Thursday, April 14, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS Spring Split Playoffs, CLG vs TL (Game 2)

I want to say CLG will learn from their mistakes, but TL are on Blue side. However, CLG will be able to counterpick the midlane, which will help, and potentially the duo lane too. Not much else going from them after the Game 1 clinic. They desperately need a better early-game comp and more peel and initiation for teamfights. And their performance throughout the regular season gives me hope that they’ll get back in this.

Picks and Bans – Could we see a Maokai for Darshan? Nope, he goes back to Ekko with an Elise for Xmithie after TL first-pick Kindred (jungle heavily banned). TL go Karma/Corki then Kalista/Poppy – Fenix cannot be late to the fights as he is wont to do. CLG finish with Soraka/Lucian and go back to Ryze. Lucian will help CLG early but Xmithie needs to play better against Dardoch. I almost feel Red side helped CLG by allowing them to counter-pick the mid lane.

Early Game – Dardoch steals a red and gets a mark on the scuttle on the way out. RNG. Oh wow, then Xmithie abandons the opposite red because Fenix has Huhi shoved HARD. Knowing Dardoch is on his side, Darshan avoids a gank but burns his flash. On the bot side, Matt’s Karma is poking aphromoo HARD – if they can’t get Stixxay going, this could turn into an ugly game for CLG. Huhi is going to take some time to scale, Darshan is flash-less, the duo lane is shoved, and Xmithie is playing scared. Not good.

18:20 – This will get you back in the game! Xmithie, knowing CLG’s win condition in the duo lane, ganks it, but Dardoch is there too. Lourlo TPs in and flashes for a kill on Xmithie but Soraka is able to keep everyone alive (Xmithie barely survives Piglet’s Rend). Safe under turret, CLG call a TP from Darshan and have Huhi roaming (Fenix had just TP’ed). Darshan picks off Piglet with a Timewinder and it’s a 3-0 for CLG.

22:30 – Not sure what Xmithie is hoping for here. CLG see the gank coming and recall their duo lane but Xmithie tries to go hard on Dardoch? Lourlo comes in a with an extremely well-timed TP and it’s 2 kills for Liquid. C’mon, Dardoch has been outplaying you hard, is owning the jungle and has a big CS lead and has Kindred ult, why are you trying to kill him? They do kill Dardoch a few minutes later with superior vision but it’s still a big relief valve for TL. The good news: despite ceding kills, CLG are pushed in all lanes, a complete reverse of the previous game. And Xmithie has been on-time to the lanes.

28:50 – This is an easy gank to execute on a flash-less Lourlo but it’s still a solid call that they couldn’t execute in Game 1. Fenix, losing time with the package, uses it on Huhi at 29:20 and finds himself in no-man’s land. Darshan TP’s in and that’s a kill and mid lane outer for CLG. 30:55 – 1/0/4 Darshan is a monster. They can’t even sacrifice Piglet to save Matt. I like CLG’s pivot to aggressive teamfights in this game – Fenix is traditionally a very safe laner and Lourlo isn’t always where he needs to be. Roam in packs with vision, force Fenix to the side without TP, and have Xmithie take advantage of Elise’s CC.  Nidalee is super powerful but is a much different style.

The next few minutes decide the game. First, at 34:10, Liquid take the mid lane outer but CLG counter with both teleports.  Dardoch is cocooned, silenced, and assassinated by Stixxay before he can use his ultimate! Matt, Piglet, and Lourlo are running different directions and it’s a 3-0 for CLG. The TPs really screwed up TL’s target switching, resulting in a clean fight and Baron for CLG. After the buff wears off, TL start another fight at 36:20. An incredible package by Fenix is nullified a bit by an early Lamb’s Respite – I think Dardoch popped early as a result of not being able to use it last time. Xmithie is allowed to continue damage inside the area and even though he is insta-killed when it pops, he brings multiple Liquid members low. For a second I thought TL might turn it but Fenix is out of the fight and Dardoch and Lourlo don’t have enough damage. They keep CLG off the inhibitor but their base is wide open.

That was the game. After a disastrous start, CLG switched to a much more aggressive style, pushing the pace back to where they wanted it. TL fans can point to one bad teamfight that lost them the game, but really, Darshan was such a beast that CLG would have strangled them in an extended split push. The game really fell apart for TL when they missed the bottom lane gank and lost kills and turrets. I don’t think it’s time to panic – Dardoch needs to play his champion better (way too aggressive in the midgame against hard CC) and support the team’s true carry: Piglet. This is still an incredibly even series.

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