Showing posts with label Michael Godani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Godani. Show all posts

Monday, April 6, 2015

LPL Week 10 Review : Bard/Kennen/Irelia support and more!

For many teams, this was the week of truth - and on top of that, they were dealing with a new patch. Returning picks such as support Irelia and new picks like Gragas jungle, Shyvana top and Bard even, made this quite the moving week.

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

Friday, April 3rd

OMG vs Energy Pacemaker

OMG's coach, citing the teams performance in other games, said he wanted to place his team on unconventional picks. Whether this was the case or not, it was still another show of disrespect levied towards the viewers and fans of one of China’s top teams.

Losing Game 1 in a true “we don’t care” fashion to the last seed in China does not mean EP didn't have to do anything for it. AmazingJ, who brought out the Garen the last time he was on stage, managed to 1v1 superstar Gogoing in lane. You could even see AmazingJ shout out loud when he got the solo kill.

OMG did manage to stay in gold range of EP early by prioritizing turrets. Unfortunately, EP played their teamfights a lot better and while OMG kept initiating fights, EP kept cleaning them up.

Energy Pacemaker came to play and they showed us just that with their new jungler and ADC. The last seed in China took down OMG with a beautiful teamfight composition. A few Gnar! + Glacial Prison combo’s completed the wombo combo and therefore most of the teamfights.

EP's comp was built around getting those five drakes and they did. Having the fifth dragon stolen away from them by Loveling was nothing more then a minor misstep for this relatively new lineup. EP managed to pick up the fifth drake followed up with the second baron of the game for them, and with that they upset the LPL and its fans by destroying OMG in the first game.

To round up this first game, OMG should really stop letting Cloud play Annie; his last two performances were very poor and the only impact that he has had was feeding the enemy team. We've seen that OMG cannot play these “lategame” team compositions well. Early/midgame is their forte, but who is going to tell them that.

The second game was a different story. Perhaps OMG realized that there were a lot of people around the world not amused with their performance/draft.

Putting Gogoing on the Gnar and Cloud again on a skillshot champion, Nautilus, they were ready to go. The star midlaner from the all-Chinese line-up, Cool, was playing the Anivia who picked up first blood sub 3 minutes into the game and from there went on to snowball, grabbing a few more kills around the map and a comfortable 30 cs lead.

EP’s Captain57, the jungler, did manage to get some aggressive warding down early-on in this game, same as he and the rest of his team did in the first game of the series. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't able to countergank since all the ganks or, let’s say, most of the ganks, were focused on the botlane.

Early midgame OMG did manage to rotate towards the toplane, giving both Cool and UZI a few more kills so that they could grab some new fancy gear from the item shop to get ready for the final siege.

A beautiful siege on the toplane ended with a Crunch into the Gnar! to line the members of EP up for the Anivia/Jinx combo who would quickly make fast work of the fresh meat that was being presented to them.

As mentioned earlier, Cloud was playing a skillshot champion. As the best mechanical support player in the world right now, he showed off with incredible hooks, beautiful peel and teamfight-deciding plays. The man is a monster on skillshot supports, showing it every single game.

OMG did not manage to end the game themselves. EP ended it for them by surrendering after 26 minutes and splitting the series.

King vs LGD Gaming

Two teams who both came out with their own unique compositions. The Ori/Kog’maw ball comp from LGD against the five-tank army from LGD. Yes, five-tank army! Maokai, Vi, Cho’gath, UrGOD and Nautilus. The most remarkable detail about King was that MLXG actually build Cinderhulk on Vi.

The first ten minutes of the game were quiet with a lot of farming, and right before the second spawn of the drake (the first one being picked up by King) MLXG ulted PYL above LGD’s red buff to secure a 4v5 advantage for the next drake. As King was not sure yet if a 4v5 was sufficient enough, they managed to kill Acorn’s Rumble and then went for their second drake of the game. It seemed to be going okay for King as they were still down in gold due to the fact that LGD was getting better farm and knocking down turrets. 

The real switch in the game was around the twenty minute mark when MLXG overextended and died for free while the rest of the team tried to catch up and got picked off one by one. A 3-1 trade in favor of LGD basically sealed the game.

We1less was playing the Orianna this game and he did so to perfection. A couple of beautiful shockwaves, especially around the thirty minute mark. TBQ jumped into the midlane, followed up by a Glacial Prison and Acorn’s Equalizer! Double kill TBQ, no escaping this though, the Ori ball caught out any player trying to escape this drive by the killer squad from LGD.

LGD destroyed King’s idea of being unkillable with teamplay and individual play. TBQ and We1less were looking very strong on their champions and secured a first game win by forcing the surrender from King.

Bard and Amumu were locked in for the LGD team and they got everyone hyped! The first time that Bard was to be seen in competitive play, Pyl was the first one to do it. Just a note on the side, Flame got swapped in for Game 2 to get some playtime.

Before the game even started, TBQ managed to give Leym first blood which resulted into a boots pickup for the Nautilus support. Leym used his mobility to scout out TBQ in his jungle to get vision on his jungle pathing and with success. TBQ was not as successful on Amumu as he was last game with the Sejuani. Dying too many times by making bad plays, TBQ set not only him but his entire team back by a lot. Flame was cursed to play 1v3 every couple of minutes and the bottom lane of LGD didn't get a single decent gank from the sad mummy.

It was actually We1less who once again was the shining light on the LGD team. Who would've thought that an Anivia's ganks would be more successful than Amumu’s? Indeed!

King controlled the game just fine, taking early drakes, collapsing on lanes knowing where TBQ was by warding properly and extending their map pressure.

A 23-minute baron by King didn't result in a total collapse on one of LGD’s turrets, but they used the buff to slowly take away the outer turrets and get more control over the map.

Pyl’s Bard didn't work out as he might have hoped for but it is to be appreciated and respected that he took it out, even if not to his own success. We have seen the potential of Bard and perhaps with some better coordination, this could really be a strong pick.

Skye might have been one of the better performing players this game, single-handedly taking out Imp in every teamfight and causing chaos. 

TBQ did give LGD a bit of hope by stealing the second baron, but King their lead was too big to overcome with this buff.

King takes the fifth drake and shortly after take down Game 2 as they split the series!

Star Horn Royal Club vs Vici Gaming

This is it, the moment of truth for the fans, the players and the organisation of Star Horn Royal Club. With four games to go, this should game should be a great start for a perhaps crazy playoff participation run, could it be?

No, it cannot! Vici gaming showed off another Montecristo like game with a low but efficient kill count and strong rotations to leave SHRC out in the cold.

Vici had 100% control over every single aspect of this game. They ended the game with a 22k gold lead and dropping no towers to the two-time runners-up at Worlds.

Calculated tower dives with a ton of  crowd control coming out of Carry’s Hecarim, Dandy’s Definitely Not Udyr and Hetong’s TF, caused them to multiple times come out of these dives with zero deaths.

The substitute jungler for SHRC was not able to make his mark this game, perhaps that was a bit too much to ask for.

So, a very strong looking Vici Gaming with another objective-minded game which worked out perfectly fine, just like the previous games that they have played.

Game 2 wasn't all that different in terms of results. Vici Gaming took control over the game after Blank was caught out in the dragon pit while Mata wanted to clear a ward. He tunneled into the pit and when he tried to tunnel out, Mata flailed him backwards and VG just collapsed on him. Instead of turn away from this area, SHRC decided that a early lead for Vici might be a better option here.

After this point, Vici took a big enough lead to start controlling the entire map again, as they did in Game 1. With superior ward coverage, a fast clear of the outer turrets basically sealed the deal for them. Vici showed incredible teamplay while the only shining light on SHRC was Cola’s Jax, taking away the only two turrets of the series in the botlane.

Dandy showed this series that his champion pool is more like an ocean. Udyr and Sejuani were picked up this set and especially with the Sejuani he showed off some incredible ganks. His ultimates were on spot, hit them 100% with a 100% kill follow up on them.

Vici Gaming is looking like the second best team in China at this point while Star Horn is in need of some serious help! The team looks completely broken, clueless and is really in need of someone to get these guys back on track.

Edward Gaming vs Team World Elite

To keep the playoff dream alive, Team World Elite must at least take a point off EDG in this series. After this first game, that is still possible, though highly unlikely.

Where teams such as OMG and LGD have been trying certain champions/strategies out, EDG is not much into that and just does whatever they want and how they want it together with winning.

Swapping out Pawn for U hasn't changed a thing for this match as EDG still dominated every aspect of the game.

The game started off quite well for Team WE by going even in the early game, picking up the drake and only being down in gold by some cs advantage created in the bot and top lane.

Until the second drake spawned, the game was quite even but EDG shifted into their second gear and took a 3-0 fight and the drake. All three kills went to the super toplaner, Koro1, who was playing Jarvan IV, building a brutalizer into a hydra into the last whisper and before he could complete his ghostblade the game was already over.

Several fights occurred across the map, especially in the midlane, and every single time, EDG came out on top. Even if only by a little, the No.1 in the world managed to grab the advantage out of every single confrontation.

Did TWE play bad? I don’t think you can say that they actually played bad, they were just up against a much better team.

Game 2 started a bit similar to Game 1, although with less kills yet there were some ganks from both junglers who could’ve lead to a few deaths across the board. While the game seemed to be going even, EDG was once again coming out on top after a few fights, ending with a 4-2 and a 4-1.

Looking at the trades, it looked good, but none of the kills were going onto EDG’s carry Deft. He was not having a good game, some might discuss his item build as an issue for this game while others might argue that EDG was a bit too cocky coming into this game.

Mystic on the UrGOD made quick work of Deft and made sure that he was the one coming out on top with his standard build (FH,LW,MM,BC) while Deft went for a unorthodox build with the Infinity Edge as his first item.

The game slowly turned as more teamfights started to ramp up and Aluka’s Sion was becoming more and more an issue for the players from EDG. As soon as the Undead Juggernaut got his Thornmail, he was dishing out more damage to Deft without even targeting him.

Team World Elite sought out more fights and got them, everywhere, within seconds of each other, almost fight after fight, extending their gold lead with each fight. All this fighting lead to destroying the bot inhibitor from EDG and a Nexus turret but, by overstaying a bit, EDG managed to kill two members from TWE and answer with the Baron.

Could it be? I mean, if there would be one team to come back after this(EDG being behind in the meantime in turrets 8-2), it would be EDG.

No, it couldn't. Some questionable engages came through from Meiko and even U all of a sudden was found in the middle of this “Melee range” formation which sealed the deal and gave the IEM finalists the win.

Team World Elite beat Edward Gaming and was added to the list of OMG, Snake and King of teams who managed to pull this off this split. 

A split between a cocky EDG and a motivated and 'all-to-play-for' Team World Elite, keeping playoff dreams alive!

OMG vs Energy Pacemaker 1-1
King vs LGD Gaming
Star Horn Royal Club vs Vici Gaming  2-0
Edward Gaming vs Team World Elite 1-1

April 4th

Star Horn Royal Club vs Energy Pacemaker

Crazy performance from the struggling members of the Star Horn Royal Club, forcing a 21 minute surrender from Energy Pacemaker after an amazing game!

Destroy AmazingJ, that was the early mission for SHRC, EP who initiated the laneswap placed Maokai in the botlane who got bullied by Zero’s Thresh and Namei’s Jinx. After poking him with the hook/chomper combo a few times, he had to give up first blood and gave SHRC more control on the bottom lane.

Star Horn turned up the heat and didn't stop, taking a turret in the bot lane, the drake and then collapsing with four people onto AmazingJ’s Maokai followed up by a toplane gank on the tree really sealed the deal.

They did not only break the confidence of the man who managed to kill Gogoing yesterday inlane 1v1, but the entire team.

Zero’s Thresh combined with the chompers from Namei was an effective way to take out a single member while the Gnarjuani combo took out the rest of the team.

Our world’s finalists blew our mind by taking the bottom inhibitor sub 19 minutes and forcing a 21 minute surrender after baiting the baron which lead to two kills.

Are they back? Is the playoff dream still real and alive for Star Horn, or was this a one time show?

Clearly, this wasn’t a one time show! Game two continued where Star Horn left off in game one. I do have to mention that giving away Sejuani and Gnar was quite the awkward decision, but it worked out for them.

Blank’s early gank pressure lead to several kills and Zero once again came out big with the hooks, this time out of the Nautilus.

Zero single-handedly dominated the early game for Star Horn and slowly but surely Cola joined the snowball.

SHRC looked very good and EP looked terribly bad! Although Star Horn didn't clear the game as fast as they did in the first game, the game was never really in danger of being lost. Especially after Cola’s baron steal, yes, the Leblanc baron steal got brought to you by Star Horn Royal Club’s Cola with a bitter taste for Energy Pacemaker’s Drizzle who failed to smite.

Star Horn cleans up this set and takes the three points home, being alive still to make the playoffs!

Gamtee vs Snake

Snake should be the big winner of the 5.6 patch, the tank meta would suit their champion pools and improve their peel for Kryst4l.

What Snake did today in their first game against Gamtee was something new, new for the entire league of legends meta, Shyvana top with Teleport Smite.

How does this work though? Well, in lane swaps, Flandre managed to pick up the Gromp which is a juicy 60 gold and add 30 gold to it once he had his cinderhulk. Flandre kept picking up the Gromps in either his bot or the enemy’s top side to keep him ahead of his laner LetMe.

His quick cinderhulk was the key to the domination that Snake managed to show off later in this game.

Gamtee did try to fight Snake off, but the newcomers kept their gold lead by contributing to kills as a team and not as a single or duo.

Flandre was ahead enough to tank up the baron together with Beast who picked up LPL’s first Gragas jungle and Baka was hitting it from outside the pit. They got caught out, but managed to pick up the baron, a 3-2 exchange in favor of Snake with Kryst4l picking up the three kills which got him going as well.

A fed Draven with a huge dragon in the front line that seemed to have a limitless health pool.

Snake did it again as most of the watchers would say. The only question is, shouldn't Snake just have played this safe instead of showing off these kind of shenanigans right before playoffs?

Gamtee’s LetMe was impressed enough by the Teleport Smite combo that he tried it out himself on the Rengar top building full tank. Snake came onto the rift with two new picks in the likes of Trundle and Volibear (jungle). Early on, LetMe was benefiting from the laneswap initiated by his team by being far ahead of Flandre’s Trundle. The small advantage became a bit better when Xiaohu managed to 1v1 Baka inlane and take first blood.

Snake answered back with a couple of early drakes, good vision control and taking the outer turrets down before the 15 minute mark.

The entire game was going back and forth, while Snake was in the lead most of the time, Tale’s positioning on the Kog’maw lead his team to even the gold and outplay Snake in the teamfights.

Gamtee made a questionable decision going for a baron which they did manage to get, unfortunately for them, Kryst4l was quick enough to come all the way to the baron pit after taking the bot tier 2 turret. Kryst4l then cleaned up the pit by taking three kills and Baka took the last one as Sinkdream managed to get away as the slippery fish that he was.

Snake’s limited engage from the Volibear was what should’ve lost them the game, Volibear is a pretty one dimensional champion who cannot reach the backline without flanking. If he does manage to reach it, he is either too low health to do something or his passive is popped already.

Gamtee exploited this and was on their way to split the series, but the bad positioning from Tale on the final teamfight at the dragonpit lead his team to defeat against a shaky Snake.

Invictus Gaming vs Master3

Both teams had something to play for and after looking good the last few weeks, this might be one of the most interesting games of the day.

Interesting it was, when we look at the first game. Z1tai playing the Eye of the twilight in the toplane, Shen while Kakao picked up the Gragas.

Also worth mentioning is that M3 switched out Candy to play with Smlz, who is a known UrGOD player and therefor locked in the UrGod.

It was quite the farm game although Kid and Kitties managed to push Smlz into his turret early with some good harass and forcing the heal as a result of eating a death sentence.

M3 decided to make a dragon play and with succes, just the follow up on ganking the botlane didn't share the same success. At least, not for M3, a gank with the Glacial Prison got turned from a possible 2-0 gank into a 1-3 advantage for M3. A great countergank by Kakao didn't only lead secure his own bot duo, but also lead to killing the enemy botlane in exchange for his own Kitties.

The Kalista from Kid being up by two levels, two kills and a gigantic cs lead, meant that the botlane was secured, time to focus on the other lanes.

Rookie was doing a great job already against Dade’s Vladimir who lost his turret early and falling behind in CS which meant that the Batman & Robin duo from IG focused on helping their toplaner out.

All this happened without any form of real pressure by Master3, who just let IG do whatever they wanted and when they did try to interfere, they simply got smoked!

Yes, IG showed off their mechanical skills, especially Rookie who had some beautiful Azir plays and Kitties max range Death Sentences were one not to forget.

A 21 minute surrender was the result that IG was looking for. They take game one.

The second game of this series was a lot more interesting to watch when it comes to close games. Looper locked in one of his favorite champions in the toplane, Singed, as Invictus Gaming came onto the rift again with the Shen & Gragas.

M3 was looking good early in the game, coming out on top in the little skrims that occurred across the map but not quite as lucky on the dragon attempt that got stolen by Kid with the Ezreal ult.

IG traded the next two drakes for a mid outer turret and the top tier 2 turret and continued to expand their lead in forms of farming and turrets.

We do have to mention though, that M3’s jungler, Condi, is just looking terribly bad! Yes, he did have a decent debut, but after showing off his facechecking ability for the last few weeks, our friend managed to single-handedly lose teamfights by misusing his Glacial Prison. Not once, not twice, every single time!

IG’s composition had again a lot of utility and they used this to bait the baron multiple times so that Zz1tai, who had a double teleport on the Shen, could splitpush and take down the bottom inhibitor which eventually lead to a baron for Invictus Gaming.

M3 wasn't playing better or less than IG in the teamfights, but when you  have a jungler who wastes his aoe stun ultimate on a single target or in the open, you’re chances are pretty much done for.

Kid managed to punish Condi’s lack of insight with cleaning up fights due to the ability he had to burst down champions and chase them to finish them off.

A great performance from Invictus Gaming who secure the three points and push M3 really close to relegating.

Team World Elite vs King

Perhaps one of the most important games this week in terms of playoff seats. As both teams still have control over who is going to the playoffs, this promised to be a interesting match with two teams going all out.

Assassin, the decent performing midlaner from King, came onto the rift with the Karthus while LeyM obviously thought that Zero’s Irelia support pick was good enough to pick it himself(and also in the second game).

King started very strong, Assassin was using his ultimate almost to perfection as the team seemed to communicate very well. The pressure that MLXG applied on the botlane got followed up by the pressure that Assassin put onto Team WE with his ultimate.

The roams from the King midlaner lead to full control for the promising team who according to the critics would be somewhere in the top of the LPL based on their pre-season performance. King continued to pressure WE and eventually pushed their lead towards the 9k gold mark which didn’t even help King that much. A teamfight that occurred at that point went even, 4-4.

Despite the gold lead, this game seemed to be even in terms of fighting, as TWE tried to stall the game to farm up as much as they could. King couldn't close out the game, a common issue that we've seen quite a few times before this split and with that they kept TWE their hopes high. Teamfights were still going even until around the 40 minute mark. A teamfight that barely went in favor of King, as their team started to scale better and TWE their damage was falling off, lead them to the baron and eventually to close out the first game.

King was lucky that TWE is not a good teamfighting team, otherwise this might have turned out otherwise.

Perhaps the most important game for Team World Elite was the second game against King for them this split. For some reason, Spirit and Xiye were allowed on Nidalee and Leblanc which lead TWE to victory in the second game of this set.

As we started out even, with great ganking pressure from MLXG on the midlane, TWE managed to come out on top early in the midgame. As both Aluka and Skye farmed up, Aluka got a little bit ahead after Spirit started to give his lane some more attention.

Xiye in the meantime had been toying around with Assassin’s Lissandra, who didn’t stand a chance 1v1 against the Korean midlaner.

The first teamfight seemed to be happening around the second dragon spawn, but TWE managed to poke and scare King away from it, giving them another free drake which would help them significantly to close the game out earlier than King did the last game.

Creating the fights that lead to turrets and eventually the baron, strangly enough didn’t come from Spirit or Xiye, but from Yuzhe, who showed why we are all such a fan of LPL supports playing Thresh.

Death Sentences, to the fullest meaning of the name, were thrown out to sentence the poor looking King players to a 1-1 in the series, which would keep the hopes for the playoffs for TWE alive.

Team World Elite didn’t hesitate pressuring King while having a gold lead, they searched for fights, created fights, took objectives and forced a sub 30 minute game win over their competitors for that playoff seed.

Results Day 2:

Star Horn Royal Club vs Energy Pacemaker 2-0
Gamtee vs Snake 0-2
Invictus Gaming vs Master3 2-0
Team World Elite vs King 1-1

April 5th

Snake vs Master3

A beautiful game to start your Sunday off with. Snake came onto the rift with the troll in the toplane and the fat drunk man in the jungle while Baka picked up a new champion, Karthus.

A game that shortly after M3 picked up the first blood on their ADC, got turned into favor of Snake with some unfortunate teamfights for M3. You don’t want to be in early skrims around the map with a Karthus on the enemy team.

Baka picked up three early kills and the likes of snake took the rule of three into three early drakes and turrets.

There was nothing much that M3 could do except hope for mistakes from Snake’s side. After picking up the baron early in the game, pick got turned into a teamfight and turned into favor of M3. Bad positioning from the likes of Kryst4l and Flandre, but well executed skillshots from Dade and zone work from Lovecd.

This only extended the torture that Snake had lined up for M3 who had no answer to their strategy of the Trundle splitpushing to get rid of the outer turrets.

Snake ended the game 9-0 in turrets and took a perfect game. M3 their chances for playoffs is now looking very grim with King picking up points and all they can and must do is turn it up for game two against Snake!

So it appears that someone told Dade that if they wouldn't win this game, playoffs would be close to impossible.

The former Samsung Blue superstar came onto the rift with a digusting performance in terms of KDA and skills to show off together with LoveCD. Dade’s Leblanc, Lovecd’s Thresh was a recipe for abuse and disgusting punishment.

Snake started off decent by taking the early dragon again but M3 wouldn't have it. Flandre who locked in the Shyvana again with the teleport smite got camped and taken out of the game with some 3-4 men ganks.

M3 showed a completely different approach to the game than they had shown in the first one. More aggressive and above all wanting to win and destroy the opponent. We mentioned Lovecd, who is just one of those players why you would watch M3, especially on his Thresh. Every Chinese support is a great Thresh player and the use of his kit this game was tremendous, beautiful flails into the box and DeathSentences that literally caused death.

As you can see in our Top 5 of this week, Dade’s dancing skills were tremendous and his ability to delete Baka was quite entertaining also.

M3 kept pressuring Snake and left them no chance to even have hope to get back into the game.

A well deserved split.

Team World Elite vs Energy Pacemaker

All that Spirit and his ducklings need right here is a 2-0 victory to have a bit of hope of making the playoffs.

Spirit was once again the man of the match, the uncontested MVP for Team World Elite. His early ganks, annoying Nunu invades(which causes nothing but stress and frustration for the enemy) applied enough pressure for his team to capitalize on the already relegated Energy Pacemakers.

Spirit got his ADC Mystic a head with some beautiful Thresh lantern ganks got him ahead too in gold to work on his support items.

As always it is both amazing and satisfying to see a player of world class being able to solo-carry games in the professional gaming scene, Spirit always delivers!

A perfect game for Team World Elite that didn't drop a single turret forced the surrender right before Mystic could’ve gotten his first penta of this split.

Energy Pacemaker got their bans back this game after being punished for not obeying the rules for showing up with the proper lineup.

The weird fact about this pick and ban phase is that Aluka got to play his Sion again as Spirit got his Nidalee and Xiye his Leblanc.

It was another one-sided match. Team World Elite dominated thanks to the likes of Spirit who in the early game was not even needed in the bottom and midlane. Xiye got himself ahead as Mystic picked up a early double kill inlane.

Spirit kept applying pressure after delivering Aluka his first blood and destroyed the morale of EP. Contesting buffs, showing up constantly in the enemy jungle and even scaring EP away from a dragon while being outnumbered 1v3.

Spirit showed off as if he was making a “How to carry” video live on stage.

Spirit got himself so far ahead and therefor also his teammates that they could capitalize on every teamfight, the one in the bottom lane ended with a massive chain of CC by Aluka and cleanup from the likes of Spirit and the one in the toplane ended with a quadra kill for Xiye.

Another perfect game by not giving up any turret and Team World Elite take a well deserved and needed 2-0 in their last game of this week!

King vs Invictus Gaming

King starting off by giving Skye the red buff for his laningphase against Zz1tai’s Trundle. Mainly to sustain his health and to be able to come out on top in trades. In the meantime in the toplane Wuxxian was destroying Kid thanks to great play from both Wuxxian and Leym but also due to a slacky performance from Kitties. Failing to peel properly for his ADC by not using the proper spells in the proper moments caused them to fall behind, getting poked out in lane and then giving up first blood to MLXG’s Rek’Sai.

To make matters worse, Skye teleported top and ended up giving his ADC a double kill, just to snowball his lane and getting him ready for the upcoming teamfights.

Despite the early kills on MLXG and Wuxxian, the gold stayed even as Rookie and Zz1tai were winning their lane in farm, but King was winning the battle in dragons. As we will see later on they managed to pick up 5-0 dragons in this game which eventually caused IG to lose the game.

We can’t blame everything on the dragon control, Kakao was just not able to make his presence known in the first 10-15 minutes of the game while Rookie farmed up mid.

The first teamfight that occurred in the toplane went in favor of King, who gave a great show in terms of “How to peel for your ADC” while Rookie did not manage to pull off a proper flank with the Azir.

Losing this teamfight caused IG the baron and the fourth drake for IG. As IG did manage to pick up the baron later on in the game after Assassins got caught out, they couldn't translate it into anything big like a inhibitor. King continued their wonderful way of teamfighting for which the team has been praised so many times this split and took the first game after MLXG and Assassin collapsed onto the backline after Skye splitting up the team.

A very much deserved victory for King who controlled objectives and fought their fights carefully and properly.

There isn't a single person that stood out on King, all players put filled in their roles and managed to win thanks to their teamwork.

Game two was a total different game than the first one, as King decided to turn on the heat quite early by MLXG counterganking his botlane, grabbing the first blood on Kakao’s Nidalee. Not much later he caught the jungle cat in the river and turned her into a dead kitty while Rookie was taken out by Assassin.

From this point on, there were appearing little skrims everywhere on the map, King came out on top of every single one of them. Assassin impressing a lot again on his Karthus, timed ults, beautiful teleports to assists his teammates.

Perhaps MLXG and Assassin impressed me the most this game, they were very eager to choke IG and try and take the three much needed points to keep the playoff dream alive, or should we say secure it?

Also this game, King controlled the dragon, grabbing all dragons in this set is perhaps a detail for Invictus Gaming to think about.

Then again, perhaps Invictus gaming is aiming fort hat 6th spot and didn’t bother too much with this game? Who knows, anyway the three points go to King who have their seventh spot almost as good as secured!

LGD Gaming vs Vici Gaming

The best set of the night on this final day of week 10. We got served some bloodthirsty first half of the game with picks such as Imp’s Ashe, Acorn’s Galio and Mata’s Kennen.

Oh yes, it was on! Dandy tried to capitalize on TBQ’s predictable and weak early jungle by invading and placing traps all around. He managed to find at his blue buff after PyL had to wait in the fountain to revive after giving up a kill. This “capture” by Dandy, turned into a incredible fight with teleports being used and ults being thrown out. A wonderful play by We1less and teamfighting from LGD turned this skrim into a 6-2 win for LGD.

TBQ was active this early in the game, ganking here and there and even killing Dandy solo in his own jungle. LGD was playing this early game with succes, as Vici was not allowed and able to play their dominating rotation game as they did the previous games.

Unfortunately for LGD, at the dragon pit, Carry got a triple kill on the big tree which turned him into a vicious animal at this part of the game and Vici jumped on his back. The tree was carrying the teamfights with his AOE damage reduction and throwing the damage back like the boss that he was!

Vici Gaming was perhaps not able to show off their objective minded gameplay, but they did outsmart LGD, baiting TBQ’s ult kill him and Pyl shortly after to take the dragon and more map pressure.

VG’s comp seemed to be stronger than LGD’s comp, or they were just playing it better. Who knows, anyway Vici Gaming was going to take game one after LGD was throwing their early lead that they grabbed from TBQ’s aggressive play.

VG takes the baron, two inhibitors and then die to LGD in a teamfight…yes, they died.
The gold got put into good use as the gap closed to only 3k gold and LGD seemed to be able to stay alive a little bit longer.

As the next baron spawned, Vici was looking to take the two inhibitors down again so that they could just recall, sit out the baron that LGD took as they moved in for the inhibitors.

On the contrary….LGD came out of their fountains after the empowered recalls with FURY AND RACED AS HARD AS THEY COULD FOR LGD’S BASE!

A game, a game of throws some might call it, got thrown towards the likes of LGD who managed to pick up game one to disbelieve of VG’s Dandy.

As the second game went into the draft, it was quite clear that Vici Gaming was here to take the win for the second game, LGD on the other hand were trying out some other picks. Riven mid, Khazix Jungle and Miss Fortune ADC.

TBQ applied a bit of pressure early after We1less got ganked mid at level 2 by four people and managed to pick up a kill on Hetong. This was pretty much the highlight for LGD until Flame managed to pick up a triple kill with his Shyvana in dragon form.

Vici was not going to let LGD style on them and started to slowly turn up the heat which came to a real explosion when they found a dragon fight. That fight went in favor of VG with 5-0 since We1less was not yet aware of how to enter a fight as Riven. The triple kill in that fight that got onto the God of Vasilii helped him to get far ahead of Imp’s MF and to apply more pressure inlane.

As soon as Vici took the outer turrets from LGD it was the same ol’ story as the games before, apply pressure, obtain vision control and suffocate the opponent. In contrast to other games, their opponent was not that much troubled with it, perhaps only Flame(who has been trolled by LGD in both games he played this week). LGD was getting their asses kicked but on the player cams it didn’t seem to bother them.

Right before the 20 minute mark Vici managed to ace LGD again and slowly entered their base.

A clean game from Vici Gaming who ended the game with a 38-5 score to split the series.

Results Day 3:

Master3 vs Snake 1-1
Team World Elite vs Energy Pacemaker 2-0
King vs Invictus Gaming 2-0
Vici Gaming vs LGD Gaming 1-1

Standings after week 10:

Roster for Week 11:

Day 1:

LGD Gaming vs Gamtee
Master3 vs Energy Pacemaker
Star Horn Royal Club vs Invictus Gaming
Edward Gaming vs Vici Gaming

Day 2:

King vs Gamtee
Star Horn Royal Club vs Snake
OMG vs LGD Gaming
Edward Gaming vs Energy Pacemaker

Day 3:

LGD Gaming vs Invictus Gaming
Team WE vs Gamtee
Edward Gaming vs OMG

Vici Gaming vs Master3

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:

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