Hello everybody and welcome to week 2 of OGN Champions Summer 2014. This week wraps up the first round of games from each team, giving us some early indication for what direction the groups are going to take. We also begin the second round of games for half the teams, including what is perhaps the most hyped game of group stage. This is another exciting week, so without further ado lets get into the games.
The first day this week is a big day for CJ fans, as both Frost and Blaze get to play what will likely be their easiest matches of the groups. Their opponents are both new teams to Champions, but had good showings during the qualifiers, and are definitely going to give the CJ teams a run for their money.
Group C – CJ Frost vs Bigfile Miracle
For the first set of group G, we see Frost vs Miracle, and right from the get go it looks exciting. Braum makes it through the ban phase for the first time in Korea, and who better to debut the champion than Madlife? Bigfile Miracle proves to be as tough as they looked, really pushing Frost to the edge and even securing a lead during the early stages.
However as is typical from Frost, strong teamwork and excellent map control keeps them close enough that a powerful midgame surge will put them way ahead. Once ahead it is only a matter of time till CJ completely runs down Miracle.
In game 2, things will not go so well for Bigfile Miracle. Early outmaneuvering by Frost puts Sudal (Top) into a devastating position, basically killing his laning phase before it began. Miracle will still put up a good fight and manage to stay close for a while, but a difference of 98 to 24cs at 15mins is not something that is easy to come back from, and eventually that overwhelming advantage for Shy will let Frost crush Bigfile Miracle.
Even though they ended 0-2, Bigfile Miracle did put up an honorable fight, proving they are not a team to take lightly in the upcoming weeks.
Group D – CJ Blaze vs MKZ
For the second set we get to see the other CJ team, as well as MKZ, or zombie IM if you prefer. Game 1 starts off brilliantly for Blaze, getting out to a pretty dangerous lead through a nice early series of picks. However a couple of solid midgame teamfights from MKZ will rip a hole in Blaze and suddenly they are right back even.
CJ will find their footing and slowly dig back their gold lead, but as the minutes tick past it will matter less and less, and some brilliant fighting from MKZ will push them to the brink. In a truly epic moment, MKZ, from 10k down no less, will smash into the CJ base and take down both Nexus turrets, only to be turned around by an all out 3v5 defense from Blaze. Blaze will be able to close shortly after, but it was a scary few moments for CJ.
The second game is a much calmer experience for Blaze fans. Although they don’t get a lead quite as explosively, they will find the fights and kills they want, and this time around they will be sure and solidify their lead, not allowing even an inch to MKZ, closing the game out in convincing fashion to secure the perfect 4-0 on the day for CJ.
CJ Frost beats Bigfile Miracle: 2 – 0
CJ Blaze beats MKZ: 2 – 0
Group A – Samsung Blue vs SKT T1K
The second day of week 2 is probably the most anticipated day of the summer split, primarily because of the first match of the day: Samsung Blue vs SKT T1 K, the last two winners of Champions and quite possibly the best two teams in the world.
Game 1 starts off fairly slow, with both teams playing fairly standard and not making any overly aggressive plays. Once fights start happening then the game gets explosive, with players from both side making some brilliant maneuvers, but in the end SKT will come out with the early lead. Not to be put down, Blue will keep coming back, and fight after fight both sides continue to demonstrate just why they are the best in the world.
As the mid game starts rolling in, Blue will begin to break away, but this time a brilliant 4v5 fight, after losing Faker no less, will bring the game right back to a razor’s edge for SKT. As the game moves past the 40minute mark, everything is fairly even, but a very crucial baron fight from Blue will secure them the advantage and finally after nearly 49 minutes of play Samsung Blue will win a hard fought victory.
Game 2 proves to be just as exciting as game 1, but this time around it is Samsung who breaks out to an early lead. After the comeback that Blue staged in the last game this is fairly daunting for SKT. However time and time again during the last year, SKT have proved how resilient they are, and this game is no different. Even from behind they are able to pick their fights to near perfection, and are able to keep securing enough advantages to prevent Blue from running away with it.
However, Samsung Blue are the reigning champions for a reason, and as brilliantly as K is able to play, somehow they are always a step ahead. Brilliant play from both sides, but once again after a 40+ minute epic, Samsung Blue will defeat SK Telecom. Overall, the hype for this game was not overblown, and if there were one match worth watching this would be it.
Group B – Najin White Shields vs Najin Black Sword
The second set of the day features a team kill situation between the NaJin organizations, as Shield faces off against Sword. Shield, being the spring runner-ups, is a formidable opponent to be sure, but this new team of Sword has looked absolutely brilliant these past few weeks, crushing through the qualifiers as well as their week 1 match.
Moving into the first game, Shield will get off to a good start with some unusual aggression from Watch, picking up a couple early kills with Rengar. Securing the jungle advantage is the real key to this match; Lee’s (Sword jungler) lack of booth experience shows, as he seems to be lost without backup from his solo laners. Shield is a very dangerous team when ahead, and this game proves to be no different. Despite the pace of the game slowing down considerably, Shield does not flinch, and in classic style the will slowly strangle the life out of Sword.
Game 2 will start off more passively, with neither team really able to get an early lead. Very importantly, Sword is able to show a much stronger presence early game, and are at least able to keep even with Shield before eventually pulling out a small lead with some effective picks here and there. Once they get the lead they will start to push it, and are able to grow a small lead into a big one and actually make it look dangerous for Shield. Although Shield will continue to drag the game out, Sword will eventually find the fight they need and are able to close out the game.
Samsung Blue defeats SKT K: 2 – 0
NaJin Shield ties NaJin Sword: 1 – 1
Group C – Samsung White vs CJ Frost
Game 1 between Frost and White starts off pretty quietly, with some light trading back and forth. This is very good for White, as their team scales quite dangerously, so getting through the early game safely is paramount. A big fight win, followed by a dragon, will do wonders to make that happen.
However, a great turnaround fight from Frost will secure them a couple of vital kills, specifically on Shy’s Kayle, to keep them close to White. Desperation starts to show in Frost’s play and White is able to quickly capitalize on small mistakes from Frost that allows their scaling to kick in and there is no stopping them rolling over Frost to secure the first win.
The second game will see a bit of a swap between the teams, with Frost looking to survive and scale, while White wants to put on early pressure. Once again it will stay fairly even throughout the early game, which this time around favors CJ. The top lane especially will go heavily in CJ’s favor and a big lead on Ryze is a huge boon moving into the mid game.
However, Samsung White will once again find a very dominant dragon fight and quickly start snowballing the game back in their favour. Just like in game 1, once Frost falls behind they will begin to play a bit desperately, and it will allow White to begin absolutely tearing them apart, leading to a pretty convincing 2-0.
Group D Jin Air Stealths vs MKZ
Game 1 of the second set will start off in favor of the Stealths, securing a solid early lead in top and bottom lane and a 2k gold advantage, even without getting kills. It is clear that although MKZ shows promise, they are simply outclassed by the Stealths, and a massive early fight will solidify their lead. With the size of their lead this early there is really nothing MKZ can do, and while the Stealths will play around quite a bit longer than necessary, they easily dominate the first game.
After the slaughter in game 1, it is unsurprising that game 2 starts off in much the same way. An early mistake out of MKZ will leave their top laner with absolutely nowhere to go, and he will fall dangerously behind. An early dive will net 3 kills and again start the Stealths off with a big lead. This time around though the lead will not stick and MKZ will turn things around with a series of aggressive plays.
MKZ will make it tough, but the Stealths turn on the pressure moving into the mid game, and the power of their champions, especially Kog’Maw, start to kick in. Once the Stealths get rolling a second time MKZ will not be able to stop them, and they will eventually find their way into the base to take out the Nexus.
Samsung White beats CJ Frost 2 – 0
JinAir Stealths beats MKZ 2 – 0
Week 2 Notable Champions
Continuing the trends from last week, we saw a lot of top lane Gragas and jungle Rengar coming out to play. The favored build for Gragas seemed to be a more bruiser oriented build, usually picking up a RoA first and transitioning into a Iceborn Gauntlet. While it does seem to be a somewhat risky pick, it does bring a lot of power to the table and seems like it is here to stay.
The favored Rengar builds seem to similar to what we’ve seen from Evelynn, starting off with some damage early, usually going for an early Wriggle’s, and quickly transitioning into a tanky build. However we did see a heavy damage focused build from Watch, which seemed to work well for solidifying an early snowball.
This week we also got to see the glorious debut of Braum in Korea, and as people have seen across the world, he is clearly here to stay. Interestingly, the CJ teams mentioned in interviews that they believed Braum to still be worse than Thresh, possibly due to him falling off pretty hard if he falls behind early.
Finally, we did get to see one pick of Jayce, courtesy of MKZ using the new Essence Reaver item. With only one game it is difficult to say how effective it was, but Jayce has been poised on the edge of competitive play for a while now and this might be the last push needed to start giving him some more time on the Rift.