Showing posts with label MSI SKT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MSI SKT. Show all posts

Saturday, May 9, 2015

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 8, 2015

Fnatic vs SKT : Sometimes Winning ISN'T Everything

Photo courtesy of Riot Esports

by Andrey "Hammett" Kuchynskyi 

Fnatic declined a remake of their potentially bugged game vs SKT because they knew, even if they pulled it off, it wouldn't come out any better. They won the game basically. They were the closest out of the entire world to beat SKT. It's better to say "a bug ruined it" instead of "a bug ruined it, we remade it and got stomped." Because really, you don't want to make another 10 floor card house after someone drops a hammer in another room causing your most recent one to collapse; or when you play Flappy Bird and you pull off 5 times your high score, you won't immediately restart it to try and beat it

Throughout this game, I was ready for SKT to win in the end. It is noticeable that Koreans and Chinese, especially on MSI, wait for a mistake from their opponents. Whenever a really small misplay happens, they make sure it is punished to the end, and then abuse their lead out of it. So the goal for other teams is basically to play 100% perfectly in regards to committing mistakes. Fnatic did that until the Nautilus ult over the wall in mid. At that point, Nunu and Rumble pressed R and all the frontline follow-up from Fnatic got melted while this combo zoned Steelback and Febiven. That was Fnatic's first misplay. They still didn't fall from it and kept doing their thing perfectly, but that bug happened (which is really well-known in soloq.)

So in a bigger picture, I am sure everyone felt like Fnatic could have won. Maybe even SKT. This is one of the games we all play and watch League for. This is what "gg" is, and it doesn't mean that other games are not good enough. It's just we all love League and play it for these games.

This will become another Fnatic classic moments. There were moments when FNC took the lead on EU LCS and then suddenly collapsed because of a misplay. And right after those moments, Huni and Reignover would take over and make a comeback. This game was the same, when Sejuani stole the Baron and forced SKT back.

Despite losing hard during MSI, Fnatic concentrated so much, one could say they are playing the last game of their lives. Like really, can everyone be that focused after being dominated two games in a row and then face an even stronger team? I don't think so. I really admire Fnatic right now for pulling it together, concentrating and facing SKT seriously. Congratulations guys, you really won more from this game than SKT. This is the time a fallen nexus doesn't mean that much. Remember it's not Worlds yet, so it is important to grab the experience, see your pros and cons, and prepare for future.