Team Dignitas Crushes Cloud9’s NA LCS Summer Dreams

In the world of competitive League of Legends, playoffs are the stage upon which teams prove their greatest strengths and lay bare their most significant weaknesses.

In no series has this been truer than in the first match of the 2017 NA LCS Summer quarter-finals where Cloud9 played Team Dignitas with the latter walking away with a 3-1 victory.

Going into the series, their head-to-head record over the last year seemed to favour Cloud9, with Dignitas proving unable to walk away with a win from any of their previous meetings.

Cloud9 headed into the series on the back of a six-match winning streak, having had a very strong showing over the last few weeks. Their mid laner, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, also seemed to be in top form, posting truly exceptional stats (like an 8.7 KDA) at the end of the NA LCS Summer Split.

Team Dignitas, however, was not to be underestimated. Over the last few weeks, they showed truly impressive teamfighting abilities and demonstrated a newfound confidence, boldly make decisive Baron calls that other teams would not dare attempt.

In the first game of the series, Cloud9 looked to be unsure of how to deal with the power of Dignitas’s new bot lane duo of Johnny “Altec” Ru and Adrian “Adrian” Ma and struggled to answer the decisiveness the team’s macro-level shot-calling and vision control around Baron. For many, however, it was the performance of the Dignitas Jungler, Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-

For many, however, it was the performance of the Dignitas Jungler, Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon on Jarvan IV, that carried the game with exceptional pressure and objective control.

The same proved true for Game 2 of the series, where Shrimp’s jungle Nunu managed to keep a tight hold of early objectives. This allowed Altec on Twitch and mid-laner, Jang “Keane” Lae-young, to hit key item thresholds and carry the game.

Cloud 9 showed some signs of life and managed to claw a win back in Game 3 with an exceptionally strong showing from Jensen on Lucian. However, the decisive Game 4 proved to be a game that highlighted both teams’ strengths and weaknesses in the current metagame and underscored problems that they had throughout the series.

The much-awaited matchup between Cloud 9’s Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Dignitas’s Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, saw the former winning the lane match-up and being allocated significantly more resources by his team. This meant that he was often ahead in gold but proved to be much less effective than Ssumday’s Maokai in late-game team fights.

Cloud9’s carries continue to be vulnerable to mispositioning and Dignitas was able to stall out a game where they had lost all three inhibitors, due largely to C9’s Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi being caught out of position pushing for the nexus turrets.

While it was arguably Sneaky’s performance in teamfights that got Cloud9 that far in the game, minor mechanical errors continue to be the bane of Cloud 9.

Fights were decided entirely by Altec’s death, hinging on Cloud9 finding the right engage and getting rid of the threat early. However, when Dignitas could protect their carry or successfully or bait out key cooldowns from Cloud9, the team’s new AD was able to outshine his contemporaries and push his team to victory.

Looking back, Dignitas was able to carefully consider their win-conditions and play a patient game that highlighted their strengths. DIG will go on to play either Immortals or Team SoloMid in the NA LCS semi-finals next week, while Cloud 9 will have to try to keep their World Championship hopes alive in the Gauntlet.