Picks and Bans – First pick Poppy for TL, who seem like they want to counter their bot lane. IMT get Kalista and Gragas, then Twisted Fate and Janna. TL counter with Alistar and Zilean, a strange comp, and then go even more wild with Caitlin/Udyr. We get to see some Udyr! TL have a fun comp that will push the pace againset Immortals, something that IMT love to match. IMT have a lot of zoning tools to use against Udyr with Gragas and Janna, and have strong split push potential with Quinn.
Early Game – Piglet and Matt are able to put pressure on WildTurtle and Adrian, which is what the TL draft was focused on. But Huni is a nightmare for Lourlo and at 14:30, roams from Pobelter and Reignover without pings from TL is an easy First Blood. But Matt and Piglet continue to build a big CS lead. TL get a kill at 17:25 off another strong headbutt from Matt and gank from Dardoch.
20:00 – Dardoch goes into the IMT jungle to try and steal blue, which is a bit aggressive as he should know IMT have eyes on him. IMT rotate hard to stop him but Fenix is able to buy time with the ult. The difference in the fight is that Huni puts a ton of damage on TL while Lourlo dies without using an abilities. Some tricky footwork from Adrian and WildTurtle allow the Janna to zone TL and IMT get a 4-0. IMT showed much better target prioritization in that fight. TL aren’t playing poorly but after 2 turrets, face a 6k gold lead at 12 minutes.
24:15 – Huni’s Quinn has been on-point this game. TL slay Dragon but Matt strangely turns onto Pobelter. Lourlo and Fenix are late, there's no damage and TL face that big gold deficit. This is not the fight they want. The correct move would have been to pulverize or stun into the double bombs, but were not positioned to do so. TL should have given up Matt to escape the Dragon pit. Agree completely with Phreak – IMT are the best team in NA at lane management, allowing them to constantly pressure towers when they get picks. This time it’s the bot lane tier 2.
29:30 – IMT go a little too hard a lose a few members but are so fed at this point that when they roam as 5, they just can’t lose. Pobelter does some fancy dancing to return a kill onto Fenix before dying and IMT get a tower anyway. The rest of the game was fairly elementary. IMT continued to push all lanes with their gold advantage and total map control.
36:00 – Huni is the MVP of this game. Without split push pressure from TL and Reignover ganks in the early game, Quinn is now unstoppable. A big Gragas ult gets Huni a triple kill at which point the rest of Liquid probably should have stayed under fountain, but nope, Huni ends with a Penta Kill.
This wasn’t the cleanest game from IMT but they played their team comp perfectly. The Udyr from Dardoch was fun but this is the difference between him and the top-level junglers in international play – Korean junglers are constantly showing in lane, giving up the power farm to help their laners. That makes for a more coordinated, albeit slower game that NA teams just aren’t able to pull off. TL tried to shut down the duo lane, which I still think is the right call – Lourlo was going to lose to Huni anyway, don’t spend all your jungle resources up there on a losing lane. But Lourlo just can’t keep losing games this hard. I’ve been really hard on the new guy, but hopefully this is a catalyst for him to improve and for the team to focus on a winning comp around him. Maybe a super tank with some waveclear like Nautilus would work for him.