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Riot also generates cash from its franchise model , where teams have to pay for a chance to compete in some leagues. Despite the four main regions gobbling up most of the hosting duties, Worlds trophies and marketing dollars, Higdon said LoL esports fans want more from other leagues.
What's happening in the LCK in Korea? How are things changing across each of these leagues? And let's not just myopically focus on one particular region over the other.
The second stage of the rebrand is all about video. Riot plans to launch three video series across YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, each with a set schedule.
The Penta will showcase five of the best pro plays from competitions around the globe, airing weekly starting July 22nd.
Lastly, Champ Select will be hosted by LEC caster Quickshot , and feature personalities from four different regions arguing why their league had the most successful weekend.
Champ Select will air every other week. There are currently no pro League of Legends players who identify as female or non-binary, and a dearth of people of color particularly on Western rosters.
This phenomenon is prevalent across esports , but Riot is keenly aware of the conversation around diversity in the video game industry.
That same year, women accounted for less than one-quarter of all Riot employees , while underrepresented minorities composed just 9 percent of its US workforce.
With their mid lane and AD carry so far behind, there was nothing Cloud9 could do against Liquid's onslaught.
Analysis: Bunny Fufuu has been very impressive recently with his ability to land skillshots and time CC layering, but in Friday's series he seemed to be struggle.
His Bard play in Game 1 was decent, as his ultimate was mainly used for disengaging. He had a couple of solid ultimate uses, tower diving mid lane second tier, for instance, but then seemed to just focus on piling up ridiculous amounts of CC, rather than C9's usual careful layering.
It was enough to win teamfights, however, and eventually the game. When Bunny came back in for Game 3 he pulled out Bard, and his timing on Bard seemed to be even worse than it had been on Braum.
While his ultimates were well placed, often catching two or more members of Liquid the issue was in his follow up.
Bunny mistimed his binding consistently, leaving him unable to continue chaining down the enemies he caught in his ultimate and rendering it almost useless.
Teamfights that Cloud9 should have had the upper hand on fell apart because they simply could not coordinate their abilities like a team the way they had in Game 1.
Bunny was unable to save Sneaky from the constant ganking in Game 3, usually going down himself as well.
His mechanics were simply not up to the level seen in his recent victories. Analysis: Smoothie, despite the loss, had a very solid performance on Friday.
He came out with not only a 4. His Magical Journey out of the early fight near bottom lane saved every one of his teammates who were on the verge of death.
His binding on Lourlo after he was hit by Sneaky's arrow gave them the time to secure the kill, and his second binding gave them the time to disengage before the second half of the fight.
His ultimates were almost always used to try and interrupt Fabbbyyy's damage, and considering the accuracy on his Curtain Call's, it was likely that Smoothie saved his team from a disadvantageous start to a fight.
Smoothie couldn't always protect his team, however, as his Magical Journey gave Fabbbyyy an easy shot at fleeing targets and Smoothie himself was picked off trying to escape a Baron fight.
Despite Smoothie's strong play, he wasn't able to help Cloud9 take the game back, it just allowed them to hold on longer to a losing matchup.
Analysis: Lourlo had a bumpy start to the series, but his team continued to prioritize him and eventually he helped lead them to victory.
Game 1 Lourlo picked Fiora confidently, despite the fact that Impact was on Shen, and the results were disastrous.
Lourlo fell behind heavily in both farm and experience, and was pushed around early in lane. He tried to push up and be aggressive, counter-jungling despite being behind in levels, and Impact solo-killed him.
This mistake set the pace of the game. Lourlo was unable to split push because of Impact, and he could barely teleport into fights because he was either chunked out by Shen or had wasted his ultimate just trying to stay alive.
Team Liquid had put almost all of their win condition on Lourlo, and with their poor teamfight they were easily rolled over and destroyed by C9.
The series turned around in Game 2 Lourlo however. Team Liquid still gave him priority, first picking the Trundle to give him a favorable lane matchup.
This time Lourlo did not fall behind, as he was able to push Impact around a bit in the 1-vs-1, but he still made some early mistakes. He overestimated his abilities, trying to tank for a teamfight before he had the stats to succeed and dying quickly, and later trying to solo kill Sneaky and being picked off when Smoothie came in from behind.
He was also caught out by an Ashe arrow and killed, giving Cloud9 a teamfight that was almost enough for them to come back. Lourlo fell behind early, going down in farm and dying to Meteos' ganking, but it was his global pressure that set his performance apart from the first two games.
He was everywhere, picking up kills and assists in the top lane and finding teamfights in mid. It furthered Impact's farm lead, but Lourlo quickly caught up and surpassed him in gold until he was so tanky that he could ignore Impact completely and split push successfully for his team, destroying Cloud9's base all in one fell swoop.
Analysis: Dardoch was a monster on Friday, finishing the series with a 9. His Game 1 was a bit of a flop, the extended lane swap meant very little room for ganking, and he was unable to steal the Baron away from Cloud9.
Usually he wasn't involved in fights until the very end, and during the one he was involved in, he tried to unburrow two Cloud9 members that were still in his own Bard's Tempered Fate.
That breakdown in communication kept them from achieving anything more than the initial pick off kill. Dardoch picked up after that, with an exceptional mechanical performance on Gragas in a game that ended up being remade due to a bug, but it was the beginning of his rise.
He continued showing those skills in the real Game 2, helping his mid laner get first blood, interrupting Bard just before he could take the Magical Journey, knocking up two enemies and keeping them in place for Fabbbyyy and the rest of TL to secure multiple kills.
He no longer suffered from being on the outside of teamfights, in fact he was faster at collapsing than C9's team, which was designed to collapse.
He was Liquid's tank and often their engage and, despite having a Baron stolen out from under him, brought TL to a decisive victory. Game 3 this trend continued.
Dardoch ended with the best scoreline on his team, posting a deathless game and a KDA ratio of He saw his opportunity to help snowball Fabbbyyy after Sneaky gave up a free early kill and he took it, getting early kills on both Sneaky and Bunny Fufuu, as well as a clean near-ace from a well set up tower dive.
Dardoch coordinated well with Lourlo, bringing him into the middle of fights before knocking every one up and giving Fabbbyyy and Fenix time and space to take everyone down.
With Dardoch keeping Sneaky down early, it was an easy win for Team Liquid. Analysis: Fenix helped bring his team to one of the first series upset in NA this Summer.
He finished with a 4. His Game 1 on Zilean was unimpressive, despite earning the only kill for his team early on, he couldn't turn it into anything further.
He later over-confidently tried to duel Sneaky and ended up not only dying, but luring in Matt to die too. He failed to execute the Bard and Zilean combo properly, either missing the bombs while Cloud9 was frozen or simply not being in range to capitalize upon Matt finding an enemy.
Game 2, however, he came out swinging, picking up first blood on Jensen through repeated ganks on the mid lane. He kept the lane pushing in his favor, keeping Jensen from having the map pressure Twisted Fate is supposed to provide.
In fact, Fenix's teleports several times gave him a better entrance into a team fight than Jensen had.
He had some missteps, such as leaving his team mid lane while he went to clear top, giving Cloud9 a chance for a pick. It was also Fenix's hubris that made him think he could handle Meteos on the outside of the Baron pit alone, a move that gave a Baron steal to C9.
Game 3, however, Fenix stepped up again, making even fewer mistakes and finishing with a 13 KDA ratio.
He bullied Jensen around in lane, and later on caught him out again and again to delete him before teamfights. Even just walking up from mid lane Fenix had a huge impact, roaming top to help his team secure four kills on the back half of what looked like a losing teamfight.
These early advantages were already the nail in C9's coffin, as TL didn't give them any space to get back into the game. Analysis: Fabbbyyy had a fantastic series, finishing with a 7.
His Game 1 with Sivir was dismal, but not entirely his fault. He was completely unable to get into fights, and so his damage was lost, which certainly did not help TL with their already weaker teamfight composition.
It was Game 2 and Game 3 where Fabbbyyy switched on to the long range Jhin that everything clicked together.
Fabbbyyy played an excellent Jhin in multiple ways, but the ability that has to be brought up first is his ultimate accuracy. Equally good at starting teamfights as finishing them off, Fabbbyyy picked people off in Magical Journey's, he found and slowed Sneaky for the rest of his team, he stopped Baron attempts and secured towers.
Fabbbyyy's positioning was also top tier. As soon as he wasn't on Sivir who relies on getting up close and personal, he found his niche, always over a jungle wall or so far back that he wasn't drawing any of the fire.
He only died once in Game 3 when his team abandoned him to start a fight and Impact's Irelia managed to find him around the side. Most of Smoothie's Bard ultimates in Game 2 were spent just to try and keep Fabbbyyy from dealing damage for a little bit, either cancelling his ultimate or just attempting to push him off.
Fabbbyyy demolished Sneaky in Game 3 after killing him before minions spawned and he coordinated with Dardoch to press that advantage as far as it could go.
Locking down opponents with his snares and his slows, Fabbbyyy's Jhin play was a crucial component of Team Liquid's victory over Cloud9.
Analysis: Matt finished strong on Friday with a 6. He had trouble on Bard in Game 1, failing to combo his ultimate with Zilean's double bombs even once.
He also had poor communication with his team, catching two in his ultimate just as Dardoch was going in to knock them up and thereby wasting the CC that could have netted them kills.
Matt also died the most on his team, and was not even involved in their one kill. Coming out of Game 1, however, Matt followed suit with the rest of Team Liquid and stepped up.
In Game 2 his Karma pick gave Team Liquid the move speed to counter Cloud9's collapse, and they were often in a fight even faster than the team with both Twisted Fate and Shen.
Matt's bindings were also crucial, locking enemies down for Fabbbyyy's damage or flashing forward to catch Sneaky and keep him from disengaging.
In Game 3, Matt helped Fabbbyyy get the early first blood on Sneaky, and then doubled up the lane dominance from there. He confidently dove the turret, taking four hits before leaving in order to get Fenix two kills on the other side.
His shield was more practical utility, helping the siege by keeping Sneaky from wave clearing. In the end it was the unrelenting pressure of all of Team Liquid that brought down Cloud9 and ended their win streak.
Analysis: There were very low expectations for zig and Phoenix1 coming into their series on Saturday. Game 1 saw a little bit of hope, however, for the beaten down P1.
In the initial lane swap, Phoenix was not nearly as far behind TSM as most teams usually are. They kept up with the tempo enough that they forced TSM into more commitment for the early Dragon.
They used their speed to collapse on an over-aggressive Hauntzer and kill him for first blood. This gave zig the lane he needed as he started to push it in aggressively towards Hauntzer, picking up several more kills on his lane opponent.
He outdueled TSM's top laner, and he coordinated well enough with the rest of his team that TSM wasn't able to get big objectives off the map.
The issue was that zig and Inori also weren't gaining any map advantage from the kills, and so when zig joined his team in a teleport fight bottom side, they simply weren't strong enough to beat TSM's superior teamfighting skills.
In Game 2, P1 no longer came out even from the lane swaps, as some careful greed from Hauntzer gave him extra experience and the ability to safely farm under turret against the duo lane while zig was both zoned off and occasionally killed by a gank.
This lack of farm trapped him in the top lane, unable to teleport in for most of the early fights, and the lack of gold made him unable to tank the brunt of TSM's damage.
He did come out of the series with an 80 percent kill participation, and hopefully an idea of what to improve upon going into the second half of the split.
Analysis: Inori, who had been unable to start for weeks thanks to ongoing visa issues, was able to get off to a strong start on Elise.
Coming out of the lane swaps, he saw that Hauntzer was over confident and desperate to pick up the CS that he normally gets when TSM wins the tempo game.
Together with Mash and Gate, Inori picked up an easy first blood, zoning Svenskeren out of his blue side jungle at the same time and slashing the momentum his Nidalee had built.
He made good calls, revisiting Hauntzer for another kill, this time helping zig, and after a disastrous fight in bottom lane he went back to the well again, further punishing Hauntzer's poor play.
However, Inori failed to capitalize on anything from these kills. He never pushed down the top tier two tower even though they had plenty of time after the kills, and when he rotated for the Rift Herald his communication with zig was off and he was forced to take the buff himself.
P1 suffered from their inability to out teamfight TSM, as even when Inori found Svenskeren and surrounded him in the jungle TSM's collapse turned it into an unfavorable trade.
In Game 2, Inori had a very poor showing on Rek'sai. He tried to invade Svenskeren's jungle when his team was pushing down top turret and ended up not only being pushed off by TSM's bot lane, but also leaving Gate behind to give up first blood.
Again in the mid game teamfights he failed to land his knock up because of his predictable engage that was easily flashed away from.
Besides his mechanical failings, Inori's team communication broke down, leading him to go in when Pirean had just blown his cooldowns, getting both of them killed in the process.
Analysis: Pirean had one of the worst KDA ratios on his entire team at. Mid lane was very quiet at the beginning of Game 1 as opposed to the action in the side lanes, but Pirean was able to keep up with Bjergsen in farm and trades.
It was in the major fight down bottom lane where things really started to go wrong. Pirean and zig both teleported in guaranteeing P1 the numbers advantage, but they were all locked down by one of Bjergsen's double bombs, in addition to him saving Doublelift's life with his ultimate.
The lack of respect coming out of Pirean for the matched teleport ruined the play for them, giving over a 4-for-0 kill advantage when they should have been able to take the fight.
After that Pirean seemed to grow a little bit desperate, wanting to make a big play that would get them back into the game. Almost all of P1's aggression was countered by TSM converging and their ability to win teamfights, however.
Despite using Karma, he was often not grouped together with his team and was caught out too far up in bottom lane and killed by Doublelift.
Game 2 his mechanics seemed to slip a little bit. He had good setup for ganks on Bjergsen, but simply could not land his chains to convert the damage.
Even when he did have fancy feet, it was too late, and his team was not in position to gain anything off of the time Pirean bought them.
Analysis: Mash finished with a relatively good KDA ratio of two, but only a 60 percent kill participation. In Game 1, Phoenix1 managed a rare positive start versus TSM as they were able to match their opposition's lane swap tempo.
This gave P1 the ability to keep the map pressure even, cut off Svenskeren's Nidalee domination of both sides of the jungle, and even get Mash first blood onto an over-aggressive Hauntzer who was pushed up for farm.
Early gold right after he had bought a Cull was a solid beginning, and P1 looked to continue that with an aggressive double teleport to the bot lane.
An aggressive double teleport to the bottom lane appeared to put Phoenix1 in good position to secure a major teamfight victory, but they had not anticipated Bjergsen also teleporting in and saving his AD Carry as well as completely zeroing out Mash with a well placed double bomb.
This fight, which ended in a kill and some assists for Doublelift, completely negated whatever lead Mash had found in the early game.
He quickly lost his turret, lost Dragon control, and lost the superior damage in teamfights. Tie that in with his questionable mechanical play and he ended up not even being able to take Bjergsen out cleanly in a 1-vs Game 2 all came down to a lack of initiative.
Mash was already losing out due to a very clever delayed lane swap from TSM that denied a great deal of farm.
Mash's first Ashe arrow ended badly, leaving Gate all alone in what was supposed to be an aggressive position but instead left him out for TSM to descend upon.
After that, there were a few more arrows, most of which hit Biofrost but secured a couple of kills. The issue was that Mash was never firing them.
He wasn't looking for initiations or picks, probably because he was too afraid of TSM's power, and so his Ashe went to waste and P1 had no hope of getting back in the game after only eleven minutes.
Analysis: Gate had a very sloppy series, finishing with a. He had a few good plays, helping Mash secure first blood on an over-extended Hauntzer, and killing Hauntzer top with zig, but his performance in teamfights was just abysmal.
His Bard ultimate was not just ineffective; on multiple occasions it saved the enemy it was meant to lock down. When Bjergsen was caught in mid it gave him the time to wait for his team to arrive and the Trundle pillar to disappear.
Gate also showed poor communication with his team, laying down Tempered Fate when another member of his team was about to land a skillshot on the enemy.
His play on Braum in Game 2 was mechanically better, though Braum has less chance to actively hurt his own team with his abilities than Bard does.
Gate was finding himself consistently caught out, sometimes through his own fault and sometimes because he was ready to back up a teammate that then bailed because it was no longer a good play.
Some of Gate's trouble in the match against TSM was the inconsistency and poor cohesion of the entirety of Phoenix1, but a good deal of it was his own poor mechanics and teamwork.
Analysis: Hauntzer is better than the performance he had against Phoenix1 on Saturday. The only explanation is the overconfidence that comes with being the best team in the league facing the worst team, and overconfidence is something that has plagued TSM and especially Hauntzer in the past.
TSM is used to playing an intensely aggressive game, where Hauntzer gets ahead in the lane swap because of tempo and all three lanes win and snowball the game.
P1 surprised everyone by managing to keep up with TSM's tempo in the swap, and keep Hauntzer from getting the farm he's accustomed to.
Because of that, instead of adjusting his play and reverting to a safer, more defensive style where he waits at the turret, Hauntzer pushed up way too far to reach the minion wave and was punished for his hubris.
He gave over first blood to Mash and map pressure to P1 and didn't even learn from his lesson, pushing too far out in his lane again and again giving four free kills over to P1.
Even though Hauntzer brought his scoreline back up through his usual excellent play in teamfights, it didn't dismiss the fact that Game 1 was not the stomp it should have been.
Game 2, Hauntzer again made risky decisions, sticking around for more CS than the traditional lane swap, but he played it much more carefully and ended up with a lead.
He extended that lead when the rest of his team zoned off zig and killed him a couple of times. Although Hauntzer didn't end up being involved with the rest of the map for the majority of the game, he kept up the pressure on zig, keeping him from becoming a meaningful tank.
Hauntzer is a brilliant top laner, but his confidence can at times get the best of him, as seen in Game 1. Analysis: In Game 1, Mikyx used Karma.
Things started off rough, as Mikyx was killed during two separate ganks in the bottom lane. Those were his only two deaths of the game though, as he was able to help Splyce take a close Game 1.
He poked down Vitality with Inner Flame and was able to effectively speed up his teammates for engages while using his shields to keep them safe when they sieged.
In Game 2, Mikyx used Bard and was able to effectively set up kills. After another close early and mid game, his Tempered Fate and Cosmic Binding combination in the late game allowed Splyce to win teamfights.
This was a well played series from Mikyx and Splyce as they upset Vitality in excellent fashion. Analysis: Kobbe was given his best performing marksman in both games against Vitality and he made it count.
He picked up his first kill in Game 1 catching kaSing out of position and then took it slow until the final teamfight. In said fight he picked up a quadra kill to help Splyce close out the victory without dying.
In Game 2, he lacked the kill upside, ending with only two, but still dealt massive damage for Splyce.
He picked up a double kill after Vitality secured Baron, preventing his opponents from utilizing the buff to it's full potential. While he had a low kill total, his eight assists in Game 2 were more than his support's assist total.
Analysis: Sencux showed off some good Azir mechanics on Friday. His use of the Shurima Shuffle usage was on full display.
In Game 1 he picked up two kills, but scaled nicely into the mid game. His poke damage when Splyce sieged with Baron buff in the late game heavily chunked down Vitality to either get them away from objectives or set up kills for his teammates.
In Game 2, he was able to kill Nukeduck early and pick up a kill in the first teamfight of the game.
This allowed Sencux to scale quickly once again and his kill in the final teamfight helped Splyce take the series. Analysis: Svenskeren had a strong series, finishing with a KDA ratio of eight, but not as strong as we usually see from him.
He ended with a kill participation of only 48 percent, and despite playing on Nidalee in Game 1 he did not have the complete control over the enemy jungle that we are accustomed to seeing from him.
It took a while for TSM to get enough map pressure to leave deep wards in P1's jungle, and the majority of the ganking was against TSM rather than from Sven.
The game started off poorly when he was unable to get past Inori to save Hauntzer, and that move sacrificed his blue side jungle, negating the leash TSM had given him.
He found his way back into the game after a big teamfight bottom lane, coming in at the end to cut off P1's escape route into the jungle and give Hauntzer and Doublelift two more easy kills.
After this, Svenskeren was able to get a bit back into his old swing of things, playing around Bjergsen's winning lane and trying to snowball everywhere that wasn't Hauntzer's mess.
Still, Sven's play was sloppy and overconfident; he got caught out several times trying to ward past the river and the play was only salvaged because TSM committed to collapsing and outfought P1 even with a numbers disadvantage.
Game 2 was a complete turnaround as Svenskeren was back on pointe, helping his duo lane pick up a couple of kills on zig and playing forward aggressively.
He had an incredible fight in the jungle where he caught multiple fleeing members of P1 in the jungle with one body slam and helped his team pick up several more kills.
Svenskeren's mechanics were as precise as ever, but if it hadn't been for the teamfighting ability of TSM, Game 1 might have gone a lot worse for him.
Analysis: Trashy maintained his recent success on Rek'Sai in Game 1. Vitality took control of the early game, but a clutch Baron steal gave Splyce the pushing power they needed to turn the tide.
He was able to use his Unburrow to set up kills in the late game and finished with six assists while not dying.
In Game 2, Trashy used Elise and had decent success. He missed some cocoons throughout the game, but also landed them when he needed to.
He was killed to give away first blood, but was able to provide good crowd control late while his burst damage helped Splyce win teamfights.
Analysis: Wunder used Trundle in Game 1 and played well despite a rough start. He was solo killed in a close 1-vs-1 against Cabochard to give away first blood.
He didn't let it affect him too much, however, and transitioned into teamfights excellently. He used Subjugate throughout the game to steal resistances from Vitality members and used his pillar to stop his enemies from disengaging as Splyce took the upper hand in the mid game, finishing with a team high 7 assists.
Wunder used Irelia in Game 2 and was unkillable. He got off to a slow start, but picked up his first kill after Vitality secured the Baron as Splyce won the ensuing teamfight.
He was a monster late, diving onto the back line to chunk down Vitality carries and ended the game by picking up a double kill in the final teamfight.
Analysis: kaSing used Braum in Game 1 and had limited impact. He was able to pick up two assists early, during two separate gank plays by Vitality, using his ultimate to knock up members of Splyce for kills.
He was unable to really set up plays in the late game as Vitality fell off. He aggressively used his flash to land pinpoint bindings, but also sniped members of Splyce from range setting up kills.
Vitality again got off to a good start, but struggled in the mid and late game to close out the win, ending the day by being swept.
Analysis: Bjergsen continues to impress with his stellar play on a wide variety of mid lane champions. Despite five bans on mid lane champions in Game 2, Bjergsen still excelled, earning a KDA ratio of 28 and a kill participation of 85 percent.
In Game 1 the rest of TSM looked a little shaky, suffering from the overconfidence of facing the lowest ranked team in NA, but Bjergsen was as consistent as ever.
He turned the game around single-handedly, teleporting into the bottom lane to counter a double teleport play from P1, and arrived not only just in time to save Doublelift's life, but also landed a double bomb on all four members of P1.
Mash died immediately and everyone else was chunked out and scattered, the deadly play by the opposition falling apart.
Bjergsen picked up a triple kill on the backside, with the last kill going over to Doublelift. Bjergsen held his team together on multiple occasions, teleporting in later that game just in time to save Doublelift again, helping his AD Carry finish with a deathless record.
On the back end of the play Bjergsen converted more kills, knowing when he had to back away from the damage, but still coordinating perfectly with his team to send bombs forward on other members and find enemies to kill.
Game 2, Bjergsen was similarly everywhere, getting early ganks on zig with his Twisted Fate ultimate. He never let Pirean get the lane dominance P1 was relying on him to get, staying alive through ganks and avoiding Leblanc's skillshots.
In the end it was just another very clean, mechanically impressive game for Bjergsen. Analysis: In Game 1, Police used Sivir, but lacked major impact.
He was able to pick up an assist during a 4-vs-3 fight early in the bottom lane and grabbed his first kill with help from Shook in a 3-vs-2 fight.
He picked up his only other kill during the second teamfight, but lacked the late game impact Vitality needed to close the game.
In Game 2, he used Jhin and effectively used the champion's range. He was able to set up kills with his Deadly Flourish and used Curtain Call to both slow and snipe down members of Splyce.
Police lacked a major carry impact in either game as Vitality were beaten Analysis: Nukeduck played Viktor in Game 1 and struggled.
He managed no kills and only two assists as Vitality lost Game 1. Overall, he was un-impactful, lacking the burst damage Vitality needed to turn teamfights.
In Game 2, he played a little better on Karma. He showed excellent use of his flash and shields early in the game to avoid what looked like a certain death, turning with the help of Shook to pick up an assist on first blood.
He was able to pick up a kill onto Sencux during a five man turret dive in the mid lane and a second kill in the second teamfight of the game.
He used Inner Flame to poke down members of Splyce, but fell victim to a late game teamfight loss as Vitality were swept. Analysis: Shook used Elise in Game 1 and played well despite losing.
He picked up two early assists and use good cocoon accuracy to set up the kills. He picked up his lone kill in the game's first teamfight and fell off as Vitality lost the game.
In Game 2, he played well as Rek'sai. He had an excellent counter gank early in the mid lane, helping Nukeduck escape what looked to be certain death and turn it around to pick up first blood.
He was able to use his Unburrow well throughout the game to set up kills, but once again Vitality fell victim to a late game teamfight loss and were swept by Splyce.
Analysis: Cabochard attempted to carry Vitality in Game 1 on Olaf. He got off to a good start, solo killing Wunder to pick up first blood and using his teleport to flank in the bottom lane to secure another kill.
Vitality got out to a lead in Game 1, but lost control in the mid game. Cabo fell off as well, rushing into the back line of Splyce, but unable to pick up another kill after the early stages.
In Game 2, Cabochard played Gragas. This was another close game, and Cabochard was able to set up four kills using his Bodyslam and Explosive Cask. He picked up his lone kill using his ultimate to snipe a low health Mikyx.
Cabochard had low overall impact in this series and will need to be better if Vitality are to progress. Analysis: Doublelift finished with a KDA of 27 and a kill participation of 82 percent against Phoenix1.
While it was not the strongest performance from Doublelift this split, it was still two more impressive Lucian games to add to his record.
His deathless performance was in large part thanks to Bjergsen's Zilean in Game 1. In the big teamfight down bottom, Doublelift had been blown up before it even began, but Bjergsen arrived from mid lane just in the nick of time to save his life and turn the entire fight around.
Doublelift used the advantage from that fight to push hard in the bottom lane, which almost got him into trouble, but Biofrost was there to bail him out, as well as Svenskeren on occasion.
Doublelift has a very good eye for when to go all in, and he cracks down on an opportunity the second he spots it.
This led him to diving on Inori when he peeked into their Baron bait and the rest of TSM backed him up so quickly that Inori's Elise was not even able to Rappel before she died.
In Game 2, Doublelift was even more on point. He started off strong with a very tricky delayed lane swap, cutting P1 off in the middle of trying to take down bottom tower and setting both Mash and zig behind in CS.
It opened zig up for several ganks by both Bjergsen and Sven, furthering Doublelift's lead over Mash.
After that, it was just more of Doublelift's solid mechanics, giving him the confidence to flash forward into P1's fleeing team and pick up more and more kills, finishing Game 2 in a resounding manner and in under 30 minutes.
In Game 1 his Braum was mainly there to protect Doublelift, and he was always around when Doublelift was pushing far up the bottom lane, warding up the jungle and making sure that he couldn't be flanked.
He also worked as protection for the rest of the team, putting up his shield as they sieged turrets and using his ultimate to disengage the entirety of P1 when they were trying to chase them up the lane.
Game 2 Biofrost again put together a solid performance, helping Doublelift score multiple kills with his speed up. He made some questionable moves, such as maneuvering into the Ashe arrow barreling down the lane, despite having plenty of time to avoid.
He also walked with Svenskeren into a death brush and gave over two free kills to Phoenix. Despite those couple of misplays, Biofrost overall was a very valuable player, and hopefully will continue his performance going into the second half of the split.
Analysis: Vizicsacsi experienced some serious highs and lows in the series against Schalke, driving his team to victory in Game 1 and barely showing up in the stat line in Game 2.
In the first game, Viziscasci took Shen with the first pick and never looked back. He snagged an early kill with a bottom lane gank, built up to be an unstoppable tanking machine, and then helped completely turn the Baron fight at 23 minutes that decided the game.
This proved to be a regrettable choice, as Viziscasci made some aggressive gambles that didn't pay off, including a 1-vs-1 dive against Gnar in the bot lane where Viziscasci was thrown into his own pillar and stunned for the kill.
Analysis: Move leaned on Rek'Sai for both games of the series against Schalke, but only managed to find real success in the first game.
In Game 1, Move had the advantage of Viziscasci's Shen in the top lane, and their combined tankiness and disruption was enough to swing a number of teamfights in the Unicorns favor to give them a fairly easy win.
In Game 2, with Viziscasci falling behind on Trundle, Move was left as the only real frontliner and CC for his team and consistently struggled to make an impact.
Move's Game 2 may have been best exemplified by a late Baron fight, where he took a lot of care to set himself up for a perfect burrow into a Smite, only to get knocked out by Fox's Azir the moment he entered into the pit.
It wasn't so much that Move played poorly in Game 2, but it does seem that he struggled more as the sole engage for his squad.
Analysis: Exileh's Game 1 Viktor play looked phenomenal, as he took the inventor up against Fox's Cassiopeia and completely dominated. Exileh was consistently sniping out the squishier members of Schalke in teamfights, as well as using his ultimate to both disrupt his clumped-up opposition and chase down injured opponents for kills.
In Game 2, however, Unicorns of Love made two key banning decisions: choosing to ban out Viktor rather than risk Schalke taking him with the first pick, and not banning out Azir.
Fox snatched up the Azir early, pushing Exileh onto LeBlanc. The game started off well for Exileh as he started off with two early kills, but a series of positioning mistakes led to Exileh dying in a few unnecessary spots.
Meanwhile, Fox's Azir was controlling the game with both damage and CC, and Exileh struggled to live long enough to pick anyone off in the late game teamfights.
All these factors added up to a Game 2 loss for Unicorns of Love to split the series with Schalke. Analysis: Veritas failed to impress in either of UoL's games against Schalke, though he also rarely got himself into trouble.
The Unicorns did not need much from their ADC in this game, but the fact remains that Veritas was largely a non-factor in the win. In general, Veritas didn't put himself in a lot of undue risk, but also did very little to actually help UoL find the win.
Analysis: With Schalke banning out Bard in both games, Hylissang leaned on Nami with some mixed results for his team. Hylissang used the mermaid to great effect this game, combining his Tidal Wave initiation with a durable frontline of Vizicsacsi's Shen and Move's Rek'Sai to ensure that UoL found the fights they wanted.
In Game 2, Hylissang went back to the Nami, but the same plays just didn't seem to arrive. Schalke, and Gilius in particular, did a much better job of avoiding Nami's initiation attempts, and were able to snowball an early lead over UoL into a full game blowout.
This game was also influenced by Schalke's choice to ban out Shen, pushing Vizicsacsi onto Trundle, where he had a much worse game and was unable to be the tanky frontliner Hylissang needed to follow up on his CC.
In Game 1, Steve did make the poor decision to hang around near a second tier top lane turret as the entire Unicorns of Love squad closed in on him, resulting in his death as well as the loss of the turret.
That engagement helped get Unicorns of Love back into the game, giving them enough of an edge to swing the next Baron fight and eventually take the game.
Still, Steve was able to play conservatively and counter Vizicsacsi's aggression, including a 1-vs-1 kill where he negated Trundle's turret dive by going Mega Gnar and stunning the troll against his own pillar.
Schalke picked the Gnar very early in both games, leaving Steve open to counterpicks both times, but he still played well and held his own no matter how the rest of his team was faring.
Analysis: Gilius played a pair of excellent Elise games against the Unicorns of Love, though his performance was only enough to earn a split. This game also turned heavily on a failed Baron attempt around the 23 minute mark, but Gilius was largely rendered ineffective by the durable frontline of Vizicsacsi's Shen and Move's Rek'Sai.
Gilius was involved in 79 percent of his team's kills on the second map, with the pick potential of his cocoons combining with Fox's explosive damage to consistently neutralize dangerous targets.
Even in Schalke's loss, Gilius looked solid, showing that he is very comfortable taking Elise whenever he is given the opportunity. The pick looked to be starting strong, as Fox hung with the Viktor through the lane and even helped his team secure a double kill during a tower dive in the top lane.
However, after Exileh started racking up kills around the 20 minute mark, Fax simply fell behind and found his poke and counter engage to be much less effective in teamfights than his opponent's raw damage potential.
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