NALCS Regional Qualifier 2018 Day Two
Echo Fox vs Team SoloMid
The Regional Qualifier marched on from the dominant three game series Echo Fox was able to pull out, and into a new series. Echo Fox, the troublesome tilters, were set to face off against Team SoloMid, the only team not to have missed a World Championships in the world. With all the hype around the series between these two, a replay of the Quarterfinals all eyes would be on a match of this magnitude. Surely, this series would be a good one. There was no way it could end in a three game stomp right?
Both teams came out of the gate in the draft with something to prove. Both were able to secure picks that were strong. No one side seemed too overpowered from the draft. Echo Fox was able to get a pick for Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett that was aggressive, one that could camp for Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. The aggressive pick for Dardoch was enough to upset the midlane early and he killed Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg in the middle lane only six minutes into the game.
The superior team fighting composition Echo Fox possessed was unable to fight through the skill and coordination on Team SoloMid’s side. Echo Fox was able to set up for fights well, but did not execute properly and died often because of that. There was not much more that Echo Fox could have done once they began losing the fights. Bjergsen was able to dish out tons of damage on his best pick, Syndra. A massive team fight around the Baron pit was able to secure the Baron for TSM. In addition to the Baron secure, Team SoloMid won the ensuing fight and marched into Echo Fox’s base.
From the draft phase on, this game was very interesting. Team SoloMid put Bjergsen on Vel’Koz and Echo Fox had to change up their bottom lane. The decision to put Bjergsen on Vel’Koz against Echo Fox’s mid lane Syndra was a smart one. Syndra does not have tools to escape the numerous crowd control abilities that Vel’Koz has. This makes her a vulnerable target to ganks and solo-kills.
However, the game started off with a bang, as the jungle-support duo of Dardoch and Andy “Smoothie” Ta was able to secure first blood onto TSM’s jungler, Jonathan “Grig” Armao. This resulted in a skewed jungle match up seemingly in Echo Fox’s favor. The skill possessed by Team SoloMid once again, however, was too much for Echo Fox. At a point twelve minutes into the game, the top lane was 30cs up in favor of TSM, the jungle was 33cs in TSM’s favor. At the same time, both midlane and the bottom lane were 10cs in the favor of Team SoloMid. The sheer amount of crowd control from TSM’s side of the map was enough to thwart most advances from Echo Fox. A pair of superior team fight wins were enough to secure the Baron and the game in TSM’s favor.
The third game of the series looked desperate from Echo Fox. The fact that they drafted a team that was severely snowballed was enough to raise questions about the composition. The draft questions were coupled with the execution and win condition of Echo Fox’s composition. Echo Fox’s team was meant to split-push to win. This is evidenced by the Rumble in the top lane backed up by the Camille in the jungle. The idea would be that Huni would push out the lanes so that someone would come and contest him. From there, Dardoch on Camille would be a screen away engaging onto the person who stepped up to contest, making it a 2v1. If no one answered the push from Huni, Echo Fox would get towers.
Unfortunately, Team SoloMid did not let Echo Fox execute the game plan effectively. TSM knew how to draw out a split-pushing team and crush them with superior team fighting. When it came to a honest team fight, it was Team SoloMid that came out on top a majority of the fights. The only hope for success for Echo Fox was the fights they were winning in the mid-game that were isolated TSM players getting caught out of position. When a true team fight broke out, Echo Fox’s composition could not withstand.
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