The LCS Championship is back with round one of the lower bracket. Cloud9 and Golden Guardians will be the next two teams to take to the stage. Who will come out on top?

Cloud9 will be looking to shake off the loss to Team Liquid quickly. The LCS MSS champions suffered a crushing 3-1 defeat to Team Liquid. As for Golden Guardians, being in the postseason is a great feat in itself considering their spring record. The winner of this contest will take on the loser of 100 Thieves vs Evil Geniuses.

Game one: Crisis? what crisis?

Cloud9 from the first draft opted out of the Viego obsession that was their downfall in the last series against Liquid. What was interesting in the draft of this game was Vulcan being able to play one of his signature champions in Thresh.

Game one was about as controlled as it could get in the early game for Cloud9. The LCS side played a smart and risk-aversive early game. While they are the overwhelming favorites, it is vital for C9 to ease their way into this series before becoming more adventurous. Given Cloud9’s recent history of missing Worlds, they do not want history to repeat itself. 

At the fifteen-minute mark, Cloud9 had just over a 500 gold lead with the teams being tied in dragons. The first action of the game saw Cloud9 take a huge lead in this game. A fight broke out in the mid lane which saw C9 turn in a clean five for nothing ace. Fudge on Tahm Kench was a menace in this fight with the C9 top laner ensuring no member on his side was seeing the grey screen. 

On the back of the Baron power play, Cloud9 was able to break open the base before the 25-minute mark. As the game reached the 25-minute mark, C9 had surmounted a 7k gold lead. Golden Guardians made a last-ditch effort, but it was not enough as C9 pushed in for the win and a 1-0 lead. 

Game two: C9 extends lead to 2-0

This game moved at a much quicker pace in comparison to game one. Cloud9 was able to secure two quick kills in the mid lane after a gank from Vulcan and Blaber helped C9 take the lead. This series had the feeling of a top-class team taking on a bottom team. Cloud9 didn’t exactly have to do much to win the game.

Just passing the ten-minute mark and C9 was creeping up on a 2k gold lead. Blaber has been aggressive on the Trundle, even getting a solo kill onto Iconic. This game was far from the cleanest game out of Cloud9. However, they were able to race out to a three-dragon lead at the 20-minute mark. 

After 21 minutes Cloud9 was able to take away the Baron for free without any contest on the side of Golden Guardians. With the Baron buff, C9 was able to enable Perkz to play comfortably in the sidelines with Ryze, a champion that is suited perfectly for the split pushing style. 

After securing the all-important ocean soul, Cloud9 became extremely difficult to kill. Perkz and Zven were able to pump out a ridiculous amount of damage on Ryze and Varus. It was the end of the road for Golden Guardians near the 30th minute. GGS attempted to start up the Baron but ended up losing all five members in the process. This allowed Cloud9 to march down the top and bottom lane simultaneously to secure the win and put themselves one win away from the next round. 

Game three: Cloud9 completes the sweep

In what could be their last draft of the season, Golden Guardians have decided they will go out swinging. GGS has drafted a wombo-combo of Miss Fortune, Orianna, and Wukong. Blaber in this game was able to play his signature Olaf, a champion he has dominated the league on for years. Golden Guardians were punished early with Zven and Vulcan picking up a solo kill onto Stixxay. 

For the third game in a row, the state of the game was pretty even. Around the ten-minute mark, the teams were tied at 2 kills apiece while also sharing a dragon each. This has been a common theme in this series, where the game starts off close but Cloud9 turns it up in the mid-game.

Similar to last night’s best-of-five between IMT and DIG. Golden Guardians had the lead in the dragons but were down over 2k gold as the mid-game fast approached. As predicted Cloud9 started to punish Golden Guardians with Blaber starting to become a huge problem for GGS. The game started to stagnate with the gold lead going from 4k to 2k. GGS was able to get a couple of picks onto members of Cloud9 and thus reduced the deficit in half. 

Just like in game two, Cloud9 was able to take full control of the game when Golden Guardians decided they would try to force the Baron. C9 ended up getting a kill onto Licorice on the flank, leaving GGS running for their base. With the Baron buff on, Cloud9 was able to push through to the base, take the nexus, and the clean 3-0 sweep. 

Cloud9 will now face the loser of 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses in the next round of the lower bracket. After that, Cloud9 would have to win another best-of-five if they are to qualify for the 2021 LoL World Championship.

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Jordan Marney -

Jordan Marney

| Twitter: @MarnMedia

Jordan "Marn" Marney is an esports journalist from across the pond. Marn specialises in telling stories about League of Legends and Call of Duty. Marn has been a passionate esports fan since 2014 and has written for publications Unikrn, Esports Network, ESTNN and The United Stand.