Saturday, March 26, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, DIG vs IMT (Week 8, Day 2)

I don’t know how Dignitas can possibly come back from their heartbreaking Saturday loss to Echo Fox to play Immortals, so let’s just hope they show up and don’t lay an egg in this one, ok? Making it to 25 minutes against Huni, Reignover, and Co. would be an achievement.

Picks and Bans – This was a bit of a weird draft. DIG draft Corki, Gragas/Jhin, and Rammus/Braum. Shocked to see Braum fall so far, but good preparation from DIG – they know Adrian is not going to pick him. IMT go with Sivir/Graves, TF/Rek’Sai, and Janna. Both of these teams want to engage heavily and flank. It’s a standard, aggressive IMT comp but I agree with Kobe, it would be nice to see Adrian on a non-Janna/Soraka, champs that just aren’t picked elsewhere. DIG will scale fairly well but need to win the early mid lane to have a chance at map control.

Early Game – Both teams know midlane is a priority with the top and duo pushing for IMT. Reignover’s gank at 11:00 is found by Kirei who gets first blood! This is huge for Dignitas to have their jungler do well on a non-Elise power pick as well as anticipating the move from IMT. 15:55 is more good news for DIG – BillyBoss walks out of a TF gank and DIG dive the bot lane and kill Adrian and Huni. DIG now can reset the lanes and have a TP advantage. IMT head back at This is a weakness of IMT – the should be content just shoving lanes, they don’t need to kill to win.

20:20 – DIG have done it. They are winning the mid lane. IMT throw all their resources at the bot lane but Pobelter is destroyed before he can land gold card and KiWiKiD gets DIG out alive. WildTurtle had just used his ult to escape a DIG gank and IMT have no chase. A couple minutes later, DIG drop the duo lane AGAIN. This is how you can come back from a Saturday heartbreak!! I still can’t quite believe that DIG are going to win this game but they did win an important facet – control of the map, something IMT are loathe to give up, even when they have given up kills. But, and I have to bring this up again, can DIG finish?

39:10 – IMT finally get a kill but it’s still a 7:1 DIG lead and a 5:3 turret advantage. DIG seek to add another turret with KiWiKiD sacrificing his life for it. But Kirei and BillyBoss lay a ton of damage and 3 members of IMT die quickly. Shiphtur dacnes around the TF ult and picks up a Quadra Kill and Ace for Dignitas. Surely this is the game! Should I not write that anymore? They should be able to split BillyBoss to the top lane and take the bot lane with 4.

42:50 – DIG get a pick on Huni, start Baron, and redirect for 2 more kills, almost 3 as Adrian barely escapes Curtain Call. Baron for DIG surely is the game, right??? They even do the right thing by grouping with 5 for the bottom inhibitor and a 2-inhibitor advantage. Dragon 5 is not an option, so that makes it easier right?

48:00 – I swear I’m not trying to jinx Dignitas. I’m on your side! This starts when Kirei gets gold carded too far from the team and is forced to retreat, leaving BillyBoss alone. All of a sudden, Dignitas are split and the carries die. Good news is they will respawn well before Baron. This is still DIG’s game to lose.

50:20 – My word. I don’t know what to say. DIG get the inhibitor turret and want to stay but Kirei is stunned again and dies without using his ultimate. There’s no peel against a hunting Sivir with crits everywhere. Apollo and KiWiKiD go down and Shiphtur not long after! An Ace for Immortals only losing Reignover!

53:20 –  IMT burn down Rammus and then the turrets so fast.

55:15 – This is how you siege with a lead, even on a non-siege comp: 1) push all waves, 2) Group as 5, 3) Don’t panic when engaged, fall back in an organized manner and look for picks, 4) Split one or two members out to heal/push waves, and then collapse back to the group. You’re not trying to split push but occupy some waveclear elsewhere to force a 5v4. And that’s the game.

Whew. I wrote before the game that Dignitas would be proud to last 25 minutes and you know what? They impressed the hell out of me. Not for losing, but the way they lost. They needed to win mid lane early, and did it. They needed to win the jungle and did it. They needed to show up less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking loss, and did it. It will be little consolation that they accomplished so much in defeat, but this team desperately needs to build on this performance and figure out how to siege a freaking nexus. For IMT, this is another concerning game. Adrian can talk about his huge champion pool and ability to succeed on Janna and Soraka, but at some point, I really want to see them put together a team around Braum/Alistar/Bard, these supports that are so favored internationally.

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