Echo Fox Sweeps Clutch Gaming in LCS 3rd Place Match
The 2018 NA LCS Spring Split saw Echo Fox's best ever finish in the league, as the team took 2nd place in the regular season after a hard-fought campaign.
The 2nd place finish earned Echo Fox both its first ever NA LCS playoff appearance and a bye into the semi-final round. The Foxes hoped to translate their regular season success into playoff dominance to take home the organization's first NA LCS championship.
Semi-Finals vs. Team Liquid
In Game 1, Echo Fox set the pace for the match over the first 20 minutes. The team earned map control by taking a few turrets and neutral objectives such as an Infernal Drake and Rift Herald.
After the 20 minute mark, Team Liquid fought its way back into the game and took the lead by defeating Baron Nashor. After capturing the Baron buff, Team Liquid snowballed its lead and won game 1 in 32 minutes.
Echo Fox was not going to go down without a fight. During champion select for game 2, the team made a pivotal pick with Skarner - a champion that Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett had not played during the regular season.
The pick paid off as Dardoch was able to take advantage of his jungle counterpart, Jake "Xmithie" Puchero, capturing objectives all over the map. He defeated an Ocean Drake about 5 minutes into the match, slayed and Infernal Drake as soon as it respawned, and took down the Rift Herald.
Team Liquid’s Eugene "Pobelter" Park tried to lead his team back into the game, picking off Echo Fox players with his Swain pick. However, Pobelter was unable to carry his team in Game 2. Echo Fox continued to snowball their lead and won the game in 34 minutes.
In Games 3 and 4, a light turned on for Team Liquid. They showed up with a gameplan to counter what occurred in Game 2, using Trundle to shut down Echo Fox and control the map. The plan was successful as Liquid won Game 3 in 29 minutes and Game 4 in 23 minutes.
Team Liquid would later go on to face 100 Thieves in the finals before winning the organization’s first NA LCS championship.
Third-Place Match vs. Clutch Gaming
The third-place match saw both Echo Fox and Clutch gaming fighting for championship points and a spot in this year’s Rift Rivals tournament.
Looking to prove itself after the loss to Team Liquid, Echo Fox dominated this series like how they dominated LCS this Spring Split. In champion select, Clutch Gaming allowed Echo Fox to pick Olaf for Dardoch in Games 1 and 2 of the series. In Game 1, Dardoch played aggressively throughout the map, ganking multiple lanes and helping his teammates snowball their way to a lead. Each time Clutch Gaming tried to get aggressive, Echo Fox would find a decisive kill and force Clutch to disengage. The first game ended in a 29-minute victory for the Foxes.
In Game 2, Echo Fox turned up the invading Clutch Gaming’s jungle in the first few minutes of the game. This threw Clutch Gaming off of its plan and allowed Dardoch to take control of the opposing jungle. Clutch Gaming could not recover since the invade and Echo Fox dominated Game 2 in 21 minutes.
Game 3 played out in a similar fashion. Clutch Gaming banned Olaf during champion select, try to slow down the Foxes’ invade-heavy strategy, leaving Dardoch to pick Sejuani instead.
The final game of the series was a one-sided affair as Dardoch continued to be a threat in Clutch Gaming’s jungle, despite being forced to play a different champion. When all was said and done, Echo Fox had defeated Clutch in a 25-minute game.
Thanks to his performance, Dardoch earned Player of the Series honors.
With its victory over Clutch Gaming, Echo Fox has finished its most successful NA LCS campaign and secured a spot at the Rift Rivals tournament, which will be held later this year, the team's first appearance at an international event.