Two teams fighting at the tier below Immortals in the #NALCS Spring Split, both Cloud 9 and NRG have had fantastic and disappointing performances, often in the same weekend. I feel like this means more for C9 – they are going into Week 5 against Liquid and Immortals and a loss here could see them tumble below .500 with only 3 weeks left.
Pick/Ban – this was another fun pick/ban phase. C9 built a strong catch/teamfighting comp with the Nunu jungle. I am a big fan of the Nunu comeback! NRG combat with a lot of zone control with siege potential. I’m a bit disappointed to see GBM on more of a utility champion, but I trust his judgment. I feel C9 have the advantage in the duo lane while NRG are better up top and the teams are equal in the middle. My feeling is that the jungle matchup wins this and if Rush plays Nunu correctly, he might have a big advantage on Moon.
18:45 – fun fight in the mid where nobody dies because C9 respects the zoning from NRG and NRG don’t let anyone walk up and get caught. The next few minutes were a repeat of the same. Impact not surprisingly outfarmed Balls pretty significantly while Jensen has pressured GBM. That trade is a bit better for C9 I think; Gangplank is a big zoning threat but Orianna has more teamfight power.
24:30 – And that pick potential is on full display. Jensen does a good job flashing out of the Rek’Sai and GP CC, the team saves him, and they turn it around on NRG with a wombo-combo of their own. C9 don’t actually get anything with it (NRG are able to finish the mid turret), but are stacking dragons, starving NRG, and scaling pretty well. C9 are doing the best job I’ve seen in NA of balancing objectives and playing the meta (or at least similar to how we see it in the LCK).
33:30 – C9 start Baron and peel off it as a team to take down NRG. What a well coordinated fight, especially playing around Zilean’s ult. C9 played around the catch from Hai and show NRG what a team on the same page can do. The game was basically over at this point. C9 have put together a nice weekend and I can’t wait to see them play Liquid and Immortals next week. NRG were let down by their lack of power with Zilean and early Gangplank/Lucian. I actually like all of their champions, just not together. This would have been different with more early power in the top or jungle. It is concerning though that although there weren’t a lot of early kills, they also never had control of the map – C9 were camped in the Red-side jungle, stacked 4 dragons, and flat rotated better.