During week 5 of the NA LCS, Cloud9 found a perfect way to shut down Svenskeren’s infamous Lee Sin. Their calculated moves completely neutralized TSM’s early game pressure, so let’s take a look at how they pulled it off.
As the game starts, both junglers begin their path at the top side of the map. C9 knows this because they see Bjergsen leash raptors over the wall.
Powered by this knowledge and with Contractz on Nunu, the best counter-jungler in the game, C9 sets up for an invade at Sven’s blue. Invading is typically risky, as enemy laners can usually collapse faster, but C9 drafted a strong push comp to mitigate that risk. Both Lucian and Caitlyn have lane priority because they can easily push Orianna and Jhin into turret. And that’s exactly what we see. At 2:30 , both Jensen and C9’s bot lane duo have shoved their lanes in and gone to ward. Jensen wards the path from mid to Blue, while bot lane places their ward between Blue and Gromp.
Sven finally gets to his Blue at 2:57, and with vision from Sneaky’s ward, Contractz immediately heads over and cleanly steals it with a perfectly-timed consume + Smite. After a brief fling with scuttle, Contractz keeps up the pressure by checking back into Sven’s jungle and sees him finishing his Gromp and basing.
Seeing Sven’s recall, C9 knows he’ll head toward topside after, as it’s the only side with camps up. With a clear numbers advantage, C9 immediately attempts a 3v2 gank bot and picks up a kill on Biofrost. At the same time, Ray drops a ward at top and begins to play more passively. As expected, Sven shows up. He waits patiently for a gank opportunity, only to realize that Ray knows he’s there, and is forced to walk away with nothing. Meanwhile, with bot lane already shoved in after the kill earlier, Contractz, Sneaky, and Smoothie take an early dragon.
After dragon, Smoothie and Contractz back, while Sneaky heads back to bot lane to catch the wave pushed into their side of the map. Knowing that Caitlyn can farm safely under turret and that Doublelift and Biofrost are missing from lane, both Smoothie and Contractz roam to mid in anticipation that TSM might try to make a play there. Lo and behold, Biofrost shows himself and Contractz swaggers into vision to shut TSM’s plan down.
Sven is now forced to move to his bot side jungle to continue farming, and as he finishes up his camps there, Sneaky has already shoved the minion wave in and begun to recall, removing any risks of getting ganked.
This leaves mid as the only gank option, and C9 knows this. Both Contractz and Smoothie head back toward mid to thwart any attempts by Sven. Sven’s gank fails and, now equipped with the knowledge that Sven just cleared his bot side camps and will likely be moving toward top side, Ray bases in the top lane to avoid any potential dives.
This is just one example of what happens at the professional level of League of Legends, and it all began with just the simple knowledge of where Sven started in his jungle. By playing proactively, C9 managed to shut down any potential early game play from Sven’s formidable Lee and successfully accrue a lead in gold and objectives that contributed to their ultimate victory over TSM.