Team Liquid deteriorates against Counter Logic Gaming

Courtesy Riot Games

Same roster, same problems for Team Liquid, which got stomped by Counter Logic Gaming in a macro-game clinic to kick off Day 2 of Week 1 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series on Saturday in Los Angeles.

It's not often that a professional team gets gifted four kills to start the game, but there Liquid was, enjoying a 1,500-gold lead at just three minutes after Counter Logic Gaming (2-0, 4-1 match record) essentially gave three kills to Liquid AD carry Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin's Jhin. Liquid was unable to press this advantage, though, allowing CLG to come back into the game through playmaking from CLG support Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black's Bard.

CLG put constant pressure on the mid lane, brute-forcing towers and punishing Liquid's lack of waveclear, which was a problem outlined in TL's draft. Liquid tried to make plays for split-pushing top laner Samson "Lourlo" Jackson's Fiora, but aphromoo defused those attempts with stunning, highlight-reel plays. CLG continued to march up the mid lane with its brutal pick composition, chaining crowd control for easy kills, and giving aphromoo a 1/1/9 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 91 percent kill participation before finishing its clinic on macro play with the 26-minute win.

Counter Logic Gaming drafted another high crowd-control siege composition in Game 2, which it used to great effect against a Liquid side that struggled to keep up with CLG's macro game. After a three-man roam gave first blood to top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya's Gragas, Darshan was able to fight off a three-man dive from Liquid, trading 1-for-1 and giving CLG time to secure first tower in the bottom lane. Aphromoo came alive in the mid game as Nami, landing Aqua Prisons and Tidal Waves to pick off TL members so CLG could take free objectives. Rather than just running it down mid as in Game 1, CLG dominated Game 2 through objective control, taking two Infernal Drakes, an Ocean Drake and a Cloud Drake that charged up a 38-minute Elder Dragon, all while side wave control and rotations in the late game stymied Team Liquid (0-1, 0-2 match record). With the Elder Dragon buffing CLG's teamfighting, CLG took a final 5-for-1 teamfight at 41 minutes to close out the 2-0 series sweep.

Team Liquid will look to bounce back Sunday against Echo Fox at 6 p.m ET, while Counter Logic Gaming next takes to the Rift to take on Echo Fox next Saturday at 3 p.m ET.