What a day for North American and European fans of League of Legends! Yesterday, Cloud 9 and Fnatic triumphed over Alfreeca Freecs and EDward Gaming, effectively leaving only one Asian team, Invictus Gaming, in the semi-finals.
For years, South Korean and Chinese teams have dominated western teams on the World’s stage. Yesterday’s matches led many of the analysts to discuss the idea of the “gap” closing between the west and the east. Given the definitive fashion in which the two western teams won, it’s hard to ignore that this idea may in fact be true. Again, the quarterfinals are a best of 5 series, making the C9 and Fnatic wins not merely lucky flukes. C9 went 3-0 against South Korea’s Alfreeca Freecs while Fnatic went 3-1 over EDward Gaming definitively proving which were the superior teams.
Here’s a closer look at the C9 vs. Alfreeca Freecs matches with Game 3 having one of the most epic baron steals in the history of League of Legends.
Cloud 9 vs. Alfreeca Freecs Game 1
In the first match of the day, the entire C9 team had an amazing performance. Their jungle, Svenskeren on Xin Zhao managed to help get his midlaner Jensen on Le Blanc rolling with an early first blood. From there, Jensen started making clutch assassinations on numerous members of the Alfreeca Freecs earning him the MVP for the game. Licorice picked Aatrox top and was countered by Kiin’s Viktor mitigating his impact on the game. This wasn’t much of a setback for C9 as Sneaky did a great job bot lane comboing his Lucian with Zeyzal’s Braum. The game was a clean win for C9 with them holding a consistent gold advantage from the get go.
Cloud 9 vs. Alfreeca Freecs Game 2
Things looked better for Alfreeca Freecs in the second game with the Viktor pick coming out again by Kiin in the top lane. This time around, Kiin completely decimated Licorice’s Aatrox pushing into a 0/4/0 KDA midway into the game. C9’s other solo lane, Jensen mid, wasn’t doing so great either on Ahri. With the nonstop pressure top and mid were getting from Alfreeca’s jungler Mowgli, Sneaky was able to farm up a big pile of gold mostly unimpeded in the bot lane. When the laning phase ended, Sneaky came out strong dealing massive damage to Alfreeca Freecs in a couple of skirmishes. After once such fight, he was able to pick off Mowgli and their midlaner, giving them a good chance at baron. Not only did the attempt succeed, but they managed to clean the remaining three members of Alfreeca Freecs and push directly onto the nexus.
Cloud 9 vs. Alfreeca Freecs Game 3
Game 3 was a climactic finish to this series having the single most clutch play of the tournament so far. Most of the game Alfreeca Freecs had a lead in kills, but somehow still had less gold due to not being able to secure towers or farm as well as C9. Everything went crazy after Alfreeca Freecs won a skirmish around the dragon pit which they tried to turn into a baron as well. At this point, 5 members of their team is alive while only 2 of C9’s remain – Jensen on Lissandra and Licorice on Ornn. Despite the huge numbers disadvantage, the two sole surviving members of C9 manage to disrupt the attempt with Licorice somehow stealing the baron with a single autoattack!
After 3 amazing matches, C9 is heading to the semifinals, making them the first North American team to do so in 7 years! After such a great performance against Alfreeca Freecs, these guys might actually have a chance at doing the unthinkable – grab the championship cup. If so, they would become the first ever NA team to win Worlds.
The semifinals start next weekend where we’ll have an epic NA vs. EU showdown match between C9 and Fnatic to see who goes on to the finals.
Featured Image Source: Rivalry