Wednesday, March 16, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 IEM Katowice, FNC vs CLG (Group B, Game 2 of 3)

CLG won the last game off superior rotations and map control while FNC looked lost in the extended lane swap and against the split push. Combined with a better scaling comp from CLG, it was a snowball FNC could not stop. After a disjointed loss to SKT in the first game (not that I blame them for losing) of the day, CLG are back to the style we’re familiar with, and I expect them to win Game 2. FNC have a shot though if they can just force teamfights - CLG have proven thus far to be a bit of a one-trick pony and their comp doesn't scale as well as it did in Game 1.

Pick and Bans – This started normally and got really weird. Kalista made it through with Udyr banned so CLG first-pick that for Stixxay. FNC follow with Thresh/Gragas and then Elise/Morgana for CLG. FNC then lock in QuinnJ/Jhin very quickly – did not see that coming! Quinn will help their answer to split push, but picking her blind is a huge risk. And Jhin too – that will help in the lane phase but his lack of auto range and mobility really hurts after that (esp. against Kalista). FNC can flex the Quinn but depending on Huhi’s champion pool, CLG should be able to counter. CLG do counter with Pantheon/Ekko; I think FNC will want Pantheon v. Quinn in the midlane and make Darshan play Ekko. FNC finish with the Rammus again but CLG have a ton of catch potential and can transition to splitting 4-1 with Huhi out. FNC do have the Thresh to help move Jhin around and will have a lot of mobility with Thresh, Quinn and Rammus.

Early Game – Standard lanes, FNC want to win the bot lane and survive everywhere else. A midlane kill into tower dive at 20:00 cedes a kill to Stixxay (oh Klaj) but they are unable to take the turret. But CLG rotate again for damage on the bot lane turret. They want to push the pace this game with an early-game comp. Spirit and Febiven go in on Huhi who calmly turns it on Febiven. Spirit does almost nothing on Gragas and that’s an easiest 1v2 kill you’ll ever see. CLG continue the rotation by calling Huhi to the bot lane where Stixxay finds Klaj.

FNC finally make a play at 21:15 by killing Xmithie and turning immediately to the mid lane turret. Darshan is pushing the top lane and the duo are recalling, so it’s a good time to go. They are rewarded with significant damage on the turret but a couple minutes later, the CLG duo again outplay FNC’s for a kill and get most of the turret health as well. With that turret gone, CLG calmly swap lanes and FNC are again slow to react, ceding a ton of turret damage to Darshan in the bot. Big fight breaks out at 26:00 with CLG a bit out of position.  aphromoo must have been hooked in, but it’s kind of ridiculous how long the duo are able to stay alive, allowing Xmithie to get a double kill on Spirit and Klaj. For extra measure, the spider dodges all 4 shots of the Curtain Call and CLG put major damage on the mid lane outer. You're not supposed to lose the duo this hard with Jhin!

CLG lose the plot a bit over the next few minutes. They want to consistently split out and pressure the waves but are instead baited into teamfight after teamfight and cede a 6-9 kill lead to FNC. They are still in control of the map and have a gold lead, but need to get back to their strategy. 41:00 is a big risk – CLG catch Spirit in his jungle, hide in a bush to pop Klaj before starting Baron, but I’m not sure they have the teamfight tools to take this. No take and no peels besides bindings means FNC can force their way into the pit. FNC Go on the chase and make it out with a 3-2 in kills but it’s a big relief of pressure for FNC, not only to stop the Baron, but to force CLG from their aggressive position on the map.

CLG go hard on the FNC blue side, catch Febiven and Gammsu, and rotate bot for the inhibitor, but then give up more pressure. Instead of knocking down the inhibitor, they flash in for the kills and overstay, losing a ton of members while taking turret damage. FNC go Baron, CLG chase into the pit and somehow Darshan gets the Baron with an auto-attack! FNC win the fight 1-3 off some bad target switching from CLG but Darshan single-handedly saved the play. As far as they are ahead, it’s astonishing to see CLG continue to opt into bad fights.

CLG aren’t able to do anything with the Baron buff and FNC are now very powerful as a team. They have all waves pushing and knock down the bot lane outer (finally). It’s at the point in the game that CLG can be forced to come together for a Baron fight and with their lack of peel and tankiness, could be in trouble. 50:50 – Stixxay is flanked in the mid lane and a nice play from Spirit gets FNC a couple kills. The death timers are so long – FNC have multiple options with this one. FNC push straight down mid lane and knock down the inhibitor. I agree with Deficio – Huhi and Darshan are not on the same page, a risk when two of your champions rely on all-ins in teamfights.

53:45 – FNC make a mess out of this Baron attempt. Indecision on whether to bait or take Baron allows CLG to get all their members in position and push them off. FNC chase through the CLG jungle with limited vision and a lack of cooldowns. The poor positioning allow Darshan and Huhi show off some of that coordination, Acing Fnatic. They are super low but turn around for Baron. CLG should split between the bot and mid and slow burn everything down. 2 Barons is surely the game right?

59:00 – CLG get the bot lane inhibitor and all nexus turrets but lose Darshan – that’s a lot of damage gone. FNC push mid with minions and it’s a bit of a base race. The two teams trade inhibitors but I like it better for CLG. The next few minutes are disjointed for CLG – instead of starting Baron (forcing a TP) or attacking the FNC base, they do nothing. They need to be decisive but are unable to do make a play and the longer this game goes, the less their gold lane means and the worse their comp scales. The Baron play at 1:05:00 is just ridiculous. CLG win a disjointed fight 4-2 but instead of taking Baron or pushing a lane go on a long chase for Febiven. This is not what they want!!! They can’t commit 3 to chasing 1. Gamsu TPs in to save the day and Febiven kills Darshan, and it’s a disaster for CLG. What are these teams doing? The game should be over!

CLG try for Baron again at 1:07:05, but this time FNC have Gammsu flanking from behind, splitting up CLG as they retreat. A lack of disengage from CLG means they lose this fight and FNC get Baron. FNC push in with the Baron buff and take the game.

I really don’t know what to think about this game. From the picks to the Baron plays to the catches, none of this made sense. FNC prove that they can stall the game and scale, but I’m not sure their shotcalling was much better than Game 1. Gamsu getting caught in the bot lane almost led to a disaster and their inability to win the earlier lanes in two straight games means they have a lot to overcome to win. I think CLG simply threw. They didn't have siege with the Quinn/Ekko. Their comp meant they had to avoid teamfights but they walked into them. Their win condition was to accelerate the pace but they stalled after the second Baron and went away from their split push comp. I really want to say TSM and CLG are on-par with the best from the rest of the world, but through the first two days of Katowice, they have both proven to be incredibly inconsistent. They have the talent to compete but the best international teams simply don’t make the devastating mistakes that these teams do multiple times each game.

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