This week in the EU LCS:
- Meet Your Makers’ pain
- Consistency is proving to be the hardest counter to Gambit BenQ
- “El Classico” the sequel
- Dogs and ninjas run wild.
|Team Alternate Bans||Fnatic Bans|
|Team Alternate Picks||Fnatic Picks|
Week 5 opened up with Fnatic Vs. Alternate, a rematch that would leave Alternate wanting revenge for last weeks loss in a solid victory by Fnatic. The game started off standard, but a failed gank by ATN’s Araneae would put first blood in the hands of Puszu’s Varus, at 4:46, setting up the momentum for the rest of the game. As Fnatic’s lanes crept ahead, WhiteKnight was forced into buying triple Doran’s Blades on Ezreal to try and keep up in lane. All lanes were losing at the 8 minute mark when a gank at blue buff by Fnatic takes out Araneae and Forellenlord thanks to a ward by Cyanide. At 12:39 the first Dragon goes down in favor of Fnatic and an xPeke solo kill onto Forellenlord would lead into a 5-2 xPeke at the 15 minute mark and Fnatic sporting a 4.5k Gold lead, 3-10 overall in the score. The game pressed on Fnatic’s pace as they dominated the map, finishing up at the 37 minute mark 22-6, 18k gold in front of Alternate.
|Meet Your Makers Bans||Gambit BenQ Bans|
|Meet Your Makers Picks||Gambit BenQ Picks|
Heading into game 2, Gambit Gaming held a 2-0 record against MYM in the LCS, and seemed poised for the third win. The trademark Gambit aggression began with a 3:53 first blood by Diamond onto Kubon, setting up Darien’s Aatrox for a smooth laning phase. Darien managed to bring down top tower at around the 12 minute mark, and MYM responds with the outer mid only seconds later. Darien’s smart use of the map allowed him to rotate towards the dragon as Kubon went top, allowing Gambit to claim an uncontested dragon at 12:48. Makler goes 2-0 on Kog’maw at the 19 minute mark as he picks up a kill on Darien in the bottom lane. Gambit takes their 3rd dragon 25 minutes in, trading for their top lane inner turret as MYM catches Genja out in the top lane. The game remained close until around the 30 minute mark which would prove to be the turning point for Gambit. Twisted Fate’s Destiny and Teleport were both down as Gambit rushed Baron and managed to turn around and ace the panicked MYM, losing only Alex Ich in the process. After a quick Inhibitor push, Gambit cleared through the jungle and made their way towards the top lane. Catching Libik with a Tendrils of Corruption, Gambit proceeded to secure two more kills on Kubon and Czaru, allowing them to push in for the victory.
|Evil Geniuses Raidcall Bans||Ninjas in Pyjamas Bans|
|Evil Geniuses Raidcall Picks||Ninjas in Pyjamas Picks|
Level 1 was marked by an invade by Evil Geniuses, but after Malunoo successfully smites his red away from the trespassers Snoopeh is set behind. Froggen and Wickd traded their respective lanes, with Froggen playing Malphite bottom due to a lane switch, and Wickd on Kennen in the middle lane. Evil Geniuses took an early lead with a Dragon at 6:39. Just two minutes later, NiP would respond with the first tower of the game, and continue their lead with Bjergsen being 21 CS over Wickd at the 10 minute mark. First blood finally came out at 11:55 with Snoopeh going down to Freeze with the assistance of a tower in what seemed to be a bit of a misplay as the tower was only one hit from death. A 15 minute triple kill for bjergsen in a teamfight at dragon not only put a huge amount of gold into their carry but the shared gold from dragon would fill their pockets putting them at a 4.6k gold lead 18 minutes in. Krepo get’s picked off at around 24 minutes resulting in the middle inhibitor falling for Evil Geniuses. A trade of baron by NiP for dragon and mid tower at the 30 minute mark would extend NiP’s lead to 7.5k. After a 2 for 3 trade in EG’s favor against the baroned up NiP, the onslaught continued as NiP brought the tower lead to 9-4. A shockwave by Bjergsen manages to pick off Yellowpete in the bottom lane and the 3rd inhibitor falls around the 34 minutes. The base overwhelmed and a hungry Ninjas in Pyjamas pressing dilligently, the EG nexus finally explodes as NiP moves on to 2-0 against Evil Geniuses in the LCS.
|Lemondogs Bans||SK Gaming Bans|
|Lemondogs Picks||SK Gaming Picks|
The final game of day 1 started out with a bang as Nyph managed to catch Zorozero with a hook at Lemondogs blue resulting in a first blood onto Candypanda’s Vayne. Another death sentence in the top lane would bring SK up 2-0 at the 4 minute mark. Lemondogs traded the bottom tower for top just before hyrqbot goes to middle lane for a successful gank on Nukeduck and Ocelote picks up the kill with Dexter cleaning up hyrqbot in the process. A bit of a misplay by Lemondogs not being in position leads to the first dragon of the game going to SK at 7:08. At 9 and a half minutes LD extends their tower lead 2-1 and ZoroZoro picks up a bit of a farm lead as Kev1n has been roaming ineffectively up to this point, not having much of an impact on the game and falling behind in CS. Ocelote also with a CS deficit of around 25 as the game kind of hovers between farming and keeping objectives under control. All of the members of Lemondogs head to the bottom lane 12:28 and take out the inner tower as SK picks up their second dragon of the game at 13:20, putting them ahead 1,000 gold despite being down two turrets. Zorozoro and Nukeduck maintaining those 20+ cs leads. At this point we go through a bit of a stale period as both teams just try to farm up. An SK gank in the bottom lane gets turned around by a Nukeduck destiny in to save Tabzz at the last second, resulting in Ocelote and hyrqbot dying while at the same time Zorozoro manages to nab kill on to Nyph as a fight breaks out in the middle lane and Candypanda cleans up Dexter and they back off, resulting in Mithy hanging on to his flash as the only unused summoner spell at the moment and a 3-1 trade for Lemondogs. There is still only a 400 gold difference between the two, and SK finally gets their own blue buff for the first time at 19:30 as they start to take Dragon.
The third dragon of the game falls at the 19:43 mark with a huge steal an amazingly timed Sonic wave by Dexter’s Lee sin, last hitting the dragon and pocketing 950 gold for his team. For some reason Hyrqbot didn’t use his smite, a trend for him this game. Lemondogs immediately head to the middle lane and grab the inner tower, moving them to a 2k gold lead at 20 minutes in. SK does answer with the bottom lane outer turret finally going down to Kev1n and A 3-0 Candypanda is starting to become a threat as the game moves into the later stages. The match stagnates a bit as SK goes into farm mode, waiting for a bit of a power spike and waiting out that Quicksilver Sash on Vayne and the Zhonya’s Hourglass on Ahri, both key items that will really help SK get through teamfights with their carries alive. At 26:10 the third and final Dragon of the game falls smitelessly yet again to SK, keeping them just within 2k gold of Lemondogs. Zorozoro and Tabzz have both built a respectable 60+ farm lead over their counterparts and it definitely shows when Ocelote is caught in the top lane by Zorozoro who takes almost no damage from Ahri. The Top inner tower falls in Lemondogs favor and SK trades for the middle outer, a positive takeaway for Lemondogs as the only remaining turrets for SK are their inhibitor turrets. In a decisive teamfight, Nukeduck managed to Gold Card jarvan just outside of his wraith camp but SK responds and instantly takes down Mithy,. Hyrqbot goes down as nuke duck picks up a double kill and the rest of his team cleans up, Tabzz finishing off the ace onto nyph. In a race to the bottom lane they are able to take the bottom lane tower and inhibitor bringing the gold lead to 6k at 31 minutes. 37 Min LD moves into the bottom lane, outmaneuvering SK and resulting in nyph going down to dexter, the inhibitor goes down along with 3 members of SK as they blast down the base. Finally the Lemondogs push the nexus down at 38 minute mark. 9-3 towers, 7k gold lead, 14-6 in kills
|Ninjas in Pyjamas Bans||Gambit BenQ Bans|
|Ninjas in Pyjamas Picks||Gambit BenQ Picks|
The first game of the day was once again voted by fans to be nothing more than another easy Gambit BenQ victory. With GMB Darien drawing a respect ban for his Aatrox play and GMB Diamondprox finally getting his hands on the jungle Evelynn which has been banned against him 13 times already, things were looking up for the ex-Moscow 5 squad. They played it safe early against Ninjas in Pyjamas, showing a lot of caution with their patented “every jungle entrance covered by one man” strategy and kept the river warded up without drifting into enemy territory. However, the Ninjas came out to play and were raring to get the game rolling. NiP extinkt was able to steal Shen away from GMB Darien which has proved to be a quite successful comfort pick in past games while NiP Malunoo was ready to define aggression on his jungle Xin Zhao. Once everyone settled into their lanes with GMB Darien and NiP extinkt meeting at the bottom, NiP Malunoo quickly rushed down to secure an easy First Blood before the five minute mark. As he was easily dropped and GMB Genja was bullied away from the farm at top lane by the famous “DeFreezio” Draven-Nami kill lane, they swapped positions only to be met by the same match-ups; the Ninjas were absolutely refusing to let GMB Genja up his creep score while keeping Shen in a 1v1 lane to facilitate ganks which NiP Malunoo was quick to abuse to pick up another kill.
This all led to NiP extinkt having enough items to kill Jayce without jungle help and allowed NiP Malunoo to attack GMB Alex Ich and begin to snowball NiP Bjergsen’s Ahri as NiP Freeze was able to pick off GMB Genja at the bottom lane- three kills happening all over the map within 11 seconds. With every lane failing horribly very early into the game, GMB Diamondprox’s legendary Evelynn was literally invisible, maintaining a clean 0/0/0 score for most of the game. This match was reminiscent of Gambit BenQ’s previous outing against Lemondogs, as both games were carried by the junglers. NiP Malunoo earned MVP in my books by providing a textbook example on how to properly snowball a game.
|Fnatic Bans||SK Gaming Bans|
|Fnatic Picks||SK Gaming Picks|
Following episode two of the Gambit BenQ Massacre, the sequel of “El Classico” premieres. Each team was sporting respect bans and comfort picks; FNC xPeke on Ryze (running Teleport to create ganking opportunities around the map), FNC sOAZ on Elise (with which he carries a 75% win rate), SK Kev1n on Lissandra (a pick he’s shown mastery with) and SK Ocelote on Orianna (probably the first champion that comes to mind when anyone mentions SK Ocelote). With a ward-less invade into Fnatic’s bottom jungle, SK Gaming sets the stage for a very tense level 1, but fortunately no one is caught out of position for either team. Both ADC-Support duos meet in the bottom lane which becomes an early slug fest, leading to both Barrier and Flash blown by FNC puszu and SK CandyPanda, Flash burnt by FNC Yellowstar and SK Nyph, and Teleport wasted by FNC xPeke. As every encounter between the two teams turned into a skirmish, Summoner Spells are used all over the map without First Blood being given until a fight at top lane with both laners and junglers duking it out; SK Gaming comes out on top with SK Kev1n grabbing the kill on FNC sOAZ thanks to great positioning and damage output by SK hyrqBot, who manages to take down FNC Cyanide shortly after and whose tower dive unfortunately leads to Lissandra taking turret aggro and dying to a revenge kill by Jarvan IV. Trades like this continue to happen in SK Gaming’s favor, causing a solid creep score and gold lead in every lane and an early dragon thanks to SK hyrqBot’s omnipresence everywhere Fnatic looks to try to take some foothold in the game. Keeping a 1-5 kill advantage, SK Gaming takes their first tower prior to fifteen minutes in game. Though there were valiant backdoor efforts by FNC xPeke, the lead that had amounted thus far was much too large for Fnatic to close the gap and gave SK Gaming a much needed addition in their win column.
|Lemondogs Bans||Team Alternate Bans|
|Lemondogs Picks||Team Alternate Picks|
After a very strong showing against Gambit BenQ last week, Lemondogs looked to prove once again that they can take down the best. Even before the game starts, clear defined goals are seen in both team’s picks; Lemondogs have a teamfight oriented composition based around locking down multiple enemies with Sona’s Crescendo, Jarvan IV’s Cataclysm and Varus’ Chain of Corruption while Kennen bursts everyone down with Slicing Maelstrom, leaving nothing but clean up duty and picking runners off for Twisted Fate and his Destiny-Gate. Team Alternate, on the other hand hope to keep their distance with a poke composition centered around Jayce’s Acceleration Gate and Shock Blast combo, AP Nidalee’s Javelin Toss, and Ezreal’s Mystic Shot and Trueshot Barrage with Lee Sin’s Dragon’s Rage and Thresh’s The Box acting as disengage and “peel” (keeping those who dive from sticking to carries) for the team. As caster Deman pointed out, its very important for a poke comp like Team Alternate’s to obtain and hold on to a very early lead to stay relevant because the second the lanes begin to fall behind it is near impossible to make a comeback, especially against the AOE (Area of Effect) comp Lemondogs have crafted. As the game begins, Lemondogs wards deep into Team Alternate’s top jungle but besides that there is no interaction between the two at level 1. First Blood was taken by ATN Araneae off a crazy Thresh Dark Passage gank, definitely showcasing why he has an 80% win rate with Lee Sin as he tower dives LD Mithy to grab substitute ATN WhiteKnightt a kill, and proceeds to camp bottom lane for yet another flashy kill and later a free Dragon. The early game was dominated by Team Alternate, and for the first fifteen minutes it looked like an easy win for them. However, the Lemondogs weren’t ready to go laying down and took advantage of the early tower LD nukeduck and LD dexter took out in the middle lane to roam around the map to even out the lead Team Alternate so preciously needed. Once forced on their back foot, Team Alternate fell apart and was shattered in the mid to late game thanks to LD nukeduck’s split pushing and LD dexter’s constant forced engages, a poke comp’s worst nightmare.
|Meet Your Makers Bans||Evil Geniuses Raidcall Bans|
|Meet Your Makers Picks||Evil Geniuses Raidcall Picks|
The final game of the day was between two teams who have had great success in the past, but are currently in a slump. Meet Your Makers held the second place spot at the beginning of the split but once what some would call the “shock factor” of a new team many had never played against wore off, they began a rapid descent in the standings. Evil Geniuses on the other hand tasted victory primarily in the Spring Split and have simply failed to get the ball rolling this time around, sharing the bottom of the standings with a now on the rise SK Gaming. Both teams desperate for a win not only to appease fans and sponsors, but for a much needed confidence boost against the fierce competition in the EU LCS. As seen earlier in the day, team compositions greatly affect the flow of any game; in this match, both chose a heavy dive and CC (crowd control) based comp meant to shut down opposing carries, meaning the game would ultimately be decided by whoever managed to pick up a lead and snowball it the hardest. The squads realized this and all pressure was on the junglers who would be the ones with the tactical advantage to give a much needed edge to their respective teams. Comically, in an attempt to shut each other down, EG Snoopeh steals away Red Buff and then takes his own, while MYM Mokatte clears out his Blue Buff and takes away the other, meaning they both got the same buff twice. The first ten minutes were played without a hitch, each agreeing to a passive farm fest besides a few failed ganks by both parties. Shortly after, Evil Geniuses look to take a hold of the game by sneaking a Dragon and having EG Yellowpete grab First Blood on MYM Kubon and their first tower of the game. Attempting to force fights with a numbers advantage thanks to the Teleport picked by both EG Froggen and EG Wickd, Evil Geniuses slowly but surely dragged the game on long enough to have created a notable gap in the items and gold lead of their carries, and took the game by brute force.
|T3.||Ninjas in Pyjamas||8-7|
|T5.||Evil Geniuses Raidcall||6-9|
|T5.||Meet Your Makers||6-9|