This weekend, the NALCS is playing through the semi finals stage of the 2018 Summer Split Playoffs.Up first was TSM and C9, two teams that have always rivaled since the inception of the NALCS.
The series started with Cloud 9 using rookie of the split jungler Blaber and 1st team all pro mid laner Jensen. The first game started very even as kills were often traded 1 for 1 in most exchanges. However, TSM heavily prioritized Drake control getting 4 elemental drakes. Bjergsen’s Akali slowly began to scale and with every team fight, he managed to zone or eliminate C9’s backline. After TSM acquired the Baron, C9 attempted to skirmish mid lane. Bjergen eviscerated Cloud 9 getting an unofficial Quadra-kill. A swift Elder Dragon take, reset, and mid lane push ended game one swiftly.
Game 2 started similarly as kills were always traded for either a tower or a drake. Cloud 9 took a more consistent damage composition with Varus and Jungle Camille. Sneaky’s Varus had the ability to self peel and tank bust instead of the burst potential from Quinn the previous game. C9 won teamfights handily and took a Baron even though Blaber was taken out. Bjergsen tried to assassinate Sneaky and was successful. However, Blaber and Jensen were strong enough to take out the rest of the DPS on TSM and earned an ace. With the ace and the Baron buff, game 2 went to C9.
TSM came back with a vengeance in game 3. Sven put on a stellar performance on Swain earning a quadra-kill early in the game. From there, C9 tried to out maneuver TSM with their map movements, but were always met with a trade objective. Eventually, TSM forced C9 to come to the Baron pit and convincingly won the teamfight and secured the purple buff. They got control of the map and wiped out all of C9’s outer turrets. A teamfight mid lane at 34 minutes highlighted TSM’s control as Zven, Hauntzer, and Bjergsen killed 4 members, pushed mid, and ended the game.
C9’s coach, Reapered, made a risky decision to substitute Goldenglue and Svenskeren out for Jensen and Blaber. The game didn’t start great for C9 as TSM heavily attacked bot lane consistently. Unfortunately, TSM’s kill gold was earned by their support player and was not used efficiently. Cloud 9 constantly had the upper hand as their map rotations were always better, constantly catching TSM in split fights. After a failed last stand fight in their base, TSM was forced to yield and C9 tied the series 2-2
The last game was neck and neck constantly. Flashy plays and tower dives were the highlights of the early game. C9 took the outer ring of turrets quickly as TSM was attempting to make plays around Drake and bottom lane. Even though TSM had Herald mid, C9 was already threatening the inhibitor turret at 23 minutes. TSM tried to use the over extension of C9 to chase them down, but C9 quickly turned to counter attack. C9 melted TSM’s tanks and pushed in for the win. C9 earned their ticket to Oakland and will compete in the finals round of playoffs