Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LoL Analysis: 2016 NALCS Spring Finals, CLG vs TSM (Game 4)

The constant in this series? Poppy. I wonder if CLG will ban this champion. Also, Stixxay is looking more and more comfortable on Caitlin, but Doublelift is a very apt Caitlin. I wonder if we’ll see that. And why did they go without Lulu? For CLG, they just need a repeat of that game – out-jungle Svenskeren and get to split pushes power.

Picks and Bans – First pick Nidalee for Svenskeren with Poppy and Ekko both banned. This can be good for red side – there’s some counter potential. CLG return Trundle/Elise, which I love. Lots of flexibility for counters. Yup – Caitlin/Alistar for the TSM duo lane, making life difficult for Stixxay. CLG counter with Bard/Ezreal, which is okay, but is going to set them back time-wise. Can they get to the point where Ezreal can spam spells? TSM finish Gragas/Lulu and CLG last-pick Twisted Fate. Makes sense: pick across the map and prevent TSM from snowballing long enough that Ezreal can carry. This game is solely on Stixxay’s shoulders.

Early Game – Doublelift immediately starts poking his opponents and gets aphromoo straight out of level 2. A couple minutes later, Darshan is pushed up without vision and that’s a Nidalee gank and First Blood to TSM. They are looking much crisper in the early game and commit just enough resources in just the right places. Even when that doesn’t result in kills, they push CLG out of their jungle and respond to CLG’s pressure. At 20:20, it looks like CLG have a good dive going but TSM again are on-time with the rotation and Doublelift gets Xmithie before dying. The turret dies but Bjergsen is on the way and a long ragne glitter lance kills Huhi. Meanwhile, Hauntzer is pushing the top lane and get that turret in return. CLG are looking to pick, not dive, there was no reason to commit all 5 there and they should have left as soon as the turret was low. Svenskeren is playing very well on Nidalee.

25:55 – What is this call, CLG? Stixxay had been continually chunked by Bjergsen and spent a lot just clearing waves. They freeze Yellowstar and call in TF ult, but a well-placed Lulu ult seems to have disengaged everything. Hauntzer wants more though and separates Xmithie, Stixxay, and Darshan. Xmithie dies and that’s two mid lane turrets. In a complete reversal of roles, TSM have control of the whole map and this is their game to lose. A well-coordinated TSM play a few minutes later gets them 2 turrets in the bot lane and ults from Huhi and aphromoo. Another chunk out of Stixxay at 31:00 is a free inhibitor turret. Wow. This siege is so overpowered and TSM are playing better with Caitlin than CLG did.

Late Game – TSM, after cracking the inhibitor turret line, basically farm for the next 8 minutes. That’s dangerous against a scaling team. They should have been swapping back and forth and looking for an engage, but they didn’t really have deep vision control or wave pressure and played very passively. At 41:15, after getting the CLG blue trinkets and TF ult, they start Baron. I felt very uneasy about this for TSM at the time and yup, CLG steal! They lose Xmithie and Huhi, but TSM push down the mid inhibitor and grab the top inhibitor turret. CLG go on an extremely extended chase and Huhi TPs and ults immediately. Darshan jumps in but Doublelift does a beautiful job kiting backwards and TSM ace CLG! Hauntzer and Yellowstar did a fantastic job keeping everyone off Bjergsen and Doublelift and that’s the game!

We’re getting 5 games! Yet again, the team with early jungle pressure took over the duo lane and snowballed. I think the Ezreal was a massive mistake from CLG. Something like Lucian, who he plays a lot, would have been much better in the early game. Remember – he played Lucian into Piglet’s Caitlin in Game 5 of the semifinals, and while his 4/6/12 line wasn’t amazing, he held his own against one of the best ADCs globally and had an impact on late game fights. That didn’t happen in this game. And Huhi’s TF was a real disappointment (Scarra noted after that Huhi’s Zhonya’s build was questionable). For a team that just needed to keep on keeping on, this is a major step back: what do they do when they don’t get their comfort picks? For TSM, what a game. They played the map beautifully for much of it, responding to CLG pressure with well-timed collapses and pushes. The Baron play was a bit much, but I think they understood that with the gold and turret lead they amassed, they could give up a Baron as long as they won the ensuing fight. That won’t work against every team, but I think they are confident in their 5v5 against CLG.

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