Team Impulse have played well this split, but I expect NRG to win this off of superior play from all the mid and duo lanes. Impact has been fairly quiet this split as opponents have focused him, but GBM and Altec have taken turns carrying.
Picks and Bans – Pretty standard picks on this patch as we get Corki from NRG and Graves/Nidalee for TIP. TIP have picked a lot of poke with good utility in Graves, Nidalee, and Ezreal – they have power early, mid and late. NRG will have a lot of pick/CC and will be beastly in teamfights, but have to last long enough for Ezreal to scale. I like these comps – TIP want to play fast and NRG have the tools to stop them in their tracks.
The early game consisted of good, decisive dives and catches from both teams. 15:30 was a TIP dive on Malphite and Rek’Sai who didn’t have enough early power. Good call by TIP to take advantage of the pushing waves instead of letting NRG farm at tower. 19:30 was NRG’s turn to counter push and kill Feng and a turret. 25:50 – TIP are caught disengaging from dragon and are split up as they retreat through their jungle. NRG do a good job zoning and pick up a 4 for nothing. 29:50 – NRG push mid but are stopped by a big nice Kassadin ult (with black shield) + Graves. TIP push down 2 turrets and are now in control.
32:00 – The first real mistake. Feng is caught and TIP try Baron with 4 and lose the fight. This is not what they should be doing with their comp! But NRG are so low that they can't take much with the buff. The pace has slowed a bit similar to what we’re seeing in Korea. Deaths in the mid- and late-game are punished so heavily and there is so much power and CC that both teams are forced to play somewhat cautiously.
40:30 – a kill on Graves transitions into a Baron for NRG, secured with help from a well-timed Bard ultimate. But unlike Echo Fox earlier in the day, Impulse are smart to prepare for the fight afterwards and are able to get 2 for 2 (and critically, buff off 2 members). Good call for NRG though because they have strong vision control in the TIP jungle. Much has been made about the lack of vision in Season 6, but teams have done very well with trinkets and the spooky ghosts. NRG would love to take a couple or more turrets, but the siege from TIP works the other way too – they can protect turrets while staying fairly safe. They lose one and several members but their inhibitor turrets stay up. GBM is doing well assassinating members but is himself pretty squishy. From here, NRG will want to try to catch TIP in a big teamfight with their CC but will have to avoid Kassadin.
48:00 – Be patient with this one, as NRG were. They bait Baron several times until Kassadin gets close enough for GBM to just clean erase. NRG take Baron and hunt down TIP. GBM is a god.
This was a well-played game on both sides. NRG were able to get TIP to fight for objectives at the right times and GBM dominated. TIP never got control back of their jungle and didn’t really have a team built around the Baron objective.