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Phoenix1 clinches 2017 LCS spot, Echo Fox or NRG will be relegated

The final promotion series will take place Sunday.

Riot Games

After a disastrous start to its first LCS split, Phoenix1 has accomplished its main goal: qualify for the next one. The team that started the split 0-9 completed their massive turnaround Saturday by defeating Echo Fox 3-0 and earning a place in the 2017 Spring Split.

Phoenix1 dominated in all three games, using proactive play led by jungler Rami “Inori” Charagh to set the pace of each game and earning the win.

Echo Fox defeated Team Liquid Academy in a dramatic five-game series in the first round of the promotion tournament Thursday. The team has one more chance to qualify for the 2017 Spring Split when it faces NRG Esports Sunday. The loser will be relegated to the Challenger Series.

In the first two games of the series, Phoenix1 was able to capitalize on small advantages to take objectives and wins. The first game took a little while to close out, with an explosive fight in Echo Fox’s base that nearly saw the game end.

Phoenix1 got two more kills off the back-end of this play, ending the game 13-7 in 47 minutes.

The second game was an even better example of Phoenix1 manufcaturing its lead. After gaining farming advantages in each lane, P1 emphasized dragons, earning three Cloud Drakes and using those to move around the map and make plays.

Phoenix1 won this game in 40 minutes, by a final score of 17-8.

P1 started the third game in similar fashion, building advantages in every lane thanks to Inori’s play on ganking jungler Elise.

This one ended in 33 minutes, with a final score of 19-8.

In December 2015, former NBA champion Rick Fox purchased Gravity Gaming’s NA LCS spot for a reported $1 million, naming his new organization Echo Fox. After finishing in seventh in the Spring regular season, safe from the promotion tournament, the team went 1-17 with 16 consecutive losses in the Summer Split and finished in last place.

Phoenix1 was a late addition to the roster of NA LCS teams this split, buying Team Impulse’s spot just weeks before the start of the season. After a horrid start to the season, the team was finally able to sub in Inori at the jungle position and vastly improved, becoming the only team to defeat TSM in the regular season and climbing up to eighth place.