Table of Contents
Bringing Down the Throne
With Overwhelming Force
Keys to Victory
Check out the LCS schedule and matchups at lolesports.com
To Stand Above All...
Week 7 of the NA LCS was a week of blood. No team went through this week without suffering a defeat. Dreams were crushed; hopes were dashed. At the beginning of this week, Vulcun looked poised to finally show that "Top 4" and "Bottom 4" monikers were invalid. TSM had a chance to crawl above Dignitas into the coveted Top 2. Likewise, Dignitas had a chance to stand at the very top, repairing the damage they had suffered at MLG Dallas two weeks ago. None of these came to pass. Even Curse, who still sit comfortably in first place, lost something: Cop’s aura of immortality and incredible KDA.
Who Has Risen?
Bringing Down the Throne
Week 7 Recaps
[Day 1] March 30, 2013
TSM v CLG
The long standing rivalry between TSM and CLG continued into Week 7 of the NA LCS. These two teams had very different performance during Week 6 with TSM going 3-0 and CLG going 0-3. CLG has always been known to rely heavily on Doublelift to carry them to victory and their team comp this game really stressed this point. They picked up Janna, Nasus, and Nunu it was clear CLG wanted to keep Doublelift safe while also throwing substantial buffs his way. The early stages of the game were characterized by multiple lane transitions with CLG putting great effort in making sure Doublelift got free farm in a 2v1 lane. This also allowed CLG to push down more early turrets than TSM, although they did give up a free Dragon. It seemed that CLG wasn't even interested in fighting and were just content to push all the lanes and try to take down turrets. First blood wouldn't even occur until around 18 minutes into the game. An overaggressive Reginald dove HotshotGG under tower seemingly forgetting about Fury of the Sands. This extra tankiness of his ult allowed Hotshot to not only survive the dive, but set up Doublelift to pick off an easy kill on Regi (despite having to burn Flash after a failed 90 Caliber Net over a wall.) The game remained in CLG's favor as a failed Baron attempt put TSM on their heels and allowed CLG to push down yet another turret. This tempo of the game would shift when TSM caught CLG trying to steal their Blue buff. Regi engaged on Aphromoo blowing him up before he could even be a factor in the fight. It looked like CLG might be able to turn around the fight, but a beautiful Shadow Dash from Dyrus landed across three member of CLG shutting down any potential retaliation. From there TSM cleaned up Doublelift and LiNk, secured the ace, and transitioned to Baron with TheOddOne as their only casualty. After the Baron pick up TSM relentlessly pushed their way into CLG's base, diving under turrets like they weren't even a deterrent and taking two Inhibitors almost simultaneously at 31 minutes. This was too much for CLG to deal with as two waves of Super Minions pushed down both of their Nexus turrets all while they tried to defend their final Mid turret. Even with Regi dead, TSM caught out Doublelift in his own base and took the Nexus with ease.
Crs v dig
The two frontrunners of the NA LCS went head-to-head for the third time with Dignitas looking to overtake first place again while Curse wanted to do everything in their power to prevent this. The game got off to an explosive start with Dignitas attempting to invade Curse's Red buff at level one. Unfortunately for them, Curse saw their entry and stacked five members strong in a nearby bush. At the 1:55 mark Curse rushed into the bush Dignitas was hiding in forcing a 4 v 5 fight, since KiWiKiD had already returned to Top lane, and won the exchange three for one . This gave Curse an enormous advantage with a 1K gold lead before three minutes into the game. Curse continued to press this advantage into the laning phase picking up kills with a sneaky Requiem and Teleport from Voyboy . Curse would remain in control for quite a while, but Dignitas wasn't going to go down without a fight. KiWiKiD and Crumbz engaged on Cop and Elementz in the Top lane trying to secure ]a kill. A Teleport in from Voyboy looked to turn the fight around, but a clutch Intervention from Scarra kept Crumbz from dying and allowed Dignitas to win the exchange two for nothing and pick up a free turret. This momentum didn't last long though as the very next fight Curse picked up two free kills of their own as well as a Dragon. Curse just bullied Dignitas around for the rest of the game picking up kills if anyone was even slightly out of position. Dignitas's last stand was not enough as they were so far behind there was nothing they could do to prevent Curse from pushing into their base and taking the Nexus.
GGU v Vul
After a CLG loss earlier in the day, Vulcun came into this match with a lot on the line as a win here would mean they would be one step closer to breaking into 4th place. Good Game University of course are always hungry for a win as they are assuredly tired of being stuck in the bottom two spots of the standings. Due to an unsolvable technical difficulty, the two teams actually had to remake their match. The first game featured Vulcun getting out to an early lead despite GGU farming more efficiently and having stronger map control. The remade game had a certain sense of déjà vu. GGU out farmed Vulcun in all lanes except Mid, but this time they picked up First blood. Overall the early game went much better for GGU this time around, but it wasn't long until Vulcun outplayed GGU and reclaim the lead for themselves. There wasn't even a specific team fight where this happened, Vulcun just kept picking off the members of GGU in solo kill scenarios and they couldn't retaliate. However, while Vulcun excelled at picking off members of GGU, they started to fall apart during the team fight phase. While trying to take down one of GGU's Top turrets, Vulcun couldn't deal with GGUs poke and once they were engaged on they got demolished, losing the fight one for four. This theme would persist throughout the remainder of the match and sealed Vulcun's fate. ZionSpartan's Shock Blast/Acceleration Gate combos were on point and chunked Vulcun so hard they couldn't really contest any objective, including defending their own turrets. In the end a poor engage from Mancloud would be the final nail in Vulcun's coffin as even a Moonfall/Zhonya's Hourglass wasn't enough to catch the members of GGU unprepared, and they rolled over Vulcun in the following fight securing the ace and the win.
coL v MRN
Team MRN and compLexity didn't play their first match against each other until Week 6 of the LCS. In Week 7 they met yet again with MRN leading the series 1-0. Trying to recreate their success from their last match, MegaZero busted out Top lane Udyr yet again. This didn't work quite as well as he got abused in the 2v1 lane instead of gaining an early advantage and burning Flash on brunch Ü. Both teams would push down an early tower, but coL transitioned into a free Dragon and established an early gold lead. They furthered their lead by picking up a surprising First blood on ClakeyD who went from 90% to 0 under tower from a perfect combo of Caitlyn and Sona harass . For a large portion of the game the kill count remained very close but with coL keeping their gold lead throughout. MRN were never able to gain an advantage in team fights and weren't able to secure any favorable trades with more members always dying than picking up kills. The kill count continued to build in coL's favor as they secured Baron and pushed down the Nexus.
CLG v Crs
Playing for the fourth time, this was CLG and Curse's final meeting before the Spring playoffs. After losing to TSM earlier in the day, CLG was eager to show they could still take a game off of the number one team in the standings. On purple side Curse sent their duo lane Top and both teams pushed down their opponents 2v1 turret at virtually the exact same time. But since CLG’s 2v1 was Bot lane, they were able to move up and take Dragon without Curse being able to contest at all. First blood would also went the way of CLG after a three man dive on NyJacky ended with him as a tasty snack for Cho'gath . After a small skirmish in which they picked up three kills, CLG started up on Baron at 17:30 and Curse was none the wiser. It took quite a while to take Baron down and it left the members of CLG at really low health, but Curse didn't even think to check Baron and simply went to Dragon instead. This free Baron seemed to be the point from which Curse never truly recovered. CLG used the Baron buff with incredible efficiency taking down multiple Curse turrets and further expanding their gold lead. The real MVP of the match was HotshotGG. He played an exceptional Cho'gath hitting what seemed like every single Rupture and disrupting Curse in team fights . CLG outplayed Curse all game long and picked up a much needed win to help nurse their wounded pride after a string of losses.
[Day 2] March 31, 2013
MRN v Vul
Day Two of Big Week 7 brought together MRN and Vulcun for a clash between the two teams closest to breaking into the Top Four. Vulcun held an undefeated record against MRN prior to Week 7, so odds were against MRN as both teams entered the Rift. The game began with a Vulcun laneswap chosen to heavily pressure MegaZero, a professed hater of 1v2 lanes since the LCS began. Vulcun's strategy worked perfectly: Xmithie heavily pressured the lane, forcing away ClakeyD before diving under the top outer turret to get Zuna first blood. It seemed like Vulcun had MRN's number once again, but MRN turned the tides with spectacular Varus mechanics from Nientonsoh and the sheer 1v1 aggression of MegaZero. As the game began to focus on securing objectives, MRN slowly began to pull ahead, initially by taking free Dragons and then by pushing turrets down far more quickly than their opponents. The game came to a head when MRN forced a fight near Vulcun's mid inner turret. A great Light Binding from ecco caught Xmithie for an early kill, after which MRN scored a few more with their item lead and some mistakes from Vulcun. Now with a definitive lead, MRN continued to push down turrets whenever possible, meeting only a token resistance from Vulcun as MRN's lineup cut through their structures. By 27:00, MRN could not be stopped as they robbed Vulcun of both their middle and top inhibitor turrets and killed them off one-by-one. MRN finally took the game at 28:50, giving them a well-earned win against Vulcun and ensuring they would not give up fifth place quietly.
coL v GGU
The second match of Week 7 Day 2 was another Lower Four showdown as the two teams at the bottom of the standings battled it out. The game was frantic and action-packed, starting in the first minute when a GGU invade caught Lautemortis in compLexity's own jungle, giving ZionSpartan first blood. Not a minute later, coL retaliated with their own Blue invade, ending ZionSpartan's streak early and taking GGU's Blue buff (as well as their own). The game went back and forth in this fast-paced manner for the entire early game as the two teams traded kill for kill and objective for objective. NintendudeX and ZionSpartan gave GGU incredible momentum in these early stages, with Nintendude's well-executed engages and abilities leading to many of ZionSpartan's kills. When the match entered the midgame, both teams reverted to a farming/Baron dance strategy, with the only leads coming out of poor positioning and lucky pickoffs. The laid-back, even game took a turn for the dramatic when GGU caught compLexity out of position and struck at their base, taking the middle inhibitor and a Nexus turret before being forced away. Even though coL took Baron after GGU's push, they couldn't use it to gain a lead and GGU's minions dismantled coL's turrets while they procrastinated. The last hope for a coL victory died when Lautemortis was once again killed for free in the top lane. GGU rushed Baron while their opponents were without their jungler, then turned on the approaching coL and dispatched them one-by-one for a 5-0 ace and a game win. This win over GGU's nearest competition brought them out of last place with an extremely entertaining match.
MRN v dig
MRN returned to the LCS stage for the third match of the day which pitted them against Dignitas. This match would be the last between the two teams in the Spring Season, so MRN had this final chance to take a game off the 3-0 (in the team matchup) Dignitas. With both duo lanes occupying Mid, no turrets fell to early aggression or three-man ganks, allowing the teams to stay fairly even. That same Mid lane was the site of the first real action in the game, as aggressive trading between the duo lanes led to a first blood for MRN by Nien, but dig took revenge with a Stand United gank that scored two kills for KiWiKiD. KiWiKiD's ganks continued to be the playmakers in the early phases of the game, even though the trades weren't always equal and KiWiKiD was still unable to directly confront MegaZero. Despite the even trading in the Top and Mid lanes, Dignitas managed to take an advantage with scarra's growing deadliness and his team's Dragon control. MRN back to fall back significantly at a 17:10 teamfight where their gank was reversed by dig reinforcements, giving dig a 3-1 trade in kills and the mid outer turret. From that point onward, Dignitas was in full control of the game, either winning teamfights outright or making calls that put them two steps ahead for every one of MRN. Eventually, Dignitas took an uncontested Baron and forced their way through MRN's defenses, ransacking their base in spite of MRN's home advantage. MRN could no longer prevent Dignitas from crushing them, instead dying valiantly in defense of their Nexus, which nevertheless fell around 31:30. Dignitas' last battle with MRN gave them an undefeated record over the rookie team, showing the strength of the old guard in the face of some of the most promising new NA talent.
CLG v coL
Big Week 7's fourth Day 2 match was the battle of the struggling rosters. On one hand was CLG, who underperformed in recent LCS weeks including a staggering 0-3 Week 6. On the other was compLexity, the new residents of the LCS's eighth place spot. Few expected coL to put up much of a fight, but those expectations were flipped on their head when coL's duo lane narrowly destroyed both Doublelift and Aphromoo. Though Chauster managed to cleanup the low health duo lane of compLexity, coL still pulled out an early lead, which they kept despite CLG's laning experience. With their early dominance in bot, coL were in the perfect position to take the Dragon, but a well-timed Final Spark from LinK stole it away to even the score between the teams. Unfortunately for CLG, a huge mistake during a top lane gank trapped HSGG under coL's top outer turret, getting coL two free kills and the lead once again. The mid game progressed in much the same manner: CLG made decent plays, but poor execution, overcommitment, or a lack of attention kept them behind regardless. However, coL's lead did not keep LinK from getting stronger and stronger into the late game. Eventually this threat combined with the lack of Aegis for coL, giving CLG the powerhouse they needed to turn the tides back in their favor. CompLexity's gold lead soon stopped being enough since LinK could carry his team through any teamfight. CLG finally sealed the deal by moving towards Baron at 40:00 minutes, at which point LinK and Doublelift were powerful enough to fight off coL in the ensuing skirmish. Special write-up prize, PM Neo for a free Riot Graves ! all gone~ With four members of coL down, CLG went immediately towards coL's already-pushed Nexus turrets, destroying them for a victory before coL returned. Once again, late-game experience trumped early-game leads and CLG left the weekend with a 2-1 score.
GGU v TSM
GGU's second game of the night was against a team who already have two LCS wins over them: TSM. The game began with many odd lane swaps, putting the duo lanes in either top or mid against the other team's standard mid laners. With 2v1 matchups in two non-bruiser lanes, the early game consisted of little save turret pressure, jungle babysitting, and a some duels between ZionSpartan and Dyrus. The first real moment of action occurred when Dyrus flanked GGU's duo lane in mid around 9:35, earning himself first blood while TSM's own duo took the top outer turret. The momentum was in TSM's favor and GGU failed to turn that around after giving away multiple Dragons and failing a series of ganks. At 21:15, TSM demolished the GGU mid outer turret before GGU initated on them for an eventual three for three teamfight. Even as it looked on paper, all three of TSM's kills went to WildTurtle, who proceeded to dominate through the rest of the game. Even with the strength of their poke comp, GGU couldn't keep TSM from taking turrets, free Dragons, and, eventually, uncontested Barons. In possession of a 7K Gold lead and Baron buff, TSM could no longer be stopped as they pushed through two GGU inhibitors with ease. GGU found themselves caught between a super minion rock and a TSM hard place for the rest of the game and were slowly crushed to death until their Nexus fell at 35:00. This match was another convincing win for TSM, who put huge pressure on GGU to challenge them in the teams' final LCS meeting.
Vul v Crs
The final game of Big Week 7 brought out the first place Curse once again to face the leader of the bottom four, Vulcun. The game became intriguing as early as Champion Select when Vulcun not only chose Kennen for Sycho Sid, but also the recently-activated and rarely-played Quinn for mandatorycloud. Curse got an early lead with a well-executed Saintvicious gank that effectively employed Voyboy's Renekton mechanics and Saint's Wither usage to get first blood on one of the most difficult to catch champions in the game. They solidified this lead four minutes later when they took a free Dragon and several kills, both in the Dragon pit and in the top lane. Although Vulcun was able to get the occasional kill, Curse's lead snowballed quickly, mostly due to their constant four man ganks on Vulcun's duo lane that provided Cop with tons of gold. At 22:20, a cross-map pain train rolled over Vulcun as Curse scored four free kills in a top lane 1v1 and a mid lane teamfight. The game was essentially over after that. Curse tore through Vulcun's defenses and ignored their offense whenever they fought, eventually plowing through their structures and decimating their Nexus. Unfortunately for Vulcun, this harsh loss to Curse put them at 0-3 for Big Week 7 and the victory put another win between Curse and the teams after that top LCS spot.
With Overwhelming Force
Featured Match of the Week
TSM vs DignitasBans:
13 TSM 57.1K
21 Dignitas 62.3K
21 Dignitas 62.3K
The drafting phase this game started with Dignitas putting pressure on the newest member of TSM: They banned out WildTurtle with Draven and Caitlyn bans, then Dyrus’s Shen. TSM responded with bans on Elise and Kayle for Kiwi and Scarra, and an unexpected ban on the versatile support Lulu. However, they take away another of Scarra’s common champions with their first pick, Diana. However, Scarra is also comfortable on Gragas, and he picks it last, also securing some counter-initiation power which would prove crucial against a team with Diana.
Both teams took a passive stance at level 1, except for Imaqtpie on Ezreal, who did a brave solo-invade and harassed Xpecial and WildTurtle as they cleared double golems. His harass was effective, and though they cleared the golems anyway, it delayed them and ensured a level 2 all-in wouldn’t be a great risk despite the level advantage. The first action happened mid-lane, as Reginald came back to lane from wraiths and Scarra pushed the wave away from his tower just as a second creep wave arrived. Most of the action happened off camera, but based on item usage, health and mana, and minimap, this is what happened: Scarra’s creep wave was very large, so Scarra was level 4 to Reginald’s level 3. Scarra hit a barrel onto Regi and immediately followed up by using his Fortitude Elixir, then he slowed and chunked Regi with his Body Slam empowered by the greatly increased AD from both Drunken Rage and Fortitude Elixir. He ignited and auto attacked a few times, blasting right through Diana’s Pale Cascade. Left with a shred of health, Regi flashed away and over his ranged creeps to block Body Slam, but Scarra flashed over as well and then slams to pick up First Blood for Dignitas.
Not long after, since TheOddOne revealed himself in mid lane to cover for Reginald, Crumbz came out of the bush he was camping top to gank Dyrus’s Rumble. However, Dyrus exercised quick reflexes would Flash away during Renekton’s stun animation, retreating to the safety of his turret. KiwiKid and Crumbz tried to dive, but as Renekton took the tower aggro, Rumble slowed him with an Electro-Harpoon, Ignited him, and turned on him with his Flamethrower. Dyrus killed KiwiKid and forced Crumbz to retreat, both survivors under 100 health.
All is not well for the bot lane of Dignitas either, getting totally bullied out of lane despite a Fortitude Elixir start on Imaqtpie. By 5:30 both Ezreal and Thresh are forced to recall while their lane is pushing towards their tower, and TheOddOne shows up on Volibear to help Varus and Sona take out the tower by 6 minutes, putting the gold lead over 1k into TSM’s favor - not even counting the 750 gold of Fortitude Elixirs which Dignitas purchased and has now consumed.
When Crumbz hits 6 on Nasus, he moves with Scarra to attempt what has become a signature early Dragon kill. However, even though Dragon is pinked, TSM still has wards on the river entrances, they see the approach. They position to contest. threatening Dignitas into aborting the plan and OddOne narrowly escapes a Body Slam from Gragas which could have been an initiaton to a kill. Only a minute later, TSM has taken total control of river vision, they have Imaqtpie and Patoy pushed back to their inner turret, and they take a no-contest dragon, pushing them further into the lead.
TSM’s duo kept pushing with their advantage, and when Crumbz shows top to gank Dyrus again, Reginald and OddOne assist in forcing Dignitas to abandon their bottom inner turret. Though Dyrus does fall, and Dignitas takes the top outer turret, they are still 1.5k gold behind. Even though Dignitas picks up some kills due to good Thresh hooks from Patoy, they can’t sieze map control, and TSM forces down the middle outer turret by the thirteen minute mark.
Two minutes later, the second dragon is about to spawn, and with both teams beginning to group near mid, Reginald dove onto Scarra to initiate. Scarra’s Gragas responded by disengaging with his ultimate, knocking Diana into two of his teammates while pushing Volibear and Sona backwards. Renekton uses his ultimate too and stuns Diana, but as Diana fights on, and Rumble approaches, he is forced to back off. Shortly after, dragon spawns, and TSM moves to take it now that they have burned two crucial teamfight ultimates of Dignitas. Dignitas responded, but Diana and Rumble comboed their abilities to devastating effect; Moonfall forced three members of Dignitas to suffer the full duration of The Equalizer and die very quickly. TSM aces Dignitas while losing only three of their own, with redbuff and dragon burning damage ticking the last piece of health away from Ezreal after he thought he had escaped over the back of the Dragon pit. Though they are low, Volibear and Rumble could safely take Dragon thanks to nobody being alive to contest.
Though Dignitas picked up a kill thanks to Imaqtpie baiting Reginald in bot lane, this is part of TSM’s cross-map pressure, and TSM takes two top turrets while the so many Dignitas are busy in elsewhere on the map, extending their lead to 5k gold, with 5 turrets and 2 dragons, leaving Dignitas still scrambling for a way to come back into the game. They finally found a teamfight they wanted when Crumbz ghosted and chased hard into TSM’s jungle. He gets a wither onto Diana, who gives up trying to retreat and jumps onto Patoy with his whole team behind him. However, Varus whiffs his key teamfight ultimate and the immense slow of Thresh’s Box prevents Volibear from doing literally anything in the fight. Volibear and Rumble fall with no losses for Dignitas. Dignitas briefly tries to take mid turret before being turned back by heavy waveclear and poke from Varus and Diana, so they pick up Dragon instead, narrowing the gold gap to only 3k behind.
TSM struck back when Dignitas was split up during a battle over vision control of the Baron area, and with Scarra and Imaqtpie split off in one direction, they chase Kiwi, Patoy, and Crumbz down the river. After going back to heal up, they return and start Baron with full vision control from pink wards and Xpecial’s oracle. Dignitas combats this vision by dropping FIVE wards into the Baron pit, and Crumbz and ghosts in alongside Kiwi, successfully getting a ballsy smite steal. At this point, everyone on Dignitas had managed to pass their counterpart in farm except for Imaqtpie - who is 90 CS behind WildTurtle. The gold difference was almost entirely in turret gold at this point, and Dignitas had plenty of turrets left to kill. During the baron buff, they used Scarra’s poke and knockback to safely take two turrets, putting the gold 50k to 49k - only 1k in favor of TSM.
As baron respawned, the teams resumed their standoff in the middle of the map. Reginald engaged, but WildTurtle was several screens away due to taking a strange route through the jungle. As the followup Equalizer came down, Reginald got hooked, and Scarra counter-initiated with an extremely well-placed Explosive Cask while simultaneously dodging Crescendo with Body Slam. Reginald blocked the cask with Zhonyas, but it knocked 3 other members of TSM back, and they would be too far away to help Reginald when the Hourglass ran out of sand. WildTurtle finally shows up to the fight, but it’s a 4v5 and he eats Wither before Patoy delivers him a Death Sentence, and Dignitas takes the Ace, losing only Crumbz. Dignitas blew through the remaining bottom lane structures, and Ezreal even stayed to take 1 nexus turret while his team backed off early.
The next fight looked like the previous: Reginald saw an opportunity to dive onto Ezreal and popped Zhonya. When the Explosive Cask comes out, this time it knocks Reginald and other TSM members back while singling out Dyrus for death. With the fight quickly turning 4v5, Diana’s health extremely low, and Varus Withered with no cleanse, Dignitas easily cleans up the fight and aces TSM, again losing only Crumbz.
While it’s easy to blame Reginald for this loss, one has to wonder when four members of TSM are consistently ready to teamfight but the new guy is too far back to participate. WildTurtle seems fine picking fights of his own, but twice he made critical errors in his team play which lost his team a fight: once by missing his Chains of Corruption into the middle of a raging teamfight, and a second time by wandering around in his jungle when the rest of his team were pouncing on Dignitas in Mid Lane. At the same time, Scarra’s Gragas was crucial to ruin the only source of hard initiation that TSM had for teamfights: Reginald’s Diana. Without this hard initiate, TSM would be forced to eat Gragas/Ezreal poke. The one time TSM got the initiate they wanted, they forced Dignitas to sit on The Equalizer, but that was when Explosive Cask was on cooldown. With that crucial ultimate off cooldown, TSM could not get a good initiation, and Dignitas was able to take fights even at a large deficit, which allowed them to turn the game around and seal a victory to defend their second place spot from TSM’s onslaught.
Keys to Victory
Predictions for Week 8
Time is running out before standings are locked in for the midseason playoffs. Only the top six teams will make it to the playoffs, with the top two having the privilege of skipping the first round. The middle four teams will compete in the first round, with the losers dropping to the promotion tournament where they will need to re-qualify for the LCS against the bottom two teams - and against new blood - a dangerous place to be for any team. Furthermore, after this week the gaps between the top four teams and bottom four teams have widened greatly, and while it’s technically possible for Vulcun or Marn to go on an incredible hot streak to snatch 4th place if CLG doesn’t perform well, it’s incredibly unlikely. These teams should instead look to defend their spots in the midseason playoffs from compLexity and GGU, who are now nipping at their heels. TSM is still right behind Dignitas, and definitely has their sights set on that first round bye.
Several teams have recently undergone roster changes as well. At the time of this writing, we know of Chuuper being replaced by Pr0lly and Muffinqt dropped for Bloodwater. It’s not yet known who GGU will find to replace Bloodwater, but two benched LCS supports are available now: Muffinqt and AtomicN. It remains to be seen whether these roster changes will show us revitalized morale or shaky team coordination.
[Day 1] April 4, 2013
coL vs CLG
Week 8 kicks off with a Week 7 rematch. Although CLG won the last game, the end result was probably a little too close for their comfort. NickWu on Zed gave CLG trouble all game long being able to dive in on Doublelift and blow him up early in fights. This time around don't expect CLG to let Zed fall in coL's hand as he will probably just be banned out. Another wrinkle this time around is the news that Mid player Chuuper is getting benched and replaced by PR0LLY. If CLG can get out to an early lead they should be able to hold of coL who is inexperienced in playing from behind. For coL their success will revolve on their ability to dive CLG's back line. Champions with dives or dashes give coL a better chance to blow up CLG's carries while bypassing their tank line. They already favor champions such as Kha'zix or Diana so that fits right along with this strategy.
GGU vs Crs
Coming into this match Curse remains the only team in the top four to not drop a game to one of the bottom four teams. Out of those four teams Good Game University came the closest to beating Curse during their Week 1 meeting in which they managed to take down both of their Nexus Turrets. Week 7 was the time GGU went positive so they are coming into this match with more momentum that usual. A big factor in their recent success has been some exceptional play from ZionSpartan, particularly on Jayce. To win against Curse ZionSpartan will have to keep playing at this level. For Curse they need to play the same way they did against Vulcun in Week 7. They didn't try anything fancy and simply outclassed Vulcun and were able to pick up an early lead and snowball that into a victory.
Vul vs TSM
Week 7 was the worst case scenario for Vulcun. They had the potential to gain more ground on CLG in the standings, but instead they went a disappointing 0-3. Against TSM shutting down Reginald is a good strategy to earn the win. Regi favors very aggressive champs and Vulcun can use this to their advantage. Mancloud is more than capable of punishing Regi for this, especially if he can get one of his favorite champs such as Lux or Nidalee. On the other hand, TSM has been playing very well recently winning five of their last six game. WildTurtle's offensive oriented play style has seemed to reinvigorate the team and they are going to ride this wave as long as possible. If Vulcun runs a poke comp as they are known to do, TSM's current aggressive play style is a good way to counter this.
MRN vs coL
In our second rematch from the prior week MRN is looking for redemption after dropping their match against compLexity. This time around though coL is sporting their different roster. After the unfortunate popularization of the term “Chuuper's Bloopers” the team decided Mid player Chuuper needed some time on the bench and brought in PR0llY to take over the starting spot. PR0llY had been playing Mid for Velocity eSports and was formerly Lautemortis' teammate on Team Legion. coL are banking on a lot of improvement in the Mid lane and are hoping “Chuuper's Bloopers” and don't just become “PR0LLY's Follies.” Any time a new player joins a team it's easy for him to become the weak link of the team while their synergy develops. MRN can use this to their advantage and abuse PR0LLY hopefully snowballing Ecco and putting him in a good position to carry the game.
[Day 2] April 5, 2013
TSM vs Crs
With little time left in the LCS, TSM will need to truly challenge Curse if there's to be any hope of dislodging them from the top spot. Luckily, TSM's current strength is in their duo lane, where WildTurtle is running roughshod over nearly every other Ranged AD in NA. As good as Cop and Elementz are, TSM's new star could give them a run for their money he is allowed to dominate as much he has in recent matches. TSM has also demonstrated patient and pragmatic play in their last several matches, which will be a boon to them as the Spring Season ends and the relegation matches begin. For example, in the early LCS weeks TSM would have gone HAM on GGU, but this week they played a slow and deliberate game, earning them a strong victory. In contrast, Curse will want to plan their strategies in a way that either shuts down WildTurtle or allows Cop to scale into the late game regardless of TSM's actions. Picking a hypercarry like Kog'maw or Vayne would be one way to do this, but Curse could also use the same lane camping strategy that they employed against GGU. As usual, Nyjacky might be able to draw out Reginald's aggression to open TSM's AP player to counterattacks from Saintvicious or even a mobile Voyboy. In a straight 1v1 scenario, Voyboy should come out ahead of Dyrus, so that's likely the lane where Curse should be the most careful of retaliation. With TSM's current rise in power, their match against NA's top team should be incredible.
Vul vs coL
The opposite ends of the lower LCS tier will collide in the second Day 2 match of Week 8 when the 7-13 Vulcun takes on the 4-14 compLexity. One of coL's few wins in the LCS was against Vulcun, so coL will be looking to even out the matchup score in their final Spring Season battle. Of course, coL will also be on the back foot due to their late season roster change, who will undoubtedly still be getting used to his place in the team. CompLexity will certainly want to keep tabs on their new mid laner throughout the match and keep his inexperience with the team from being overly exploited. It may even be necessary to keep him away from the 1v1 matchups and let him farm cautiously and slowly while the coL duo lane pushes for their own advantages. While it's unlikely that Vulcun will allow Nickwu to pick up Zed, hopefully coL's top laner can grab something similarly snowbally to carry his team as he as (nearly) been doing in recent LCS matches. Vulcun, on the other hand, will want nothing more than to put their ace mid laner in direct competition with coL's new blood. If anyone can dismantle another mid laner, it's mandatorycloud, so it'd be shocking if Vulcun didn't try to put him in direct opposition to pr0lly. Vulcun also may want to stick to traditional picks against coL, since their Kennen/Quinn composition didn't seem to be very effective.
MRN vs GGU
The sixth and seventh place teams in the NA LCS are extremely close in overall score as of Week 7, so this Week 8 match will be incredibly important for both teams. MRN will continue to ride on the strength of their star carries, Nientonsoh and MegaZero, and any strategy that gets them fed will be essential for the team. The team will not need to worry about Heartbeattt as much now that he's more comfortable in the support role, but it's still necessary to get him a Champion on which he appears comfortable, like Janna or Lulu. MRN should also attempt to counter GGU's poke composition in some way. While it's doubtful they can ban out enough Champions to truly castrate a full poke comp, removing key GGU Champions such as Trundle or Kha'zix will be extremely important. GGU should be wary of this on their side and plan for some unorthodox picks into their poke compositions if possible. Regardless, GGU will have their best chance of winning with a fed ZionSpartan, so they should avoid laning him against MegaZero, who always dominates other top laners in 1v1s. It'll be a tough fight for GGU (particularly considering they've already lost to MRN twice), but not impossible by far.
Crs vs Vul
Vulcun goes from fighting against the bottom of the standings to the top of the standings for the final Week 8 match. Though these teams have only played against each other once before, odds are heavily in Curse's favor for this match, seeing as they've not yet lost to a bottom four team. As usual for a match like this, Curse will want to be the most careful in their early game. Though their late game tends to be invulnerable, if they start to snowball in the wrong direction in the early game they might give away a victory to their opponents. Luckily for Curse, their top and mid laners are two of the strongest in the region and should be more than enough to take on their talented opposites on Vulcun. That being said, Curse should definitely still ban mancloud's Nidalee, since there are no guarantees whatsoever if he gets to use his Bestial Huntress. Though it's in Curse's best interest to play straightforward and standard, Vulcun may want to try something crazy, from odd lane swaps to strange attack timings. CLG proved that Curse could still be fooled by early and unexpected Barons, so Vulcun may want to attempt a cheese of that nature. Unfortunately, Vulcun's last unorthodox composition didn't perform well against Curse, but perhaps they can find one that will. At the very least, Vulcun should take note of what occurred this week and be certain to protect Zuna and muffinqt from the ganks that destroyed them in the Week 7 match. Vulcun will need lots of luck to come out ahead in this match, but Vulcun has pulled off upsets in the past. Perhaps they can take down Curse as well.