Hello everyone, and welcome to the final matchup of the OGN Champions Summer Quarterfinals!
First up today, we have the reigning champions Samsung Blue. They had a very strong group performance, but have likely been weakened due to recent changes that hurt the strength of the 2v1 swap. On the other hand, we have newcomers, Jin Air Stealths. Although their performance has not quite been up to Blue’s caliber, it was still quite good considering this is also their first time in Champions as a team. Both teams will be looking to continue their runs with a good showing in the finals bracket.
So without further ado, lets get into the games.
Right from the start, we get to see the action break out with a red buff invade from Jin Air. A successful steal by Chaser allows him to secure a three-buff start, granting Jin Air control of the jungle and some very good early pressure. Preventing any early action from Rengar also allows Tristana free reign to completely dominate the lane against Twitch.
The early game continues to look worse for Blue as even an attempted to swap away Twitch fails, allowing the Stealths to quickly take a dragon and simply have Cpt. Jack follow Deft to the top lane. Following this, the continued objective control from the Stealths will allow them to begin pushing their lead and look to snowball the game away from Blue.
Just as things begin to look lost for Blue, a well-timed pick on Cpt. Jack will let Deft close the gap, as well as give Blue their first Dragon of the match, evening up the gold totals and preventing the snowball from really taking shape. Dade also opts to build a DFG on his Ahri, a very unusual choice for Korea, allowing him to apply a huge amount of kill pressure on the relatively squishy Stealths line-up.
Once the mid game moves into full swing, Blue will finally begin to show that they are still the same team that won the last season of Champions. Vastly superior vision control helps them to repeatedly set up picks, snowballing these picks into further objectives. Jack will do an admirable job carrying his team and keeping them in the fight as long as possible, but eventually, the strength of Blue simply becomes to much for them to deal with, and Samsung will take a hard-fought first win.
Samsung lead Jin Air: 1-0
Once again in Game 2, we see Samsung quickly falling to a disadvantage in the laning phase. This time around, they will make a lane swap, but this only gives Jin Air a free dragon without Blue creating any significant pressure of their own. Meanwhile, Cpt. Jack will make a very clever move with Tristana.
As he is effectively laning by himself, he opts to only place a single point in his rocket jump and hold back the rest of his skill points. Without ranking Q or E, his wave control is much better, and he is able to wait and react to how Blue moves. Eventually, he chooses to max E in order to shove quickly and secure his team their second easy Dragon.
Once again, Jin Air will begin to pull ahead of Blue in the early game through kills and objectives, and although Samsung is able to find a few kills themselves, the lead will continue to grow through superior play from Jin Air. The real decisive moment happens just past the 23-minute mark, and as so often happen the fight will occur around the dragon.
Blue will go 5-1 in the fight, only losing Thresh and picking up the Dragon to boot, an absolutely massive win for them. The crucial mistake here was Jin Air fighting with over 5k gold sitting in their pockets. This meant that their nearly 6k gold lead was practically worthless, and it allowed Blue to snatch an advantage due to their superior team fighting mechanics.
Once the Stealths’ snowball is broken, it becomes so much harder for them to pressure Blue, especially with Dade becoming an absolute monster as a result of the throw. Just as in Game 1, the superior vision control of Blue will take over, giving them several picks and eventually, a Baron. The superior scaling of the Jin Air team comp will let them slowly gain back a fighting edge, but it is not enough, as superior map pressure gives Blue the option of back-dooring the base and sneaking the game right out from under the nose of the Stealths.
Samsung leads Jin Air: 2-0
Once again, Blue will make a lane-swap to start off the game, but once again, this only hurts them, as it gives another free Dragon to Jin Air. A bad teleport from Acorn will only serve to solidify the loss by giving an early First Blood away as well. This time around though, they will nip the snowball in the bud quickly, using their vision control to find favorable fights and even finally take a Dragon for themselves. All told, the early game will go considerably smoother for Blue and sets themselves up for a much cleaner mid game.
Throughout the mid game and moving into the late, it is clear that Blue is simply able to outclass Jin Air though better macro play. Although the skirmishes seem to go back and forth for a while, with Jin Air even pulling ahead in kills, Blue is always able to gain better map pressure and more objectives from the fights than the Stealths. Eventually, Dade’s Ryze will become too massive to handle, and the superior vision gives Blue full reign over the map. Once Samsung is able to secure Baron, it is only a matter of time before they find their way into the base and secure the third and final win for the series.
Samsung beats Jin Air: 3-0
In a not-so-unexpected finish, Samsung is able to take out Jin Air 3-0 and move on to face their sister team, Samsung White, in the Semifinals. This is an especially big win for Blue, as it officially secures them a guaranteed Top 2 finish in circuit points and a trip to the 2014 World Championship.
Despite the 0-3 loss, Jin Air did an admirable job facing off against the defending champs, especially considering it is not only their first trip to the Quarterfinals, but even their first season in Champions as a team. Their picks and early game looked stellar, and with better shot calling and vision control, they may have definitively won all three games. While this is a great sign moving forward for the Stealths, it is an equally troubling sign for Blue. White is a far scarier team than Jin Air and will punish Blue much more harshly for a lackluster performance early on.
Blue’s picks were rough and the early game was poor – Both are issues they must work to correct before next week if they hope to stand a chance against Samsung White.