NA LCS Spring Split Finals Recap: CLG Complete the Repeat

As soon as the 2015 League of Legends World Championship completed, the biggest news in the world was Doublelift’s departure from CLG to their long-time rivals TSM. In his announcement video, Doublelift threw a CLG jersey in the trash. CLG got their revenge yesterday and defeated TSM in yet another finals. Sending Doublelift and the rest of North America a message. CLG earned their second straight North American title by beating TSM 3-2 this time around and will represent North America at MSI next month. Let’s take a look at how each game played out.


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Game 1

It is interesting to note that blue side won all 5 games of this series and CLG banned Azir and Maokai every game while TSM banned Soraka and Ryze every game.

The MVP of game 1 was the minions. Super minions poured into TSM’s base from the bottom lane as they tried to fight 5v5 around baron. The fight lasted long enough for the minions to destroy the nexus and earn CLG a 1-0 lead. Xmithie was on fire the first game and finished 6-2-8 on Kindred. He kept his team in the game throughout the mid game and outputted tons damage in the late game team fights. Huhi’s mid lane Ekko helped win a big mid game team fight by eliminating Doublelift’s Kindred off the rift and helped crack into the base and take an inhibitor. CLG ran TSM around the map and it earned them a victory due to TSM’s lack of wave control and poor decisions in the last dance around baron. Xmithie Kindred along with Bjergsen’s Corki (6-1-5) and Aprhomoo’s Morgana (0-2-11) were the good performers in game 1 while Svenskeren’s Nidalee (0-5-9) left much to be desired.


Game 2

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TSM decided to ban out the Kindred for game 2 and CLG decided to swap their Zed ban to a Nidalee ban despite Sven’s terrible game on that champion in game 1. Bjergsen switched over to a Lulu pick and the game was over after that. Game 2 was the most lopsided game of the entire series and was the only game that ended before the 30-minute mark. YellowStar and Doublelift dominated Stixxay and Aphromoo in game two and out-performed the CLG bottom lane handily. Bjergsen’s Lulu (5-1-7) was able to join in on team fights before Huhi and enable his team to win those fights with his shields and slows. Hauntzer’s Poppy (5-1-8) was also a force to be reckoned with and CLG could not cope with how well TSM’s team fights were throughout the game. TSM marched down the lanes and outplayed CLG across the map and evened up the series at one apiece.


Game 3

In game 3 CLG repeated their bans from game one (Zed, Azir, Maokai) while TSM stuck with their game 2 bans (Soraka, Ryze, Kindred). CLG picked up the same two solo laners as they had in game 1 and added in a Bard and Nidalee to complete the team comp with the Caitlyn. Bjergsen went to the LeBlanc in game 3 and didn’t have as great of a game as he expected to have. The Caitlyn and Bard lane for CLG was able to bully Doublelift this time around in lane and earn an advantage on the bottom side of the map. Darshan was a force once again on Poppy (5-3-11) and played a massive role in team fights. CLG controlled the map for the majority of the game as well as the objectives. They were always turrets ahead of TSM and picked up Dragons and Barons throughout the game. Great warding and map movements prevented TSM from getting the picks they needed to get back into the game and with a baron buff, CLG was able to drive home another win and take the 2-1 series lead.


Game 4

The bans in game 4 were focused on the top lane tanks and Huhi’s Ekko. Ekko was banned out by TSM while CLG switched a ban over to Poppy to prevent Hauntzer from getting his hands on it. Bjergsen once again found his way onto Lulu on the blue side and destroyed Huhi’s Twisted Fate. TSM once again won by a landslide and only handed over 2 kills the entire game. Stixxay’s Ezreal (2-1-0) could not compete with Doublelift’s Caitlyn pick in lane and ended up costing CLG in the mid game team fights. Xmithie debuted his Elise pick in the finals and it underperformed at an extreme level finishing 0-4-1. Svenskeren rebounded and had a great Nidalee game (4-1-8) and helped create a giant lead for TSM that couldn’t be overcome by CLG. Caitlyn had become the pick of the series and each team was going to look to early pick her in game 5. What TSM didn’t know was that CLG had the perfect plan and went with the ace up their sleeve.


Game 5

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It was only fitting that the final game for the championship was the longest and the closest. CLG went back to banning Nidalee and TSM banned out Poppy this time. Huhi picked up the Lulu and after letting TSM pick up Caitlyn, CLG decided to pick Tristana for Stixxay. The same Tristana was banned in 3 straight games in the semi-finals vs Team Liquid and failed to get going when they finally were able to bring it out. This game however, Xmithie and Aphromoo combined for a great lane gank on Yellowstar and got Stixxay the first blood and out to an early lead. With the Lulu in the mid lane to provide Stixxay with shields and speed boosts, he would have to be the man to lead CLG to the promise land. In the final fight, Stixxay was able to kite away from Hauntzer’s Gragas enough to kill him and start off his resets. He hopped around and picked up two more kills before he was able to run down the mid lane and bring home the title for his team. Stixxay finished the last game with almost 100 more CS than anybody else on his team and almost 3k more gold than anybody else in the game. Stixxay earned the finals MVP and helped CLG earned their second straight North American final.

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Congratulations to CLG on their 2016 North American LCS spring split championship. They now must refine their game even more as they will represent North America at MSI where they will face off against the other top teams from around the globe.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy