Hello and welcome to week 3 of OGN Champions Summer 2014. This week has some wild matches and exciting upsets as well as wrapping up group stages for some teams, so without further ado lets get into the games.
Group A – IM #2 vs IM #1
Group A has really just been a tough road for IM. Not only are they in a group with two of the best teams in Korea, they have this team kill match which could spell doom for both teams.
Game 1 starts off poorly for IM#1, which a face-check by the bot lane will give away first blood only about a minute into the game. However a strong showing will make up for this early mistake, and they will quickly turn their fortunes around with a double kill on the IM#2 bot lane. Both teams will try for aggressive plays and although they find success neither side is able to gain a significant early foothold.
As the midgame trudges on IM#2 will slowly start to pull ahead in gold but the real defining moment will happen around the 24-minute mark. A fight breaks out around the dragon pit and the incredibly high damage coming out of Ziggs and Kog’Maw will tear IM#1 apart.
This will end up getting them the Baron and completely breaking their lead wide open. IM#1 will put up a good fight after that, but the lead gained is simply too much and IM#2 will eventually find their way into the base to wrap up game 1.
Game 2 will see a swap in roles between the IM teams, with IM#1 trying to siege while IM#2 looks for picks. The game itself will be played out quite passively with neither team really making any aggressive moves. Crucially though, as a result of lane swaps, IM#2 is able to really punish the weaker early levels of Irelia and keep her down right from the start.
Although she’ll eventually be able to bully Shyvana, Smeb gets set far enough back that he is not able to abuse an early power spike from Trinity Force. Meanwhile, Frozen’s Syndra is able to repeatedly pick off members of IM#1, culminating in a huge teamfight win for IM#2 around the 20-minute mark. After that it is smooth sailing for IM#2, riding on the back of an unstoppable Syndra to take the second win.
Group B – NaJin White Shield vs KT Bullets
Game 1 begins with some light aggression from the KT Bullets although nothing really comes out of it but eventually Watch is able to find a good countergank on Ryu and will secure a double kill to get Shield off to a nice early start. The Bullets however will not let up, making good use of the early strength of their champions to find a series of skirmishes to swing the gold lead back in their favor.
As is typical, White Shield will do their best to stall out the game and they certainly do a good job of it but the Bullets continue to find picks and make use of the mid game power of Corki and Yasuo. The excellent map control of the Bullets will allow them to turn their picks into a Baron and from that point on there is little Shield can do to resist the onslaught leading to a victory for KT.
Game 2 will start in fairly similar fashion to game 1, with some minor aggression from both sides. This time around, they are able to put some crucial pressure on Corki, setting him very far back and significantly delaying his power spike.
As always passivity benefits NaJin White Shield and this time around they are able to repeatedly hold back KT’s attempts to regain control. Once the laning phase breaks apart the game will proceed in typical White Shield fashion. NaJin is able to fully control the map and careful play will slowly create an unbreakable stranglehold on the Bullets, allowing them to eventually find their way to a win.
Unfortunately for Shield, this is already their final game of group stage, and a mere 3 points will put them in a very precarious position that could allow either the Bullets of the JinAir Falcons to overtake them.
IM#2 beats IM#1: 2 – 0
NaJin White Shield ties KT Bullets: 1 – 1
The second day of week 3 is a very important day for the teams. Both groups C and D are quite close, and especially SKT S and KT Arrows could really use some wins today to keep them in contention for making it out of group stage.
Group C – Bigfile Miracle vs SKT T1 S
Game 1 starts off pretty slow although Miracle will respond poorly to the lane swap from SKT however they aren’t able to really capitalize on the mistake and the lanes will eventually even themselves out.
The first major action will come in the form of a dragon fight. An unfortunate timing for Bigfile Miracle will see them try to fight before Nami is able to hit level 6 and without that crucial ultimate SKT S is able to win both the dragon and the fight that follows, jumping them out to a significant early lead.
Once they’ve secured the lead SKT will use their advantage to create map pressure and slowly grow their advantages across the map. Although Miracle will put up a good fight they are never able to find a foothold and S will take a fairly clean game 1 victory.
Game 2 will kick off once again with Sudal (Miracle top laner) responding poorly to the lane swap and nearly getting himself picked off while trying to jungle. Miracle will be able to steady the ship through a clever use of teleport and are able to readjust the lane matchups to their liking. However a quick gank from S will punish Sudal for his earlier mistake and really set him on the back foot.
A clear point of weakness for Miracle SKT S will do a good job of continuing to pressure the top lane, giving them a significant edge in that matchup. Bigfile Miracle will not roll over so easily this time around and they do a good job of finding fights and securing objectives to keep them right alongside S throughout the early-mid game.
Eventually though the lack of experience starts to show on the side of Miracle and S will adeptly punish mistakes before finding the fights they need to start taking control of the game. Although Bigfile Miracle puts up a significant fight, S will continue to grow their lead until they are able to close out the 2-0 on Miracle.
Group D – CJ Blaze vs KT Arrows
For a nice change of pace, Game 1 of the set will start off fairly explosively. KaKao is able to read DayDream perfectly, getting off multiple counterganks and helping the Arrows to jump out to a significant early lead in both gold and kills.
This will set up a nice snowball that KT will play out beautifully; between the early game power of Renekton and a crushing lead for Kog’Maw there is little Blaze can do to stop the Arrows from taking kills and towers across the board before securing a dominating win over Blaze.
Game 2 will take a far more passive route; although the two teams will trade back and forth they will not be able to find any significant edges. Blaze is eventually able to find a kill and begin getting a small lead but a crucial mistake will cost them a fight at dragon and once again KT finds themselves in the driver seat.
Play will proceed rather passively for some time but eventually ssumday’s Mundo will become a nearly unkillable monster against the heavy AP comp from Blaze. Once the fighting does begin to break out KT clearly has a huge advantage and they will be able to turn a couple of quick fights into a victory.
SKT S beats Bigfile Miracle: 2 – 0
KT Arrows beats CJ Blaze: 2 – 0
Group A – Samsung Blue vs IM #2
Game 1 will start out going all in favor of IM#2. A very good countergank on bot followed by a gank on top will net IM a pair of quick kills, and get them off to a nice early start. The IM jungler Wisdom will continue to take hold of the advantage, following it up with a kill in mid lane to secure a good position in every lane. Crucially he is able to help Mundo to survive the early game, and although Acorn’s Shyvana is able to gain back the lane advantage, he is no longer able to shut down Mundo.
Once the IM juggernaut get rolling there is little stopping it, and the combined power of Lux and Thresh are able to repeatedly pick off members of Blue. Although they are able to momentarily turn things around, IM just gets too far ahead for Blue to deal with, and after a fantastically played game IM is able to take the first win off the reigning champs.
Game 2 begins much more cleanly for Samsung Blue, not giving up any early kills to IM. Although IM will again show a strong early game, a good fight for Samsung Blue will net 3 early kills for dade’s Ziggs and allow him to start controlling the map. IM will do a good job keeping up for a while, but Blue is able to shut them down much more efficiently, and Ziggs will quickly become too much for IM to handle. Fight after fight goes in favor of Samsung Blue, and while IM is able to secure a handful of nice picks for themselves, it is too little too late, and Blue will cruise to a win.
Group B – JinAir Falcons vs KT Bullets
Game 1 kicks off with mistakes from both sides, sticking around too long and getting a kill a piece during invades. This will end up with a slight advantage for KT overall, as they are able to gain a key advantage for their top laner. After the explosive early start play will slow down considerably, with both sides content to farm up for a while. This passivity will favor the Bullets and they will begin to grow their gold lead, the few fights that do break out will trade relatively even and won’t change this much.
As the mid game churns on, the fights will begin to go more in favor of the KT Bullets, eventually generating them a significant advantage. Although the poor sieging of Twitch will force them to take it slow, eventually the will be able to break through the defenses of JinAir and close out the first game.
Game 2 of the set starts off quite passively, with neither team wanting to make any mistakes like game 1. This is to the benefit of the Falcons; Vin gives the reworked Skarner his Korean debut, and with every lane playing passive he is free to quickly farm his way to level 6. After trading kills and objectives, the Falcons are able to gain a small edge, setting up a nice gank by combining the CC from Skarner and Braum to secure a kill. After a minute or so, a repeat gank from Vin will secure yet another kill and suddenly push the Falcons out to a significant lead.
The Falcons will take their lead and run with it, but the strong scaling from the Bullets team is still hugely threatening and the Falcons need to snowball their advantage. A crucial dragon fight will do just that; strong vision control by JinAir lets them secure two kills and a dragon, and KT will quickly find their backs against the wall.
At this point the game begins to explode out of control. First JinAir will attempt to wrap the game up with a pick around the Baron, but the Bullets will be able to turn it around with a key Black Shield to block Skarner’s ult and get KT back in the game. Just as the teams are recovering, Rock will make a bold call to teleport into a blind spot in the middle of the KT jungle. For this position he is able to pick off an unsuspecting Kog’Maw and allow the Falcons to win the first of two fights to really push KT back to the edge. Finally, in an epic fight around Baron, Vin will find his way into the pit and use his ult to guarantee a Baron steal out from under Ryu’s nose, giving them the buff and a victory in the following fight that allows them to close out the game.
An important game for group B, this loss means that the KT Bullets are unfortunately out of contention for continuing on. The Falcons however have one game left, and need at least one win next week to get them at least a tiebreaker match with Shield.
Samsung Blue ties IM#2: 1-1
JinAir Falcons ties KT Bullets: 1-1
Notable Champions, Week 3
First off Kha’Zix has made a bit of resurgence here in Korea being picked up in a couple of games to mixed results. Although he still seems to be lower in priority than Lee Sin and Elise he does bring a more aggressive style to the jungle for those who prefer it. With the nerf to his Evolved R upgrading the E first seems to be the norm though W is once again an solid option for a more objective focused team.
Dr. Mundo has also had a strong comeback this week for two main reasons. First the increasing popularity of double AP comps makes Mundo a much more viable tank option over Shyvana due to his high HP and Regen countering AP champs very well. Second, as dade’s Ghost/Flash Ziggs seems to have gained a lot of popularity, this means there are fewer ignites in the game to shut him down.
Another interesting pick this week was Syndra, who was played by SKT S’s Rookie and IM#2’s Frozen, and ended the week 3-1. Although Syndra has always been a more niche pick due to her high difficulty, it is fun to see different champions and really shows the power of a well-played pocket champ.
Speaking of new champions we also got to see two champions show up for the first time in quite awhile. First was Lux, who was played to great success by Frozen and was a major factor in their win against Samsung Blue. Her biggest strength was helping to keep up with the lane control of Ziggs as well as setting up powerful CC chains with Thresh.
The second new pick was the Skarner that showed up in the final match of the week. Vin was able to make a huge impact by repeatedly finding one of the two carries in almost every fight, shutting down a massive source of damage and crippling KT on top of a stellar final Baron steal. It is certainly a champ that takes a lot of work from the team but it was certainly able to make a very high impact and is something I hope to see more.