Eight teams entered the 2022 LCS Lock In quarterfinals in an attempt to prove themselves before the 2022 Spring Split. Cloud9 took down Counter Logic Gaming 2-1 in the last quarterfinal match today, officially setting the semifinals stage of the League of Legends competition.
In the first three-game series of the LCS Lock In, C9 bounced back from a small deficit to reaffirm their status as the multi-time LCS champions. CLG found optimal opportunities to tear down C9 through their bot lane in Luger and Poome, though action across the map and varying draft choices made winning through bot only not a useful strategy to win this series.
While Luger and Poome maintained a solid lead in the bot lane, Blaber was making his presence known in all other areas of the map. Between ganks and objective secures, C9’s jungler made it clear early on in game one that the small lead CLG was accruing in the bot lane would not result in much success for the team. Within 15 minutes, Darshan and Blaber had killed Jenkins six times, simultaneously creating two tanky monsters for the rest of CLG to overcome.
Corki’s meta prevalence again became one of the biggest factors in C9’s 2-0 victory in this series. After Fudge ran over the entirety of CLG with Corki in game one, throwing out long-distance rockets to melt the enemy carries, the champion was immediately placed on the bench in the next pick/ban phase. In Corki’s place were both Vex and Akshan, joining Viego and Gwen to make game two showcase all four League champions released in 2021.
During game two, CLG aimed to identify and resolve some of the mistakes they made in the first game, and they succeeded. An early bot lane lead snowballed into multiple teamfight victories prioritizing ultimates from Palafox and Contractz, giving their top laner Jenkins the room to get ahead that he lacked in game one. Two Barons later, game two remained in complete control of CLG, leaving very little room for C9 to fight back.
Though Darshan failed to find his footing on Akshan in game two, game three was where he finally had the opportunity to display the effects of the textbook-length descriptions on the Rogue Sentinel’s abilities. Jinx was also handed over to the C9 squad despite being wide open for Luger to get his hands on, especially after two games where he had performed well with the pick. With a better understanding of their possible removal from the Lock In right in their faces, C9 used their amended composition to maintain a lead on CLG throughout the entire game. With an over 10,000 gold lead in tow, C9 secured one final Baron, triumphed down the bottom lane, and secured their spot in the 2022 LCS Lock In semifinals.
C9 now advance to face Evil Geniuses on Saturday in a best-of-five series to determine which team ventures to the Lock In finals. The day before, Team Liquid and Dignitas will fight for the other coveted spot in the finals. This is also not the expected roster for C9 to venture into the 2022 Spring Split. Players and new head coach LS have faced visa issues, resulting in this combination of academy and mainstays on this C9 squad in the Lock In. The 2022 LCS Lock In finals will take place on Jan. 30.
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