Monday, April 4, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS, TIP vs REN Tiebreaker (Week 9, Day 2)

Extra League! A fantastic finish from REN coupled with a nightmare Week 9 schedule for TIP have conspired to bring us an extra #NALCS game. I’m okay with that. Frankly, I think REN are playing at a higher level now, though this being Renegades, this game will probably last an hour and TIP will probably get gold lead somewhere past 20 minutes. #RENWin, let’s dive into it!

Picks and Bans – TIP pick Corki then Nautilus/Kindred sandwiched around Poppy/Gragas from REN. REN then pick GP/Lucian – surely that’s a top lane GP and Poppy support? I don’t love Poppy support (I think Janna is a much more effective version of a similar kit), but this is very interesting. If REN can win the top lane matchup, which is in their favor both personnel- and champion-wise, this could scale very well. TIP finish with Azir/Bard while REN counter with Zed. Loving the way this draft turned out for REN, using the flex Poppy to their advantage.

Early Game – Standard lanes, which Mash and Gate will like with limited utility from Poppy early. This is what REN paid to get the top lane matchup they wanted. Crumbz spends more time visiting lanes and gets a couple flashes, though losing CS. At 16:50, Crumbz and Ninja go all-in on Pirean but the Barrier cleanses the Death Mark and Zed is very low. Gate gives Procxin a harmonic journey to allow him to finish Ninja. At 20:45, Crumbz’ constant showing in lanes finally pays off as he catches Procxin trying to gank. Lamb’s Respite shields some damage from the Cannon Barrage, but they still get Mash and Gate. Renegades get the turret as well. Gate missed his ult and a binding on Freeze at the start of it but TIP still went in.

26:20 – Renegades collapse in the bot lane and bunch of summoners are blown. It looks like they’re disengaging but Ninja uses the ult on Procxin… who’s knocked back by the Poppy ult. Zed’s dead. Unlucky. TIP run up to the mid turret and take that turret while Mash works on the bot lane outer. But Seraph never made it over to the earlier fight and takes down the top lane tier 2. This is an advantage for TIP but they have to make sure Zed/GP don’t scale too far. Zed’s been controlled but Seraph is beginning to be a problem for Feng.

The teams trade kills in skirmishes on different sides of the map, and I think this helps Renegades. They have greater ability to pick and get cross-map plyas, while TIP should be trying to group and siege. Instead, all the waves are pushing for Renegades and if TIP were to group, it’s very possible Seraph just gets an inhibitor turret (or more). It doesn’t help to have Feng unkillable on Nautilus if either Ninja or Seraph can just push the other lane and REN can rotate faster. I feel like TIP should start laying vision for a 5-man fight at Baron. At 35:20, they call in Feng for a gank at midlane, but again, this isn’t what they want. They are not going to stop the REN split push by giving up TP to kill Hakuho. TIP feel a bit lost.

Look what happens when TIP go for it a pick at 38:00. Feng casts depth charge on Seraph but nobody’s there. Procxin steals blue but is caught on the way out. Meanwhile on the other side of the map, Zed 1v3s the other members of TIP, kills Mash, and gets out alive. Ninja is a ninja! REN head for Baron. Gate has no ultimate to stop it and it would have been a pretty futile play anyway.

TIP are able to get a few kills to get the buff off but the split push from Renegades is unstoppable. Ninja just runs back and forth between the team and the top lane and eventually they win enough fights to grab both mid and top inhibitors. Look at this fight at 43:40 – Feng TPs in the back but Gate misses his ult and Mash can’t find a way in. Just watch Corki on the backside of the fight not doing anything. This game is over.

What a finish from Renegades. They have really found something with the split push, first Seraph, then Ninja. Split pushing is hard – it requires good wave management, vision of the enemy jungle, and most of all, dedication. Losing a wave somewhere takes minutes to make up, minutes that the opponent can brute force somewhere. But the practice is clearly playing off and this is a genius way for REN to push the gold advantage they so often get. For TIP, they picked an inferior comp that needed to teamfight and didn’t find any teamfights. Even when down big, when the natural instinct is to group and turtle around Azir, they tried over aggressive plays that left members out to try. I credit them for staying aggressive, but they need to refocus on who they are as a team.

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