Monday, April 18, 2016

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

TL thought they had a good draft going in the previous game, especially with IMT showing Azir so early, but they didn’t execute on the counters. I think they’ll be better on blue side and pick a more comfortable comp around Piglet.

Picks and Bans – Both teams heavily target jungle and that leaves Ekko and Ryze up. Liquid first-pick Ryze for that late-game scaling they didn’t have in Game 1. Huni declines to pick Ekko and grabs Poppy instead, who is one of his very best champions. I like Poppy better for him and Graves for Reignover. TL return Gragas/Braum, pretty standard, and IMT go Janna/Kalista, also standard. Whoa – TL then go Ezreal/Maokai – that’s a lot of pressure they’re giving up in the early game. This is a complete 180 for Liquid, though with the same protect the ADC they’ve been using. IMT last-pick Cassiopea for some poke over Ryze. Reignover is known for supportive, Korean-style jungling, but still feel he has the tools to carry – in fact, I think I think Graves’ skill cap is somewhat lower than Rek’Sai’s. For TL, I like giving Gragas to Dardoch – he’ll need to be everywhere though to

Early Game – Liquid swap lanes and, seeing it later, Reignover is forced to walk out of his jungle. At 12:20, with Ryze shoved in to turret, TL try to gank mid with Matt roaming but Matt misses his Q. Huni TPs in and Reignover is there to turn it on Matt for First Blood. TL should not have been surprised to find Reignover there – they knew IMT’s had numbers in the bot lane after the swap. Dardoch gets one back at 14:50, getting Pobelter while Graves reloads, but then Matt and Fenix bungle the dive and Matt is dropped by the turret. Fenix actually flashed in but took a turret shot, leaving Matt high and dry. Piglet gets a TON of free farm but IMT punish him 16:30 (Ezreal only had a Doran’s, Tear, and Cull).  A roaming Pobelter with Reignover and Huni is more than enough power for 2 more kills. IMT are just faster to every spot.

22:40 – This is pretty chaotic. IMT burned Fenix’ flash tracking down Lourlo in the top lane and Liquid use that as impetus for a push in the bot side with Dardoch and Piglet (Matt had roamed over to mid). Both teams call in flanking TPs and WildTurtle is the first one to get knocked out. But now they’re trapped between the wall, a turret, Reignover/Adrian, and Huni. Huni charges in to lock up Piglet and he is forced to flash out. The damage gone and Ryze far away, Dardoch, Lourlo, and Matt all go down. Piglet possible could have flashed south instead of north but the panic from Liquid was palpable and they just didn’t know where Reignover was on the other side of the wall. A bit unlucky, but again, clean execution from IMT. This is starting to snowball out of control.

26:30 – Fenix doesn’t know he’s on a ward. All of TL’s wards are on the top side while IMT have complete control over the bot side
29:00 – Heartbreak for Liquid. True shot only hits Adrian and Glacial Fissure goes right between Adrian and Pobelter, who put on some dance moves to juke. 4-1 and Baron for IMT. Nobody put down a ward for Lourlo to TP on
34:00 – TL steal Dragon but Huni is a monster. Huni TPs with Homegaruds, and no Braum ult is going to stop the little Yordle who could
35:45 – How is the IMT mid lane outer at full health?
35:55 – TL get the turret. Dardoch goes in and knocks Pobelter into the team but Cassiopeia freezes them. Turtle casually slinks around the outside and murders them all. Quadra Kill

This was classic Huni/Reignover meets new age Huni/Reignover. Same aggressive style, new champions, fantastic play and result. Huni was unstoppable on Poppy and Reignover’s Graves was everywhere we’d expect Reignover to be, with more damage. I agree with Jatt that Reignover’s mechanics on Graves weren’t immaculate – he used ult preemptively several times. But just the fact that he had the damage with his incredible game sense was enough. He enabled Pobelter to stay ahead of Fenix, Huni to outplay Lourlo, and WildTurtle to stay even with Piglet.

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