Shortly after this year’s MSI, the League of Legends Championship Series returned for the first day of its summer split. With many roster changes made in the mid-season break, the North American teams are all looking to guarantee themselves a spot at the World Championship. Who will succeed, who will fail, and will NA finally be able to match EU at an international event? Let’s see how the first day of games went.
The LCS summer split commenced with Cloud9 taking on FlyQuest in the first game. It started off quite evenly, with neither team pulling too far ahead. What’s notable is FlyQuest’s Omran “V1per” Shoura managing to solo kill C9’s top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie for first blood and then doing it again a few minutes later. However, Cloud9 once again showed their great coordination as they dismantled FlyQuest in team fights. After a great ambush at the 34-minute mark, Cloud9 nearly aced FlyQuest and went on to win the game.
In a rematch of the LCS Spring finals, the MSI runner-up Team Liquid took on the former NA dynasty TSM. Both junglers were responsible for plenty of action in the early game. More importantly, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng asserted his dominance as he disrespected Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen before ultimately killing him after a won fight from the TL side. Team Liquid managed to escalate their lead even further, picking up most objectives and not allowing TSM to take any towers. They decisively finished the game in just under 30 minutes, proving their MSI performance wasn’t a coincidence. Interestingly, Doublelift’s prior actions led to Zven denying him the handshake after the game.
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In this matchup, both teams wanted to show the improvements they have made after a disappointing spring split. Even more, CLG was trying to make a statement as the first team in the LCS to pick Yuumi. It paid off for CLG, as they took over the early game, giving 100 Thieves flashbacks of the spring split. After securing baron later in the game, CLG was able to secure a few kills and rushed towards the enemy base. They quickly rotated to the bottom lane and ended their statement, convincingly finishing the game.
The next game saw Clutch Gaming taking on OpTic Gaming. Starting off, the early game was very bloody, as both teams fully committed to a fight in the bottom lane, resulting in 6 kills. Furthermore, the early team fights continued in the top lane, with Clutch Gaming taking the initiative.
However, neither team was able to gain a lead as the gold was neck and neck for a long time. OpTic managed to pull ahead in the later stages after winning a few fights and securing some crucial objectives. Lee “Crown” Min-ho was a constant threat on the Twisted Fate. He kept pushing on one side of the map while his teammates did their best to distract the members of Clutch Gaming on the other. Finally, OpTic collectively pushed through the bottom lane and destroyed the enemy nexus.
As the final game of the day, the Golden Guardians faced off against Echo Fox. Golden Guardians took the early lead and held on to it firmly. Echo Fox stood no chance, and Golden Guardians calmly went on to win the last game of the first day of League of Legends Championship Series Summer.
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Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.