[one_half]Contributors to this article include:
Daniel “League” Lemmond, Daniel “Heliosan” Song, Charlie “Charlie” Lipsie, Adrian “oberyn” Montenegro
As the annual countdown to the Season 3 World Championship begins, we here at Cloth5 will be getting you up to speed on who’s playing, how they’re playing and what they’re playing. Keep up with our 4-part preview series as we profile the fourteen participating teams and give our predictions on who’s taking home the Season 3 World Championship Title and engraving their names on the Summoner’s Cup.[/one_half]
[one_half_last]Click on a team to navigate to their preview!
Representing South Korea, SK Telecom T1 took first place in the OGN HOT6IX Champions Summer 2013 season over the KT Rolster Bullets and then won the Korean Qualifier to secure themselves the 3rd Korean spot in the Season 3 World Championship.
Meet the Team
[one_half]Top Laner – Impact[/one_half]
Impact is a versatile player in that he will happily fill whatever role his team needs him to play whether it would be utility-initiation tanks, high-damage carry top lane champions, or even bring out his signature proxy Singed and happily run across the map laughing maniacally. He is a huge source of utility for SK Telecom T1 in the mid/late stages of the game.
[one_half]Jungler – Bengi[/one_half]
Bengi achieved the highest KDA in the jungle for both OGN Champions Spring and Summer 2013. He is a crucial part of SK Telecom T1′s solid early game laning phase by always making his presence known across the map giving opportunities for his teammates to make plays to secure kills and objectives throughout the game. There were multiple games when Bengi’s final KDA would be something like 0/0/15 with him solely racking up tons of assists but no kills or deaths which shows that he is a calculated jungler who will humbly give the kill spotlight to his teammates.
[one_half]Mid Lane – Faker[/one_half]
The star MVP mid lane and King of Korean ranked solo queue. His strength comes from his insane farming and laning mechanics and he is a strong roaming mid laner. He will always be there in time to cleanup fights that happen in the top and bottom lanes to help SK Telecom T1 obtain objectives.
Faker first grabbed the attention of the world with his insane 11-0-2 Leblanc play that forced a 20 minute surrender from MVP Blue. Since then, DoA and MonteCristo have coined the hashtag #thingsFakerDoes on their Twitters. Faker continues to make heads turn in awe with his astounding plays with various champions in his games with his most recent big play being the Zed vs Zed duel against KT Bullets Ryu in the crucial Game 5 of the OGN Champions Summer Grand Finals.
He is known for his immense champion pool. During the OGN Champions Summer 2013 season alone, Faker has brought out Orianna, Ahri, Zed, Gragas, Karthus, Kassadin, Syndra, Ezreal, and Diana over the course of 18 different games.
The so-called “Hundred Acre Wood” AD Carry/Support duo lane plays very aggressively in lane with the goal to push down towers as fast as possible and then rotating to the other lanes to help get more objectives along the way. Piglet is known for being one of the best Vayne players and PoohManDu is known for bringing out very unconventional supports in the past, but more recently has been favoring heavy disengage supports.
SK Telecom T1 formed in February 2013. This squad of players was originally the 2nd team to complement Reapered’s squad and caster duo Doa and MonteCristo gave this team the nickname “Judgement Day”. When OGN Champions Spring 2013 rolled around, the rookie team SK Telecom T1 #2 with Faker leading the way made an absolute show in the group stage taking 1st place over veteran Korean teams like CJ Entus Blaze and reigning Winter champions Najin Sword.
Even though the rookie team suffered a devastating defeat against MVP Ozone, it was actually the best thing that could have ever happened for them because it forced every team member to face their problems as a team that relied too much on Faker to carry and letting their obvious mistakes slide to become habitual. It ultimately made them not only train even harder during the off-season, but also come up with new strategies and most importantly to come together as a team.
When OGN Champions Summer 2013 rolled around, this team became the main squad to represent SK Telecom T1 after the organization dropped Reapered’s squad for a disappointing performance in the Spring season. Every player on this team demonstrated their skills and hard work once again without dropping a single game from the start of group stages all the way up to the semifinals knocking down their opponents with ease one by one in dominating fashion.
In the semifinals, they faced their rivals MVP Ozone who defeated them last season. Despite dropping Game 1 to the reigning champions for their first loss of the season, SK Telecom T1 came back with a surge to take 3 consecutive games off of Ozone to finish off the semifinals with a 3-1 victory to advance to the Grand Finals to face KT Rolster Bullets to renew the long-standing e-sports and business rivalry between SK Telecom and KT Rolster.
In the Grand Finals, the KT Rolster Bullets got off to a great start by taking the first two games off of SK Telecom T1 putting themselves one game away from securing a spot in the Season 3 World Championships. However, SK Telecom T1 demonstrated their ability to adapt to their opponents once again and were able to pull of an unbelievable comeback by winning the next 3 games in the Best of 5 series consecutively to win the OGN HOT6IX Champions Summer 2013 Championship title.
Even though they won OGN Summer 2013, their berth in the Season 3 World Championship wasn’t secured. They still had to finish 1st in the Korean Qualifier and face the winner between a gauntlet of matches that included KT Bullets, CJ Frost, and CJ Blaze. In the end, SK Telecom T1 demonstrated that they truly deserve to go to Worlds and took down the KT Bullets once again in the Grand Finals of the Korean Qualifier to take the final Korean spot for the World Championship.
SK Telecom T1’s typical level 1 strategy is fairly aggressive, but at the same time fairly calculating. They won’t make very risky decisions early on and mainly seek to get early wards into the enemy jungle to track where their opponent’s jungler is going in the early stages of the game.
On blue side, SK Telecom T1 often fans out with Impact going up into the top side of the map while the rest of the team files down the mid lane. Faker usually hangs around in the mid lane keeping vision of the center. PoohManDu will often ward the brush near the entrance into their own red-side jungle and then move up to the top lane to meet up with Piglet, Bengi, and Impact. The 4-man squad will then move into their enemy red-side jungle to place down two wards to get early vision of the the jungler.
On purple side, it’s pretty much a mirrored set up for SK Telecom T1 but sometimes they will only send 3 across the river to the enemy side.
General Compositions and Strategy
SK Telecom T1 has ran various strategies over the course of their season, but some of their more notable team comps involve fast turret pushing especially wherever the duo lane goes and revolves around mid/late game skirmishes in the enemy jungle. They often times don’t look for huge 5v5 engagements, but they as a team have gotten so much better at 5v5 team fighting and coordination.
Impact will often pick lane bully champions and seek to split push and tank up for SK Telecom T1 in the later stages of the game. Bengi will often set up lots of early and mid game picks on either Jarvan IV or Vi along with his laners. Faker will play just about whatever he wants but will often seek to farm and follow up Bengi’s ganks in the mid lane with high follow-up damage. Piglet favors either a fast push ADC with Caitlyn or late game power ADCs like Twitch or Vayne. PoohManDu favors pick supports and heavy disengage supports like Nami or Zyra.
SK Telecom T1 is a team that often counts on playmaking to happen in order to snowball leads early and win skirmishes and whatnot. However, if they don’t get the necessary plays to happen and they’re against a team that has strong fundamentals and coordination, then they might find themselves overcommitting to a play which can cost them dearly. Sometimes SK Telecom T1 might tunnel vision on trying to set up picks that they end up neglecting other priorities.
SK Telecom T1 as a new team on the world stage could also face some nerve problems as they did back in the OGN Summer 2013 Grand Finals when their nerves lost them the first two games against the KT Rolster Bullets. While they did come back to win the next 3 games thanks to the pep talk that their coach, kkOma, gave them, it is still possible for crucial games to be lost if nerves become an issue once again.
The Bottom Line
It is absolutely amazing how SK Telecom T1 has grown from a team that relied on Faker to carry and lacked teamfight coordination and would often make the same mistakes every game to a team that has multiple threats all over the team and who are all individually capable of creating plays. They will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the World Championships and by all means could take the entire championship title for Korea.
Representing the country of Lithuania, GamingGear.eu took first place at the Regional CIS Championships at Moscow to qualify for a spot for Riot’s International Wildcard Tournament for a chance to compete in the Season 3 World Championships. GG.eu dominated at Gamescom by taking first place and only dropping 1 game to PaiN Gaming, who were the favorites to win.
Meet the Team
[one_half]Top Lane – Nbs[/one_half]
During laning phase Nbs is particularly aggressive and looking always to trade to deny cs or outright kill his opponents but that isn’t to say he plays recklessly. Most of the time Nbs chooses tanky champions with heavy initiation for the team but in some situations he brings out his pocket Tryndamere and carries the game by splitpushing to create endless global map pressure.
[one_half]Jungle – Alunir[/one_half]
GamingGear’s Alunir functions as the team’s focal point for early aggression. Instead of passively farming his own jungle, Alunir is one of Europe’s more aggressive junglers similar to Diamondprox in style. If he picks Lee Sin, look for Alunir to live in the enemy’s jungle and make it his own.
[one_half]Mid Lane – Mazzerin[/one_half]
In the middle lane, we have Mazzerin who is the backbone of the team. If Alunir carries through the early game, then Mazzerin is the primary factor in the lategame. Known for his Orianna play, Mazzerin often tends to pick lategame scaling champions and thus has a relatively passive laning phase but if given the chance, he will always brutally punish the enemy’s mistakes.
DeadlyBrother & Inspirro[/one_half]
Similar to personality in Korea’s KT Rolster Bullets duo Score and Mafa, this pairing plays a rather passive lane. Instead of looking for first bloods or to create plays on their own, the two would rather have a farm lane and only look to engage in skirmishes if Alunir arrives for a gank.
On November 22nd, GamingGear.EU sponsored the roster of Drub eSports consisting of Nbs, Alunir, Mazzerin, DeadlyBrother and Inspirro. Since forming as a team, GG.eu still consists of all of its original members. Since December 2012 they have participated in 12 tournaments and placed first in 9 of them including the Regional CIS championship and the Riot Season 3 International Wildcard Tournament. This young team has shown an incredible history of results and a promising run at Riot’s Season 3 World Championships.
During the eight games GamingGear.eu played in the International Wildcard Tournament, they only invaded at level 1 twice: one of the times being a reactionary invade from seeing the enemy team passing the ward at mid lane into their jungle. Judging from their past performances, GG.eu seem to be one of the most passive teams for level 1 invasions. When they are on the red side they never invaded and instead took up defensive positions.
In Game 2 versus Team Immunity, GG.eu executed their first pre-meditated level 1 invade. GG.eu split up into 3 groups at level 1, with the marksman and jungle going through the top lane, the mid laner taking the route through their blue side jungle and the support going to mid and warding the usual spot. The support caught up and met with the mid laner heading to the top lane tri brush to group with rest of the team. Then the invades continued with the duo lane taking the route to ward red while the rest of the team walked behind the red buff and grouped up with the duo at at the brush by the wraith camp.
General Compositions and Strategy
GamingGear.EU’s typical champion composition consists of Zac/Shen, Jarvan, Orianna, Twitch, and Sona. What typically happens is that Jarvan will go ahead and use an E-Q combo and trap a carry in his Cataclysm with Orianna’s ball attached to him. If he happens to hit anymore than 2 champions, Orianna will cast Shockwave for massive AOE damage. Renekton will Slice and Dice his way through the enemy frontline acting as a damage sponge and sticking to the enemy marksmen and either killing them or forcing them out of teamfights.
In the backlines, Renekton and Jarvan both provide an AOE armor shred which synergies with Twitch’s Spray and Pray. A 26% armor reduction from Renekton’s empowered Slice and Dice paired up with Jarvan’s 35% armor reduction from Dragon Strike allows Twitch to melt an entire team in seconds. Twitch can abuse his long range to Spray and Pray from a distance while Sona can either to use Crescendo to provide additional lockup in the middle lines or to peel off champions attempting to dive Twitch. With this composition GG.eu secures easy dragons at level 6 with their power spike from their ultimates. Given the right circumstances, this composition can win fights while they are behind in gold because of the mass crowd control and AOE damage it provides.
GG.eu has very predictable champion selection in picks/bans. For the top lane, Nbs will always pick up Zac or Shen for him if one of them is available and if they are not, Nbs would most likely default to Renekton. Alunir loves to pick early game aggression jungles and prefers Jarvan IV over any other jungler than Evelynn and Lee Sin. In the mid lane, Mazzerin is best known for his Orianna play and will always pick her if available. If not, Gragas will always be his second choice. The bot lane duo has been running with the Twitch/Sona lane to provide even more AOE crowd control and damage to their team composition. Since GG.eu will opt to choose the same champions in their games, teams can prepare a teamfighting composition to match in wits or avoid early objective control confrontations by running skirmish compositions to disallow grouping for teamfights.
Another weakness of GG.eu is that they have an extremely defensive level 1 and lack vision control early on. A team with a well planned level 1 strategy will be able to abuse this to gain an advantage early on. Since they prefer to fan out in defensive formations, aggressive 5-man invades will almost always result in a first blood and an extra buff at level 1.
The Bottom Line
Currently GG.EU is in Group A of the World Championships along with Team SoloMid, OMG, Lemondogs and SK Telecom T1. It’ll be a battle royale to escape this group with current OGN Champions Summer winners at the head of the pack. But if GamingGear.eu can stick to their guns and get a composition that they’re familiar with in the drafting stage, they’ll be sure to turn heads with their early jungle pressure and great teamfighting post level 6. Be sure to catch the opening match between these International Wildcard winners against NA’s second place team TSM this Sunday September 15 at 12:00 PM PST.
Lemondogs is the second seed team from the European region and represent one of the strongest turnarounds for the European Summer Split. Starting very weak, the first three weeks culminated in a 4-6 record, not exactly where any team wants to sit for the beginning of their first LCS experience. The next 6 weeks were an absolutely different story. After removing their support player wewillfailer and replacing him with support player mithy, the Lemondogs went a jaw dropping record of 14-4 through the remainder of the Summer Split.
Meet the Team
[one_half]Top Lane – Zorozero[/one_half]
During laning phase, Zorozero is known for playing aggressive bullies with strong teamfight potential later in the game. Featuring a diverse champion pool, Zorozero tends to grab top laners that perform admirably. While rarely overextending in lane, Zoro is known for playing champions with both escape and initiation potential. Kennen remains as his favorite champion and ended the Summer split with a 6-3 67% win rate.
[one_half]Jungle – Dexter[/one_half]
Dexter is known as a particularly dangerous jungler who picks champions with strong early gank potential. Favoring high early-game damage bruisers such as Jarvan and Lee Sin, Dexter boasts a nearly 90% win ratio on Jarvan during the LCS Summer Split. Combined with Zorozero’s Kennen, their team fight potential reaches insane limits during the late game.
[one_half]Mid Lane – Nukeduck[/one_half]
Nukeduck’s champion pool rivals that of even the most experienced mid laners from the European region. Known for choosing high burst champions with the ability to pick enemy players off, Nukeduck enjoys the thrill of high damage assassins so that he can prevent the other team from teamfighting by picking off squishy carries before objectives come into play.
Tabzz and mithy[/one_half]
Tabzz prefers to play marksmen with early game bully potential and strong waveclear. Tabzz complements the Lemondogs playstyle very well by choosing champions that rely on heavy AoE damage. Playing a fairly aggressive bottom lane along with Mithy, Tabzz is a very solid marksman in the European region. Since coming in during week 4 of the Summer split, Mithy has been Lemondogs’ saving grace. Featuring an undefeated record on Sona and only two losses on Thresh, Mithy’s aggressive playstyle, flawless ultimates, and impeccable map awareness places him as one of the premier supports currently playing the game.
Lemondogs acquired the roster of Sinners Never Sleep, consisting of Nukeduck, Tabzz, Wewillfailer, Dexter, and Zorozero in 2013. Along with the main players came the two substitutes of Noonia and MrRalleZ, later acquiring YamatoCannon. Sinners Never Sleep, formerly known as Uncle Ruckus’ Revenge, had already achieved a modicum of success before teaming up with Lemondogs. Placing first in two tournaments and third in another, the team made a strong public debut at the Go4LoL Summer Promotion, defeating Meet Your Makers 2-1 in a best of three before going on to defeat both TCM Gaming 2-1 and against All authority 3-0 in the two subsequent games.
Lemondogs usually play a very tame level one, only heading far enough into the opposing jungle to get two wards down before backing out and heading to lane. With a few differentiations, namely the game against NiP during week 7 where they attempted to invade blue and skipped on wards altogether, Lemondogs has a strong, though passive, level one. Usually invading as a group of 5 with low group scatter and a focused objective, Lemondogs early-game capabilities are usually enough to deter teams from trying to engage.
The notable difference game against NiP during week 7. Trying to invade against NiP, LemonDogs were sighted by a Jarvan flag before they could achieve their objective. Milling around blue and the mid bush, Lemondogs decided not to ward the enemy red, though they did manage to deter NiP from doing the same.
General Compositions and Strategy
Featuring strong late game potential on nearly all of their champions, Lemondogs have a tendency to choose an aggressive early-game jungler, a late game centric top laner, an assassin mid, and an aggressive bully bottom. With Zorozero specializing in champions such as Kennen, Ryze, Malphite, and Lissandra, Zoro offers the unique strength of being able to choose champions who can dominate top lane, provide late game damage, and provide initiation with AoE CC or burst. Combined with Dexter’s early-game aggression and strong early-game bruisers choices, such as Lee Sin and Jarvan, the ability for LemonDogs to snowball is very prominent. Dexter tends to be everywhere he needs to be precisely when he needs to be there. Not favoring any lane for ganking in particular, Dexter is able to get his team fed for the late game. When Nukeduck happens to get fed, the results are positively destructive. Nukeduck’s Zed, Twisted Fate, and Fizz are all game changing, and with his ability to roam effectively along with his ability to make executive decisions and position correctly during team fights, Nukeduck is a very strong assassin mid player. Rounding out the roster with Tabzz and Mithy, LemonDogs seem to favor an AoE based late game team composition on a nearly habitual basis. With team comps usually consisting of high late game AoE damage, such as Sona/Jarvan/Kennen, Lemondogs dominates late game team fights and consistently wins off strong performances.
A predictable level one and habitual team compositions makes Lemondogs a fairly easy team to read, though not necessarily an easy team to beat. Picks and bans will have to be played strategically, and knowledge of Lemondogs popular picks could leave the opposing team up in terms of strategic playstyle. However, Lemondogs does have a very diverse and deep champion pool, and who knows what they could pull out when they get to the world stage. Another big weakness will be their lack of experience, which many people seem to forget. This team has never competed against any Korean or Chinese teams, and lacks experience in front of large crowds and bright lights. The EU LCS Summer Split is an entirely different beast from the World Stage.
After losing to Cloud 9 in the NA Regionals, Team SoloMid not only looks to reclaim their title as best in North America but to finally prove to the world that they are a world caliber team capable of hanging with the best of them. Being placed in Group A with Lemondogs, SK Telecom T1, OMG, and GamingGear.eu, TSM will have their hands full just surviving out of the Group Stages if they hope to advance just to the bracket stages of the tournament.
Meet the Team
[one_half]Top Lane – Reginald[/one_half]
Although still considered the “mid laner” for his team, the role swap to top lane during the Summer Split enabled Reginald to control the drafting phase on behalf of his team. This swap to the front of champion select also helps describes how TSM functions as a whole: when Reginald carries hard, TSM wins and when he doesn’t, things become much more difficult. During the laning phase, Reginald prefers to play aggressively, often using TheOddOne to camp his lane to snowball his advantage into the mid game. Since Reginald prefers to have a grip on the global map at all times, his champion pool reflects this and will often choose heavy roamers or his signature Karthus to support his lanes from afar.
[one_half]Jungle – TheOddOne[/one_half]
Having one of the most developed fanbases in the world from Twitch streaming, TheOddOne functions as TSM’s sturdy backbone during the early and mid game phases. As is typical with most junglers in the current meta, TheOddOne doesn’t deviate from the tanky-crowd control champion pool and would rather farm and counter gank rather than play aggressively. During the laning phase, he’ll look to focus his efforts more along the center of the map so that he can put Reginald a kill ahead and have heavy dragon control. Although Elise is his most favorable pick at the moment from his performances during the Summer Split and in the NA Regionals, it is not one of his more technically proficient champions unlike his Nocturne which has garnered world fame.
[one_half]Mid Lane – Dyrus[/one_half]
Although his formal title says otherwise, Dyrus sticks to the top lane in terms of gold distribution on his team and current champion pool. Regardless, aside from fellow NA World attendees Balls and Sycho Sid, Dyrus remains a top-tier laner and can hold his own most against anyone in a 1v1 matchup. Taking notes from PDD at Allstars Shanghai, Dyrus began to pickup more carry-oriented champions such as Rumble and Karthus in an attempt to buffer TSM’s midgame. Considered to be the most “safe” laner in North America, Dyrus can be susceptible to tilt if the enemy jungler repeatedly visits his lane but otherwise excels in other situations including 2v1 lanes. Like Reginald, Dyrus seems to play best when on a champion that holds incredible map presence whether it be through global ultimates or great teamfighting potential.
WildTurtle and Xpecial[/one_half]
After benching Chaox in the middle of Spring Split, WildTurtle and Xpecial’s bot lane was the most successful in North America which carried them to winning the Spring finals. Since then, this duo has cooled down a bit and late during this season there were even questions concerning WildTurtle’s consistency. Not particularly known as a passive lane, WildTurtle will often look to aggress and Xpecial certainly looks to punish any positioning errors in lane.
The brand Team SoloMid originated from the community website that Reginald and Dan Dinh created back in September 2009. A team was formed with the roster consisting of Saintvicious, Feedfest, TheOddOne, Chaox, and Locodoco. However, after Riot officially announced their Season 1 World Championships, roster swaps solidified the lineup as Reginald, TheOddOne, The Rain Man, Xpecial and Chaox. After making it to the semi-finals, against All authority bested them in a best-of-three series and went home taking the 3rd place finish.
Once pre-Season 2 began, they placed at least in the top 3 seeds during the National ESL Premier League, IEM Global Challenge Cologne, MLG Pro Circuit Raleigh and winning 1st at 2011 MLG Providence, they acquired Dyrus in place of The Rain Man and became the modern iteration of TSM today.
From the Leaguecraft ggClassic Tournament in March to the GIGABYTE Esports LAN in June, TSM went undefeated in tournament play and solidified their claim as the number one team in North America. Once they arrived at 2012 MLG Summer Arena, it was the first time since acquiring Dyrus that they did not place 1st at a LAN event. However, shortly after while playing at the NA Regionals in PAX Prime, they bounced back and defeated Team Dignitas in the grand finals to take 1st place. By winning the NA Regionals, TSM was granted a bye in the Season 2 World Championships but they weren’t able to take off any games from Azubu Frost and went home in 5th-8th place.
At the beginning of Season 3 TSM announced their new sponsorship with Qualcomm and partnered up with Gamespot to produce Gamecribs for the Spring and Summer split of the newly created League Championship Series. After a bad performance at MLG Dallas, Chaox was replaced with WildTurtle and with his first game proceeded to obtain an ace. TSM’s momentum allowed them to roll the other LCS participants and they came in first during the Spring split and also won the NA LCS Spring Playoffs.
After the Summer split began, TSM found themselves in the middle of a slump with inconsistent performances from Reginald and WildTurtle. As a result they ended the season at 50% winning clip with a 14-14 record including a 0-4 losing series record against their first opponents at the NA Regionals, Counter-Logic Gaming. At 2013 PAX Prime, TSM swept their rivals in the first round and replicated their performance again by 2-0’ing the higher seed Vulcun. However, they were unable to take any games off the number one seed Cloud 9 and ended up losing the best-of-five series 0-3 and they took home 2nd place along with a World berth.
If TSM start blue side, they’ll typically fan out across their side of the river assuming defensive positions to dissuade enemy ward placement into their own jungle. Despite an early Explorer’s Ward in either side of the middle lane, TSM opts to save vision for extended laning phases. However, if TSM chooses to not play defensive and wants to gain vision in the enemy jungle, they’ll place an Explorer Ward on the right bush of the middle lane, enter through middle lane’s left bush and ward the bush at the red jungle camp.
If TSM is on red side, they will aggressively invade to gain vision of the enemy red jungle camp. While the team rushes to enter the blue side jungle from the right bush at middle lane, Xpecial will place an Explorer Ward in the left bush of middle lane to spot possible invades going into their own jungle. After he joins in with the rest of his team, they’ll proceed to the red jungle camp via wraiths spawn. If TSM doesn’t encounter any enemy sightings, they also attempt to ward the blue jungle camp via the left bush in middle lane.
General Compositions and Strategy
Not deviating from the typical team formula of having two tanks, a support, and two carries, TSM generally looks to pick champions who excel in teamfights so that they can center their early game pressure around dragon control. Once dragon is cleared as an objective, TSM would rather play reactively to enemy mistakes rather than concentrating on a particular goals such as picking off roamers, split-pushing (if Dyrus gets Shen or Reginald gets Zed), or consciously fast-pushing turrets. Instead, TSM often will continue the laning phase and punish any mispositioning on the enemy’s part and take future objectives on failed rotations around the map.
Aside from the “standard” team composition, TSM has been running double AP mages as of late such as Orianna and Karthus or Ahri and Karthus with Dyrus on Karthus. Although they haven’t encountered much success running this composition due to the buffs on Spirit Visage and the prevalence of Locket of the Iron Solari purchases on junglers, viewers should take note that during these games Dyrus tends to play exceptionally well since he has perfect Requiem timings.
The bulk of TSM’s problems during laning phase rests upon anywhere on the map save for their duo lane. This isn’t a diss to the other lanes or to TheOddOne but having a world class support like Xpecial means that all the right spots are warded and engagements will typically turn out in their favor, especially if he’s on Thresh. Since their duo lane remains sturdy as a brick wall throughout the early game, it’s best to capitalize on the tendencies of the other players. In Dyrus’s case, if he plays Karthus then it would be most wise to punish his inability to handle 3-man dives well at his turret since he doesn’t have the necessary damage output to execute anyone after death. In the case of Reginald, he plays in lane aggressively almost always and has the capability to do so since TheOddOne floats near his lane. Therefore, Reginald’s lane is almost always susceptible to counter-ganks if players ever slightly feel that his positioning can be punished. Also, from video footage captured on Gamecribs or even just from watching VODs, it’s been revealed that TheOddOne can sometimes fall due to mechanical failures (in particular some Elise games) and thus counter jungle skirmishes will typically bear fruit for the opposing team.
The Bottom Line
If Reginald can keep his head in the game and play to his utmost potential on carry champions, the future looks bright for TSM in the World Championships. Although they have a gruesome group to fight through, TSM does have another advantage on their side. Many teams will be overlooking TSM as a contender for the quarterfinals and beyond so TSM can look to punish over aggression from teams that don’t respect them. Be sure to catch their opening match of the tournament against GamingGear.eu this Sunday at 12:00 PM PST!
Representing China, OMG has been on the rise in the LPL and has been looking stronger and stronger as they concluded their Summer split with a commanding 17-4 finishing record in the regular season. Despite losing to Royal in the Chinese qualifier to determine who gets the group stage bye, rumor has it that they purposely threw their games against Royal Club Huang Zu to get a relatively easy group in the Season 3 World Championships.
Meet the Team
[one_half]Top Lane – Gogoing[/one_half]
Gogoing, the top laner and Captain of OMG, is known as one of the best Rumble players in China, rivaling iG PDD’s Rumble. Gogoing often draws a lot of bans from OMG’s opponents because he will always make a huge impact in the game from the top lane.
[one_half]Jungle – LoveLin[/one_half]
LoveLin, the jungler for OMG, is one of the most talented Chinese League of Legends players that have ever played professionally for China maintaining 2 accounts in the top 5 on the Chinese ranked solo queue ladder, making MadLife-esqe plays from when he played support for OMG in the spring season. After moving to the jungle, he continued to make crucial plays for OMG in the summer season. LoveLin typically picks strong counter-jungling, dueling champions and will often seek to create picks in the mid game to snowball advantages for OMG.
[one_half]Mid Lane – Cool[/one_half]
Cool, the star MVP of LPL Spring and mid laner for OMG, often favors strong roaming mid lane champions who can either create picks for his teammates or follow up picks from his teammates with insanely high burst damage to secure the kill.
San and bigpomelo[/one_half]
San and bigpomelo are a very bloodthirsty, fast pushing duo lane. Bigpomelo used to play an extremely hyper-aggressive jungle position for OMG back in the LPL spring season which proved to be a double-edged sword for OMG. He used to be the support player and former teammate of FzzF and ClearLove (now Mann) before they joined World Elite. Now bigpomelo has moved back to his former support position to partner up with his equally hyper-aggressive duo lane partner, San.
OMG originally formed in May 2012, but has undergone a lot of roster changes and the current main roster solidified in November 2012. During the interlude between the Season 2 World Championships and the beginning of the LPL Spring 2013 qualifiers, their coach scouted the Korean scene quite extensively and trained the team accordingly following the Korean meta very closely.
Back in the Chinese LPL Spring 2013 season, they were the dark horse team and very few people knew much about the team that looked like gangster activists in their team photos. However, they made a huge splash in the Chinese scene when they took down World Elite with their signature Freight Train Composition. They eventually win the LPL Spring 2013 playoffs to take 1st place over Team Positive Energy, Invictus Gaming, and World Elite.
When the Chinese LPL Summer 2013 season rolled around, OMG continued their dominating fashion taking first place in the group stage at 17-4 in a commanding lead over Royal Club and Team PE. Although they lost to Royal in the S3 Chinese Qualifier to determine who gets the group stage bye, it is highly rumored that they purposely lost so they can be put into a relatively easier group with a higher chance of avoiding some of the stronger teams coming out of Group B.
OMG is one of the most aggressive teams at level 1 in the LPL. Between week 1 – 4, they have invaded in more than 60% of their games. They are looking to fight and they never back down from a level 1 5v5. Their level 1 strategies have never put them in a disadvantage, making them a true terror against their opponents.
OMG’s blue side level 1 is typically standard compared to the other teams but with their own twist. Instead of deep invades, they set up a line of scrimmage with each player covering an entrance into their jungle. The most typical blue side level 1 is having the Top laner scouting the river top brush, the mid laner at mid lane, jungle at the entrance to wraith camp, and the adc scouting the tri brush at bottom, while the supports wards the brushes around mid lane.
OMG does their level 1 a bit differently from other top teams; they like use Nami or Blizcrank to create aggressive level 1 plays. OMG tends to hide in the topside brush at mid and ward over the ledge while using their crowd control on them over the ledge and secures first blood.
When OMG is on the red side, they have a record of invading nearly every game. Between week 1- 4, they invaded 4 out of 5 games from the red side. OMG aggressively looks for fights and deep wards. In 2 of those 5 games, OMG were able to pick up at least 1 kill. Their aggressiveness on the red side has gotten them vision advantages and early leads throughout their games. OMG aggressively forces themselves into the enemy’s side of the map to ward deep in their jungle and try to pick someone off. In a few of the invades, OMG deep wards the enemy bottom side jungle then invades the enemy blue, looking for a level 5v5 fight.
Note: When faced with an Evelynn, OMG started with 0 green wards at level one; only pink wards.
General Compositions and Strategy
OMG has ran many Korean-style strategies with some of their own various focuses, such as fast tower-pushing compositions and massive AoE teamfighting comps. While their signature team comp was known as “the Freight Train” originally with Hecarim, Thresh, and Graves, OMG to a certain extent have moved away from that team composition and instead have adopted a style more oriented around heavy skirmishing and taking objectives off of skirmish victories.
OMG are also masters of mind games and are known to psych out other teams in the mid/late game with strong Baron control, similar to that of the KT Rolster Bullets from Korea. Their teamfight coordination has gotten increasingly better as they have grown together as a team, which only spells more dread in their opponents.
OMG has for the most part in their history as a team have been playing with only Chinese teams so far in actual competition and have been playing in for the most part the very unique Chinese meta. While they do have one of the best coaching staffs in terms of scouting information and they have most likely been scrimming Korean teams, it’s not quite the same as actual competition.
OMG is also a team that will always play aggressive even if they are 6-8K gold behind which can be a double edged sword in that they can either gain advantages back from aggressive plays or fall even further behind.
The key to beating OMG is to shut down LoveLin and deny him from doing the aggressive counter jungling that he does so well by heavily warding OMG’s jungle to track his movements and react accordingly Another way is to pick strong level 1 champions and punish them early when OMG enters the jungle looking for aggressive plays.
The Bottom Line
It is very interesting to see how OMG always evolves as a team as time goes on and the meta changes. OMG will definitely be a top contender to take the Season 3 World Championship title this year even amongst the powerful Korean teams like SK Telecom T1. How they will do against international teams will be very interesting to watch and they are not afraid to play aggressively and even pick unconventional champions.