Saturday, February 13, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, CLG vs IMT (Week 4, Day 1)

This was my most anticipated game of the week. Counter Logic Gaming are right in the mix of the next tier behind Immortals with NRG and C9. A win against the undefeated leaders of the LCS would do a lot for them the rest of this split. Then there’s Pobelter vs. HuHi, but if CLG are smart, they’d focus on shutting down Reignover and Huni as those two have been monsters in every IMT game. Can CLG either push the pace faster than IMT want (improbable) or extend the game to a late-game siege where IMT’s pick comp doesn’t scale as well?

Picks and Bans – Third straight game where Nidalee was a priority pick, this time for Reignover. His Rek’Sai is really good, but given how IMT have let him be aggressive in the first 3 weeks, this could be dangerous for CLG. If they are unable to start his early counter-jungling and prevent him from dominating the map, they could be in for a long game.
22:00 – Both teams are trying to hold onto turrets with solo toplaners but are dove hard. Huni is the first to die but he critically dodges enough of the culling from Stixxay to keep members around. Meanwhile, Huhi TPs to bottom trying to save Darshan but is late. This map is even but Nidalee’s early pressure and map control have IMT up on kills.

25:05 – Right after Kobe talks about midgame teamfights, Xmithie catches Reignover on a face-check and a huge 5v5 starts in the bot lane. Stixxay is melted instantly and IMT take that as a sign to go. But HuHi saves him, Graves kills Adrian and Nidalee and it’s a bunch of squishy targets. This is the danger of playing aggressive Nidalee – Reignover dies and CLG have themselves a 3 for 1 (their support). Then CLG make a huge misplay – low on health, they choose to take on full-health Cho’Gath. Stixxay walks to melee range and the rest of the team get caught by bindings. Darshan survives but this was big missed opportunity from CLG to even the gold. Even though he died, Pobelter’s mechanics in that fight were godlike.

28:00 – this is why most teams don’t pick squishy power champions like these. Reignover is burst down quickly but Adrian is right there to save him. For a new team, Immortals are fantastically coordinated. CLG make a call to head to the bottom tier 2 of Immortals but Aphromoo is already near-death. Darshan goes way too deep on WildTurtle (he’s only level 10), is blown up and the chase is on. Immortals get 4 for nothing and have Huni pushing the top lane tier 2 the whole time. This is the value of Adrian on Soraka – her multiple ways of healing with differing cooldowns make her more flexible than Zilean and she’s able to save multiple people in different places.

33:00 – Reignover is crazy aggressive. He pays for it with his life, but he gets his team the turret and allows a clean disengage after Huni was chunked down. A kill would have been nice but this was a good trade – taking a turret accelerates the timeline for IMT and there are no objectives CLG can really rotate to.

42:15 – after a very extended Baron dance from both teams, Xmithie and Aphoromoo are caught on the wrong side of the river clearing wards. Critically, Darshan is down bot clearing the wave – he and Stixxay are the only ones IMT really have to worry about. WildTurtle solo-kills Sitxxay AND Xmithie in a riducuous show of dueling acumen. Darshan’s TP is way too late – he actually started walking all the way up the river and doesn’t start his TP until all of CLG are dead. CLG lose Baron, 3 members, and some big cooldowns for nothing.

From there, IMT play a classic siege with Huni in the front, the poke from Reignover, Pobelter, and WildTurtle, and Adrian healing all the while. CLG actually catch WildTurtle at their bottom inhib but the power is too much for IMT. WildTurtle rends Stixxay for the Ace under the fountain and IMT roll again. We’ve had some really crazy games in this split, but this was a really fun match of power picks across the map. This is the LoL I want to see – lots of mobility and teamfighting coordination with ballsy shotcalling on both sides. CLG made 2 mistakes tunneling too hard and never recovered.


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