Showing posts with label esports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label esports. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bard Chimes In on Pro Play




by Jerrod "Thousand Eyes" Steis

One of the newest champs to be released, Bard, finally gets his chance to see professional play. Bard has proven to be a champion with very mixed results. He is Riot’s first attempt at creating a support that is rewarded for leaving his lane. This creates a lot of interesting strategy possibilities, especially in the current meta of constant lane swaps in professional play.

Bard is one of the more utilitarian supports that have been released. Unlike a support like Leona or Annie who only really bring CC and damage, Bard trades this damage and easy CC for more of an ability to help his team reposition, heal, and keep the enemy from moving where they want. He won’t win a 2v2 very often, but that’s not really what his kit is designed to do.

When Bard is brought out, you can most definitely expect teams to try and swap lanes. IF Bard does go into a 2v2 he’s going to want a safe ADC in his lane so it gives him the freedom to leave lane. A popular ADC right now is Sivir. She has a huge amount of waveclear and a spell shield in case she moves up too far. Sivir also works well with Bard's mid game power in his ultimate. If Bard hits a good ult from afar to engage, Sivir can pop hers to not only let her team get to the enemy, but position correctly in order to keep the enemy team locked up with follow up CC or damage.

Bard is still new, and teams aren’t really sure what to do about him. The only pro to consistently pull him out so far in competitive play is GorillA and he’s only seen spotty success on it, winning just 1 of his last 3 games. Sweet, from JinAir has been getting Bard banned against him as well, although he hasn’t actually played him competitively yet.

An interesting note from most high level players that I’ve noticed is that they max E (Magical Journey) second, over the W. I’ve tried both and I definitely see more impact from leveling E second. Bard’s heal is meant to be used as a screw-up fixer. It’s there in case you need it, not to be used when you need a top off on health. He places it for when he isn’t there to help his team, making him useful all over the map and fitting his theme.

Bard can have his shot in solo queue play as well, but he gets played a little differently. It can really depend on how your ADC is by themselves. If you know what your ADC is, make sure it works with your pick. Sometimes you get a little screwed and your ADC picks Vayne after you already locked in Bard, but it’s not a complete loss. Just make sure you’re not putting yourself into a bad situation if you can help it, Bard isn’t a jack of all trades so make sure you know why you’re picking him.

One of the first questions that comes up on Bard is your starting ability. Do you level Q or W? They have their pros and cons, but I think the higher your ELO, the more likely you are to need Q at level 1. Before you go off on me, let me explain.

In lower level games, like Gold and below, players generally don’t skirmish early and fight over getting the level 2 advantage. This means your Meep empowered auto attacks should be enough to let you stay competitive until you get level 2. However, players that understand the power of getting the early level will punish you hard for your passive start if you level W. The upside of leveling W first in lower level games is that you can place a health relic for each of your other lanes, mid, top and jungle, to make sure they can recover from a bad trade early or getting cheesed, which is once again something that happens more frequently in lower ELO games. Most likely we’ll only see Q from Bard at level 1 in professional games unless the team knows for certain they have a lane swap.

The possibilities of Bard’s ult are incredible especially around a coordinated team. I’ve already mentioned the synergy with Sivir ult, but there’s also the objective control he provides. Bard can help guarantee steals; a lot of people see the possibility of ulting Baron or Dragon to keep the enemy from taking them for a little bit. However, with some careful aiming, you can actually do the exact reverse of that scenario and ult the enemy team, specifically the jungler, and keep them from smiting while your jungler swoops in as the hero.

Bard has a lot of room for mistakes, but he brings a huge amount to a team that no other champion can bring. His abilities to Zhonya’s both enemy and ally champions and portal through walls are extremely unique to him. And while his AP ratios aren’t amazing, he scales just fine into the late game with his stacking of chimes to improve his auto attacks and not only more damage, but more utility in slows. It won’t be long before Bard becomes a staple for professional supports alongside his counterpart Thresh.


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by Jerrod "Thousand Eyes" Steis

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NA Summer 2015 – Can TSM stay on top?



by Patrick Garren

The top of the North American competitive League of Legends' landscape has been dichotomous since Cloud9 arrived on the scene a few years back, trading blow for blow with their NA heavyweight counterpart, Team Solomid. TSM has gotten the better of the staggering former champion lately, with two straight NA LCS titles and some international exposure to show for their roster rotations and coaching changes. Up until a couple of weeks ago, Cloud9, unlike their rivals, had maintained a steady roster and with the  addition of Incarnation to their lineup, are now on the road to resurfacing as the primary powerhouse in North America. But can they overtake TSM?

TSM have not been shy about roster swaps. Ever since Reginald stepped back to coach and brought Bjergsen across the pond, they have had a revolving door of replacements at the support and jungle positions. Having finally settled on Korean import Lustboy at support, TSM continued to search for the band-aid that would stop the bleeding that TheOddOne’s retirement started. European jungler Amazing would see an NA LCS title with the team, but with poor international play and mounting criticism from the "always poised to strike" League of Legends community, Amazing decided returning to Europe and his family would bring more happiness to his life. This opened the door for Santorin. Coming from the floundering Team Coast, Santorin would see a quicker bit of success than the former TSM jungler, with a decisive win in the championship of the NA split. Ultimately, TSM’s Mid-Season Invitational proved extremely disappointing, and many fans were unable to decide whether to lay the blame on top laner Dyrus or on Santorin’s aversion to top lane ganks.

Which brings us to the Summer 2015 LCS split. Having made no roster changes, Reginald and coach Locodoco presumably have plans to counter the new and improved Cloud9 line-up, who increased their potential skill level in mid lane by several orders of magnitude with Incarnation’s arrival. While I personally agree with the lack of roster moves, it’s up to the management to continue to guide Santorin in the right direction as he grows and matures as a player. Decision making was not at its best in Tallahassee for Baylife, so some ideas definitely need to be thrown around, all the while fostering a synergistic team attitude, if they hope to continue to reign atop the North American LCS.

However, Cloud9 is not the only team in the North American scene that has bolstered their roster. Several other teams have their eyes on dethroning at least one of the usual finalists from North America. Since former mid-laner Link left with a massive bridge-fire, CLG has made huge moves to improve their shot at showing up in the post-season this summer. With the introduction of former Winterfox wunderkind Pobelter and Korean ringer Huhi, CLG hope that an SKT-like approach to the mid lane position will allow them to be more flexible in terms of their game-to-game strategies, although this will not be readily apparent until we see how CLG plays with both mid laners, and also gets into a relevant best-of series. On the less flashier side of things, Team Impulse has shown significant growth over the course of the past 4 months, led by solo queue superstar Rush, who as of this writing is tied with Faker for first place on the Korean ladder, and will bring the same 5 starters into the Summer split looking for a shot at going to Worlds.

One thing is for sure, though. If North America wants to become an international threat, the middling talent of its leagues needs to step up. Impulse, CLG, Gravity, and Team Liquid will need to continue their improvements shown week-to-week last split if they hope to challenge for the NA title, and Cloud9 and TSM need these teams to become better to put the onus on themselves to improve and compete on an international level. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

MSI Day 2 Review

MSI Day 2 Features Unexpected Victories, Stunning Eliminations 


Day 1 of MSI 2015 was by most accounts an unexciting affair, with nearly no upsets outside of whether or not you thought EDG under-performed against SKT or that they are simply that much worse than SKT. However, the Saturday picture had become pretty clear after a single day of games, with seeding and which western team would get a shot in a best-of series being the only major storylines on the day. Day 2 opened up with an important piece of the latter plot with EDG and Fnatic squaring off.
  
Game 1: Edward Gaming vs Fnatic

Yellowstar and his rookies looked towards EDG on Day 2 with a hopeful mindset. Technically, losing this game didn't put them into any worse of a spot to get themselves into Saturday’s knockout games, but pulling off the upset would put Fnatic firmly in control of their own destiny, and the possibility of any tiebreaker games nearly out of reach for TSM. But things got ugly really fast for Western squad, which would become a recurring theme on the day, as Yellowstar burned his flash to steal Gromp from the EDG bot lane, only to end up on the receiving end of Clearlove and his all-but-patented early aggression out of the jungle. Shortly afterwards, Koro1 would get a retribution kill turning a top lane dive from Fnatic into a nightmare start for the European champions. Koro1 added another couple hundred gold to his pocket after baiting Huni into a close trade, with Clearlove roaming top to help Koro1 secure the kill. By seven minutes, EDG had seven kills, a 3k gold lead, and a choke hold on the remainder of the game. Fnatic’s hopes of putting TSM into panic mode were thwarted by the aggressive Chinese side, with EDG’s strategy of poetic chaos proving to be entirely too much for Fnatic to handle. Statistically, EDG had over a kill per minute, and Fnatic’s nexus would topple over in quick fashion.

Game 2: AHQ eSports Club vs Team Solomid

The drama for TSM was at a crescendo, as not only would a win here put the boys from California (and Denmark and Korea) into a powerful position to force tiebreaker games and reach the semifinals, but a loss would see them at the mercy of either beating EDG, a tall order regardless of the team’s form so far at this event, or rooting for Besiktas to officially take the hand-off from Kabum, and save yet another North American team from elimination at an international event. TSM began the game shifting back to their traditional tactics, successfully initiating a lane swap and beginning their early game. Unfortunately, the past 3 games for TSM were not the proper instructional tools they required, and Dyrus once again gave up first blood from a gank, with TSM’s jungler Santorin nowhere to be found. AHQ would continue to dominate the early game, culminating in a fight near baron that would result in a three-for-one for AHQ, with Wildturtle being the only carry for TSM to pick up any gold from the fight. TSM would continue to fight, however AHQ would lose precisely zero team fights the entire game, and almost like clockwork, another Asian team secured a victory over a western team before the 30 minute mark.

Game 3: Besiktas eSports Club vs Edward Gaming

As we progressed through day 2 and it became more and more clear just how much stronger the eastern teams have been than the western teams, this game promised to be absolutely terrifying for the Turkish wild card invite. EDG would secure first blood on mid laner Energy, before dual 6 minute fights bot lane and top lane would result in several EDG victories, and the beginning of one of the most heinous snowballs in competitive League of Legends history. With EDG looking for wins simply to keep pace with SKT, and with how bloody the first 12 minutes of this game ended up being, I was honestly surprised this game lasted long enough to give Besiktas the option to surrender. To their credit, they didn't, but they would lose shortly afterwards.
  
Game 4: Fnatic gaming vs SK Telecom

The midway point of Day 2 in Tallahassee would provide us with possibly the closest and most exciting game of the tournament, potentially soured by the fact that SKT was clearly goofing off for about 20 minutes. Fnatic jumped out to an early lead on kills, and would maintain it, stretching their lead to as many as 11 kills at one point, but their gold lead would remain close. Almost as if the Kings of Asia were simply playing with their food, the kills continued to go in Fnatic’s favor while the gold stayed identical. SKT would begin clawing back, and while they would never take the gold lead, it was a controversial Sejuani bug that would cause the beginning of the end for Fnatic.


The Sejuani bug in question, as seen above, was originally waved off as a spectator glitch, but has since been replicated by various players on Reddit. However, with the transparently obvious trolling SKT did for 20 minutes, and the absolutely explosive way the game ended, with SKT marksman Bang getting a pentakill on his Lucian, it seems to me that Fnatic simply opted against remaking. No other team came as close as Fnatic did at seemingly dismantling SKT’s defenses, why not shrug off your inevitable loss to a bug rather than remake and have SKT end the game at 25 minutes, as they most likely would have done. Overall, it was the correct decision to avoid remaking, for player and viewer sake.
  
Game 5:  Edward Gaming vs Team Solomid

TSM entered their last game with one option: Win, otherwise Besiktas decides their fate. Unfortunately, for the fifth consecutive game, Dyrus was on the receiving end of an early gank that had no support from Santorin. And, again, Dyrus would be the victim of a second, and a third gank, giving EDG a three kill to zero lead before TSM had reacted in any capacity. TSM’s uninspired performances continued well into this game, with virtually no signs of life anywhere to be seen. What was once seen as the glimmering hope of NA, a mechanically strong TSM team with a superstar mid laner and an ultra-innovative support, saw what would potentially be their final nexus of the tournament fall as EDG embarrassed them at every corner of the map. Like Cloud 9 half a year ago, TSM was now at the mercy of the underdog, this time from Turkey.


Game 6: Besiktas eSports Club vs Fnatic

TSM would see their hope dissipate within minutes of the penultimate group stage game’s start. Fnatic forced two early kills for themselves, as a gank mid would end bot lane with both Energy and Thaldrin succumbing to Fnatic’s pressure. Fnatic would wrangle their early pressure into a dragon and plenty of early turret pressure, while a Rek’sai Thresh combo gank bot lane would result in 4 kills for Fnatic and the first turret of the game. Fnatic’s early gold lead would never be truly tested by Besiktas, and while the game was a bloody affair that lasted a few minutes longer than it maybe should have, Fnatic would topple Besiktas’ nexus, and TSM’s hopes of advancing, at the 25 minute mark.


Game 7: SK Telecom vs AHQ

The final game of the group stages of MSI 2015 would provide a potential finals matchup, with AHQ potentially pushing for a tiebreaker game to decide first place for the group stage. This game would also prove to be the most satisfying game of the entire tournament so far, regardless of whether or not it truly meant anything other than seeding position. AHQ looked to prove themselves once and for all, being harshly underrated coming into the event, having finished fourth in their league before their tremendous playoff streak. However, AHQ put themselves into an early hole as SKT would get first blood on AHQ jungler Mountain, and a roam top from Bengi would cost AHQ top laner Ziv his flash. However, a restitution gank would come from Mountain, getting AHQ marksman AN an early kill on his Sivir. AHQ would wrestling the gold lead from SKT, pushing objectives and gaining ground on kills with their crisper rotations. As the game progressed, Westdoor’s Cho’gath continued to spike in power, with several team fights ending almost as they began after Westdoor’s feast would nearly one shot Bang’s Urgot. With SKT losing team fight after team fight, it looked like we were heading towards tie breakers as SKT’s armor looked to finally be cracked, until Easyhoon decided he’d had enough. An engagement near Baron in the blue side jungle allowed Easyhoon’s Azir to shred through AHQ’s entire team with perfect positioning, ending in an outrageous flash Emperor’s Divide to secure the ace. With a 10k gold deficit, SKT would march through the front door of AHQ’s base, obtaining a perfect 5-0 group round record and the number 1 seed.



As we bid farewell to Besiktas and Team Solomid, we’re forced to wonder just how big the gap between the West and the East is right now. Fnatic look to be the last bastion of hope for western fans, as they match up against SKT to start off Saturday’s semifinal matches. EDG and AHQ will round out the day, in a series that promises to be significantly more entertaining than its opening act, but maybe Fnatic can surprise us?


The MSI 2015 Playoffs Preview

The Heat is On in Tallahassee! 


by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 

We’re about to head into the Semi Finals of the Mid-Season Invitational with SKT heavily tested twice, AHQ in convincing third place, Fnatic looking like a finals ready team and TSM heading home after a shockingly disappointing tournament. Who saw this coming?

Personal preference of team aside, this tournament has been everything the casual LoL scene viewer could have wanted. Top end competition, healthy regional rivalry, fast-paced unforgiving action. The unfortunate side effect of this is how quickly the inability to ramp up and get going can catch you out. Needless to say, the TSM we saw here was not the TSM that shocked everyone at the IEM World Championships. In comparison, this TSM looked lazy, unprepared and culture-shocked by the level of competition. Dyrus was left out to be slaughtered, Turtle never got to have any impact. Some say Santorin never even attended MSI. Seem familiar to some? This display from what was once known as the “Best Team in the West” was shockingly similar to the performances out of EU’s representative teams since the infamous group stage of Worlds 2014 where everything went wrong. Do fans have a cause for concern? Maybe, but it's too early to jump to conclusions as this one performance should not overshadow the team’s recent success or dare I say “golden age.” But generally it is fair to be heavily critical as LCS teams are all too familiar with a one-game format and should honestly be better prepared.

Now for the bracket stage - I couldn't be more excited.

Fnatic vs SK Telecom was easily the best match in the whole of the tournament and, for some EU fans, the biggest sigh of relief and reassurance that the region, like Korea, has not declined and is still of a competitive level despite losing promising players. Fate, however, had a different plan for Fnatic and the gamebreaking wall bug that Reignover had the misfortune of finding literally ended up tipping the scales as Fnatic began to lose grip of their gold lead after that one event.



Nevertheless, maybe this was a good twist of fate for Fnatic as now they have another chance to prove themselves against the team they almost took down. This is a good chance for them to discover if they have what it takes to ride their momentum through a Best-of-Five series, to see if they can not only outplay SKT but out-draft and out-adapt them as well. Bang has more than proven himself to be a huge threat and Fnatic be wary of ADC-centric comps like the one SKT pulled yesterday. But similarly, SKT should be more wary of Reignover’s peaked performance and Steeelback’s worrying reliance on Sivir to perform. While SKT have the superstar mid laner Faker and one of the best top laners in the world in MaRin, Bang deserves a lot of credit for being a heavy driving force behind SKT’s success this tournament. Like it or not, this series may well be decided in the bottom lane. Fnatic need to ensure Steeelback doesn't get mauled if they want a chance in winning. If he doesn't get on Sivir, which he shouldn't if SKT are smart, they’ll need to think carefully about how they’ll keep him comfortable, farmed and relevant.

Now AHQ and EDG are two teams that look on top of their form, Koro1 and Clearlove putting on dominating performances in their victories while Deft and Meiko displayed great teamwork and reminded everyone why the former is still considered the best ADC in the world. Meanwhile, AHQ came in and honestly shocked everyone with how convincingly they swept aside both LCS sides. The Westdoor hype is still alive and kicking but it’s not just him making the plays this time around. The rest of his team look just as strong and the carry potential is spread between all of them. This will now be AHQ’s fifth meeting with EDG across two tournaments with Koro, Clearlove and Westdoor being the only remaining players from the showdown in Group A of Worlds 2014. With both teams looking better than ever, this will also prove to be an entertaining series, I fear it may be more one-sided than the Fnatic and SKT game as EDG look and feel superior to AHQ in every way, but I've learned never to completely doubt this team. Any team with a Unicorn as its logo has the potential to really catch you off guard.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Mid Season Invitational opens with a Dream Match

EU's Fnatic vs NA's Team SoloMid
(aka The battle of Koreans (and also some Europeans and North Americans)

Photo courtesy of Riot Esports

by Jodi "PunkLit" McClure

Opening the 2015 Mid-Season invitational with Fnatic vs TSM is an eSports promoter's wet dream, except instead of Kate Upton you've got Bjergsen and instead of Jennifer Lawrence you've got Huni. But the NA vs EU match up has always ignited viewer passions, and this one delivers in particularly grand fashion since both teams have enormous fan bases and some deep-rooted old school cred. 

Reddit's European fans tend to concede TSM is the stronger team this split, but they argue that in a Best of 1 round robin set up, it's entirely possible to beat a team who has a habit of dropping their first game in a series. And no one needs to be reminded of the last time TSM faced a European team (although if you squint your eyes, you can still see the bits of Unicorn sparkles sticking to their skin.) Hell, even if they lose, the EUs can still claim a win, since two of TSM's star players actually hail from a landmass vaguely attached to them. 

Bjergsen has been god-like in mid, but Febiven is mechanically sound and some would say he's not far from the Great Dane's skill-level. However, Bjergsen has a great deal of Santorin's support, whereas Reignover tends to hang with his top laner. Not that that's a bad thing, since a tilting Dyrus and snow-balling Huni could definitely be a key to a Fnatic win.  

Fnatic's carry, Steeelback, was the King of Fantasy League this season with most average points per game, but Turtle was only a single point behind him. Both also topped the charts in kills, although Turtle took nearly twice as many deaths, which is REALLY important when you consider how smart Yellowstar is at taking advantage of players out of position. It seems like this could be an epic match-up. One can't discount the Rekkles factor, though. Despite Steeelback's stellar performance this split, rumors are he's about to replaced, and that has to be an unpleasant weight on his shoulders. Whether or not this bitter pill will affect his work still remains to be seen.  

The new Fnatic has shown a lot of synergy though in their short time playing together, and I imagine they'll only get stronger with Yellowstar's outstanding guidance, but TSM are in their prime right now, performing as a single entity possessing of a hive mind. I'm sure that Locodoco has prepped his team thoroughly for this game, and he didn't win Coach of the Year for nothing! He's been a driving force in his team's success, whereas solid coaching is an area where Fnatic has been sorely lacking.

Not surprisingly, I believe, at least for this time around, NA will have the edge on bragging rights.  

(Shout out to Chase Wassenar for voicing all the intelligent sounding parts of this article.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Trouble with Hai

Is it Time for Cloud9's Mid to Move On?

Photo courtesy of Riot Esports

by Patrick Garren

Since the acquisition of Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi from Quantic Gaming on May 23rd 2013, Cloud9 have had the exact same roster. They didn't actually "acquire" Sneaky from Quantic either - they WERE Quantic. Sponsorship issues led to their reformation as Cloud9. Founder and Team Captain, mid-lander Hai “Hai” Lam, chose the name Cloud9 because he believed that professional gaming should be about being happy. But Cloud 9 is the last place they were at the beginning of the 2015 Spring Split, when they saw themselves in a spot they hadn't seen since they made it into the LCS: last place. Read more...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

 TSM and Cloud 9 get Ready to Rumble in the NA LCS Spring Split Finals!




by Jodi McClure

Last year when Cloud 9 met TSM in the LCS Finals, Meteos and his highly-skilled band 3-0'd them. Granted, it was a Lustboyless TSM with Odd One and Xpecial still in the mix, and the meta was completely different, but credit where credit is due. Cloud 9 are not a push over team by any stroke of the imagination, and even though TSM have had a superlative split, there's zero guarantees they'll be holding that big check at the end. Both teams have performed amazingly well. Cloud 9 had a slower start then TSM but slammed home a stronger finish. Turtle has been all flashy kills while Sneaky is the focused, mechanical giant. TSM excels at rotations and taking down turrets while Cloud 9 likes their objectives. It's all too beautifully even. If I were to stick my neck out and pick a winner of this Best of Five series, I wouldn't name a team, I'd name a color. A color shared by both Cloud 9's shirts and TSM's long sleeve button-downs. It's Blue - the color of convenience, and whoever starts this series on the Blue side of the map will ultimately win the trophy. I'll be cheering for my long-time favs, TSM, but I suspect we're going to see the series go five games, and whoever wins will definitely deserve it! 





Saturday, April 11, 2015

EU LCS Playoffs Preview : Unicorns of Love vs SK Gaming


Photo courtesy of Riot eSports

by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 

Order vs Chaos is the name of the game as SK Gaming faces one of the three teams to deal them a blow during their otherwise perfect split.

Time and again, the Unicorns of Love have shown that their creativity and use of "the element of surprise" is not to be trifled with. Kikis’s Udyr pick against Gambit has done a good enough job at displaying this to full effect. For the mythical creatures of friendship, statistically Fnatic was the better draw of the two as UOL are the only team to 2-0 them. However to get to Fnatic, they would have had to go through H2k, the only team to 2-0 UOL. So when it evens out, drawing SK isn't too bad. Read More...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Week 11 LPL Preview – League of Trolls & The 8th Place Seed


by Michael "Tribble" Godani

The last three days of the regular Spring Split in the LPL. Traditionally, this week is a huge trollfest, and we shouldn’t expect much different from this precious competition except that Master3, Team WE and SHRC are still in the race for a playoff spot. We will discuss a few interesting games, the ones that are most likely to be troll free and the games for that eighth place playoff ticket. Read more....

Monday, March 30, 2015

ROCCAT Possible Roster Changes Incoming


By Anel “Musinlol ” Musinovic




Whatever genie the unsigned Polish team, Kiedys Mialem Team, uncorked from a bottle in the Spring of 2014 has long since packed his bags. Roccat has had a massively disappointing season, finishing in the danger zone right behind Copenhagen Wolves & Elements, and it's possible they will be forced to consider some roster swaps. 

Roccat came into the 2015 Spring Split with high expectations despite a less than successful run at IEM Cologne. Having acquired former Lemondogs' star midlaner, Nukeduck, and the previous split’s best rookie, Woolite, Roccat's roster looked impressive. Pressure mounted on the team, and they were predicted to have a Top 3 finish, but that was not to be. Despite their best efforts, they ended up 8th, barely holding on above Giants & MYM. Their dismal showing has brought out a great deal of speculation that Roccat might be looking for replacements for Overpow and Woolite.

Ducky has publicly said the following, which could be adding to the rumor that Roccat are looking for fresh blood for either one or multiple positions. He himself has also been criticized. 

Also nuke has expressed his opinion about roster swaps when asked:


Overpow’s Spot in Danger?

Overpow was hyped by the team (and other pros) for his outstanding Teleportplays'. He also had an odd champion pool which was predicted to work great, but has since fallen flat. It's possible he's looking at other options with his recent name change from ROCCAT Overpow to “heszke w meszke.”



Possible Contenders for ROCCAT's toplane

Beansu:

The 17-year-old toplaner who referred to himself as “mini-wickd” is one of the contenders for Overpow's toplane spot. He has previously played on teams such as Reason Gaming, SK Gaming Prime, and Gamers2, who failed to qualify for this split through the expansion tournament. Since then, he has seemingly only played soloq, even though he recently started playing ranked 5’s with the Mousesports' botlane, Xioh and Dan. He would most likely take the chance if he got called up by Roccat,  despite his newly formed ranked 5’s team.

Jwaow:

The toplaner, Jwaow just recently got relegated with MYM and the team might not be staying together for the Challenger Series with the backlash they got from the community for the Kor1 incident. Jwaow was previously known as a carry-style toplaner and was picked up by Gamers2 when Ocelote was playing, but with that team not making it after multiple attempts, the Swedish international replaced Mimer in MYM. MYM was already in a bad state and was predicted to take the auto-relegation spot. Despite fine attempts to not make that happen, they lost the tiebreaker to Giants. Jwaow was especially looking good on Maokai, which is quite a contested champion at the moment, and he can pull out other carry-style champions which might be what Roccat is looking for.

Zorozero:

The most unlikely contender is Zorozero, who has recently started playing again and is currently in Challenger with over 500 lp. Zorozero might be looking to play again and with Roccat’s recent troubles they might be looking to pick up the former toplane star of Europe. Zoro has previously played with Nukeduck in Lemondogs, and I don’t think that Nukeduck would mind playing with his old buddy again. 

Woolite’s Stay in Roccat also Might be Coming to an end

Woolite was another player that was expected to do well, and coming in as Rookie-of-the-Split from the last split, he looked so promising. He's been too aggressive though, and outright stupid in some games (like the recent game where he threw the game by himself.) Roccat might be looking for a new ADC for themselves, despite it being less likely than the Overpow move.

Possible Contenders for ROCCAT's ADC Position

MrRallez:

Rallez, just like Jwaow, was recently relegated with MYM and will possibly be looking for a new team. The once hyped Danish international might be looking to find himself a new spot in the LCS. Rallez struggled with synergy after the departure of Migxa. He can’t be excused this time as he would have VandeR as a support if he joins Roccat. So this time it would be make it or break it for Rallez.

Tabzz:

Tabzz just recently got back on Elements as a sub, but might take the opportunity if he got to play with his former teammate Nukeduck. When he was playing for Elements, he was surely a Top 2 ADC, and Roccat might be looking to try to pick him up.


If you have any questions or wants to folllow me my twitter is -> https://twitter.com/Musinlol

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

LPL Week 9 Review : Trolling and Torture.


by Michael "Tribble" Godani

A week full of blown expectations and surprises. Twist your mind around that one as we take you into a week where some teams will rise and others will fall.

*Note, there are no games this week because of the last rounds of the Demacia Cup*

March 20th

The first match of the day was between Invictus Gaming and Snake. Snake have been solid lately while experimenting with different comps, and they were ready for this fight.

Evenly matched at the start, this game turned when IG gave up three kills and a middle turret while attempting to grab their second dragon. Snake somehow remained in complete control despite Z1tai outfarming Flandre with a Hecarim- Maokai match-up. Note though that Kryst4l was going off in this game, hitting the 300cs mark at only 28 minutes and getting kills left and right which helped rocket him towards a full build Kalista.

Z1tai didn’t show up in the early game and he got blown up by Kryst4l during the teamfights. IG had decent vision control early, but Snake had total control over the red side jungle and continued to capitalize on their double-sightstone team comp in a better fashion then their opponent. Just before the late game hit, it seemed as if Snake was pushing for teamfights because they didn't have a proper 5v5 since the dragon trade.

After 50 minutes of skirmishing and IG even picking up baron, it was game over for Kid and his team. A fight for their fifth drake turned into a 4-0 victory for Snake and they quickly made way towards the base to finish off the game. Game 1 was won by Snake due to great positioning from Kryst4l and the terrific peel coming out of Flandre’s Maokai.

Game 2 didn’t seem to be much different than the first. I do have to mention that because of the somewhat ‘misformed’ juggermaw composition from Snake, IG was forced to pick up a Vayne to get through their frontline.

First blood took more then twelve minutes and before that time we got served quite a farm heavy early game. After that initial kill, IG made sure that they would continue to turn up the heat and forced a second kill onto Flandre’s Mundo and even took both top turrets within 90 seconds after first blood by keeping three to four men in that top lane. Snake made a huge mistake a few minutes later which pretty much sealed their faith.

A fight for the second drake got turned into the ‘dive the Kogmaw’ show. Kakao and Kitties capitalized onto Kryst4l, who was positioned on the frontline, blowing him up using the Cataclysm+EQ Leona combo to make sure he wouldn't last a single second too long. This happened a few times in a row. IG was already having a gold lead by out-rotating Snake and forcing these objectives with more care and precision; these frontline Kogmaw fights didn't help them to get back into it.

IG probably learned from OMG’s performance in the second game last week.

It was not that OMG was facing the same Snake comp that IG was facing, but the tactic that they used to not let the opponent get into their element was executed perfectly. OMG’s tactic was to dive the backline from Snake before they could even think ‘poke’ and IG’s tactic was to make sure that Kryst4l would die before Snake would even know they were in a fight.

Around the 36 minute mark there was actually a good fight from Snake against IG near the dragon pit, which occurred at the tri-bush leading towards the river. Kryst4l positioned great for a change as did both Kakao and Kitties, and not even Carry could reach the Kogmaw.

This fight ended in a 4-3 in favor of IG though, because they were simply wealthier and unable to lose a fight. IG eventually took the game but it didn't look as easy as it was supposed to be. They picked up their fifth drake and a couple of barons but were just not able to close out the game. IG has been struggling a lot with this and even now - right before the play-offs - it still hasn't been fixed. This should really worry the players but also the staff itself.

The first set ends in 1-1.

The second game of the week was between Vici Gaming and Gamtee.

Vici Gaming came out of their fountain with aggression and pressure, picking up a prompt first blood for Carry on his Gnar, giving him a fast Ruby Crystal to get going in his lane. Vici denied a lot of Gamtee’s early movements by obtaining vision control and grabbing two early drakes. A decisive 5-man bot gank gave Carry two more kills to put him comfortably in the drivers seat as VG had a fed frontline combined with Vasilii, who was having his way in the botlane. Hetong, who had languished the last couple of weeks, finally stepped up his game as we had seen from him earlier in the split and focused a lot on split pushing this match.

If you examine how VG would get such a lead, then vision is the biggest answer and their rotations. We all know that when VG is in their A-game, they have the best vision control of the LPL, and they showed us that this match. No objective got contested properly by Gamtee and they had no answer to the Twisted Fate who was constantly split pushing in the bot lane.

Despite some sloppy plays that gave up a few kills to Gamtee, VG was never in danger of losing this game. A great display of team effort and perhaps the type of play that this Vici has been looking for all along.

The second game in this set didn't differ that much from the first when it came to Vici's playstyle. Despite not having the Nunu, they followed the same plan.

Gamtee did play more aggressively in the early stages of this game, gaining a fast first blood for Letme’s Kennen with a tower dive at the three minute mark, but eventually a botlane gank resulted in three kills and a turret for Vici Gaming and that was the end of the story. In every skrim or teamfight from that point onward, Vici came out on top with an objective.

Vici's Dandy on Rengar showed us why that champion was previously banned out against him. Normally a Rengar can either have a great impact or no impact on a game. Dandy was in the huge impact catagory. His picks were the plays that kept Vici in this game despite the improved play coming out of the Gamtee line-up.

While Vici was creating picks, Gamtee kept giving them the opening by not warding properly or correctly and not upgrading their red trinkets to oracles to spot out Dandy if they were out of pink wards to use.

Even when Gamtee managed to win a drake fight and get the drake, Vici continued to keep on out-rotating and pressuring them. They were on a mission. After using Hetong to bait the Gamtee line-up to collapse on him in the midlane, Dandy and his teammates picked off the remaining Gamtee members and killed them one by one, ending this fight 5-2 and thereby finishing the game.

Vici Gaming seems to have found their groove, picking up two different team comps but still playing the same style of objective control League of Legends. Let’s hope that they continue this approach, because I can surely see them going far in the play-offs with this type of play.

The third game of the day was between the IEM finalists, Team World Elite, and Chinese powerhouse, OMG.

For some reason, the Dade style of picking champions was being mimicked by Cool who counterpicked himself by locking in Twisted Fate against Xiye's Ahri. The second place team, OMG, forced a tower dive early onto Aluka’s Maokai in toplane which resulted in a first blood for the Sion specialist, although he eventually fell to Gogoing’s Gnar.

As a reaction to this action, Xiye picked up the middle turret which put Cool in a risky position; not having a turret at his back while farming and having to deal with the double threat of Spirit and Xiye.

Spirit was destroying Loveling in the jungle via pathing and lane pressure. Despite going quite long into the game without any kills or assists, he exhibited control over the enemy jungle until he was ready to strike. However, the vision control from both teams was very poor. You'd expect to see more than just 1-2 wards on the map from a team like OMG, who often run double sightstone comps.

After a miscalculated dragon fight, OMG traded a kill for the dragon. A few minutes later the botlane from OMG dropped to their opponents giving away two kills and the advantage that they had in lane.Team WE collapsed on their gold lead and skirmishing power by almost baiting OMG into forced fights and then simply out-damaging them because of the item advantage that they had built up.

The game was sealed after an Ace at 22 minutes followed up by a surrender and Gogoings first ever loss on Gnar. A terrific performance from the last seat in China by forcing OMG to go all or nothing in Game 2!

Spirits were high after WE took down OMG in their first game of this 3-game week.


OMG did ban the Ahri this game while being on the blue side, which probably confused the viewers. Their questions about this ban were quickly answered though with a first blind pick, Leblanc.

After Loveling,s bad performance on Jarvan IV , he picked up the Nunu and made it work. A laneswap did occur and with Uzi on Lucian, a sub four minute turret for OMG was a fact, followed up by a level three dragon. This action put Team WE under much pressure, having the Hecarim laning against the Gnar in the botlane without flash and against a Nunu jungle, it quickly lead to a death for the brave soldier, Aluka.

As OMG’s botlane continued to dominate, a second turret fell, this time in the toplane, which extended their gold lead even more. Loveling applied pressure with his early sightstone and managed to place some deep wards, so those two turrets came in extremely handy.

TWE played the double teleport like they did at IEM, but once again, it just didn't work. OMG was too strong, too aggressive and perhaps even incredibly angry still about their horrible performance in Game 1, and someone had to pay the price.

Cool went off on his Leblanc (but then again, who didn't on OMG’s side) grabbing a 30 minute'ish fifth drake and dominating map control and vision control to seal the deal. The flash Crescendo plays by Cloud shouldn't be left out in their second game as he has proven to not only be able to play Thresh, Janna and Nami.

A dominating performance from the Chinese powerhouse team as they secure the second spot for now and grow closer to being crowned the new Draw Kings being just one draw behind Gamtee.

The World’s Best ADC is about to face the three time LPL split champion, Deft vs Namei, EDG vs SHRC. The most hyped up match of the week and the last game of Day 1.

Both teams came onto the rift with late-game compositions; SHRC picking up a Twitch into EDG's Juggermaw comp. The idea from EDG was clear. Punish Namei - which would lead to Deft getting a lead - and keep Koro1 safe and alone in the toplane.

Everything worked out as they planned. The massive amount of attention and lack of peel for Namei resulted in a few early summoners/deaths. It wasn't just EDG's team pressure as botlaner's Deft and Meiko actually managed to kill Namei alone, giving Deft the psychological lead over Namei.
Despite a small victory over the fourth drake spawn for SHRC, EDG did manage to get their comp into the safe zone, winning every single teamfight that followed.

Deft was close to immortal with Lulu's expert peel. During one teamfight, he even managed to position so well that he took Namei out while having next to no health. It was an epic demonstration of EDG's superior teamfighting skill and it left SHRC with a loss for Game 1.

Game 2 was another episode of the Clearlove show. Not only that, but Pawn's locking in of Katarina was seen as arrogant and disrespectful behavior. While the lane swap was initiated by EDG, Deft’s Corki was allowed to free farm in the toplane while EDG was able to pressure and kill Namei (after being hooked by Meiko, followed up by the twisted advance from Koro1, who were waiting in the side bush in the bot lane.)

Frustration is the only thing that Namei could’ve felt after again being targeted so heavily by his former teammates. EDG had no intention of letting this game go past a 40 minute timer because of SHRC's Kog’maw, so they decided to take a 7k gold lead and go 2 - 12 in kills after only 14 minutes. At this point, Clearlove was 6-0-4 on his Lee Sin and Namei was 0-3 on his Kog’maw.

EDG utterly destroyed SHRC and appear to be superior. The best team in the world right now? I think yes!

These two matches really showed that against top teams, Namei needs too much attention or perhaps he just needs better teammates. I'll let you decide.

Results Day 1:

Invictus Gaming vs Snake 1-1
Vici Gaming vs Gamtee 2-0
OMG vs Team WE 1-1
Edward Gaming vs Star Horn Royal Club 2-0



March 21st

The first game of the weekend was between Vici Gaming and Snake, Vici looking very good yesterday with their new style of playing.

The “new” Vici, if I may call it so, continued their dominating way of playing against Snake and they did great in the early stages.

Dandy controlled the Rift scuttler and made sure that there were wards in place to keep an eye on Beast, which worked. Beast, on his 100% winrate Nunu, didn't seem to be of any use the entire game. VG’s early vision dominance secured their own jungle from invades and whenever he tried to even get near the middle of the river, Vici would collapse onto him.

Another problem was that Kryst4l and Beast were not doing a great job zoning Carry away from farming in the lane swap. After eight minutes he picked up a 33-5 cs lead over his direct laner, Flandre, who never got back from the cs deficit.

Where some teams lose focus on their vision control, Vici gaming stepped up their warding and made sure that they had full vision around the midgame of the jungle pathing from Beast. They also contested and almost took every single buff the entire game.

It was a low kill game and not a lot happened in terms of action, but the way that Vici Gaming controlled the game was a joy to watch. Some would say that it looked a lot like the controlled type of games that EDG can often play.

The game ended after 35 minutes with a 10-1 turret lead and 10-1 kill lead. The only death for Vici came right before they ended the game with an 18k gold lead. It was a very impressive game from Vici, exploiting Snake's weakness and leaving them helpless and broken.

The draft from the side of Snake looked a bit awkward seeing Baka on the Zed and Kryst4l again on the Corki. Snake was looking for some more early aggression with the J4 jungle and the Leona support, but letting Vasilii on his Lucian only resulted in two early deaths for Kryst4l by his hand.

It was quite different in the early game than the first game that we saw, but nonetheless, Vici Gaming was in complete control. Snake did commit quite some resources towards the toplane after Flandre did 1v1 the Fizz from Carry but it wasn't enough to stop Carry from ending the game with a 10-2-8 performance.

Vici Gaming started to turn up the heat slowly when coming out of the laning phase by placing deep wards and taking command of every single team fight. They did step away from their rotational low-kill style of playing and step back into the aggressive LPL style. They created picks and killed the morale of every single player from Snake, who were forced to surrender at 27 minutes into the game.

This Vici Gaming has improved their game, showing a lot of diversity in the top lane, and notice that Mata and Vasilii are playing much better together as a duo lane now than they did at the start of this split.

Vici gaming has stepped up and shown to China and the world that they are a Top 5 World Team with their performance this week. For Snake, let’s hope that they are just trying out certain comps/playstyles, because if not, they could be in a lot of trouble for the upcoming play-offs.

The second game of the day was between OMG and King, after the loss from Snake earlier today the second spot was pretty much secured.

King really needed to win or at least get a point to stay decently ahead of SHRC but it didn't look good for them in Game 1.

With an unusual team comp, playing Rek’sai in the toplane, OMG started the same way they did against TWE in the second game by forcing an early drake and fast pushing the outer tier 1 turrets from King. Gogoing was a bit unlucky early with misclicking his tunnel which lead to him diving into the three King members on the botlane.

MLXG did play the Nunu quite well in terms of controlling the jungle, disrupting the paths of Loveling’s Nidalee but, strangely enough, he didn't rush a sightstone. An early sightstone has so much more value for your team then the juggernaut enchant; not having that early sightstone gave OMG some time to breath before forcing that 24 minute surrender.

Game 2 was very different. A poor picks & bans phase coming out of OMG, who entered the rift without a tank, which didn't work out for them last time around. King got comfortable with the Kalista/Leona botlane, who managed to 2v2 Uzi multiple times and make him close to useless until later on in the game.

OMG did managed to pick up the first drake after seeing MLXG fail a gank on the bot duo in the top lane. A slow recovery was mounted from their terrible early game, but having an 0-4 Uzi after 13 minutes really meant this was a 4v5.

As the game continued, it was more and more likely that the only way that OMG could win this game was to fight in narrow spaces where Cloud, who was on spot with his bindings, could land his skillshots and where they could split King.

King, on the other hand, became incredibly tanky with three tanks on the line-up and they were able to clean up teamfights with speed. In the end, OMG was punished for their double AD/No tank comp, and King took Game 2 to split the series.

Pawn vs Dade, the two former Samsung midlaners faced eac hother in a pretty one-sided first game.

EDG didn’t hold back against M3 in the third match of the day and continued to torture their enemies while pleasing the neutral LPL watchers and fans with their play.

EDG did what EDG does best, turning picks into objectives. Of the first four kills, three of them led to two outer turrets and a dragon. We are talking about EDG having complete control of the map pre-10 minutes and forcing that final outer turret down at the 13 minute mark while having a 5k gold lead.

Clearlove’s Lee Sin is comparable to Cool’s Ahri or Faker’s Leblanc and is a guarantee for a win. He is now 8-0 with that champion this split. Pawn killed Dade multiple times 1v1 and literally took on anybody on the map, having a Rabadons Deathcap after only 17 minutes.

M3 could’ve surrendered at the 20 minute mark but they didn't. Instead they chose torture over surrender, but eventually, after getting killed a few more times, it was enough for a 29 minute surrender and a 1-0 lead for EDG.

The second game was a completely different showing of League Of Legends. M3 actually managed to keep EDG down with their cocky picks like the Fizz mid and Evelynn jungle. They also managed to pick up dragon control by securing the first drake, and they continued to control that pit for the entire length of the game.

It was excellent vision control from M3 who, during the first 20-30 minutes of the game, tried and managed to keep at least 3 pink wards on the map and a ton of stealth wards, both deep and defensive. EDG, on the other hand, looked terrible in terms of vision and objective control and it almost looked as if they were still living in the previous game.

EDG turned the game with a beautiful flank onto the M3 line-up while they tried to take out the mid inhibitor. This 5-1 teamfight in favor of EDG led to a baron for EDG, but the fourth drake was picked up by M3.

During a teamfight for the fifth drake, M3 got engaged on in the red bottom side of the jungle by Koro1, who got zoned by Dade’s gravity field. The backline of M3 was in the perfect position until LoveCD used his Monsoon and blew Koro1 onto the backline of M3 which turned the fight around.

EDG and M3 then had the most thrilling finish of all the LPL games so far this split with two failed base races that got interrupted by resurrected members from the opposing team. Eventually, despite the quick pick up of the fifth drake for M3, EDG sealed the deal and took a 2-0 victory over M3 who maybe deserved more after their performance in Game 2.

After splitting their set with OMG yesterday, Team WE looked in proper shape to take on LGD Gaming.

A meeting of junglers led to an early dragon from Team WE and the roaming from Xiye on his Viktor really applied pressure to both the jungler and botlane from LGD.

At some point there were three pink wards seen in the red jungle from LGD, who managed to pick up two early turrets and tried their best to get back into the game. After being out-rotated by Team WE, they managed to get a fight off at their own tier 2 turret which resulted in a 3-3 trade but getting multiple kills onto We1less’s Diana and double buffs. LGD from that point on turned up the heat, grabbing back the vision control, forcing teamfights and with some great ultimates coming out of Acorn and Pyl, managing to seal the deal pre-30 minutes.

Game 2 should’ve been an easy game after seeing how LGD accelerated in the first game but, according to Spirit, hopes are meant to be crushed. Team WE's unsympathetic jungler transformed into a godlike creature by the name of Lee Sin and went off this game, picking up an early double kill off a top lane countergank with Aluka.

This was the begin of the end for LGD as Spirit did not stop carrying this game and kept on taking the kills. He made a couple of great plays which will of course be seen in our LPL Top 5 but do take your time to watch this second game.

Unlike previous TWE matches, Spirit was not alone this match. Xiye also went off on his Ahri during the fourth drake spawn, resulting in a fight and a triple kill for Xiye. TWE turned this second match around completely and destroyed LGD, forcing the split.

Results Day 2:

Vici Gaming vs Snake 2-0
OMG vs King 1-1
Edward Gaming vs Master3 2-0
Team WE vs LGD Gaming 1-1


March 22nd


The first game of the day was between Snake; safe in terms of play-offs, and Energy Pacemaker, who are most likely going to be relegated.

There is not much to say about this set, Snake took an early lead in the first game with a good gank in the midlane giving Baka the first blood money to sit comfortable in his lane. Energy Pacemakers’s lack of objective control gave Snake, in both games, the time and space just to do what they wanted. Snake knows that they are better in teamfights than EP and forced those teamfights whenever possible. Coupled with Snake's dragon control and turning teamfights into objectives sealed the game for the third spot LPL team.

Two games with not a lot of action, but still three points to Snake.

The second game of the day was between the world’s best, Edward Gaming and King of the splits, Gamtee.

Gamtee might be sitting in the lower part of the LPL standings but they are not a team that is easily beaten. They have only lost six times with a 2-0 which is less then both seventh and eigth seed teams, M3 and King.

Gamtee will not sit back and get stomped by any team, and the same goes for their game against EDG. They came out strong and, due to lack of vision control on the top side of the map, Hu1 was able to force Pawn’s Corki to drop to the likes of Xiaohu’s Lulu and give up first blood. First blood is, of course, a small victory but Gamtee also managed to take out two turrets in the early game, giving them a good head start.

Recognizing the power of Koro1 on his tree this split, Gamtee send a lot of resources top to suppress his progression and get their Mundo ahead, with success. LetMe picked up two early kills and Mundo was doing “as he pleased.” Even around the twenty minute mark when EDG thought that their double ADC comp would be strong enough to take Gamtee on for a dragon fight, they were wrong. Gamtee’s Lulu was incredible and punished EDG for their lack of respect. Gamtee took the teamfight 4-3.

That was not the last of Gamtee this game but unfortunately their bravery couldn't turn this game in their favor.A baron fight where Gamtee tried to flank EDG from two sides got turned into a 5-0 victory for EDG which delivered them the Drake and the Baron.

Worth mentioning was that Deft’s Ezreal was going for the blue build and it was such a joy to watch. The kiting potential and flank potential from this player on this champion was marvelous. Gamtee might have had a chance to win this game, but EDG is simply too smart and too strong on their champions to be outplayed by a team of that caliber. Gamtee fought bravely this match, but too many times in the later stage of the game, their members got picked off by one of Clearlove’s Nidalee spears.

The second game was a bit different from the side of EDG, who came out lookin gfor more aggression. Having Clearlove on his perfect score Lee Sin didn't add anything good for Gamtee to look out for. EDG were able to deny LetMe to farm on his Hecarim, being stuck on eight cs after eight minutes. Xiaohu's Leblanc was strong and he showed to everyone why it’s often banned against him, getting fast four kills onto it, but this wasn't enough to carry his team.

Clearlove was looking for fights everywhere on the map. His aggression got rewarded with fights and with victory. The only downside to EDG performance was that Pawn’s Lux was getting caught out too many times, a very immobile champion but I guess EDG can afford to play these type of picks if you have a Koro1, Clearlove and Deft running around. Later on, as the game progressed, the vision control and map control from EDG returned to the level that we expect from them and by picking off enemies in the jungle or in lane, they forced the enemy to drop to the strength of their team.

Another terrifying performance from the #1 seed in China who once again show they are the best at what they do.

Who is going to have a chance to avoid relegation and get into the play-offs? That was the question for the next game between Spirit’s Team WE and Namei’s SHRC.

SHRC took control over this match for the first 20-25 minutes with great rotations and objective control. Having Corn play the Leblanc and ending the game with a strong 10-2-9 performance still didn't secure them the victory.

Team WE turned the game around after losing pretty much every teamfight before Aluka got his Frozen Heart on his Sion. From that moment on, he was pretty close to immortality. Peeling and poking around in team fights and using his ultimate to either interrupt the disengage or to secure a point-blank knock up which led to a kill. This man surely was the MVP of the first game with his presence in teamfights.

Now, Namei has been back for a few games but hasn't really impressed me. The only aspect of his game that did make an impression on me (and many others) was how bad his positioning has been and the amount of deaths that he's taken every game. I personally think that it’s not even his team's fault that he gets caught out due to lack of peel. His positioning is just all out terrible, getting caught out by dark bindings and such.

So Team WE grabbed at least three points this week. Will they be able to continue their path of victory and take a 2-0 set over SHRC?

The second game was a bit trolly if you ask me. Zero picked up the Irelia support which is not something that you could have expected. Before the game even started, Mystic managed to kill Namei four times in lane in a 2v2 setup, while Aluka managed to force Cola out of lane early.

Perhaps the most surprising outcome is that Xiye, on Ahri, was winning his lane by having the perfect counter for Viktor. The early game surely went in favor of Team WE, who seemed to be on the right path to claim victory if they continued this type of play.

SHRC did manage to get somewhat back into the game with a couple of good picks around the midlane and having Zero with a 4-2-2 score at 14 minutes. You could certainly question who the carry was when looking at Namei's 0-4 Kalista.

With the power of Mystic’s Lucian and the pick ability of the J4, they managed to pick off Namei and Zero near the baron. After deleting them from the map, Team WE pick up a 23 minute baron, just extending their gold lead towards the 5k mark - and this early baron means a bot inhibitor for Team WE. In the past, Team WE managed to lose leads due to the lack of communication, but this time it went the other way around.

Mystic, who picked up his big lead by dominating the SHRC botlane and transfering that into kills, was surely the MVP for this second game. Team WE aced SHRC and picked up a very much needed and deserved win.

Team WE and SHRC are fighting to avoid relegation and at the same time seeking to take away the 8th spot needed for the play-offs that is currently in possession of King.

The last game of the day was between OMG and Invictus Gaming. OMG has split twice this week and with one more split they would take first spot in terms of splitting series.

A very strange team composition came out from the OMG line-up but it didn't immediately show in the game itself. The first game went pretty well for both teams. Not much happened until the twenty fifth minute when Cool got picked off after OMG took the mid T2 turret from IG and stole away the blue buff.

Cool was railroaded by Zitai's Sion ult and was quickly killed by the rest of IG. IG then went for the baron and OMG tried to interrupt it, but a bad Sona ult only hit two people and got turned quickly with a kill on Gogoing, who went too deep. Cloud got killed swiftly after being ulted into the IG formation by Kalista’s ult and a brave attempt from Loveling to steal the baron ended up in a death for the yeti.

After that baron pick up, IG took control over the game and it even resulted into a mini base race which gave IG the advantage after they were running out of minions. OMG took out the mid inhibitor and IG took the bot inhibitor and a nexus turret. OMG seemed to be alive still after Loveling pulled off a very cheeky dragon steal with his consume smite combo but it wasn't enough. Another pick onto Cool got turned into the game winning teamfight as Uzi was being chased and chunked out by Kakao’s spears, who were on spot the whole game.

Invictus gaming took the first game and looked good to pick up maybe a win over the still undefeated OMG. We’ve seen this before this split, OMG falling behind and then coming out with guns blazing, blood everywhere, leaving the enemy team in their seats without having a clue what just happened.

Not this time. This time, it was Invictus Gaming with the likes of Kakao and Rookie who came out with firepower that would last for an eternity. Rookie pulled out the Ahri into Cool’s Viktor, who commited another Dade for the second time I believe this week. Rookie’s Ahri this game was compareable to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s performance in Commando. One mission with only one way of completing that mission. And so he did, together with Kakao who early on with only two ganks forced four summoner spells and two kills for his team in just a couple of minutes to set the pace for this game.

Having blown both Cool’s summoner spells, Rookie had a somewhat free farm lane and could push Cool into his turret non stop. Nunu didn't provide any massive amount of gank pressure, especially not in mid. The lead that Rookie got himself after the successful gank from Kakao was huge, although he was competing against OMG’s UZI who also picked up a few kills and they were even until 4-0-1. The big difference was that Cool was completely useless, having died already 5 times early on in the game and also UZI’s support, Cloud, wasn’t scared enough to jump onto the death train.

Where we would've normally see IG struggle in closing out games and really choking down their opponents, we didn't see that today. They took immediate control over the red side jungle from OMG, knowing that their only way to secure the win this game was to somehow starve UZI’s resources and apply pressure to him. IG already took out one carry from OMG and now it was time to take out the fed carry by successfully starving him as they did.

The game was getting out of control, because even if OMG could have managed to somehow get back into the game, the fed Ahri would soon be replaced by a late game Kog’maw. Where OMG did fight off IG, surprisingly being down over 10k gold, seemed to only be a big mistake made by IG but without big consquences. They quickly got back into the base of OMG and took down the three inhibitors.

Invictus Gaming is the first team this split to 2-0 the ranks of OMG. Aside from this victory, the way that they made their picks and bans work and adjusted their game-closing play style was an even bigger victory.

Results Day 3:

Snake vs Energy Pacemaker 2-0
Edward Gaming vs Gamtee 2-0
Team WE vs Star Horn Royal Club 2-0
OMG vs Invictus Gaming 2-0



Standings after Week 9:


Schedule for Week 10:

Day 1:
OMG vs Energy Pacemaker
King vs LGD Gaming
Star Horn Royal Club vs Vici Gaming
Edward Gaming vs Team World Elite

Day 2:
Star Horn Royal Club vs Energy Pacemaker
Snake vs Gamtee
Master3 vs Invictus Gaming
Team World Elite vs King

Day 3:
Master3 vs Snake
Team World Elite vs Energy Pacemaker
Invictus Gaming vs King
Vici Gaming vs LGD Gaming

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.