Saturday, January 30, 2016

League of Legends: 2016 NA LCS, TSM vs IMT (Week 2, Day 1)

So I know Immortals were unbeaten heading into the match w/ NRG, so they obviously won this game. But I’m still keen to see how it played out and where Team SoloMid stand as they try to integrate the new team around Bjergsen. Also, I'm introducing player grades at the end - I want to see how the teams are playing around their players and how they evolve over the year.

Pick/Ban thoughts – Hauntzer instantly first-picked Poppy; as the casters indicated, she may be OP in some way that isn’t obvious to me (I play bot lane carry/support). She's become a priority pick all over the world. TSM tried to target top and mid lane with their bans but IMT got power picks anyway – I’m really interested to see if Hauntzer can stop Huni's Fiora. Fiora is already OP in my opinion though Popy does bring some tools to the matchup. Svenskeren and Bjergsen will have to be very aggressive with their roams to shut Huni down or he could become a monster in the late game and IMT’s teamfighting with Lissandra and Corki, and good lord is Adrian good on Janna. I may be biased from knowing the outcome, but it feels like through 3 games, TSM are still trying to find the right team comp that works for them – they got stomped in their first game and their win against Team Liquid came via a Liquid mistake in the late game. They do have an opportunity if they can get to lategame – IMT are squishy and TSM have good tankiness from Yellowstar and Hauntzer.

15:15 - IMT started everyone in the blue side jungle of TSM, mucking the game up. Hauntzer and Yellowstar get baited by Huni, who is impossible to kill. Reignover and WildTurtle (who got experience from free farm) dive and pick up first blood. TSM should have never walked away from their turret knowing that IMT were there. I like the unconventional start from IMT – NA teams are playing very standard lane swaps without an ridiculous invades, but they’ll have to have this in their repertoire for international play.

19:00 - Fiora is building a huge lead with the early assist and a frozen lane. This is bad. Both Sven and Reignover want to dive but haven't been coordinted. Sven runs up but is spotted by a ward. IMT are smart to support on Fiora and leave WildTurtle and Adrian alone – they are down in CS but are unlikely to be dove and will still be fine by mid-game.

24:20 - ok, Huni is killable. Huni had this lane pushing toward him but now it is pushed very far toward Hauntzer and Sven arrives just as Huni initiates. Huni unwisely took several tower shots then Hauntzer kicks him back into the turret, dying earlier than expected, which gets Reignover killed as well.

26:35 - ok, Huni might be very killable. Hauntzer and Sven did a great job mechanically to win this fight at the turret. I think TSM predicted that Reignover would be taking his blue giving Svenskeren the opportunity to gank top.

30:20 - with the duos in mid lane, Bjergsen and Pobelter are missing. This is a bigger problem for Pobelter because of Ahri’s assassin potential. Bjergsen stays in the bush for a long time, waiting for Pobelter to burn a spell before charming him. Huni TPs in which forces Pobelter to stay around at 1/4 life. He tombs himself but Sven and Hauntzer arrive and TSM outplays IMT again on mechanics to get a 2 for 1. As much as TSM have to fear Fiora, Ahri and Poppy becoming a problem for IMT. IMT get a kill back on Yellowstar and importantly get a tower, but their kill participation is not as good as TSM’s. Sven and Hauntzer are both sitting at 100%.

33:10 - Huni is in trouble again but Adrian saves the day. He pops ult at the perfect moment, saves Huni, zones TSM out of the fight and heals the team. They proc Huni’s ult for more heal and 2 kills.

35:00 - TSM grab dragon and IMT try to take 2 mid turrets before they get back, but they burned a lot of cooldowns in the earlier fight. TSM basically wait out the hollowing gale then follow the shield from Yellowstar into the lane. Wildturtle gets caught by an aggressive engage from Hauntzer which ends in a death on Pobelter. I can’t blame TSM for this call, it was basically a 50/50 but the outplay from TSM allows them to take the two mid turrents of IMT.

37:50 - just craziness. Bjergsen is playing very aggressively, lands a charm on Pobelter, then Sven dives in – I though the dive was too far to be honest and that TSM would lose this fight, especially since he landed on Reignover who ulted out of the CC. But he buys time for Bjergsen to get a second charm on Pobelter. IMT have to go back in b/c they called the TP from Huni, and they do burst down Sven. As IMT chase, Hauntzer lands the perfect hammer onto both Adrian and Reignover, right as TSM turn back onto Huni. Great coordination from a team that looked a bit lost in week 1. The fight eventually ends in a 4 for 3 for TSM with Hauntzer still at 100% kill participation. As the casters noticed, I was impressed with how decisive TSM were in the engage, disengage, and re-engage. IMT played well just to get the three kills.

41:00 - Hauntzer is a monster. All questions of Poppy into Fiora have been solved. He blocked everything Huni was trying to do. At this point I’m wondering – how did TSM lose? It must be a massive lost teamfight right?

42:00 - Yup a massive lost teamfight. The sad thing is when they ran in for Baron, I thought for sure it was a bait to force IMT into a bad fight down one carry. I was honestly shocked when they kept going. Reignover sole Baron (TSM were a bit low going into it), and I agree with the casters: TSM did not need to go for Baron. They should have run IMT around the map with their split push and siege pressure, continued getting picks, and have Hauntzer push the bottom inhibitor. A that point, IMT is forced to give up Baron. Yellowstar was a bit shaky on the calls last week but was really good in this game until now. IMT now have the lead and TP advantage.

49:18 – IMT caught Doublelift and that was basically the game (Janna tornado into Lissandra ultimate). Casters brought up a good point – Doublelift had no QSS and IMT punished him.  Doublelift’s Caitlin was pretty passive (some awesome trap-setting though), but it’s just not the Doublelift I’m used to seeing.

Huni: B-
Reignover: B+
Pobelter: B+
WildTurtle: B-
Adrian: A

Hauntzer: A-
Svenskeren: B-
Bjergsen: B
Doublelift: B

Yellowstar: B

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