Giants Gaming came out victorious against the Copenhagen Wolves in an unbelievably close game on the second day of EU LCS Summer Split.
Though the Giants won, this game certainly wasn't a success story for either team, with both groups making fatal mistakes that showed indirection and an inability to punish.
Both teams had tunnel vision at several points in the game, which allowed their opponents to swoop in and get kills. The lead went back and forth throughout, and wasn't clear until the final few minutes, when the Giants got two aces that allowed them to close out the game.
After the Giants first picked Kalista, they added a few interesting flex picks including Jarvan and Morgana. The Wolves dismissed any threat with responses including Azir and Urgot. GIA also added in Xerath, an unusual pick in an unusual lineup, but seemed to lose the pick and bans phase overall when compared to the wave clear and magic damage of CW.
The teams each went after a side of the map (Giants invading bottom lane and CW invading top) to take a turret only four minutes in. The Giants got an extra objective in that minute, taking an early uncontested dragon.
The Wolves initiated a tower dive, looking to get first blood in a 4v2 in the bottom lane. A raging Kalista shed First Blood instead, and with her team mates rushing in, scored a triple kill while CW only got one.
The teams danced around each other in the early game, with no illusion of a simple laning phase in sight. At the 10 minute mark, the Giants were already dealing damage to a third turret, but were a bit off more than they could chew and gave up two kills (in exchange for one) to a punishing CW team.
In the 11 minute, undeterred, GIA grabbed a second early dragon then pushed up the midlane yet again in hopes of blowing up the turret. Overextending yet again, Giants ended up giving an equalizer to the Wolves, who got two kills and grabbed the kill lead at 5-4.
Trading turrets, the Giants could almost taste retaking the lead in the bottom lane but their hopes were dashed by a dancing Soren who evaded punch after punch. Energized, his team mates widened the kill gap by taking two quick kills after the 15 minute mark.
Having lost control early, CW made a nice come back and looked strong going into the midgame. However, after a fight that didn't result in any kills but looked disadvantageous for CW, the Wolves backed off while the Giants got a third dragon before 20 minutes had passed.
The Wolves stubbornly focused on one (impossible to secure) objective at a time, but the Giants also showed their weakness by going after Baron at an awful moment. With a lot of damage dealt to them by the purple monster, the Giants had to recall to heal, losing their tempo and letting CW clear minion waves.
At the 25 minute mark, CW managed to score a two for one in the midgame, then moved down hoping to get a dragon. Giants interrupted effectively, initiating this fight that gave CW another kill.
While CW chased down enemies, the Giants were taking their fourth dragon. By the time CW could run back to the pit, the dragon was quite low, and though the Wolves looked to steal the monster, the Giants managed to get their fourth dragon.
With 30 minutes on the clock and a CW gold lead so slight that it was negligible, neither team had the upper hand as the Wolves had a kill lead, but the Giants had four dragons.
As the dragon timer ticked away, the teams met in in the river for a brutal team fight.
With four Giants and three Wolves down, CW denied their opponents a fifth dragon and got their first. They made a bad call by going after Baron and not backing off when the Giants looked to interrupt. Using this mistake, the Giants scored an awesome ace.
Though the kill score still favored the Wolves (16-14), the Giants had the gold and turret (6-3) advantage by the 37 minute. GIA thought they could break into the enemy base but CW looked to object and got three kills. However, the Giants still came up ahead and scored their second ace of the game.
Almost 39 minutes into a roller coaster of a game, the Giants shattered the enemy nexus.
Farnia Fekri is a staff writer for theScore eSports. She has an undeniable addiction to ginger ale. You can follow her on Twitter.