Thursday, March 31, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, TIP vs REN (Week 9, Day 1)

The #NALCS playoffs are upon us in only 2 days! I'm finally getting caught up again, kicking off Week 9 with Team Impulse vs Renegades. I like the attitude REN have played with over the last few weeks and Seraph has been huge in the NALCS. I’m going #RENWin.

Picks and Bans – Banning Gragas from Crumbz is a good move, but with Nidalee off the table and first pick, curious that Procxin isn’t comfortable enough to play it himself. Corki is fine but Lulu/Elise are interesting for Renegades – that's a lot of priority on Elise with Poppy, Trundle, Braum, Sivir all up (and Crumbz' Elise isn't anything to write home about). They do end up getting Trundle/Sivir and last-pick Varus after TIP pick Lee Sin/Braum then Azir/Nautilus. I like this for Renegades. Varus is good into Azir, Trundle helps with Nautilus, and with Lulu in the top lane, they have more damage. I love, love, love the support Trundle, as I feel you get his teamfight utility while not suffering from losing his damage. Even level 1 subjugate is no joke.

Early Game – Freeze picks up a kill for Hakuho on an unsuspecting Mash at 24:45. This doesn’t mean much for the game but Freeze has really stabilized the duo lane the last few weeks. The problem is really that TIP are not as good as REN in lane and REN have a late-game scaling comp. Procxin tries to gank mid at 28:00 but misses the kick and Crumbz is there. Good game sense from Crumbz to match Procxin’s early path to the duo lane (Sivir no flash) and back to mid. REN show off their early-game prowess by constantly punishing Mash and Gate. TIP eventually dive the bot turret with 5 but give up wave pressure everywhere else. Sure, Azir is out-farming Varus, he’s Azir, but Seraph is farming safely.

TIP get a better fight in the mid lane at 25:30. They punish REN for overstaying with a nautilus ult. TIP have more members and REN don’t have enough peel, something Trundle is not as good at. TIP get 2 kills and the mid laner outer. Much better than diving bot and not getting an objective afterwards. But REN catch them backing and take a kill and mid turret of their own.

39:30 – Fun fight after REN take dragon is smartly disengaged by a Varus ult. TIP made a very good call to dive the bot turret and pick up a kill on Crumbz due to a fumbled defense from REN. Agree completely with Kobe that REN should have given it up to give Seraph even more farm. TIP slowly build a kill lead but aren’t able to take turrets. This idea at 43:45 is good - dive the bot lane tier 2 after a kill on Crumbz. They even make a smart flank to kill Freeze. But because the wave wasn’t pushed (none are), they can’t really take the turret and instead are caught 4 kills to Renegades. Trundle is a major problem for TIP – Hakuho’s pillar zoning was very good.

47:30 – TIP lose a midlane fight to another nice Varus ult and dive the top lane outer. The dive is disjointed though as Procxin tries to kill Freeze rather than just zoning him and the rest of the team overextend to support. Pirean lays down an ult to disengage but Procxin tries to 1v1 Ninja in a fit of luncay. He dies first and REN’s dream chase comp nets them 4 for 0 plus Baron. TIP are able to ambush REN and hold off the Baron-empowered push though. The problem is late-game Sivir with Lulu.

56:40 – REN can simply poke turrets while their super-minions shove mid. Also, Sivir. I’ve had to crash-course Sivir in my solo queue games because she’s so good late. Procxin melts Ninja with a nice kick but trades his life, good for TIP. But the Azir ult comes just a split second too late to save Gate and REN finish with a 3 for 2. That is an inhibitor turret and both nexus turrets for REN. After a slow start just trying to match Procxin, Crumbz has had himself an okay game and Ninja is solidly out-playing Pirean. 

1:00:10 – This starts as a 5 member push up mid for TIP but they go all-in to kill Crumbz. Feng and Gate are in the front but there’s not enough damage. Ninja catches 4 in a small corridor with the chain of corruption and TIP are erased from the map. Ninja gets a Quadra Kill and that’s the game.

Renegades should be proud that they finally turned an early-game advantage into a win. Solid play from Ninja really helped them make plays across the map, even when Crumbz wasn’t having as big an impact. And Freeze has really come on in the last couple weeks as well. For TIP, I just don’t love the comp they ended with and it got worse and worse as Lee Sin fell off and so did Nautilus.

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