The famous hundred acre wood bottom lane, likely the best bottom lane at the 2013 World Championship (unless you count Ozone’s bottom lane, but even so their teamplay was lacking due to a lack of coordination with their mid laner at the time, dade who surprisingly came into a massive slump) has parted ways with the S3 Worlds-winning organization. H0R0 was a founding member of SKT, and is hoping to find a foreign team.
The Fall of a Titan
It’s possible that PoohManDu has not been asked to re-sign due to his performance in the last two seasons of OGN, and as such it appears that SKT will be looking for both a better support player and shotcaller as ManDu was supposedly their main shotcaller. However, he had already wanted to retire after Season 3 but was brought back after OGN Winter 2013-2014 (which they won handidly) to little success. It was stated he intends to retire and return to school.
Meanwhile Piglet, stated he’d like to take a break before returning to decide what he wants to do in the future. However, a few famous Korean pros taking a “break” don’t return (Reapered comes to mind). That said, Doublelift stated that Piglet was the best AD Carry he faced in Korea, and I’m sure we’d like to see him return.
SKT K now have to pick up a brand new bottom lane, and who knows where they’ll look, either Solo Queue stars like what they did with Faker, or an established bottom lane on a weaker team could be playing alongside Faker.
H0r0 on the other hand, wanted a change of scenery by seeking out a foreign team. One would assume this would mean he has fairly good English skills, however we have seen non-Mandarin speakers Insec and Zero go to Starhorn Royal Club with some success. Not much else was said about him, however his achievements do include winning an IEM and placing fourth in OGN.
Part 2 of our group coverage! We’ve gone over Star Horn Royal Club, SK Gaming, TSM and winners of S2′s Worlds, Taipei Assassins, in search of new and returning picks we might see in Group B.
Better nerf Irelia. SHRC banned the bladed lady all 5 games in their series against OMG in the LPL Summer Playoffs and played her successfully against LDG. It seems Irelia is making a small resurgence to Royal Club’s team comps, adding a bit of EU flavor to their champion pools. We also got to see everyone’s favorite Demacian, Jarvan IV. Royal picked Jarvan four times throughout the playoffs and has been practicing him in scrims as well.
Jarvan is a one-size-fit for most comps, lending early jungle pressure, a teamwide aura, armor shred and some of the best, if situational, late-game CC in the game. He can take risks when invading and live with his E-Q combo and can built versatile if his team needs another damage dealer or a beefy fighter. J4 is a great pairing with Orianna, Syndra, Xerath and just about anyone who’d benefit from having their target(s) locked up in a small space. He can be a second bruiser on the team, aiding his top laner in diving the backline. Most of all, he can make or break Dragon and Baron fights with his Cataclysm.
inSec is a legend in the jungle and it’s him we owe the majority of big plays on Youtube. Watching him on a play-maker like Jarvan will be a spectacle. We’ve known his style and picks for a long time, from his all-time favourites Lee and Evelynn, all the way to niche picks he popularized like Zed jungle. inSec is big on calculated risks, which he can greatly capitalize with the lock-up potential of J4. He’s also known for working with his mid laner for map and teamfight pressure. Given that J4 is an excellent combo-maker for Yasuo, a popular pick across regions, we can expect great matches coming out of him and Corn.
SK”s recent scrims against EDG show Jesiz on Syndra, an odd choice given SK’s scene and playoff matches. Syndra isn’t as common in EU as she is in NA and so it’s a neat surprise to see SK’s mid-laner pick up the Western trend just in time for Worlds. We didn’t see Jesiz play Syndra during SK’s road to Worlds, but it seems he’s developing her into a pocket pick for the group stage.
It’s easy to pin-point Syndra’s strengths, as she’s usually the center of plays. The long-range AoE stun, coupled with massive single-target burst and lane control is what define her as a scary carry on the competitive scene. Her lack of mobility often betrays her against teamfight comps, which is why she’s a more situational pick than longer-ranged carries like Xerath. Still, she’s a great bully in lane who can handily out-farm her enemy mid and go for a kill at 6. Syndra is a reliable initiator and scales into late-game in both damage and utility. Lastly, she’s a great roamer and so an excellent pick for teams who like to run their mid and jungler into the enemy jungle and take early objectives.
It’s interesting to see what Jesiz can accomplish with such a potent pick. Though SK’s scrims against EDG ended poorly with him on Syndra, it’s still encouraging to see him on a champion that’s remained fairly niche in the EU scene.
When WildTurtle gets excited, this happens. Known for his aggression, WildTurtle is never afraid to try and make a play. Lustboy knows this all too well, and it seems he has added another tool to his protect the Turtle arsenal – Janna.
Thanks to the AD bonus on her shield, Janna has a great time in lane with Marksmen that have high AD scaling abilities, such as Lucian, Cait, Ashe, and Ezreal. Turtle is no stranger to Lucian, picking him 6 times in the playoffs and regularly throughout the Summer Split. Janna’s ability to peel compensates for her weaker early game, and really helps her shine later on.
Outside of the lane phase, Janna offers incredible utility in the form of an AOE healing disengage that can also be used to cleverly displace the enemy team, or even individual targets. Her Q, Howling Gale, is also interesting. The knock-up it provides is useful in any situation, but when paired with Yasuo, a definite possibility on Bjergsen, it causes tremendous amounts of chaos in a teamfight. Having the ability to engage with Yasuo’s ultimate every 10 seconds will have any opponent on their Last Breath. Janna is a highly versatile champion and so fits a myriad of team comps and strategies TSM might pull off at Worlds.
WildTurtle brings a real threat of carrying games, and is a massive target for enemy teams looking to exploit his in-your-face playstyle. Requiring peel at all times, who is a more perfect match than the Storm’s Fury herself, Janna? Lustboy has taken a liking to the breezy support, racking up more solo queue games with her than any other support during his bootcamp in Korea.
Though hailed by their competitors as of late, the Taipei Assassins have essentially left us in the dark. In the GPL finals, They showcased that they aren’t afraid to revert to picks like Jinx and wreak havoc on the map, and there are surely more slightly off-meta picks to come. This event is a proving ground for TPA to surprise their opponents, or be assassinated.
Pre-worlds coverage of Groups:
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament has concluded, with the one-time expansion tournament coming soon. In case you’ve missed it, let’s look at who’s made it back into the LCS, and who’s out (for now).
Counter Logic Gaming vs Curse Academy
Result: CLG 3-2 CA
After being taken down two games in a row, CLG bounced back to take three games in a row. Even when CA picked Hecarim as the supposed counter to what they thought would be Link’s Yasuo, the Ziggs pick from CLG allowed them to ensure this Horse stayed in his stable.
Evil Geniuses vs Team Coast
Result: EG 3-0 CST
Evil Geniuses return to the LCS in a convincing 3-0 victory, with the match coming not too long after Coast had benched their solo laners, Rhux and Goldenglue for Ringer and Miracle, Korean players in D1 (KR Solo Queue).
Complexity vs Team 8
Result: CoL 2-3 T8
Complexity are the first NALCS team to get relegated for the 2015 Season. Team 8 took it in a close Best of 5 series, and as such it wouldn’t be surprising to see CoL back after the expansion tournament.
Copenhagen Wolves vs H2K Gaming
Result: CW 3-0 H2k
The Wolves, after a fairly poor split have managed to secure their spot for the 2015 Season by convincingly taking down H2k.
Gambit Gaming vs SK Prime
Result: GMB 3-1 SKP
Gambit picked it up during the last super week of the split, and have shown that they can indeed still compete with other European teams, avoiding relegation just weeks after benching Genja.
Millennium vs Unicorns of Love
Result: M 2-3 UoL
Millennium are the one EULCS team to get relegated out, however have another shot with the expansion tournament. It was a grueling series for both teams, ending up very very close in the end.
Welcome to a co-op series where Tim and I will cover all four World groups and what new picks we can expect in each one. We aim to get the series wrapped up before Worlds so we can focus on coverage of the matches. Enjoy the read!
Ban Yasuo. Those words held true in every game of the LPL Regional Qualifiers and Summer playoffs that featured EDG as teams took the swordsman completely out of the picture. With 5 different picks in the mid lane across 12 games, U has shown he can definitely play around his team’s apparent dislike of the wanderer.
Of these picks, Kayle came out for three of EDG’s matches. While Kayle remains strong despite her most-recent nerfs, she has definitely fallen out of flavor. Her most recent revival usually comes paired with a Zilean, creating an incredibly frustrating team comp centered around an undying carry. U has shown that he will play her with or without the Chronokeeper.
Kayle’s strengths come in droves. Amazing waveclear, great up-front damage, massive utility in the form of a heal and movespeed boost, and an ultimate that can make or break teamfights. There’s less countering Kayle and more just dealing with her, something that becomes incredibly tricky once a match gets to late-game.
When Kayle and Zilean get together, it’s like divine Intervention. Allowing unlimited dive opportunities, Kayle and the rest of her team can wreak havoc in the front line safely under the protection of Chrono Shift and Intervention. The pair also prevents a champion from just being dived on and exploded, and can force their opponents to think hard about who they want to focus and when they want to fight.
There are a Zilean possibilities, will the opposition be prepared?
AHQ’s Westdoor is known for his constant aggression. Expect all eyes to be on the mid lane as he looks to get his team out ahead early. Kassadin and Twisted Fate were almost permanently banned against Westdoor in the GPL and it shouldn’t be much different on the world stage. AHQ depends heavily on their mid laner, and acquiring a comfort pick for Westdoor is a must for them. Keeping Fizz in the back pocket is surely on the agenda, especially looking at his dominating performance on the trickster in the past.
Fizz brings deadly assassin strength to a team, being able to dash in with Urchin Strike and deal massive burst damage, only to disappear unscathed with a cleverly placed Playful/Trickster. Chum the Waters offers great disruption and zoning potential in a teamfight, forcing players to retreat or fight around its AOE knockup. It’s also a death sentence for anyone caught out of position, which can help AHQ create picks and secure objectives.
Not to say the Trickster is without flaws. Limited siege ability can set Fizz’s team behind if they’re unable to start a fight. Also an issue is getting to the backline to hunt for carries. If the enemy team sees Fizz, they can center their comp around peeling for their carry and easily counter his strengths. Lastly, Fizz is a risky laner; if he’s facing a poor lane match-up, he can easily fall behind – worst-case scenario for a champion who must be ahead to have a real impact on the game.
AHQ enters the World Championship as underdogs, and other teams will definitely have heard of Westdoor. With a reputation for clutch plays and snowballing games, letting Westdoor get any of these champions is definitely a mistake. Therein lies the largest issue: lack of diversity. While he has shown he can fall back onto popular champions like Yasuo, Westdoor’s greatest strengths come from familiarity. Teams will either look to ban him out, or prepare strategies specifically tailored to his champion pool.
Will AHQ adapt, or will they FIZZle out?
Though he dominates solo queue, Rammus is a rare sight on the competitive scene; OGN Masters saw him once in a favorable match-up against Xin Zhao and Wickd rolled his way to victory at the end of summer LCS in a zer0-stake match against Millenium, but that’s all the pro action League’s armordillo saw this year. Despite odds, it seems DanDyhas been racking some Rammus games in Solo Queue and with great success. Can we expect to see a tanky jungler sneak his way past Lee Sin? Certainly, he is blind.
The meta across regions right now favors stall comps that rely on picks to get objectives and push for map control. Rammus fits the bill with his Sonic Ball and a 2-second taunt. He’s great at locking down and soloing the currently popular hypercarries or peeling bruisers from his carries. Being the best tower-diver in the game, Rammus can capitalize on a pushed lane better than almost any other jungler. His slow clear speed means he loses significant gank pressure in the early game, but that can be off-set by just going for safer laners and stalling until Rammus can become that beast of a frontliner and initiator.
In the hands of DanDy, Rammus is a snowball machine. DanDy is the one who sets the pace for White’s matches by constantly being in the mind of the enemy jungler and predicting his moves. A Rammus counter-gank is deadly, as it can come from very far away and with guaranteed hard CC. We already know how strong DanDy is at smite-stealing objectives – put that mechanical skill on a rolling ball and you’ve got dragon control covered against all but the top-seed teams. Best part? No one plays or bans Rammus, meaning DanDy always has a surprise pick for when his team faces serious challenge (at the finals).
Ultimately, a pocket pick doesn’t matter much for White at this point, as they can likely blindfold themselves, go all mid and still stomp their group.
No data on DP’s Solo Queue training and their Wildcard matches suggest they’d like to go standard at Worlds. If they are bringing new picks against the top teams, they’ve yet to grant viewers passage to their strategy.
See? Phreak liked it. Reluctantly.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at email@example.com.
You recently placed third in the NA Challenger Series Summer. How do you feel about your performance overall and what would you have changed if anything?
frommaplestreet: As a team we’re pretty disappointed in our play against Coast, in the days leading upto the game we went into a slump and in particular I was doing very poorly with Lucian being disabled. Patch by patch almost every champion we’ve spammed has been nerfed hard but with enough games we can always get it together. I should have worked through my problems by grinding more, I went from 990 lp to about 400lp but now I think I can play this patch well.
How do you feel you stack up in the challenger scene?
frommaplestreet: I don’t like making bets or predictions on my own team as it’s rather embarrassing to lose and then look like an idiot. In the spring split we had a really good champion pool which we could carry games super hard on. Recently it feels like all the other teams have gotten much better so on any given day I think most teams can take games off each other in the top 6, which is scary since we must win the first best of 3 or we’re out completely.
What do you think about the current format of the Challenger Series?
frommaplestreet: The current format is not really optimal, the ranked 5s phase of the challenger series seems overly random as the league points don’t always accurately reflect the skill level of the team. For example LMQ was seed 2 so the absolute worst seeds to be on the ladder would be 19, 9 and 12. So if you didn’t plan ahead and dodge those seeds and got say 9th that would be much worse than getting some other random seed like 15. So really with all the seeds moving around on the final day there’s a lot of luck involved.
Do you feel there is enough incentive for Challenger teams to compete over long periods of time in attempts to make the LCS?
frommaplestreet: I think those who work hard will eventually make it. If you ever want to be the best at anything it requires a lot of self motivation. NA amateur scene is a bit too wonky with players who are good with not enough commitment or good analyst/coaches to make a team of diamond 1s to work. If you play on NA server and want to go pro you should be able to hit challenger bare minimum and the higher you go the more likely you have enough mechanical skill to jump into any team. Soloqueue in my opinion is the most important thing to do if lanes occasionally lose 1v1 or 2v2.
How confident do you feel headed into the playoffs against Wazabi Gaming? What is the teams preparation usually like before big matches?
frommaplestreet: Wazabi is the team that gives us the most trouble in terms of seeds 3-6. Now that we’re out of our slump we’re fairly confident but it could go either way since they have a lot of strong players who play very devastating teamfight oriented champions. Preparation usually just includes finding their most recent tournament matches and going through their match history seeing what champions they play and don’t play allows us to draft our favorite champions without fear of very specific counters.
Should you end up facing LoLpro again, do you believe you can beat them?
frommaplestreet: We have a really strong record against LoLpro though the last time we fought them they had a completely new bot lane but with my confidence back I’m not really afraid of any bot lane now.
Who do you expect to see in the LCS next split if an additional two teams are added? Predictions for relegation?
frommaplestreet: EG and CoL might lose their spots and one of them could get it right back if there’s a second tournament for the two additional teams. I think Coast and Curse Academy are too good to be denied a spot and maybe we’ll sneak into the LCS as well.
How large of a gap is there between Challenger and LCS teams? Do you believe that with the level of play in the LCS growing stronger every year it makes it harder for Challenger teams to keep up?
frommaplestreet: The gap isn’t too big, like some people severely underestimated LMQ going into relegation’s against XDG with some random reasoning such as “they’ve dropped games against amateur teams.” I think people will step up to the challenge and always try and break into LCS. I think the top amateur teams and the bottom LCS teams are at similar skill levels.
How do you feel about Riot potentially adding two additional slots to the LCS? Do you think even more would be beneficial?
frommaplestreet: It would greatly benefit the players like me but I think the worst part of LCS is the gap between relegations, amateur scene doesn’t get very many tournaments and LAN events. Back in 2013 it was super fun to go to MLG as an amateur player so I wish we could have more fun events like that. I don’t see having more teams as a negative if they change around the amounts of game per season.
What keeps you motivated to keep playing? How do you deal with falling short or potentially having to wait an entire split between chances?
frommaplestreet: To go pro at any game you need a lot of self motivation. I set my goals pretty high, I actually thought I would make worlds when we made it into LCS on Velocity but that was a bit overly hopeful. Some people like me lead boring lives, I didn’t really have any aspirations or dream jobs when I was growing up so in a way playing video games as a living is the easy way out for me. Winning worlds would be the ultimate goal even if the odds are one in a million I think I’ll continue to pursue it. Falling short is always difficult. I tend to blame myself and put myself under a lot of pressure so it motivates me in a way to redeem myself.
Your Draven is known as a threat, but we don’t see him very often at all anymore. What do you think he needs to become a more common pick again?
frommaplestreet: Draven is a pretty risky pick, he relies heavily on his 550 auto attack range and at the moment the itemization for him isn’t optimal. All Draven wants is a lot of AD for cheap due to his insanely high AD ratio on his Q. Draven should still rush BT I think due to the fact hes doing all autoattacks for 90%+ of his damage. Even if he’s massively ahead the 550 range limitation can allow enemies to quickly flash initiate on him so heavy peel is necessary to make him viable at high level.
What do you feel about the current state of AD in 4.13?
frommaplestreet: I think they have a massive impact in the game. Tristana and Kogmaw just do way too much damage at all stages of the game. Besides those two the ADC’s are relatively balanced. Though recently there’s been a few overpowered tops coming out like Maokai, Alistar, and Nidalee. If those champions don’t get nerfed soon I might shed many tears.
frommaplestreet: Special shout out to all the people that still believe Velocity cheesed their way into LCS despite us stomping all our lanes :^)
This is an experimental series where I’ll try to cover pro-level games, going over picks, bans, a summary of the game, highlights, winner/loser. Everything you see here is MAJOR SPOILERS! The series is for people who have limited time to follow eSports and want to know interesting matches they can rewatch, standings and so on. Any feedback is greatly appreciated, as I’ll likely do more than a few changes to the format.
This is a work-in-progress article I’ll continue to update as games progress.
Team Comps: Fnatic’s pick comp is a standard this season: strong focus on single-target lockdown and laners that can bully early, deny gold and snowball by midgame. Roccat’s comp is more late-game rounded, with solid utility and front-liners to keep Kog’Maw safe and tearing down Fnatic.
Roccat’s relentless invades pushed soAZ and Cyanide away, but a late response to an invasion in their own jungle left Jankos without a blue buff.
A level 4 set-up on mid from xPeke’s long-range stun, followed by CC from Cyanide and Jarvan IV made for a successful dive at level 4. Roccat promptly reacted by moving top and securing their first tower of the game.
First Blood – 4:43 (in-game timer)
Shortly after, a 4-man rotation from Fnatic took out Roccat’s bot lane tower. VandeR’s attempt to put deep jungle wards as a follow-up, however, resulted in his death and evened out the gold for Fnatic. (11.2k to 11.3k)
Another brilliant show of coordination from xPeke, Rekkles and YellOwStaR on mid lane set Overpow even further behind, as he was again dove, despite the revive.
First Dragon fight: 9:30 (in-game timer)
A messy fight on dragon cost Fnatic dearly, as they underestimated the speed at which Roccat could rotate to the pit. With Celaver backing them up, Roccat won a 2-for-1 exchange, pushed Fnatic away and secured the objective.
Top and bottom towers were traded for both teams at 12:30 and Roccat set up a long siege on the second-tier bot-lane tower.
Second Dragon fight: 17:30 (in-game timer)
A hook from VandeR onto xPeke started another engage onto Fnatic. Between Kha’Zix’s AoE slow and the speed of Roccat’s comp, they cleaned up a 2-for-0 and secured the second dragon.
Xaxus overtended on top lane and wandered into a full burst from xPeke. His death, however, pulled the majority of Fnatic on top lane and Roccat once again correctly rotated and took out the inhibitor bot lane tower. One by one, members of Fnatic dived in to protect the base, but their lack of coordination left them without an inhibitor.
Baron attempt: 26:30 (in-game timer)
Roccat meticulously set up vision control around Baron, but the threat of Tidal Wave and Fnatic circling around them made them abandon the objective.
Teamfight: 31:00 (in-game timer)
With vision around the Baron area swinging in Fnatic’s favor, they set up an ambush in the mid lane brush and caught Roccat off-guard and a successful engage from xPeke and SoAZ won them a decisive battle. But the decision to chase after Roccat instead of going for a siege forced them to fight in a terrible chokepoint near blue buff. VandeR landed hook after hook, followed-up by a clean-up from Kha’Zix and Nidalee and yet another dragon for Roccat.
Fnatic’s vision control paid off and caught Roccat in a bad spot.
Fnatic overextended after winning an engage and paid everything for it.
Baron taken: 43:00 (in-game timer)
Despite gaining the momentum, Roccat were indecisive around Baron, constantly giving up vision to Fnatic and falling back. Their patience paid off in the end, when VandeR baited Fnatic into another disastrous fight in the jungle. They pushed two members away and piled on Baron, bursting it down before any meaningful retaliation. Fnatic stuck around for way too long and xPeke and soAZ were both picked off.
An ace for Roccat near the bottom lane inhibitor decided the match and Roccat picked up their first win in a best-of-5.
Game ends: 44:00 (in-game timer)
Verdict: Absolutely spot-on rotations from Roccat. Fnatic maintained the pressure even after losing the first dragon, but Roccat were one step ahead throughout the whole match. Even though Fnatic managed to successfully shut down attempts at split pushing with the Twitch pick, they couldn’t hold up to Roccat’s relentless map control.
Roccat controlled the momentum of the entire game, removing vision from Fnatic, forcing fights for objectives and decisively winning them. They identified the purpose of Fnatic’s comp – creating picks – and, for the most part, denied them opportunities to lock down a target. When fights weren’t going their favor, they kited and landed poke until they felt they could gain the upper hand. They got every single dragon and played fights to the strength of their comp.
MVP of the game was definitely VandeR, who was an absolute beast on Thresh, securing picks and saves with the lantern left and right, winning all of Roccat’s crucial fights practically on his own.
Team Comps: A heavily AoE-focused comp from Fnatic, focused on overwhelming damage in the late game and control of waves. Roccat fell back to a more pick-oriented comp with Fizz and Tristana, but still kept their focus on late-game strength.
Standard 2v2 and 1v1 lanes on top and bottom. Solid roaming from Jankos forced flashes from Fnatic on both top and bottom and denied Cyanide his second red buff.
First dragon: 11:00 (in-game timer)
Despite the map control, however, Roccat found themselves struggling in all lanes. Aggressive pushing from soAZ pulled Jankos to top without much result, but his position opened a clear dragon take for Fnatic.
Continued ganks from Jankos ultimately helped Roccat’s bot lane take the first tower of the game. But the struggling Xaxus was left without support and was soon dived by Cyanide and soAZ.
Cyanide chased deep into Roccat territory for the kill on Xaxus and was welcomed by a full combo from Overpow.
Overpow dies to soAZ and YellOwStaR; on the other side of the jungle, xPeke gets caught and dispatched of by Jankos.
First dragon fight: 19:30 (in-game timer)
Fnatic tried to pull dragon and switched to Roccat’s mid towers. An awkward rotation put 3 people on top lane, leaving the defending side of Roccat without any wave-clear. Overpow sacrificed himself to stall the push from Fnatic, who followed an inhibitor tower with a dragon. Roccat went all-in with Jankos and managed to shove Fnatic back. Accidentally, the chase left Roccat completely split and Rekkles managed to pick off two free kills while kiting.
Roccat went deep and fell into a slurp of void ooze and burst from Rekkles.
First inhibitor: 24:40 (in-game timer)
Fnatic turned on the aggression and grouped for the exposed inhibitor in mid. A quick pick-up on Celaver secured the objective and Fnatic rotated to Baron.
A brilliant play from xPeke clearing a ward while his team was hiding in the pit baited Xaxus, who had no vision and was quickly sniped.
After an unsuccessful attempt at Baron, Fnatic chose top lane as their next focus. A couple of mistimed engages from both teams left both teams without crucial cooldowns and, in the process, Rekkles was instantly deleted by Overpow.
Roccat fell back to defending their respawned inhibitor, but couldn’t find an opportunity for a pick with Overpow and abandoned the objective.
Second inhibitor: 34:33 (in-game timer)
Fnatic again switched to pushing top lane. A long-ranged stun from xPeke secured a kill onto Celaver and, without their AD, Roccat were forced to fall back and play without two inhibitors.
Baron: 35:30 (in-game timer)
The troubles for Fnatic started after Baron was taken. YellOwStaR was hooked and bursted down, leaving the rest of Fnatic trapped in the pit, with a blood-thirsty Roccat closing in on them. With no way to jump the wall and barely any health, Fnatic grouped patiently and waited for the engage. But what was sure to be an ace for Roccat ended with a twist.
xPeke came out huge in the fight, landing a stun and instantly dealing with two of Roccat’s surrounding members. The clean-up from Fnatic left Roccat outmanned and the momentum of their game slipped from that point.
Fnatic were cornered in the baron pit in a 3v5 and managed to swing the fight.
xPeke turned the tables with a spectacular stun onto Roccat’s back-line.
A desperate attempt at an ambush from Roccat backfired horribly; they leaped onto soAZ, only to be caught around a Zhonya’d Swain and a turn-around from the rest of Fnatic.
One Zhonya and Roccat’s seemingly certain pick-off resulted in a wipe-out from Fnatic.
Team Comps: Roccat went with Nami and Aatrox, both of which strong laners who ca. Fnatic correctly counter-picked the Fizz and Aatrox picks with Morgana, who can easily deny an engage and peel for the squishy Kog’Maw.
Both top laners and junglers invaded on opposite sides and Roccat rotated for a 4-man-push on the top lane tower, securing their first objective at the 4:22 mark.
First Blood: 5:10 (in-game timer)
xPeke blew his flash very early in a poor engage with Overpow, which cost him his life later on. With his defensive summoner on CD and no escsape on Ahri, he was an easy kill for Jankos and Overpow.
A timed bait from Xaxus made soAZ stick around after he had popped Blood Well and exposed himself to Jankos right after losing vision. Fnatic’s reaction was immediate – a gank onto bottom lane which quickly had VandeR killed – but they mistimed their recalls after they’d stayed to push the lane, which gave Roccat plenty of time to secure dragon.
With just a few minutes until the next dragon, Jankos moved to establish vision control. Caught by xPeke and Cyanide, he ran deep into Roccat’s jungle, baiting both members of Fnatic into a brilliant Tidal Wave from VandeR and two kills secured at the cost of none. Over-commiting for Jankos cost Fnatic the second dragon of the game.
Jankos tried to sweep-clean a ward and was immediately engaged on by xPeke and Cyanide.
A perfect Tidal Wave sealed the deal on xPeke and Cyanide, who’d chased into no-man’s-land for Jankos.
The persistence of Fnatic to split-push with soAZ and xPeke paid off and both tier 2 towers for Roccat were taken down with failed response.
Third dragon: 23:40 (in-game timer)
Roccat were denied vision of the dragon area and Xaxus facechecked just as Fnatic were moving to secure to objective. Mid-way, he fell in love with xPeke’s Ahri and his death gave Fnatic an uncontested dragon.
Fnatic switched their tactics to careful probing around Roccat’s defense, managed to find an opening and took bot lane’s tier-2 tower, leaving Roccat without vision of all their jungle entrances.
soAZ overstayed his welcome on top lane and was hunted down by Overpow and Xaxus, dragging xPeke in the grave with him. A few minutes later, his overly aggressive split-pushing again cost him his life.
The trend of Fnatic committing to pushing continued to feed Roccat kills, as YellOwStaR was cornered and quickly taken down. However, the results of Fnatic’s suicidal runs were starting a landslide- Roccat’s base was low on health.
Even YellOwStaR paid for Fnatic’s over-zealous split pushes without proper map vision.
A careless chase from Roccat found Celaver snared to the ground, with soAZ walking along the flank to turn the fight and wipe out the fleeing members of Roccat.
Roccat commit without thought and soAZ is there to swing the fight.
Another wonky engage from Roccat; Overpow went deep into Fnatic’s jungle for a kill onto YellOwStaR and Roccat lost two members in the process. Fnatic’s bottom inhibitor tower was taken down by Xaxus in the process, but the team was already in a dominant position to pressure Roccat. VandeR and Celaver tried to take dragon on their own, but were promptly punished and hunted down by xPeke and Cyanide. Xaxus, caught in the cross-fire of the chase, also died, as Roccat’s control of the game quickly crumbled.
Fnatic knew they needed little to tumble over Roccat and went for a push on the bottom lane. A critical positional mistake from Xaxus snowballed the fight beyond control and Fnatic proceeded to tear down Roccat’s base and take the win.
An overly greedy soAZ falling prey to Roccat, but without consequence- the match was already sealed.
Team Comps: Fnatic put all their bets on a strong late game, with Vayne and Kassadin, backed by Jarvan and Shen on the front line. Vayne needs a 2v1 lane to come out the early game with a gold lead, and Roccat properly counterpicked with Tristana and Nami, both of which can pressure and deny a 2v2 lane.
Fnatic were quick to establish control of Roccat’s red-side jungle. Clever mind games from Roccat baited a few recalls from Fnatic’s bottom lane, who wanted Vayne put in a 2v1 lane. Ultimately, Fnatic managed to have their bot lane go against Irelia, but at the cost of experience and minion gold.
Roccat weren’t going to have their way with a Vayne free farming and Jankos put heavy pressure on the top lane; first time he was kited back, but after a cheeky teleport from Xaxus, they secured first blood on YellOwStaR, putting Vayne further behind and forcing her away from gold and XP.
Teamfight: 15:30 (in-game timer)
Jankos and VandeR went deep into the jungle for a pick onto YellOwStaR, but a clutch Wild Growth prevented his death. Cyanide, with a perfect Cataclysm, trapped Roccat in their retreat as xPeke flanked from the side. Despite solid positioning, however, Fnatic’s AoE comp was promptly overpowered by Roccat’s assassins, who even took down Rekkles on the other side of the blue buff area.
Perfect positioning by both Cyanide and xPeke; unfortunately, not enough to halt the engage.
Rekkles caught over the wall in a 1v3; flashy kiting secures him a kill on Celaver.
A costly mistake from Jankos and Xaxus on the top lane: both assassins dived past Cyanide onto Rekkles, only to be trapped in a Cataclysm and chased down by 3 members of Roccat.
First Dragon fight: 23:00 (in-game timer)
Fnatic rotate to secure dragon, taking the objective before Roccat could intervene. Regardless, both teams clash, and Roccat once again went way too deep against a Jarvan that quickly punished them for playing over-aggressive.
A seeming advantage for Roccat turns into disaster…
as they are once again caught and punished for their terrible positioning.
Second dragon: 30:00 (in-game timer)
Fnatic secure the next dragon and take Jankos along with it, as he dives for the last-second smite.
Baron: 31:00 (in-game timer)
With a numbers advantage they head for Baron and a classic over-commitment for an objective they can’t kill in time. Jankos respawns, Overpow goes ham in the pit and the resets and mobility of Roccat wipe out stragglers. Only Rekkles survives to tell the tale of Fnatic taking Baron.
Fnatic secure baron, but Roccat are on top of them and Jankos is coming from the side.
With Fnatic low on life and fleeing, Roccat’s trio of hoppers can chase and wreck.
Second Baron: 39:13 (in-game timer)
Fnatic try to find an opening, but only their front liners can jump into a fight quickly, with xPeke and Rekkles dangerously behind and exposed. A fight breaks out on the bottom lane and a deceptively strong engage from Cyanide goes wasted; the rest of Fnatic couldn’t follow up and they’re chased down and killed, one by one.
What looks like a good engage ends in shambles; Fnatic are all burned out on resources to follow-up.
Roccat follow-up on the ace with a mid tower and inhibitor.
Third Baron: 47:30 (in-game timer)
Overpow and Xaxus get a sneaky gank onto soAZ, blowing Stand United and rushing for the inhibitor. Rekkles and YellOwStaR flank from the side and take out Xaxus, but the damage has been done and Fnatic lose an inhibitor and key map control.
With bot lane being constantly pushed, Roccat rotate to the top lane. Cyanide tries out a last desperate engage and is countered mid-flight by a Buster Shot; with the front liners left alone and the back line being murdered by Overpow and Jankos, Fnatic lose the game after almost an hour of back-and-forth fights.
Team Comps: Fnatic’s comp is the new flavor of Season 4 – Rengar in the jungle, helping deliver Orianna’s ball in the middle of a teamfight, with Lulu and Nami’s utility backing Kog’Maw against back-line divers. Roccat’s comp is more thinly spread across controlling fights with Alistar and Jarvan and creating picks with Tristana and Fizz, while scaling into late game with both damage and utility.
Standard lanes and lack of early jungle invades, with bot teams playing the farm game. With both summoners on Xaxus on cooldown, Jankos rotates for a gank and gets soAZ dangerously low.
First Blood: 4:45
Jankos and Xaxus push onto the tower, diving soAZ and securing a kill for Jankos. But Cyanide leaped from the side brush, rooting Xaxus under the tower and evening the trade. From top, Jankos rotated for a dive onto xPeke and got a second kill with Overpow.
Roccat’s bot lane baited a bubble engage from YellOwStar, with a ward behind them ready for Xaxus and Overpow to join the fight. A clean 2-for-0, followed by a dragon for Roccat.
Right when Rekkles is turned into fish food.
First Dragon: 16:10 (in-game timer)
soAZ went further and further behind, as Jankos kept camping his lane and diving him with Xaxus. Eventually, the response from Cyanide came and a successful gank on Celaver allowed Fnatic to siege the tower and take dragon afterwards.
Without a Statikk Shiv on Tristana, the troubles with Roccat’s comp began go creep up; with Fnatic grouping up to push mid lane, Roccat had no opportunities for picks and, without any wave clear, were forced to leave their tier-2 mid tower uncontested.
Second Dragon: 24:30 (in-game timer)
Fnatic were in place for the second dragon, took it without retaliation and rushed to clear the Baron area of wards. With Overpow sitting in the brush on top lane waiting for an ambush, he chose a risky route to escape and found himself chased by a balled Cyanide. As Roccat were retreating, an amazing ult from xPeke held them in place and got Fnatic a clean 2-for-0.
xPeke flanking from the side to land a perfect Shockwave.
Roccat dived onto xPeke in mid in a 1-for-1 trade, but had to flee with Fnatic looking for revenge. YellOwStaR and Rekkles found themselves alone in mid lane, flanked by a teleporting Overpow and YellOwStaR bit the bullet for his carry. But an overextend from Overpow onto Cyanide threw the advantage Roccat had built that fight and cost them a mid inhibitor.
First inhibitor: 34:57
A dangerous dive on xPeke is more than Overpow can chew off.
A messy fight broke out in Roccat’s red-side jungle and Fnatic ran scattered, with Cyanide scrambling to enter stealth and save Baron.
Terrible place for Fnatic to be fighting and Cyanide lives by the skin of his teeth.
Fnatic shifted towards the bottom lane and set up a siege. Cyanide was hooked and Roccat went for the opportunity, but through Lulu’s ultimate and a plethora of shields, Rengar survived. Despite Celaver not dying in that engage, the difference in health bars was enough for Fnatic to shove down the inhibitor.
Cyanide survives the engage and a greedy Celaver almost dies chasing.
A desperation Baron from Roccat was a reflection of the ends to which a team determined to go to Worlds would go; but Fnatic were in position and aced Roccat, securing a spot in Seoul.
An all-or-nothing attempt at Baron from Roccat ends in a (predictable) ace for Fnatic and the game.
Team Comps: Alliance knows there’s no reason for risky comps; with Ahri and Twitch, they have solid teamfight potential at any point in the game and good wave clear, and Lee Sin in the jungle is enough to keep them safe from ganks early on. SK’s comp is also not reinventing the wheel, but a mix of mobility and CC means they are capable of standing up to Alliance in teamfights. Of the two teams, Alliance’s comp can more easily create picks, while SK’s comp is more about controlling the field and having a safe back-line.
First Blood: 3:00 (in-game timer)
An invade from Alliance on SK’s red-side jungle forced a flash for fredy, making Shook an easy victim for a dive.
First Dragon: 3:34 (in-game timer)
The response from SK was spot-on – a level 2 dragon.
Alliance continued their effort to shut down Fredy on the bot lane. On the second attempt at a gank, Wickd pulverized Aatrox mid-flight and Fredy’s escape route was cut off by Shook. But with amazing juking around the minion wave and life stealing with the triple life steal bonus on Blood Thirst, Fredy got his passive back during the fight and flashed away, surviving against all odds.
A well-timed Pulverize stops Fredy mid-flight and Shook Safeguards in.
Masterful micro from Fredy keeps him alive as he dances around the minion wave, life stealing at no health.
Teamfight: 19:00 (in-game timer)
With Alliance ahead in kills but lacking in objective gold, they head to secure dragon and find a wandering SK. Wickd dove and the positioning from Alliance seemed to outpace that of nRated’s wall. But, as is common for regionals today, the chase went too deep and SK eventually apprehended the low-health members of Alliance.
A well-split Alliance set up for a teamfight with Wickd in the front.
Alliance push on, but Jesiz is coming to swing the fight in SK’s favor.
Third Dragon: 19:45 (in-game timer)
Teamfight: 26:30 (in-game timer)
Another dragon fight where Alliance seem to be reacting to SK’s movement rather than initiating objectives on their own. They’re out of position and relentlessly chased down by a full Blood Well Fredy.
Shook jumps in, but Elise beats him to the execute on dragon and a fight breaks out.
Teamfight: 32:00 (in-game timer)
Yet another fight for dragon breaks out in a repeating pattern: Alliance trying to get a free pick and being poked hard after very exposure. Another objective went to SK and Alliance were again forced to run away, incapable of dealing with Fredy.
Fredy dives in and stays a threat for Alliance who can’t commit much to killing him.
A timed engage from Froggen onto Candypanda sniped the carry of SK and got Alliance a tier-2 mid tower. At the same time, however Fredy pushed down the top inhibitor tower. A fight for control of the Baron pit area created another pick for Alliance, but with no chance to gain anything from it.
Fredy goes wild and gets kited and blown up. Again, Alliance can’t take an objective
Teamfight: 41:40 (in-game timer)
Another oddly familiar fight begins with Fredy recklessly diving onto Froggen, almost taking him out as the rest of SK struggle to catch up. Skirmish after skirmish found Tabzz alive and healthy, swinging every fight in Alliance’s favor.
Fredy dives for another Baron fight but Tabzz and Froggen abuse their mobility and wreck face.
Tabzz gets the jump onto Candypanda and afterwards walks to top lane to clear up an overcommitted SK.
First Baron: 52:10 (in-game timer)
Alliance won the vision control battle and secured Baron, catching an overextended Candypanda and continuing their chase. A perfect disengage from nRated meant SK’s ADC would be the only victim of that poor trade.
A solid Tidal Wave starts a dive for Alliance and opens the inhibitor.
Alliance seemed to be getting pushed back, but a stealthed Tabzz with red buff turns around the initiative.
With SK’s base bleeding health on both Nexus turrets, they went for an ambush from the brush onto top lane, the obvious target for Alliance to close the game. Unfortunately, it was Wickd who facechecked and SK couldn’t disengage before losing two members, which proved enough to decide the end.
An all-or-nothing fight from the brush catches Wickd, but the cow is too tanky for SK to handle and they get dismantled all the way to the Nexus.
Game ends: 56:21 (in-game timer)
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 1 Winner
Maokai – the latest of the top laners to emerge in pro play – fell in the hands of Wickd. A strong mid-lane comp from Alliance, with good area control from Xerath, Corki and Morgana. SK’s comp was a mix of strong engage with Morgana and Elise and safety to fall back on, with Kayle’s Intervention.
First Blood: 3:37 (in-game timer)
An easy flank from Shook caught Jesiz from the right side of mid lane. Jesiz wisely didn’t blow Flash, as he was already left without room to escape. Shook continued to set up map control by forcing a flash on top lane.
Past 6, Froggen was caught by Svenskeren from the side and tried to flash over the Wraith wall to escape, but a quick follow-up from Jesiz’s Spirit Rush secured the kill.
Bot lane gank: 12:20 (in-game timer)
An aggressive Flash into Soul Shackles from Nyph started what was seemingly a 3v2 on bot lane, when Svenskeren joined the fray and quickly dealt with Alliance’s support.
A gank from Alliance goes ultimately in SK’s favor, as Svenskeren leaps with Intervention to kill Nyph.
First Dragon: 17:15 (in-game timer)
A completely out-of-position Alliance gives up dragon to SK without getting an objective in return.
Second Dragon: 25:11 (in-game timer)
As teams closed in on the dragon pit, Candypanda ate two crucial Dark Bindings from Nyph, the second of which almost cost his life, even through Intervention. Those skillshots were enough to push SK away from the objective and Alliance got an uncontested dragon.
A binding lands onto Candypanda and SK runs scared and at half health.
Teamfight: 26:40 (in-game timer)
A binding engage from Nyph started a fight and Candypanda was caught in a chain of CC by a Flash-Cocoon from Shook. This time, however, the engage baited Alliance and SK began to push back. But the follow-up split Svenskeren from the group. SK lost their jungler and had to fall back.
A 3-for-o Dragon fight ended in a landslide for SK as they cleaned up a way-out-of position Froggen. With Intervention being used aggressively on Fredy, Alliance couldn’t deal with the front line of SK.
Fredy dives in and Intervention keeps him healthy and swinging as Alliance scramble for room to retreat.
First Baron: 37:30 (in-game timer)
A terrible engage from Wickd left Alliance unable to follow-up and the tree was left to be chopped down by SK. Without a front-liner, Alliance are forced to give up Baron.
Wickd dives with Twisted Advance, but look at where the rest of Alliance are.
A desperation attempt at catching Candypanda overextending on the bot lane resulted in disaster as Living Artilery scouted the attempt and Froggen was hunted down and killed. With the main wave-clearer for Alliance down, SK were free to take out the rest of Alliance’s base and secure the win.
Game ends: 38:00 (in-game timer)
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 2 Winner
Team Comps: Alliance’s comp is about poking and then going for picks with Shook and Froggen. SK is more focused around snowballing early game, with two stealth champions to catch people off guard. Both comps can teamfight really well; however, Alliance can afford to take more risks due to the mobility of their comp, whereas SK are more reliant on finding the right moments to engage.
With the fear of Swain countering Maokai, SK went for a surprise 2v1 lane and forced a level 1 Flash from Wickd with the threat of Morgana and Twitch. A level 2 roam from Nyph also burned the Flash of Jesiz.
First Blood: 3:35 (in-game timer)
The ambush comp quickly paid off for SK and Evelynn and Twitch piled onto Nyph on the bottom lane, who was locked down by a binding from nRated. The retaliation from Alliance was a kill onto Jesiz, who already had Flash down and made an easy target for Shook and Froggen.
First Dragon: 8:40 (in-game timer)
An uncontested dragon went the way of SK.
A fight for the second dragon broke out with nRated and CandyPanda finding an out-of-position Nyph. Despite a numbers advantage, SK couldn’t find an opportunity; a Nevermove from Wickd caught two people and zoned the rest and Alliance got dragon in exchange for Nyph.
Fredy goes deep, but Wickd zones the rest of SK and Alliance secure dragon.
While both teams fought for objectives, Froggen was trying to make plays on his own, Spirit Rushing aggressively to get the jump on Jesiz. Eventually, his persistence paid off and he took out Fredy on the top lane.
A dragon fight started, but SK were woefully out of vision and Alliance abused that lack of wards to bait SK into fog of war and pick them apart.
SK try to finish off Wickd, but Ravenous Flock outheals everything and SK lose control of dragon.
First Baron: 31:30 (in-game timer)
SK caught Alliance without vision of the Baron pit and with Froggen pushing bot lane. An uncontested Baron went without response, as Froggen was unable to kill the inhibitor.
First inhibitor: 36:25 (in-game timer)
With the Baron buff ticking away, SK grouped up to pressure bot lane. Wickd teleported to defend the turret but was immediately hit with Dark Binding and bursted down. SK continued their push and took out the bot inhibitor.
Second Baron: 40:25
SK established map control around Baron and set up an ambush in the brush. In the ensuing fight, they traded a support for jungler and felt confident taking Baron afterwards. But they were dropped dangerously low and Alliance, instead of defending their base, went on the initiative and killed everyone on SK safe for Candypanda and Svenskeren.
SK set up an ambush near Baron and trade a 1-for-1.
SK overcommit for Baron and, despite taking it, die in the retreat.
From there it’s a predictable outcome; Alliance pushed to the Nexus and with some fancy kiting around the structure, secured the win.
Game ends: 41:40
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 3 Winner
Team Comps: A double AD comp for Alliance, backed by the safety of Lee Sin’s early jungle and Alistar and Braum’s peel says one thing – Alliance want a drawn-out game where they can siege and set the pacing. SK’s comp is assassin and reset-focused – they need to dive on priority targets and get kills, relying on just the peel from Morgana to keep CandyPanda safe.
An invade from Alliance forced an Flash from CandyPanda. A level 3 gank on top lane from Shook traded Flashes, but overall early aggression was non-existent. Bad news for SK, who had a mid lane to babysit as Froggen’s Tristana mercilessly pounded on Jesiz trying to farm under tower.
First Dragon: 11:45
An uncontested Dragon went the way of Alliance.
First Blood: 14:11
A bottom lane gank from Svenskeren caught an overly aggressive Nyph.
SK set up a siege on mid and Svenskeren spotted Froggen on the side and went for the kill. However, Alliance quickly established control of the fight and zoned SK from advancing onto Froggen while the rest of Alliance flanked from the side.
Froggen baits Svenskeren onto the side and Alliance trap SK in a narrow jungle path.
A zoning ultimate from Nyph keeps SK in place while Alliance clean up.
A prolonged fight on bot lane split both SK and Alliance in opposite directions. Froggen was forced to run, but later turned around as Shook and Tabzz made wonderful plays on their own. In the resulting overcommit from SK, Froggen got himself a quadra kill and his bounty was swiftly cashed in by Jesiz, who cleaned up a triple kill.
Froggen with the resets on Tristana secures a quadra kill.
First Baron: 33:22
A fight around Baron started as Wickd was caught near the golem area. His ultimate kept him healthy while the rest of Alliance ran to assist. SK were fighting in a choke against Braum and Lee Sin and lost decisive control of Baron.
SK collapse onto Wickd, but Alistar’s ultimate is enough to get him back to his teammates and turn the fight around.
First Inhibitor: 35:10
The rest of the match was witnessing SK collapse into a pool of bad calls and getting caught left and right; Alliance pushed their way into SK’s base by brute force and after countering a final engage from SK, wrapped up the game and secured their place in the finals against Fnatic.
Spoiler Inside: Alliance vs SK Gaming, Game 3 Winner