Monday, January 18, 2016

League of Legends: NA LCS, TSM vs. CLG (Week 1, Day 1)

Like every year, the League of Legends landscape has changed a lot. Two of North America's signature teams in Team Solomid and Counter Logic Gamaing faced off at the very start of the season. Just a few thoughts on this NA LCS match from a day ago (in roughly chronological order):

  • TSM's setup of the split push was very sloppy. It didn't look like they accounted for the waves correctly and how far Hauntzer would be behind Darshan in the early game. The double jungling didn't look like it helped Svenskeren in the macro and really set Mundo back, which led to...

  • The first kill of the game was a straight 4-person dive on Hauntzer; I'm not sure there's much he could have done about it in any situation. The commentators talked about him needing backup against the duo lane; Svenskeren could have prioritized helping his top laner, but didn't. Frankly, with Xmithie roaming down early and for people for CLG, it probably wouldn't have mattered.
  • Sven had a nice cocoon onto Darshan to blow the Jax up and win TSM a huge team teamfight before 15 minutes, but otherwise wasn't that impactful in terms of controlling the jungle or starting engages. I don't remember a single effective gank. Not what you're looking for from your number 1 pick. By contrast, Xmithie did a lot on Rek'Sai.
  • The commentators talked about all the defensive spells available in teamfights, but it looked like the teamfights were pretty sloppy all around. I've been watching a lot of Worlds play to prepare for this season, and the fights were just a bit below that level. More on this later.
  • CLG out-rotated TSM to almost every neutral objective. True, some of them were taken after won teamfights, but TSM didn't have the ward coverage, lane pressure, or positioning to challenge any of them.
  • CLG curiously got caught a few times with the lead - I know they were trying to set up the 1-3-1 split push, but it seems like with the lead, the priority in that strat is to not die and force TSM to rotate against superior vision. But they didn't estasblish the vision, pushed too far a few times, and were punished. 
  • TSM had curious target prioritization in the later teamfights. CLG did a good job tunneling on Bjergsen and Doublelift despite the CC and peel from Alistar, but TSM was unable to get to Stixxay. 
  • I felt like with sharper rotations between the mid and bottom inhibitors, CLG could have won a bit earlier and stopped TSM from pushing up mid at 39 minutes when CLG had all the buffs. The push failed, but still a bit scary when a team gets that close to an open inhibitor
  • What was Hauntzer doing at 41:30?
  • CLG could have ended it earlier but I like the patience and their sticking to what got them the lead.

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