Saturday, February 13, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, REN vs TSM (Week 4, Day 2)

This should be an easy win for Team SoloMid, right? I mean they've had their struggles, but are one of the only teams to have had a lead on Immortals and Renegades have issues of their own. Doublelift and Yellowstar have a good duo lane matchup; is this the game Peter finally carries for his team?

Pick/Ban – I really liked this draft for both teams. Renegades picked strong AP champions that should have utility in skirmishes and teamfights. They are not as coordinated with supporting play and their champions are more prepared for picks and individual duels. For TSM, they gave Fiora to Hauntzer to stay safe by himself and picked 3 champions in Lulu, Kindred, and Alistar to keep Doublelift safe. Doublelift’s KDA has been hampered by a litany of unneeded deaths and I like giving Bjergsen a more utility midlaner. They should win this game without him carrying and I think this is a good way to work out some team synergy issues. The one concern with this comp - Kindred and Alistar's teamfight abilities require them to dive into melee range - can TSM follow fast enough?

The early game was pretty aggressive on both sides. Hauntzer gave up first blood and then dies 1v1 to Ryze at 20:00. This isn’t a catastrophe for TSM but they really need Hauntzer to stay safe on his own. 21:50 – Crumbz is getting out-jungled despite having Nidalee and goes a little too far trying to get a kill on Doublelift. Yellowstar does a great job headbutting him into the turret. Kobe totally jinxed Crumbz.

22:30 – Not sure what happened here. Bjergsen and Svenskeren take down AlexIch but Doublelift is caught AGAIN without Yellowstar. Why, why, why was Doublelift laning so far alone? As an AD carry myself, I like Doublelift's aggressive farm style but he can’t keep making these mistakes.

25:20 – This is not the engage that TSM wanted. Alistar/Kindred go in on Braum/Nidalee but Draven is there before Doublelift and chunks down Yellowstar to half immediately. TSM kill Crumbz but are separated and run away from Lamb’s respite and get chased hard. Ryze and Draven can almost one-shot anyone from TSM now. A few minutes later REN get 4 turrets for 2 off their split push pressure. They give up a kill for staying long, but still a good trade. 31:30 is another concerning teamfight for TSM. Renegades play the siege patiently and wait for Yellowstar to call the team before using shockwave.  They outplay TSM in the teamfight and take 2 for nothing and a turret. Yellowstar engaged with no follow and Hauntzer’s TP was late, a theme. TSM look uncoordinated.

32:25 – REN go for an aggressive Baron call – they do not need this. Early Baron does a ton of damage. If TSM did anything right in the last fight, it was keep Doublelift safe – he is at full health and skirts the outside of the pit, picking people off. Hauntzer dies to give him time, Bjergsen arrives with homeguards and Doublelift gets a Quadra Kill. TSM capitalize with two turrets and take back some map control. 

The next few minutes were about map control. Bjergsen and Freeze took turns playing tag with the other team and TSM tried for an ambush mid but didn’t have enough CC to capitalize. This is where the Kindred is weak, not being able to engage when you don’t have the lead. That’s especially true a few minutes later when Svenskeren goes in without his ultimate and is blown up immediately and TSM lose a turret for it. Sven has been shaky and not just in this game - I’m not sure Kinrdred is the right champion for him. 

42:00 – Not sure what Renegades are doing, they do nothing to counter the Bjergsen split push (TSM had TP advantage) and he easily takes down an inhibitor turret in the bot lane, the worst one for them to lose with Baron up. And TSM go immediately for Baron and this time they can’t get out alive. Svenskeren again did not time the lamb’s respite correctly. 

44:30 – Despite getting caught by another AlexIch shockwave, TSM kill the ball deliverer while Svenskeren ults himself and tanks for the team. A few minutes later at 46:45, the fight repeats: Alex’s shockwave catches multiple members but TSM are saved by the lamb’s respite. Crumbz tries to go in on Svenskeren but nobody protects Freeze who is locked down by CC. From here, TSM out-execute another Baron fight and end the game with the buff and an Ace.

I can see why there are worrying articles about TSM’s locker room and chemistry. This was another disjointed game for them. Renegades won the early game and had map control for much of the contest, but lost a couple teamfights they didn’t need. I can see their perspective though – after getting a lead, they didn’t know how many more teamfights they could win and wanted to try to win those as quickly as possible with the gold and map advantage. REN definitely have something to build off of. TSM did a good job recovering and again, when they group as 5 and engage together, it can be fun to watch. It’s frustrating though when every game seems to bring up another weakness. Afterward Doublelift talked about how he was having a hard time focusing, getting hit by Orianna ults, and I’m glad he’s not satisfied with the 13 kills and the win. The team really need him and Svenskeren to play better against teams like Immortals, and Liquid who are excellent in those areas. And that coordination – it sounds like (from Doublelift) and looks like (from the game) that the team are expecting Yellowstar to give them more direction while he is expecting them to follow his lead. Still, these things can be worked out if they stay together and focus on their team goals. And they are tied for 2nd in the LCS. 

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