Evil Geniuses, Cloud9 advance to semis at LCS Lock-In

The LCS Lock-In Tournament quarterfinals wrapped up on Sunday with Evil Geniuses and Cloud9 punching their respective tickets to the semifinals.

Evil Geniuses (4-0) made quick work of Golden Guardians (1-3) in a 2-0 sweep to advance to the next round, while Cloud9 (3-1) beat Counter Logic Gamiung (2-2), winning a tough matchup 2-1.

Game 1 started with Evil Geniuses putting newly acquired jungler and 2021 LEC Summer MVP Kacper “Inspired” Sloma on Olaf and late-invading for him to start with three buffs. Inspired would continue growing stronger until he could snowball EG’s other lanes, leading to a nigh unstoppable mid-game for the last undefeated team left in the tournament. By the time bot lane sensation Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki’s Senna picked up a pentakill after EG secured the Infernal Soul, EG was raking in kills and objectives as it took Game 1 with ease.

Evil Geniuses went from strength to strength in Game 2, playing through Inspired’s Xin Zhao, who in turn snowballed the rest of EG. Golden Guardians found some good engages with their teamfighting-oriented composition, but they were too far behind in gold to convert those engages into teamfight wins. With multiple threats at every level, Evil Geniuses cruised to a 27-minute win to take the series sweep.

EG moves on to face Cloud9, which on Sunday dominated the top side of the map during its Game 1 by putting CLG top laner Thomas “Jenkins” Tran on Gangplank, a comfort pick of his that’s easily exploitable early on. Repeated pressure topside caused C9 to snowball early, preventing CLG’s potent bot lane from finding their footing and eventually leading to a 31-minute win.

In Game 2, though, CLG’s bot lane would not be denied. Bot lane import Fatih “Luger” Guven came up big as Jinx, positioning well to avoid Cloud9’s potent all-in while dealing massive damage en route to a 7-2-7 KDA (kills-deaths-assists ratio) for 74 percent kill participation. While Cloud9 would fight hard in the late game, they couldn’t turn the tides, leading to a 36-minute CLG win.

Game 3 went back in Cloud9’s favor in a big way, starting with academy top laner Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya getting an early advantage as Akshan. With Darshan dominating the top side of the map, CLG was unable to find any engage against C9’s defensive team composition, making it hard for Luger to carry as Ezreal. In the end, Cloud9 was too much for CLG to overcome as C9 took Game 3 and the series in 29 minutes.

The Lock-In Tournament had teams divided into two groups by the Summer 2021 finalists: 100 Thieves and Team Liquid. The top four teams from each group made the playoffs, which is an eight-team single-elimination bracket. Quarterfinals are best-of-three, whereas semifinals and the Grand Finals are best-of-five.

The Lock-In Tournament continues next week with two best-of-five semifinal matchups:
Evil Geniuses vs. Cloud9 (Friday)
Team Liquid vs. Dignitas (Saturday)

–Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media

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