Cloud9 weathered the early storm to come up with a commanding reverse sweep over Team SoloMid on Friday to open Week 5 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series in Los Angeles.
Cloud9 (6-3, 14-8 match record) came into the series with a composition focused on securing picks to gain an advantage, and that's exactly what it did early on. After picking up first blood, C9 used the advantage to grab the first tower as well for a modest lead by the 15-minute mark. The only problem for C9 was that once TSM (6-3, 14-11 match record) started to force teamfights, C9 was powerless to stop the high-damage output from TSM, especially mid laner Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's Orianna. Bjergsen was a monster in the late game teamfights, locking down C9 to keep a handle on the contest. A 22-minute Baron started the snowball, and a massive 5-for-0 ace at 31 minutes gave TSM just what it needed to secure the win.
Seeing as Cloud9 was punished by TSM's teamfighting in Game 1, it understandably drafted a strong teamfighting composition in Game 2 and it worked wonders in the end. TSM took an early lead with strong objective control all across the map, picking up towers left and right in the early game. Despite Cloud9 looking out of sorts up to this point, all it needed was time to scale into the late game, and things started looking up. Once C9 found a single pick at 26 minutes that gave way to a Baron, the teamfighting composition started to swarm. With C9 AD carry Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi's Tristana, who finished with a stellar 9/0/5 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), fully scaled into a teamfighting beast, C9 dominated every fight in the late game to force a Game 3 with the 33-minute win, snapping TSM's 11-game win streak.
While C9 drafted a heavy siege composition against the teamfight-focused composition from TSM in Game 3, it was C9 that controlled teamfights from the very start. It all started with jungler Juan "Contractz" Garcia's Nunu roaming the map, gaining advantages for all of his lanes to the tune of three kills and a 1,000-gold lead just seven minutes into the game. TSM threatened to get back into the contest after earning some picks of its own, but C9 simply kept running headfirst into every engagement, coming out on top nearly every time. This culminated with a 3-for-2 and 4-for-2 in back-to-back teamfights that C9 used to really keep TSM bogged down. After securing Baron at 26 minutes, C9 had more than enough firepower to rush into TSM's base and secure the 29-minute win.
Cloud9 will have its work cut out for it with a critical matchup against Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, while TSM will also have a tough showdown with Immortals at the same time.