Cloud 9 vs TSM is a long time rivalry especially when it comes to NA LCS Spring Splits. TSM usually wins the split but this year they have four new players compared to last year. Cloud 9 always gives TSM a run for their money and I personally think C9 is the only team that can consistently beat TSM. The playoffs have officially started and they are certainly upsetting Cloud 9 fans.
The first match in the best of five was surprisingly quick by NA standards. Cloud 9 crushes TSM around the 30 minute mark with Sneaky scoring a brilliant triple kill at the end of the match. C9 showcased everything you need to do in professional league of legends. Great rotations, punish misplays, and closing a match at your next opportunity. Hai was taking risks but they proved to pay off at the start of the match when he stole Svenskeren’s big wolf jungle camp as Braum. This stunted Sven’s jungle path and put him behind in exp.
From that point Hai continued to be the player who allowed his team to get ahead by forcing ultimate cooldowns and enticing TSM with free kills while the rest of C9 took objectives such as towers and Rift Herald. Rush showed massive improvement this game as well showing his playstyle on Kindred. If you watched the Split from the start you may have noticed he played mostly Nidalee and Lee Sin. Both of which he was mildly unsuccessful on in games against TSM, CLG, and IMT who could easily outplay him.
One play in particular made in the early game by C9 was a sloppy top lane tower dive. TSM earned more from the dive than C9. C9 burned two teleports and traded 1 kill on TSM’s side for a kill on tehri side as well. Due to the teleport burns TSM was able to freely push across the map and gain a small gold lead without fearing pressure from the C9 top and mid laners.
Learning from their mistakes C9 came back top lane to execute a fantastic dive securing a tower and multiple kills getting their ADC ahead in kills and gold to start the coveted Lucian snowball effect where he becomes an unstoppable cannon of damage. From that point, TSM crumbles and they cannot keep up with C9. This was C9’s only win. TSM learned from their mistakes and picked better, more team oriented champions in the next three games.
Game 2 Hauntzer picked up Maokai. He has seen minimal play this season but in a high tank meta, he has become more of a threat. His ability to immediately lock down carries and set up team fights is almost unrivaled. Cloud 9 lost in champ select to be 100 honest. You have Nautilus, Kindred, Zed, Lucian, and Braum. That’s three AD champions. Naut deals magic damage but he’s mostly a tank, and Braum is all CC and no damage. Hauntzer on Maokai stacks armor all game and no one can kill him. So he is a constant force of annoyance for C9. Game 2 is pretty cut and dry. TSM stays ahead in gold with objectives and kills. Their rotations we better and Maokai could easily dive the essential carried on C9.
Game 3 Bjergsen showcases why he is top 3 of the NA midlaners on Zed with jukes and fast kills with mechanically accurate efficiency against Jensen who was playing Orianna. He carried the game with constant roaming and really taking advantage of Sneaky’s lack of mobility and slow damage output on Jhin. At 23 minutes Bjergsen had 6 kills and no deaths. C9 could not keep up with his damage and the overall advantage of items and levels TSM had. Yet another 30 minute match with 23 kills to 4 kills. C9 at this point felt too defeated. They had a strong showing in their first game, only to begin losing due to common mistakes.
Game 4 was a bit more exciting and not as one sided as the previous two games. C9 picked up early kills and they showed some promise. Around 15 minutes TSM managed to tie the game up and begin their snowballing. There was a fight at 20 minutes in the mid lane and TSM began ulting individual people trying to secure kills and wait for the rest of the team to show up. TSM manages to take down four people with Sneaky staying alive. After winning the team fight they move to Baron and take an incredibly early baron. They secure it and Svenskeren bursts down Sneaky’s Corki like it was his job. TSM’s kills were methodical and easy to execute. C9 was always split up and they were unable to close team fights. At 26 minutes TSM had a 10k gold lead with 21 kills to 6. Yet again, TSM takes the win at 30 minutes. Looking at the team comp, TSM’s picks were just better and C9 couldn’t match them.
TSM wins three games in a row against the #3 team out of the split. Love or hate TSM there is no denying that TSM played the better games and C9 couldn’t keep up and handle the pressure of facing an old team with newer players. TSM face Immortals this weekend who had a first round Bye for being first place at the end of the split. While TSM played incredibly well, I predict Immortals will bruise their ego and shut them down.