Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 10 LPL Preview

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

We are two weeks away from knowing which teams are going to the playoffs. Which teams aside from EDG, OMG and Snake will have a chance to grab the Spring Split Championship and a ticket for MSI? Who will have to play in the relegation tournament? How is the “tank” meta going to affect our league? The majority of these questions shall be answered after the upcoming 24 games this week, so let’s have a look.

Current LPL Standings:

Friday, 3rd of April

OMG vs Energy Pacemaker

Two teams who have nothing more to gain. After OMG's first set loss against Invictus Gaming in Week 9, they might be seeking some form of revenge for their fans, but they've already secured their spot in the playoffs. Energy Pacemaker, on the other hand, will probably be going into the relegation tournament at the end of this month. With that being said, both teams might be trying out some new picks while keeping in mind that OMG will want to hold on to that second spot in the standings.

King vs LGD Gaming

The week of truth for the players and staff of Team King, who are playing three extremely tough matches this weekend of which LGD is their first opponent. Both teams are here to win and splitting the set is not going to help any of them. Also for these teams the new patch might either be a problem or a huge benefit, who knows. LGD is confident of their playoff spot, the only question is where they will end up this split in the standings and for King, every game is a final. Both King and LGD have not been living up to their expectations, although LGD seems to be playing a bit more consistently. This should be a great game to watch with two teams who love teamfights and still have something to fight for. 

Star Horn Royal Club vs Vici Gaming

SHRC has been suffering all season. Having played seven weeks without their star ADC Namei, they now have to continue the rest of the season without InSec. He was diagnosed with a tibial fracture and requires surgery. The management of SHRC has not estimated a date of return yet. They want InSec back only when he is fully recovered and in good shape. Until then, they'll have to do with another substitute to finish of this season. 

Vici Gaming, the team who is currently holding the 4th place spot in the LPL, will be SHRC's first opponent. Vici amazed friends and foe with their performances in their last few sets, demonstrating beautiful objective control and rotations followed up by perfectly executed teamfights/skirmishes. While EDG has been looking extremely good with their new players, Vici Gaming seems to have also sorted out their issues and seem renewed. Vici is also pretty much ensured of playoff contention while for SHRC, this game is one of the four finals that are remaining for them. Will SHRC's broken formation hold up against this renewed Vici Gaming? Can Namei pull his team through or will Mata and his companions throw more salt in SHRC's open wounds? 

Edward Gaming vs Team World Elite

Both Team WE and Invictus Gaming had to bow down to the most powerful and dominating League of Legends team in the world that goes by the name of Edward Gaming. Two best of 5 sets got decided in 6 games by this indestructible formation of greatness. After winning the Demacia cup last weekend without dropping a single game, with Deft dying only twice in the finals and Clearlove being undefeated in the cup as well as in the LPL with his Lee Sin, they seem unstoppable. There is so much to say about this team, but to sum it up, you might call them SSW v2.0.

Then there is Team World Elite. Dropping to QG in the Demacia cup with EDG waiting for them wasn't a good showing. Their new formation is working better than their old one, but is it good enough to take a game off EDG to keep the playoff hopes alive? I personally don’t think so, yet you should never underestimate Spirit, who, along with Clearlove, might be the most interesting match-up to keep track of during this set. The two best junglers in the world are facing each other.

Will Spirit do the impossible and lead his team to victory? Or will EDG continue their rampage and endeavor to out-style their opponents as they did last weekend and in all weeks prior?

Friday’s Matches:

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

Saturday, 4th of April

Star Horn Royal Club vs Energy Pacemaker

EP has basically no chance to obtain a playoff spot this split and will have to focus on the relegation tournament at the end of the month. SHRC, on the other hand, are still in the running for a spot and their game against EP could bring them three points. Keep in mind that SHRC is the one team that EP managed to defeat this split, though with Namei on the roster of SHRC, it should be doable to grab all the points here. As a matter of fact, if SHRC does not take the full win this set, it’s pretty much over as far as their playoff contention is concerned. First up for SHRC is Vici Gaming, which seems tough, but let’s hope that the substitute jungler for SHRC can make his mark at least in this game if he doesn't already do that in the VG set.

Snake vs Gamtee

Both teams are more likely to be trying out champions/formations and perhaps new tactics. Snake is guaranteed of their playoff spot, while Gamtee is most likely to be facing LSPL teams in their relegation tournament. Snake who has been experimenting with a few new setups and tactics, might have to switch up their game again in this new patch. Likewise for Gamtee. The strange fact about Gamtee is that their individual players are not as bad as their current standing is showing, but they are simply splitting too many sets. This would be another set which would probably be a split. 

Invictus Gaming vs Master3

We have discussed M3 before this split. Their botlane is really improving lately and Dade seems to be feeling more comfortable as the season is coming to an end.  M3 has really improved a lot and perhaps with gaining a few more points, starting today against IG, they can secure their playoff spot.

Invictus Gaming is going into this match after suffering a 3-0 fatality from EDG. It is no disgrace to bow to the ranks of the current top team in the LPL but perhaps it did leave its mark on the players. IG has improved considerably lately and Rookie has stepped up his game. He managed to kill Pawn multiple times this weekend in lane. 

Overall this should be a very exiting match to watch between two teams who still got all to play for. 

Team World Elite vs King

The week of truth for Spirit and his IEM heroes. This week will give them (and us) a lot of clarity on their current status. Both King and TWE are in need of three points this set to either secure or have hopes for the playoffs. Team World Elite struggled early in the season but has improved since IEM. King, on the other hand, is just one of those teams as we discussed earlier that is comparable to LGD. Inconsistent results, yet they managed to take a game off EDG and OMG with strong and dominating play. If we will see both teams on top of their game, it will most probably be a tie, then again, who knows. 

Saturday’s games:

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

Sunday, 5th of April

Master3 vs Snake

One of those games where a split is the most imaginable outcome looking at the standings of both teams. Snake might want to go for that second spot but shouldn't risk all that much with the possibility that Vici Gaming might knock them out of third. Ella and Beast are the key factors in this game on the side of Snake, where Candy and Lovecd are the ones who have been stepping up their game on the side of M3. A very interesting match in terms of strength, M3 has been growing stronger while Snake has seemed to be getting less dominant this split.

Team World Elite vs Energy Pacemaker

For the biggest E-sports organisation of China, this game against Energy Pacemaker has got the same tag on it as SHRC vs EP, “must win”. Must win to stay alive in terms of making the playoffs, for TWE this game is just as important as the one against King. Where King is facing off difficult opponents, this might be the easiest out of all teams for TWE to pick up three points against. Spirit should and must be able to carry his team in this set and lead them towards those 3 points of victory while Energy Pacemaker wants to make sure that they will leave this split leaving a good impression.

Invictus Gaming vs King

A final for King, while Invictus Gaming is also looking for a victory but with less pressure. King has two teams behind them that want to make sure that they won’t make playoffs, and they're playing against a team that recently lost to EDG but showed signs of strength, suggesting it would be really hard for them to take down. King has been spoken about a lot this split and their standings at this point might actually reflect the way that they play. They win some, they lose some, and they share the 7th place spot. Invictus Gaming is in the same predicament as King but with a lot more quality, that’s why they are higher on the ladder. Definitely a game where the teamfight seeking mentality from King will have to face the skirmish potential and strength from Rookie and Kakao.

Vici Gaming vs LGD Gaming

“We want to attend the MSI as the #1 representative of China.” That’s what LGD Gaming wants and on top of that, getting to Worlds is their top priority this season. Vici Gaming is their next opponent, with Vici having stepped up their game and looking fantastic lately. LGD can now show if they can live up to their own and their fans expectations.

Can IMP finally show that he is still the ADC that he claims to be and carry his team to victory as he did at SSW? He surely has the support to do so. Perhaps the revived botlane of Vici Gaming is too strong, as Vasilii and Mata seem to have finally learned to work properly together? How will Dandy disturb Acorn during his laning phase or deal with TBQ? Will the Dandy/Mata roams be successfull or interrupted? Will Acorn make his presence known in the botlane with one of his fantastic teleport plays, or will We1less go off as one of the top midlaners as many claim that he is?

Perhaps the most interesting match of this weekend, served to us as the last game of the week!

Sunday’s games:

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

Top 3 Players to Watch:

1. Team World Elite’s Spirit – EDG, King, EP. Spirit has to wait with taking off his carry pants. These three games are perhaps the most important games for TWE this split. If they could manage to pick up 6-7 points then I would say that the management would be really pleased. Spirit is capable of carrying, can he do this again?

2. Star Horn Royal Club’s Namei - InSec is out, Namei is in. Namei has won 3 LPL splits and is now the one and only, the chosen one, to keep SHRC in the LPL and perhaps even make the playoffs. If ever there was a time to prove himself once again, it is now!

3. Snake’s Beast - Beast has been one of the most important players on Snake this split, together with Ella. Now with the patch going over into 5.5, we should be very curious to see how the new meta junglers are going to affect his playstyle and the playstyle of Snake.

The games are live on the following streams at 6AM CEST:



Preview of EU Challenger Series Spring 2015 Playoffs: Gamers2 vs Old LowLandLions

By Anel “Musinlol” Musinovic

EU Challenger Series playoffs begins at 18.00 tonight and will be a match that before the season would heavily have been predicted in favor for Gamers2. Since then the old LowLandLions have improved and are ready to give us a great match.

Gamers2 vs The old LowlandLions
SmittyJ, Gillius, Eika, Jebus & Hiiva vs Morsù, Kirei, CozQ, Vizility & Hybrid

As you can see the fan vote is close to 50-50 even though I would put it slightly into Gamers2 favor there is a chance for the old LowlandLions. Gamers2 I would put in the favorable seat despite a lower seed than LowLandLions who get to decide which side they would like to play on twice. Gamers2 are obviously living in Ocelote’s gaming house which is a massive advantage in terms of bonding, team synergy and practice. Gamers2 also has a 2-0 winning record vs the old LowLandLions.¨

The biggest mismatch is found in the botlane or the jungle where the toplane and midlane is more even. Jebus has previously been 9-1 and 10-1 vs LowLandLions.

The winner will be going up against the winner of Origen vs Reason Gaming, which most likely will be Origen. Origen will most likely be grabbing that auto-promotion spot and therefore the most likely thing will be that the winner of this match will be facing Giants in the relegation match.
Pick and bans:
In the picks and bans Gamers2 previously have shown willingness to target Morsu which lead him on to the likes of Wukong and Gnar which in both instances lead to Gamers2 victories. Morsù has played Jax twice, Irelia three times, Fizz twice, Wukong, Fiora & Gnar all once.
    Interestingly enough he hasn’t found wins on any of the champs he has only played once therefore i believe it would be good to try to ban out Morsù and pick away one of his champions in at least on of the series. SmittyJ has previously himself pulled out Jax & Fizz vs Morsù as well so he could be trying to get his hands on that and very well could be contested picks.
The negative side of banning out Morsu is obviously it that it leaves champions open for the other players which is only a concern with CozQ who has picked up Ahri 5 times out of the 10 games in the split.

On the other hand for LowlandLions i think they could have a toplane pick up their sleeve and they should be trying to focus on getting good matchups for their solo lanes and snowballing from there. They should also not try to tunnel too hard on Ahri, and be careful of picking Xearth into Ahri if it gets picked away. They played Xearth in their two latest matches vs Origen with one of them resulting in handing Origen their only loss.

Player to watch from Gamers2: SmittyJ

My reasoning behind my choice of SmittyJ is that he is a good toplaner that i would rate on level with Soaz, and it will be important that he keep Morsu down, who is known for putting his team on his back mostly by split pushing.

He has previously played on SK Prime with Kikis & Fox who are currently in the LCS, so he will be trying to join his old friends very soon.
     This season SmittyJ has played 7 different champs, so he champloo is in a health spot and should be able to hold his own in the toplane vs Morsù.

Player to watch from the old LowLandLions: CozQ

It was between Morsù and CozQ, but with me already addressing Morsu under the SmittyJ part and in the start, i decided to go with CozQ. CozQ & Morsu will be the force that will be trying to carry the team to victory despite hard circumstances. They are good individual players but don’t seem to have enough quality around them to go through to the finals. CozQ has recently picked up Xearth most notably in their win vs Origen.

He has previously played Ahri 5 times, and has also played Cassio, Leblanc and Lissandra once. If Gamers2 would try to ban him out in one of the series, it would most likely be Ahri, Xearth & Leblanc because they are the 3 most contested picks and force him onto a less comfortable pick, but it is unlikely because it would leave up all Morsù’s strong picks.

Predicted score: Gamers2 2 - 1 old LowlandLions

The game will be played March 31st at 12 PM EST & 18:00 CEST

In the whole article i have adressed Morsù, Kirei, CozQ, Vizility & Hybrid as “The old LowLandLions because of their recent departure from LowLandLions.  

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


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.


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.


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


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 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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

“We'd Like to Represent China as their #1 Team in the MSI” : An Interview with LGD Gaming

Early in 2012, the Dota-based Chinese E-sports organization, LGD, created a League of Legends team. Since then a lot has changed for both the team and the organization, but even with a roster loaded with Korean superstars, finding a winning combination has been tricky. 

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

Like most new teams, LGD didn't start in the LPL. They had to battle through many promotional tournaments to access the top competition of China, finally gaining entry to the 2014 Spring LPL after defeating Vici Gaming 2-1 in the 2013 TGA Winter Grand Prix. From that point, they held their own, staying in the middle of an eight team pack and making a fair run for the play-offs. Unfortunately, the team broke up on the last day of the Spring Split, but their fans were left with a good impression of their ability to handle the toughest the LPL had to offer. Since then, the team has been evolving.

LGD's current captain, support-player Chen “Pyl” Bo, joined the team in September 2012 after leaving Noah’s Ark, another LoL organization which is now disbanded. Zhu “TBQ” Yong-Quan joined the team just prior to their initial 2013 promotion series, and midlaner Wei “We1less” Lian was obtained from Vici Gaming in May of 2014. We1less is famous for having a very wide champion pool and, according to some, he is one of the Top 3 midlane talents in China, displaying great improvements in map awareness, warding and individual skill.

The team's line-up worked decently for the LPL's 2014 Summer Split, and LGD managed to qualify for the playoffs. Unfortunately, they got 3-0’d by both SHRC (the 2014 Worlds finalists) and EDG, who were superior that split. While they didn't qualify for Worlds through the regional finals either, they were at least showing signs of growth and they felt very positive for the future.

Then late in 2014, LGD made a few huge announcements. Korean players Choi “Acorn” Cheon-ju, Lee “Flame”Ho-Jong and World Champion Gu “Imp” Seung-bin would be joining the ranks. They are names well-known to the American LCS fans, along with the powerhouse teams they come from: Samsung Blue, CJ Entus and Samsung White respectively. But can they help bring LGD their first LPL title?

(*LGD is currently sitting in the fifth place spot in the LPL. This interview was done after Week 8 while LGD was still in the fourth place spot.)

We first spoke with team manager, Pan "Ruru" Jie.

Last split, you guys didn’t manage to get passed OMG to qualify for Worlds. This year the critics have you as a Top 2 LPL team. How much pressure are you feeling to perform at that level and make it to Worlds?

- Yes, everyone from the players to the management have higher expectations for this year. Making it to the Season 5 World Championships is our main goal. After having acquired so many talented Korean players, having such great expectations from their team is not weird in any sense. Not only does the management think that LGD should have a big impact on the international scene, but also the journalists that follow the Chinese scene agree with this thought.

Acorn, Flame and Imp joined the ranks of LGD, so that is also a reason for the critics to expect more of your team this year. What do you expect from your staff and players?

- The Korean players brought with them a very hardworking attitude, and despite (Imp) having won Worlds before, it’s very rare to find players in China capable of working as hard as the Koreans.

How do you think you can come up with the most suitable line-up for the team? Do you feel that the frequent roster changes are helping the players, or creating unnecessary burdens?

- Honestly, changing the line-up affects not just the swapped players but also the rest of the team. Different players have different playstyles, and the other teammates have to adapt to the new players’ playstyles.

Teams with both Chinese and Korean players usually have some communication issues, as the team manager how did you try to solve this? How did the Chinese players face this problem?

- We tried having the Korean players learn Mandarin, and taught the Chinese players some English. (Actually the Chinese players know some Korean, and will use Korean to make calls such as when to group. 

Next we spoke with team coach, Luo "BSYY" Sheng.

Most of the time, seeing LGD play is a joy for every League of Legends fan, but still we see some games that are being lost due to a lack of concentration perhaps? How do you see that for yourself?

- Every player takes competition seriously and focuses during the match, this is the basis of being a pro gamer and the attitude pros have to have. When the team loses a game it’s because they’re still going through the phase of learning how to adapt to each other, and they haven’t overcome this yet.

What is the main reason to let Acorn start the first game instead of Flame?

- I think that Acorn has slightly better synergy with the rest of the team and is a bit more stable, and I feel that this gives the team a better chance of winning the first game.

Is it hard to have to deal with the dilemma of having two toplaners who are close together in terms of skill or is it merely a luxury issue?

- It makes it more difficult to choose, both players are exceedingly talented.

What do you think is the strength and weakness of LGD at this point in the season?

- The team is good at teamfighting, but vision control in the early game as well as gank sense and pathing needs to be improved upon.

The playoffs are arriving in just a few weeks. What are the goals for LGD regarding those playoffs?

- To be 1st in Playoffs of course, and to be able to represent China as their number 1 team in the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) :)

BSYY's statement on wanting to attend MSI as the #1 team in China shows just how serious LGD is taking their chances on the upcoming playoffs. Personally, I think that LGD will manage at least the semi-finals this split, but from there on it will be extremely hard since they will be facing teams such as OMG and EDG.    

(From left to right: Imp, TBQ, Pyl, Flame, We1less, Acorn)

For those who follow The True LOL Show, you know that Acorn is one of the few Korean players who is actually quite happy to be playing in China right now. We also had some questions for him lined up:

It's been a few months now that you've been in China. How difficult has it been adapting to the playstyle?

I think that it’s the same as it used to be, there hasn’t been much change. I think I fit in well with the rest of the team.

Is it difficult to have to compete with a player such as Flame for the toplane spot?

- I just want to practice hard and have a good attitude about everything. Who starts for the team isn't something that I can decide.

How do you think that you personally can influence the inconsistent results of LGD?

- I think that the team will improve tremendously once we solve the communication issues we currently have between team members.

Do you feel that the way the team is rostered now suits you? Is there anything you’d like to change about that?

I think that the current way of fielding who’s playing better at the time is a good way to go about it.

Acorn has to compete with Flame, who seems to be playing a bit less (whereas at the start of the split both players would play one game each series). Flame, who came over from CJ Entus, has to work with being a substitute in the current LGD team. His thoughts on the current situation and his goals:

You made the step towards China, but instead of being a starter you often come in at the second game, were you aware of the current situation that you are in?

Yes, I knew about it beforehand.

In various sports there are always players who feel that having someone vie for their position will help to unleash their own potential, and help them improve. Do you feel that this logic is applicable to you?

- I’ve competed with someone for the same position before in the past, and I feel that it does make me work harder to up my own game.

When you were in Korea you very regrettably never won OGN Champions, how much do you want to win LPL right now?

-  I will work very hard to take the LPL crown. Besides winning LPL, I also really want to improve my own skills

Do you think that you will have a definite spot on the team in the future? Or is it still too early to discuss this?

-  Right now the most important thing is to raise my own skills, and then think about other matters.

We arrived now at one of the players who have been in LGD for quite a while, TBQ (or Quan as most call him). His thoughts on team synergy and the current jungle:

The new jungle has lowered Lee Sin a bit on the priority list for junglers and yet he is still a top pick for you. How do you explain that?

We don’t prioritize picking Lee Sin. We pick him if the team composition needs him, but I also have confidence that I can win matches on Lee Sin..

You are still a very young player but already with quite some experience, how has the addition of the new players affected your playstyle?

Having new, strong players join the team definitely fires us up to play better. My playstyle depends on the  patch as well as the playstyles of the other players as a team.

In China they tend to wait a long time before they jump into the next patch. Can you say that with all the changes to the jungle this is a good or a bad thing for you?

There’s good and bad, but it’s ok as long as you can adapt to the patch. I play on the Korean server to get used to playing on new patches before they’re rolled out in LPL competitions.

One of the unwritten rules in any sports is that in order to improve your team's results. you have to improve your own qualities. What is a point that you would really love to improve?

Team, mid/jungle as well as support synergy. I also need to work on my champion pool.

Next we spoke to We1less, who, while perhaps is not the most talkative person on the team, is still one of the most talented!

Great quadra kill on the Diana in your second game against Snake last weekend, do the buffs that Diana has been given really make her a top pick for competitive play?

-  She was always a priority pick.

I see a lot of teams simply giving Snake’s Baka his Xerath, the only champion he plays now. Also you guys gave him the Xerath in Game 2. Is that because you prioritize other bans or perhaps it slipped through, or is it more that you know exactly how to deal with him?

All the team members thought that Xerath was still ok to deal with, and not as important to ban out as the other 3 champions.

Playoffs are on the way and we can almost surely say that LGD is going to qualify for that. Until that time, how do you individually think you can lift your team up just a bit more?

The team members are all working hard together, and I have to become stronger too!

How do you explain the great games you guys play? Really, some games make me doubt if EDG is really the current #1 in China and then you follow it up with a game where it just doesn't seem to work out all too well?

Our team synergy still isn’t quite there yet.

Imp, one of the most dominating ADC’s in LoL history had the chance to pick out any team he wanted and he chose to join the ranks of LGD because he insisted on playing with Pyl. Let’s see how he has been doing until now in China.

Many people consider you to be the world’s best ADC, especially after your stellar performance to win S4 Worlds and your 2 pentakills during the competition. How has the new season and change in environment affected you (or changed your champion picks)?

I haven’t changed much, I still feel like the same Imp.

Witnessing the old Imp’s godlike play around the map during teamfights and small skirmishes was always a treat. Is there any reason for you to have lost this “explosiveness” lately?

- My old teammates could create better opportunities, so…

You’re now 4th in the LPL and people have fairly high expectations for LGD for the upcoming playoffs. How is the team intending to face up to this pressure?

-  We will work hard to improve team synergy and communication, and achieve better results.

Some players in the West don’t quite feel as if China is the next strongest region after Korea, what are your personal thoughts on this?

I think that there isn’t much difference between the regions’ leagues. We’ll see how everyone performs when they meet in competition.

Last but not least the team captain, Pyl, had time to answer a few questions including about his best “friend”.

China has a lot of great support players of which you are one, but you have a World Champion as ADC by your side. Does this give you a big advantage when laning or when you decide to roam with TBQ?

Yes, Imp is very strong in lane and can frequently 1v2, which lets me roam comfortably with the jungler.

You have a very large champion pool, you are 3/3 with Nami this season, how much of an advantage does having a large champion pool give to you and your team?

I can compliment my ADC better, as well as try out more new team compositions.

Bard has just been released and I personally love the champion and his kit. How do you think that Bard will do in the competitive scene and will you be playing him soon enough?

Just looking at his kit he seems pretty strong. Bard isn’t live on the Chinese server yet but I will definitely analyse him closely and play him a lot.

Some days ago on Twitter we saw your cat holding a lollipop, did he eat that lollipop?

Haha, he likes eating mice more.

Doubi, Pyl’s cat

I want to thank the entire team from LGD Gaming that made these short interviews possible. Also thanks to Jenny Lee @ivorybells and one other anonymous person who translated my questions to Chinese and the answers back to English.

LGD Gaming has a few more games left this split before the playoffs start, you can support them by watching the streams when they play and following them on twitter and facebook.

Remaining games for LGD in the spring split 2014:

April 3rd - King
April 6th - Vici Gaming
April 10th - Gamtee
April 11th - OMG
April 12th - Invictus Gaming

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