Immortals bend but do not break in third-place match

North American League of Legends team Immortals won its match against Counter Logic Gaming in the summer split playoffs Provided by Riot Games

Immortals took down Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) in a nail-biter of a set, 3-2, in the third-place match of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). With the victory, Immortals moved to the front of the gauntlet and require only one best-of-five set to qualify for the World Championship.

There could not be two more different teams than CLG and Immortals. Immortals was the blitzkrieg North American lineup that was widely credited for the up-tempo style of League of Legends that other teams like Team SoloMid utilize. CLG, on the other hand, preferred macro play and emphasized split-pushing over team fights. But, when the games were played, both teams adapted to and at times adopted the opposition's style for a very entertaining set.

The highlight game of the series was game 3. Immortals' draft emphasized the late game and, as a result, they kept the pace of the game to a crawl and dominated the mid game. CLG needed a ridiculous Baron comeback fight to climb back into contention. CLG's Choi "Huhi" Jae-hyun's damage contribution and positioning allowed CLG to take down the rest of the late game fights, but Immortals' collective lineup and draft was built to siege and tank through even the highest of damage spikes. In the end of the back-and-forth late game affair, it was Immortals that barreled into the opposition's base for the win.

The book on Immortals said the team played fast, fought often, and funneled most of its resources into the duo of Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin and Heo "Huni" Seong-hoon. But, Immortals flashed some versatility against CLG. They slowed things down to allow their draft to fully go online and the star of the entire series for the team was none other than Adrian "Adrian" Ma. The support player was the key to many of the series' major fights and was a participant in nearly every important kill. Immortals did not steamroll CLG, but glimpses of this team's snowball strength, most notably in game five, was evident.

The two-carry system of Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes and Huhi carried CLG for four games until the levees broke on the final game. CLG ramped up its teamfighting aggression, showcased perfect patience and decision-making in objective control, but could not keep it up for the last game. It was a reminder that CLG may still be an elite team in hiding. But fear not, CLG fans: if Team SoloMid wins the finals on Sunday, CLG will qualify for the World Championship.