Saturday, March 26, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, CLG vs TL (Week 8, Day 1)

CLG received a dose of reality at #IEM. Yes, their lane swap is crisp and they can split push with the rest of the world, but once teams adjusted, it was ugly. Any time they were forced away from the split, the team fell apart, not encouraging when their last series was against a mid-tier #EULCS team. Specifically, they need Huhi and Stixxay to show up as hyper carries. TL have their weaknesses, but if there’s one thing they can do, it’s play around their duo lane. Can they survive in the other positions to get to teamfights around Piglet? I didn’t think so, picking #CLGWin:

Picks and Bans – Lots of power picks were banned, namely Xmithie’s Udyr, but he gets Gragas later on which is a coup for teamfights. TL follow CLG’s first-pick Kalista with Corki/Braum, Nautilus/Lee Sin, and Lucian. CLG also have 4-1 with Bard and LeBlanc around a Yasuo. Pretty straightforward from both sides.

Early Game – No lane swap means a long laning phase - if TL just play safely, I think that benefits them. Dardoch tries to gank Darshan early but Darshan feels it coming and walks out. First Blood come sat 23:15 (over 10 minutes into the game) on a roam from Huhi. Lourlo had traded poorly with Darshan a couple times (not sure why he's trading at all) and this time, without flash, he dies. Dardoch had just recalled so Fenix can’t even put much damage on the mid turret in response. A few seconds later, two fights break out with Lourlo teleporting back into lane on a deep ward while Xmithie and his duo gank Fenix. Stixxay picks up a kill in mid but Dardoch and Lourlo get Huhi and Darshan overstaying at the top turret.

27:15 – CLG dive the bot lane outer and pick up two kills, but TL respond by pressuring mid and top. TL get both of those turrets and CLG have invested a lot of cooldowns. It’s actually not a terrible move for TL even though CLG have more standing gold available. A bit later, TL take down the bot lane outer as well.

35:10 – CLG are content to scale to 4-1 with Darshan but they’ve lost vision of the Baron pit. TL burn it down rapidly before arphromoo stops it with his ult. But that’s one engage tool down. Xmithie gets focused hard and with no smite, TL get Nash. They aren’t actually able to take much for it though despite strong poke and waveclear. TL have to be careful not to let the game go on so long that Darshan can itemize and be a problem for Lourlo. Instead it’s Lourlo that picks up a solo kill at 46:00 – CLG are in trouble. That’s another Baron for TL.

TL just scroll up the lanes with Lourlo basically unkillable. His Nautilus has been very, very good. CLG try to catch them backing at 49:30 but there’s not enough damage. TL get a clean Ace and take down CLG. This is huge. This is the best win TL have had in a long time.

They had a rocky start but Lourlo is straight dominating NA on this tank of tanks. Team's are going to start banning Nautilus from Lourlo, but that is heaps closer than Lourlo has been before. CLG are trying their best to stay with the split push, but it’s looking more and more like a strategy to hide weaknesses rather than exploit strengths. Dardoch revealed that CLG were mainly afraid of Darshan/Xmithie and weren’t concerned about anyone else. Huhi’s LeBlanc was fine but Stixxay’s first-pick Kalista was very unconvincing. Jatt talked about how this meta is so favorable to top-lane tanks, and CLG absolutely need to learn different styles if they want to fancy themselves a competitor at the highest level worldwide.

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