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Phoenix1 vs Gold Coin United – NA Promotion Preview

Promotion Tournament kicks off with a P1 vs GCU match! Can the #1 Challenger team take down the #10 NA LCS team?

Phoenix1 is a mess. Despite a stacked roster, this lineup routinely falls behind in lane and struggles to find macro plays to come back from the deficit. If MikeYeung gets something going, then Phoenix1 can transition into a smooth mid game. But if that strategy fails, they quickly run out of steam.

Even though Gold Coin United spent the regular season chasing after eUnited, they made a statement with their playoffs performance. This lineup is built around the mid lane/jungle synergy and relies on its scaling bottom lane to pull through in the late game. Their macro is solid too, and GCU don’t hesitate to go for split-second objective calls.

Match Preview

Top Lane Matchup

As much as we’ve praised P1 zig for being the ultimate role player in the past, those days are long gone. Now, with a 2.3 KDA and 7.9 CS per minute, zig has a hard time standing up to aggression and holding his own against most top laners.

Fortunately for him, GCU’s Solo is anything but that. Sporting a 4.3 KDA and 8.7 CS per minute (over the regular season), Solo is a low econ top laner that specializes in teamfighting. Still, his Gnar can be deadly and his Rumble is nothing to laugh at either, so we’d have to give the edge to GCU here.

Verdict: GCU Solo outmuscles zig in the top lane.

Jungle Matchup

if you’re still thinking GCU Santorin is a walking ward, think again. With a 5.4 KDA and 4.1 CS per minute, he uses his veteran game sense to track the enemy jungler and find uncontested ganks for his laners. Moreover, the current tank meta is practically tailored for Santorin’s controlled playstyle.

Meanwhile, P1 MikeYeung is out of his element. Sporting a 3.2 KDA and 4.4 CS per minute, he has no trouble finding key advantages on aggressive picks, but showing up on tanks is a tall order for him. He’s not bad by any means, but he doesn’t have the impact that Phoenix1 needs.

Verdict: GCU Santorin takes the lead in the jungle.

Mid Lane Matchup

If there’s one position that’s been looking shaky for Phoenix1, it’s mid lane. A huge part of their past success was Ryu’s playmaking, but now P1’s captain is sitting at a 3.4 KDA and 8.5 CS per minute while losing one laning phase after another. Still, he could make something happen, if it weren’t for the fact how he’s often getting subbed out in favor of an even shakier mid laner—Pirean (1.8 KDA and 8.9 CS per minute).

On GCU’s side, Fly is going strong. Sporting a 6.3 KDA and 8.4 CS per minute, he’s seamlessly taken over every mid lane matchup he played and his LCK expertise will definitely come in handy when dealing with P1’s mid lane duo.

Verdict: GCU Fly claims the mid lane victory.

Bot Lane Matchup

GCU’s bottom lane is mostly there for scaling. Sporting a 7.7 KDA and 9.3 CS per minute, Rikara is a strong laner that can pull through in skirmishes while Madlife (5.8 KDA) backs him up with a wide range of defensive playmakers. But don’t count on them taking away the spotlight from Fly or Santorin.

In a similar fashion, P1’s duo is very much content playing for the late game. With a 3.7 KDA and 8.2 CS per minute, Arrow is a great teamfighting marksman that’s weighed down by his lackluster laning phase while Xpecial (2.7 KDA) is a veteran support that knows full well how to play the vision game and make aggressive roams. If GCU doesn’t put any pressure on these two, they’ll quickly snowball out of control.

Verdict: P1’s Arrow and Xpecial edge out a win in the bottom lane.


Things aren’t looking great for Phoenix1. Their bottom lane isn’t strong enough to make up for other losing matchups, and their macro isn’t in a place where they can outrotate GCU. Meanwhile, a single misstep from Ryu will lead to Santorin and Fly breaking open the mid lane and taking over the game. Our prediction: a 3-1 victory in favor of Gold Coin United!

What do you think about the Promotion Tournament match between P1 and GCU? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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Daniil Volkov

I craft narratives around League of Legends and cover LCK, NA & EU LCS.

Phoenix1 vs Gold Coin United – NA Promotion Preview

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