100 Thieves, Cloud9 open LCS Lock-In with two wins

The 2022 North American League of Legends Championship Series began preparing for its 10th season on Friday as the defending champions 100 Thieves grabbed a pair of victories among five games from Group A of the annual preseason Lock-In tournament.

100 Thieves (2-0) began their 2-0 day with a dominant win over TSM (1-1).

TSM, who opted to field their Academy roster for the Lock-In, started strong with a level-one set play that led to first blood. After that, though, 100 Thieves took control of the game, shutting down TSM's top lane Vayne pick and taking objectives throughout the mid-game.

In what was nearly a perfect start to the season, 100 Thieves allowed only one kill as they dismantled TSM's reserves in a 26-minute stomp playing on red.

The Thieves would go on to take down Golden Guardians (0-2), who also fielded their Academy roster in this tournament. While the victors' support Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun got caught out of position multiple times in lane as Lux, 100 Thieves' lethal poke duo lane combination gave them early pressure, taking the bottom turret early and forcing Golden Guardians to play into 100 Thieves' hands.

In the end, the Guardians could not keep up with the defending LCS champs as 100 Thieves took the win in nearly 33 minutes playing on blue.

Golden Guardians started Day 1 with a loss to Cloud9 (2-0), who have a mixed roster of Academy and main-roster talent for the Lock-In. Cloud9's active offseason unfortunately meant that some of the players were unable to participate due to visa issues, but the squad was more than ready to take down the Guardians.

Cloud9 top laner and long-time pro Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaya had a great showing as Sion, smashing through the Guardians' top side of the map and leading the charge for the win in 35 minutes on blue.

Cloud9 would also take down FlyQuest (0-2), who fielded their presumed starting roster for the tournament. While FlyQuest had some bright spots throughout the day, namely the new acquisitions of bot laner Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen and mid laner Loic "toucouille" Dubois, the team looked out of sync.

Cloud9 used superior macro play to set up plays post-20 minutes, increasing their gold lead while FlyQuest couldn't respond. After a pentakill from Cloud9 bot laner Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen's Ziggs, the winners put the game away in nearly 36 minutes playing on blue.

FlyQuest also suffered a loss against TSM in a sloppy, 50-minute slugfest -- with TSM on red -- putting TSM at 1-1.

The Lock-In continues on Saturday with five Group B matches:
Dignitas vs. Team Liquid
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Immortals
Team Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses
Immortals vs. Dignitas
Counter Logic Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses

LCS Lock-In standings
Group A
T1. 100 Thieves, 2-0
T1. Cloud9, 2-0
3. TSM, 1-1
T4. FlyQuest, 0-2
T4. Golden Guardians, 0-2

--Noah Waltzer, Field Level Media