Saturday, March 26, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, NRG vs TL (Week 8, Day 2)

Both of these teams are fighting to remain relevant in the tier behind IMT, CLG, and C9. Both have major weaknesses (NRG’s ADC and Jungler, Liquid’s solo lanes) that they’ve slowly shored up with more comfortable champions over the last couple of weeks. Lourlo specifically has been very good on Nautilus – I think that’s a must-ban for NRG. But that leaves a lot of power up, and with NRG on a losing streak, I want to say Liquid #TLWin in this one.

Picks and Bans – Can I switch to #NRGWin? They first-pick Nautilus for Impact and TL grab Braum/Corki which is fine since Dardoch’s champion pool is larger than Moon’s.  NRG grab Kalista/Trundle for a very strong teamfight comp… but Lulu and Kog’Maw are still up! TL can’t pick it because they already have Corki and Lourlo has only played tanks. But Lee Sin/Lucian feels like a letdown despite Dardoch's insane stats on Lee Sin. And then GBM goes with Zed into Corki! I agree with Jatt – that’s a fantastic matchup for NRG. TL then finish with the Lulu – what!? If they are going to give Lulu to Lourlo and play Braum, why not get Kog’Maw and last-pick Lee Sin? Kog, Corki with Lulu and Braum, is a ton of siege. Of course, NRG could counter, but still! These were my thoughts immediately after:

I just think NRG have won every position in this draft aside from maybe support. I’m not sure why TL didn’t pick Trundle into Nautilus and if NRG are able to get into 15-20 minutes with anything close to even gold, they will outscale TL handily. TL’s only hope is that Piglet can punish Altec in lane (Altec has been inconsistent overall, but pretty good in lane) and hope that Dardoch can basically win the game in the first 15 minutes.

Early Game – Impact smartly gave Moon a big jungle leash since Lulu can’t kill him in the early levels. Moon then slingshots around and picks up First Blood on Lourlo. I love it. I switched to #NRGWin, remember? But Dardoch builds a huge CS lead power-farming the jungles and TL call for the turret dive at 21:10. It’s smartly matched by Impact and a misplay from TL (not coordinated on what Lourlo should have done) is a 1:1 trade. The gank attempt at 23:10 is much better but this is a mistake by Impact not respecting the combo from Lee Sin/Lulu. Moon’s ganks don’t see the same success but the key is NRG are even in gold, Altec is even with Piglet in CS and Impact is up on Lourlo. This is still going NRG’s way and at some point, Nautilus is going to be very hard to kill.

28:50 – Straight assassination on Lourlo. Nothing to see here. But NRG rotate to the midlane to start another fight 5v4. Depth Charge on Fenix is routed away from the team but Dardoch is split away and killed. I have no idea why he headed for the jungle. Piglet’s ult goes the wrong direction and it looks like everyone will disengage. GBM decides against that, blows up Fenix, and gets Matt as well before Piglet outlasts him. It’s an extended 4 for 1 for NRG, NRG take the mid lane outer, and they are solidly in control of this game. TL trade the mid lane turret back a few minutes later on the NRG recall, but I really feel like they need a 3-5k lead at 20 minutes to close this game. Nautilus is almost un-killable, GBM will continue punish the carries, and Moon has a lead on Dardoch.

35:45 – NRG collapse top and focus fire Dardoch but do so in turret range. They take down Matt but the rest of Liquid arrive and take down 3 members. TL grab Baron but No! Moon rappels into the pit and gives up his life to steal Nash. GBM and Impact arrive to scrap up the pieces and pick up 3 kills for Zed. TL were unlucky that Baron popped the spikes and knocked Dardoch up right as Moon jumped over, but even with Baron, TL would have barely pulled even with NRG.

From there, Impact tanked everything and NRG rolled (44:50 is a bit unlucky for Liquid – Fenix’ scouting missile into a bush is just juked by Nautilus, of all people). I still think TL just mis-picked their comp. They gave their only 100%-AP carry to Lourlo who was very bad in this game and has only looked comfortable on tanks. They invested in Piglet and even though his numbers were better than Altec’s, the disjointed teamfitht comp didn’t let him hard carry. I still think that TL would win a series against NRG, but not if they start while already behind.

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