Tuesday, March 15, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 IEM Katowice, TSM vs ESC (Group A, Game 1 of 3)

After a disastrous start to #IEM, Team SoloMid get another crack at Ever. In their first match, TSM outplayed Ever only to collapse for one disastrous teamfight that lost them the game. Since then, they have shown flashes of the split push strategy, particularly in the last game against Origen. I have a hard time believing in Ever after seeing them lose to RNG and that first TSM game, but TSM make the same issues over and over again. Nice callout by Darshan by the way on how TSM’s split Fiora isn’t a threat ;) But, since I’m an NA writer and player, #TSMWin!

Picks and Bans – Interesting bans heavily targeting the midlane with TF, LeBlanc, and Lissandra banned by ESC and Corki banned by TSM. Ever sneak the Kalista through and I expected Kog’Maw for TSM but they instead reply with Alistar/Lee Sin, interesting with Bard and Nidalee up. Ever go with Graves/Nautilus then Lux/Bard after seeing TSM’s Fiora/Kog’Maw – ESC have a lot of tools to take down Doublelift. TSM finishes with Zilean for Bjergsen – I like that for Doublelift as well as a way to zone-siege in the 4-1.

Early Game – ESC swap lanes and push TSM off the raptors in the TSM red side (their strong side), possibly starting a 3 buff. TSM call an audible, leave Doublelift alone in the bot lane, and rotate three members to the top, catching key AND Loken. Whoa! It’s a double for Hauntzer and Doublelift is up in CS! What is happening!? A few minutes later, with Kalista still stuck in the top lane, TSM dive the bot lane on a 5v4 and win off some nice CC chains.

22:20 – TSM, what are you doing. You have Doublelift by himself far from turrets which is a neon blinking sign that reads “Gank Coming!” Loken and Key stay super safe and I agree with Deificio: it’s too risky. Yellowstar flash/pulverizes but the damage isn’t there – Doublelift has to walk all the way down. How many times do we have to see Yellowstar go in without backup? It’s a pretty bad teamfight loss for TSM. They want to scale! They don’t need to push the pace. Ugh.

29:00 – I like this play for TSM because they trust their comp and keep Hauntzer out of it. Svenskeren and Yellowstar are coordinated which allows Bjergsen to get there before Tempt. TSM rotate around the map and take a ton of turrets, just like in the first game of the day. It’s going to be tough for ESC to comeback with Nautilus. They’ll have to force some crazy fight to win, and that's exactly what they do at 35:20 after TSM overstays. Bard ult misses but Bjergsen is too far away and ESC win it 4-1. TSM are able to return 2 kills with Doublelift’s exploding corpse as the coup de grace, but this is how TSM loses – grouping as 5!

37:30 – ESC catch Bjergsen and force an early Baron. Despite some fancy dancing from Yellowstar and Hauntzer, they go down and ESC start the Baron again. TSM are waiting Bjergsen to respawn with TP but forget that, Doublelift is there with Hauntzer and gets a Triple Kill! From downtown! A couple minutes later they play it correctly – Hauntzer threatens a TP but gets the midlane inhibitor turret while his team run interference. The team run back up for a strong Baron bait and take. They play the buff correctly as well – distract them with 4 and let Hauntzer take the bot lane inhib and then the game.

That’s the TSM we’ve been waiting for all tournament, and really, all year. They followed each other with engages, made the right calls, and got one of their best players, Hauntzer, in a position to carry. Bjergsen’s Zilean was very strong while PowerOfEvil and Loken were vacant. You can’t beat a fed Fiora without strong plays from either of your carries. For Ever, they were in this game because of bad TSM calls, and could have won it except for Doublelift. He's been huge in both games so far, a boon for his confidence after a death-filled NALCS Spring Split.

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