Thursday, April 14, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS Spring Split Playoffs, CLG vs TL (Game 4)

CLG made the counter-moves in Games 2 and 3 and were one step ahead of Liquid both times. I think Liquid will be good enough though to adjust and not make the same blatant pick/ban mistakes they did, especially with not counter-picking Huhi on red side in Game 3. I’m looking for one more adjustment from TL to get them even in the series. One thing is clear: focusing their gameplan around Piglet is not working. Lourlo or Fenix are going to have to step up as a major carry and get a supportive, tanky performance from Dardoch. The risk is that may swing the macro in CLG’s favor, but you need to take Darshan off Ekko.

Picks and Bans – TL get rid of the Trist ban and get Ekko for Lourlo. This is what I’m talking about! CLG counter with Kindred/Maokai – duh, why wasn’t Lourlo playing Maokai? Oh yeah, Ekko’s mobility can destroy the tree. CLG are showing their hand – the teamfight comp – early this time and TL need to adjust. TL come back with Karma/Rek’Sai – love the Sai for Dardoch. And CLG get Braum/Tristana – whoa! I’ve been playing quite a bit of Trist lately and it’s been a ton of fun – I also such at League, so not sure that tells you anything. TL finish with Lucian/Bard – love it, Matt’s Bard has been pretty good this split, and Lucian will get Piglet off to a good start (though it is into Braum). CLG last-pick Ryze for Huhi – they still have a strong teamfight comp with siege. TL though have some teamfight but need a good start and need Lourlo to win his lane: that’s a tall task against Darshan, but this guy has gotten so much better.

Early Game – TL are bullying every lane and are playing to their advantage. Piglet is zoning Stixxay off the minions and is straight out-CSing him. At 12:20, Xmithie roams through the river for a gank, but TL smartly have warded the pushed lane. Xmithie is caught and burns his flash for naught as Piglet gets the kill. Double buffs on Piglet in a lane he was already winning. Xmithie should have known TL had seen him with the way they had moved and baited the gank. Stixxay then goes back and buys a Cull, which is not going to help if he can’t find Lourlo in lane. It’s super early but it feels like TL have a huge lead – all they need to do is stay in lane and prevent CLG from grouping, and they’ll shove turret after turret, much like Game 1.

16:35 – It’s early but a hectic fight breaks out in the midgame and CLG decide to pull the trigger to get back in the game. Darshan wrecks Fenix immediately with his ult. Lourlo tries to get one back but nobody is touching Huhi who has barely enough mana to take down Dardoch. Only a nice tempered fate from right field allows TL to take down Huhi to even the kill count. TL still have an advantage though as long as they can avoid big teamfights like that one.

TL dominate the next few minutes. Stixxay is sitting on a cull and components for the Guinsoos’ Rageblade, and TL take advantage. They roam around for picks after pick and have done a great job accelerating the game. At 24:00, CLG pick off Piglet and shove as 5 down the mid lane. But Matt catches Stixxay and Xmithie in the Tempered Fate and Liquid lock everybody down for a HUGE amount of damage (Parallel Convergence into Unburrow into Soulflare) . Fenix throws AOE down on a funnel and it’s a Quadra Kill into an Ace. Wow. I guess you can fight as a team when you have a lead and lock everyone down. This game is over.

There are a couple more fights at 30:00 and 32:20 but it’s an easy game for TL to win with multiple win conditions. They won the pick/ban phase again and played the appropriate tempo to win. Dardoch only finished with 1 kill – but over a dozen assists. The kills are concentrated on Fenix, and Piglet, exactly what they needed: someone else on the team to carry with Piglet. They won every position, which is concerning for CLG: yes, they can point to the failed Trist pick that let off pressure in the early game, yes they can point to getting blue side again in Game 5, but no matter what your comp is, losing every position is not a good sign. These teams are so good and so even. Game 5 is going to be fun.

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