Thursday, April 14, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS Spring Split Playoffs, CLG vs TL (Game 5)

I don’t have much to say about this. I have no clue who will win and am just hoping for a well-played game. Let’s get into it.

Picks and Bans – Have to take Ekko away from Darshan and it’s done. Then CLG first-pick Poppy. Ok! All-in on teamfights once again! I think TL should pick Nidalee and a support, maybe Braum/Bard. Instead they go back to Nautilus with Bard which means no Nidalee. Nautilus has been nerfed but he is Lourlo’s best champion. CLG get Kindred/Morgana for more teamfight utility against Bard. TL return with Karma/Rek’Sai and are building for a big Fenix/Piglet game yet again. CLG smartly grab Lucian and Ryze and Piglet finishes with Caitlin. Both teams want to fight instead of split/wave-clear; this is going to be a bloody game.

Early Game – Early aggression on the CLG invade with a level 1 skirmish. TL almost blow up Xmithie AND aphromoo with Bard bindings. aphromoo then goes super aggressive on Piglet at 11:00 and burns BOTH of his summoners but Piglet’s flash as well. All the focus was on the see-saw battle of the AD carries in the matched bot lane. At 17:30, Lourlo flat wins a trade with Darshan, which is a big deal. TL then call in Fenix and pick up a kill on Xmithie – that’s huge. As Jatt explained, Fenix is not a roamer. He’s going to be a problem for Huhi until that Tear stacks for Ryze.

19:10 – Dardoch and Xmithie are on their way to the bot lane. They stun aphromoo, who manages to shield Stixxay but it doesn’t save his ADC’s life. Matt takes several turret shots and dies to Xmithie but the rest of TL are there and they clean up aphromoo. Then, with a 4v3, they hesitate between hitting champions or the turret, Lourlo takes way too many turret shots (Bami’s Cinder aggro'ed the turret) and CLG return a kill of their own.

24:10 – More action in the bot lane! Dardoch and Fenix are there faster and Fenix picks off Stixxay on a terrible unlucky play for CLG. But TL are low and Darshan charges in for two kills of his own. CLG chase and have more damage dealers alive, getting Darshan another kill. Who said Poppy can’t carry a game? We wanted action and we’re getting it!

29:30 – Darshan tries to take the top turret but Huhi is in the bot lane without TP. His minions die and Lourlo ults him. Bard ult misses but leaves Darshan by himself. Then TL go for Baron!? No it’s a bait! Aphromoo goes in – wait, what? He tries to focus Piglet with Xmithie but instead dies almost instantly and Xmithie too dies after his ult pops. Matt goes down too but Huhi can’t get out with traps everywhere. A 3 for 1 for TL. Fenix and Piglet are going OFF AGAIN. TL transition into a midlane siege that slowly pokes the turret and also take the bot lane outer to take a turret lead.

35:45 – TL continue to look for picks that can transition into Baron but aren’t quite able to pull it off. Here they catch Huhi (the 2nd time in the last couple minutes), but he flashes out. Stixxay is low though and is melted by Soulflare. Xmithie dies again trying to take out Piglet and 4v3 for TL. But despite that lead, TL can’t pull the trigger. They keep running back and forth from the pit but CLG are smart not to run into a field of Caitlin traps. CLG eventually run down and take the mid tier 2 (while a minion kills the TL top lane outer) and have pulled even in gold. It’s a tense back and forth around the pit.

41:00 – Back out they go but Dardoch finds a couple in the jungle and both supports go down. The crowd is chanting “FIGHT! FIGHT!” and TL bait Baron AGAIN. At 42:00, it’s Stixxay! He snipes Piglet! What!? But then he flashes forward into no-man’s land to kill Dardoch and is creamed. Lourlo goes down on the front line. I think this is a slight misplay from TL. They should be roaming as 5 and setting Caitlin sieges, not running back and forth from the Baron pit.

44:45 – Liquid get back on track by chunking Darshan and shoving down mid. But CLG take a bite out of Dardoch and start the Baron for themselves. TL return with a Lourlo TP and Dardoch Ult into the CLG blue side, destroying aphromoo. Darshan ejects Piglet form the fight long enough to save Xmithie and Huhi goes off. It’s a messy fight that ends 3 for 2 in CLG’s favor. This game, this series, are on a knife’s edge – Enough that RNG, like Piglet being hit by the Poppy ult and then taking a magical journey into the middle of CC, could win or lose a game.

47:00 – Now CLG try the Baron and holy crap is right, Fenix blows up Stixxay! ANOTHER 1 for 1 and the teams disengage. TL can’t get the Baron though either as Darshan has TP’ed around the back. Lourlo, in the worst moment, turns his attention to Xmithie, allowing Darshan to erase Fenix. That’s a TON of burst down for Liquid! The battle lines are all messed up and Liquid find themselves separated on the wrong side of the jungle. An Ace for CLG! CLG finally have control of the Baron pit and take the first Baron of the game.

50:50 – This game. CLG siege the top lane inhib and TL call Fenix in. Darshan and Xmithie are winks away from death but both survive (Xmithie with a GA into his ult). Stixxay kills Matt and Huhi blows up Fenix but Piglet gets enough on Xmithie and aphromoo to stop the fight. Breathe. 51:30 – I thought to myself, "hmm, this is an interesting TP." It looks like 1 but it’s really 2!!! Darshan and Huhi destroy Piglet! The casters are right – it’s nearly impossible to react to that. CLG take down Liquid!

Wow. What a Game 5. What a series. This was the best out of both teams. CLG have a shot at a second-straight championship and nobody can’t say they’re not the best team in NA, records be damned. The made correct call after correct call and won the game for it. They adjusted better to the way the game was being played and Darshan was a hero.

But man, Liquid. Piglet, distraught after the game, brought them to the brink. That guy HARD CARRIED, with help from Fenix and Dardoch. They played some great fights and had amazing performances from their rookies. Ultimately, a few calls went against them, the repeated Baron baits didn’t pay off, and CLG got it. I can’t wait for the summer when their young guns take it to the next level. You could argue they already have.

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