The first series of the North American LCS 2016 Spring Split Playoffs saw Phoenix1 take a 3-0 sweep over Team Dignitas. With this win, Phoenix1 will advance to the semifinals against Cloud9 on April 15.
Game one never really stopped looking good for Team Dignitas. With as much as a 4k gold lead throughout the game, they could never quite find a way to finish the game. Three bad fights around objectives led to Phoenix1 grabbing kills and taking small advantages until they finally managed to win off an ace at the Baron pit allowing them to finish the game despite ending the game with a gold deficit.
In game two, Phoenix1 seemed to find their form, gaining a huge gold lead and winning almost every facet of the game. Leading the charge this game was Ryu on an incredible Leblanc splitpush that seemed able to 3v1 any combination of Dignitas members. What started as a small lead quickly grew to a crushing snowball and a 13k gold lead by the time P1 ended the game.
Game three wasn’t much different with Ryu’s Orianna and Arrow’s Caitlyn proving far too much in team fights for Dignitas to deal with. In what seemed like a last ditch effort to save the game Ssumday managed a strong teleport behind P1, but a three man Ryu shockwave saved P1 and allowed them to break open the Dignitas base. After that, there was no hope for Dignitas as Phoenix1 quickly took over the game and closed it out only 10 minutes later.
7:45 pm ET — What seemed like a perfect fight for Dig — starting with a Ssumday flank and a zig catch — was turned around by Ryu with a beautiful three man Shockwave that gave P1 their first inhibitor of the game.
7:40 pm ET — After a few team fights the P1 lead has been extended at 25 minutes to about 3k gold and a Baron. Meanwhile the kills are at 7-4 in favor of P1 with towers leaning in the same direction 3-2.
7:23 pm ET — P1 takes a super early bottom lane tower at 7:30 minutes with almost no assistance thanks to the oppressive shove of Caitlyn Lulu. This leads to an almost 1k gold lead despite the game being even on kills at 1-1.
7:12 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 3
P1 is going to be playing something along the lines of a protect the Caitlyn comp here with Fizz and Kha coming in for some utility damage. Dignitas won’t necessarily have an answer to that, but they can try to get the P1 health bars low with Azir and Ezreal in order to finish some kills off before they get too strong.
Dig: Nautilus, Rengar, Azir, Ezreal, Malzahar
Bans: Leblanc, Shen, Syndra, Ahri, Talon
P1: Fizz, Kha’Zix, Orianna, Caitlyn, Lulu
Bans: Lee Sin, Graves, Camille, Zyra, Thresh
6:50 pm ET — P1 finish off the third inhibitor at 32 minutes and take down the Nexus shortly after, taking a 2-0 lead in the series.
P1 have managed to overwhelm Dignitas at every turn so far this game and it’s led to a fairly incredible snowball with a 13k gold lead
6:40 pm ET — P1 continues to grow their lead with some strange fights and effective turret pushes, helping them grow their lead to a little over 3.5k gold at 22 minutes.
6:27 pm ET — 12 minutes in and we have the exact opposite of Game 1. There have been a mess of fights — though only one kill — and P1 have an almost 1.5k gold lead.
6:15 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 2
Phoenix1 are going into this with a strange comp that works both as a pick comp and a split push comp. Dig are going to be looking for team fights again, and are going to have to center their game plan around LOD’s Caitlyn.
P1: Shen, Graves, Leblanc, Ezreal, Karma
Bans: Lee Sin, Camille, Elise, Zyra, Renekton
DIG: Nautilus, Kha’Zix, Orianna, Caitlyn, Nami
Bans: Malzahar, Rengar, Lulu, Syndra, Rumble
5:54 pm ET — The teams spent almost 4 minutes carefully dancing around Baron pit before P1 started Baron and Dig took the bait running headlong into the pit and getting aced, allowing P1 to end the game and go up 1-0 in the series.
5:50 pm ET — After a 2 minute and 40 second fight DIG take an Elder drake then lose everyone but Ssumday.
5:43 pm ET — An aggressive Baron call from Digitas works out fairly well for them as they get the Baron and after a very close fight, only lose Xpecial.
5:32 pm ET — 25 minutes in and the tides are turning into P1’s favor as their pick comp comes online and they start finding kills on Dignitas.
All this got started with a solid gank bottom lane from Inori that helped P1 take two towers putting Dig’s bottom lane behind.
5:09 pm ET — We have a pause, which gives us some time to look back at the early game. Just like we saw during week 9 of the LCS with his play, Inori is once again struggling with his early game, with a path that is far slower than his opponent as well as a failed gank mid.
This puts P1 in a difficult spot with Dig playing a much stronger late game comp with it’s two ramping lanes — bottom and mid — getting ahead early.
4:56 pm ET — Pick and Ban Game 1
Inori is starting in Jungle for P1 and it’s clear they are looking for a fairly safe comp with him playing Ivern. Dig on the other hand are looking for some solid ramping poke with Shen able to distract the strongest members of P1.
DIG: Nautilus, Nidalee, Cassiopeia, Ezreal, Lulu
Bans: Leblanc, Kha’Zix, Rengar, Ahri, Orianna
P1: Shen, Ivern, Syndra, Ashe, Zyra
Bans: Lee Sin, Graves, Elise, Camille, Renekton
The first series of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split Playoffs is Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup between number three seed Phoenix1 and six seed Team Dignitas. If Phoenix1 wins ,they will go on to face Cloud9, while if Team Dignitas come out victorious, they will have to face Team SoloMid in the semifinals.
For all the information about the possible matchups as well as the schedule, bracket and results from all of the NA LCS Playoffs check out our post here.
For Team Dignitas, the key is going to be the performance of jungler Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun and how effectively he can leverage the team’s strongest lane matchup in the top lane. This should put a significant amount of the pressure on the more-than-capable-shoulders of toplaner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho to help lead the team to victory.
Phoenix1 enters this series in as good a place as they have been all season. With AD Carry Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon and midlaner Yoo “Ryu” Sang Wook both receiving buffs to their pool of favorite champions over the last several weeks, those are likely to be the lanes that receive the most focus for P1 in this series. The only question remaining for Phoenix1 is who exactly is going to be doing the focusing. While it is possible the team go back to the roster they started the season with and include Rami “Inori” Charagh at jungle. It seems far more likely that they will stick with the recipe for their late season success that they have found in William “Meteos” Hartman.
The best-of-five series will start at 3 p.m. ET.
- Derek “Zig” Shao
- Rami “Inori” Charagh or William “Meteos” Hartman
- Yoo “Ryu” Sang Wook
- Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon
- Jordan “Shady” Robinson
- Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
- Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun
- Jang “Keane” Lae-young
- Benjamin “LOD” deMunck
- Alex “Xpecial” Chu
Series info and how to watch
The first match of the NA LCS 2017 Spring Split Playoffs will be watchable on Lolesports as well as on the NALCS1 Twitch channel. The first match will kick off after the conclusion of the EU LCS Playoff series between Misfits and Splyce.