Week 2 brought us some exciting games, with a slightly better understanding of each team as the rosters continue to find their footing. We’ll bring you some of the high points and low points:
Team Liquid: Learning how to synergize without Broxah?
While we have not heard the status of Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen’s visa, the team seems to be figuring out its’ stride with Shern “Shernfire” Cherng Tai. Going 1-1 again this week, they began with a loss against Dignitas in an incredibly close match that completely turned on its head around the 40 minute mark.
The game was a slight change from their first loss against Cloud 9, which leans towards the assumption that Liquid may have found their stride with Shernfire, who only began scrimming with the team four days before the start of the split.
While the Team Liquid rookie had similar stats between games, the team as a whole seemed stronger in their game against Dignitas, which was helped by weaknesses in Dig’s gameplay. For one, Dignitas had far less vision than Cloud 9 did in their game, which was evidenced by the second Rift Herald taken at 15 minutes.
There were almost no wards put down by Dignitas near the pit, which made it really easy for Liquid to snag. It was also expected that scrims are no match for what being on the main stage feels like, and it was assumed that some teams would falter, especially one without their full roster.
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen’s Ryze was also powerful in the game against Dignitas and would continually try to push lanes while his team members would grab other objectives or kills without him, but he was also able to hold his own against his enemies.
His game on Ryze shows a significant improvement from his first game of the split against Cloud 9, where he needed to utilize Azir against Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer's Veigar counter. Because of this type of match up, it was expected that it would be difficult to have a stand out performance, but if Jensen continues to improve, which seems to be the path he is going, he should have a relatively strong split.
Broxah’s visa approval or denial will be known on Thursday, but if Shernfire continues his trajectory with the team like he is, we may see more wins on Team Liquid’s side regardless of who their jungler is, although it would be interesting to note the difference in how the games go between the two players.
Really proud of Shern for giving so much and it feels so incredibly frustrating at the same time that Broxah isn’t here - he deserves to be, should be and we are doing everything we can to resolve outstanding visa issues. I want to thank @riotgames for also doing what they can. https://t.co/3YtGC83kw8— Steve Arhancet (@LiQuiD112) February 1, 2020
Cloud 9: Zven's redemption arc; only team to go 4-0
Before the spring split began, a lot of Cloud 9 fans were likely doubting Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen’s move to their team, especially at the expense of losing Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi. However, it seems that this iteration of Cloud 9 is strong, and hopefully has given fans a reason to cheer for the one who is filling Sneaky’s shoes.
This year so far, Zven’s KDA is impressive on Senna and Aphelios, with a 31 KDA and 20 KDA, respectively. This is only after four games in which Cloud 9 have lost none and Zven has not died so far. Granted, we have a lot more information from his TSM days, but the results are promising. While his first split on TSM in 2018 Spring gave him a 22.75 KDA on Ezreal, his later splits began to wane in 2019, with his Ezreal in Spring only a 4.45 and in Summer, a 6.13.
Zven spoke to Inven Global, saying: “I took a step back and watched every single game of Worlds 2019, including every Pro-View stream that focused on an ADC player. They are the best from each region, so they're all worth watching. I watched the laning phase; how to play mid game; how they played with their respective teams, and I asked myself, 'What is my biggest weakness right now?'
"I quickly came to the conclusion that my wave management in lane was bad, so I would often die to ganks or be put at a disadvantage. In addition, I realized I die when I'm trying to get minions that I can't get.
"Lastly, I would find myself somewhere I was not supposed to be on the map. I worked on these things in solo queue; mostly in South Korea, because NA solo queue is... not very good, so it's hard to practice these types of things because your opponents won't punish you.”
You can check out the rest of the interview here.
Golden Guardians: Different team, same results
A hopeful roster has turned into something of a let down as Golden Guardians, changing their team with the only North American mid in the LCS with Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer. Now at 1-3, they seem to be following the same pattern at this point that they had in 2018 Spring, when they finished 4-14. However, in 2019 Summer, they finished 8-10.
If the latter placement is more likely this year, they would still have a chance at Spring Playoffs with the new changes that allow the top eight teams to play. However, the stats are pretty low for these players, particularly their support Yuri “Keith” Jew, who has finished these first four games with a total of 1/22/12; a .59 KDA.
Whether or not Keith is the sole reason for the team doing as poorly as they are remains up in the air, but the two teams they played this week, Evil Geniuses and Immortals, are not exactly full powerhouses, either. Immortals is in 4th place, but the only win for Golden Guardians was against Evil Geniuses, who are currently tied with them in 8th place.
Evil Geniuses had more kills, and a distraction in Golden Guardians’ base allowed Ian Victor “FBI” Huang to teleport into the base of Evil Geniuses and take the Nexus by himself. While this type of strat is definitely not uncommon, it shows the strength that Golden Guardians have is on unconventional means of winning, with a focus on objectives alone rather than kills and objectives together.
This may not be the right way to go about their gameplay if they want to consistently win, as most of the teams they will play are of a higher caliber and are not as prone to making those types of mistakes that Golden Guardians could capitalize on.
Counter Logic Gaming: 10th place woes at 0-4
CLG has been a team that has been struggling for a few years now, coming a long way from 2014-2017, where they usually finished in the top half of the standings consistently. In 2018, however, they began to lose their footing and they have been struggling ever since, and 2020 Spring Split is no different, where they are the only team in 10th place after two weeks.
In their first game against Dignitas Week 1, they had a scaling composition with Cassiopeia, Ornn, and Senna, but they did not seem to play it well and chose to be more aggressive. Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black’s Tahm Kench play on the side of Dignitas around 32 minutes turned the game around as he flashed in to save Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, using Devour and Regurgitate, which prevented CLG from getting Baron.
In their final game of Week 2 against TSM, CLG found themselves in a slow, but solid early game. Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min, however, had an abysmal game in top lane, being consistently 25 or more CS below Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik in laning phase.
They snagged first blood after 12 minutes with Raymond “Wiggly” Griffin getting the kill against Broken Blade, which was needed for Ruin, who was constantly being pushed into his tower. The consequent kill allowed them to release the Rift Herald to take down the first turret.
The game stayed pretty even until around the 24 minute mark, when TSM started to take and hold control of the map, gaining three more kills against CLG. After TSM took Baron, CLG tried to begin a fight but were massively outplayed, despite taking out Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett.
Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup answered with a double kill, his Xayah having a 3/0/5 KDA at that point, and it continued to snowball. It was that Baron that catapulted TSM to the base, winning the game in 30 minutes.
It’s unclear as to whether CLG can bounce back after this week, as the games they continue to play may only get harder as the other teams continue to find their footing. Their game against Evil Geniuses will be on 8th February. We can only wait to see their trajectory in the split, but if things keep going the way they are, CLG will not be even close to thinking about playoffs.
Be sure to catch more weekly recaps here on Ginx TV and check out Week 3 of the LCS Spring Split beginning 8th February, at 22:00 GMT (13:00 CET / 02:00 PST).