Counter Logic Gaming defeated Phoenix1 on Sunday with a 2-1 series win during Week 3, Day 3 of the North American League Championship Series in Los Angeles.
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The series started with a slightly less than standard draft, with both teams banning out the majority of the power picks and opting for slightly less conventional champions. Notably, Counter Logic Gaming (5-1, 11-6 match record) opted to put support Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black on Morgana while Phoenix1 (0-6, 4-12 match record) favored Jayce for top laner Derek “zig” Shao. After a rather quiet early game, CLG top laner Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaha showed up huge on Kennen, hitting a five-man Slicing Maelstrom that stunned all of P1 for a 19-minute CLG ace. In doing so, CLG found its first lead in the game and never slowed down, finding several picks from mid laner Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun ‘s Ahri and AD carry Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes’ Ashe to close out Game 1 in just 35 minutes.
Game 2 saw CLG gifted three power picks in Galio, Rakan, and Xayah, while Phoenix1 opted to give rookie jungler Mike “MikeYeung” Yeung Nidalee. P1’s faith in its young jungler paid off with MikeYeung picking up first blood onto Huhi’s Lucian in an early skirmish. Phoenix1 kept up the pace as MikeYeung repeatedly ganked Darshan’s Galio, snowballing zig’s Renekton ahead despite having died earlier in a 1-vs-1. Up against a team with little wave clear, Phoenix1 constantly pushed waves and claimed objectives, choking CLG out of the game and never allowing it to recover. With mid laner Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook hitting a massive Petrifying Gaze as Cassiopeia in late teamfights, Phoenix1 picked up an Elder Dragon and closed out the game in just under 39 minutes, bringing the series to Game 3.
The final game saw a more standard draft from both teams, with Phoenix1 opting to deny Lee Sin from CLG jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnet while Counter Logic Gaming heavily focused P1 AD carry No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon’s champion pool. In yet another aggressive early game, Darshan picked up two quick kills on Fiora to earn a lead for CLG, but MikeYeung quickly responded by moving around the map to earn a map-wide advantage for P1. Moving into the late game with strong teamplay, Phoenix1 maintained a large gold lead for the majority of the game. This stayed true until 34-minutes, when an excellent engage from aphromoo’s Braum shattered Phoenix1 and gave CLG an ace and a Baron kill. Off the back of that play, CLG gathered its forces and came storming back in the game, winning a final fight at 34-minutes to close out the game and secure the 2-1 series victory.