Showing posts with label ROCCAT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ROCCAT. Show all posts

Saturday, May 30, 2015

What We Learned from EU LCS Summer Week 1


by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos


1. Origen are as good as they were made out to be.

Origen-ally I was sceptical about how xPeke's team would adapt to top tier competition that they haven’t yet been exposed to as a group. I thought that against some of the best EU has to offer, they might have some flaws exposed which they could later build upon. Instead what I received was a 2-0 trash of a week where Origen brushed away the likes of Giants Gaming and then proceeded to steamroll H2k - what I believed to be EU’s second best team and practically guaranteed worlds squad.

While Mithy is no Forgiven and opted against declaring himself as part of the best bottom lane in EU…by far, the duo pair of him and Niels has been crazily effective with the rookie marksman picking up the first MVP award of the summer split. But with so much attention on the oppressive dominance in the bottom lane duo, the good work and Peke, Soaz and Amazing are not to be overlooked. Aside from the occasional positional hiccup from Soaz, the top three members all held down their roles spectacularly showing that they’re still able to exhibit a top level of play. This will be especially warming to the top half trio as they all shouldered their fair share of doubt towards their ability to perform near the end of their last splits on Fnatic and TSM respectively.

I’m now excited to see how Origen fare up against some of the wilder teams in the LCS, as both H2k and Giants are quite tame and telegraphed in their style compared to the likes of UOL or Fnatic who aren’t afraid to shake the table.

2. The Copenhagen Wolves are still consistently inconsistent.

This team is about as consistent as my solo queue MMR, which by the way could be mistaken for an analogue radio wave. On their best days they can pool together a dominating performance and completely clean house against the best teams in EU, the next day or even literally half an hour later, they’re a mess of basic mistakes that can’t retain any control against a team that hardly looked like they knew why they were winning.

Although Freeze’s pure mechanical ability has been a shining point in lost moments along with areas of inspiration from Soren, the team needs heavy focus on regaining their flow and recovering from a loss of tempo if they want to be challenging for any of the spaces in the top half of the table this split.

3. Forgiven ruins the flow of any team he graces.

Although a tad bit harsh, there’s no way to express this without flat out saying it, Forgiven has proven to me that his playstyle appears to be unadaptable for everyone who tries to tame it. While the benefits of his presence are more than evident in having one of the best skilled ADC’s the west has to offer, it seemed like Gambit this week put themselves into a Piglet/Team Liquid situation where they tunneled on the acquisition of a world class talent and tried too hard to pool themselves around making it work. What Gambit need to avoid is the situation that has followed Forgiven like a dark cloud and it’s the internal collapse of teamwork, trust and synergy due to the clash in personalities. While SK Gaming held on for the best part of a split, it was too much for them as was with the Wolves. Personally with the history of how emotional Diamond and Edward can be, I’m a little worried as to how the team will recover if they don’t pull off a momentous upswing like last split.

4. The right Elements may have finally been blended together.

What an upgrade! This team looks to be with the right players in the mix alongside the right mentality. No joke, the KaBuM! incident obliterated the original lineup of Alliance and alongside the embarrassing worlds exit that followed, really tore apart the civil colleague relationship between the team. Only with the purging of the teams members and eventual rebuilding with the return of Tabzz, has the team finally begun to show the spark it showed in the summer of Season 4.

Dexter, Jwaow and PromisQ bring a new fresh feel and dynamic to the playstyle of the team and also seem to mesh with the rest of the team in a much better fashion than the previous trio of Wickd, Shook and Nyph who were simply Mission Impossible, Froggen’s waiter and some guy no one listened to. Rotations were good, the top laner actually looked like a member of the team and Froggen wasn’t giving off the vibe that he believed he was in elo hell.

As to how far this team can go, it’s still unknown as EL’s first game was a stomp over the currently broken Gambit and while they put up a good fight, they were ultimately taken down by the Unicorns. If EL wants to sneak in for a worlds spot, they need to overcome potential rivals for the spaces. Now it looks like they can, and not just on paper.

The question is, will they?

5. Roccat still have many problems that need to be addressed.

Woolite’s positioning has been the cause of many LCS face-desk moments for me and we’re only two games into the split. Whether or not he’s upped his poor positioning game to make up for the loss of his partner in crime, P1noy, is beyond me, but it’s hurting his team’s chances of being anything but relegation zone bound. It’s also apparent that every time Roccat change their top laner, it only seems to make the situation worse. Steve has yet to show why he was worth being selected as Roccat’s new top laner in place of Overpow, who went from the team’s shining star to a quickly ousted unmemorable top laner.

In fact, Steve’s biggest impact upon the LCS so far is the crowd chant of his name which follows a particular pattern of Roccat crowd memes when underperforming, one example being the ward chanting at LCS Wembley last season. On top of this, Jankos and Vander are mere shadows of their former selves and it’s been a very long time since I’ve heard anyone even try and call Jankos the “best jungler in the EU LCS”. Last but not least is Nukeduck, being the one returning Lemondog who isn’t a valuable asset to their new team. Out of the meta and completely out of his depth in most matchups, it’s a surprise Roccat chose only to make a change in the top lane, it’s even more surprising that it doesn’t seem like they’ve made any headway to addressing these issues which have carried on from the last split. In both management and player mentality, something is clearly wrong.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

EU LCS Possible Relegation Scenarios

by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 

Remaining Games:

EL- GIA, FNC
CW- ROC, GIA
GIA- EL, CW
MYM- SK, ROC
ROC- CW, MYM

Approaching the final week of the EU LCS, not everything is set in stone. There is a variety of situations that can still entangle the Copenhagen Wolves, Elements, Roccat, Giants and Meet Your Makers. Before I break down what could happen, I can explain that it’s impossible for Copenhagen Wolves to be auto relegated and Giants Gaming or Meet your Makers to reach playoffs.

Here are three I picked out:

Scenario 1: What I think will happen: CW (2-0), EL (1-1), ROC (1-1), GIA (0-2), MYM (0-2)

This clinches at least sixth and playoffs for CW on 9-9 while Elements and Roccat fight out a tiebreaker for seventh which I believe will be won by Roccat judging by the standard of play of both teams currently. Although I wouldn't put it past Elements to surprise us, while Roccat have been consistently below average, Elements have been fluctuating between showing signs of hope and being completely broken. This also leaves the bottom two in a scrap for auto relegation, one I actually favour MYM for at the moment. The latter having shown improvements in synergy and survivability while Giants have failed to secure any kind hold on their split.

Scenario 2: Three-way tiebreaker for Sixth: EL (1-1), GIA (1-1), ROC (1-1), MYM (1-1 or 2-0), CW (0-2)

For this to happen, Elements would need to pick up Giants and lose to Fnatic, Roccat take down CW and lose to MYM and Giants also need to take out CW. This will leave all three on a score of 7-11 and force the most important three way tie for the last playoff spot, the LCS safe zone and the promotion tournament. Also in this scenario, the auto relegation spot is decided by if MYM beat SK to go 2-0. If not they also get a tiebreaker for tenth. EU love tie breakers and this is definitely one that could change a lot.

Scenario 3: Four-way tiebreaker for Seventh: GIA (2-0), MYM (2-0), CW (1-1), EL (0-2), ROC (0-2)

This scenario seems wild and really far-fetched but it’s still a possibility. Under this scenario the Wolves get the last playoff spot and the bottom four all finish on 6-12 opening up the biggest tie breaker possible for the safe zone, the promotion tournament spots and the auto relegation zone. While this opens up the biggest storyline comeback for the bottom two, it’s a scenario that can end ugly for Roccat and Elements who cannot afford to tilt at such a crucial time. It's also not too hard to see this happening considering that GIA are 1-0 up against both their opponents and MYM have been looking better as of recent.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EU LCS Week 6 Preview


By Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos

The Spring Split is past its halfway point and now, more than ever, each game matters. Here are my picks for what to watch in the EU LCS Week 6.

Day 1- Roccat (4-6) vs H2k Gaming (6-4)

Since the introduction of KaSing, H2k have become a much more competitive team. They've gained the ability to make better calls, gained stronger map presence on a whole and now look much more decisive in closing out games and holding onto leads. This momentum is also helped by the slide some of the bigger teams have been having in terms of living up to their hype. One of those teams being Roccat. It’s been hard to predict Roccat this season as they have all the tools available to be a top tier team; they’re just not falling into place. Roccat can be the team to halt H2k’s KaWin streak but, considering the latter is coming into this off a win over SK, momentum is certainly in H2k’s favour.

Day 1- Gambit Gaming (5-5) vs Copenhagen Wolves (6-4)

Gambit fans finally have something to smile about, the team has been on a good reverse tilt ever since H2k turned themselves around as well. P1noy and Cabochard look great in their positions, Diamond and Edward seem like they've been revitalized and NiQ, prior to his side-lining, looked to be meshing well with the team. Luckily for Gambit fans, the swap in of Betsy didn't affect the team dynamic much and they should feel confident going up against what looks like the strongest Copenhagen Wolves squad in a very long time. Youngbuck, Airwaks and Unlimited are starting to show really good moments while Freeze and Soren have been instrumental in holding the team together in later phases and team fights. The special matchup of this game will certainly be in the bot lane. P1noy vs Freeze won’t disappoint.

Day 2- SK Gaming (8-2) vs Elements (4-6)

The battle of the two "should-be-top" teams in the EU LCS. While one team has lived up to its hype, the other has fallen prey to the same kind of weaknesses they displayed this time last season. Froggen’s super team are no strangers to really slow starts, but with the addition of Krepo in place of Nyph, maybe they have the right Elements to produce a winning formula. Krepo provides a strong analytical game sense, leadership and solid mechanics in a form that nRated brings to SK. If Elements have actually built upon their hardship and learnt the power of teamwork and friendship, this will be the perfect time to show it against a recently shocked SK. While an 0-2 week isn't necessarily a panic siren for them, poor momentum could easily make it a third consecutive loss.

Fantasy Forecast:

H2k owners should feel very confident considering Giants and Roccat aren’t the toughest looking competition on paper right now. Unicorn owners should be wary of SK Gaming and Fnatic owners of the Wolves but generally those two remain solid picks. Be mindful that this is a week that could halt the Wolves' hype train but it could be a very profitable week for their carries. While it seems impossible for Elements to lose against MYM, it also seemed impossible that they’d be 4-6 this far into the season so never say never.


Reminder: Krepo is Elements’ starting support over Nyph and Betsy will continue to start over NiQ on Gambit.

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By Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos

Thursday, February 12, 2015

EU LCS Week 4 Preview- Games to Watch


by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 


Week 4 of the EU LCS is about to begin, these are my picks on what will be the games to watch:

Day 1- Giants Gaming (2-4) vs Gambit Gaming (1-5)
Coming out of their first win of the split against H2k, the seemingly tilting Gambit squad should be going into this game with renewed confidence and their heads held high. If they can sustain the momentum and avoid being put behind early they should be able to give a good game to Giants. The lane to watch will more than likely be top lane since both Cabochard and Werlyb are key components in their team’s victories. Jungler interaction with the top lane will definitely be a swinging point in this matchup

Day 1- Unicorns of Love (3-3) vs Roccat (3-3)
This match has a lot of weight in being the match that decides who is biggest challenge to the top three in Fnatic, SK and Elements. As it stands UOL are 1-2 against the top three taking a game off Fnatic while Roccat stand at 0-3 against the top competition. On the flip side however Roccat have yet to lose against any non-top three team while UOL slipped up to the Wolves last week. In terms of skill and potential I’d have these two at the same. Being arguably the two most hyped teams going into the split, this will surely be a hotly contested match.

Day 2- Copenhagen Wolves (3-3) vs Fnatic (5-1)
Of all the matches in day two I picked this one because the Wolves have recently shown a sturdy resilience and a refusal to be defeated early. Soren in particular has had a really good time in some of the Wolves’ games. The matchups of Freeze vs Steeelback will be interesting to watch as well as seeing who can leave a bigger map-wide impact between Reignover and Airwaks. This game can go the way of the Wolves if the right conditions come into play, a victory here could also really help turn some heads to them being a dark horse for the playoffs. But Fnatic will be looking to shut out any more surprises after their loss to the Unicorns last week.

Fantasy Forecast:
If you have any SK or Fnatic members it’s in your best interest to slot them into your team with high scoring games on the outlook for both. Elements owners should also be rather happy with what should be fairly easier games on the cards for them too. While a shock result for the Wolves against Fnatic could happen, their week also starts against SK so be mindful. Unicorn and Roccat owners will be hesitant as both heavily impact the other’s weeks. Giants owners should also be mindful as while SK seems like a sure loss, Gambit might go either way. Any H2K and MYM owners should avoid fielding those players/teams as it looks to be fantasy drought for them this week, hard games as well as lineup changes and internal conflict come to mind.

Reminder- KaSing is now H2k’s starting support over Voidle.


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by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Roccat Waltz Into IEM Cologne Semifinals With Decisive Victory Over DoWS


                    Matt “It’s Pure Luck” Lee

It was far from the hardest test they will face this year, or even this tournament, but the new look Roccat lineup was dominant today versus the Dolphins of Wall Street in the first round of the Intel Extreme Masters Cologne. Coming into IEM Cologne as the likely favorite to win a spot in Katowice in March, Roccat was crisp and efficient in the two game sweep. The second round will see them draw stiffer competition as they square off against NA LCS representative Counter Logic Gaming but based on today’s performance it’s hard to not like their chances to move through to the finals.
           
Game one started off fairly slowly but for a bit of early action down in the bottom lane that saw former Millenium AD carry Creaton (Ezreal) nearly pick up an early kill on Woolite (Corki) only to be thwarted by a nice Aqua Prison by Vander (Nami) in the middle of an Arcane Shift. The game would see its first attempted gank just after the five minute mark. Lasagna (Pantheon) went to the top lane in an attempt to pick off Overpow (Irelia) who would quickly flash to safety but almost immediately reengaged as Jankos (Elise) was arriving on from river.  The level two Equilibrium Strike from Overpow would prove crucial this fight as not only was the stun long enough to use the ability twice, it helped lock down Lasagna as it was chained with Cocoon from Jankos. The Roccat jungler picked up first blood as we have seen so many times before and with a little help from Ryu (Jayce) roaming up top Overpow picked up the second kill on Meziljie (Gnar) while just barely surviving himself.
            
Roccat would find a pick on Lasagna a few minutes later courtesy of a deep ward placed at the red buff of DoWS. The game started to snowball out of control at this point. Roccat would pick up a dragon just after the ten minute mark while Overpower would simultaneously pick up a solo kill in the top lane as he tower dove Meziljie. Ryu, Jankos and Vander would find a kill on Bebe (Xerath) on the edge of the jungle near the mid lane as he was caught trying to steal dragon with a Xerath ultimate only to be Aqua Prisoned himself. The only lane that hadn’t gone horribly wrong for the Dolphins this late into the game was bottom where Creaton and Masterwork (Karma) were trading with Woolite and Vander fairly effectively. It simply wasn’t going to be enough for the Dolphins to get anything done. The vision control and map pressure were too stacked in Roccat’s favor and so was the gold advantage. At just over the fifteen minute mark Overpow was already 6/0/2 on a very snowbally champion and closing out the game was merely a formality for Roccat and it would mercifully end for the Dolphins in twenty-two minutes.
            
Game two started off quite slowly much as game one did and it was at the five minute mark again that the game would see someone take a trip back to base via a grey screen. It was played brilliantly by Vander (Thresh) landing a hook on Masterwork (Nami) who erred by venturing into his bushes instead of staying in his minion wave. Jankos (Lee Sin) took the lantern from river into the fight and would make a nice play on a ward hop to slow Masterwork down and allowed Roccat to pick up first blood. However, DoWS would answer back a few minutes later as Jankos was caught being a bit  greedy as he seemed to favor stealing the enemy blue buff away. He would pay for it as Bebe (Syndra) picked up the kill and secured his own blue. But Jankos would get revenge shortly after that as he and Ryu (Fizz) would team up to take down the Dolphin’s mid laner and the blue buff would be turned back over to Jankos.
            

The lead for Roccat stood at one thousand gold at ten minutes with neither team yet to take a dragon. The two teams would exchange kills on a Roccat invade that stole away the DoWS red buff. Masterwork was caught by Jankos and Ryu but was able to flash away. Lasagna (Kha’Zix) and Bebe were then able to close in on Jankos and Ryu with Bebe once again taking Jankos out with another Unleashed Power. A teleport bottom from Overpow (Gnar) sent the Dolphins scrambling away with Masterwork being killed for the second time in the game. But while this was happening, Bebe found another victim as a straggling Vander was picked off in the river close to mid lane resulting in a two for one in favor of the Dolphins of Wall Street. Meziljie (Jax) took down the top tower just after all of this ended and it brought the gold between the two teams to dead even just shy of twelve minutes into the game.
            
Bebe played well up until this point but would make a mistake of face checking a bush in his own jungle that resulted in a kill for Jankos and a dragon being picked up for Roccat.  They would continue to hang close with Roccat for the next few minutes but little mistakes would begin to add up. Meziljie went for an engage in bottom on Vander in what appeared to be a 3v2 in favor of DoWS but they never saw Ryu enter the brush and it was quickly turned back around on the Dolphins. Woolite picked up the kill on Meziljie and would get another on Masterwork on the ensuing chase by Roccat. The fight would be extended long enough for Lasagna and Bebe to attempt to get involved but their efforts were in vain as they both were killed and it was a 4-0 for team Roccat. The lead was suddenly commanding for Roccat as it surged to four-thousand gold at sixteen minutes; as noted above, it had been dead even just four minutes prior. 
            
With sightstones completed for two members, Roccat began to find picks as they wanted. They would catch Creaton out near his own red bluff and took their second dragon of the game. Overpow would defeat Meziljie in a duel and the deficit grew to almost seven-thousand for DoWS twenty minutes into the game. It took a bit longer this time but now it seemed to be a repeat of game one. The Dolphins seemed dazed as Roccat would take objectives and turrets as they pleased as the game progressed. A great hook from Vander onto Bebe would initiate the team fight that all but signaled the game was over as Roccat would ace DoWS without losing any of their own members. Roccat would pick up the Baron before winning one final team fight in the opponent’s base and pushing through for the win in twenty-six minutes. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TOP FIVE EU FREE AGENTS



By Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos

Europe, for me, has always been a promised land of talent for the League of Legends pro scene. Whenever you think that there won’t be another rising star, three more pop up and burst onto the scene. However, with so much rising talent, sometimes shaky infrastructure, and a tendency to hold onto well-known names too long, EU has a habit of letting some great talent slide into the shadows. So let's take a look at the top five players currently listed as free agents.

In no special order:

Gillius

Gillius technically didn't qualify for Worlds 2014; he was only brought in to sub for Svenskeren due to his unfortunate racial incident in Taipei. Prior to this, Gillius had only garnered experience from playing on SK Prime and Unicorns of Love in the challenger scene. Despite this, Gillius still put up a pretty solid showing for a rookie, at times even looking better than some of the actual team veterans who struggled to adjust and compete at their best level. While one would think that Gillius would go back bringing a wealth of experience and growth for newly LCS bound Unicorns Of Love, the team made the rather shocking decision to bench him, leaving him in the unfortunate position of having played in Worlds...but not the LCS itself.

Best Team ChoiceCopenhagen Wolves

The Wolves have always been EU’s hub of promising talent, I believe they would greatly benefit from Gillius’ newly gained experience and solid playstyle.

Nukeduck
Nukeduck, in his prime, was arguably one of EU’s best mid laners and a real force to be reckoned with, especially at the height of the Season Three assassin meta, which greatly suited his playstyle. The whole of the Lemondogs' squad were some of EU’s best in their positions and the degradation of the team and the eventual suspension of Nukeduck and Mithy was a huge waste of talent. However, with his suspension over, Nukeduck now has another opportunity to explode onto the scene and every team should honestly give him a look. The recent rumours surrounding him and Woolite possibly moving to Roccat would be amazing for the team, as a Nukeduck/Jankos partnership has the raw potential to be one of the scariest if they gather good synergy to accompany their individual talent. With so much time off to work on his attitude, his work ethic and mechanics he should now be ready to take the EU LCS by storm.

Best Team Choice: Roccat

The more I think about it, the more I believe Nukeduck can take Roccat to higher levels. I’m really excited at the prospect of a huge playmaker and arguably EU’s best Season 3 mid laner paired with arguably the best jungler from EU Season 4. I also believe Overpow might be able to properly benefit from the more farm-centric style of the top lane, where there will be less expectation to hard carry Roccat games.

Forg1ven

After the Copenhagen Wolves had to give back Rekkles to Fnatic, many people doubted their ability to gather another AD carry who could have anywhere near the impact that Rekkles had. Then Forg1ven was picked up and all the doubt was silenced. Forg1ven was a monster AD Carry during his split with the Wolves, setting GPM, Total Gold, CS per min and Total CS records for EU and he was hailed by many as the best AD Carry in EU. Unfortunately, his fall out with the Wolves management left him unable to play during summer, but he is now free to be picked up and, in my opinion, is one of the biggest free agents EU currently has on the market to offer. His wealth of talent, fierce achievement-driven nature and prior LCS experience will get great assets to any team that take it with a pinch of salt.

Best Team Choice: Roccat

AD Carry-wise, most EU LCS teams are in a good spot. Every team expect Roccat, who currently doesn't have one. If the rumoured acquisition of Nukeduck is any kind of upgrade, the further acquisition of Forg1ven would catapult them into godly levels of potential. It would also likely leave Woolite on the Wolves allowing for Unlimited to actually play more than one split with a particular ADC.

Mithy

Mithy, like Nukeduck was a member of the overnight sensation team, LemonDogs, and was one of the three who transferred to NIP only to lose their slot in the LCS, eventually leading to Mithy’s suspension with Nukeduck and Zorozero’s retirement. Regardless Mithy’s suspension time is also nearing its end and with his eligibility for the 2015 LCS spring split, he should be a big consideration for teams in need of a solid support. It should be remembered that Tabzz and Mithy were one of the best, if not the best bottom lane in Europe by the end of Season 3.

Best Choice: Supa Hot Crew (now Meet Your Makers) or Millenium 

It would just so happen that Supa Hot Meet Your Makers are missing a support player following the teams rebranding and its release of Impaler and Kasing. It has also been heavily rumoured that Amin and Mithy will be the ones to fill in the newly freed up roles. Personally, I’m not too sure whether Mithy will gel well with the rest of the team, especially Amin, but MrRallez has shown himself to be the ADC equivalent to Unlimited, putting up good performances and easily building synergy with any duo lane partner he’s presented with. Alternatively, if MYM doesn’t work out another good destination for Mithy would be Millenium. With the departure of Kerp, Millenium is a team in dire need of a leader and a fresh start. Kev1n, Kottenx and Creaton are all top class players on the right day and I feel on most days, Jree just doesn’t allow them to perform to a peak of their (especially creaton’s) potential.

Kerp

As briefly mentioned, Kerp has now left Millenium in search of a fresh start. If he doesn't find a new team to settle down with, LCS casters and broadcast producers will surely be fuming at the loss of all the script they have to discuss his famous use of a trackball mouse. Despite how attractive it is to discuss, it isn't Kerp’s only asset. His raw talent is absolutely amazing and his ability to hard carry on assassin type champions is next to the best in EU. On top of this, his careful play on champions like Ziggs also provides a healthy switch between mid lane playstyles, which is impressive considering he was a top laner one season ago. Its also worth noting that Kerp was a Fantasy LCS superstar - bringing huge numbers (on his good days) for anyone who played him

Best Choice: SK Gaming or Copenhagen Wolves

If there was a better way to say I think Kerp is better than Soren and Jesiz, I would say it - but I can’t really find one. All three look the same in terms of being rather inconsistent, but generally Kerp can do a lot more a lot better and I think both teams would do well to consider how serious they are to be competing for the top spots with their current mid lane choices.

submit to reddit -----



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Roccat Cool Off Supa Hot Crew, Advance to Face Fnatic



By Matt “It’s Pure Luck” Lee

It had been a rough Summer Split for Roccat following their surprising performance from the Spring, in which they finished in third place. It was a split full of ups and downs that saw them start off with a dismal record of 1-7, only to claw back to .500 at 10-10 after Week Eight. But they couldn't keep up the momentum they had gained and Roccat dropped six of their final eight games to finish the season in sixth place with a record of 12-16. Heading into playoffs, they were dangerously close to the dreaded relegation matches. 

Now they needn't worry about it anymore.

Roccat managed to eliminate the young and upstart Supa Hot Crew in fairly easy fashion, taking the Best of Five series in four games. With the win, not only does Roccat avoid the possibility of being sent to the LCS promotion tournament, they keep their dreams of qualifying for the World Championship alive and will now have two cracks at achieving it. Supa Hot Crew, meanwhile, have to beat Millenium next week in the fifth place match if they want to dodge participating in their second straight promotion tournament. It would be a disappointing finish for a team that showed so much improvement from the Spring Split where they finished in seventh place.

And yet, watching this series, it looked as if Roccat were the third seed and Supa Hot Crew the sixth. Roccat seemed to come into this set of games incredibly well prepared, and it showed right away in the picks and bans of the first game. They let Kassadin slip through during the banning phase, seemingly knowing that Supa Hot Crew would first pick it, and Roccat was ready as they opted to run the Morgana and Elise pick comp to retaliate. It paid off massively for them. Jankos was able to put out a ton of lane pressure early, and at 8:05, they were able to drop the top turret of Supa Hot Crew. Just a bit over two minutes later the mid turret also fell, along with a dragon for Roccat.

Perhaps the biggest moment of this game came at 15:40. Roccat were able to turn an attempted initiate from Supa Hot Crew back around and pick up first blood when the fight was five versus four in favor of SHC. That fight illustrated the power of the team comp Roccat assembled, despite being one person down while it happened. Vander managed to get a black shield onto himself and avoided being knocked into the air by the Nami ultimate. At just about the same time, Jankos managed to land a cocoon on Mimer to prevent the Renekton dive into the team. From here it goes horribly wrong for Supa Hot Crew as Xaxus teleports in, and they start to scatter a bit in panic knowing their initiate didn't go as planned. Roccat immediately annihilate Selfie with a dark binding chained into an Alistar head butt and pulverize combo. Following this fight, despite only having one kill, Roccat already had a 4.5k gold lead at just over sixteen minutes. Supa Hot Crew was never able to recover from this point. Roccat methodically put the game away in slightly over thirty-five minutes to take a 1-0 series advantage.

In Game Two, Supa Hot Crew attempted to adjust and this time they banned Elise away from Jankos and grabbed Morgana themselves after Roccat first picked Maokai. Early on, things were looking great for SHC. They managed to pick up three kills in the first ten minutes and Impaler was far more active on Rengar than he had been on Kha’Zix the previous game. Yet, as well as they looked early on, the game turned around at just under twenty-one minutes. Holding a slight gold lead of five-hundred at that point, SHC tried to go to the well one too many times. Twice already they had snuck MrRalleZ up to the top lane along with Impaler to get multiple kills on Roccat. The third time wasn't the charm as they had poor ward coverage in the river and never saw Jankos was there along with Celaver and Vander. They were able to kill Vander, but Jankos had a great cataclysm that prevented any members of Supa Hot Crew from getting to Celaver, who picked up a double kill.  All of the sudden, Roccat had the gold lead and the baron buff. They wasted no time with baron as before it had worn off, they pushed bottom lane and won one final fight, ending the game before it was even twenty-six minutes old.

Game Three saw Supa Hot Crew pick up their first and only win of the series in what was a long and drawn out battle. Once again, SHC looked good early as MrRalleZ was able to get a few picks on Twitch for the second game in a row. It might have been nerves due to their season being on the line, but Supa Hot Crew did almost nothing with this early lead. At the 28:40 mark, Jankos and Xaxus picked off Mimer top lane, but in return, SHC was able to pick up the dragon. Fifteen minutes later, despite having picked up the only baron of the game and four of the six dragons, SHC was only ahead by one outer turret and their gold lead was starting to mean less and less. And after a baron steal by Jankos in the forty-seventh minute, it looked as if Supa Hot Crew could be in real trouble as their lead dwindled away. It got worse for the Supa Hot Crew in the fifty-sixth minute. Selfie had a poor Orianna ultimate that only hit Xaxus, and Roccat won the resulting team fight as well as another baron pick up. Selfie would ultimately redeem himself, however. In the final fight of the marathon game, he hit a three person shockwave that allowed Supa Hot Crew to pick up two important kills and push through the nexus turrets for the sixty-seven minute win to avoid being swept.

It was far from a convincing defeat, and Roccat quickly adjusted for game five, as they smartly banned Orianna away from Selfie. One has to question the picks by Supa Hot Crew on the turn after Roccat first picked Maokai; by taking Ryze and Tristana they left both Elise and Morgana open for Roccat who immediately locked them in. Once again, Jankos was helping with an early turret push, this time down in bottom lane as they took down the first turret of the game. Kasing committed a big no-no as he was caught window shopping and Overpower managed to pick up first blood on him right after the turret fell with a long range Ziggs ultimate.

As the game went on, it just felt like Roccat was dictating the terms and the pace; they were being proactive and Supa Hot Crew was being reactive. The fifteenth minute mark of the game is the perfect example of this. Supa Hot Crew sent three people top to get a kill onto Xaxus while Roccat took dragon followed by the bottom lane outer turret. Supa Hot Crew didn't even manage to take the top turret down, and now the gold lead for Roccat swelled to almost 4.5k at sixteen minutes.

It wasn't until the game was in the twenty-first minute that it began to spiral out of control. Despite Celaver having a trinity force on Corki, which is stronger than a mid-game infinity edge Tristana, SHC took a fight in the river near dragon and lost three members. Roccat went on to do baron and managed to get two more picks growing their gold lead to almost 7.5k. The strength of the comp Roccat was running was on display while they were pushing and sieging turrets down mid. Even the beefier targets like Braum and Dr. Mundo were easily dropped if they were hit by a cocoon or dark binding.

Roccat did make a few mistakes as they were trying to close the game out. Impaler managed to sneak a baron steal and Jankos was picked off carelessly in mid. It allowed Supa Hot Crew to cut the gold deficit to around six-thousand, but in the end, it was too little, too late. Once again the cocoon and dark binding chain crowd control combo caught onto Mimer as Roccat was trying to break through the last defense of SHC, pushing down the middle inhibitor. After a chaotic fight where the remaining Supa Hot Crew members desperately attempted to defend the nexus turrets and the nexus itself, Roccat was able to destroy the nexus and take the series 3-1.

It’s hard to say for sure, but Roccat seem to have found their rhythm at an opportune time. They looked much better than the team we saw struggle all summer to close out games where they had leads. In this series, they were quick and decisive in what they wanted to do when they were ahead, and Supa Hot Crew was never able to rise to their level. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

EU Playoffs : Preview and Predictions: Quarterfinals



by Pieter "antdriote" Cnudde 

Intro:

I’ll be breaking down the teams: looking at recent performances and each position. Then I'll look how they are matched against each other: play style and champion picks. It's incredibly hard to predict what such a big patch like 4.13 will do on the pro scene (I hate it when riot does this right before playoffs, but they want everything in order for worlds so I guess we should forgive them.)

The most notable change is, of course, heal and exhaust. We will probably see more assassin play and perhaps barrier again on ADC's (I definitely recommend it on midlaners that don't want to run ignite.) The nerfs and buffs to the marksmen also open up the pool. Vayne could be a special pick-up again for players like CandyPanda or Rekkles, while Graves and Sivir buffs could bring them back to competitive play. Sivir was a very favourite markswoman, used for quick rotations, and she only got better at it.

The holy trinity of junglers got nerfed, but all three are still very strong and I don't expect too many new jungle picks. All power supports got scaled back except Morgana, but I don't expect many new picks there until Sona becomes available for play. Lulu and Gragas got hit a bit, while Maokai still runs rampant. Ziggs got hit on his ult, but will still be a priority pick for his normal wave clear, together with Xerath if they fix the bug on time. Nothing new and broken seems to have emerged, but no one has had enough time to figure everything out yet.


Supa Hot Crew - Roccat

SHC has been a team on the rise, half because of the downfall of stronger teams, but also because they have consistently improved throughout the split. It’s a team made off pseudo-star players. Selfie and MrRalleZ shine when they carry, but don’t do this frequently enough. Impaler and Mimer are the strong rocks of SHC in that they can be relied on to do their job and push them to victory. With the latest addition of KaSing, they have, so they say, found a better voice in the team; a solid captain in the wild seas they are sometimes in. Selfie’s large champion pool is a strong point for SHC, since he isn't easy to ban out and can really devastate the enemy if he gets a dangerous pick like Yasuo. He is, unfortunately, not the most consistent mid, and if he doesn't get the best start, he tends to falter later in the game. MrRalleZ is somewhat similar; he always brings good numbers, but he can’t do it without his team. Too much pressure in the botlane could make it hard for him to carry. Though he isn't the flashiest player, he will deal considerable damage in teamfights if left unchecked. Impaler is always aggressive, even when he shouldn't be, but it mostly works out for them. He is bannable, though, and not the strongest in 1v1s. He could be targeted with good counterjungling. If Impaler does well, the whole team tends to do well, so a lot will depend on him if the lanes aren't going smoothly. Mimir can be crucial on having great TPs, but should just have a solid laning phase so he can tank or be the utility that Selfie and MrRalleZ need to win the game.

Roccat was a team destined for relegation, then a team on a hot streak, but now they've fallen again in the last few weeks. Overpow is probably the most passive midlaner in EU. Even though he occasionally does well in teamfights at the later stages of the game, it’s usually way too late - when his opponents can just free farm to break the 20 minute CS record or roam the map and make an impact in other lanes. Jankos and Vander are the pillars for Roccat. Vander is a great support that can make clutch plays/picks to win a teamfight or snowball the botlane. While Jankos will always stick to his style, he is very scary at it; an aggressive jungler that carries his team through early ganking or strong counterjungling. Celaver feels like a weaker version of MrRalleZ, only going in when Vander makes a move, but he provides the dps the team needs to win the games. Xaxus is not the most mechanically skilled player, but he was quick to jump on the Maokai train before anyone else, so we might see some strong picks from him on the new 4.13 patch. In general, Roccat secured wins with (mostly in the midlane) strange picks and very long, sloppy games.

The teams' head-to-head is 2-2 this split, with Roccat winning the most recent match this past Superweek. To be fair, SHC didn't had the best start in Superweek. Impaler’s Rengar was lack-luster and the Zilean pick in mid is something teams still have to adjust to. SHC looked stronger on the last day of Superweek and has looked the better team this whole split. Jankos will probably be the key factor for Roccat to win the series. Roccat leads the EU with the most first bloods and Jankos is almost always involved. Overpow’s lack of pressure in mid will be heaven for Selfie, but Jankos will always be around to bite him in the ass. Impaler can handle Jankos if he gets a comfortable jungler to control the early pressure, and makes sure that his lanes can get ahead by themselves. Vander and Jankos could really swing the lead into their favour with good pressure all around the map.

Most bans will probably be targeted around the midlane since both players have a pretty big pool. This will open up the botlane and jungle to get the strong picks that they need to win the game. This mostly benefits Roccat, since Overpow is never the hard carry from the team. SHC’s best chance is focusing on Jankos or Vander, banning out junglers/getting Impaler a strong first pick, and making sure their botlane has a durable combo that can’t be beaten easily in lane. Roccat has to focus the midlane and make sure Selfie doesn't get rolling, or keep pressuring bot and get a lead by keeping MrRalleZ down and getting early dragons.

Both teams haven’t showed the most consistent tactical play, yet but I feel SHC will make the better rotations and clutch calls. Roccat plays conservatively and won’t risk too much in the midgame if they aren’t ahead by a large margin. This is a weakness but could also lure the SHC in a false sense of security and they could make ill-advised moves because of it.

In general, if SHC makes the right calls, they are the stronger team in mid-late game with better rotations and teamfights. Roccat will need to win early and feast on the occasional reckless moves from SHC to get a lead early and close out the game. If Roccat doesn't get a decent gold lead by the twenty minute mark, I don’t see them winning a game unless SHC makes really dumb moves. Both teams are exploitable in pick and bans and should really focus on that and early game vision to make the right moves.

My prediction: 3-1 for SHC. They have to prove that they deserve that third place and didn't just luck out in the split. I do think Roccat can take a game just by having a surprise pick, which could throw SHC off guard, or if Jankos gets a great opening which can snowball the game out of control. 


SK Gaming - Millenium 

What seemed like a top contender for the top three in EU suddenly dropped at the end of the season because a lack of practice. SK Gaming stepped it up again in the last Superweek, beating Millenium, and both Fnatic and Alliance. They looked more focused; back as a solid team that has great synergy and an objective-focused mindset. However, their loss to Gambit showed that they can still fall easy under a lot of early pressure.

Fredy is a solid top laner but has the tendency to feed unnecessary on his favourite feed-to-win champ Aatrox. He hasn't shown much potential on the newly strong top laners like Maokai or Gragas, nor is his Lulu very scary. On the other hand, his Nidalee is ban-worthy, and he can put a lot of pressure down with certain older picks like Shyvana or Renekton. Map vision and clear communication from SK should make sure Fredy doesn't overextend too much so he can grow into a scary threat for the teamfights. Svenskeren makes or breaks most of SK's games. If he can do well, the team will carry with him, but when he isn't impactful early, then the team just seems to whither away like an old man in a nursing home. I feel the team will need to focus their priority on making sure he gets a strong champion and a solid start in each game. Jesiz isn't the flashiest player but has shown brilliant play on a variety of champions, most recently with Ahri. He can’t really be targeted heavily with bans anymore but he can be beaten in lane with some early pressure. He's not the best at farming, so it's very important that he gets off to a good start to be relevant in the whole game. Candy and nRated are not the strongest botlane but are very smart and have a lot of experience. They will not be easily swayed into a bad trade and can surprise the enemy on occasion. nRated’s Gragas support play is very scary when played well, which makes Gragas a great flex pick for the team if Fredy works on that pick as well. Though we have to find out if the Gragas nerfs in the new patch affect him much in laning phase. With Maokai still unchanged, he should probably be the biggest priority for most teams, but I believe we will see him almost perma-banned throughout the playoffs.

Millenium is a one-trick pony team that hasn't changed much at the end of the split. They excel at pick-oriented assassin comps that catch lone players off-guard. Most teams have gotten used to this style and know what to ban and how to play against it to minimize its effectiveness. However, this new patch favours assassins, and with increased Zed and Talon play in other regions, this could be a bright spot for Kerp and his team. Millenium went 0-4 in Superweek and is definitely not looking hot. This patch could be their lucky break to making it into the semi’s. They can beat SK with early power and a strong split push. kev1n is a strong top laner that can excel on certain picks like Irelia. His smart play in lane and timed aggression could be a real problem for SK if he gets help from his jungle. Kottenx has really helped Millenium get away from that relegation position they were in last split. Good pressure and mechanics have really helped the team to a lot of wins. His 2v2 with Kerp is very dangerous for any team if Kerp gets his hands on a strong assassin. Kerp’s Zilean drew some bans but teams just have no idea how to play against it. It’s not the best pick and Kerp should focus on his assassins or some heavy wave clear champs like Ziggs or Orianna.

Millenium’s botlane is the real strength of the team but with most comps relying on split push and pick potential, Creaton and Jree get left out on their own sometimes. Creaton has shown on many occasions that he is a brilliant ADC and can carry if the team lets him. Lucian will be a great champion to have back in his pool. The versatility and all-around strength of that champion let’s Creaton do whatever he wants, even if the team isn't focused around him. Corki and Tristana will probably be the priority picks since they bring mobility and carry potential for Creaton. Jree has also shown solid support ability and is one hell of a fisher on both Blitzcrank and Tresh.

Millenium should focus on their strengths: give Kerp a strong 1v1 champion and Creaton a strong self-peeling ADC - while Jree and Kevin zone for him. Kottenx just needs to take control of the early game and it could set Millenium up for an upset over SK.

The teams' head-to-head is also 2-2. They are both quite even in lanes with a slight edge to Millenium. SK more than makes up for it in having a much better tactical understanding of the game. A lot will depend on the junglers; both of them need to get their lanes rolling and have a big control over the map. SK will try to take advantage by grouping up and rotating to take down turrets, while making sure Kerp doesn't get free kills. Millenium’s recent performance doesn't promise much for the playoffs, but the new patch is really in their favour. SK should stay calm in the early game and not give up too much then they can out rotate and outplay Millenium on a tactical level with probably a better team comp. If SK can attack the weak points of Millennium in the pick and ban phase and then play a measured game, they should take the series without too many problems. Millenium can surprise them though, and their botlane should never be underestimated.

My prediction: 3-2 for SK. SK is the smarter team and have shown recently that their lanes aren’t as weak anymore. If they prepare hard and think about the series, even if they drop a game they should beat Millenium. Millenium has looked very weak lately and their one-style has always been weak and exploitable. They have a lot of talent in their team, however, and could surprise with a strong assassin pick or maybe a more ADC-centered comp. But in my experience, consistency and smart play beats explosive game play in a "best-of" series.


Thanks for reading, I’m open for any comment so leave them below or tweet me @antdrioite
I will make a preview about the semi’s and finals after the quarters are over.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

European LCS Week 10 Power Rankings



by Matt “It’s Pure Luck” Lee


Welcome to my European LCS power rankings! While it’s perhaps a bit late in the season to start doing this as we head into our final week, it’s one of the most enjoyable debates that can be had when talking about the LCS.  First let’s take a look at the criteria teams will be judged on:

It’s not just your record that determines your ranking. Just because you have a better record than another team does NOT necessarily mean you are better in my eyes.  The proverbial “eye test” is incredibly important. Are you winning games narrowly or convincingly? Did you go 2-0 in a week where you trailed in both games but the other team made massive mistakes and it allowed you to come back? How a team looks is very important.
Results from the past few weeks.
General trends of a team’s performance vs upper-echelon opponents in the league. Playing well vs the top tier teams is obviously more impressive than crushing the bottom three constantly.
A team’s performance historically. This will weight a bit less, but a team like Fnatic will get more of a pass when they are struggling a bit than someone like the Copenhagen Wolves will.

With that defined, let’s take a look at the rankings!


1) Alliance (18-6) – This one really won’t come as any surprise. After a minor setback in losing four straight during Weeks Seven and Eight, Alliance has come back very strong and won four in a row. The win over red-hot Fnatic was particularly impressive as Rekkles and friends had been destroying everything in their path on the back of an eight game win streak. It wasn't the cleanest of wins as it took fifty-two minutes, but they played it safe, knowing a win all but guaranteed them the top spot in the final standings.


2) Fnatic (16-8) – Fnatic saw their eight game win streak snapped vs Alliance on day one last week. It didn't faze them much, though, as they took down a good Millenium team on the second day. One could make a case for Fnatic being in the top spot and they might have a point. They sit at 9-1 in their last ten games and they weren't narrowly winning these for the most part. Fnatic had been decimating their opposition ever since Week Seven. Ultimately, Fnatic posting a 1-3 record vs Alliance gives Alliance the slight nod.

3) Millenium (13-11) – Millenium have been playing fairly well lately, picking up four wins in their last six games after scuffling a bit during Super Week.  As usual for them, the catalysts continue to be Kerp and Creaton. Creaton has been outstanding the last three weeks, posting a KDA of 10.25. Kerp has continued to show his Twisted Fate pick is to be feared, and he even managed to pull out a surprise pick in Zilean last week and played it very well.  If Millenium continues to progress their style and show they can play more than a pick based team at a high level, they have a very high ceiling with the talent that is on the team.

4) Supa Hot Crew (14-10) – Much like Millenium, Supa Hot Crew sits here with an outside chance at possibly grabbing that two seed and getting a bye in the playoffs. More than likely though, they will end up fighting it out for the three seed. The upcoming game between SHC and Millenium on Thursday could very well decide who does grab that spot; a loss by the Crew there would drop them to 1-3 vs Millenium on the split. While MrRalleZ tends to be considered the best player on this team, you could make a case that the most important is Selfie in the mid lane. We saw it this past week as he had a terrific KDA of 13.5 in playing Ahri both games. Consistent play from him should see positive results for SHC in the future and at the least a shot at Worlds in the third place game.


5) Roccat (11-13) – Roccat continue to be one of the most (if not the most) puzzling teams in the European LCS. They managed to pull their record back to .500 after they had an impressive run between Weeks Four and Eight, where they won nine of their twelve games.  And then in Week Ten, they promptly managed to go 0-2, and it was to two teams very close to them in the standings, Millenium and the Supa Hot Crew.  Celaver and Xaxus in particular have had a difficult time this split. Celaver currently has the sixth best KDA among AD carries in Europe, while Xaxus is seventh among top laners. Jankos has been a bright spot for the team, and as he goes the team tends to go. His teammates will need to step up if they wish to avoid facing relegation in the promotion tournament.

6) SK Gaming (12-12) – SK finally ended the free fall they had been in by defeating Roccat last week, though it wasn't easy for them to close that game out. That game itself showed where the confidence level of SK is right now; they had a massive lead early on and gave Roccat every shot to get back into it. They simply have not looked like the same team from the first six weeks of this split, or the one from all of spring. They sit at 3-7 in their last ten games; many of them decisive victories for their opponents. Looking even further into it, two of those three wins came in Super Week vs Gambit and the Copenhagen Wolves, both of whom are a mess. Many claims around SK the last split and even early on in this one were that they didn’t have great individual talent and mechanics, but great teamwork through the mid and late game. It might be the time where the lack of mechanical ability in comparison to their opponents is catching up to them.


7) Copenhagen Wolves (7-17) – The Wolves are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the chances are minimal, as one win by Roccat or one loss by the Wolves puts Roccat in the playoffs and sends the Wolves to the promotion tournament.  They had managed to put two decent weeks back to back in Weeks Eight and Nine, going 3-1 in their four games. Last week however, the wheels fell off the wagon. They were dispatched fairly quickly by Millenium in a game that only took 31:23, and then were defeated by Alliance in what was possibly the most lopsided game in the EU LCS this year.  The Wolves can avoid the dreaded eighth place finish if they beat Gambit this week, or if they win one game and Gambit lose at least two.


8) Gambit Gaming (5-19) – While Gambit was definitely on a downward trend toward the end of the spring split, it would be hard for many people to say they saw this coming. They sit two games behind the Wolves for the seventh place spot with only four games left, so it’s likely Gambit end the season in last place. The twist of fate there would be the possible date vs Ninjas in Pyjamas and Alex Ich in the promotion tournament. The team as a whole simply does not look to be LCS caliber at this moment. The benching of Darien hasn't helped at all, and Diamond looks even worse since he was put back into the starting lineup. In fact, Diamond has a line of 3/17/7 since he was reinstated as a starter. At this point in time, it’s hard to imagine Gambit will retain their spot in the LCS with the way they are playing.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

EU LCS Thursday Preview:


by Silje
Copenhagen Wolves vs Fnatic
The Wolves showed off some good plays to an appreciative audience at Wembley last week. YoungBuck led his team to one of their best games vs Alliance, and ended up generating an impressive 12/3/5 on Irelia. Unfortunately, the game turned into a loss for the Wolves after Airwaks stepped on one of Froggen's Nidalee traps on the way to baron. Fnatic, on the other hand, won their first game against Gambit's substitutes. It was a well-played match from Fnatic's side, and as veterans within the LCS, they had an advantage over Gambit the entire game. Not a surprising win - but a good one. Fnatic's game on Day 2 was entertaining and tense. Millenium, with their gank-comp, set the pace of the game and took the early lead. Fnatic's Cyanide did a good job kicking Millenium out of position in team fights, and when Millenium got a bit overconfident, Fnatic punished them for it. Millenium still won, though, thanks to their map awareness and control, plus strong late game performances by Twitch and LeBlanc. But all in all, Fnatic showed some good plays despite the loss.
Based on last week's performances, this game should be intense and entertaining. Personally, my featured match-up will be SoaZ and YoungBuck in the top lane. SoaZ has shown that he can play a huge variety of top laners, from Renekton to Lulu to Shyvana and Trundle. Nothing seems to stop that guy from picking any champion. He knows how to play them all. YoungBuck on the other hand, leans towards tanky/bruiser top laners. He's had some games on Vladimir, but without much luck.  Renekton, Shyvana, Irelia and Trundle are all champions he is capable of playing. His last week's Irelia was huge.
Alliance vs Millenium
Millenium beat Fnatic, and lost to ROCCAT last week. That was, for me, somehow a surprise. I was expecting Fnatic to keep up their good play and win against Millenium. This game just shows how even the EU region is. Every team can beat each other. Their win against Fnatic was thanks to their gank/pick comp and their good late-game map control. LeBlanc and Twitch are also so strong late game that they can molest any opponents in their way. Kottenx proved that he is a good Evelynn and should not be underrated as a jungler. Alliance, on the other hand, won both of their games last week. They secured a convincing win against SK, who is known for their weaker early game. The match against the Copenhagen Wolves didn't turn out to be as one-sided as you would expect, looking at the standings.  The Wolves put up a good fight  - and one of their best games so far this split. Alliance had trouble with Youngbuck's impressive performance, and (with a little help from that Nid trap) they were fortunate to take the win.  
Alliance is currently showing dominance in the EU LCS. They have solid laners, as well as strong team play. Millenium has a lot of adept individual players who can carry games, e.g. Kerp on LeBlanc and Creaton on Twitch. It will be interesting to watch what kind of game these teams put up, and who will be the team choosing the pace. My featured match-up will be in the jungle. Both Kottenx and Shook have a wide variety of champions in their pools. Shook's Lee Sin-play is well-known throughout the community, and Kottenx is scary good on Evelynn. Kottenx had big shoes to fill as a replacement for Araneae but, he is, in my opinion, living up to the role he was given. 
Supa Hot Crew vs Gambit
In Supa Hot Crew's game vs the Copenhagen Wolves, they suffered in the early-mid stages of the game. It seemed like the Wolves might win when they managed to push SHC into their base, but Mimer, with his 13/2/5  Kayle, kept that from happening. Mimer scored a triple on the Wolves as they attempted to take SHC's middle inhibitor, successfully stopping their advance. Woolite tried to backdoor them, but Mimer went back to save the base, allowing SHC to secure the win.  Supa Hot Crew vs SK Gaming was a funny match. SHC's Selfie tried to play Nocturne mid against Jesiz's Kassadin and it didn't work out the way they intended. With solid play from SK Gaming, SHC suffered a loss. Gambit's core roster could not participate in London due to visa issues, and yet NiQ and the team's last minute substitutes did a decent job. NiQ's Nidalee was simply Godlike. I think that is a champion you should keep away from him in the future. Gambit lost both their games, but with a team that consisted mainly of solo-queue players, they weren't bad at all. They made some amazing plays.
I think this game will depend on how much of a positive impact the junglers can make on the game. Both Diamond and Impaler possess good mechanics and gank-capabilities, and both are capable of helping their teams win, depending on who does it best. That's why my featured match-up will be in the jungle. Diamond can pull out some unconventional junglers at times, such as Xin Zhao and Udyr, but usually without much luck. Impaler has been sticking to the traditional junglers. He is doing very well with Lee Sin and Elise.
SK Gaming vs ROCCAT
SK lost last week to Alliance and beat SHC. In their game vs Alliance, their early game was a bit shaky and they didn't seem like the SK team we are used to seeing being super decisive in their play style. In their game vs SHC, on the other hand, SK showed what happens if you give them the freedom to do things at their pace. We knew it was going to be an unusual game right from the picks and bans phase. Why would SK first pick Morgana when there were so many other strong picks open? When SHC locked in the Nocturne and Jarvan IV, first picking Morgana started to make sense, and also the pick of Caitlyn instead of a Lucian or Twitch. ROCCAT won their game against Gambit's substitutes, but it  wasn't a convincing win. Their win against Millenium looked stronger. They made good plays, and it looks like they're slowly growing stronger again.

My featured match-up in this game will be in the bottom lane, as the duo of CandyPanda and nRated take on ROCCAT's VandeR and Celaver. CandyPanda's Caitlyn scored a triple kill last week against Supa Hot Crew, showing that he is able to handle a variety of champions, considering the last week's favorite picks have been mainly Twitch, Kog or Lucian. In Week 5, Celaver had the highest KDA among the ADCs, while CandyPanda had the third highest. On support, VandeR had the second highest KDA and nRated the fourth highest KDA. nRated has shown that he is a total beast on Morgana, while VandeR has proven himself as the Thresh King multiple times. Both CandyPanda and Celaver can play the likes of Twitch/Lucian/Kog, but are also able to handle other ad carries such as Cait. 
Written By Silje

Thursday, June 5, 2014

EU LCS W3D1 PREVIEW


Alliance 5W - 1L vs Roccat 1W - 5L

Alliance is unstoppable. Roccat is in so bad a slump that replacing its bot lane with potatoes might help. Generally, in the bizarro world of the LCS, this means we can expect Roccat to surprise win.

SK Gaming 4W - 2L vs Millenium 3W - 3L

SK is showing consistant play. Mellenium is still wavering. If Week 1 Kerp shows up, Millenium will have a shot. If Week 2 Kerp shows up, Mellenium will lose. It's a Tale of Two Kerps.


Copenhagen Wolves 2W - 4L vs Gambit 2W - 4L

Both teams are trying to find synergy with their new players. Both teams are slowly improving. However, niQ is still finding his stride with Gambit, while the Wolves' new players are at the heart of their progress. Based on this observation alone, I expect the Wolves to really come together and make a strong showing in this game.   

Supa Hot Crew 4W-2L vs Fnatic 3W - 3L

Fnatic lost to Gambit. Lost...to...Gambit. Meanwhile, Supa Hot Crew are on a Supa Hot Streak. Once again, this should mean a Fnatic surprise win, but Fnatic like riding roller coasters and I expect them to beat Roccat on Friday, so, unfortunately, today will have to be the down side of 'up and down.'  


Monday, April 14, 2014

EU PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE

Tuesday April 15
EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Quarterfinals

11:00am est Alliance vs Copenhagen Wolves
1:00pm est Roccat vs Gambit

Best of 3 Series

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Wednesday April 16
EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Semifinals

11:00am est Fnatic vs Alliance
1:00pm est SK Gaming vs Roccat
4:00pm est for fifth place - Gambit vs Copenhagen Wolves

Best of 3 Series

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Thursday, April 17
EU LCS Spring Playoffs - 3rd Place
11:00 am TBA v TBA
Best of 3 Series

EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Finals
1:00pm TBA v TBA
Best of 5 Series

*All times are Eastern Standard Zone  GMT -5

Sunday, April 13, 2014

EU LCS SEMIFINALS : PREDICTIONS


BY Jeremy “Ne0 Jets” Heimann

1. COPENHAGEN WOLVES VS ALLIANCE
    Season series 3-1 in favor of ALLIANCE

COPENHAGEN WOLVES last beat Alliance January 14th, all the way back at the start of the spring split. During the split, the Wolves were led by Amazing in the jungle with a 4.1 KDA and their ADC, Forg1ven, with a 3.7 KDA ratio. While the two of them led the team by stats, they really need to get their Mid, Cowtard, and Top Lane, Youngbuck, off to better starts. Each of them averaged only around 2.5 KDA. Youngbuck has shown that his Heimerdinger Top is scary and I expect it to be banned out. I also expect him to fall back to Renekton whenever possible.

ALLIANCE, the Superteam, failed to live up to the media hype that surrounded their name early on. Lack of synergy, poor positioning, weak champion pools and individual egos all contributed to their inconsistency, but eventually they learned to work as a unit and managed to finish the spring split just short of First Place. Froggen has a 72.9% kill participation, probably because of his Karthus play. Even when he isnt on Karthus, he is always around when the team fights break out, and he's not someone you can ban out easily. ADC Tabzz is third in average KDA, sitting at a solid 5.5 (higher then anyone on the Wolves.) Tabzz and Nyph have really grown as a Bot Lane team and should be feared. Shook and Wickd both averaged around 3.0 KDA and are the key reasons why Alliance finished 3rd this split. Shook likes early game Junglers while Wickd tries to counter the meta with Trundle or Irelia.

Prediction ALLIANCE 2-1 win. 


2. GAMBIT GAMING VS ROCCAT 
      Season series 3-1 in favor of ROCCAT

GAMBIT may have lost three games to ROCCAT but they won the most recent and they still have a chance to get the last laugh in this playoff series. Gambit is a playoff machine and they play better when they've had some boot camp time. They finished fourth at IEM Katowice when just before that they were looking shaky. You cant base what Gambit will do on the regular season. This team comes ready to play and goes up a notch when its elimination time. Gambits Mid Laner, Alex Ich, is fourth in total kills with 116, and he loves to play high mobility champs with strong kill potential. Genja has an impressive 6.0 KDA, but he'll really need to have a good showing in the playoffs for Gambit to win. His lane mate, Edward, has a team low 2.1 KDA. Diamond in the jungle hasnt had a great year, but he is still a very dangerous Jungler. I expect to see some bans thrown at him: Eve, Kha'Zix and Xin (yes, Xin) are all strong in patch 4.5. If one gets through, it will be banned the next game. Darien plays a solid Top. He just needs to just go tanky and stay away from the Ryze pick.

ROCCAT had some serious ups and downs (including moments of freefall) and they needed to stop the bleeding. They went an average 2-2 in Super Week right before playoffs and havent been so dominant since early in season when they were challenging the meta. Teams have caught grown accustomed to their play style, and they are facing a team that has toyed with the meta a few times themselves. Individually, their stats dont really stand out but, as a team, they are solid across the board. Their Support, Vander, actually leads the team in KDA at 4.1, followed closely behind by Celavar with a 4.0 KDA. Overpower has a huge champion pool and can seemingly play whatever. Xaxus in the Top Lane is a solid, all-around player. Jankos has good synergy with Bot and works hard on getting them going.

Prediction GAMBIT 2-1 win.