Thursday's game between Team ROCCAT and SK Gaming was too close to call even after the 50-minute mark, until ROCCAT used a fight to score an ace (at the cost of four lives) and end the game 20-19 in almost 54 minutes.
The match was long and riddled with mistakes on both sides. It saw SK grab a lead several times only for ROCCAT to capitalize on a mistake and equalize, then make a mistake of their own to give up an edge. The game was wide-open throughout, with both groups having 15 kills and an inhibitor each at the 50 minute.
ROCCAT ended the game behind almost 10k in gold, having won the match off of a single fight.
SK tried an early gank in the mid lane against Nukeduck, whose life was saved by his teammates. The same situation saw SK almost kill Jankos, but it took them almost to the seventh minute to get First Blood.
ROCCAT made the mistake of yielding the bottom half of the map in the laning phase, letting SK clean out the jungles and get the first dragon uncontested. SK had a cleaner, more effective style to their skirmishes, but they overreached at the 15 minute to pull the kill score (still in their favor) to 4-3.
The mid game started off slowly, with both heavy-poke comps matching each other in their defensive styles. ROCCAT managed to equalize the kills 4-4, barely behind in gold as the 30-minute mark passed.
It was at this point that SK snuck into the Baron pit, actually securing the buff uncontested before their opponents collapsed on them. But SK still came out of the battle with a three-for-two fight, giving them a 3k gold lead. Just seconds later, SK showed their Baron-buffed fearlessness in the mid lane with a two-for-one trade that pulled the score to 9-7.
Going into the late game, ROCCAT managed another equalizer that saw them go 10-10 in kills. But after interrupting ROCCAT's Baron ambitions, SK secured their fourth dragon. They looped through the jungle to sneak another Baron, trading another two-for-one in a decisive fight.
When SK tried to take the enemy base, ROCCAT snagged three free kills to take the kill lead 14-12. They used the opportunity to destroy an inhibitor of their own, greedily staying around to take a nexus turret. SK chased their enemies to take three kills and an inhibitor, both teams making several mistakes in the chaos of the late game.
Coming out of the fight, SK secured their fifth dragon at the 46 minute mark. They also got their third Baron uncontested, then using their many buffs to melt the bottom inhibitor.
The 50-minute mark passed with the game still too close to call, though looking to be on SK's side just slightly. However, ROCCAT equalized the kills (yet again) 15-15, before meeting their opponents near the Baron.
The teams went in for a do-or-die battle in the gorgeous fight that ensued, with ROCCAT just managing to trade five-for-four. With only Nukeduck alive and having scored a Quadra Kill, the game ended in almost 54 minutes with ROCCAT winning 20-19.
Farnia Fekri is a staff writer for theScore eSports. She can't believe the game she just watched. You can follow her on Twitter.