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Dealing with Twisted Fate Banner

 

 Twisted Fate has seen a rise in popularity since the 4.5 patch adjusted his Pick-A-Card to slightly revert some of the nerfs he saw in patch 3.10. With that said, we’ve seen instances where Twisted Fate has been able to dish out kills in spades, and others where he seems unable to fulfill his destiny.

 In order to highlight what it is that separates the games where TF is kept in check from those where he strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies, it’s important to take a look first at a game where Twisted Fate ran rampant.

 

SK Telecom T1 K versus OMG – All-Star Paris, Game 2

TFArticleFakerGank This was the game where SKT elected to run a Zilean support alongside a strange early jungle path. Faker on TF backed just before the 5 minute mark after blowing both his and Xiyang’s summoners in an attempt to get an early first blood, and at this point he traded in his Warding Totem for an extremely early Sweeping Lens. Bengi -also- got an early Sweeping Lens and moved into OMG’s Red jungle to place some deep wards to track Pomelo.

 Just before Xiyang hit level 6, Bengi and Faker dove Xiyang and killed him under his mid outer tower. As Xiyang came back into lane, Faker used his first ultimate as Bengi leapt from the brush to all-in Xiyang before he could offset the 23cs+1 Kill advantage Faker had already accrued.

 

 While Faker’s ultimate was down, Bengi stayed near enough to mid lane to deter any aggression out of Xiyang and Pomelo, and before his own ultimate came back up, Impact goaded Gogoing into all-inning bot lane, using even his Dragon’s Descent before Impact backed off and waited on his and Faker’s ultimates to pick up the second TF kill of the game.

 As his team took a ~13 minute Dragon, Faker returned to mid lane with a pink ward, which he placed in the Dragon-side River brush and walked down to the mid-river brush to use his Sweeper, ensuring OMG had no vision left on that side of the river to see his movements. ManDu pinked the Baron mid-river brush and Bengi/ManDu/Faker moved into OMG’s Blue side to get deep wards and clear the wards OMG had just placed. As his ultimate came back up, Faker moved in to pick up a double kill on Pomelo and GoGoing who were attempting to secure the blue for themselves.

 

An idea of OMG's vision control

An idea of OMG’s vision control

 

 As the laning phase closed, SKT looked at a 9k gold lead at the 20 minute mark and continued to press their advantages with Twitch and TF surprise ganks, continued vision denial, and aggressive dives on their way to a victory.

 In this game, we saw a team that picked their mid laner prior to the enemy TF lock-in, but had not yet selected their jungler. They made a decent choice in selecting Pantheon who had the potential to follow TF ganks, and both Xiyang and Pomelo had CC to potentially interrupt a Destiny gank, but it ultimately never worked out for OMG.

 However, what happens when TF is picked as a last champion in a game?

 

 

Gambit versus Roccat – EU LCS, Week 1 Day 1

 Roccat saw all of Gambit’s cards on the table, and decided to stack the deck in their favor. Knowing the mid lane Nidalee wouldn’t be able to upset the TF escapes, and that Diamond’s Lee Sin would have no interrupt potential prior to his own level 6, Overpow made the call to introduce Gambit to the closest existence to their namesake in the game.

 Unlike the SKT/OMG game, where early action was centered around mid lane, Roccat put a lot of focus onto Genja in the bot lane to throw him off his game from the start. After burning Genja’s Heal/Flash in a level 1 engage, Jankos paid an early visit back into bot lane and killed Genja, ensuring the lane would need some extra attention to get rolling again.

 

Roccat took full advantage of Gambit not warding the top half of the map.

Roccat took full advantage of Gambit not warding the top half of the map.

 Unlike Faker, Overpow did not acquire a Sweeping Lens on his first back (although Jankos did grab one on his second back around 8 minutes.) Because of this, there was no way for Overpow to know for sure if he was being spotted roaming out of lane prior to a Destiny apart from seeing wards placed himself.

 Vander and Celaver continued to play with relentless aggression from their Lucian+Leona lane combo in the bot lane to keep Genja/EDward afraid of the all-in potential, drawing Diamond toward bot lane to curb the aggression. This left Overpow free to push the Nidalee as he pleased, knowing that at any moment he’d be free to Destiny to a location of his choosing with no threat of CC to interrupt him. Combined with Gambit’s lack of vision control around mid, Roccat had a full house of options on how to move forward.

 

 A slight misplay around Dragon and bot tower led to Roccat’s bot lane + jungler forced to back at low health while Gambit took a free Dragon for themselves, but because of Overpow’s early pushing freedom, he was able to answer back immediately with mid tower and roam up to top lane where Xaxus had pushed to the tower, grabbing a second tower in exchange for the Dragon they’d given up.

 After resetting the wave mid lane, niQ returned to base with enough gold only to finish his Athene’s and nothing else: he had zero wards. Diamond himself only had one and a totem. Apart from pinks the pair had placed earlier, they vision around the mid lane was now non-existent. Overpow became keyed in on this fact as he pinked the same brush Faker had in my prior example: the Dragon-side river brush. While waiting on Jankos to get in position to engage bot lane, he kept the mid lane wave pushed to niQ’s side, and Roccat stacked a 3-man Solar Flare and 3-man Agony’s Embrace onto Diamond, Genja, and EDward. Darien immediately teleported in to help as Overpow activated Destiny, but Xaxus began his teleport to follow. With no way for niQ to answer or interrupt TF’s teleport, Roccat had secured themselves a guaranteed 5v4 in the bot lane, which turned into a 4-for-0 team fight. niQ tried to roam down to catch up, but as his team had been obliterated, he was forced to turn-tail and was not in position to answer the bottom turret death with a mid turret kill of his own.

 

TFArticleOverpowGank

 Overpow’s lack of a Sweeping Lens throughout the game kept him from being able to clear vision paths and as he reached 6 items was no longer able to utilize pink wards to guarantee unseen rotations. Instead, he stuck to the top half of the map, picking on Darien and helping Xaxus push the top lane while he himself built a Deathcap.

 Roccat didn’t let their lack of vision control stop them, however; while pushing with a 0-4-1 split having Xaxus bot lane, they used Xaxus as bait for TF to counter-engage right as Celaver finished the mid lane inner turret. Roccat quickly followed Gambit into the bot lane for another tower and 2 kills for Overpow. Overpow did not elect to get an early Hourglass in his build, so he was forced to be somewhat conservative with his Destiny usage throughout the game, but with Evelynn, Aatrox, and Leona able to engage it didn’t hold them back too much as they closed out the game.

 

 Despite their composition’s inability to STOP a Twisted Fate Destiny, Gambit did a poor job of tracking it in the first place. The first step to stacking a deck is knowing where your cards are. So let’s look at the game that took place just before Gambit and Roccat faced off.

 

Millenium vs Supa Hot Crew – EU LCS, Week 1, Day 1

 Much like the Roccat/Gambit game, SHC held off revealing their TF pick until the very last pick of the pick/ban phase, right after Kerp revealed he would be playing Ziggs. With MIL having Eve+Ziggs, only the long-CD of Satchel Charge would be able to deal with Twisted Fate should he choose to look for passage elsewhere.

 Possibly looking for an early invade, Selfie began the game with a Sweeping Lens and boots, but nothing came of either team’s level 1 and both teams elected for standard lanes. Between an early gank from Kottenx and just generally great laning from Kerp, SELFIE was summonerless at the 5 minute mark. Kottenx revisited mid lane, placing a pink in the familiar Dragon-side river brush and moving across the lane to the opposite river brush as he waited for Impaler’s Lee Sin to commit to killing the ward, at which point Kottenx and Kerp engaged and killed SELFIE and salvaged the pink ward.

 After he backed, Kerp returned to lane with a Pink and 2 Greens in addition to his warding totem. Kottenx backed again, picking up a spare pink and another Green in addition to his warding totem. The pair worked together to create a deep cage of vision around every possible path out of mid lane for Twisted Fate by the 9 minute mark.

 

Vision Cage Match

Vision Cage Match

 Kottenx revisited the mid lane shortly after Selfie’s summoners returned, forcing him to blow both in a failed attempt to survive. With his summoners down, his next Destiny attempt was fruitless, and after Mimer joined the rest of SHC on the bottom side the team attempted Dragon, which ultimately turned sour and went in favor if Millenium as kev1n teleported in to engage for MIL.

 Kerp and Kottenx continued to buy wards and keep them placed at every route out of mid lane, while clearing out the pink wards of SHC themselves. Knowing his outs, Selfie pinked the Dragon-side Banana brush and hung near it in hopes of a gank opportunity bot lane, but Kerp answered back by pressuring mid and cleared the pink ward once Selfie was forced to answer the minion wave.

 

 Impaler managed to sneak into bot lane and Selfie snuck out of lane and managed to ult into bot lane with the four-man gank securing a kill onto Jree, but Kottenx and Kerp immediately began to follow. With Kerp’s Mega Inferno Bomb delaying the recalls from SHC, Millenium answered back with 2 kills and a death to make the exchange a 2 for 2 overall.

 

TFArticleSelfieInterrupt2 A Kottenx gank shortly after led to a response with Mimer’s teleport and Destiny from Selfie, but a misplay from Selfie and great heads-up and warding from Kerp ended with a Satchel Charge interrupting Selfie’s plans. Despite having Ghost, Selfie did not elect to use the summoner spell to run out of Kerp’s interrupt range prior to attempting to channel his ultimate. As a result, Kerp quickly WW’d over the wall and Selfie found himself stuck in place and too low to help out in the bottom lane fight, and MIL answered the 1-for-1 with a follow-up Dragon to come out ahead. Shortly after, Selfie again attempted to ult into the bot lane with his Ghost still available and was met with a Satchel Charge for his troubles, leading to a Millenium kill and tower to further their lead.

 Despite the stellar play and the growing lead, Millenium turned gunshy as they went on, electing to siege towers despite running a Twitch composition. Selfie completed his Zhonya’s Hourglass, and combined with Impaler’s Lee Sin and wewillfailer’s Leona, Supa Hot Crew began to show Millenium that decisive engages turn games. They allowed Selfie to reach the point that he could delete Kerp from the map and Hourglass to survive long enough for his team to follow up the engage.

 

 However, a misstep led to Selfie finding himself in a role-reversal of Kerp discarding him and Millenium took the game, with a convincing display of how to properly Mill a deck. However, Millenium did let TF back into the game, which is something that simply did not happen in the next example.

 

NaJin White Shield versus KT Rolster Bullets – OGN Quarterfinals, Game 3

 Much like the Gambit/Roccat game, we see Nidalee/Lee Sin versus a Twisted Fate. This time around, the Nidalee was picked into the Twisted Fate, rather that blind.

 With the game being on the 4.6 heavy lane-swap and 4v0 patch, mid lane was more or less an island early on, with Ryu focused on heavily pushing Ggoong’s Nidalee, but Ggoong was able to farm well under the tower and keep from falling behind in cs. Shortly after hitting 6, Ryu backed to pick up items and prepare to gank top lane where Leopard and inSec were defending a 3v2 push, but Ggoong rotated into the lane in Cougar form to ensure NaJin already had the numbers advantage. Ryu’s Destiny was forced to be used in order to hold the tower.

 As Ryu’s ultimate came back up and inSec hit level 6, GorillA and Watch wandered into the mid lane to not only force Ryu’s summoners and get a kill, but also force inSec to ult in order to attempt to help save Ryu from death. With deep wards already on the Bullets’ blue side jungle, they were able to get a free Dragon. Since Ryu still had not used his ultimate, Watch made his presence very clear around the lane to keep Ryu under control. Watch cleared the vision to bot lane as Ggoong rotated down before Ryu had a chance, and while Ggoong whittled away at KT’s health bars under their tower, Save stood in mid to threaten Twisted Fate.

 

Look at the pretty blue lights

Look at the pretty blue lights

 From there, Shield continued to place deep wards and stay grouped as 4 and siege while Ryu had rushed a Morellonomicon, knowing the engage from KT Bullets was limited to Pantheon and TF ultimates which put them at risk of dying themselves if they chose to engage. KT engaged anyway and managed to pick up 2 kills to stop the siege.

 Including Save, Shield had 4 Sweeping Lenses on the team, able to deny any vision from KT Bullets as they roamed the map and continued to get their own vision down. Ggoong’s Spears kept Bullets too shy to go in on Shield with their double global ultimates. As NaJin Shield retreated into darkness, Ryu was forced to use his ultimate simply to scout if Shield were sneaking a Baron, or just to find who was going to what lane, which he followed up by moving himself into bot lane to farm. He stuck around a bit before beginning to recall, at which point Zefa forced him to stay with an ambush. Zefa’s kill threat bot lane baited out an inSec ultimate that cost Zefa his life, but also took away the engage options from Bullets’ composition which meant free reign for Ggoong to resume his Javelin Tossing.

 

 Although the game stalled a bit, NJWS continued to deny vision, leading to two straight Ryu ultimates used just for scouting out where NJWS had gone. With Ryu’s ultimate down the second time, NJWS took a Dragon and bot inner tower and continued to deny vision around KT’s jungle, but a superb flank from inSec’s Pantheon led to a triple kill for Score and a Baron for Bullets.

TFArticleRyuFail

 Save in the mid lane baited Ryu and inSec into going hard for nothing, using both their ultimates for nothing. Shield re-established vision control across the map. As KT Bullets got desperate for an engage, Leopard was sacrificed for a tower, but without their tankiest member, they were unable to stop a Shield Baron.

 Part of Shield’s control of Ryu’s Twisted Fate was at the fault of Ryu; he elected to go for Deathcap over Hourglass and thus was unable to balls-out engage whenever he wished. Likewise, he was also forced to use his ult teleports at a longer range away to avoid being blown up and rely on his Ghost to get him into range. Shield’s early pressure made this even worse for KT though, since it forced Ryu into an early Homeguard to keep the base defended. But Shield showed that a team full of Sweeping Lenses and a jungle full of wards can dictate a Twisted Fate’s ult usage.

 Combined with Millenium’s early game cage of wards, ganking, and interrupt potential, we’ve seen two ways to keep a Twisted Fate from being his team’s Ace in the hole over the course of a game. Twisted Fate may be a strong pick with global presence, but as we’ve seen through these games, it’s entirely possible to stack the deck against him; an enemy Twisted Fate, even with other globals on the team, is no reason to fold.

Categories: LoL News Tags:

curse-eu-welcomes-former-team-acer-members_aeeoe_0

Recently, Russian support player Ed Ward left his team, Gambit Gaming, citing differences with the team and specifically ADC as motivation to seek out a different team.  However, his free agency was very short-lived as today it was announced that Ed Ward will be joining the North American team Curse Gaming as their new support player, sending Rhux back to the bench.  The full announcement for Team Curse’s changes can be found in their official release.

Team Curse welcomes a new addition to their League of Legends team, former Gambit Gaming support player Edward. Former support player Rhux will move back to his a role as a substitute for the team, and will continue to play on Curse Academy. Edward arrives in North America to join his new teammates Saturday June 7th and will immediately begin practicing for Week 1 of the LCS which starts on June 12th.

Expectations will assuredly be skyrocketing for this new Curse roster as they bring in European All-Star support Ed Ward to bolster their bot lane’s power.  But with only 5 days until the Summer split begins, will the language barrier and lack of familiarity with the team cause issues for Curse’s new roster?

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OGNBanner

Greetings LoL-eSports fans.  This week’s Round-Up isn’t going to be as deep or in-depth as the previous two weeks.  After Wednesday’s matches, the other games had less impact on the grand scheme of things as far as the playoffs are concerned, so teams did not have to bring out their best. Rather than a near play-by-play, I’m just going to run through the picks, winner/loser, and how close the games were.  If you want more than that, I highly recommend subscribing to the OGN Twitch channel to view the VoDs of the group stage.  There have been some truly outstanding games.

Champions_Spring_2013

MVP Blue versus KT Rolster A

This series was the key series for Group A’s playoff picture. As MVP Blue only trailed NaJin Sword and MVP Ozone by 1 point, a 2-0 of KT Rolster A (who had only 1 game win going into this series) would force both NaJin Sword and Ozone to also 2-0 their opponents of the week in order to advance to the playoffs.

Game 1:

Blue – MVP Blue – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Diana/Varus/Sona

Purple – KT Rolster A – Elise/Zac/Zed/Caitlyn/Thresh

 

Result: 42 minute victory for KT Rolster A. Gold lead of 69,200 to 55,800 with a kill score of 30-18.  No inner turrets for KT Rolster A fell.

 

MVP: Personal: Vitamin. Despite struggling all season long and often being the cause of a negative snowball against KT Rolster A, Vitamin played Elise to near-perfection, ending with a 9 kill score and only one death.

Sonokong IB MVP Award (voted by Korean fans/media): Kakao (3/2/21 as Jungle)

 

Game 2:

Blue – KT Rolster A – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Diana/Varus/Twisted Fate

Purple – MVP Blue – Kennen/Elise/Ryze/Kog’Maw/Thresh

 

Result: 28:19 victory for KT Rolster A. Gold Lead of 52,100 to 34,300 with a kill score of 21-7 and only losing 1 tower.

 

Interesting notes: Yes, that is a support TF. Both he and Varus opened with Red Pot start and went 2v2 top lane against Thresh/Kog’Maw. They got first blood thanks to the Red Pot’s extra HP.

 

MVP: Personal: Vitamin. Finished 9/1/5 as Rumble.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Vitamin.

 

KTRolster

NaJin Shield versus SK Telecom T1 #1

This series had greater implications for NaJin Shield than for SKT, but both teams were looking for any points they could get out of the series. An 0-2 for Shield would mean a really good shot for ahq.Korea to qualify for the playoffs.

Game 1:

Blue – NaJin Shield – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Kha’Zix/Varus/Leona

Purple – SK Telecom T1 #1 – Riven/Hecarim/Diana/Miss Fortune/Sona

 

Result: 38:21 victory for NaJin Shield. Gold lead of 58.5k to 53.4k. Despite trailing early, took kill lead of 23-13 and only lost 2 towers.

 

MVP: Personal: Save. He selected Kha’Zix and proceeded to be Kha’Zix late game.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Save.  8/2/10, 289 cs.

 

Game 2:

Blue – SK Telecom T1 #1 – Kha’Zix/Hecarim/Karthus/Vayne/Sona

Purple – NaJin Shield – Jayce/Nasus/Diana/Varus/Thresh

 

Result: 43 minute victory for SK Telecom T1 #1. Gold Lead of 65.2k to 57.3k. 9-3 on towers, 20-12 on kills.

 

MVP: Personal: Reapered. For the same reason Save got my personal MVP last game. He selected Kha’Zix. High burst champions late game are just useful tools to have on your team.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Reapered.  8/2/4, 314 cs.

NJShd SKTelecomT1

 

 

MVP Ozone versus SK Telecom T1 #2

With Group A’s playoff picture already locked up, thanks to KT Rolster A’s 2-0 upset of MVP Blue, this match only held seeding implications for MVP Ozone. SK Telecom T1 #2 already had 10 points (3 ahead of CJ Entus Blaze) and the head-to-head advantage over Blaze to ensure the #1 seed. Ozone’s results would affect where they fell after the Blaze/Sword match the following night.

Game 1:

Blue – MVP Ozone – Shen/Elise/Ryze/Varus/Zyra

Purple – SK Telecom T1 #2 – Jayce/Jarvan IV/Nidalee/Vayne/Thresh

Result: 38:18 victory for MVP Ozone. 58.6k to 41.4k on Gold, 19-7 on kills, and 9-1 on towers.

 

MVP: Personal: imp. Completely crushed Piglet/ManDu in lane and came out of laning phase 5-1, ending the game as 9-1-6 and second in CS only to Shen.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Homme. 1/1/10 as Shen, 295cs.

 

Game 2:

Blue – SK Telecom T1 #2 – Jayce/Lee Sin/Syndra/Ezreal/Elise

Purple – MVP Ozone – Jarvan IV/Udyr/Diana/Tristana/Anivia

Interesting notes: Piglet, the usual ADC for SKT2, was Lee Sin in the Jungle. Bengi, the jungler, was the Elise. PoohManDu selected Ezreal. And yes, that is a Support Anivia for MVP Ozone. Elise and Lee Sin both started with Machetes, and Bengi played as a roaming jungler.

Result: 20 minute surrender for SK Telecom T1 #2. MVP Ozone Victory with 36.1k to 23.0k gold lead, 26-6 kill score, and 5-0 turret score.

 

MVP: Personal: DanDy. A counter-gank on top lane completely shut down SKT’s gambit and Dandy emerged 3-0 from it. With the cheese stopped, MVP Ozone snowballed hard.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: DanDy.  9/1/11 on Udyr, 57 cs.

MVP

 

LG-IM versus ahq.Korea

A 2-0 from either team would grant them enough points to jump NaJin Shield and qualify for the playoffs.  If the teams were to trade 1-1, however, ahq.Korea would have to have a higher KDA per Minute than NaJin Sword in order to advance.

Game 1:

Blue – LG-IM – Diana/Nasus/Jayce/Tristana/Lulu

Purple – ahq.Korea – Rengar/Jarvan IV/Twisted Fate/Miss Fortune/Thresh

Result: 28:54 victory for ahq.Korea. 55.9k to 32.7k gold lead, 13-3 on kills, and a flawless 11-0 on towers.

 

MVP: Personal: HooN.  Showing what happens when Twisted Fate manages to slip through the cracks unbanned.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: TrAce. 3/2/3 as Rengar, 243 cs.

 

Game 2:

Blue – ahq.Korea – Jayce/Kayle/Vladimir/Caitlyn/Thresh

Purple – LG-IM – Irelia/Zac/Zed/Kog’Maw/Zyra

Result: 24:55 surrender from ahq.Korea, 19-10 kill score in favor of LG-IM, 41.1k to 34.4k gold lead, and 4-3 tower advantage. ahq surrendered as LG-IM killed Baron, shortly after an ace.

Interesting note: Unfortunately, the surrender vote was too late for ahq.Korea — it was later revealed that had they surrendered BEFORE getting aced, their KDA Per Minute (the final tiebreaker metric for playoff qualifications) would’ve been higher than NaJin Shield’s. However, they DID get aced, and they had just enough deaths to fall beneath Shield’s KDA/min and miss out on the playoffs.

 

MVP: Personal: Paragon. Hard to give an MVP award to anyone but the player with the 12/1/4 kill score when the next highest kills in the game is 3.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Paragon.  12/1/4, 178 cs.

ahq LGIM

CJ Entus Blaze versus NaJin Sword

With this match only affecting 2/3/4 seeding for Group A rather than the playoff picture, the teams were ultimately free to experiment with team compositions if they wished. The stage was set for some exciting games or epic twists and turns.

Game 1:

Blue – CJ Entus Blaze – Diana/Lee Sin/Jayce/Varus/Lulu

Purple – NaJin Sword – Kennen/Hecarim/Karthus/Vayne/Thresh

Result: 42:08 victory for CJ Entus Blaze. Gold lead of 66.5k to 58.3k. Down 22-23 on kills, but up 8-4 on towers.

 

MVP: Personal: Flame. Despite a really poor K/D ratio this game, his presence was really felt in team fights, putting himself in the perfect position for a Wild Growth from Lustboy to disrupt the entirety of Sword’s team comp.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Lustboy.  3/6/14, 38 cs.

 

Game 2:

Blue – NaJin Sword – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Kha’Zix/Miss Fortune/Leona

Purple – CJ Entus Blaze – Kennen/Lee Sin/Jayce/Vayne/Lulu

Result: 43 minute victory for CJ Entus Blaze. Gold Lead of 63.8k to 62.0k. Even 7-7 on towers.  Down 20-23 on kills. They trailed most of the game, but good team fights turned the game on its head and two more good team fights won them the game.

 

MVP: Personal: Fan Cosplaying as Gragas. Clearly the morale boost Blaze needed to win the game.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Flame. 8/3/10, 357cs. (The CC from his Kennen ults were a major turning point in the game for Blaze.)

CJEntus

 

CJ Entus Frost versus KT Rolster B

With both teams tied at 8 points, this match was for the 1st place seed in Group B. CJ Entus Frost once again brought in their ADC and Support substitutes for this series, Space and Muse, in place of the MadLife/Hermes duo.

Game 1:

Blue – CJ Entus Frost – Rumble/Rammus/Twisted Fate/Twitch/Sona

Purple – KT Rolster B – Olaf/Jarvan IV/Karthus/Vayne/Zyra

Result: 37 minute victory for CJ Entus Frost, up 35-20 on kills. 62.7k to 56.1k gold advantage, and 7-3 turret lead.

 

MVP: Personal: RapidSTAR. A really aggressive Destiny/Gate mid-game helped mop up a bad team fight for Frost. As the game progressed, his positioning got better, and to end the game he gave an ultimate final sacrifice.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Shy.  9/3/17, 214 cs.

 

Game 2:

Blue – KT Rolster B – Kha’Zix/Shen/Nidalee/Ezreal/Zyra

Purple – CJ Entus Frost – Zed/Nautilus/Nasus/Vayne/Nunu

Result: 46:04 victory for CJ Entus Frost. 83.7k gold to 73.1k gold. 45-34 on kills, 10-3 on towers.

 

MVP: Personal: Space. I wanted to give it to CloudTemplar because at one point he was 10-1 as Nautilus. However, the game was still too close and KT Rolster B showed promise to come back. Space’s late game team fighting as Vayne triumphed.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: CloudTemplar. 11/6/13, 181 cs.

CJEntus

 

 

And with that, Group Stage of OGN’s Olympus Champions Spring ended.

 

Group A rankings, in order, were as follows: SK Telecom T1 #2, CJ Entus Blaze, MVP Ozone, NaJin Sword, KT Rolster A, MVP Blue.

Group B rankings, in order: CJ Entus Frost, KT Rolster B, SK Telecom T1 #1, NaJin Shield, ahq.Korea, LG-IM.

 

This week starts the playoffs, a Best of 5 Bracket Stage. SK Telecom T1 #2 faces off against NaJin Shield and KT Rolster B faces off against MVP Ozone in the first week of Quarterfinals Play, with CJ Entus Blaze and CJ Entus Frost facing off against SK Telecom T1 #1 and NaJin Sword respectively in week 2. If you haven’t already been watching, action is about to escalate even further, with any game 5 being Blind Pick, with potential for mirror matches (if you’ve ever wondered about the “2 Shens” joke, this is where it comes from.)

 

That’s all for this week’s recap.  I hope you all tune in to the upcoming matches!  As always, follow me @TiberiusAudley on Twitter.

OGNBanner

Week 4 of OGN Champions Spring has come and gone. With only two weeks left of group stage, the stakes of each match are climbing higher than ever. Judgment Day and KT Rolster B have already secured their playoff spots with dominating performances already this season, but the remaining ten teams all still have a chance. There were some great matches this week, and for those of you unable to watch or subscribe to OGN’s TwitchTV channel, I’m here to recap the battles for you. So without further ado, let’s look into the first match of the week.

Champions_Spring_2013

KT Rolster A versus SK Telecom T1 #2

Game 1
Blue – SK Telecom T1 #2 – Kennen/Zac/Kha’Zix/Miss Fortune/Sona
Purple – KT Rolster A – Rumble/Nasus/Jayce/Twitch/Thresh

Going into this match, KT Rolster A desperately needs a win in order to still have playoff hopes. If they get 2-0’d, they will not make it to the playoffs. And unfortunately for them, they’re facing off against SK Telecom T1 #2 (Judgment Day), the team leading Group A in points so far.

As Sona and Miss Fortune walked into lane after doing their double golems bot lane, Thresh and Twitch casually strolled out of the lane brush to pick up first blood off PoohManDu’s Sona, Bronze League-style.

Despite a gank top lane putting Judgment Day down 2-0 in kills, both mid and bot lanes came out ahead in fights at the 7 minute mark to bring them into the lead with a 3 for 0 globally, followed by an uncontested Dragon. No more action went down until about 4 minutes later, when multiple lanes aggressed upon one another again, with an over-dive top lane yielding a 2 for 1 in KT Rolster’s favor, and both supports dying in bottom lane.

Judgment Day focused a lot of bullying on Vitamin’s Rumble in top lane as he fell to half of Impact’s Kennen’s farm. With the kills on Vitamin going to Faker in the mid lane, the gap in both top and mid led to solo kills in both lanes a few minutes further in. Judgment Day continued to abuse their lane leads and fighting 2v2 and 3v3 skirmishes wherever possible and pulled into a 9k gold lead by the 19 minute mark as KT Rolster A’s bottom inner tower fell.

KT Rolster A still had hopes in the game as a few misplayed team fights for SK Telecom went down without the three AoE CC ultimates stacked upon one another, but SKT held on to their lead until a 28 minute uncontested Baron for SKT turned into a perfect dive and perfect team fight under KT Rolster A’s middle inhib turret, followed by a surrender to give Judgment Day the 1-0 series lead.
Game 2
Blue – KT Rolster A – Shen/Elise/Fizz/Ezreal/Lulu
Purple – SK Telecom T1 #2 – Jayce/Lee Sin/Twisted Fate/Vayne/Mordekaiser

PoohManDu once again showed his flexibility as he locked in a Mordekaiser for himself as the support. And yes, that is seriously a support Mordekaiser. Before you say, “Wow, what trolls!” — they selected Mordekaiser as a plan to 2v1 lane and make up for Vayne’s painful lack of wave clear with a manaless lane pusher.

Judgment Day’s early game plans paid off perfectly as Piglet and Pooh both walked into top lane against Zero’s Fizz, leading to him immediately turning tail, and heading back to base to swap with Vitamin’s Shen who had originally gone bottom. As Zero made it into bot lane, he found himself as a level 1 Fizz against an already level 3 Jayce.

Meanwhile, Bengi’s Lee Sin tried to invade for the blue buff of KT Rolster, he was collapsed upon by three members of KTR and cleaned up by Hiro’s Ezreal, passing over a red buff to the mid lane 2v1ing Ezreal.

For the next ten minutes, no kills went down, although Judgment Day managed to knock down the side lane outer turrets, and KT Rolster shoved over mid lane. The teams finally got into a fight around Dragon and SKT’s Blue buff at the 13:30 mark, leading to a 3 for 1 in favor of KT Rolster A, who still trailed by 2k gold due to Judgment Day’s superior laning. 0-2 Bengi’s trouble in the jungle continued as Hiro all but evened up the gold with an Ezreal ult to steal the Dragon at 14:24.

KT Rolster A were looking strong as they caught Faker in mid lane and the Hiro/Me5 duo chased down Impact’s Jayce in top, but Benji managed to turn the tower dive on Impact into 2 kills for himself to catch him back up into the game.

The first full team fight erupted at KT Rolster’s bottom inner turret at 20:30 as KT Rolster engaged on Faker’s Twisted Fate, bursting him down as soon as possible. The fight stretched all the way up to Dragon and ultimately ended in a 3 for 3 trade between the teams. As Faker respawned and headed into bottom lane, Kakao’s Elise met him in the lane brush and picked up another kill to be 4/0/4 and drop Faker to a 0/3/1 score.

Another team fight erupted at the 24 minute mark as Bengi dove deep into the KT Rolster line-up mid lane, ultimately trading himself for Fizz and a Lulu ult, with Fizz’s ghost being abused to help SKT shove down the mid inner turret for KT. 9 minutes later the teams finally traded blows at KT Rolster’s bottom inner tower again as Zero initiated with a completely whiffed Fizz ultimate. Hiro managed a spectacular double kill as four members of Judgment Day dove the tower to finish him off, Arcane Shifting aggressively to ensure the second kill and salvaging the would-be 4 for 0 team fight.

The match was ultimately determined at the 41 minute mark as Kakao got caught farming too deep in the mid lane, turning into a chase and clean up of the rest of KT Rolster A, putting the final nail in the coffin both for the series and for KT Rolster A’s playoff hopes. SK Telecom T1 #2 wins the series 2-0, guaranteeing themselves a spot in the playoffs.

SKTelecomT1

NaJin Shield versus ahq.Korea

Game 1
Blue – NaJin Shield – Rumble/Elise/Kha’Zix/Varus/Thresh
Purple – ahq.Korea – Jayce/Kayle/Ryze/Miss Fortune/Sona

This series carries a ton of playoff implications for both teams, as the two are tied for fourth place in Group B. If either team were to come out victorious, it would all but secure their spot beyond the group stage.

Despite Save’s Kha’Zix playing with reckless abandon in mid lane to try to secure first blood with an Elixir of Fortitude, first (and second) blood of the match came from a perfect gank out of NoFe’s Elise with help of a Wolf’s Thresh taking down both Promise and Loray. NoFe earned a killing spree with another gank top lane shortly after to put NaJin Shield into a 3-0 kill lead, with all three kills on NoFe. ahq.Korea answered the top lane gank back with a dragon.

The first tower of the game fell at 15 minutes, in NaJin Shield’s favor as NoFe executed another great gank with the kill going to a Wolf on Thresh. Rotating to mid lane, NoFe picked up another kill for himself and set up NaJin Shield for a free Dragon for their troubles. ahq.Korea tried to mitigate the gold advantage with a mid lane tower, but they could not kill it fast enough and Expession collapsed from top lane to pinch ahq as they fled, turning into two more kills and a 7-0 score for NaJin Shield.

Despite the kill deficit, ahq.Korea saw an opportunity to push hard down the mid lane as NaJin Shield was pushing bot lane. All but Save’s Kha’Zix recalled for Shield, and Save pushed on to the bottom inhib as ahq.Korea picked up 3 kills for themselves before taking down Shield’s mid lane inhibitor in return. However, ahq were whittled down too low and forced to back, leading to a completely free Baron kill for Shield. After the Baron, Shield managed to find back to back favorable fights, leading to their victory in game 1.
Game 2
Blue – ahq.Korea – Rengar/Lee Sin/Katarina/Varus/Thresh
Purple – NaJin Shield – Kha’Zix/Nasus/Kha’Zix/Miss Fortune/Sona

Although in game 1, Diana had been target-banned against Save in the mid lane, NaJin Shield decided to pass Diana to the top lane in Expession’s hands and give Save Kha’Zix. Meanwhile, TrAce selected a champion that he’d been teasing all season without actually picking — Rengar.

ahq.Korea managed to snag first blood in top lane, where the duo lanes resided, as Locodoco accidentally flashed into a Thresh Q while attempting to flee from ActScene’s Lee Sin. NaJin Shield answered back with a gank bottom lane, but TrAce showed why he was known for his Rengar with some clever usage of Unseen Predator’s leap to juke around Nasus and Diana. As ActScene came to bail TrAce out, the duo turned it around into two kills turning into a 3/0 ActScene Lee Sin by 6 minutes.

NaJin Shield managed to quell the aggression as they started to play a bit more passively, but ahq.Korea extended their lead through objectives of Dragon and all three outer towers over the next nine minutes. After 20 minutes, ActScene was still the only player in the game with any kills, as he secured his fourth kill of the game against Save’s Kha’Zix in an epic chase scene that displayed where Boots of Mobility got their name.

At the 22:30 mark, ahq pushed past the top inner tower for Shield and brought the kill score to 8-0 with all four of the new kills going on to Hoon’s Katarina. With no vision on the map out of Shield, ahq took a 24 minute Baron, leading to two more kills and a Dragon. After an ace in the top lane, ahq finished off the game with a 15-1 kill lead and not a single tower of their own knocked down to tie the series 1-1.

ahq NJShd

MVP Ozone versus NaJin Sword

Game 1
Blue – MVP Ozone – Jarvan IV/Nasus/Jayce/Tristana/Thresh
Purple – NaJin Sword – Renekton/Zac/Kha’Zix/Miss Fortune/Sona

Both MVP Ozone and NaJin Sword come into this match looking for a 2-0 victory, as a split does nothing to solidify either team’s playoff hopes, and the 4-way tie for 2nd place in Group A meaning any team that doesn’t pull ahead of the pack is on the verge of elimination alongside KT Rolster A.

First blood went to Watch’s Zac in bottom lane as he ganked Homme’s overextended Jarvan IV. Dade’s Jayce teleported bottom hoping to even out and force a kill trade, but ultimately ended up a waste of a summoner for himself. As teleport came off cooldown, Mata’s Thresh landed a hook onto Sona in the top lane, and four members of MVP Ozone just converged onto Sword’s duo lane for a kill onto Imp’s Tristana and Dade’s Jayce. However, as four members of Ozone were in the top lane, Sword took the free Dragon as Ozone pushed the tower.

A max range Zac dive at the twelve minute mark turned into a 2 for 1 team fight in Sword’s favor to tie up the kill score 3-3. The two teams butted heads again shortly after over Dragon, but MVP Ozone came out ahead with two kills exchange for another kill on Watch’s Zac, though neither team managed to finish Dragon. This led to the two teams returning to the Dragon as soon as many of the cooldowns were back up for the teams, but this time NaJin Sword found themselves victorious in the fight, going 4 for 1, only losing Pray’s Miss Fortune, and only failing to take down Jayce.

After a failed pickoff from sSong’s Kha’Zix, a team fight erupted around an empty Dragon pit in the 21st minute, and Sword managed to secure two kills to avenge sSong’s death, followed by knocking down their first tower of the game. The action dulled for the next seven minutes, until a huge crescendo out of Cain turned into a quadra kill for Pray and a final clean up for sSong, leading to a free Baron as MVP Ozone were stuck staring at the respawn screen. NaJin Sword grouped bottom before their baron buff wore off and managed four kills as the tower fell, leading to a surrender from MVP Ozone.
Game 2
Blue – NaJin Sword – Kha’Zix/Lee Sin/Orianna/Miss Fortune/Thresh
Purple – MVP Ozone – Jarvan IV/Nasus/Ryze/Vayne/Sona

The game started out painfully slow with no significant action or advantages coming out of either team, apart from a slight, and growing, CS lead for Miss Fortune. First blood wasn’t acquired until after the eleven minute mark, where, following a Bullet Time from Pray that managed no kills, Imp’s Vayne and Mata’s Sona turned to chase down PraY, and through some creative flashing, tumbling, and condemnation, Vayne managed to secure the first kill of the game. However, fearing that Vayne was getting back into the game, NaJin Sword answered back by quickly pushing down the tower upon respawning, and switching into the bottom lane and taking down a second turret to take over the gold lead.

The next aggression came at 15 minutes as sSong and Pray versus Dade and a tower turned into a dead Orianna and Ryze, followed by a dead Pray and dead tower as the rest of the teams converged upon one another. The next fight came as Dragon respawned at 19 minutes and MVP Ozone were directly on the spawn. The Bullet Time out of PraY hit air, and Dandy’s Nasus scored a triple kill in the 5 for 0 ace for MVP Ozone. With all of NaJin Sword down, and much of MVP Ozone still fairly healthy, Ozone took down a Baron as well, with Sona dying to a Baron execution.

The Baron buff turned into no objectives or additional kills for Ozone, however, and acted only as a deterrent from Sword’s itch for aggression. They attempted a Dragon after their Baron expired, but with a ward-Safeguard-Lantern escape, Watch’s Lee Sin managed to smite steal the Dragon away and get out without a single tick of damage making it onto him in return.

A bit after Baron’s respawn, NaJin Sword lost vision of the pit, leading to a snuck Baron from MVP Ozone as Sword pushed down mid lane. Ozone chased Sword toward Ozone’s own base, and Sword fled away toward Ozone’s blue buff, with a few flashes turning into a team fight in the jungle. Ultimately, the fight ended in only MaKNooN on Kha’Zix surviving with a triple kill. Yet another team fight erupted on Ozone’s side of the map at the 38 minute mark, but not a single member of Ozone fell as Imp scored a triple kill in the 4 for 0 fight. MVP Ozone pushed down Sword’s mid lane Inhibitor as their spoils of the battle.

As Baron respawned, MVP Ozone attempted to bait NaJin Sword’s lack of vision by waiting in the banana brush, but upon Cain illuminating their plans with his lantern, MVP Ozone popped Shurelya’s and hard-engaged. By killing MaKNooN and sSong and forcing the flash from Pray’s Miss Fortune, Ozone pushed into the mid lane and finished off the game to tie the series 1-1.

NJSwd MVP

LG-IM versus CJ Entus Frost

Game 1
Blue – LG-IM – Rumble/Zac/Zed/Vayne/Sona
Purple – CJ Entus Frost – Jayce/Rammus/Diana/Kog’Maw/Thresh

LG-IM find themselves in a dire situation at the bottom of the rankings as Shield and ahq tied earlier in the week, granting them both a one point advantage over LG-IM and leaving Incredible Miracle looking for its namesake against the on-fire CJ Entus Frost in week 4 to pull themselves out of last place in Group B.

This was another game of announcer silence early game, with no kills on champions or turrets for the first eleven minutes of the game, at which point both teams traded a side lane tower. Frost gained the first gold lead of the game by taking Dragon as LG-IM backed off the dead bottom lane tower, and then turned their attention bottom lane as they drew first blood on Lasha’s Sona (losing MadLife in the process).

As all ten players grouped mid after LG-IM dropped Frost’s mid tower, Lilac’s Zac engaged with no potential for Crescendo follow-up out of Lasha and turned into a kill for Frost with no retaliation. As Frost started the Dragon afterward, Lilac used his dash to attempt a steal, but failed and forced an engage which turned into a 2 for 1 fight for LG-IM. The teams traded kills back and forth for the next few minutes without any major tide-turning team fights, but Frost pulled ahead in gold to a 4k gold advantage.

Upon picking off Smeb’s Rumble with a Flash+Exhaust out of MadLife, Frost immediately turned to Baron. RapidSTAR was caught alone in mid lane, but Lilac again failed a Smite Steal and paid with his life. With Baron on all but Diana, Frost engaged a fight mid lane with a 4 for 1 in their favor, followed by knocking down an inhibitor in mid lane and the inhibitor turret in bot lane. Before the Baron expired, Frost pushed back into the bottom lane to knock down the naked inhibitor. Frost immediately moved to top lane where after a 2 for 2 fight, they managed to knock down the third inhibitor.

Frost regrouped and engaged a 5v5 fight in the open area of LG-IM’s base, but LG-IM managed to turn it into a 4 for 1 fight and cling on to the hope for a victory. Unfortunately, they remained pinned in their base, allowing Frost to take another Baron for free and leading to Frost pushing in and finishing off the game.
Game 2
Blue – CJ Entus Frost – Jayce/Nasus/Diana/Miss Fortune/Thresh
Purple – LG-IM – Rumble/Zac/Kha’Zix/Ashe/Zyra

Despite a very aggressive opening in bottom lane out of MadLife, this turned into yet another no-announcement early game, with the only significant advantage in the game coming out of MidKing’s Kha’Zix with a near-30 cs advantage over RapidSTAR by 10 minutes. The first kill of the game went to MidKing as LG-IM used 4 ultimates to kill CloudTemplar around the Dragon, but no Dragon was cleaned up to follow. As Shy dove Smeb top lane (with no kill going to either player), Lilac was pulled for LG-IM to cover the lane, leading to the Dragon and a small gold lead going to Frost.

After a bit of confused roaming, Shy was caught and pinched between Rumble and Zac and picked off with a kill going to Lilac’s Zac. Meanwhile, in bottom lane, Hermes and MadLife attempted some aggression of their own, but as MadLife’s Thresh Q pulled Lasha out of Bullet Time while Hermes stood on the Zyra ultimate, Hermes died to Paragon’s Ashe and MadLife was forced to clean up Lasha’s Zyra himself. MidKing roamed to bottom to catch the fleeing MadLife for a kill of his own between the towers, pulling LG-IM to a 4-1 kill score lead.

Once again the two teams aggressed onto one another in both top and bottom lanes with both teams’ top, ADC, and support players dying, but Frost came out on top as both side lane towers died for LG-IM. The teams both grouped after the 19 minute mark where Dragon respawned, and CloudTemplar managed to smite steal the Dragon started by LG-IM. The ensuing fight left 3 dead for LG-IM and only one dead for Frost, which led to the final outer turret of LG-IM’s falling.

The action slowed down until the next Dragon, where Diana was caught split pushing and attempted to teleport out, but an Enchanted Crystal Arrow from Paragon interrupted the summoner spell. LG-IM took Dragon to follow, but CJ Entus answered by taking Baron even with RapidSTAR down. A team fight followed, ending 3 for 2 in LG-IM’s favor, and Baron buff only remained on MadLife’s Thresh.

Frost began to split push top lane with Diana as RapidSTAR’s teleport came off cooldown, and as LG-IM engaged on Frost in the bottom lane, leading into a triple kill for RapidSTAR followed by two more kills as Frost continued to push. Frost healed up and grouped to push mid, with a 3 for 0 team fight in their favor breaking out and ending in an inhibitor taken down by CJ Entus. After regrouping yet again, Frost managed to split LG-IM up in their own jungle and pick off 3 players yet again, followed by the shoving of the top lane Inhibitor. Frost followed up with another Baron and polished off the game and the series with a 2-0 victory.

CJEntus

MVP Blue versus CJ Entus Blaze

Game 1
Blue – MVP Blue – Rumble/Zac/Kha’Zix/Caitlyn/Nami
Purple – CJ Entus Blaze – Diana/Lee Sin/Zed/Kog’Maw/Lulu

Yet another match between teams tied for second place in Group A. As NaJin Sword and Ozone tied earlier in the week, a 2-0 from either team in this series would secure their spot in the playoffs.

MVP Blue opened up the game with an incredibly aggressive play, with Zac and Kha’Zix skilling their leaps, and Nami burning flash to jump over the wall near Dragon and sneaking into the tribrush below Blaze’s blue buff, then sneaking up into the Golem brush itself, where they awaited Flame’s path into bottom lane. Easyhoon secured first blood with a leaping chase and ChuNyang stayed to secure the blue buff.

As soon as Cheonju’s Rumble hit level 6, he wandered down to the Dragon as MVP Blue knocked down Blaze’s mid tower, forfeiting his own top lane tower as Blue killed the first Dragon of the game. A while after a max-range Rumble ult was cast to initiate onto LustBoy and Cpt Jack in the bottom lane, turning into a kill for Deft’s Caitlyn with a Headshot. As Cheonju chased LustBoy, he was picked off by Diana instead. Blaze followed it up with a 2 for 0 fight and the bottom lane turret.

As Dragon respawned at the 15:30 mark, MVP Blue prepared to take it down, but after a teleport, Flame managed to steal it with a perfect Crescent Strike, and Blaze engaged onto MVP Blue and emerged with a 4 for 2 advantage post-fight, as well as two towers in the mid lane of MVP Blue falling.

Blaze began to take advantage of Diana’s ability to split push, leaving Flame in the top lane as the next Dragon came up, and allowing MVP Blue to dance around the Dragon. Blaze stalled the potential for backing with their ability to poke using Kog’Maw, leading to Flame knocking down the inhibitor turret and Blaze taking down the Dragon while MVP Blue were stuck between Scylla and Charybdis for decisions on which to engage, ultimately picking neither.

At the 24:30 mark, MVP Blue managed to catch 3 members of Blaze on an Equalizer, followed by a Let’s Bounce from Zac. However, Flame came in with a flank on Diana and managed to turn the fight into a 4 for 2 in Blaze’s favor. A few minutes later, ChuNyang attempted to scout and ward Baron, but was caught by Blaze, leading to a 4 for 0 fight and two inhibitors for Blaze. MVP Blue attmpted a desperation Baron only to be forced off and engaged for yet another 4 for 0 fight for Blaze, followed immediately by a surrender from MVP Blue.
Game 2
Blue – CJ Entus Blaze – Elise/Nasus/Karthus/Kog’Maw/Lulu
Purple – MVP Blue – Rumble/Diana/Orianna/Ezreal/Thresh

First blood went almost immediately to Deft’s Ezreal as the minions clashed in bottom lane as Lustboy and Cpt Jack got too aggressive onto FLahm’s Thresh. MVP Blue followed up the newxt few minutes with CS leads in mid and bottom lane, while Flame maintained a similar advantage in top lane. Deft pulled further ahead with a kill onto Lustboy a few minutes into the lane as Thresh landed a Death Sentence into Flay combo. With Flame bullying Cheonju’s Rumble in the top lane, ChuNyang came for a gank which allowed Cheonju to close the gap.

MVP Blue burned Equalizer and Trueshot Barrage to attempt to kill Flame under his tower as Diana came for another gank, leading to Blaze taking the first Dragon of the game. However, as Cpt Jack moved to assist, Deft dueled him to death to move to 3/0. Each team traded kills after the Dragon as well. MVP Blue stretched their kill lead to 6-1 with a three-man brush gank onto Karthus as he moved to take his second blue buff of the game.

After using several ultimates to kill Helios, Blue went for a Dragon, but Blaze chased after. LustBoy flashed over a wall to sacrifice himself behind MVP Blue’s escape path to slow down the entirety of MVP Blue to gain two kills for Blaze. After MVP Blue backed off from a mid lane siege, Blaze abused their Elise/Nasus/Karthus/Kog’Maw composition for a quick Baron as MVP Blue rushed to get back into position. Ambition’s Karthus and Helios’ Nasus were both picked off in the retreat, but the damage had been done.

After Baron buff expired, a hook from FLahm’s Thresh onto Nasus initiated a fight, but ignoring Nasus and Karthus a little too long led to a 4 for 3 fight in Blaze’s favor. After some cheeky vision wars with the Orianna ball, Blaze scared Easyhoon off far enough to initiate a sneaky Baron and close the gold gap MVP Blue had been holding onto for the entire game. Blaze sieged down a tower with a 1 for 1 kill trade.

Blaze aggressively pushed down mid lane with MVP Blue to their backs. Blaze pulled out a 3 for 2 team fight and pushed down the middle inhibitor with the main damage threats of MVP Blue stuck in limbo. As Baron respawned again, Blaze managed to pick off ChuNyang, ensuring they could attempt Baron without risk of a steal from Smite. After the Baron, Blaze forced down the bottom lane buildings for Blue and finished the series 2-0, ensuring their own playoff spot.

CJEntus

SK Telecom T1 #1 versus KT Rolster B

Game 1
Blue – SK Telecom T1 #1 – Kha’Zix/Hecarim/Diana/Twitch/Lulu
Purple – KT Rolster B – Irelia/Shaco/Jayce/Caitlyn/Sona

KT Rolster B comes into this match-up already guaranteed to be in the playoffs, and therefore able to take it easy for the remaining two weeks. SK Telecom T1 #1 is now tied with ahq.Korea and NaJin Shield following the two teams’ tie with one another earlier in the week. With a split in this series, SK Telecom T1 #1 (Terminator) only need a split with NaJin Shield next week to guarantee their spot in the playoffs.

Terminator is notorious for their split-pushing style of play this season. Knowing this, KT Rolster B went a little unconventional on their choice of jungle champion for inSec. InSec chose to play Jungle Shaco with Smite/Teleport. First Blood came from sneaky Shaco Deception with Insec deceiving over the top lane Tower Tri-Brush wall to come in behind Reapered’s Kha’Zix. Ryu’s Jayce secured the kill with his Ignite.

A second attempt gank came out at the four minute mark, with inSec teleporting onto a ward deep into the bottom lane, but Terminator answered back with aggression out of Raven and StarLast dropping Ssumday’s Irelia low, with SuNo’s Diana teleporting into the minion wave to dive the tower for the kill. Meanwhile in top lane, Reapered returned to all-in Ryu’s Jayce for a kill as Ryu whiffed his Shock Blast.

Action settled down four about seven minutes until Reapered’s Kha’Zix once again met Ryu in the mid lane and began engaging, only for Beelzehan’s Hecarim to ult and secure the kill, trampling Ryu. With a Pink Ward thinking it had cleared out the Dragon pit, but failing to kill a ward safely tucked away in a pocket of fog of war, inSec began a Dragon attempt. Terminator collapsed on the Dragon with a teleport from SuNo to engage, stopping the attempt and killing Score, but with Suno dying himself in the process. Shortly after returning to lane, Score died again to Raven’s Twitch as StarLast and Mafa traded support kills under the tower.

A few kills came in some skirmishes top lane to keep some action in the game as Terminator slowly pushed for a turret lead with SuNo’s split push knocking down the bottom inhibitor turret before a fight broke out in mid lane, with SKT’s Twitch and Lulu falling to Score’s Caitlyn. The action slowed until inSec baited a freshly level 16 Reapered into a dive on top of him, dodging the Leap damage and blocking isolation by casting his ultimate while he awaited Ryu’s help.

The naked bottom inhibitor was finally taken down around the thirty minute mark on the back of a 3 for 1 team fight for Terminator. The next team fight game 4 minutes later at KT Rolster B’s red buff, with Raven being the only to fall for Terminator as four fell for KT Rolster B. SK Telecom followed the team fight by pushing the open bottom lane and finishing off KT Rolster B’s Nexus as inSec’s Shaco tried in vain to stop it.
Game 2
Blue – KT Rolster B – Renekton/Nasus/Kha’Zix/Miss Fortune/Fiddlesticks
Purple – SK Telecom T1 #1 – Malphite/Hecarim/Diana/Kog’Maw/Lulu

First blood came this game for Ssumday’s Renekton with an aggressive dive onto Malphite in the top lane. With KT Rolster focusing their other four champions in bot lane, they managed to also take down the bottom tower. Shortly after hitting level 6, Ssumday dove top tower with inSec again to kill Reapered once again, but this time around Beelzehan’s Hecarim managed to finish off Ssumday.

Mafa showed off the power of Support Fiddlesticks upon hitting level 6 with Ryu roaming bot lane as Mafa flash+Crowstormed onto StarLast for an easy kill, which led into a free dragon for KTRB. Ryu roamed back into the top lane, meeting Ssumday at the top tower to dive Reapered for a third time, followed by the tower finally falling as well.

The action stalled until the 16 minute mark where SKT’s Hecarim and Malphite ults chained into a dead score, with Mafa falling shortly after, and only SuNo’s Diana falling for SKT. As Dragon respawned at 18 minutes, SKT were forced into engaging without a Malphite ult, leading to a 4 for 0 team fight and a tower in KT Rolster B’s favor, though Beelzehand did manage to steal Dragon.

The sneaky thing about KT Rolster B’s composition was that Ssumday and InSec both bought Spirit of the Ancient Golem, and Ryu bought Spirit of the Elder Lizard. As Score pushed bottom lane on Miss Fortune, KT Rolster B took a 20 minute Baron with no vision from SKT giving any hint that such an action could be occurring. KT Rolster B grouped mid and quickly won a massive AoE team fight in 4 for 0 fashion yet again. InSec baited SKT into yet another fight as Terminator all respawned, but KT Rolster B emerged with a 5 for 2 victory in the fight, leading to SK Telecom T1 #1’s surrender vote, and a 1-1 tie in the series.

KTRolster SKTelecomT1

 After Week 4, SK Telecom T1 #2 and CJ Entus Blaze have secured their spots in the playoffs from Group A, and CJ Entus Frost and KT Rolster B have secured their spots in the playoffs from Group B.

Going into week 5, in Group A, MVP Blue plays the whipping boys, KT Rolster A this weekend while they trail Sword and Ozone by a single point. With a 2-0 win over KTRA, they can still secure a spot in the playoffs, as Sword and Ozone face off against the already-qualified Blaze and Judgment Day respectively.

In Group B, Shield faces off against Terminator, while LG-IM and ahq.Korea face off at the bottom of the group. The match to watch for this week will be Saturday’s clash of the titans between CJ Entus Frost and KT Rolster B to determine who will come out of Group B at the top.

With just one week of group play left, you can guarantee the teams that haven’t secured their spots are going to be training hard to play their best League of Legends to date in hopes of making it to the eight team, single elimination bracket stage.

As always, I am TiberiusAudley. Follow me on Twitter @TiberiusAudley, and look forward to my next A Look Back — which should be up later this week.

Categories: eSports Tags: , , ,

OGNBanner

Hello Summoners. I’m sure some, or many, of you are fans of the eSports side of League of Legends, and have been enjoying the North American and European LCS matches airing every week.

But I have insomnia. No, it’s not a serious medical condition; it’s Korean LoL Fever.  Over in Korea, they have their own seasonal League of Legends event hosted by OnGameNet, known as Champions Spring. Although the matches air at the wee hours of the morning stateside, I highly recommend watching them over at the OGN TwitchTV channel. But, if you absolutely must get sleep at normal hours, I’ll do you a favor.

Every week I’ll be writing this OGN Weekly Round-Up to recap the previous week’s matches. Unfortunately, we’re already through the third week of the season, so if you missed the first two weeks, my condolences to you!

Champions Spring is currently in its round-robin group stage. Each team plays all the other teams in its group (one opponent per week) in a two-game series where each team plays from each side of the map once. If a team wins both games, they score three points for their group stage standings. If the teams split the games, each team gains one point. At the end of the group stage, the four teams with the highest points from each group will move on to the 8-team playoffs; a single-elimination bracket of best of five matches.

The groups are as follows:
Group A: MVP Blue, MVP Ozone, NaJin Sword, CJ Entus Blaze, KT Rolster A, SK Telecom T1 #2
Group B: KT Rolster B, NaJin Shield, CJ Entus Frost, ahq Korea, LG-IM, SK Telecom T1 #1

Champions_Spring_2013

The first match of the week pitted SK Telecom T1 #2 versus MVP Blue. The two teams were tied at the top of the Group A standings with 4 points each. (Note for picks: My format will always be Top/Jungle/Mid/ADC/Support, just like the players are arranged in champion select in tournaments.)

Game 1
SK Telecom T1 #2 (Blue): Kennen/Nasus/Jayce/Miss Fortune/Sona
MVP Blue (Purple): Elise/Evelynn/Kha’Zix/Caitlyn/Thresh

MVP Blue opened the game with four of their players purchasing Elixirs of Fortitude and four-man invading the blue buff of SK Telecom T1 #2 (affectionately nicknamed “Judgment Day” by the casters) while their fifth member grabbed their own Blue and went to bottom lane.  They secured an early lead, but Judgment Day’s heavily “Press R” focused comp bailed them out of the deficit mid-game and helped them claw back into a position of power.

MVP Blue wasn’t to be counted out just yet, however, as around 35 minutes into the game they managed a favorable team fight going four for two, but shortly after respawning, Judgment Day decided to start Baron. MVP Blue responded by rushing Judgment Day’s base, getting forced into a team fight and led to MVP Blue getting aced and losing the game.
Game 2:
MVP Blue (Blue): Jayce/Elise/Karthus/Caitlyn/Zyra
SK Telecom T1 #2 (Purple): Shen/Nasus/Leblanc/Varus/Sona

MVP Blue started the game by sending their Karthus to a bottom lane 1v2 to avoid Faker’s Leblanc and (hopefully) allow himself to farm, while sending Caitlyn and Zyra mid lane to shut down Faker’s farm.  MVP Blue’s Jayce and Jungle Elise attempted an early tower dive against Impact’s Shen in the top lane, but a very well-timed taunt yielded a two for one in favor of SK Telecom, including first blood for Impact.

Finding himself unable to farm in the 1v2 without blue buff, MVP Blue’s Easyhoon returned to mid lane and immediately met the business end of Faker’s Leblanc. ChuNyang on Elise came to hold the lane and quickly found himself dead as well. Faker was in the zone on Leblanc, landing nearly every Ethereal Chains that left his champion’s body and bullying FLahm’s Zyra all game.

After Faker had snowballed himself to 11/0/2 on Leblanc in the mid lane, with the rest of SK Telecom T1 #2 performing nearly as well, MVP Blue surrendered shortly after the 20 minute mark and conceded the 2-0 defeat to SK Telecom T1 #2.

SKTelecomT1

The second match from Wednesday night (well, early Wednesday morning here) featured the other SK Telecom T1 team (#1 / Terminator) versus ahq Korea. The ahq e-Sports Club is a Taiwanese eSports organization, but their Korean team was built around former NaJin Shield mid-laner Hoon.

Game 1:
SK Telecom T1 #1 (Blue): Elise/Volibear/Twisted Fate/Caitlyn/Thresh
ahq Korea (Purple): Malphite/Nasus/Rumble/Miss Fortune/Sona

SK Telecom T1 #1 started the game off with superior laning, gaining a gold lead just off the CS advantage Elise and Twisted Fate had gained over Malphite and Rumble, coupled with Twisted Fate’s extra gold passive. ahq Korea sought to offset this lead by focusing their ganking attempts on the overextended Reapered, catching him multiple times to prevent the game from snowballing out of control.

SK Telecom T1 kept their lead for most of the game, but as the two teams began to clash in full team-fights, the combined CC of Malphite and Sona’s ultimates combined with the AoE damage of Miss Fortune, Rumble, and Nasus proved too much for Terminator, leading to a victory for ahq.
Game 2:
ahq Korea (Blue): Elise/Vi/Diana/Caitlyn/Sona
SK Telecom T1 #1 (Purple): Shen/Nasus/Karthus/Miss Fortune/Thresh

SK Telecom T1 opened the game with another early lead as a 2v1 under Reapered’s turret quickly turned into a two kill turnaround in SK Telecom’s favor, with nothing to show for it for ahq.

Around the 14:30 mark, ahq grouped as ficw for Dragon, but Beelzehan casually strolled up to the Dragon for an easy Smite steal, followed by a three for one team fight in Terminator’s favor. The two teams played a little more passively following it, with a few skirmishes netting kills before the next big team fight in the 24th minute. The fight looked good for SK Telecom T1 until Hoon’s Diana shield baited perfectly, ending in an aced SK Telecom T1 and three dead for ahq.

Feeling a little overconfident (or desperate), ahq attempted a Baron down 6k gold and were aced by Terminator. They followed the fight with finishing Baron on their own and using the buff to snowball the game to completion to tie the series.

ahqSKTelecomT1

Friday night kicked off with a match between the very hot MVP Ozone and CJ Entus Blaze, who had been struggling and without at least a 1-1 split could find themselves at the bottom of the Group A standings.

Game 1:

MVP Ozone (Blue): Elise/Nasus/Diana/Vayne/Sona
CJ Entus Blaze (Purple): Jayce/Jarvan IV/Ryze/Kog’Maw/Thresh

The game started off very slow for both teams, both ADC and supports ventured into the top lane rather than the standard bottom lane. It wasn’t until 9 minutes in that any significant action took place, when MVP Ozone ventured too far into the Blaze jungle for a kill, turning into a one for three trade favoring Blaze. While this occurred, imp, behind his 20 cs advantage over Cpt Jack’s Kog Maw aggressively went for a kill to offset Blaze’s gold lead.
After the second Dragon of the game, things were looking really good for MVP Ozone as Imp’s Vayne sat comfortably at a 4-0 score. Blaze decided to slow things down and focus on picking off targets with Ryze and Jayce, and after a catch of two kills in the top lane around the 32 minute mark, Blaze took baron. They used their Baron and Ozone’s lack of a significant front line to win a team fight and knock down two Inhibitors as they carefully closed out the game.
Game 2:
CJ Entus Blaze (Blue): Jayce/Nasus/Zed/Kog’Maw/Zyra
MVP Ozone (Purple): Renekton/Jarvan IV/Diana/Ezreal/Sona

The game started out with another fairly passive opening for both teams, with the action not ramping up until the seven minute mark where a 5v4 clash between the teams led to a three for three, with two kills going onto Imp’s Ezreal and two kills for Flame’s Jayce. Helios on Nasus used his ultimate to solo Dragon and gain a net positive for CJ Entus Blaze.

As Dragon respawned, the two teams postured around it for another fight. Ambition managed a pincer maneuver onto the back of MVP Ozone getting free hits into the back of Imp and Mafa on his Zed. The fight went four for zero in Blaze’s favor and they secured their second Dragon of the game. Not content to wait around while they had such a large advantage, Blaze initiated another fight a few minutes later, going four for one yet again and pushing down two of MVP Ozone’s towers and sitting on a 10k gold lead 18 minutes into the game.

Unable to face down such a large deficit, MVP Ozone surrendered, giving Blaze the 2-0 series win and new life in Group A.

CJEntus
The second match of Friday night was between Group B Leaders KT Rolster B and Group B’s last place team, LG-IM.

Game 1:
LG-IM (Blue): Jayce/Jarvan IV/Ryze/Caitlyn/Thresh
KT Rolster B (Purple): Rumble/Lee Sin/Zed/Varus/Sona

KT Rolster B’s early Zed pick was written off by LG-IM as “Oh, that’s inSec jungling Zed” as he is fairly well-known for doing. However, KT Rolster B last-picked Lee Sin, playing mind-games with LG-IM and revealing Ryu could in fact play Zed as well, in mid lane.

LG-IM opened the game with a four-man invade. A Thresh Death Sentence hook landing onto sSumday’s Rumble secured first blood. KT Rolster B was unfazed by the loss of first blood, and through strong laning and skirmishing kept themselves in the game. Neither team gained any major upper hand during the laning phase.

In the 16th minute, the relatively slow paced game finally reached a boiling point as LG-IM began a dragon attempt. Ryu arrived with a flank into the side of LG-IM’s champion line, and KT Rolster B managed to ace LG-IM without losing a single champion in the fight.

KT Rolster B continued to win team fight after team fight from that point on, with their lead expanding until LG-IM surrendered to a Baroned KT Rolster B at the 26 minute mark behind an Ace from KT Rolster B.
Game 2:
KT Rolster B (Blue): Rumble/Diana/Orianna/Caitlyn/Lulu
LG-IM (Purple): Kennen/Nocturne/Lee Sin/Varus/Sona

Once again, KT Rolster B showed their potential for mind-games in champion select as they picked Diana third, a champion Ryu is very well known for playing. However, this time, the Diana was for inSec in the jungle and Ryu was to play Orianna mid lane.

LG-IM started off with yet another four-man Red invade, showing a weakness in KT Rolster B’s ward placements and burning Score’s flash and stealing Red buff, but not gaining any kills this time around.

After an otherwise slow start for both teams, InSec positioned for a gank top lane at the 11 minute mark, only to find Smeb’s Kennen and Lilac’s Nocturne ready to dive sSumday and score a two for zero (which did get cleaned up for a single kill onto Ryu’s Orianna).  MidKing’s Lee Sin roamed bottom lane meanwhile, and picked off Mafa to ultimately net a three for one in favor of LG-IM.

Around the 18 minute mark, LG-IM hyper-aggressively dove mid lane, almost reminiscent of Season 2 NaJin Sword, but only killed Mafa before KT Rolster B began the turnaround to chase the full length of the map, ultimately yielding a four for one in favor of KT Rolster B.

KT Rolster B slowly made their way into the lead during the downtime of Kennen ultimate and secured a six-two tower advantage. After a baited and ineffective Kennen ultimate in the mid lane in the 29th minute, KT Rolster B aced LG-IM and knocked down the middle inhibitor. Two minutes later, they finished off Baron and LG-IM conceded the game and the 2-0 series to KT Rolster B.

KTRolster
Saturday night was dubbed NaJin Night as both NaJin Sword and NaJin Shield were set to play against KT Rolster A and CJ Entus Frost respectively. Much like CJ Entus Blaze, Winter champions NaJin Sword were in a tentative position to fall to the bottom of Group A with a poor performance, but they were facing off against fellow last place team KT Rolster A.

Game 1:
Najin Sword (Blue): Rumble/Jarvan IV/Diana/Twitch/Sona
KT Rolster A (Purple): Kennen/Lee Sin/Jayce/Caitlyn/Thresh

Neither team were truly aggressive early on. Small skirmishes dotted Summoner’s Rift for the first fifteen minutes of the game, but no large scale engagements or flashy plays managed to stand out early on. It wasn’t until around the 16 minute mark, where both teams grouped for Dragon, that the beauty of NaJin Sword’s team composition showed up. sSong’s Diana dove into the center of KT Rolster A’s line-up, as did Jarvan, with a Moonfall and Cataclysm combo’d nearly on top of one another and a MaKNooN Equalizer to cut through the entire KT Rolster A line-up.  In the ensuing chase, MaKNooN managed a quadra kill as part of the ace of KT Rolster A.

The rest of the game was nearly as fluid for NaJin Sword, with team fight after team fight featuring ults demonstrating a team with a tremendous amount of chemistry and familiarity with one another. KT Rolster A eventually fell too far behind, and after NaJin Sword slew Baron at 37 minutes, they finished off game 1.
Game 2:
KT Rolster A (Blue): Shen/Lee Sin/Ahri/Varus/Lulu
NaJin Sword (Purple): Diana/Nocturne/Twisted Fate/Twitch/Leona

A few eyebrows were raised as the loading screen / intro left the screen and Zero’s Ahri was shown to have an inventory containing a Doran’s Blade and a Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation. The Korean observer highlighted Ahri’s character page revealing she was fairly heavily spec’d into Utility, with spell vamp and Cooldown Reduction.

The gambit out of Ahri did not manage to pay off as sSong managed to solo kill Zero in mid lane, though first blood had already been obtained elsewhere.  At the ten minute mark the teams began to focus their global ultimate pressure top lane (where both teams ADC and support were fighting). KT Rolster A came out ahead in the battle with three kills, but the empty bottom lane meant a free exposed tower for MaKNooN to kill.

A few minutes later, Watch overextended and was picked off by KT Rolster A, leading them to believe they were safe to kill Dragon with their five man advantage. However, as they turned to engage on the encroaching Sword, MaKNoon and Pray managed to turn around the fight to a four for one (two counting Watch), followed by a Dragon for themselves to ensure the momentum was in their favor.

For the rest of the game, NaJin Sword had but one strategy which they executed every time Nocturne’s ultimate was off cooldown. Watch would activate Paranoia and use it to dive directly onto Me5’s Lulu, forcing her to burn Wild Growth on herself. The following team fights went three for two, three for one, and three for zero in NaJin Sword’s favor, with the gap increasing each time. After one more fight, KT Rolster A finally surrendered, giving NaJin Sword the 2-0 Series victory.

NJSwd

After being 2-0’d by KT Rolster B in Week 2, NaJin Shield came into week 3 looking to climb out of their last place position. They were to face off against CJ Entus Frost, who were fresh off a clean 2-0 stomping of ahq Korea the previous week.

Game 1:
CJ Entus Frost (Blue): Jayce/Rammus/Twisted Fate/Kog’Maw/Thresh
NaJin Shield (Purple): Kha’Zix/Jarvan IV/Diana/Miss Fortune/Sona

The crowd erupted as the Armordillo was locked in to be used by CloudTemplar, a champion he is well-known in Korea for being favorable towards.

There wasn’t much early aggression in the game, first blood did not come until Twisted Fate’s level 6 with a Destiny catching a Wolf (the name of NaJin Shield’s support, not a jungle monster!) and leading to an early bottom lane tower kill for Frost. Frost used this map control advantage to also secure the first Dragon of the game.

CJ Entus Frost used a combination of the Twisted Fate ultimate and Rammus’ mobility and CC to ensure pick-offs one at a time throughout the midgame. In the sixteenth minute, both teams began to dance around the Dragon, until they moved up into the NaJin Shield jungle. A combination of MadLife’s Thresh and CloudTemplar’s Rammus locked down NoFe’s Jarvan long enough to burst him down and prevent him from having any impact on the fight, leading to an 18 minute five for one ace out of Frost.

The game more or less stalled out for a bit at this point, with NaJin Shield too afraid to split off from one another in fear of Frost’s 10k gold advantage and fearsome pick-off with Rammus/TF. However, around 25 minutes, Shield quickly shoved their way down the mid lane to catch Hermes off by himself and blow him up alone. Frost quickly engaged into the back line of Shield, with CloudTemplar managing to cut off Shield’s escape, and the chase of Rammus, Thresh, and Jayce proved too much for NaJin Shield and led to a Quadra Kill for Shy’s Jayce and a Baron for CJ Entus Frost.

Following the Baron, Frost won yet another team fight and finished off the game cleanly.
Game 2:
NaJin Shield (Blue): Rumble/Jarvan IV/Diana/Miss Fortune/Sona
CJ Entus Frost (Purple): Jayce/Rammus/Lux/Twitch/Thresh

Neither team ventured too far from their game 1 team composition as they went into game 2.  However, with Twisted Fate banned, RapidSTAR had to fall to his comfort pick of Lux for the mid lane. NaJin Shield decided to focus on this major change as their strategy for gaining the upper hand.

NoFe managed to burn RapidSTAR’s flash on his first gank into mid lane, and immediately came right back into lane. Save’s Diana secured First Blood, but a Light Binding just inside tower range managed to offset the deficit for RapidSTAR as he secured a kill for himself.

NoFe was not done showing up in mid though, as he caught RapidSTAR warding his lane and immediately got another kill for Save. Save managed a 3-0 score by the 8 minute mark, and Shield had already knocked down both side lane outer turrets by 9 minutes.

Shield rotated around to bot lane’s inner tower at 13 minutes and dove for 3 kills without losing a single member. With RapidSTAR’s Lux shut down, and Jayce still busy stacking up a Manamune, CJ Entus Frost lacked the damage to deal with this heavily snowballing NaJin Shield team.

Shield forced fight after fight and tower after tower, going on to win with an 18-2 killscore at 32:29 and tying the series 1-1.

NJShd CJEntus
That’s it for this week’s game recaps. SK Telecom T1 #2 (Judgment Day) currently lead Group A with 7 points, with all but KT Rolster A (1 point) tied at 4 points in second place. In Group B, KT Rolster B also have 7 points at the top of the mountain, with CJ Entus Frost in 2nd place with 5 points, SK Telecom T1 #1 (Terminator) in 3rd with 3 points, and the remaining three teams tied with 2 points a piece.

Next week’s key match-ups will include NaJin Sword versus MVP Ozone on Friday (around 5:30 Eastern/2:30 Pacific) and CJ Entus Blaze versus MVP Blue on Saturday (around 6:30 Eastern/3:30 Pacific). If you haven’t checked out the games already, be sure you try to catch them on the OnGameNet Twitch.TV channel. If you don’t catch them live, but still want to watch some extremely entertaining and high-level Korean League of Legends play, subscribe to the OGN Twitch channel for access to the VoDs.

As always, follow me @TiberiusAudley on Twitter, and keep an eye out for my next A Look Back!

Categories: eSports Tags: , ,

ALookBack

Today, it’s back to Champions for A Look Back. This next champion may be an angel to some, but for others she’s fallen out of favor. That’s right, today we’re looking at Morgana, the Fallen Angel.

Morgana

These days, Morgana’s a somewhat bursty mage, whose Dark Bindings can make for some shrunken sphincter moments when trying to avoid getting caught out. What you may not know about Dark Binding, however, is that it was originally a damage over time ability. In many of her first iterations, Morgana’s core ability was a rather unappealing DoT.

Of course, in her early days, Morgana’s passive was also much different. She used to have some bonus HP Regen, because she “empathized with the pain of those around her” — rather than being the sinister dark angel that siphoned the souls of those she tormented.

Shortly before I joined beta, Morgana’s Black Shield received a remake to become a Magic absorbing shield (I’m unfortunately not sure of the specifics from before this point. Please forgive me!). This iteration of Black Shield was, for me, the most rage-inducing ability in the game.

BlackShield

Black Shield used to make the target immune to ALL magical effects (not just crowd control) until the shield was popped through magic damage. The shield would last up to 12 seconds at rank 5. Throughout Beta, when the Shield was cast on a target, it would dispel any debuff or crowd control effect already on a target. Not only was it a shield that made a target unable to be CCed, it was also able to be cast reactively onto a target that had already been stunned to save them from certain doom.

Black Shield’s unparalleled utility was a large part of what made Morgana a must pick/must ban for the Pre-Release tournament hosted by CouchAthletics. Former PMS team member and former Riot employee Rinoa helped We Carry Roku to the finals on the back of her Morgana play.

It wasn’t until after release that the ability got the nerf it so rightly deserved, removing its ability to dispel debuffs. A few weeks later, Morgana received another nerf through a sort of bug fix which made it so that cleansing the tether of Soul Shackles no longer forced an instant stun onto the cleanser. These nerfs forced Morgana to go MIA from games for quite some time. In the following April, she got some buffs to help bring her back into favor.

Her auto-attack range was brought up to 400 from 350 to make it safer to last-hit with her in lane (for comparison, today it is 425). She was given a slight attack speed buff, though she still remained at the absolute bottom of the barrel for base attack speed, and her mana costs were brought more in line. Her damages were nerfed slightly, but her Tormented Soil was given its current functionality of shredding magic resist for every second a target stood on the AoE.

In the following patches, Morgana’s passive was finally changed to its current state of granting Spell Vamp, and her Dark Binding gained all of its damage up front, rather than over the duration of the snare. Additionally, around this time, Riot introduced one of the first community Skins to make it into the game — Exiled Morgana.

ExiledMorgana

As Morgana rose back to fairly powerful status, Riot hit her with the nerf bat once again. They attacked the hitbox size of Dark Binding, the AP ratios of her Shield and her ult, and then turned to attack Black Shield’s utility once more. This time around, they removed the ability for Black Shield to block any and all debuffs, which included armor/MR reduction, vision-granting abilities, and even Akali’s Marks of the Assassin. Black Shield became the much more tame beast it is today — a pre-emptive CC blocking shield.

Since then, Morgana has mostly only seen much smaller scale buffs and nerfs, with nudges up or down to her AP Ratios and mana costs. She isn’t unheard of in the professional scene; Curse Gaming’s Nyjacky made a name for himself on the back of his Morgana play, and still will bring her out from time to time.

It’s uncertain what the future holds for the Fallen Angel, but one thing is for certain, compared to her old self with the overwhelmingly powerful Black Shield, it’s safe to say her current form is more or less caught in Soul Shackles, hoping to have her true power released once more.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s A Look Back at Morgana, the Fallen Angel. Follow me on Twitter @TiberiusAudley for random puns during LCS or OGN matches.

It’s been a while since I’ve done A Look Back. As I mentioned in the last entry, this time I will not be covering a champion. This time around, we’re going to look at Riot eSports Shoutcaster David “Phreak” Turley.

ALookBack

Phreak has been around competitive gaming since before League of Legends existed. He was once a professional WarCraft 3 player (my Googling tells me he played Night Elf, but I am not 100% certain of this). He finished fifth place in the 2006 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, and played in two WC3L seasons, among other things.

Near the end of the League of Legends beta Phreak began climbing the ranks, barely squeaking into the top 500 and acquiring the Master Beta Tester (no snickering, please) title. He continued his climb all the way up until he reached the top spot on the Normal ladder. He usually referred to Fiddlesticks as his favorite or best champion.

PhreakFace

Shortly after rising to the top of the ladder, Phreak was hired by Riot as an intern for their Community team. He was a very active voice on the forums and before becoming a full time Riot employee, began making videos for new champions, called Champion Spotlights. In each Spotlight, Phreak would go over the basics of a new champion to quickly introduce players to it and reduce the learning curve in-game. He would  often play non-conventional champions as Junglers. Fans of the Spotlights ribbed Phreak over his tendency to recommend Trinity Force in order to deal “tons of damage” sparking a meme that he has lovingly embraced.

After the success of the Champion Spotlights, Phreak and fellow Riot Community Manager Andrew “Tamat” Beegle began working on a series of videos to preview the upcoming major changes in patches, prior to the patch being released. These Patch Previews featured the two Community leaders interviewing one of the Riot design team (usually Morello) in a sort of Question and Answer format which would highlight why upcoming changes were being made from the designer’s point of view.

One particularly creative community member saw an opportunity for comedy in the videos and decided to turn random pause spots into a large exploitable comic. Community member Whist took the joke even further, expanding on the second Comic with a video of “Phreak” dancing to his favorite song, Britney Spears’ “Hold it Against Me.”

PhreaksJam

As League of Legends’ eSport side began to grow, Phreak, who had some experience commentating in WarCraft 3, began to work as a commentator for Riot. He began shoutcasting the high profile tournaments as the Spectator Mode client began to grow more and more robust. During this time the Patch Previews shifted from showing the developers to displaying the upcoming changes in-game, and Phreak has continued to put out a new Champion Spotlight for each new champion.

Phreak commentated at multiple MLG, IPL and IEM events, as well as the League of Legends Season 2 World Championships. Now he works full time as a Shoutcaster (Play-by-Play focus, though he does have some spillover into color commentary) covering Riot’s Season 3 League Championship Series. He is often paired with other NA casters such as Rivington the Third, Jatt, and Kobe24, though most recently he traded regions with Deman for two weeks.

So, if you’ve been seeing Phreak’s face a lot in LoL eSports and wondering, “How did this pun-spamming loony man make it to where he is today?” now you know a little more of the history of David “Phreak” Turley, Riot Games Shoutcaster. Again, I apologize for the long gap between my last Look Back and this one.  But hopefully it was worth the wait for you.  The next shall be a return to champions.  Stay tuned!


Replays-Annotation-Screen1

A much-awaited feature for League of Legends has finally been announced as ready to be tested by the masses. Soon, players on the Public Beta Environment realm will get to dabble with an official in-game Replay service!

That’s right, folks. After a few years of waiting, League of Legends will finally have an official Replay client from Riot Games.

The official post from Riot member Status Kwoh lists the following features:

  • Replays from your match history: After you complete a game, a replay will be stored on the servers for a limited time. During this window you can view the replay of a recent game through your match history.
  • Browse your replays: You can review any replay you’ve previously watched through the replay browser in your summoner profile.
  • Watching a replay: When you load into a replay, you’ll have the same interface and control scheme you’re used to from spectator mode. The key difference is that the far right of the timeline is now the end of the recorded match rather than the latest point in a live game.
  • Share replays with friends: You can give a replay file to a friend by right clicking on the entry in your replay browser and clicking “Show In Folder.” This will pop up the folder containing your replay. Send the file to a friend, and he can view it by dragging the file onto his open PvP.net client.

Be sure to check out the official post for further details, and hop on the PBE to help test the Replay client!

Categories: LoL News Tags:

A Look Back 1

Welcome to the third Look Back. If you don’t know who this week’s article is about, you’re probably about to be caught and killed by him in the Jungle… because we’re taking A Look Back at Ryze, the Rogue Mage.

Ryze

Ryze is an iconic champion in League of Legends. He shares his name with the CEO of Riot Games, Brandon Beck. Nowadays, he’s a fairly sustained DPS mage with the unique ability to focus on building more tanky and still scaling well with mana. But he wasn’t always that way.

In the days of yore, Ryze was not much of a sustained damage mage at all. He didn’t build mana, save for the mana that was inherent in the AP items back then (this was when Zhonya’s was not an Hourglass, it was a Ring, which built out of another Ring called the Sage’s Ring, a 975 gold item that gave a hefty chunk of mana). Back in those days, Ryze was known for one thing and one thing only.

If he found you alone, he would kill you. Period.

You think it’s safe to walk through the jungle alone, late at night? Well, you’re trespassing. And trespassing would get you a one-way ticket to Ryze’s Rune Prison, which showered the target with a Damage over Time component. And once there, he would make sure to give you the Rune Prison treatment.

Don't Drop This!

You see, back in the old Beta days, Ryze’s Spell Flux was his ultimate. This meant it had ultimate-level damage. It still could bounce between him and a target like it does today, or between multiple targets, but if it was just you and him, in a quiet secluded forest, you could guarantee he would make sure you were finished off. Three bounces of Spell Flux were usually all it took to snuff out a target foolish enough to wander away from a nice “safe” minion wave.

Among beta testers, pre-matchmaking, Ryze was notoriously strong. The games were basically pick-up games, with no real organized group play. His penchant for winning 1v1 encounters made him extremely appealing, and easy for him to get fed. And once fed, well, it just made it so that extra bounce of Spell Flux wasn’t needed anymore.

Of course, since Spell Flux was his ultimate, that means that it wasn’t the only ability that was different in the olden days. He also had a different W (Rune Prison was his E). His W passively increased his mana pool, but it also had a toggled effect that was quite unique. When toggled on, his auto attacks stopped using his Attack Damage stat, and started using his Ability Power stat. They stopped dealing physical damage, and instead dealt Magic Damage. I should also note, as an aside, that this was in the time before Towers had magic resist to deal with Heimerdinger’s grenades and turrets and Rammus’ Tremors, so a fed Ryze with Lich Bane could kill towers in one or two shots late game if he so desired.

Ryze wasn’t as useful in competitive play in that form. Once tournaments began happening, and matchmaking came around so the “high elo” separated themselves from the herd, he wasn’t seen as much by top players. His kit was good at picking players off, but a pick-off champion didn’t do so well when teams began to roam in packs.

At the end of 2009, in the Udyr patch, Riot unveiled the first of the Ryze Reworks.

His Q, Overload, has always scaled off mana. In the early days, it scaled off his current mana. With the remake, Riot changed it to scale off Maximum mana, and reduced the AP ratio to compensate. His unique toggle W was cut entirely as Rune Prison was moved up to W, and Spell Flux moved from Ult status to E. He was given his “spell machine gun” passive, though his cooldowns weren’t quite low enough yet to take advantage of it. His Ultimate gave him a significant amount of AP and made his spells deal AoE damage.

The community was wary at first. He didn’t seem much improved. But he found a place. Combined with champions like Amumu or Alistar, he could deal an extreme amount of burst damage.

He saw a wave of varying buffs and nerfs. However, as new AP champions were introduced to the League, with much longer ranges, safer laning phases and similar late game burst potential or significantly better sustained damage, Ryze fell off the radar, and was forced to seek out a new Desperate Power.

Ryze came back in force in 2011 alongside Maokai and the brand new Co-Op versus AI matchmaking. Ryze’s passive stayed the same, but his Overload’s damage was sliced in half, with its cooldown reduced to a new low. Rune Prison’s DoT was replaced with straight damage and also given a mana scaling component. Desperate Power’s AP was replaced with Spell Vamp and a passive granting of max mana.

At first, most players still tried to treat him like a standard AP, but soon the secret was discovered. Frozen Heart and Banshee’s Veil both had mana…that meant they made him deal more damage! Ryze was…a tank! Of course, that didn’t mean players would outright ignore items like Tear of the Goddess or the other Catalyst item, Rod of Ages. But… Ryze was given a freedom most mid laners didn’t have at the time — he could be hard to kill AND still get damage FOR being hard to kill. Even bruisers drooled with jealousy at that prospect.

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Since that remake, he’s stayed in more or less the same state. He’s only seen one major change (to his ultimate) which eventually replaced the passive mana gain with Movement Speed to help him get off that important initiating Rune Prison. Any other changes were mostly changes to his base or scaling values.

Many pro players have Ryze somewhere in their arsenal these days, with Alex Ich of Gambit Gaming being one of the most notorious Ryze players. With the Season 3 addition of Muramana and Seraph’s Embrace, Ryze’s late game was given a choice of better damage scaling or further tankiness, both of which appeal to the Rogue Mage. In the near future, I don’t foresee Ryze falling out of favor. He’s a great choice for late game, and his W synergizes well with pick-off compositions.

That’s all for this week’s Look Back. I’m not sure who will be the focus of the next entry yet. It may not be a champion at all! Be sure you stay tuned!

As always, I’m TiberiusAudley. Follow me on Twitter!
Check out my previous articles covering Twisted Fate and Rammus

A Look Back 1

Welcome to another installment of A Look Back. I had planned to give a detailed recollection of the old Ryze and the iterations and waves that turned him into the late game terror he is today, but unfortunately, that fate was not quite on the cards.

Instead, I supposed you could say the destiny that this week’s A Look Back at would have was a more… Twisted Fate.

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Everyone who plays Twisted Fate today knows you can lock in the different colors of cards in order to ensure your next attack will carry out the effect that correlates to that card. But did you know that card locking was originally a bug?

I was not personally around before they replaced his original Q (Seal Fate, a card that added bonus damage and made TF’s next attack silence the target) with Wild Cards and gave him his current W, Pick a Card. In those days, Wild Cards dealt a random amount of damage and were truly quite wild. I can’t speak for how the game was with him back then, but considering the randomness was gutted, I assume it was not a pretty sight.

Pick-a-Card was implemented somewhere around a month before I joined. At that time, Pick-a-Card shuffled through the deck as it does now, but the card effect would be decided upon what card was active when Twisted Fate attacked an enemy. Around the time I started playing, a certain beta player by the name of Jesse Perring had become known for his Twisted Fate play. The secret that made him so successful was that he had discovered a method to “lock” a card for a specific effect. The card was selected the moment the attack animation began, but the animation could still be cancelled. Jesse Perring would use minions to lock the gold card, then use the card upon an enemy champion once it came into range. Although he was not the only player who knew about this exploit, he was one of the few whose legendary Twisted Fate play was lauded by the community.

On top of this ability to lock the card, it also guaranteed that, if the card timed out, the next time Pick-a-Card was activated, the card that had been locked would be the first card drawn. So Twisted Fate could immediately attack upon activating Pick-a-Card and have the stun ready in a moment’s notice.

Over the course of a few patches after Pick-a-Card was added, Twisted Fate received a few consecutive buffs to Wild Cards’ AP Ratio, bringing AP Twisted Fate to the forefront. His Wild Cards had a range of 1750 (Note: that’s longer than Nidalee spear range is currently), and had a 1:1 AP Ratio with an extremely short cooldown allowing him to spam cards for large amounts of damage.

Games weren’t extremely organized in this era of Twisted Fate, however, so his true power had not yet been discovered. He was prized not for his ultimate, but rather for another bug that emerged in the later stages of Beta; the infamous Double Gold bug.

Twisted Fate was able to fire two Gold Cards, dealing double the AoE bonus damage (for you see, back in those days, the Gold Card was the most damaging as well as the only one with a stun) and stun for double the duration. Twisted Fate’s laning presence, especially in duo lanes with another champion able to stun (such as Sion or Alistar), was truly destructive and not to be trifled with.

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Of course, the double stun wasn’t the only trick Twisted Fate had up his sleeve. Thanks to Gate being his E, there was another level one gimmick that emerged once Brush was added to the game. At level one, Twisted Fate would invest in his E, a ward, and have teammates running Teleport as their summoner spell. He would Gate into brush on the enemy’s side of the map, outside of vision leading into bottom lane. Then he would place a ward in the brush, and his teammates would teleport onto it and await the poor souls venturing into the lane thinking they were safe. Alas, many unfortunates fell victim to this clever trick.

Some players saw opportunity for an even dirtier tactic as Twisted Fate level one, by taking Teleport and Revive as their summoners, and proceeding to Gate into the enemy base, place a ward, feed first blood, revive, teleport to the ward, and give yet another kill away. Of course, players that toxic don’t deserve to play any game but Solitaire, but there was no way to prevent a teammate from doing it if they so chose. (“TF stands for Troll Face.”)

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Once the community began having in-house games, various tournaments, and their own form of draft mode (prior to Riot implementing draft themselves), Twisted Fate became the number one target for First Pick, First Ban.

At that stage in the game’s meta, much of the mid/late game involved picking a brush, and waiting as a 5-man gank squad. Of course, Twisted Fate both served as a great choice in a pick-off comp thanks to Gold Card, and the best scout in the game with his team-revealing ultimate (which, back in the old days, was also a global 40% slow). Because he was both a counter to, and a choice that fit directly into, the meta; Twisted Fate had been given the position of “God Tier” status among the community.

Riot tried reeling the “overpowered Card Master” in through some nerfs to Destiny and Gate at first, reducing the duration of Destiny, and increasing the cooldown and mana cost of Gate, followed by reducing the slow percentage of Destiny, but Twisted Fate was still must pick/must ban status in competitive play.

When that failed to work, Riot remade Twisted Fate’s E into its current form, Stacked Deck, and interwove Gate’s functionality into his ultimate, Destiny. The Slow from Destiny was removed. At that time, Twisted Fate’s old passive Second Sight (which was a global crit chance passive to TF’s allies) was also removed and he was given his two gold per minion kill passive that he has today. Money hustled? TONS.

Additionally, the damage values of PAC were shuffled around at this point, making Blue the card actually best for damage.

Although Twisted Fate was technically stronger as an individual champion at this point, he lacked the amazing utility he’d had before, and he fell out of top tier status.

Apart from losing his global ult in the summer of 2011, Twisted Fate hasn’t seen many changes since his minor remake. He’s seen a few small buffs, nerfs, bugfixes, and a model rework, but overall he’s remained mostly the same.

Today, he sees somewhat common use in competitive play, with Misaya of team World Elite being most known for his Twisted Fate play (so much so that it is often must-ban status against him, akin to Froggen’s Anivia). It is Twisted Fate’s existence as a mid lane threat that has caused Nocturne to be seen as a mid-lane champion in Korea’s OGN The Champions league.

In the future, it is doubtful Twisted Fate will fall completely out of favor as he still has great synergy with pick-off related comps, strong poking ability, and great single-target burst damage late game in addition to his team-wide reveal ultimate. Although there are many other choices that could be picked in the game, Twisted Fate still sometimes sees his card drawn.

That’s it for this week’s A Look Back. Next time I really will focus on Ryze.

Until next time,
I am TiberiusAudley. Follow me on Twitter @TiberiusAudley.
My previous history of Rammus