Team Envy have won the final match of the Summer Promotion Tournament, earning their way back into the NA LCS for the 2017 Summer Split in a tense five-game series against Challenger Series champion Gold Coin United.
The series started off with Team Envy struggling to get their split push composition going, with Gold Coin United controlling the map movement completely with strong objective focus and better team fighting.
Games two and three, however, were all Team Envy, as they gained early game leads twice in a row thanks to jungler LirA, which allowed them to snowball into significant leads. While their Achilles Heel in the NA LCS Spring Split was their late-game decision making, Envy showed poise in these two games as they kept their lead and extended it carefully taking the objectives that mattered without losing leads to poor decisions.
Game four brought in a comeback for Gold Coin United as they put all their eggs in a Jinx composition basket. While the Jinx pick itself didn’t do much, the team as a whole picked up a lead and managed to hold onto it despite some mistakes in the mid-game that almost cost them the series one game earlier.
Finally, Team Envy came into Game five ready to prove that the LCS spot should be theirs. Envy didn’t get a huge early game lead. They got a small lead off of a couple kills in mid and used those to build slowly. This wasn’t a snowball. It was an entirely different kind of performance from Team Envy that relied on intelligent use of gold leads in specific roles.
In all, Team Envy’s performance in this final series of the Promotion Tournament was one worthy of the LCS, which is exactly where it got them.
After the Promotion Tournament, no new teams have been promoted, with the two LCS spots going back to Team Liquid and Team Envy — the two teams that faced relegation. Meanwhile, eUnited and Gold Coin United will go back into the Challenger Series to fight for the chance to return to this tournament at the end of the Summer Split, for another opportunity to win their way in the NA LCS.
7:37 pm ET — After a few very smart trades around the Baron pit and some careful uses of gold leads Team Envy look to have this game fairly secured with a 14k gold lead over GCU at 33 minutes. All they have to do now is close things out to make it back into the NA LCS.
7:21 pm ET — 17 minutes in and NV is looking pretty good. They are up 4-1 in kills and 2-0 in towers, though it all comes off of some very close trades that could have gone either way.
7:05 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 5
A huge difference in team comps for Game 5. GCU have a team fight comp with some pick potential and A FRONTLINE TANK, for the first time all series, someone is playing a tank. NV are using a remarkably similar comp to the ones GCU has lost on in game 2 and 3, but it should have some solid mid-game potential.
GCU: Nautilus, Graves, Orianna, Varus, Miss Fortune
Bans: Ziggs, Malzahar, Camille, Jayce, Talon
NV: Rumble, Lee Sin, Syndra, Caitlyn, Zyra
Bans: Vladimir, Rengar, Ashe, Karma, Ahri
6:45 pm ET — GCU looks for Baron, LirA goes for a smite steal and misses it completely, leading to another team fight win for GCU that they use to push into the base of NV and quickly take the game, evening the series up at 2-2.
6:43 pm ET — A massive team fight around the Elder Dragon leads to a 4-2 trade in favor of GCU finally breaking the game into one teams favor as they re-earn their 4k gold lead.
This was the first fight all game where NV put priority on Jinx who hasn’t been much of a factor so far this game.
6:33 pm ET — What was once a strong lead for GCU is no longer. At 30 minutes the teams are almost dead even in every measurable stat with the lone exception of Dragons where GCU still has a lead.
6:22 pm ET — GCU took the Rift Herald(!!!) and a Mountain Drake. This along with their 3 towers and 7-5 kill lead mean they have a 4k gold lead around 20 minutes.
6:13 pm ET — 10 minutes in and this game is going a little better than the last two for GCU as they have a 2k gold lead thanks to a great gank mid and top and Solo managing a 1-0 trade in a 2v1.
6:08 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 4
So, it all comes down to Jinx huh? Well, this is just about the most do or die composition possible for GCU. If Jinx can get going, the game’s over. If she doesn’t she will get jumped on during every team fight and die over and over again.
NV: Camille, Kha’Zix, Syndra, Caitlyn, Karma
Bans: Vladimir, Shen, Ashe, Ezreal, Jhin
GCU: Renekton, Rengar, Ahri, Jinx, Zyra
Bans: Ziggs, Varus, Graves, Elise, Lee Sin
5:44 pm ET — GCU go for a quick Baron to counter an NV Elder Dragon. NV meets them at the Baron pit and aces them allowing Team Envy to walk directly into the Gold Coin base and finish the game.
While this didn’t deviate from our “early leads win games” motto so far in this tournament, it is worth noting that this was Team Envy’s slowest and most considered win, focusing on smart and safe plays.
5:36 pm ET — NV continue to grow their lead grabbing a Baron at 29 minutes and then promptly catching Fenix over extended which allows them to grab their third drake of the game.
5:19 pm ET — NV up 5 kills to 1 at 13 minutes with an almost 3k gold lead. Based on the pattern of the promotion tournament games so far this is a pretty good sign for Team Envy in game 3.
5:10 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 3
Both teams are finally matching up with similar comps as they both are going to be looking for strong team fights and possibly the occasional pick. This match is almost certainly going to be decided by the junglers and their early ganks.
GCU: Rumble, Graves, Syndra, Caitlyn, Karma
Bans: Ziggs, Malzahar, Camille, Elise, Ahri
NV: Renekton, Lee Sin, Orianna, Varus, Zyra
Bans: Vladimir, Ashe, (missed ban), Jayce, Talon
4:46 pm ET — Team Envy, true to form, turn a strong early game with a couple good LirA ganks into a game destroying snowball as they win in 31 minutes and a 20k gold lead, evening the series back up at 1-1.
4:41 pm pm ET — NV pick up a Baron around 25 minutes after punishing a poor face check by GCU. That brings their gold lead all the way up to 13k.
4:34 pm ET — This game is quickly looking to slip away from GCU as Envy continues to build on a 10k gold lead at 19 minutes.
4:25 pm ET — 10 minutes in and NV is starting the game exactly how they needed to. After two solid ganks they are up 2 kills to zero with a 2k gold lead.
4:15 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 2
NV going with a composition they have sometimes struggled to play in this tournament so far with a team fight focus and a little bit of pick potential with CC and heavy damage. GCU on the other hand are going to be looking for quick map movements and a split push.
NV: Renekton, Kha’Zix, Syndra, Varus, Zyra
Bans: Shen, Vladimir, Ashe, Caitlyn, Ezreal
GCU: Camille, Graves, Ahri, Lucian, Karma
Bans: Ziggs, Elise, Malzahar, Talon, Lee Sin
3:53 pm ET — In a flash GCU took the game from dead even to a quick win off of a botch split push from Seraph. Envy couldn’t get quite enough out of their composition and Gold Coin’s patience paid off as they take the lead in the series 1-0.
3:51 pm ET — What looks at first like a response to the Camille split push, turns into a huge push from GCU that ends with them taking the middle and bottom inhibitor.
3:40 pm ET — 25 minutes in and almost nothing has changed. GCU has a lead of 3-1 on turrets, but the kills are even at 6 and the gold is even at 41k. Based on the series they played earlier this week, this probably benefits GCU in the long run.
3:24 pm ET — 9 minutes in and this game has been all about the junglers with both Santorin and LirA sitting at 2/0/0 in a game tied 2-2 on kills and dead even in gold.
3:15 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 1
Gold Coin United’s comp is going to lead to some explosive team fights. What may look like just a bit of poke damage could quickly turn into an ACE with Graves and Rumble able to burst targets quickly. Envy on the other hand are likely to split push a consistent 4-1 split push or even a 3-1-1 with Talon and Camille both split pushing in the side lanes.
GCU: Rumble, Graves, Jayce, Cailtyn, Karma
Bans: Ziggs, Malzahar, Elise, Lee Sin, Ahri
NV: Camille, Nidalee, Talon, Varus, Zyra
Bans: Rengar, Ashe, Shen, Vladimir, Renekton
The 2017 NA LCS Summer Promotion Tournament will end the same way it began for Gold Coin United and Team Envy, only this time with even higher stakes. The winner will gain the final spot in the Summer Split and the loser will head down to the Challenger Series.
When these two teams met on the first day of the tournament, it was a competition between two very different styles. For Team Envy, it was all about the early game and trying to snowball leads, while Gold Coin United preferred a more measured slow paced style. Unfortunately for Envy, their early game never really got off the ground, and GCU won the series 3-1.
But both teams have had a very different day in the tournament since they played each other. On Saturday, Gold Coin United played a long and grueling five-game series against Team Liquid that saw GCU fight back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the series, before being crushed in the fifth game. It was a difficult series. One that could either inspire Gold Coin United and convince them that they have what it takes to compete in the LCS, or it could hurt their motivation having the LCS spot so close only to be ripped away.
Team Envy, on the other hand, had a relatively painless series against eUnited. NV won the first game handily and, after suffering their only loss in game two, the team played their two best games of the tournament in games three and four to wrap up the series. It was the kind of performance that is likely to give Envy some serious confidence going into the final match day of the Promotion Tournament.
The best-of-five series will start at 3 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