Saturday, February 27, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, NRG vs DIG (Week 6, Day 1)

Two teams fighting to remain in the #NALCS 2016 Spring Split playoffs. NRG came in with a lot of hope with their new comp but have looked lost with Impact relegated to tanks (which the analysts mentioned before the match) and Altec not carrying teamfights. I still think NRG have more talent and win this, but DIG played two bloody games last week and could make this interesting. Kirei has had his struggles but so has Moon.

Picks and Bans – Interesting draft from both sides. DIG went with Lulu, Bard, and Kindred around Kalista and will try to focus on Apollo – smart. NRG give Karma to GBM and Poppy to Impact – again, a bit disappointing since I expect this to be a tank poppy against BillyBoss’ Trundle.
31:10 – Pretty standard lane swap to start with turret trades, but then it gets funky. Both teams push alternate lanes, but BillyBoss is called to defend the bot lane inhib from Moon, KonKwon, and Altec, and he is helpless against the poke. DIG look helpless as their inhib turret goes down before 10 minutes in game time! This is a disaster. Once they get to the inhib, you have to decide if you can trade or back immediately.

33:30 – The next few minutes are about keeping Apollo down. Here, Impact TPs in to put pressure on Apollo and they get what I think they want: BillyBoss’ matching TP to match. This allows NRG to take a free Dragon without giving up the TP advantage or lane pressure. They poke down the mid turret with the healing and shields. A few minutes later at 36:45 they gank Apollo again and again BillyBoss blows a TP on nothing while Impact is left alone in the top lane. DIG want to fight but don’t have the power and with Kalista so low, it was never going to work. NRG are running DIG around the map and BillyBoss is really struggling with his gamesense – in a previous game, he blew a TP moving something like 500 to join a teamfight that already ended. He returns a kill on Impact at 37:45 (even this was a bit lucky), but it doesn’t really matter: NRG are still firmly in control however. They continue to push waves and go up 7 turrets to 3 by 23 minutes in game time.

47:35 – After an invade of NRG’s blue, KiWiKiD throws his ult on several members, but Impact goes aggressive on Kirei, who is not very tanky. It’s an awkward place to fight and Kalista’s limited range means Apollo can’t throw out enough damage. This results in Baron for NRG. At 49:30 DIG have to go all-in to defend – they can’t wait out the Baron buff. KiWiKiD’s Bard ultimate catches only Moon and GBM (49:34), with GBM not in immediate danger. KonKwon zones DIG long enough for Altec and Impact to flank from the right and the game is over.

NRG finally got a great game out of Altec. That was it. They have more talent than a lot of LCS teams but haven’t gotten good performances from the carries. Moon also had a pretty good game on Nidalee, constantly pressuring Apollo and shutting that lane down for NRG. GBM did a happy dance after the game, and he is justified – this is the cleanest game NRG have played all season. For Dignitas, they lost the lane swap and the bot lane, but they can recover if they regroup to pressure the solo lanes. But they felt panicky and uncoordinated and NRG had the lane advantage the whole game. Ultimately, they still haven’t figured out how to play this meta – 5 man grouping comps only work if you are diligent with the side lanes. This meta is built around laning and turrets and getting run around the map is a sure way to lose.

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