an undefeated 8-0 suddenly dropped behind a surging Dig in the standings after a startling loss to their now-first-place rivals and a second disappointing showing against former Saint vicious, Voyboy and Elementz teammates CLG. Now at 9-2 Curse looks to keep up with Dig in two big games: a March 16th clash with TSM who is looking to avenge last week’s loss to NyJacky and the gang and another round with HotshotGG and team CLG a day earlier on the 15th. Come back to allMIA later this week for a closer look at these two key grudge matches which may well decide whether Curse can keep up with a Dignitas squad who seem poised in a softer week to take a commanding lead in the standings.
Will CLG Hold On to a Top 4 Spot?
CLG should be looking back over their shoulders this week despite claims in promotional videos that they “aren’t scared” of any of the bottom 4 teams. CLG, who are a 4th place 7-4 in LCS competition play a key rematch against 5th place team Marn (4-5) and has to back up their brave talk against a scrappy MRN who handed CLG a loss on February 27th. In the win, MRN top laner MegaZero played Renekton to 5/0/11 perfection, diving towers and playing a key role in two Baron contests which helped propel MRN to victory. MRN – lead by ADC Heartbeat’s now-ubiquitous Tristana/Blade of the Ruined King build – has a chance to knock off CLG and possibly enter the top 4, shaking up the NA LCS in a way nobody expected after a few weak showings from bottom 4 teams early on. In order to claw their way into the top half of the standings, MRN will also have to find a way to best Vulcan (3/15) and the formidable Curse (3/17) the latter of whom has not lost to a bottom 4 team yet in LCS competition.
With IEM finishing up weekend, LCS competition heating up next week and the approaching MLG Winter games, LoL’s professional scene may have never been so heated before. Check back with allMIA for previews and post game analysis for the biggest League of Legends professional contests. Leave us a comment and let us know which games you’re looking forward to and which matchups you think need a closer look.