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NA S3 Qualifiers: Game 1 of Day 3 Semifinals

By Joe 'YouGoJoe23' Staller
Jan 14, 2013 00:36

ImageWe're down to the final 4 teams. Only 1 may advance into LCS and the rest will be barred entry for the first half of the competition. Whoever loses right now is done for.

Unfortunately yesterday Azure was placed against an incredible powerhouse in NA, US Team Curse Academy. This prevented them from showing a true display of skill. Alternatively, US Dirtnap Gaming made an impressive showing almost knocking out GoodGame University which boasts an impressive track record under it's old name, Team Dynamic. Who has what it takes to stay in this tournament and keep fighting for that golden ticket into Season 3 LCS?

Game 1:

Azure: Jayce, Evelynn, Kha'zix
DNG: Twisted Fate, Malphite, Nunu

Azure: Lulu, Nocturne, Olaf, Ezreal, Ryze
DNG: Shen, Graves, Sona, Cho'gath, Ahri


Both teams swap bottom lane to top, and once the action gets a quick gank by DNG botlane to secure an early kill on to Olaf. Quickly following it up DNG tries a Shen ult with Ahri combo top, but Azure manages to catch it early and backs off, leaving DNG to take their turret. However, DNG lingers too long and Azure picks up a free double on their opposing botlane.

After a few more scattered kills and turrets, DNG starts up dragon and Olaf man-mode teleports in to all 5 of DNG. The tank is too strong though and Azure only loses Nocturne for Sona/Ahri/Shen and the Dragon goes to Azure. Shortly after DNG revives they manage to wombo-combo Azure into a Shen taunt into rupture into Sona ultimate, and Ezreal and Ryze fall. DNG jumps on Baron and picks off Olaf, but a good counter fight at Baron ends up leaving only Cho'Gath with the Baron buff.

Ryze gets caught out and dies very quickly, forcing Azure into a bad enage which ends up getting them aced in exchange for Graves and Ahri. While Azure make some defiant moves trying to stay in this game, it finally begins to wind down at the final Baron. Nocturne gets spotted out early and dies instantly, which allows DNG to secure Baron and catch out Ryze. DNG forces down mid lane and take down Nocturne/Ryze/mid inhibitor, followed by a dive top for Ezreal/Olaf/top inhibitor/the first game.

Winner:US Dirtnap Gaming

Game 2:

Azure: Jayce, Shen, Kha'zix
DNG: Twisted Fate, Malphite, Nunu

Azure: Evelynn, Olaf, Lulu, Ezreal, Amumu
DNG: Cho'gath, Graves, Gragas, Sona, Jax


Another gank, another swap to top for Azure's duo lane. This time DNG does not match the call and ends up losing their top tower at 5 minutes, along with losing Sona in a 2v2 against Olaf/Amumu from Azure. With this advantage Azure grabs hold of the reigns of this game and nab a few kills on Graves and Lulu along with a Dragon in the next couple minutes.

Azure never lets the pressure up the whole game long, and because they were ahead they managed to make plays and force lanes down, as well as catching out Graves, Sona, Jax and Cho'gath all eventually. After knocking down every inner turret and having a massive gold lead, Azure secures Baron through pure map pressure. They resume pressuring in on every lane and the sustain from the Baorn buff allows them to knock all the inhibitor turrets down, take an ace and game 2.

Winner: Azure Gaming

Game 3:

Azure: Jayce, Evelynn, Kha'zix
DNG: Malphite, Olaf, Nunu

Azure: Cho'gath, Lulu, Amumu, Miss Fortune, Twisted Fate
DNG: Shen, Lee Sin, Taric, Ezreal, Karthus


I'm pretty sure Azure's bot lane doesn't know they are supposed to go bot and are 3/3 this game with lane swaps. Although Azure gets an early catch on Ezreal for Miss Fortune, the overconfidence of the kill ends up getting both Lulu and Miss Fortune killed in lane shortly after with good ganks.

As the mid game rolls around both teams are fighting hard in this do or die round, trading evenly in turrets and kills. DNG really begins to establish themselves when the looming beast that is Karthus successfully 2v1's Amumu and Cho'gath, while Lee Sin takes the Dragon as well. Although DNG does have this slight lead, both teams are adamant at keeping this game as even, and as tense, as possible.

The biggest showing this game was a Baron fight where Azure lands an excellent Curse of the sad Bullet Time combo, but DNG fights through it and only Cho'gath is left as the dust settles. This bodes ill for Azure, however, as that combo should have made the fight much more one-sided. As DNG makes moves for Baron, Azure shoves mid to make them back off. Neither team does and DNG trades their mid inhibitor for the Baron.

As Azure attempts to make the best of the inhibitor being down they rush top quick, but get caught on the back of a monstrous teamfight composition and end up getting aced off the back off only a tower kill. This allows DNG to take the next Baron and march on Azure's base. Azure engages awkwardly into them as a last resort, and with amazing moves and a true display of skill, DNG takes this series and is one step closer to a ticket into LCS.

Winner:US Dirtnap Gaming




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