Respecting their opponents enough to break the base slowly despite their early lead, Team SoloMid won a 42-minute game against Team Impulse on the first day of Week 2 of the LCS.
Ryze was banned for the first time today, eliminating the powerful mage from Impact or Dyrus. TSM first-picked Rek'Sai then Gnar, which Team Impulse responded to by selecting Lee Sin and Rumble. TSM finished off with team-fight damage, picking LeBlanc, Vayne and Annie. Team Impulse, on the red side, ended the pick and bans phase by adding in Azir, Sivir and Thresh.
TSM was the more aggressive team in the early game, melting through enemy health bars by attempting several ganks, but not managing to get a kill. TIP traded the threats for the first destroyed turret of the game in less than four minutes, but TSM responded in kind two minutes later.
In the laning phase, Bjergsen's LeBlanc was repeatedly harassing XiaoWeiXiao's Azir in the mid lane, giving the TSM player a slight CS advantage and First Blood.
By the 10-minute mark, the groups hadn't attempted to acquire any more objectives but TSM kept surprising TIP with violent ganks in every lane. A TSM three-versus-two close to the dragon pit gave the group their second kill, also against the enemy mid laner. They used the opportunity to destroy the bottom Tier 1 turret, but also gave up a kill after an overextend in the mid lane.
TSM kept up an incredible pace, stealing the blue buff in the bottom jungle then killing Rush to make the score 3-1. They also took down the first dragon uncontested, taking the lead in the early game. But 16 minutes in, TIP came out ahead in a fight in the top lane that ended as an equalizer.
They also evened the turret count, but had to face their enemies in the top lane again in a fight that was a gift to TSM. The group got four kills in the top lane, then spotted the remaining opponent in their own jungle thanks to great warding, leading them to score an ace (without giving up any kills) 17 minutes in.
At the 20 minute mark TIP got a fifth kill and the top Tier 2 turret (their third), while TSM split pushed to get a fourth tower. TSM also killed their second dragon, giving them a 5k gold lead.
While the timer ticked away into the mid game, TIP tried their hardest to defend their turrets but gave up a fifth as well as a third dragon to TSM. Meanwhile, TSM players had gained huge CS advantages and established good vision around the Baron. The next team fight came before the turn of the 30-minute mark in the mid lane, where TSM traded three-for-one, destroyed another turret then backed off to heal.
A few minutes later, TSM killed the Baron but lost one for none in the ensuing fight. TIP turned around to secure their first dragon buff, extending the length of the game.
TSM came knocking at the enemy door 36 minutes in the match, taking the bottom inhibitor turret but being chased away from taking the inhibitor after a one-for-one. They returned two minutes later, but didn't find an opportunity to dive in, always held at arms length by TIP.
After the 40-minute mark, TSM rushed up the river to take another Baron, then split up to clear waves while taking their seventh turret. Without a moment of hesitation, TSM took the bottom inhibitor, but showing respect for their opponents, backed off yet again. They took a fourth dragon instead, now with a 12k gold lead.
They then came back for the final push, killing the TIP support before taking the top inhibitor. Playing a controlled, thorough game, they turned to take the remaining inhibitor but instead engaged in a fight that gave them four kills.
With 42 minutes on the timer, TSM destroyed the nexus and finished the game ahead 17-8.
Farnia Fekri is a staff writer for theScore eSports. She is so excited for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada she could cry. You can follow her on Twitter.