By Timothy Carson
The opening day of the North American LCS sees Cloud Nine victorious with everyone’s favorite Yordle.
It’s that time of year again – the Spring Split of the North American League Championships and yesterday’s opening match was a clash of the titans: previous victors, Cloud Nine, versus fan favorites, Team SoloMid.
Cloud Nine Line-Up
Top Lane: Balls (Renekton)
Mid Lane: Hai (Teemo)
AD Carry: Sneaky (Caitlyn)
Support: LemonNation (Thresh)
Jungle: Meteos (Vi)
Team SoloMid Line-Up
Top Lane: Dyrus (Nasus)
Mid Lane: Bjergsen (Gragas)
AD Carry: WildTurtle (Lucian)
Support: Xpecial (Annie)
Jungle: TheOddOne (Nunu)
That’s right, you didn’t read incorrectly – Cloud Nine’s Hai chose Teemo as their mid-laner. Is it really that big of a deal, you ask? Well, the audience and casters certainly thought so, as there was an audible gasp from the audience after Hai locked in. Then, of course, the crowd went wild, since Teemo is wildly popular and troll-tacular. Admittedly, Teemo is one of those rare champions that can fulfill any role in any team composition (it’s true, I’ve seen him jungle), but against TSM’s Gragas, Hai became the wild card of the first match.
In terms of the rest of C9, their chosen champs were typical and surprising at the same time, typical because of their popularity and credibility, but surprising because they weren’t banned to begin with. I found Meteos’ Vi especially astonishing, since she is one of the most commonly banned Junglers in the game, mostly because of her fat hands. Balls’ Renekton was a solid and nearly impenetrable tank late-game, Sneaky’s Caitlyn a powerhouse ADC with her immense range and British accent, and LemonNation’s Thresh a notorious wife-stealer.
TSM’s line-up was so solid, viewers actually voted that they’d be victorious over reigning champs, Cloud Nine. (Spoiler Alert: They weren’t.) Again, there were some shocking non-bans, notably Annie and Gragas; Annie as a support is so popular right now, she was nerfed a bit in League’s latest patch. (Plus, she’s got a giant, fiery bear at her disposal. I’d ban her on principle.) Gragas, besides being ridiculously handsome (Spoiler Alert: He’s not), has absurd sustain in lane with his passive and is a commonly banned mid-laner for such reasons.
WildTurtle’s Lucian pick was, well, boring in my opinion. Everyone plays Lucian. He’s a solid ADC with fancy hair, so I understand why. I mean, his ultimate does damage…sometimes. TheOddOne’s Nunu pick was risky, especially against Vi. The casters both agreed that Nunu could be a threat late-gate, but if he falls behind, he doesn’t have a prayer. Also, in my experience, Nunu doesn’t pose as much of a threat at ganking as Vi. In the end, it didn’t work out for TheOddOne.
It would be unfair to blame TSM’s loss completely on TheOddOne, and it would be just as unfair to praise Hai’s Teemo as the reason for C9’s victory. Both played a role in their respective teams’ success or failure, but League of Legends is a team game – a concept not many players understand. There’s no I in Teemo, one might say. Simply, Cloud Nine had far superior team coordination: their ganks were on point, they played to the objectives rather than for blood, and they focused the correct champions during teamfights. From my vantage point, Hai was actually losing his lane to Gragas throughout the laning phase; he, however, bided his time for his team to react, and throughout mid and late-game, he literally erected the “Great Wall of Teemo.” TSM was cut off from the bottom half of Summoner’s Rift because Hai’s shrooms prevented any form of aggression, else they hit a trap, taking tons of damage. He made the best decision for his team – to play passively and objectively – and it eventually helped bring the whole machine to fruition.
Teamwork, guys – it’s a thing.
Timothy Carson prefers pencil to pen, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and referring to himself in the third person. Tim is a recent graduate of Westfield State University. He studied English and knows his alphabet. He would like to do his parents proud by not having to resort to prostitution in order to pay the rent.