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

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mid-Season Invitational 2015 Review

Pawn vs Faker, Faker vs Bjergsen, Lustboy vs Yellowstar and the list goes on. The Mid-Season Invitational 2015 has kicked off with eight terrific games! Did the results live up to everyone’s expectations or was there an upset or two? Let’s have a look! Read More...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Who Can Take The Heat in Tallahassee?

MSI 2015: Stage of Champions

Image courtesy of Riot Esports

Regional champions from around the globe will gather from May 7th-10th in Florida's capital city to attend Riot's new international competition, the Mid-Season Invitational. The four day tournament will feature six champion teams, who'll battle with the hopes of being crowned the MSI Champion 2015. Will it be a Western or Easten team that takes the fame and glory home? Let’s take a look at all the contenders and I'll give my prediction for this wonderful tournament!

By Michael "Tribble" Godani

AHQ E-Sports Club(LMS)

The last time we saw AHQ was in Group A at Worlds 2014, together with Dark Passage, Edward Gaming and current World Champions, Samsung White. Since then some roster changes have occurred. Their jungler, Albis, moved to the support position and former TPS jungler, Mountain, took his place in the jungle. These changes are still very recent, taking place right before the playoffs.

Having dropped only one game in their three Bo5 series to obtain the MSI spot is sure to give a lot of confidence to the team and their fans. They're a team that doesn't seem to struggle with the changes and immediately picks up the title, just like Fnatic.

AHQ's strengths are also their weak points. Westdoor enjoys playing the assassin champions such as Fizz and Zed but has also shown the ability to adapt to the current meta with Karthus and Cho’gath. AN has had impressive results on the likes of Urgot, Jinx, Sivir and Kalista and is able to join Westdoor in carrying the game to good results. Westdoor loves to roam and apply pressure across the map, so his mobile assassins are very important for his playstyle.

But despite being able to carry their team together, they rely too heavily on disengage/peel from their teammates. Once champions such as Janna are taken away from them, they're suddenly incredibly vulnerable. Teams like EDG will be able to punish them for their one-dimensional tactics. Also Westdoor, who is strong inlane, will have it rough against the likes of Pawn and Faker who are easily the top two midlaners in the world.

AHQ are still a very mechanically talented team, and with a couple of outplays and picks they can take control over any game. How will they do at this tournament? I would call it a 4/5th spot team. This all depends Fnatic, the 3rd team that placed themselves for the MSI.

Besiktas E-sports Club(Turkey, ICWI)

The second team to have qualified for the MSI are Turkish representatives Besiktas E-sports Club. Besiktas is a known name in the international sports world when it comes to Football(soccer) and Basketball, and now they've managed to qualify their League of Legends team for one of the biggest events in E-sports.

They haven’t had an easy road to obtain that invitation. They finished first in their region which qualified them for the IWCI tournament, and then they first had to take on the Champions from several other regions including Brasil and OCE. In a nail-biting final, after being down 0-1, they managed to sweep INTZ e-Sports and get their ticket to the tournament. 

We don’t know much about Besiktas, but what we know is that their main carry is in the AD role. He is a strong Lucian player who is both good in a regular lane and in laneswap situations. He is able to impact games as long as he has the sufficient resources to do so. Also, once Besiktas grabs hold of a game, their lead is invested into vision control to be able to deny the enemy team from making plays or grabbing objectives.

This all is relatively strong against the “weaker” opponents in the scene, but Besiktas will meet the likes of EDG, SKT and TSM, teams who have been playing at the top level for many years and who house world champions, so don’t get your hopes up too high. Besiktas will not be able to pull off a trick against any of the competitors that will give them a shot to qualify for the semi-finals.

Fnatic (EU-LCS)

Xpeke, Cyanide, Rekkles and Soaz left Fnatic. The only remaining member was the best European support player, Yellowstar. The addition of Huni, crowned as Spring Split rookie 2015, and Dutch talent Febiven in particular, did the team well. Their naive way of playing has brought them a lot of success and points to work on which they will most likely improve over the next couple of months.

Fnatic made their fans proud by taking down newcomers UoL in the finals of the EU LCS Spring Split in a five-game thriller and regaining the crown they dropped the split before to Alliance (Elements).

Fnatic's (overly) aggressive playstyle has won them the Spring Split 2015 title and their ticket to the MSI and we should all respect them for that. They're a joy to watch with early tower dives, aggressive laners and a bloodthirsty jungler. The entire Fnatic team is a threat in the laning phase. They can get kills and snowball themselves without help, which is what makes them so dangerous. 

For picks, some would say Fnatic has a deep champion pool, but I strongly question the effectiveness of that pool. Their champion mechanics might work against their European opponents, but it will most certainly not go as easy in their favor on the international stage.

A tournament like the MSI is where we compare the players/teams of each region to each other and mechanically, Fnatic has got a long way to go. Meta champions have been of better use in the hands of players from other regions. Still, having won the Spring Split with such a young and inexperienced team shows a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see how the likes of Huni and Febiven do against such superstars as Koro1, Faker and Pawn.

My expectations for Fnatic is that they will battle it out with AHQ for the 4th spot which will qualify one of them for the semi-finals.

Team SoloMid (NA-LCS)

Summer 2014, IET 2015, Spring 2015; they won three of the last four competitions they participated in. They are the uncontested Number 1 of North America and house the best midlaner that can be found in the western region.

Bjergsen is the foundation on which TSM relies, but he is being backed up by Dyrus and Lustboy. Bjergsen is the playmaker, the splitpusher, the ganker, hell you might even call him the carry who supports himself.

Dyrus might not always get the credit that he deserves, whereas he is the black sheep in TSM who will be the first one to be sacrificed when needs be. Dyrus does play to his fullest potential in every match with the limited amount of resources being handed on to him. He is the veteran who survived all the meta changes that you can think of and still sits comfortably in that top lane.

Lustboy was a much needed addition to the team, as Bjergsen doesn't have to carry the games alone anymore. Lustboy is a playmaker. He loves to roam as most Korean supports do and apply pressure on the map. Lustboy's strength lies not only in his mechanics but also in his wide champion pool. If you want a heavy disengage composition, he will be able to play top notch Janna but still make the aggressive plays that he does on the likes of Thresh - but in the Janna way. Lulu, Thresh, Braum, Kennen, he will play whatever is needed for the team.

TSM can play a lot of different styles. For North American teams, they can be a pain in the rear when it comes to team fighting, rotations and split pushing but will this also be the case for the top Asian teams? How well will TSM perform with Wildturtle? A very peel dependent ADC who will have a tough time when guys like Koro1 and Clearlove all of a sudden jump onto the back line. And how will Dyrus, Bjergsen and Lustboy protect their newest member, Santorin, from junglers like Bengi and Clearlove? These are questions we can only speculate about at this point but they will be serious points of interest for TSM and their opponents. 

TSM will continue their dominance this tournament and will fall to either EDG or SKT in the semis. I think that they have a lot of potential but will be mechanically and tactically outplayed by the Chinese and Korean powerhouses.

Edward Gaming(LPL)

Considered by many to be the best team in the world with at least three positions that are filled with the best players in the world for that position. Koro1 in the top lane, Clearlove in the jungle and Deft as ADC.

EDG has always been a very promising team when it comes to international tournaments but for some reason they always failed to deliver. The last chokepoint was Worlds 2014 where they fell short after being hyped to grab the title.

With the addition of Pawn, world champion and Deft, best ADC in the world, EDG have showed a different playstyle during the Spring Split. Their three men gank squad, Clearlove/Koro1/Meiko, have been carrying the team throughout the laning phase into numerous dominant victories over their regional opponents. Their "late game teamfighting and baron" playstyle has changed to a more skirmish based style. EDG is the master in showing up with multiple members, unexpected, in any lane and taking multiple kills followed up by objectives. Does this mean they have left the teamfighting / baron just to be remembered? No, EDG might be the best team to utilize the baron buff. Out of all the teams, EDG makes the best use of the baron and often ignores dragons just to obtain that one baron to turn the game around. They make sure that their side lanes are pushing so that when the baron is slain, they have no problem in applying pressure in all three lanes.

In terms of teamfighting, Deft's positioning and Clearlove/Koro1's ability to disrupt and neutralize the opponent's carries, leads them to very one-sided teamfights in favor of them. Pawn deals in on this too, as he knows exactly when to jump in and out of fights to maximize his damage and disorient the enemy team's focus.

EDG will not be banned out in the picks and ban phase by any means. Though, if you want to have a chance to make a chance to have a chance, be sure that Gnar and Kassadin are banned. Pawn and Koro1 hold incredible win rates on these champions and will be able to turn games in their favor.

As for Meiko, Deft and Clearlove, these players are just as their other two teammates - unbannable. Their champion pools are gigantic and will perform equally on any of their top five picks.

Applying pressure on Clearlove and Pawn is the only way that teams might be able to get some sort of a chance to win games against this team. Also the dragon buffs are not always on top of EDG’s priority list.

My prediction for EDG’s final result might already be clear. I expect them to win and only drop a max of two games throughout the entire tournament.

SK Telecom T1

After missing out on participating at Worlds 2014, a couple of roster changes brought this team back on top of the Korean standings. 

Impact, Poohmandu and Piglet left the S3 World Champions and got replaced by SKT T1S members. Easyhoon is the most valuable player to mention from the roster changes that SKT made in S5. The midlaner, who was often swapped in to give Faker some rest or to let him grow as a player, has made a huge impact on everyone worldwide. Whereas EH started in the semi-finals against CJ but got swapped for Faker, he did not get swapped in the finals. GE Tigers got swept with Easyhoon and Tom in the starting line-up in all three of the games.

EH's Xerath, Ziggs, Azir and Cassiopeia are world class and the diversity of styles that he has shown as a player is remarkable to say the least. Aggressive or passive, EH can deliver, and the scariest fact of this all is that he isn't even the starting midlaner.

Faker, “The Unkillable Demon King” as OMG’s Cool called him, is the starting midlaner for  SKT. There is not much I have left to tell you about Faker; perhaps that his Leblanc is unbeaten and was released in the CJ series in the fifth game. How about the fact that some players want to win titles, while others are satisfied if they can kill Faker in lane.

The man is the best League of Legends' player of all time and the entire team revolves around him. Faker gets the ganks and the resources and with that, he makes the plays and carries his team.

Their jungler, Bengi, has been performing a bit inconsistently but Tom on the other hand has been looking fantastic. A very young and eager player with the right amount of aggression regardless of the jungler that he plays. Tom is giving Bengi a run for his money, but what will SKT do at MSI? Will Bengi or Tom start?

SKT is mechanically very strong and their rotations and teamfighting is on spot, just their toplaner is not always as good as we want him to be. Marin is a very limited player when it comes to champions like Gnar for example. Multiple times his positioning as mini Gnar has been bad but for some reason he is not being punished by teams for it. His Gnar and Hecarim need some work if he want to compete with the world class toplaners but I guess he is aware of that. His Maokai, on the other hand, is of huge value for his team. Marin loves to rush the homeguards and his teleport plays can be devastating, often surprising the enemy team.

How will SKT perform at MSI? I think they will have a hard time against teams like Fnatic and EDG, who will apply early pressure and try to exploit their toplane weaknesses. A final spot will most likely be obtained but if they're against EDG, they shall not be able to take the glory.

These are my predictions for MSI:
1.     Edward Gaming (LPL)
2.     SK Telecom T1 (LCK)
3.     TSM (NA LCS)
4.     Fnatic( EU LCS) / AHQ E-Sports Club (LMS)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Week 11 LPL Preview – League of Trolls & The 8th Place Seed

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

The last three days of the regular Spring Split in the LPL. Traditionally, this week is a huge trollfest, and we shouldn’t expect much different from this precious competition except that Master3, Team WE and SHRC are still in the race for a playoff spot. We will discuss a few interesting games, the ones that are most likely to be troll free and the games for that eighth place playoff ticket. Read more....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

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

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

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, I knew about it beforehand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-  She was always a priority pick.

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

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

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

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

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

Our team synergy still isn’t quite there yet.

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

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

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

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

- My old teammates could create better opportunities, so…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haha, he likes eating mice more.

Doubi, Pyl’s cat

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

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

Remaining games for LGD in the spring split 2014:

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 8 LPL Review

A week without our beloved Team World Elite but with the comeback of Namei, a triple LGD confrontation and OMG facing Snake. A week full of spectacular matches!

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

March 13th

The return of Namei, the pride of China. Fans of the LPL and followers of the entire League of Legends scene have been waiting for this moment for months and today was the day. Both games were very close but there was only one person that was decisive in leading his team to the double victory; Namei.

From the first couple of minutes of the first game it was clear that the presence of Namei gave so much confidence to both Zero and Insec, that it was almost an honor to the spooky things that surround Friday the 13th. Some might think that I am over exaggerating but I'm not. Note that Wei the last few games was mostly down by 10-20 cs after a couple of minutes and Namei actually switched that around. Despite the early bot ganks by Gamtee, SHRC didn't lose faith, in what some believe to be the best skillshot dodging player in the world.

Namei appeared on the rift with Jinx, a very immobile ADC, yet coming to the rift with her he already had a 5-0 record and at the end of this full set it went to a 7-0 record, undefeated. Namei’s presence was surely noticed in teamfights where he would atl east pick up a minimum of two kills in every 5v5 confrontation (there were a ton of 5v5 confrontations in this game.) Seeing him stepping back and forth while continuing to dodge skillshots and taking out enemies was a joy to watch and gave a great feeling of joy to finally see that Namei was back!

SHRC defeated Gamtee, 2-0, after the first game ran for over an hour and the second game was won by Insec stealing the baron at the 30 minute mark with his AD Fizz jungle.

Something to really note about this set was that in the second game, Gamtee’s Sinkdream picked Sona. Sona already is quite a weird pick in competitive play but what was even more of a shock was him building the tear and then a sheen instead of picking up a Locket or Mikael’s even against a triple AP comp (Fizz, even in AD, does AP damage.) His trinket was also not upgraded after the twenty minute mark. A very peculiar way of playing a support in a professional competition with a soloQ build.

The second match of the day was between Invictus Gaming and Vici Gaming. Both teams faced each other in the Damacia Cup earlier this week where IG took a 3-0 victory over VG. VG did fine their star support player, Mata, for approx $8000, for trolling, unprofessional behavior. All we could expect from VG is to actually play the way we are used from them to play and so they did. The match-up between these two teams was incredibly close and therefore also ended in a split.

Mata actually showed up and didn't troll. His beautiful hooks with one of his favorite champions, Thresh, sealed the first game to give them a 1-0 lead. Both games, as said before, were extremely close and were not decided until the very decisive teamfight in both games. A point for both teams is the right outcome, yet it doesn't help either one of them that much.

The third match of the day was the big one. Edward Gaming was facing LGD Gaming. Some believe that these are the the best teams in the LPL and therefore this should be a joy to watch. Clearlove was back in the line-up for EDG and with picking the Nunu as his jungler in Game 1 he was ready to give TBQ a very hard time in keeping his jungle to himself.

Clearlove and Pawn were the stars of this game, the Jungle/Mid duo were roaming together and ganking wherever they could. Especially the red jungle of LGD was turned into a graveyard for TBQ, who got picked off multiple times by Pawn’s Leblanc, who played as if he was possessed by Faker himself because my god was he good!

What is worth mentioning is that LGD had a huge gold lead, also being up in turrets at some point (8-4) and picking up a lead in the dragons early on. The gold lead that was close to 10k didn’t matter much for EDG who seemed to be cocky enough to just wait for those couple of picks and lategame teamfights to turn the game.

Pawn picked up a few multikills and turned teamfights around with his incredible distortion plays. Just before the end of Game 1, Imp sealed his teams' fate by face checking a brush with Pawn in it. He got blown up and so EDG ended Game 1.

Game 2 was a different level of League. Where Game 1 was, despite the gold lead, quite close, Game 2, or shall we call it "The Clearlove Show" was nowhere near close. For those who are familiar with the Foxdrop video about his best Lee Sin game, this is similar, but then in the second best league of League of Legends.

"The Clearlove Show" started from the first minute with a beautiful tower dive in the toplane and the one-man show didn't stop there. On his first back after his smite jungle item he came back with a warrior enchant, sightstone and a pink ward. That’s a lot of gold to have to spend after only 9 minutes into the game. The game was a one-sided show starring Clearlove, who ended the game with his fellow companions around the 29 minute mark without losing a single turret.

Both games are really worth watching if you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you do so.

Results Day 1:

Star Horn Royal Club vs Gamtee 2-0
Invictus Gaming vs Vici Gaming 1-1
Edward Gaming vs LGD Gaming 2-0
King vs Energy Pacemaker 2-0

March 14

The first match of the day was between LGD Gaming(4) vs Snake(3). LGD’s We1less pulled out the Cho’gath mid against the Lissandra from Baka and even managed to kill him 1v1 inlane. Despite this early victory, Snake already picked up the first dragon after 3.30 minutes because of the laneswap that occurred. Picking up another two dragons, Snake had three drakes at the 16 minute mark and seemed to be in good shape to be picking up that sub 30 minute fifth drake. Unfortunately for them, the game was quite close, not so much in kills, 5-9, but in gold. It only differed around 500-800 gold, while the turrets were at the same count.

LGD did use their midgame powerspike to their fullest potential and created picks here and there on the map which lead them to several teamfights for dragon that gave them two dragons to equalize with Snake. LGD managed to snowball their well-planned picks into a victory and were ready for the second game.

The first thing that got everybody’s attention was that Snake allowed Acorn, who didn't get swapped for Flame, to play his Rumble. Snake had a reason for this because they made sure that Acorn became useless in this game, starving him out after a laneswap - and after the standard lanes returned he got pressured by the rest of the Snake team to make sure that his powerspike got delayed, 31 cs at the 10 minute mark.

Snake made their poke comp Xerath/Nidalee/Corki work by picking the LGD members off one by one and in teamfights poking them down, followed by a chase for blood. Snake dominated this match and made LGD looked like a team that didn't belong on this level of gameplay. Worth mentioning is that despite the triple AP comp from Snake, the members of LGD didn't even bother to pick up a Locket of the Iron Solari. We1less was the only shining light for LGD but was not able to turn the tides of this game. A consistent team, Snake picked up the win in Game 2 and LGD was once again disappointing with their inconsistent way of playing.

The third game of the day was between Edward Gaming and Invictus Gaming. What seemed to become a very solid and quiet game (1-1 after 15 minutes) turned quickly after Koro1 picked off Kakao just the when the third drake spawned and IG was in their powerspike (Corki/Ezreal Tri-force and Nidalee jungle item). From that moment EDG took control and even went for a sub 22 minute baron. Promptly afterwards they took Game 1.

Game 2, it was Rookie’s Yasuo vs Pawn’s Jayce. Rapidly it was known that Rookie was going to win the lane match-up and he did so, taking Pawn extremely low so that Kakao could finish him off for first blood which set the tone for the match. A match that resulted in 41 kills after a 34 minute game in favor of EDG. Yes, this match was bloodthirsty from both sides, but after every skirmish on the map, EDG came out on top. It was either a turret, dragon or more time for Deft to free farm in a lane to continue to build up his inventory. The only win that Invictus Gaming had after a 2-0 defeat was that they didn't get slaughtered the way that LGD got slaughtered in Game 2 the day before, but they just lost to a better opponent. They can look back on the series with their heads held high.

The last game of the day was between OMG and Master3.

Cool got allowed on his Ahri twice and ended the series with a convincing 18-1-28. Cool is by far considered the best Ahri player in the world and despite the nerfs that the champion has seen, Cool showed that she was still far from “unplayable.” M3 made a huge mistake, letting OMG pick the same midgame composition twice in a row, yes, the same team, except for Game 2 where Cloud's Thresh got banned and he picked up the Janna instead. Cloud was by far the MVP for Game 1 with some beautiful roams and death sentences - he made game deciding picks from the first to the last kill. 

Where the first game started off a bit slow, the second game started off quite faster with Dade going ham on his Leblanc, which he played surprisingly well. Where OMG turned up the heat in Game 1 before M3 could really react. In Game 2 the same situation occurred except that Dade was the only one who was up to the challenge.

This was also directly the problem for M3, as only Dade was fed and didn't enjoy the peel that Uzi and Cool received from their frontline. After a somewhat disappointing start from Cool in Game 2, he shifted into the next gear and returned to the Cool on Ahri that we know. OMG showed that they are just as superior as EDG in China, both teams got no equals aside from each other.

Results Day 2:
LGD Gaming vs Snake 1-1
Energy Pacemaker vs Gamtee 1-1
Edward Gaming vs Invictus Gaming 2-0
OMG vs Master3 2-0

March 15th

Namei’s Star Horn Royal Club take on King in the first game of our final day.

What should’ve been a 4-0 week for SHRC got turned into a 3-1 week. King disrupted their party in honor of the comeback of Namei with a victory in Game 1 over SHRC, keeping them behind themselves as they remained in the eighth spot in the LPL.

So what did King do to make sure that they could defeat this revived SHRC? They picked them off. From the first until the last minute, King was all over SHRC. Their vision control was better, their Rengar/Lulu engages were crazy and would catch SHRC off by surprise. MLXG even used the Rengar ult to scout out SHRC so that they could set up a play right after. It was beautiful to see how King managed to destroy a team without really teamfighting and just by picking them off left and right.

Quite a disappointing appearance from SHRC but a great one from King.

Game 2 on the other hand was slightly different.

A forced “Namei comp” was the key to success in the second game of this match-up. Namei, on one of his best champions, Kog'maw, combined with the peel from Nunu, Morgana and Rumble was what really made it work. Corn actually played well on no other then Ahri, a champion which seems to become a second Thresh, since all chinese midlaners play that champion pretty good. SHRC recognized their powerspikes and forced plays around those powerspikes which secured them the second game and therefor a split.

The last game that we are going to review is that one between Snake and OMG. The first time these two teams met they split the points, let’s see how they did this time.

OMG didn’t came out on top in the draft phase, again Baka got put on his Xerath, the only champion he plays, Beast got put onto Nidalee and Krystal onto Corki. A full poke comp to which already took down several teams. 

The game started in favor of OMG by having Uzi picking up two kills before the fifth minute and he quickly snowballed by picking up more kills onto Kryst4l and setting him miles behind. This all seemed good for OMG, but this time, the team composition was not at all about Kryst4l, it was about Baka's Xerath and Beast's Nidalee, both of whom came out on top in this game with fantastic performances.

OMG didn't have a real tank, except for Lee Sin, and didn't know what to do against this Snake who were picking them off left and right, nullifying the fed Uzi, who up until late game still had the most gold onto him. After around 27 minutes, Snake already took away four dragons without having to put up a single fight. The game ended not much later as Baka ended the game with a impressive 10-0-5.

A great display of teamwork and pick/poke potential from the newcomers and a well deserved victory in game one.

Before Game 2 got going, Uzi was caught by the camera crying on his chair behind his computer. The team coach and host of the show tried their best to cheer the two-timed worlds finalist up. Even the crowd got involved into it. Uzi, who actually had quite a good first game, was so mad about losing the first game and not being able to secure three points that this was his way of expressing it.

The draft phase for the second game didn’t really seem to have many changes for Snake since they picked up the Xerath again, but this time, OMG came out with a Gnar, J4 and Uzi on his famous Lucian. Uzi was mad, emotional and above all eager to take this game and carry it by himself. Is 19-1-7 enough? Yes it was, yes it was. OMG took first blood by the hands of Uzi again and he got rolling together with his botlane partner Cloud.

Let’s take a quick look at this botlane before we do continue, the first time that we saw this duo in competitive play it didn't work out too well but most of the critics agreed that playstyle wise Cloud and Uzi would be the best duo. As I personally prefer San as ADC, I have got to say that Cloud and Uzi definitely convinced me and many others.

Cloud was again on his Thresh, he might be the best Chinese Thresh player we’ve seen and he showed this by two early mid roams together with Loveling to disrupt Baka his laning phase. OMG was creating pressure on especially the botlane, trying to get Uzi even more ahead then he already was. Kryst4l may be first in the MVP standings, but getting solo killed two games in a row by Uzi shows that those standings mean little. OMG had great dragon control yet their vision with the double sightstone didn’t work too well early. A problem that OMG runs in to quite a lot, the lack of vision. Nonetheless OMG forced three barons, of which one was a steal by Loveling, six drakes to secure the game.

Once again , the Chinese top teams split points.

Results Day 3:

Star Horn Royal Club vs King 1-1
Invictus Gaming vs Gamtee 1-1
OMG vs Snake 1-1
LGD Gaming vs Master3 1-1

Standings After Week 8:

Schedule for Week 9:

Day 1:

Invictus Gaming vs Snake
Vici Gaming vs Gamtee
Team WE vs OMG
Edward Gaming vs Star Horn Royal Club

Day 2:

Vici Gaming vs Snake
OMG vs King
Edward Gaming vs Master3
Team WE vs LGD Gaming

Day 3:

Snake vs Energy Pacemaker
Edward Gaming vs Gamtee
Star Horn Royal Club vs Team WE
OMG vs Invictus Gaming

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Week 7 LPL Preview

After what was a somewhat shocking week, we are back with twelve fantastic confrontations. Let’s take a look at the most interesting matches this weekend and the Top Three Players to look out for.

by Michael "Tribble" Godani

Current standings:


Kicking off this week will be Master3 vs King. Last week, both teams showed up; Master3 defeated the still undefeated Snake 2-0 and King took a game off EDG. Both teams faced each other this week in the Demacia cup where Master3 came out with a 3-2 victory. Superstar Dade celebrated the revival of Master3 with a pentakill on Yasuo in Game 1. Tied for the 7/8th spot with 13 points apiece, this could really be a step in the right direction to either team to secure that 4th place spot towards the end of the split.

Star Horn Royal Club, Worlds finalists of 2014 are facing a powerhouse in LGD. Both teams made different impressions on us last week. SHRC got aced by EP, who finally got their first 2-0 of the split, where they played incredibly bad. They took a strike back against Master3, where two incredible games full of objective steals ended in a 1-1. SHRC really looked a lot better in this match-up and all we can ask for is that they continue that path of playing.

LGD is currently 4th in the standings after splitting against Gamtee and EP. This is really what LGD is all about this season, extremely well-played games followed up by a different LGD who don’t seem to be able to get that victory but will always settle for the draw. 

The last game of the day goes to OMG against Vici Gaming. OMG took a game off the top two team in the world, EDG, with a surprising new botlane in the form of San and Xiyang. Gogoing was dominating on his Gnar whom he played for the first time in the pro-scene. OMG looked really good that first game and hopefully they'll continue this type of gameplay and see how Vici gaming respond to that.

Vici gaming is home of the best support player in the world, Mata. The whole team has been playing better each week and it is really a joy to watch their rotations and picks as they have one of the strongest roaming supports in the scene. After failing to take a 2-0 against TWE last week, which could’ve given them the 4th spot in the standings, they’re certainly looking to turn up the heat against OMG.

Friday’s games
Master3 vs King
Star Horn Royal Club vs LGD Gaming
Team We vs Snake
OMG vs Vici Gaming


The first game of Saturday can be described in one word for Snake. Revenge.

Revenge for their 2-0 beating at the hands of Master3 and revenge against all their vocal critics. Ella and Beast are the players who can make this match-up against King really turn if they give Kryst4l enough space to do his job in teamfights.

But it's easier said then done to “create space in teamfights” since King is such a teamfighting-oriented team who, still as they are sharing the 7th spot, should've been higher up the standings.

Both teams will bring out their best and this will be one of the must-watch confrontations in Week 7.

Saturday’s games
King vs Snake
Invictus Gaming vs Energy Pacemaker
Team WE vs Master3
OMG vs Gamtee


Sunday is Edward Gaming’s chance for revenge against the surprisingly well-performing Snake, the only team to leave EDG with 0 points after 2 games.

EDG seems to be looking not only for a win, but for the same type of win that they showed in Game 2 against OMG.

Fast rotations, incredible picks so that the lead they build up will even give them 4v5 teamfight potential if needed. They will want to not only defeat Snake but to show everyone that EDG is the uncontested number 1 in the LPL.

Snake on the other hand as mentioned before is looking for revenge and in this match-up Snake will be seeking to show, once again, why they have been second for such a long time this split.

Perhaps not as big of a game as EDG vs OMG, but looking at the standings it actually is.

A win for EDG can enforce their first seat but a loss could bring both Snake and OMG closer to taking that away from them.

Finally we end the weekend with OMG vs SHRC.

These teams have had an incredible history together: OMG have been eliminated by SHRC at the last world championship and the worlds before, the last time being far closer with five incredible games of beautiful play. 

Since then a lot has changed and SHRC is not the team that they were used to be, losing UZI to OMG and not being able to have Namei play for them has really set them back a lot. Earlier this split OMG already 2-0’d SHRC and how things are looking now, the only thing that is marvelous about this match-up are the team names. OMG will most likely win this match, unless……

Top 3 players to watch:

1.     Gamtee’s Hu1 – After scoring a pentakill in his first ever professional match, this man is the person to follow this week. Gamtee will only play 1 game this week, but it’s against OMG. Let’s see if the penta-debut from Hu1 who also was quite good for a new jungler in terms of vision, can continue his positive performance in this week.

2.     Master3’s Dade – Sometimes it’s best to ignore the kills on a midlaner and actually look at his performance in teamfights. Dade performed good last week, yes he did good, not outstanding, but good. His Azir game might have not been the luckiest games that he has played but the way he performed in teamfights was incredibly good. Yes, he might have died a couple of times, but he made sure he died for a good cause. After scoring a pentakill during the Demacia Cup against King, all we can hope for is that DADE IS BACK!

3.     Master3 botlane- Normally a player should be standing here, but the botlane of Master3 has really been performing exquisitely the last few games. The Kalista/Leo combo is really a joy to watch as they carry teamfights on their own with the amount of CC and peel that Lovecd provides. A joy to watch!

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

Day 1:

Master3 vs King
Star Horn Royal Club vs LGD Gaming
Team We vs Snake
OMG vs Vici Gaming

Day 2:

King vs Snake
Invictus Gaming vs Energy Pacemaker
Team WE vs Master3
OMG vs Gamtee

Day 3:

Vici Gaming vs Energy Pacemaker
Master3 vs Gamtee
Edward Gaming vs Snake
OMG vs Star Horn Royal Club