Saturday, February 27, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, TL vs FOX (Week 6, Day 1)

This game will forever be known as "Save the Lucian!!!" - you'll find out later.

This sums up how I feel about Echo Fox:

As for TL, I feel like they have so much potential if their duo lanes can just hold the line. After a fantastic start, Dardoch has slowed down a bit, but again, they just need Lourlo to survive in lane and they have a shot against anyone. But because their name is not Immortals, I went #FOXWin.

Picks and Bans – I feel better about FOX’s pick/ban – they go with the same formula of protecting Froggen. For TL, they pick a lot of teamfight utility in Gragas (1st pick), Poppy, and Alistar, but with only Ezreal poke. They’ll have to tunell real hard as 5 to blow up the FOX back line in fights.

Pretty standard early lane phase but FOX have the CS lead in all the lanes. Oh Lourlo. 22:00 was a nice kill on Keith to punish him for playing the long lane. But what is Lourlo doing TP’ing in? You only TP if you see Hard, but he was on the other side of the map. Hard actually built Cinderhulk to give Froggen even more protection.

29:00 – TL dive on Keith and Big and Lourlo tunnels in for a kill, ending up in no-man’s land. Still, it’s not a disaster – keeping the carry down is important when their whole comp is built around protecting carries. And my goodness kfo is tanky. TL have caught up in CS though, are shoving the lanes toward turrets, and Dardoch is still ahead of Hard. FOX miss a kill on Fenix at 36:20 but pick up a couple kills a bit later near the Dragon pit as kfo uses his body to zone Piglet, Fenix, and Dardoch out of the fight. He dies, but allows Keith to do a ton of damage on the outside of the fight.

40:30 – FOX rotate all their members to the TL top lane and Lourlo does a much better job positioning for the kill on Keith. FOX cannot run with only Froggen doing damage. FOX do stop the Baron but lose Big and after an extended chase, Frogen too. Much better coordination from TL and fantastic wall stun by Lourlo.

44:00 – TL blew a bunch of cooldowns trying to take down kfo and lose a big teamfight, which results in the midlane outers. Once Dragon died, TL should not have engaged and Lourlo should not have gone in on the FOX tank. If anything, they should have tried a Gragas barrel to blow a squishy out of the pit, this was just the wrong fight and the wrong execution. TL are still ahead in kills but have lost control of the game.

52:30 – TL call for the 50/50 Dragon. This fight was won by FOX’s superior poke, kfo allowing them to chunk down everyone. Matt has 7 assists but hasn’t been able to peel for his carries. Lourlo is actually having a pretty good game – outside of a the ill-advised knockup onto kfo, he is sacrificing himself for the team, but the team aren’t following with damage on the right targets. Froggen has become a problem, yet again. And with this team comp, TL can’t really split push or siege, they basically need to win teamfights around objectives, and aren’t doing so. Not sure Gragas was the right choice for Dardoch, especially as a first-pick.

58:15 – TL finally get a Dragon, preventing FOX’s 5th, but are not able to engage on it anyway. The difference in this fight was Matt having his ult and keeping people off of Dardoch. But then they make a huge blunder at 1:02:30 by giving up an uncontested 2-man Baron to Echo Fox. You have to have vision of that pit, especially when members are missing. FOX had just shoved in the top lane, you just can’t let that side of the map go dark.

1:04:00 – Disagree with FOX heading for Dragon. They can pick up 5th Dragon anytime, but TL are forced to the pit and out of position to defend the midlane. Jatt brought up the midlane feint as a diversion to get vision of the Dragon, but I would always rather have an inhibitor. They have multiple win conditions and don’t need the Dragon now. Lourlo and Matt do another fantastic job keeping everyone off Dardoch and TL take Dragon again. FOX’s indecision and a catch on Hard result in FOX running without even a turret. It’s just crazy that TL survived the 2 minute Baron buff without giving anything. FOX still have a lead but TL can capture gold from turrets and are finishing builds.

1:06:30 - Another catch on Hard a few minutes later with a 70 second death timer leads to two turrets for TL. TL take down Froggen and use that as the indicator to take the game but Piglet is destroyed and with him goes all their DPS. That’s why I don’t like this comp – you have a lot of utility in Gragas/Syndra, but once you burn those cooldowns, you only have Ezreal left. Keith twists and turns around the whole team and gets the game-ending Ace while Big frantically yells "Save the Lucian! Save the Lucian!"

Echo Fox showed they still have a long way to go before jelling as a complete team. Sure, they won, but I am unsure about some of their late-game calls. Trading objectives when ahead can be dangerous, as that can shrink the % gold lead, but allowing TL to fight back for vision and rotate faster should never happen with the Baron buff. As for TL – they finally got a great game out of Lourlo only to see Fenix shrink. But really, I think they lost this in the draft and that it was a minor miracle they lasted as long as they did. But no matter how the game went down, Echo Fox have confirmed themselves as a playoff contender, resulting in this post-game tweet:

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