Through a combination of patience and focus, Echo Fox was able to push TSM to the limit Sunday night, forcing a 55 minute slugfest with the defending champions. And now, Echo Fox finds themselves alone at the top of the standings for the first time in the history of the organization, and if the team continues to play at this pace, they could maintain sole command of first place for quite some time.
With the game all but wrapped up for TSM, a gutsy bottom lane dive initiated by Jungler Mike Yeung at the 39 minute mark resulted in a 3-for-1 in favor of Echo Fox, allowing the game to continue even longer due to a Baron secure from Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett. Eventually, after a series of ridiculous teamfights and picks across the map, Echo Fox was able to crack the TSM base and move solely into first place, banishing NA’s resident powerhouse to the bottom of the standings.
After two weeks of play in the 2018 NA LCS, Echo Fox has proven to be a frightening force at the top of the standings, defeating early preseason favorites in Cloud 9 and of course, TSM. And now, with an undefeated record in tow, Echo Fox is easily one of the scariest new contenders in the entire league. With a dominant approach led by Dardoch and Seung-hoon “Huni” Heo, Echo Fox is out for blood, as they’ve already amounted 74 kills over the course of 4 games, the most in LCS.
However, while the spotlight falls on to big name plays coming from top lane and the jungle, the most consistent performances have come from the carry positions, as Jae Hoon “Fenix” Kim and Johnny “Altec” Ru rank 1st and 2nd in total kills with 25 and 24, respectively. With an emphasis on mounting massive leads and forcing their opponents to play the game in “black and white mode”, Echo Fox has established themselves as one of, if not, the most aggressive teams in the entire NALCS.
Gone are the days of the slow-paced, boring, and uninspiring Echo Fox team that featured Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev and Terry “Big” Chuong. Now, the team looks explosive and impressive, and for the first time in their three-year history, Echo Fox games are actually fun to watch.
One of the main reasons for this massive switch-up in playstyle comes at the hands of Huni, as the former Worlds finalist has emerged as one of the lead shotcallers for the team, setting Echo Fox up for success through aggression and cutting-edge risks. After all, Huni’s unblinking attitude towards League of Legends has a long-storied history, exemplified prominently in his ability to not only take off-meta champions like Lucian and Yasuo into the top lane, but succeed with them, as well.
However, this newfound aggressive playstyle shouldn’t come as a shock, as nearly the entire Echo Fox roster has a history of going for broke and coining courageous approaches. Throughout their careers, Dardoch, Fenix, Altec, and Adrian have always been known for flashy and gutsy plays and picks, and now, their newfound intrepid synergy is resulting in massive successes for Echo Fox. If the team can continue to play at this lightning-fast pace, we could see NA’s newest contender stay at the top of the standings for weeks to come.