Update, 4/2: If you’re looking for updates on the second series between these two teams, click here.
Challenger Series team Gold Coin United made it one step closer to the NA LCS, defeating last place LCS finisher Team Envy three games to one in the first round of the Summer Promotion Tournament. Gold Coin United grabbed early control against Team Envy’s split push comp, and slowly used their lead to close out the game effectively and safely.
Game two was the most notable outlier for the series as it went Team Envy’s way — the only game in the series to do so. It was strongly reminiscent of some of Envy’s best LCS games from the previous split; they grabbed an early gold lead and snowballed that into some objectives giving them control of the game and allowing them to force neutral objective fights that they were able to win.
Games three and four however, were all GCU as the Challenger side managed small leads in the early game, despite purposefully choosing team compositions that catered to their late game style, effectively giving Envy no route back into the game. With these two games going their way, Gold Coin United, came out of their first Promotion Tournament match victorious.
Both teams will play again tomorrow, one for entry into the NA LCS and the other to keep their LCS dreams alive.
10:09 pm ET — It looks like the Baron pit disaster wasn’t such a disaster, only a couple minutes later Gold Coin United advance down the bottom lane and push into the Team Envy base finishing the game while Envy is powerless to stop them.
10:05 pm ET — 32 minutes in and Envy catch a break as they catch three members of GCU at the Baron pit, but still can’t bring the gold lead any closer than a 4k advantage for GCU.
9:50 pm ET — 16 minutes in and GCU have a gold lead — around 2k — and have a 4-2 kill lead, with first tower and Drake. Team Envy seem slightly behind on almost every play so far in Game 4.
9:35 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 4
Gold Coin United: Nautilus, Rengar, Leblanc, Varus, Zyra
Bans: Ziggs, Malzahar, Elise, Nidalee, Ahri
Team Envy: Renekton, Lee Sin, Vladimir, Ashe, Karma
Bans: Camille, Graves, Rumble, Cassiopeia, Orianna
This lineup for Gold Coin is built around how well Nautilus worked for them last game. They have surrounded him with a huge amount of damage that they hope will be enough to stave off Team Envy’s strong team fight comp.
9:15 pm ET — that Elder Dragon fight led to an insurmountable lead for the unkillable GCU frontline, which they use to immediately push down the bottom lane tier two and into the base, taking the inhibitor before moving onto the Nexus.
With that win, GCU goes up 2-1 in the series.
9:10 pm ET — A massive team fight at Elder Dragon leads to GCU taking a 3 for 2 trade with the Elder Dragon, an inhibitor and a tower.
The combination of Santorin’s 5/1/7 Graves and Solo’s 3/0/7 — almost invincible Nautilus — seem to be too much for Envy to handle in fights.
9:08 pm ET — GCU counter engage a overly-aggressive Team Envy push with a Tidal Wave and wind up with three kills and a Baron, regaining the lead for the first time in almost 20 minutes.
9:00 pm ET — Both teams dance around Baron again, leading to a Tidal Wave engage from Nami that takes down Seraph. Despite a brief fight, neither team manages to take Baron or any other kills.
8:51 pm ET — 23 minutes in 3 members of GCU get caught out leading Team Envy to attempt a Baron which lets them grab another kill before backing off without the Baron. Despite the kills, GCU still have a slight lead at around 300 gold.
8:31 pm ET — A hyper aggressive blue buff invade by GCU leads to a double kill for Solo and a stone buff for the Challenger team.
8:27 pm ET — Pick and ban Game 3
Team Envy: Maokai, Lee Sin, Ahri, Varus, Lulu
Bans: Vladimir, Camille, Zyra, Karma, Thresh
Gold Coin United: Nautilus, Graves, Orianna, Ashe, Nami
Bans: Ziggs, Rumble, Elise, Renekton, Shen
These comps make it pretty clear that both teams are putting all their eggs in the team fight basket this time. Expect there to be a lot of fights, especially given the dragon and Baron focus of last game.
8:06 pm ET — Envy make a final push into the base taking the final inhib. A counter engage from GCU doesn’t quite work out as Team Envy take the Nexus and even the series up.
8:01 pm ET — A prolonged Baron dance leads to a 4 for 1 trade for Team Envy, who finally manage to get some base damage down against Gold Coin United as Envy takes the first two inhibitors of the game.
And just like that, we are back at Baron, for another trade, this time it’s 1 for 1 with Envy taking the Baron as super minions swarm on the GCU Nexus towers.
7:57 pm ET — Team Envy starts the Elder Drake but GCU end up taking it — barely — which leads to a strange and prolonged trade that ends in a 3 for 3 trade with the Elder Drake going to GCU.
7:52 pm ET — An incredibly messy and strange fight around the baron ends up with a 3 for 0 trade in favor of Team Envy, along with the Baron.
At 39 minutes Envy has a fairly sizable 12k gold lead despite being unable to grab an inhibitor so far.
7:44 pm ET — The most exciting thing to happen so far this game: Seraph has a bunch of farm ... Seriously, 30 minutes into the game and he has 343 farm and a 3k gold lead.
7:42 pm ET — 28 minutes in we get out first real hint of action as GCU takes dragon. All five members were at the dragon pit for both teams. Unfortunately for us, nothing happened. GCU took dragon and both teams back off after some limited poke.
7:26 pm ET — About a minute after GCU took the game’s first dragon Fenix got a surprise 1 v 1 kill against Ninja’s Ahri. It didn’t end the game like last time though.
7:18 pm ET — A creative 4:30 minute invade from Lira gets Team Envy first blood, but the GCU bottom lane responds to grab a response kill evening the game back up at 1 kill to 1 kill.
7:13 pm ET — Picks and Bans for Game 2
GCU has a little more damage in jungle and a little less from mid this time, but neither team is going to be looking for too much split pushing. Team Envy is throwing their full weight behind team fights this time. If they aren’t able to win, they are gonna be hard pressed to find a style that will work for them in this series.
Team Envy: Renekton, Graves, Ahri, Varus, Lulu
Bans:Vladimir, Camille, Zyra, Syndra, Cassiopeia
GCU: Shen, Kha’Zix, Orianna, Ashe, Karma
Bans: Ziggs, Rumble, Elise, Nidalee, Lee Sin
7:05 pm ET — Picks and Bans for Game 2 about to start. Team Envy are probably going to focus on champions that work a little better in team fights and don’t require them to get ahead to be successful. Also, maybe a tank this time?
6:50 pm ET — Things have finally broken open. A huge 4v 4 fight at the red buff of GCU Envy loses 4 members. Meanwhile Ninja get’s blown up by Fenix.
Fenix keeps pushing and takes the whole base.
And that’s the whole game.
Out of absolutely nowhere, one fight leads to Gold Coin United grabbing game one.
6:48 pm ET — GCU force the Baron and it only costs them Fenix in a 1 for 1 trade. Killing Fenix in a 1v 4 takes Envy a REALLY long time. That and their 2 Earth drakes means that Baron is GCU’s for the taking from here on out.
6:45 pm ET — After 3 minutes walking around Baron, Fenix and Solo take a 2 v 4 that results in a 1 for 1 trade and a mountain dragon for GCU. It’s probably not time to worry about Envy not having a better frontline than Braum, but it’s going to be something important to watch in the next couple team fights.
And we are back at Baron.
6:37 pm ET — Another tower for GCU as Fenix takes his Vladimir top with both teams’ bottom lanes moving to the mid lane.
A couple GCU ultimates also lead to a kill trade in mid lane as Santorin goes a little too hard for the Varus kill and ends up going down to Ninja’s shockwave.
6:35 pm ET — At 20 minutes GCU is looking at a 500 gold lead, two dragons and two towers. Team Envy have one tower.
6:32 pm ET — The game finally has its first team fight as the two teams meet in the bottom side river. While GCU’s engage is mostly dodged by Team Envy, they still lose Apollo and Braum.
Only a few minutes later a dive toplane goes wrong for Envy as Solo uses the power of Shen to dodge a three man gank and grab a kill, but ends up giving up his own top tower. Meanwhile his teammates take tier two on bottom side.
6:29 pm ET — Team Envy take their first advantage of the game grabbing first blood as Lira grabs first blood top at 14 minutes with an assist from Seraph.
If they are going to take this game, they are going to need to build on that lead to give Seraph a chance to split push.
6:27 pm ET — If GCU’s best case scenario for this series is slowing down the early game it’s so far so good in game one, as they close in a 600 gold lead at 13 minutes with a better late game team comp, and play style than Team Envy.
6:24 pm ET — GCU picks up both first tower and first Dragon thanks to some heavy poke from Madlife and Mash and a camp bottom lane from Santorin
6:15 pm ET — Both teams take away the strong picks along with a few directed bans like Thresh and Zyra. The support bans don’t stop Madlife from his favorite Nami though. Envy’s comp is going to focus on the 4-1 split push with a strong CC-Team fight from the non-Camille champions. GCU should be able to answer with Shen’s double teleports and Nami’s anti-engage.
Picks: Camille, Kha’Zix, Orianna, Varus, Braum
Ban Phase 1 - Renekton, Graves and Lulu
Ban Phase 2 - Zyra, Cassiopeia
Gold Coin United:
Picks: Shen, Lee Sin, Vladimir, Ashe, Nami
Ban Phase 1 - Ziggs, Malzahar, Elise
Ban Phase 2 - Karma, Thresh
Match 1 of the 2017 NA LCS Summer Promotion series begins with Team Envy vs. Gold Coin United. Envy enter the series after a disappointing, but hard fought, regular season that saw them win 14 games — only one fewer than the safe-from-relegation Echo Fox — but only three series wins. This gives them one of the strongest team records ever to be put under threat of relegation.
Much of this strength, at least in the last three weeks of the season, has come from the mage play of mid laner Geon-woo “Ninja” Noh. Envy also has one of the strongest early games in the league, and could simply out-lane the Challenger Series champions.
Gold Coin United are coming into the series after an impressive 6-1 run through the Challenger Series playoffs. This success was largely driven by the team’s careful and considered shot calling and veteran experience. If they win, it will likely come through slow methodical play and outlasting Team Envy’s strong early game.
The best-of-five series will start at 6 p.m. ET.
- Top: Woo-Yeong “Seraph” Shin
- Jungle: Tae-Yoo “Lira” Nam
- Mid: Geon-Wood “Ninja” Noh
- AD Carry: Apollo “Apollo” Price
- Support: Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent
Gold Coin United:
- Top: Colin “Solo” Earnest
- Jungle: Lucas “Santorin” Larsen
- Mid: Jaehoon “Fenix” Kim
- AD Carry: Brandon “Mash” Phan
- Support: Mingi “Madlife” Hong
Series info and how to watch
Both of the promotion series matches will be watchable on Lolesports. The series between Team Envy and Gold Coin United will be on the NALCS1 twitch channel, with the first match likely to kick off around 6:10 p.m. ET.