Picks and bans – Apex picked a very interesting comp that basically sets up around Viktor and Caitlin zone control with Shen flying around the map to support hose two primary damage dealers. NV play a more pick-heavy lineup that I think plays into the Apex comp really well. A lot will depend on if Ray push Seraph and roam, because Procxin’s Elise will have a lot of early game pick potential.
Early Game – Shenanigans from both supports almost nets Hakuho a kill on ray. They trade two summoners, which probably won’t matter as both teams transition into a double turret trade. Apex are able to build some nice CS leads off extended freezes, but NV is able to eventually catch up. Meanwhile, their stronger rotations round the map and the pressure they have in the mid lane (Procxin camped that lane early) allow them to build a 3-0 Dragon 3-2 turret advantage. These don’t seem like a lot but they are basically getting these objectives for free – in a game where kills are scarce, these advantages do matter.
41:00 – Apex really need to get the 4th Dragon, and infernal, but look at the wave pushing bot – they actually send ShrimP down to clear the minions as he’s the only one that can theoretically get down and back in time, but NV see it, rush the Dragon, and now it’s 4-0. Zirene called it unlucky but I call it superior macro play from NV. Caitlin is in a bit of a power trough versus Sivir, and I just don’t see them catching up very easily. They have a mobility advantage, but how are they going to kill anyone on NV in a teamfight?
45:00 – Ninja is on a saunter through the APX jungle for vision and they have him surrounded. He’s very tanky though and gets out while Seraph TPs in. Irelia is popped almost immediately as Apollo lands a trap on the ward, and Seraph and Procxin are in trouble. But nobody is paying any attention to LOD or Ninja, and Xpecial is the first to go down. Apollo takes down Seraph from long range but they lose Ray and Keane in the process. ShrimP stops Baron at the cost of his own life, but this is again the problem – this was a great initiation from Apex and they still (barely) lose the fight. There were some small execution mistakes, but I just don’t see the next one going nearly as well for APX.
47:30 – Yup. APX are forced to fight the second Infernal (and 5th Drake for NV), ShrimP is caught, and on the back side, Seraph runs right at Apollo. Another 2-0 for NV, another Dragon for NV, and a Baron for good measure. They win another fight at 49:25 (not sure why APX are hanging around in the jungle) and that’s the game.
Picks and Bans – In Game 1, Apex picked a comp that catered to a specific style, never got into that style, and were punished accordingly. NV went with a split-push, pick comp, and still won a ton of teamfights due to their gold and itemization advantage. In game 2, APX go back with Caitlin/Rek’Sai on red side, but then Jarvan IV and Bard for great teamfight potential. The finish with Zilean for more zone control and teamfight tools. I like this draft from them a lot.
19:50 – The Jarvan has an immediate impact as Xpecial just barely lands his ult on Hakuho. It’s an easy 2-0 for APX. The kills are nice but moreso is the pace of the game – APX are finally in the driver’s seat. A couple minutes later, they rotate down bottom and another great Bard ult kills Hakuho and gets one turret. They stick around though after, trap LOD, and that is ANOTHER turret.
37:00 – NV actually did a good job getting back in the game, not fighting in dumb spots, and keeping up their farm despite the constant threat of a gank. But you just can’t let the other team take Baron for free! They do and lose both Procxin and Ninja for free on the back side. The shove down mid and top, picking up kills and turrets, and Ray is unstoppable. This is heading to Game 3.
Two games, two vastly different snowballs for different sides. This is going to be good.
Picks and Bans – No way NV let Jarvan back through, right? Nope, they do, but NV pick Fizz after APX first-pick Swain. Apex will play split with Ray on Jax and Caitiln siege, while NV play a heavily scaling comp with Anivia/Ezreal and top lane Fizz.
Early Game – 9:00, Right out of the bat, we get an early kill trade out of the lane swap. Procxin sticks around to try and pick up another on Apollo, but Ray saves him with a TP. Keane tries to beat Ninja to the top lane in case the fight was escalated, but instead runs right into Hakuho and burns both summoners to escape. 7 summoners down on the side of APX (including 3 flashes) against only three from NV (and only 1 flash). This will be difficult, and yup, NV get a free kill on Keane at 11:30. You just can’t walk up to CS that far when you JUST SAW KINDRED. Anivia has a kill and CS lead, so does Ezreal, and NV can just play around this mid lane for the next several minutes. It’s going to be progressively harder to shove Ninja out of lane.
16:00 – APX try anyway and a bait/catch on Ninja almost gets them there, but Ninja is saved by his team and another couple kills go over. This game feels over. APX’ whole strategy is to play around Ray, but they haven’t done so and it may not even be possible at this point. The side lanes are long, Keane has no pressure and rotating to a side lane is dangerous, how are they going to CS? Caitlin is really going to fall off in about 10 minutes and I’m not sure APX have a viable win condition.
26:15 – NV drop the mid turret, and APX, rightfully, have to make a play. Xpecial walks out of a trap and the team goes in. Ray gets there first and eggs Ninja, but Hakuho roots him for Procxin and LOD to destroy. And then Seraph goes in with a zoning TP to clean up the Ace. And then Ray TPs on the tier two… to clean up some minions. Yup, this game is over.
Seraph and LOD finish the game with strong scores, but this game was one by Procxin and Ninja taking over the mid lane and giving NV free reign of the map.