NACS Wrap-UP: Team Liquid Stumbles, but EnVyUs Fall

by James Bates

(Photo: lolesports)

The first day of the Promotion Tournament was a roller-coaster of games that were, at times, as unpredictable as last year's World Finals, with stakes that are no lower. Team EnVyUs squared off against Gold Coin United, the victors of the NACS, at the top of the bracket, while Team Liquid fought eUnited, the runner-up team from the NACS, on the bottom side of the bracket.

Both matches ended up being closed out 3-1, but the results could not have been more different across the brackets. Team Liquid dropped their first game against eUnited in a 60-minute slugfest that finally ended thanks to a brilliant Teleport flank from Licorice that cut off all of Team Liquid just after his Equalizer had burned them all down. Eunited's top laner, Licorice, as well as their bottom lane, Deftly and Zeyzal, both looked unreal in this game, and many questioned whether or not Team Liquid would be able to overcome eUnited. Thankfully for fans of the organization, eUnited seemed to simply run out of steam after Game 1, and ended up getting thrashed in the next three games, in large part thanks to some amazing performances out of Midlet, who was, strangely, the only member of the team that consistently looked better than his opposite. His Ahri play was on point all series long, and it's unlikely that we'll see him be allowed to get his hands on the pick again during this tournament.

 Team EnVyUs failed to rally in the same way, however. They began the series with a loss to Gold Coin United where Santorin and mash truly proved their worth but struck back in Game 2 thanks to a very hard carry from LiRa. That's all she wrote for EnVyUs, though, as the next two games both turned against them, making them the first of the LCS teams to fall to one of the challenger organization. While they did a good job of keeping somewhat competitive in the last two games -- it took Gold Coin United nearly two hours to finish them off -- they pretty clearly never had the upper hand and were clearly the inferior strategic team.

The next round of the Promotion Tournament airs today, and it's soon going to be time to bid one of these teams goodbye. While Gold Coin United and Team Liquid are going to battle it out to determine who will secure the first slot in the LCS, Team EnVyUs and eUnited will fight it out just to keep their hopes alive. No matter what someone is going home, the only question is whether it will be the lackluster veterans on EnVyUs, or the impetuous rookies over on eUnited.

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.