Team Dignitas Spring Split 2017 Recap: Road to Playoffs
Thu 20th Apr 2017 - 4:42pm
After a merger with Apex, Team Dignitas returned to the LCS in the 2017 Spring Split with a revamped roster and aspirations to take it all. Team Dignitas imported Ssumday (formerly of KT Rolster), Chaser (formerly of Longzhu Gaming), and traded for LOD (Team EnVyUs). Meshing in with veteran Xpecial and mid laner Keane, the roster looked intimidating and many outlets rated Team Dignitas as a top team coming into the split.
Starting the split, Team Dignitas began shaky and looked to find their footing. As they continued to play games, words from critics seemed to ring true as Team Dignitas failed to find synergy and continued to lose game after game. As the split neared to a close, Team Dignitas recruited a new head coach and the team began to operate as a well-oiled machine, taking game after game. Team Dignitas managed to end 9-9 in the Spring Split and qualified for the playoffs with strong play and a drive that looks to challenge the top teams in the NA LCS.
Here is a recap of each series Team Dignitas played on their road to the playoffs.
Week 1: Team Dignitas VS Phoenix1 & Team Dignitas VS Cloud9
Going into the set against Phoenix1, Team Dignitas fans were incredibly excited to see a talented roster play high caliber League of Legends. And they were woefully disappointed in the beginnings of the first game. Phoenix1 started the first game off with a bang with Keane and Chaser both suffering from solo kills and Phoenix1 looked to take over in the early game. As the first game went on, however, Team Dignitas found some cohesion and began to maintain control over neutral objectives and even retaliated with an early Baron. With a lead steadily growing, Team Dignitas took the first game. Going into game 2, the roster had incredible confidence and had a tremendously powerful early game. Keane solo killed Ryu.
Chaser and Ssumday dove zig in the top lane. The gold swung heavily in Team Dignitas' favor but a new problem arose. Team Dignitas found, as the game went on and on, that they couldn't close the game out despite a gold difference of over 6,000. As teamfight after teamfight were lost in Phoenix1's favor, Team Dignitas lost the second game and fans felt sweat trickle down their faces with the set moving onto game 3. In game 3, Team Dignitas put Ssumday on Fiora, a carry champion and it seemed as if the game would be top focused. The star of the early game was Chaser on Rek'Sai with an early gank bottom lane against Phoenix1 and then providing an effective countergank against Inori and zig for a double kill.
The game, once again, started off with early dominance but this time, there wasn't an issue with closing out the game. Minute after minute, Phoenix1 found that their defenses were falling as Team Dignitas starved the entire map of objectives, towers, and inevitably the Nexus as the series ended in Team Dignitas favor 2-1.
Phoenix1 was rated to be a weaker team by analysts going into the Spring Split, so fans were worried for the next series against Cloud9. In this series, Team Dignitas had to play against a roster that's mostly maintained the same players and coaching staff and the difference in team cohesion definitely showed. In the first game, Team Dignitas drafted a poke comp which generally requires very effective teamwork to execute properly in the mid to late game. Once again, Team Dignitas began the first game with a dominating lead. Chaser started off with a beautiful first blood, weaving a Lee Sin Q through the minion wave on Jensen and maintained a 100% kill participation up until 25 minutes into the game. As teamfights began occurring, Team Dignitas quickly found themselves outclassed against Cloud9. Cloud9 found their way back into the game with an immaculate performance from Jensen, securing a double kill onto both Keane and Chaser with an Ekko ultimate. The game shifted tempo and Cloud9 won the first game shortly after.
In game 2, Team Dignitas put Keane on Twisted Fate, a quirky pick that found success against Cloud9. Team Dignitas followed their routine of taking an early lead and working their way to the mid game. However, instead of teamfighting, Keane aimed to split push in the mid game and secured the bottom lane inhibitor. The pressure from that, following the lead that Team Dignitas had from the global gold differential and CS differential, allowed them to push for an end and tie the series at 1-1. Game 3 began with a brutal fight in the bottom lane. Cloud9's bottom lane pressured Xpecial who had a phenomenal flash to escape, followed up with Chaser and Keane rotating to kill Contractz.
Chaser then began another strong early game for Team Dignitas by catching Contractz in the river once again. However, as the game went on, Cloud9 began to group and Team Dignitas lost their tempo and advantage. After a desperate tower defense teamfight at the bottom inhibitor turret, Cloud9 aced and won the series, 2-1.
Week 2: TSM VS Team Dignitas & Team Dignitas VS Echo Fox
After the first week’s showing, Team Dignitas fans and analysts pushed the team down a few rankings but it was up still in the air whether or not they could win against TSM. TSM, while not changing their roster much, suffered an arguable downgrade in Wildturtle as Doublelift decided to take a break.
Beginning the series, Team Dignitas drafted Fiora for Ssumday (which would inevitably lead to the champion being banned against him frequently). Starting off, Chaser made the game his dance as he killed Hauntzer to yield Ssumday a lead and then went for a bottom lane gank then ended in Team Dignitas’ favor. Later on in the game, TSM went for a risky Baron play which Keane, on Ryze, somehow stole with a Q. You would think that’s when the game would be decided but, nope. Team Dignitas won a few more fights and began to push objectives but TSM came back with their high level of team cohesion and fought back. They weren’t going to let go of the first game. After forcing a teamfight middle lane, Ssumday teleported to a minion and went for the backdoor in the top lane. TSM frantically began to back but, Xpecial stopped Bjergsen’s recall with Redemption allowing Team Dignitas to take game 1. Game 2 was where all the fun and games ended, however. TSM asserted themselves quickly by shifting the top lane in favor of Hauntzer with a gank on Ssumday and Ssumday never recovered. Game 2 ended decidedly in TSM’s favor. Game 3 ended roughly as well with the Svenskeren x Bjergsen synergy coming through for an early kill on Keane. Team Dignitas found itself having a lot of difficulty playing from behind and TSM won the series, 2-1.
Wanting vengeance after losing two series, Team Dignitas came in strong against Echo Fox in week 2. After a dominating early game, Chaser and Xpecial ended the game with an 83% KDA on Lee Sin and a 100% KDA on Karma respectively. Team Dignitas quickly took game 1. Going into game 2, Echo Fox turned it into gear and tore apart Team Dignitas in the early game. Froggen picked Twisted Fate and inevitably picked team members as the game went on. The team found they had a very hard time coming back from large gold deficits as the game went into game 3 in Echo Fox’ favor. Game 3 might as well have been called "the Akkadian Show" as Akkadian went off with incredible plays and, with Froggen on his signature Anivia, Echo Fox decidedly took game 3 winning the series 2-1.
WEEK 3: FlyQuest VS Team Dignitas & Team Dignitas VS Counter Logic Gaming
FlyQuest was the dark horse of the NA LCS in the beginning of the split. Everyone expected the team to flop because of the lack of strength in their roster. However, they came into Week 3 undefeated as veterans who’ve played together. Going into game 1, FLY came in hard with a dive on the bottom lane, yielding 2 kills, and made risky rotations on unsuspecting Team Dignitas members. The gold deficit grew minute by minute and FLY took game 1. Entering game 2, FLY drafted a poke composition into Team Dignitas and pressured the bottom lane heavily, forcing another win in game 2. Team Dignitas looked shaky throughout the series.
Counter Logic Gaming was predicted to be a rough series because of the sheer team synergy the roster had. They were one of the few rosters that had made zero changes. Going into the game, Team Dignitas drafted Fiora for Ssumday and found themselves in a pickle during an invade 10 minutes in that turned into a 5v5 teamfight. The teamfight gave Counter Logic Gaming two kills but Team Dignitas responded with kills of their own. Some clear miscommunication issues occurred in the first game with cancelled TPs and mispositioning but Ssumday seemed ready to make game 1 his show and put the roster on his back. Counter Logic Gaming made a risky play attempting to go for Baron. They secured Baron but Team Dignitas countered with an ace and a mid lane inhibitor. Counter Logic Gaming went for another Baron and secured it, trading for Ssumday taking top lane inhibitor.
The team recalled and then chased down Ssumday, forcing his GA and a teamfight that resulted with 1 kill in Team Dignitas’ favor. As minions battered down Counter Logic Gaming’s base, Team Dignitas secured Elder Dragon enhancing their double Ocean drake. Shortly after, Ssumday bit on a bit more than he could chew and was caught in a 1v3 by Counter Logic Gaming. When Baron spawned a third time, Counter Logic Gaming baited another Baron and caught Ssumday out once again and forced an end on game 1. While the first game was close, the second game was much more decisive in Counter Logic Gaming’s favor. Counter Logic Gaming found a footing. Xmithie and Huhi on Kha’Zix and Syndra turned the game on its head with a dominating early and mid game performance. After an Elder Dragon secure, CLG took the series 2-0.
WEEK 4: Immortals VS Team Dignitas & Team Dignitas VS Team EnVyUs
At this point, Team Dignitas had five series losses in a row and things were looking bleak from a fan's perspective. The rankings had shifted dramatically as weeks went on and the team was rated one of the worst teams in the league. Going into week 4, the first series was against Immortals. Team Dignitas’ solo laners started off strong with Keane getting an awkward solo kill on Pobelter on Cassiopeia and Ssumday predicting Flame’s flash on Jayce. Immortals retaliated with a powerful bottom lane gank using Dardoch on the reworked Warwick. As the game evened out, Immortals suppression team composition with Warwick and Malzahar proved to be too much and Immortals took a bigger lead, resulting in a game 1 win.
Game 2 had a different take to it with Immortals taking a dominating early lead and pushing forward with the lead. Aggressive invades by Dardoch on Kha’Zix versus Chaser on Rek’Sai left Chaser behind and Immortals built a steady lead. Team Dignitas had lots of difficulty playing from behind and Immortals won the series 2-0.
Team Dignitas and Team EnVy had their own records to break. Both teams came into this series 1W-6L. But Team Dignitas also debuted Stunt who temporarily replaced Xpecial. Going into game 1, Team Envy drafted strong pick potential in Kha’Zix and Shen, and were able to take over the early game with a 2-0 lead. The game shifted back in Team Dignitas’ favor beginning with a pick on LirA by Stunt on Nami. This lead to a few fights that ended in Team Dignitas' favor and allowed LOD to get fed on Varus. Team Dignitas reaped the rewards of another pick on Seraph and secured an early Baron, which translated into a bottom lane inhibitor turret and a top lane inhibitor turret. Team EnVy forced a teamfight and Team Dignitas countered, trading 2 for 0 and took game 1 by force. Game 2 had a different tone with both teams rotating to secure the first turret gold.
Team EnVy secured it and then sent 3 up to top lane to dive Ssumday on Shen. The game stayed fairly even until a teamfight in the Dragon pit that ended with Ninja getting multiple kills on Viktor. Dignitas retaliated with a fight of their own in their blue side jungle and took 4 kills for 0 with a Baron on top. The fights continued with Team Dignitas forcing more fights with the Rengar. Team EnVy found themselves heavily pressured. Team Dignitas secured a second Baron and forced down both the top and middle inhibitor, then looked to pick a third. The inhibitor turret went down and Team Dignitas backed off to secure the Elder Dragon. Rotating back over, LOD on Jhin ulted, forcing eam EnVy’s Seraph to take action on Camille. Seraph quickly was picked off and Team Dignitas, with three inhibitors down for Team EnVy, pushed into the base to win their first series in five games 2-0.
WEEK 5: Team Dignitas VS FlyQuest & Team Liquid VS Team Dignitas.
The miracle week. Team Dignitas debuted a new head coach in Cop in their rematch series against FlyQuest. Xpecial also made his grand reentrance. At this point, FlyQuest had noticed a notable shift in performance as teams began to build their cohesion and learned to play against their aggressive playstyle. Game 1 started with LOD picking up the Ziggs, a champion who had risen to prominence in the bottom lane. Bottom lane is where the action started with Chaser going in for a gank and Xpecial landing a Madlife Thresh hook on LemonNation after he flashed, quickly securing first blood. Moon came in to salvage the situation, flashed away, and LOD Flash-W'd for the kill secure.
An insane teamfight occurred in the middle lane in the mid-game with Hai engaging on Jarvan IV in a 5v5. Ssumday, on Shen, teleported in and quickly secured a kill on LemonNation and turned the fight into a 3 for 4 in FlyQuest’s favor after securing two more kills. Team Dignitas went for an inhibitor trade with FlyQuest and FlyQuest attempted to engage later on with Team Dignitas countering, resulting in a 2 for 0 in Team Dignitas’ favor and a Baron. With two inhibitors down, Team Dignitas aimed to end a very bloody game by forcing down FLY's Nexus. They secured game 1. Game 2 began with the Chaser/Ssumday duo focusing down Balls and getting an early lead for both players. FlyQuest retaliated by forcing a turret down and causing a teamfight that resulted in 4 for 2 in FlyQuest’s favor. An insane teamfight erupted in middle lane with Keane on Zed being caught out by LemonNation on Malzahar. The fight was hopelessly lost but Xpecial salvaged it with a 3 man Zyra snare.
Chaser flashed in on Kha’Zix to secure 2 kills and the fight ended up in Team Dignitas’ favor as a 4 for 3. After a few fights in their favor, FlyQuest commits to Baron but Chaser Flashes in and steals the Baron away from Moon. Keane helped clean up the rest of the fight, securing a double kill. FlyQuest attempted to engage onto Ssumday shortly after and were quickly and easily aced by Team Dignitas. FlyQuest once again took a bad fight after Xpecial was caught and Hai tried to one-shot LOD. Team Dignitas countered, aced, and then took game 2 winning the series 2-0.
The next series was against Team Liquid who had a similar record to Team Dignitas. Going into game 1, Stunt made a comeback and Ssumday secured a carry champion in Camille. The bottom lane became a prime area of note with Piglet and Matt dominating the laning phase against LOD and Stunt. First blood went over to Matt after LOD and Stunt were caught out by Zyra E. Shortly after, Team Liquid 3-manned against Ssumday but Chaser on Graves came to the rescue and secured a kill on Lourlo's Maokai with assistance from the tower. Unfortunately, Goldenglue was able to sneak in with LeBlanc and finish off Ssumday. Ssumday looked to take the game in his hands and went for an ultimate pick on Reignover. The middle lane turned into an area of contention with another teamfight occurring with Stunt and Chaser getting caught by Zyra E and quickly getting burnt down.
Team Dignitas retaliated with a double kill on Reignover and Matt, trading 2 for 2. The game then began to shift into “The Piglet Show” as Piglet started accumulating high amounts of damage in each teamfight. With a late game teamfight, Piglet secured a quadra kill and Team Liquid took game 1. Team Dignitas started game 2 differently though. Xpecial returned to the roster and Team Dignitas drafted a composition with Ssumday on Camille, Chaser on Nidalee, and Keane on Jayce. In the early game, Reignover went for a gank on Keane but underestimated the amount of damage Jayce can put out. Keane turned and quickly bursted Reignover down while also forcing Goldenglue’s Flash. Keane Flashed in and secured a double kill, looking to have a different type of game this time around. Team Dignitas took the lead and ran with it, gaining over a 12K gold lead and won game 2. Game 3 began with an overaggressive invade by Team Dignitas’ LOD on Jhin and Xpecial on Malzahar. LOD secured the red buff and Team Liquid retaliated.
All summoners were burnt as Piglet and Matt followed LOD and Xpecial over the wall into the Dragon pit. Keane rotated over and managed to secure a double kill, taking a massive advantage into middle lane. That massive lead translated into a dominating performance by Keane and LOD. After multiple teamfight errors by Team Liquid, Team Dignitas gathered another 10K gold lead and took game 3, winning the series 2-1.
WEEK 6: Phoenix1 VS Team Dignitas & Team Dignitas VS TSM
At this point, Team Dignitas is on a big high. Three series wins in a row after repeatedly losing. But a new challenger approached in Phoenix1 with Meteos. Phoenix1 had been on a roll since acquiring Meteos and looked to be revitalized. Going into game 1, Team Dignitas went back to the tried and true strategy of strengthening Ssumday. Chaser went for an early gank top lane on Lee Sin and died, giving first blood over to zig on Kled. However, Ssumday secured a revenge kill on Poppy. Phoenix1 brought their own tempo to the game and continued to pressure heavily utilizing the Kled to get ganks off or force engages. Team Dignitas didn’t have a response to this strategy and the lead that Phoenix1 established continued to grow and grow. While Phoenix1 battered away at the middle inhibitor in the mid game, Ssumday forced an engage and Team Dignitas was aced, allowing Phoenix1 to snag game 1.
Game 2 begins with a killer 1v1 between Meteos' Rengar and Chaser's Lee Sin. Chaser barely survived and took first blood and Xpecial forced Adrian’s flash while they attempt to collapse. The game fell into Dignitas' favor as Ssumday tanked up all the damage on his Gragas and the team pushed down two inhibitors to secure the game. Game 3, however, had Phoenix1 gather a lead and run away with it. Meteos took his signature Zac and Team Dignitas drafted no magic damage threat. By 30 minutes, Phoenix1 had a 14k gold lead, 3 inhibitors, and the Nexus. Phoenix1 took the series, 2-1.
The next series was against the juggernaut TSM. TSM, at this point, had only dropped two series. They had won 9 series in a row and were poised to take their 10th against Team Dignitas. With game 1 starting, Svenskeren on Rengar looked to get a gank on middle lane. Chaser, however, anticipated the gank on Elise and countered. Keane followed up on Cassiopeia and secured first blood for Team Dignitas. TSM accumulated more gold through Svenskeren ganks and then forced a teamfight in the mid-game against Team Dignitas. Team Dignitas managed to snag a 4 for 0 and take a notable lead. Later in the game, Team Dignitas started Baron and Svenkseren engaged with Hauntzer’s Shen ultimate.
Chaser secured the objective but died for his sins, trading 2 for 1 in Team Dignitas’ favor. The middle inhibitor turret fell. When Baron respawned, Team Dignitas went for it again but Svenskeren secured it the second time, shifting the gold lead in TSM’s favor. Through superior macro play, TSM ended up acing Team Dignitas and took game 1. In game 2, Team Dignitas put Chaser on Graves and Ssumday on Renekton with a plan to pressure Hauntzer's Rumble. They secured first blood and forced Hauntzer’s Flash which tempted a return gank. However, Hauntzer outplayed the gank and secured the kill on Chaser and managed to snag a second kill on Ssumday shortly after. The game turned into the Hauntzer show as he abused his lead over Renekton. His lead allowed him to put the game on his shoulders, even allowing him to near one-shot LOD and take 1 kill in a 4v1. TSM won game 2 and took the series 2-0.
WEEK 7: Counter Logic Gaming VS Team Dignitas & Team Dignitas VS Echo Fox
Week 7 began with the series against Counter Logic Gaming. Counter Logic Gaming going into this series was 6W-6L and Team Dignitas needed to win what they could to have a chance at qualifying for the upcoming playoffs. Game 1 began with Xmithie's Graves and Darshan's Poppy giving Ssumday's Nautilus a bit of attention. Ssumday fell for first blood, but Keane's Cass retaliated with a solo kill against Huhi's Ahri. That didn't stop Xmithie from heading back to Ssumday for another gank and kill. However. Chaser and Keane then proceeded to force an invade on Xmithie’s red side jungle and completely burst him down. The entire Counter Logic Gaming roster collapsed but Team Dignitas is there as well and they counter the engage, resulting in an ace and Infernal Drake in favor of Team Dignitas.
The game shifts completely in Team Dignitas’ favor and turrets and players get picked off at Team Dignitas’ whim as they took game 1. Game 2 began the same as game 1 with Team Dignitas getting 1 kill in mid while Xmithie got a kill on the other side of the map. Team Dignitas prioritized mid lane pressure this game for Keane on Syndra and put Huhi's Orianna far behind. Later in the game, Chaser's Rengar focused his On the Hunt! onto Stixxay, securing a quick and easy kill with LOD and Xpecial's assistance. However, Counter Logic Gaming collapsed, expecting to clean up the now scattered Team Dignitas. However, Team Dignitas countered and aced Counter Logic Gaming once again, shifting the gold completely in their favor. The game, however, was extended as Darshan on Fiora tried his best to split push to victory while Team Dignitas looked to group and end the game. Darshan secured both the bottom inhibitor and top inhibitor but Team Dignitas capitalized on his split pushing and forced a fight to end the game. Team Dignitas secured game 2 and wins the series 2-0.
The next series was against Echo Fox, a team with the same record as Team Dignitas (5W-8L). Echo Fox had seemed to be one of the most volatile teams in the league with Akkadian being their saving grace. Akkadian stepped up this game on Graves versus Chaser’s Rengar. In the early game, he had a dominating performance and took a sizable lead. Echo Fox took an early lead and managed to take a few teamfights in their favor but Team Dignitas came back in the mid game with Keane on Ekko having a phenomenal Teleport flank and securing a double kill on Froggen and Gate. The game continued to go back and forth with fights being taken by Echo Fox and Team Dignitas. Eventually, after a brutal 56 minute game, Echo Fox took game 1. Game 2 started off with a bang, literally, as Chaser went down to bottom lane for first blood on Graves. Chaser went down for a repeat gank but Echo Fox predicted it and retaliated with a countergank from Akkadian on Rengar. The gold shifted towards Echo Fox’ favor.
Shortly after, a teamfight occurred with Keith being caught out in Team Dignitas’ red side jungle resulting in a 2 for 2. Another brutal teamfight occurred with Looper's Nautilus teleporting in and forcing an engage. Keane on Vladimir put out insane damage and managed to secure a double kill while the rest of Team Dignitas snagged another two. The end result was a 4-3 in Team Dignitas’ favor. Keane started to really get big at this point and the game was placed on his shoulders with his impressive Hemoplagues taking over teamfights. Finally, Team Dignitas took game 2 with Ssumday backdooring the Echo Fox Nexus as Keith auto attacked him in vain. Game 3 started off the same as game 2 with Chaser going in for a gank in bottom lane. Keith managed to secure first blood on Xpecial’s Lulu but Chaser double killed both Keith and Gate on Rengar. The double kill on Chaser culminates into a very fed Rengar who put out an absurd amount of damage alongside a dirty front line in Ssumday’s Nautilus. The lead slowly grew as teamfight after teamfight ended in Team Dignitas’ favor and Team Dignitas took game 3, winning the series 2-1.
WEEK 8: Team Dignitas VS Team Liquid & Team EnVyUs VS Team Dignitas
Team Dignitas, at this point, had once again been revitalized after winning two series in a row. Going into this game, they were also against a Team Liquid roster that had been struggling and had real fears of facing relegation. This draft, Team Dignitas secured Gragas for Ssumday and a deliver-the-ball system with Chaser on Rengar and Keane on Orianna. Game 1 begins with Ssumday, Chaser, and Keane engaging on Piglet’s Vladimir. Piglet gets destroyed and Reignover, who had attempted to save Piglet, was caught out and killed as well. The game starts off strong, 3-0 in Team Dignitas’ favor. Shortly after, Keane solo kills Piglet bringing the score to 4-0. The lead continues from this point with multiple teamfights including massive engages with Chaser’s ultimate & Ssumday Teleport flanks. After securing Baron, Team Dignitas takes game 1.
Game 2 starts off strong with Chaser on Lee Sin once again looked mid and took out Piglet. Shortly after, he headed bottom lane and took out Doublelift, thus knocking both of their strongest players down a peg. Team Liquid heads to do a Baron (or at least gather vision on Baron) around the mid game and Team Dignitas collapses with Ssumday flanking on Nautilus. After the flank, Team Dignitas secures Baron, opens the Nexus, and Chaser and Ssumday secure the series 2-0 with a backdoor.
Team EnVy was the next series against Team Dignitas and it started off with an awkward play by Team Dignitas. Going into game 1, Chaser played Lee Sin and went in for a gank only to be bamboozled by Apollo’s Caitlyn meshed in with Hahuko’s Malzahar voidlings. He dies and first blood went to Hahuko. Team Dignitas retaliated with a brutal play in top lane with Ssumday on Ekko & Keane on Azir. Seraph & Ninja both get caught out and killed. The lead continued to grow with LOD getting picks with his Jhin ultimate and Team Dignitas securing neutral objectives. Keane goes godlike as he acquired more and more kills after pushing down the bottom lane inhibitor and a Nexus turret. Shortly after, Team Dignitas took game 1. Game 2 starts with LirA being determined to win the game. Rushing mobility boots on Elise, LirA secured 3 kills for EnVy and aimed to take the early game by force. As the game went on, all three inhibitors fell for Team Dignitas & Team EnVy inevitably took game 2. Game 3 had Team Dignitas coming back with a vengeance. LirA secured first blood for his team on Lee Sin but Keane retaliated immediately by solo killing Ninja on Cassiopeia. A bottom lane cheese occurred with Ssumday on Nautilus waiting in a bush. This prompts a 4v5 teamfight where Team Dignitas collapses with all members and kills 3 of EnVyUs and pushed down the first turret for a massive gold spike. Team Dignitas forces a Baron in the mid-game and Keane prevents a Baron steal with a Cassiopeia W. Nothing really occurs with the first Baron but the second Baron spawning had Keane go big with a 3-man Cassiopeia stun. After another two brawls, Team Dignitas snags a win over Team EnVy and wins the series 2-1.
WEEK 9: Team Dignitas VS Cloud9 & Immortals VS Team Dignitas
And in week 9, Team Dignitas met again with Cloud9 who dealt them a hard defeat in the first week. Cloud9, while not seemingly as unstoppable as TSM, still has great team cohesion and Team Dignitas went in expecting a hard battle. Starting with game 1, Cloud9 had an aggressive 5-man play behind the turret of Team Dignitas' bot lane. Sneaky on Lucian went for a Flash onto Xpecial for first blood but paid for it with his life when Ssumday teleported on Nautilus. Dignitas also retaliated with a revenge kill on Contractz. Team Dignitas then began an upwards spiral and gathered a large lead, much of which can be attributed to Chaser and his Rengar play. The lead grew bigger and bigger into the mid game as Team Dignitas had a lead of 11 kills (14 kills to 3) but Ssumday overcommitted and was killed alongside Keane, Chaser, and Xpecial, giving Ray a triple kill on Jarvan IV. Team Dignitas then went for a Baron play to firmly reestablish their grip on the game, however Contractz stole the Baron away on Elise and Cloud9 followed the play with a 4 for 0. Cloud9 forced a push and managed to snag game 1. Going into game 2, Team Dignitas once again had a firm grip on the early game leading Cloud9 with several kills but overextend their hand and Cloud9 punished them for it. Sneaky on Jhin got a phenomenal ult and zoned an entire team, dropping them to no health. In another teamfight, Cloud9 collapsed on Team Dignitas in a chokepoint and swamped them with an Orianna/Rumble ult combination. Cloud9 took full advantage of their new established lead and took game 2, winning the series 2-1.
The last series for Team Dignitas was against Immortals. This was the most important set as it determined whether or not Team Dignitas would make it into playoffs. Team Dignitas went in guns a'blazin and Immortals came in with high hopes as well. Starting off game 1, Immortals had an early roam with Pobelter's Taliyah on the bottom lane of Team Dignitas. They quickly secured a kill on an out of position LOD. But with predictable play comes consequences. Immortals focused heavily on punishing the bottom lane and Chaser's Kha'Zix retaliated against Dardoch's Lee Sin with a countergank. Dardoch was quickly picked off and the rest of Immortals was cut off by an impressive Teleport flank by Ssumday's Nautilus. Immortals went for a Rift Herald play but Team Dignitas caught wind and collapsed with all five members resulting in a 2 for 0 in Team Dignitas' favor. The game was held at a stalemate and Immortals went for a desperate Baron play at 60 minutes but Chaser stole the Baron giving Team Dignitas an edge in the teamfight. Shortly after, Team Dignitas snagged game 1 and were one step closer to the dream. Going into game 2, Immortals once again start off strong with their bottom lane taking a lead and Dardoch accumulating kills for himself. With a huge shift into macro play, Team Dignitas ended up shifting the gold lead in their favor, captured Baron, and picked off Dardoch. This led to Team Dignitas winning the second game of the series and allowed the roster to look towards the playoffs.
Playoff Quarterfinals: Team Dignitas VS Phoenix 1
Hopes were high entering the playoffs for Team Dignitas. After a surprising change of pace halfway through the split, Team Dignitas qualified for the playoffs. The quarterfinal game was set against Phoenix 1, a team that Team Dignitas had a losing record to, having lost two series against them. However, in pre-game interviews, Team Dignitas players like LOD expressed confidence going into the matchup and fans came into the series expecting a fight. Both teams had a lot on the line and went into the game with a desire to get to Vancouver.
Entering game 1, Team Dignitas started the game off with first blood on Phoenix 1's Stunt (Zyra) for Chaser's Nidalee. The situation went worse for Phoenix 1 as Zig (Nautilus) teleported in but Ssumday (Shen) countered with his own TP and LOD (Ezreal) managed to snag a kill. Team Dignitas had a definite lead in the early game (2-0, 1K gold lead). Phoenix 1 bit back when Chaser invaded onto Inori's (Ivern) jungle and ate Ryu's Syndra ultimate to the face. Afterwards, a bottom lane collapse yielded a 2-1 (in Team Dignitas' favor) with LOD dying for Arrow and Inori. The game changed tempo, however, when Phoenix 1 managed to get a 5 man dive onto Team Dignitas' bottom lane and killed Chaser & LOD, also securing first tower gold. Team Dignitas, later, answered with a Baron call and played cautiously enough that they managed to secure the Baron & only lose one teammate to Phoenix 1's collapse. After another Baron fight, Phoenix 1 picked off Chaser in a teamfight and managed to round up the rest of Team Dignitas and score an ace, taking game 1.
Phoenix 1 didn't want game 2 to start off like game 1 and snagged first blood on Stunt (Karma) against LOD (Caitlyn). However, Team Dignitas retaliated with a 4 man dive and chase against Zig (Shen) with LOD securing the kill. Ryu, on LeBlanc, shifted the game heavily into Phoenix 1's favor with some impressive mechanical prowess dodging skillshots against Team Dignitas' bottom lane. After his play bottom lane, Phoenix 1 began to dictate the pace of the game, accumulating leads with vision picks & teamfights in the Team Dignitas blue side jungle. Slowly and surely, Team Dignitas found that their vision was getting drained out and players began to make judgement errors that inevitably led to Phoenix 1 taking game 2.
Team Dignitas headed into game 3 with a strong desire to avoid getting 3-0'd. Starting the game off, Chaser (Rengar) & Ssumday (Nautilus) went for a dive on Zig (Fizz). It's always a little awkward diving the agile fish. Chaser snagged the first blood but died, resulting in a 1-1. The early game slowed down with very few kills being given until Xpecial (Malzahar) found himself caught by a death brush set up by Phoenix 1. Shortly after, Chaser was near one-shot by Zig's Triforce Fizz. Phoenix 1 secured a Baron in the mid game & rotated over to the bottom lane. Team Dignitas engaged onto a teamfight and killed Zig but overextended and Ryu, on Orianna, unleashed a 3K elo ultimate and wiped nearly the entirety of Team Dignitas. Later on, Team Dignitas found themselves in an awkward pickle with Zig backdooring their inhibitor and Nexus turrets. The options were either to initiate a fight or to recall but Phoenix 1 would've cancelled their recalls so they opted to fight. Both Nexus turrets dropped and Team Dignitas prepared their last line of defense. However, Phoenix 1 rushed in and managed to take down the Nexus taking game 3 and winning the series. 3-0 Phoenix 1.
Thanks for reading everyone. Make sure to follow Team Dignitas on their journey in the Summer Split!