NA LCS Playoffs: Jensen Shines as Cloud 9 Advances to Semis

The 2016 North American LCS summer split playoffs got underway today with the 3rd seeded, Cloud 9, taking on the 6th seeded, Team EnVyUs. Cloud 9 had played well the entire split after picking up Impact from NRG in the off-season as well as having Meteos return to the squad from his retirement home. Smoothie also earned his starting support position by outperforming BunnyFufu the first couple of weeks of the season. EnVyUs were a brand new team coming into the summer split and picked up the pieces left from Renegades and made the playoffs in their debut season. Cloud 9 were heavy favorites going into today’s matchup, let’s take a look at how it went down.

Game 1 : The Bump in the Road

Cloud 9 drafted a pick oriented composition with Ashe and Syndra being able to land long distance crowd control on enemies to start fights. Jensen’s Syndra performed well in lane and in the early game and finished with 9 kills, but was not enough to defeat EnVyUs in the late game team fights. Seraph’s Kennen and Ninja’s Lissandra were able to cause enough disruption for Cloud 9’s carries while their frontline perished to LOD’s Sivir. LOD finished 9-1-8 on Sivir and avoided death in the late game team fights to secure turrets and eventually the nexus. Cloud 9 could not convert their early game lead into a win and EnVyUs proved that they didn’t luck their way into the playoffs. Cloud 9 held a 5.6k gold lead at 40 minutes and 7 minutes later they were down 1.7k gold and a game in the opening playoff series.

Game 2: The Start of the Jensen Takeover

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Game 2 was Cloud 9’s from start to finish. They held a gold lead from the 3 minutes mark until the game ended at 38 minutes. Jensen once again picked Syndra and was able to really dominate with a little help from his friends. Meteos was able to successfully gank Ninja’s Lissandra in the mid lane a little bit after the 4-minute mark and earn first blood. Ninja never fully recovered as he fell behind Jensen in every aspect of the game. For comparison, Jensen was able to complete 3 items and upgrade his boots in just under 22 minutes. Ninja didn’t meet that bar until the 32-minute mark. At that point, Jensen already had his fifth item and was looking to complete his sixth. Jensen racked up 14 kills while Meteos had a respectable 4-1-9 scoreline on Rek’Sai. Sneaky also played well as he and Smoothie outperformed EnVyUs’s bottom lane. Cloud 9 methodically moved around the map and picked apart the EnVy base and evened up the series at one game apiece.

Game 3: The Bottom Lane Disaster

EnVyUs lost game 3 and they lost it before the 3-minute mark even hit. Jensen was forced onto a different pick after EnVyUs banned Syndra away from him, but the game revolved around Sneaky and Smoothie in the bottom lane for Cloud 9. LOD and Hakuho, who were playing Ashe and Thresh respectively, engaged in a 2v2 battle at level 2 and came out wondering where it all went wrong. Sneaky earned himself a double kill on Jihn and didn’t even have to use Flash. A couple of ganks from Meteos and Jensen snowballed the bottom lane lead into an insurmountable advantage. EnVyUs tried to gain an advantage in the top lane while their bottom lane suffered, but even that failed as Impact traded kills while others attempted to gank him. Cloud 9 abused their lead early and often and were able to wrap up the game in just 25 minutes. EnVyUs only managed to get 2 kills and knock down 1 turret. Meteos (3-0-6), Jensen (4-0-4), Sneaky (5-0-7), and Smoothie (1-0-9) went deathless as Cloud 9 cruised in the most one-sided game of the series.

Game 4: The Dagger and the Record Setter

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Down 2-1 in the series and with their playoff life on the line, EnVyUs decided to bring out a pocket pick with Ninja picking Pantheon mid. The Pantheon was picked to counter the LeBlanc chosen by Jensen, but it did no such thing. A well timed gank by Procxin’s Lee Sin earned EnVyUs first blood at Jensen’s expense, but that was the last thing EnVy were able to gain. With a 1.5k gold lead at 6 minutes, EnVyUs looked to snowball their lead even further with a huge play bottom lane, but the play backfired as Cloud 9 aced EnVy and Jensen was able to pick up three early kills. Jensen was able to pick up 6 more kills on Leblanc by the 12-minute mark and EnVy’s gold lead was a thing of the past. Jensen earned himself a 17 kill streak and finished with 20 kills in under 27 minutes when the EnVy’s nexus exploded along with their season. Jensen set an LCS playoff record for kills in a game and sent Cloud 9 to the semifinals where they will meet up with the second-seeded Immortals squad. Cloud 9 will look to keep their momentum rolling, but they will have an extremely tough task ahead of them. For all of Jensen’s highlights in his record-setting performance, check out the video below. CLG and Team Liquid face off in tomorrow’s playoff matchup to determine who will face TSM in the semifinals.

 

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy