Friday, March 18, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 IEM Katowice, SKT vs TSM (Semifinal Game 1 of 3)

I have no expectations for Team SoloMid to beat SKT Telecom T1. Bjergsen has been fantastic on assassins, but he’s playing into an assassin god. I believe SKT will 2-0 their NALCS opponent, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost series for TSM. I want to see them accomplish a few things:

  1. Pick and play their comp well
  2. Coordinate plays across the map and make some plays rather than purely react
  3. Don’t wilt in the duo lane (they will lose a bit), and 
  4. Try to pick on Blank and Duke

I think if they can accomplish 3 of those 4 things, they can survive into the mid- to late-game where a weird teamfight could win it. SKT aren't going to let them win any of those, but you just want to be there. More importantly, they need to get better as a team going into the #NALCS playoffs.

Picks and Bans – SKT first-pick Corki with Lissandra gone, which is interesting, since Corki hasn’t been a top priority recently. TSM follow with Nautilus/Ezreal, which the casters weren’t loving but I don’t hate. They are not priority picks, but Ezreal is a comfort pick for Doublelift and Yellowstar’s Braum has not been good at IEM. SKT follow with Nidalee/Braum (very standard) and Lucian/Trundle. After LeBlanc/Lee Sin, TSM have a chance to counter the Trundle with Quinn but go back to Alistar. Like Deficio, I’m a bit disappointed to see TSM give up all early game pressure against Trundle, but then again, they have not shot against SKT and should just try to execute. Alistar a perfectly fine comfort pick for Yellowstar and more importantly, is better than Nautilus support at keeping Doublelift alive in a passive laning phase. Even with the tank into Trundle problem, I feel TSM have a better chance to execute the comp they have, even if it’s not ideal.

Early Game – TSM just want to survive in each of the lanes and keep Faker and Blank from showing up everywhere. Doublelift will have to stay super safe. Everyone plays a farm game and I’m surprised the Svenskeren doesn’t try to pressure the top lane. Instead SKT gank top at 28:15 and kill Hauntzer. You have to protect the tank going into Trundle and this lane matchup is already hurting TSM. Svenskeren makes a nice play on their end at 32:30 to catch Blank in his jungle and TSM get a 2 for 1. Bjergsen has to flash for the finish on Faker, however, which makes his lane dangerous.

33:35 – Hauntzer dies again to Duke but Svenskeren is there. In the duo lane, I have no idea why Doublelift is pushed so far forward. Yellowstar had full vision of Wolf and there’s no excuse for the ADC dying. SKT takes first dragon at 34:30 but TSM transition into a 4 person dive to take the mid turret. I like this a lot. They have all the waves in their favor and give Doublelift some farm – he’s up on Bang, huge for his scaling. Faker gets the turret back but TSM have open the map for plays.

40:50 – Risky dragon play for both sides ends in a steal for SKT. TSM have to have better sense of when these risky fights make sense - this was not a time to fight. TSM try to focus down Faker but Doublelift arcane shifts into the middle when he should have continued kiting outside. That escape gone, he flashes for distance only (a no-no in teamfights) and SKT kill him easily. These are mechanical misplays that I’ve made a million times on ADCs. Monte criticized the call (valid) and Bjergsen's positioning on the outside but I think it was Doublelift that know that really screwed this up. That turns into 2 tier 2 turrets for SKT.

43:05 – Another teamfight outplay from SKT – Yellowstar goes in on Alistar right as Doublelift shifts out, which means SKT lay more damage despite a nice follow from Bjergsen. Faker drops the pckage is another dead Doublelift. TSM can’t continue to push as 5 – SKT are way to strong rightnow. TSM’s goal is to now survive, manage the lanes the best they can so they aren’t run around the map, and try to make some catches in the jungle.

46:20 – Bjergsen is caught in the middle and requires his takes to save him. Yellowstar does but at the cost of his ult and much of his health bar. TSM just can’t do any damage to Duke’s Trundle and they lose another fight. SKT transitions to Baron, secure it, and this should be the game. Nobody can kill Duke and the rest of the team can peel and poke too well. Honestly though, even though the TSM comp was clearly inferior, they had their moments. Doublelift and Yellowstar survived in lane. Bjergsen did well against Faker. I don’t know that if they had Quinn into Trundle and Nautilus support that they do any better – in fact, I’d expect Doublelift to be pushed even further back. TSM failed to secure an advantage in the top/jungle, which their comp was reliant on, but I think given the expectations going into this match, this was a positive for the NALCS.

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