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Taiwanese Analyst Review of the Season 3 Finals: Royal Club vs. SK Telecom T1


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For our finals coverage, we thought it would be an interesting take if we allowed our audience to read some thoughts on the games from the other side of the world. Big thanks to both Mr. Remember and Bummer2000 for providing us with this analysis on the final games of the Season 3 World Championship.

Introduction (Translator Notes)

Notes on Author: Mr. Remember is a professional League of Legends analyst on the Taiwanese team Flash Wolves. He also casts LNL games occasionally.
Notes on Translator: Bummer2000, Taiwanese League of Legends analyst working in the EU LCS.
Taken & translated with permission from https://www.facebook.com/FlashWolves.

There is no denying that Gamania Bears had a poor showing at worlds, but I still strongly believe Taiwan is still a region that is capable of surprising the world through sheer talent and game knowledge. I’ve grown immensely from the Taiwanese casters, three of whom are coach/analysts for professional teams, Backstairs(AHQ), Mr. Remember(Flash Wolves) and Fluidwind(TPA). This is a view into how the Asian analysts view the matches between China and Korea, rather than a Western perspective that we have gotten from many people so far.

Game 1

Bans:
RYL: Vi_Square_0_25b Shen_Square_0_25b LeeSin_Square_0_25b
SKT: Zed_Square_0_25b Annie_Square_0_25b Renekton_Square_0_25b

Picks:
RYL: Orianna_Square_0_25b Elise_Square_0_25b Sona_Square_0_25b Vayne_Square_0_25b Malphite_Square_0_25b
SKT: Corki_Square_0_25b JarvanIV_Square_0_25b Jax_Square_0_25b Thresh_Square_0_25b Gragas_Square_0_25b

This game’s deciding factors:
  1. Can Royal pull out the lane swap to limit Jax’s growth even with a weaker Lvl 1?
  2. How well can Royal pull off the Malphite+Orianna wombo combo?
  3. How fast will SKTT1’s Jax get to critical mass?
  4. Can Faker Gragas and Bengi J4 successfully suppress Wh1t3zZ’s Orianna?
Notes on the Game:

In the early game, Royal successfully lane swapped to quickly take out the top turret. Lucky’s Elise pick was good as his presence forced Bengi to babysit top lane. Wh1t3zZ was outlaning Faker at the start of the game so much that Thresh even tried to rotate mid to help the lane. Malphite was able to hold the lane 1v2; this is a very good start for Royal.

Upon Faker hitting lvl 6, Bengi repeatedly ganked middle lane and succeeded twice. The coordination between the two players was very delicate and astounding. In the meantime Lucky managed to secure a double kill bottom, so overall Royal didn’t lose too much.

However, the second gank in bottom lane caused Malphite to burn this Teleport, who then had to waste a flash to get out. This was a massive loss for Royal and later SKTT1 was able to four man dive the bottom turret with impunity without fear of a teleport. With no top turret to defend since Jax roamed to mid, Royal was unable to trade any objectives

I shared the same view as coach Backstairs(head coach of AHQ Taiwan): why did Royal even switch back to normal EU lanes? It was obvious that Malphite was unable to keep Jax down anymore since he was growing into a monster. Normal bot lanes with Vayne and Sona will be ganked to hell by Jarvan and Gragas if they pushed, especially since their mid laner was completely suppressed. Giving up a Dragon bottom to continue pressuring top lane to their second turret would put Jax down, and give Vayne BotRK earlier. And even if bot tower fell they could have Malphite Teleport top to trade objectives of equal values.

Spectacles:

It was apparent from SKTT1’s player mechanics and understanding of their own composition (coordinated wall hopping to take dragons and barons) that they were the more solid team. Royal had good combo timings on their ultimates, and could even take a teamfight with an economic disadvantage.

However, these types of dives had against SKTT1 were like moths diving a flame. (The tower dive latter in the game was shut down by Thresh’s ult slow and dark passage.)

Game 2

[one_half]Bans:
SKT: Annie_Square_0_25b Renekton_Square_0_25b Corki_Square_0_25b
RYL: Vi_Square_0_25b Shen_Square_0_25b Orianna_Square_0_25b[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Picks:
SKT: Zed_Square_0_25b Zyra_Square_0_25b Jax_Square_0_25b Ezreal_Square_0_25b LeeSin_Square_0_25b
RYL: Vayne_Square_0_25b JarvanIV_Square_0_25b Sona_Square_0_25b Rumble_Square_0_25b Kassadin_Square_0_25b[/one_half_last]

This game’s deciding factors:
  1. SKTT1 continues to ban Renekton and taking Jax, Royal gave up on winning lane and chose to opt for teamfight potential with Rumble.
  2. How will Bengi’s main Lee sin hold up the game when Jax is freezing top lane and Ezreal has a weaker early phase?
  3. Royal picks Kassadin against the Zed… which one will counter the other?
  4. The supports will decide the team fights with their AoE lockup ultimates.
Notes on the Game:

Both teams went for standard EU lanes and it was soon apparent that SKTT1 held advantages in all three lanes, even if Kass did get a kill on Vayne while overcommitting on a dive (and J4 got the other). Lucky with his main comfort pick did play much better in the early game, but still gave up all three outers due to lapses in judgement for rotations.

The game almost turned around when SKTT1 faltered at second mid turret, when Sona ulted and counter initiated, and Kassadin with a sliver of health was able to clean up kills. With Kassadin heading straight back for a Deathcap, he became a monster chaser on steroids and Royal started to group up and initiate whenever they had the chance positioning J4 and Rumble in the frontlines).

SKTT1 chose to continue farming up Jax in the top lane, and froze the lane. However their decision to defend Dragon 4v5 gave Royal another teamfight win. After some questionable calls from Royal, SKT1 picked up steam after getting three kills as they chased relentlessly into Royal’s tier two turrets (while their tier one was still up). With Piglet’s Ezreal becoming a considerable force at this point, Royal’s “Grow the Puppy” strategy started to diverge into the “Rabid Puppy” as they ignored minion control and disregarded tower objectives; their only goal was to send every enemy back to the fountain since both Kassain and Vayne clean up fights well, but this style of play proved to be far too risky.

The analyst desk did mention that if SKT’s Ezreal or Jax was caught they would be unable to teamfight since Jax had all the tankiness and Ezreal had the most farm and kills on the team so they could not afford to lose either. Royal managed to get picks on Jax and Zed, slowing the SKTT1’s advance successfully. However, Bengi’s initiation onto Rumble at Baron lost them the Baron, the inhibitor, and ultimately the game.

Spectacles:
  1. Royal’s team composition called for all-in teamfights and this type of aggression caught SKT offguard.
  2. The Vayne and Kassadin pick were meant to snowball teamfights with their clean up and showed levels of success at the second tier mid push.
  3. The consistency and discipline displayed by SKT1 are the hallmarks of Korean teams; they always maintained minion pressure in all three lanes, had their support controlling vision nonstop, and was able to avoid full teamfights. In the end they closed the game out with a Baron Bait, a well known tactic but displayed precise decision making at the drop of a hat.
  4. Both supports timed their ultimates well; Sona on Royal was the aggressor while SKTT1 Zyra tried more on counter initiates, both had their moments.
  5. Faker Senpai’s Zed makes one forget about breathing and Piglet’s growth as a player from OGN Champions Spring to now makes one fear about his true potential.

Game 3

Bans:
SKT: Annie_Square_0_25b Renekton_Square_0_25b Zed_Square_0_25b
Royal: Vi_Square_0_25b Shen_Square_0_25b Orianna_Square_0_25b

Picks:
SKT: Zyra_Square_0_25b Jax_Square_0_25b Corki_Square_0_25b Gragas_Square_0_25b JarvanIV_Square_0_25b
RYL: Sona_Square_0_25b Caitlyn_Square_0_25b LeeSin_Square_0_25b Kennen_Square_0_25b Fizz_square_0_25b

This game’s deciding factors:
  1. SKT banned out Zed on Blue side while first picking Jax, knowing that Royal had no answer for this pick. Jax’s pressure on Uzi’s auto-attack centric carries was simply overwhelming.
  2. Royal chose Kennen to limit Jax’s growth in the early laning phase.
  3. Wh1t3zZ takes out his main Fizz to make a final stand.
  4. …Royal had no S3secretsgg.dox at all.
Notes on the Game:

The Kennen vs. Jax matchup they prepared never happened as an early lvl 1 facecheck zoned out Kennen, and top lane collapsed. Even with the lane swap he was dived by Bengi,  and Kennen was severely crippled by being behind in levels.

Royal was really losing their cool this game, even the analyst desk was noting their over aggression in tower diving. The bottom lane dove for Jax left all three divers with little health, and even though they managed the tower trade bottom for top, Faker had already taken the mid tower to low health. At the middle turret, Wh1t3zZ and GoDlike caught Bengi diving, but still lost two members simply due to how far ahead SKT was at the time. Following this, SKT ran around the map securing objectives without much of a fight and brought the game to an anticlimactic close.

Spectacles:

Early fight at Royal’s Blue buff, SKTT1 used Jax and J4’s gap closers to juke unti Zyra could make it to the scene, and then used vision to kill Kenne, almost losing no hit points.

Teamfight under the second mid turret with SKTT1 in pursuit, Faker does a precision flash into Gragas ult to push back Kennen, Piglet then Valkyries into use a Big One to finish Sona.

End Thoughts

Koreans playing for map objectives has been the biggest change to the S3 meta. Korea has shifted from fast pushes to today’s style of maximizing map control and economy. Using time to gain space, creating fights all over the map, along with their impeccable mechanics, they’ve taken the World Champions with a fairly solid lead.

In champion select, Royal played a “Do-Dive” style reminiscent of Season 2’s Najin Sword, so banning Shen was a good choice. However, they also wanted to take out Orianna and Vi (to assure Uzi’s safety during the laning phase), and couldn’t switch their tactics in a Bo5 to avoid Impact’s Jax. Impact has been an avid user of Jax even before the Trinity Force changes, and today’s 2v1 lanes aren’t so bad for Jax since if combo’d with a Jarvan or Lee Sin still allow for kill potential.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one Jax, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

“Surprise I’m back!!” – Jax, S3 World Finals


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The eSports writing team here at Cloth5 extensively covers both the NA and EU LCS, OGN Champions, the Chinese LPL, and GPL. Providing game analysis and meta-shifting trends across all regions around the globe.

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