The story of the series: what will be the priority for CLG on blue side, and how will TSM respond? And what will we see next from Bjergsen and his endless champion pool? He’s a dream to watch on assassins, but when they go teamfight-heavy and don’t have sufficient engage, he’s also very good on utility champions like Lulu and Orianna.
Picks and Bans – Very standard first-pick Poppy, who’s become a huge power pick in the top lane with Maokai now auto-banned. I wonder if we’re going to see Gragas for Hautnzer in the top lane, which didn’t work out in Game 1? Oh wow, yes, it’s Gragas and Graves. Wow. You are giving CLG the potential for Ekko, Nidalee (no Kindred), or Kalista. Graves is fine but with Gragas, there’s just not a lot of CC. CLG return Nidalee/Caitlin to keep Stixxay safe with range – but that’s Kalista/Alistar to TSM. TSM should again have the advantage in the duo and CLG an edge in the top lane; which jungler can show up at better times? CLG finish with Ekko/Bard, pretty standard with a TON of CC and TSM finish with LeBlanc for Bjergsen. TSM have a pick comp, but I’m worried about their lack of CC. Sure they have great tools for teamfight, but if CLG play around the LeBlanc and keep Stixxay alive, they have a ton of ways to lock down Doublelift. There will be a lot of pressure on Bjergsen to roam early and to get Doublelift ahead, since Nidalee will always be a step ahead of Graves. LeBlanc does have 100% potential, and CLG will have to play a much better team fight around her.
Early Game – Stixxay/Aphromoo start Krugs while TSM don’t and Bard is very strong in lane, especially if he can get levels on Alistar. At 15:10, I don’t know why Doublelift is so close to the river without vision and against a Nidalee, and TSM are forced to blow 3 summoners. Wow. Doublelift is forced to start Bilgewater Cutlass for the lifesteal and if Stixxay gets ahead in these comps, good night. Meanwhile, Huhi has traded very effectively with Bjergsen (preventing the roam) and Darshan gets Hauntzer’s flash – that’s a TON of TSM summoners down and CLG pushing every turret. Double Wow. A few minutes later, Caitlin takes a turret and Darshan almost takes Svenskeren down 1v2. Triple Wow.
Mid Game – I hate writing teams off, but this is such a fantastic start for CLG. Their pressure in the side waves allows Huhi and aphromoo to roam all over without kill pressure. TSM make an aggressive TP play at 24:30 to take down Xmithie and pressure the mid turret, but they can’t take it down – sure, CLG give up two kills, but are up almost 2k in gold and up 2-0 in towers. This is huge for CLG. Hauntzer is super dead at 26:15 and before the observers can even shift over, aphromoo has caught a couple with his ult and Doublelift goes down (Doublelift does well enough just to ult Alistar out). Already, I’m having a hard time finding a win condition for TSM. CLG can take turrets much more cleanly, and if Bjergsen doesn’t get close enough to one-shot a carry, TSM’s teamfight is inferior as well. They have a ton of vision on the river and the TSM red side and have proven they can split push safely with either Ekko or Poppy.
31:10 – All that vision and the map pressure allow CLG to send 4 and knock down a tier 2 for free. They are moving freely and way ahead of TSM in the rotations. They can play methodically and keep swapping TSM to death. I’m disappointed in the TSM counters, especially their first 2 picks. No CC from either is really hurting them. At 32:30, Doublelift throws Alistar into the mid lane and catches two, but aphromoo buys time for Darshan to TP in and wreck the back line. No CC means no way to stop him and it’s a 3 for 2 for CLG. And then CLG go straight for Baron and get that for free to – these rotations from Counter Logic Gaming!
This game is basically over. TSM’s only hope is to ambush, but they’d have to win 2-3 team fights in a row to get back into this and I don’t see CLG opting into those fights. Fun moments:
- 35:45 – TP Play #1: Hauntzer hits but Darshan is already on Doublelift. Yellowstar buys time for TSM to focus down Poppy, but they’ve blown Alistar and Gragas ults – no more ways to disengage. Huhi serves as the front line while Stixxay snipes away and it’s another 3-2 for CLG and another TSM turret down
- 38:00 – CLG bungle: they shouldn’t be looking to fight! aphromoo's ult is not well used, allowing TSM arrive and lock people up. Huhi’s TP is worse – he’s hit by Alistar and Gragas immediately after appearing and dies without dealing damage. But the key was Bjergsen’s patience – he waits for several seconds on the other side of the jungle wall until picking the perfect moment to hop over and eradicate Stixxay. Still, this doesn’t really buy TSM anything – just an outer turret
- 40:55 – TP Play #2: CLG strike first and Doublelift is caught in the middle. Bjergsen again gets Stixxay, but not before he does a ton of damage and CLG win the fight 4-2 (Baron as well). Goodness that LeBlanc though
- 43:30 – Oh Svenskeren
- 47:10 – TP Play #3: The best one yet, TSM catch Darshan and aphromoo in the jungle (Darshan had TP’ed to a bad place). That means there’s no peel for the carries and Doublelift goes OFF. An Ace for 0… but TSM have a lot of work to do. They take an inhibitor turret but have lost two of their own
- 49:45 – Unfortunately, TSM have to try for these engages over and over again. They can’t stop the CLG siege at turret and they certainly can’t stop the split push. What they can do is sweep vision and tempt Baron. It’s actually a really good fight for TSM. They blow up aphromoo, Huhi is forced to ult and use his Zhonya’s just to stay alive, and Doublelift drops Xmithie. But Stixxay is untouched! He snipes Bjergsen AND Hauntzer before running down the TSM duo lane. Game
TSM made this much closer with the late kills, but even with how close those fights were, TSM were never really in the game. Kobe put it perfectly: CLG focused the bot lane and Stixxay rewarded them with ridiculous late-game damage. TSM desperately need a solution in the top lane and jungle and absolutely have to draft more CC for the fights. CLG constantly bought time for their carries and outside of a couple assassinations, did a fine job of playing around LeBlanc. I agree with Zirene – Bjergsen’s LeBlanc simply didn’t have enough impact throughout the game. The silver lining? The snowball started for CLG off a bad decision by Doublelift and Yellowstar to not take a camp on the way to lane. Change that and the whole game could have been different.