This was my second highly-anticipated Sunday matches in Week 3 of the #NALCS 2016 Spring Split. Team Liquid have found a star jungler in Dardoch and Piglet is still Piglet. I'll never forget Piglet vs. Uzi for the 2013 World Championships, and his game is still elite. Team Impulse don't have the star power but they have rallied for 3 straight wins coming into this match.
Pick/Ban – very interesting bans of Caitlin, Bard, and Lulu by TIP leaves a lot of power up and they are able to trade first pick Graves for their Ryze and Alistar. TL get Lucian, Tahm Kench, Lux, and Morgana while TIP end with Elise, Varus and Kalista. Both of these comps have good engage and range damage. TIP can stay a bit safer in fights while TIP might be looking for a split push. I like what both teams are doing with some mid-game power.
23:45 – Procxin thinks he has Dardoch caught in the cocoon, but Dardoch dodges a couple autos, returns two shots of his own, and flashes for the kill. Dardoch now has a huge advantage and he uses it to push mid but, uh oh, Procxin is out for revenge at 25:00! Ryze TPs down for TIP and they get a kill on the jungler. Ryze can get pretty big off this.
30:00 – Dardoch is in a bind - both Tahm Kench and Lucian struggle a bit early so he has to choose which one to help. I would help the Kench - you can't let Ryze get out of control, especially with that kill. But he’s late to this party and Lourlo is taken down despite grey health. I think this is more on Lourlo though – he's on a low-econ champion and will scale later, right now he needs to stay safe and have the lane coming towards him. Lourlo again goes too aggressive on Seraph at 31:45 and dies again. I know they’re afraid of Ryze but doing it on his own without vision of the jungler is not the way to keep Ryze down. And this type of play is not going to work against Huni/Reignover.
37:25 – With the Rift Herald buff, TIP head down bot with 4 members and aim for the 2nd tier turret. They very wisely back upon seeing the TL rotation, and Lourlo is again in a terrible spot. I think he’s trying to stop TIP long enough for the TL CC to catch up but is instead CC’ed himself (second straight death without popping grey health) and the culling from Piglet is not enough. TIP go 4 for nothing and get the turret on the next wave.
41:35 – After getting pushed off Baron and losing their mid turret, TIP respond with a massive pulverize from Gate’s Alistar that knocks up 4. They get Matt immediately but Seraph tunnels way too hard and TL chase back for a 4 for 1. Ridiculous. Seraph tried to flank but should not have targeted Lourlo – yes, he’s killed him a few times, but Kench can slowly scale his tankiness and should never be the first target.
44:10 – Holy crap is Ryze fed. He is bound by Matt but before Piglet can do anything, Seraph just plows through the stun and the exhaust and blows Morgana out of the water. This turns into the tier 2 for TIP, but TL do a good job of catching TIP out of position for an uncontested Baron at 45:45. Wow. You just can't give that up for nothing when you're ahead.
48:20 – TL have 2 turrets on Baron buff and try for a third. They have a lot of ways to catch you and they bind and assassinate Seraph to relieve pressure as they back. Seraph took a laser and culling to the face after that Lux binding.
49:10 – TIP make a very questionable call for Dragon without vision control. Seraph TPs in but Tahm Kench gets shielded and turns the fight for TL. I don’t think TIP should have been grouping but trying to isolate Ryze or Kalista in a side lane. But it doesn’t matter as TL take down 4 members and take the nexus.
I felt like TIP were in control of the whole game and just made 1-2 bad calls - the Baron fail and then a couple overcommits. TL should feel very lucky to win this game. Their overall coordination improved near the end and they were superior in teamfights, but dealing with a Ryze that's as fed as Seraph's was is never a clear victory condition.