Today was chock-full of brutal, heated fights, no teams letting up the pressure. Moving on, you may have expected more cautious play, but we here at LoreHound are happy to report: that was certainly not the case. The anticipation prior was intense and it only made the awesome matches even more heart-pounding, the crowd either baited breathe or cheering constantly.
So, with that in mind, here is the match-by-match for Day 2 at SWC, brought to you by LoreHound:
Titan vs. We Love Bacon (2-0)
Game #1: Even game, with hopes for We Love Bacon, showing that even though they may be newer to the scene, they are a force to be reckoned with. Around the twenty minute mark Titan finally asserted themselves in the team fights giving them the needed advantage, turning the tides from We Love Bacon to Titan. Within minutes Titan lands the first Fire Giant and executes essential rotations throughout, getting them up 5k gold and a tier one tower. With Titans’ change in pace built slowly on their later game advantage and decisively ended the match at the 27 minute mark, 25-16 in a very even game.
Game #2: First Blood goes to Titan in less than half a minute, certainly more aggressive off the bat, changing up their slow early game for a much more momentum-based play, building their confidence against We Love Bacon. Focus for both teams turn to the left lane and jungle, resulting in many small skirmishes, Titan taking most dominance, but We Love Bacon making strong attacks. Osiris wandering in the jungle looking for early ganks, landing it one, securing both harpies for his team, giving a very decisive lead in XP really early into the game. Ymir takes a peek in the jungle and succeeds in a kill, actually eliciting a small team-fight near the Gold Fury, Titan taking the gold. By the 8 minute mark Titan is already up 5.5k in gold and a decent mark in XP. We Love Bacon’s chances dim, losing 7 to 0, unlikely to make up the deficit. This second game definitely feeling less even and more like domination. The rest of the match goes in a progressively steeper ramp in favor of Titan, not letting up on pressure, turning all of Bacon’s tier one towers into rubble. At seventeen minutes We Love Bacon gets demolished in a team fight, giving the Fire Giant to Titan, who destroys the three phoenix before making a retreat to recuperate. In Titan’s final push We Love Bacon made an amazing defense against Titan, given how much they were down, making sure not to stack up, and keep enough pressure to hold them, however, Titan already had the game and they aptly ended it with their flawless momentum, 27-3.
OMG vs. Cognitive Red (0-2)
Game #1: Oh My God once again favors their early game, making sure to also pick up extra heal support and rolls out with a Fenrir, Chaac, Hel and Ares team composition. COG Red with their typical early game aggression successfully crushing three members of OMG within two minutes. Red’s mobility certainly gave them the advantage throughout the match, allowing them to dodge and overcome God’s heavy ward-play. A quarter into the match Red remains on top 8 to 0 and 3k gold up keeping up agitation and pressure. In this game, it becomes apparent that Red’s experience and OMG’s lack there-of really shows in the end. Almost disgustingly well executed by DaGarz’s Thor plays utilizing expert timing, ultimates and roaming. Cognitive Red keeps up their domination, towers down, they land the Fire Giant and pushes for the final kill, barely thwarted by a team fight. Not to worry, for Cognitive anyways, despite the stalemate they finished the match around the 19 mark.
Game #2: Oh My God allows DaGarz to secure Thor again, a bad omen if there was one. Game starts out more even, but before long Red picks up their aggressive play back by DaGarz’s still impressive Thor play. Red’s team synergy and experience gains them a similar advantage to the game prior, apparent around the 5 minutes mark. 12 minutes in and 17k up in XP, Red shows no signs of letting up, leading to two deicides (full team wipes) giving them a staggering lead. God’s inexperience is open to rectification by CoG Red, and after God’s third deicide the path was paved for Red’s victory. The highest kill count the entire tournament coming in at 40-8 in favor of Cognitive Red.
Patrick’s Note: “Cognitive Red hadnât lost a series in competition in months coming into the #SWC. Many felt that their loss to SK Gaming in the winner bracket would shake the teamâs morale. This blogger was not one of them. If itâs possible Red began asserting itself as early as the drafting phase. Throughout the series Oh My God allowed DaGarz to select Thor, his favorite god, rather than ban him. In game 1 his dominating play allowed Red to overcome the healing threat from OMG. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it was the strategy Cognitive Red went for. Team execution and well-timed switches kept Red handily in control of the map for both games. DaGarz, the clear MVP of the quarterfinals, lead his team to multiple deicides and the most team kills of the tournament in game 2 at 40 OMG deaths.Oh my Godâs loss leaves the rest of the tournament as EU versus NA and sets up the highly anticipated Cognitive Red versus Cognitive Prime in the semifinals, a rematch of the NA Championship.”
— Lore Hound (@LoreHound) January 10, 2015
SK Gaming vs. Titan (0-2) Game #1: The semifinals begin with an excited pairing of EU vs. EU. They know each other well, so cautious is the game. This is definitely the case five minutes in and still no First Blood and almost no difference in gold. Lots of attempted kills, but perfect retreats ensure that the match remains even on both counts. Calculating risks the teams engage in just under 10 minutes, including the first blood, 2 deaths for Titan and 4 for SKG; but ultimately it comes as a Pyrrhic Victory for Titan as they are unable to turn and kill the harpy. Many roaming and roving battles, with a lack of interest in the lanes, trying to retain control of the jungle. Titan slowly creeps to the lead, up 3k gold and leading with one more kill than SK. Titan creates a small level advantage by winning the massive team fight over the Gold Fury. In their momentum Titan grabs the first tower and then mid’s tier 2 tower, racking up the kill of an out-of-place Kali. Very intense, tight game but Titan continues their slow lead. One team fight puts Titan in the significant gold advantage and shortly after a second team fight puts both teams down by two members, but Titan’s remaining, still healthy, take on the Fire Giant with ease. The Kill/Death game was close (10-12 Titan), however the 12k gold lead by Titan and their late-game map control puts them in a unarguable lead. Another team fight, and SK-G’s deicide allows Titan to drop two phoenix and sparks another team fight near the Fire Giant, Titan securing the kill and regrouping to rush for the win. Game#2: SK Sticks with a similar Kali pick, seemingly unproductive last game, hoping for more success this time round. Nox and Ra mid spell good potential for laning this game. Kali is sacrificed for the first blood, going to Titan just under five minutes. Early skirmishes with only the first blood giving any advantage. Eight minutes it the teams remain even, and advantage is unclear other than the first blood and a small gold lead by Titan. Nox destroys the mid-lane, taking control from Ra, however, despite SK’s great rotations Titan capitalize on their few mistakes. Great walls and support play by KanyeLife leading into the 12 minute mark, and earn Titan the first Gold Fury. Titan maintains their small lead, winning the small fights, map control and team alike. SK makes a promising return with a Gold Fury reset and two kills. A late game team fight gave Titan their missed Gold Fury. Titan with the clear advantage now, leading in XP and a 10k gold surplus continued into one more team fight for the Fire Giant, securing Titan’s place in the first finals position.
— Lore Hound (@LoreHound) January 10, 2015
CoG Prime vs. CoG Red:
Game #1/2/3: For a bit of background, Prime and Red, the sister teams, fought before in the North American Championship, resulting in a surprising win by the minor group: Cognitive Red. This game was much anticipated, and those who attended today definitely felt the tension and excitement in the air for this much-desired rematch between the North American giants. Game #1 and Game #2 were very similar in action: Mind games on both sides with the picking, a little playful back-and-forth between teams who know each other so well and scrimmage regularly. These games were fast and highly lethal for both sides, quick plays and probably the best games of the entire season.
Game #1: Prime picked Thor to contain DaGarz, who ended up going Serqet. DaGarz got his sweet revenge by earning First Blood on Andinster (Thor) within the first minute. An unexpectedly aggressive match between the two teams. Red takes the early lead with up 3 to 1 and 1k gold. Prime with an excellent team fight coming in just under 6 minutes to even the score and close the gold-gap a bit. Further in opens up to a more cautious play, and up 1k gold for Red. Prime begins asserting itself in team fights at 14 minutes with better decisions, yet remains behind in gold by 1.8k, ahead in kills 10-7. Prime retakes gold lead and gets ahead in with a solid amount of XP. Red ever so slightly pulls ahead in a team fight around 31 minutes with a fearless Herc play against MLCSt3alth. Nearing the end the game is close but Red maintains the obvious advantage. Once again any team fight can dramatically swing this game which Red wins with a deicide to Prime, using that to push for the win with only seconds left on Prime’s respawn.
Game #2: Very even 3 to 3 within the first five minutes. Opens up much like the first game with high lethality and roaming: Nox’s dominating damage from solo lane play and Prime asserting themselves with more aggressive play than before opens up the idea of a different result than last game. Excellent mid/jungle team fight by Prime earns them the second Gold Fury at 11 minutes and with a 9-5 lead, 5k gold up. Nox’s pick very much pays off giving them the clear advantage in team fights. Prime continues to push lanes and initiate the team fights: 12-7 kill lead. Two tower trades, but Prime still remains on top with momentum and strength. Prime strings multiple team fights together to extend their advantage to high marks leaving Red at a heavy deficit. Prime goes for the kill shot and gets stumped by Athena. Red then pursues for additional kills to earn Gold Fury taps to heal and then capitalizes on the Fire Giant. Red wins the next team fights that spans the whole map and returns the phoenix favor. A late but promising comeback by Red is shutdown by Prime after coming within striking distance and with that Red took the hit and lost, opening the way for the match three.
Game #3: Long winded and back-and-forth, this game broke the mold. Red’s poor rotation cost them the early lead and lots of map control, but not so bad in the kill-department, 1-1. Team fights begin to pick up with a little less aggression then last game, both teams getting more cautious coming so close to the finals. The fights mostly go the Prime. 15 minutes in and aggressive plays by Red trying to go for Gold Fury initiates a teamfight which ends in a triple kill for CoG Prime. Prime begin to pick up some serious pace, Stealth Serqet wrecking the playing field. With a clear advantage in favor of Prime and the disadvantage of Red, Prime enforces strength and dominates the battlefield. Nearing the end, and at such a devastating lack in gold, xp and kills Cognitive Red begin to show defeat on camera, refraining from challenging Gold Fury and Fire Giant, Prime taking them without resistance. The final rush comes at 23 minutes with a solid Red defense at phoenix, however a quick regroup and recharge Prime takes the win and progresses to the finals.
— Lore Hound (@LoreHound) January 11, 2015