Tuesday, February 9, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, TL vs NRG (Week 3, Day 1)

I know, I know, I'm behind on my #NALCS analysis. I actually had Week 3 all ready but a computer issue prevented me from posting. So here's a barrage of Week 3 and Week 4 action starting with two hot teams, Team Liquid and NRG ESports.

Pick/Ban - TL picked a flexible comp that can siege and poke. NRG went with a standard teamfight-focused 2-tank comp with Kalista/Alistar and Trundle up top. I think it will be very interesting to see if Fenix can stay alive on Lux vs. Viktor – Viktor has better wave clear and both have great burst damage. If TL can keep Fenix safe, they’ll bring a lot of power to the midgame. NRG have the edge around later game objective fights, though, so TL will have to play fast.
TL smartly focused on Impact early, even diving him under turret. Impact played well (this sequence at 37:00 is nuts) but ceded a couple kills. Dardoch however outplayed Moon the whole game (did benefit from an early rift herald). This guy is good. And Lourlo, who's been a bit shay, did well on Poppy – TL played their comp correctly by strangling the map against NRG’s lack of waveclear in the side lanes.

45:40 - Huge fight won for TL by Dardoch’s aggressiveness and Matt’s timely Bard play. Outside of an early death, Matt was dominant on Bard while KonKwon was just solid. TL get a 2 for 1 and 2 turrets. NRG are in trouble as teamfights are now going to come to them via the TL siege. They need to pulverize/cocoon a carry to turn this around.

48:15 – I’m not sure how Fenix survives long enough to burst down Altec. He made a mistake walking around two Trundle pillars without support and KonKwon engages with flash-knockup. But he flashed so far that NRG couldn’t follow with damage – only he and Impact were in the area. I like that call from NRG though – TL are on a power spike and will siege them to death if they don’t go for broke.

50:55 – It looks like TL find the wrong target as Impact is so tanky. Another Bard ult freezes GBM, he’s blown up, and NRG lose another teamfight. This is the problem with their comp – if they can’t initiate the fights, they risk getting caught without damage in the right places. KonKwon actually did a good job of flash-headbutting Fenix into the middle but only Altec focuses on him as Impact and Moon are trying to save GBM. NRG end up between the tanks and the squishies and can’t take either. TL are looking much more decisive and coordinated than NRG. From here, they bait Baron, kill some people, take Baron and objectives, rinse, repeat. I just don’t know how well teamfighting comps without waveclear work in this lane-focused meta. 2 tanks are still powerful as we see in other regions, but it requires pinpoint teamwork, shotcalling, and rotations to prevent the other team from simply splitting and catching and starving your jungle. And for a team like TL who are still finding themselves and have some weaker performers like Lourlo, I think the split-push style actually helps them mask weaknesses by making mistakes less punishing (losing Lourlo is not as bad as losing a teamfight).

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