For the next three articles, I'd like to focus my attention on one of the divisions at a time. With four games in each division each week, I'd be hard pressed to really take a good look at every one of them in a single week. We'll take a look at the streamed Diamond-capped games for Week 1, and see how the League goes in Week 2.
As a precursor, I apologize for the lack of content overall. At the time of this writing, I've just played my first game of League in almost a month. My hand still hurts, and typing is a real chore. But casting and analysis are something I do love to do.
And as always, feel free to comment, make arguments, disagree, etc. I recognize that a lot of the things I say are largely my opinion and sometimes based on game knowledge that I might be a bit behind on.
TAC vs GSM
Rumble - Poppy
Lee Sin - Rengar
Zed - Xerath
Varus - Jhin
Janna - Nami
What a great game to start off the League! This game was full of exciting mechanical outplays and explosive teamfights.
The first thing that I want to mention was GSM's team composition. Xerath's not a name that we've heard in a long time for anyone who watches competitive League of Legends, and Shacdaddy piloted it to great success. The combination of Xerath's Rite of the Arcane with Jhin's Curtain Call makes for a very interesting and exciting potential for long range picks. Hitting multiple shots from either of these semi-global ultimates was enough to 100-0 squishier champions, and with TAC's team composition, lacking a true tank, this essentially meant anyone. Nami's disengage potential to compensate these two relatively immobile carries is invaluable, as well as the peel from Poppy's Steadfast Presence. However, the composition is not without its faults. As previously stated, these two carries are incredibly immobile, and even root themselves in order to use their ultimates, setting up for prime Equalizer's from Beniona's Rumble. And with an assassin in the form of Zed constantly looking to blow either of them up, any teamfights not initated from two screens away were a menace to Shacdaddy and Kitachi.
TAC outrotated GSM incredibly well in the early phases of the game, picking up all three of GSM's outer towers without response before GSM finally achieved their first tower kill. Leeroy, the captain of TAC and mid-lane MVP from my last article, looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable on Zed in the early-mid game, missing a number of crucial Razor Shurikens as well as Flashing in to give up first blood and an early lead to Shacdaddy's Xerath, who proceeded to end the game with 17 of his team's 32 kills. In spite of this, however, all three of TAC's lanes proceeded to pull slowly ahead of their counterparts on GSM. The top lane matchup was a huge source of power for TAC, with Beniona's Rumble bullying out BeeTran's Poppy to a huge extent and roaming mid to drop the Equalizer on to Shacdaddy. The game was very back and forth, with Shacdaddy keeping GSM in the game for a large part of it, but despite the 3 kill lead he acquired early on, Kitachi was only able to pick up one more in the remainder of the 51 minute game, being caught out of position a number of times in teamfights and failing to deal substantial enough damage. TAC picked up the first win of OKLCS S3.
ONE vs HBM
Nautilus - Trundle
Zac - Warwick
Ekko - Orianna
Sivir - Ezreal
Braum - Soraka
The second game of the OKLCS was also the premiere of the newly reworked Warwick to the OKLCS. Sven Scarin's early gank mid traded his Flash for that of Chrono Schwifty's exerting dominance and early pressure onto ONE's mid-laner. Additionally, underestimating his opponent's damage led to Decimus giving up a rather unceremonious solo kill first blood to Phanker's Trundle as well as burning his Flash attempting to escape. ONE retaliated with lane outplays of their own: Chrono Schwifty got a stylish solo kill onto Sabshure's Orianna and Boy Toy Troy's own disrespectful play resulted in his death in the 2v2 bottom lane.
A good second gank from Sven Scarin onto Decimus's Nautilus resulted in a kill and first tower blood in the top lane for HBM, but that's all that they were able to get. Chrono Schwifty in what looked like an instant replay (not weird, considering he was playing Ekko) solo killed Sabshure in the exact same way and proceeded to run away with the game. ONE rotated nicely, picking up tower after tower and took teamfights in advantageous numbers. And HBM seemed completely lost. ONE had an answer for everything they had to offer. That one tower first blood was the only thing HBM was able to pick up.
Sentai Sage appeared to be having some trouble on Zac on the side of ONE. A number of crucially missed Elastic Slingshots led to a few missed opportunities for ONE, but ultimately, he became the (second) hyper tank they needed. Hastega's item build was highly suspect. He built the standard Muramana, but then completed his Sheen into an Iceborn Gauntlet rather than a Trinity Force. For a while, the Trinity Force has been considered the preferable option, and there was a single physical damage oriented champion on the side of ONE, and no highly kiteable champions that warranted the purchase of Iceborn Gauntlet. Even more questionably, the third item Hastega chose to build was a Youmuu's Ghostblade, a lethality item on a traditionally non-lethality marksman. While the Ezreal would still have had a difficult time taking down the hyper tanks on the side of ONE, the standard Blade of the Ruined King and Last Whisper upgrade would have fared multitudes better.
All in all, ONE had excellent rotational play, and definitely closed out their lead significantly better than TAC did. Their first win in the OKLCS was well-deserved.
WEEN vs SNEK
Kled - Vladimir
Rumble - Warwick
LeBlanc - Orianna
Ashe - Caitlyn
Nami - Nautilus
Kled top and Rumble jungle, Weenie and the Weens with a team composition after my own heart. Nonetheless, the jungle-mid duo of SNEK, PbDoughboiii and Echoed Voice started off strong, with significantly more synergy than their history would suggest. An early gank netted first blood on to Weenie's LeBlanc, putting behind the traditional lane-bully assassin and putting Echoed Voice in a strong position in the lane. On the bottom side of the map, however, Keramat and badcop74 were being heavily outmatched. At the beginning of the game, WEEN's bottom lane, XenSylvia and DrWildy invaded aggressively onto the enemy blue buff. Sacrificing their own health bars to secure the jungle clear for their Warwick, SNEK's duo returned to lane at half health. This, compounded with the ranged vs melee support matchup I love to drone on about, meant that Keramat was significantly behind XenSylvia.
Then, to add insult to injury, a coordinated team play punished SNEK's bottom lane aggression. Teleport from Winnington's Kled and the gank from Hallow's Rumble secured a kill onto Keramat, and the lane was over.
Some highly questionable itemization choices on the side of SNEK definitely didn't help them. JackLovesLamp rushed to buy the Spirit Visage on his Vladimir in a matchup against a very aggressive and very physical damage Kled, who asserted his dominance top and exerted pressure on the rest of the map with Chaaaaaaaarge!!! PbDoughboiii purchased the Bloodrazor enchant on his Warwick, rather than the tankier option of Cinderhulk, and forewent the Tiamat as well.
From that point, the only word that can describe how SNEK looked would be tilted. badcop74 and PbDoughboiii took highly aggressive engages when they were not only behind but in a situation where no follow-up was available. JackLovesLamp had to stay top lane because he couldn't push out lest he be at risk of dying to Winnington's very fed lizard rider. Echoed Voice was forced to use Command: Shockwave almost exclusively as a form of disengage. Weenie's LeBlanc was comically behind in spite of his team's position, and received quite the entertaining response from Twitch chat.
Then SNEK showed all their members bottom lane. WEEN used Chaaaaaaaarge!!!'s movement speed to rush themselves to Baron and took it before SNEK could even respond. From there, they simply closed out the game, as any good team should be able to do with Baron and a near 10k gold lead.
50SoM vs SF
Gangplank - Gragas
Warwick - Shaco
Lissandra - Kassadin
Varus - Kog'maw
Lulu - Bard
All of the Diamond-capped games of Week 1 were rather action-packed and incredibly fun to cast, but this one had to take the cake. Surefire's team composition was an absolute mess, and yet it seemed they thrived in the chaos. Surefire's laning phase was absolutely horrid. An early gank from tidustheomen's Shaco spelled disaster, but not for the bottom lane of 50SoM. With too little crowd control, Thien sama, ADC MVP of my last article, flashed under tower, failed to secure a kill onto his opposite number and instead gave up first blood to him. Trodelor, having moved to the mid lane, got greedy for cs and gave up a solo kill to Chriscantmiss, not respecting his opponent's level 6 advantage. 50SoM's advantage in mid and top lane secured them vision in SF's jungle, making the game even more one-sided. 50SoM claimed 5 of SF's towers, two earth dragons and an inhibitor before 20 minutes, putting themselves 6k gold ahead.
Then it looked like a switch was flipped. Thien sama finished two items on Kog'maw, Trodelor's Rod of Ages finished stacking, I don't know what was the trigger, but SF turned on. Thien sama shined like he did on Twitch against Unlucky in the finals of S2, auto-ing without fear, but respecting the cooldowns of the members of 50SoM. Trodelor was in and out of fights demolishing health bars. Trapagon's Explosive Casks were laser targeted "knock Varus into my team" missiles (except for the ones he used on nobody. SF caught members of 50SoM in bad rotations and positions they had no business being in.
A bad teamfight for SF, however, occurred bottom lane when ObIivious and iCIutch layered their exhausts onto Thien sama. Trodelor and tidustheomen got picked off near Baron. 50SoM secured two open inhibitors... followed by overstaying and nearly getting aced by a respawning Thien sama (after Trodelor comically respawned and Riftwalked into his death). SF snuck away a Baron from the jaws of defeat, and then aced 50SoM off of a Cosmic Binding into Explosive Cask onto biscuit titchbit.
SF then made a grave mistake. They still had Baron buff, but instead of escorting the minion wave into 50SoM's base, they tried to tank the final remaining nexus tower. Backdoor plating meant that without minions, they wouldn't get it in time. Had they escorted the minion wave, the tower would have fallen nearly instantly followed shortly by the nexus. They also wasted so much time hitting the tower that they weren't able to secure all three of 50SoM's inhibitors, which meant they did not benefit from double super minions shoving the waves.
SF took to splitting 50SoM in their own base. Trodelor was able to shove the wave into the final nexus tower from bottom lane while the other four members took away the last remaining inhibitor top. Then Trodelor got greedy. He went for a play onto Chriscantmiss after he'd already escaped and gave up his life. The other four members of SF rushed the naked nexus, bringing with them giant waves of minions. Disaster struck. Thien sama looked lost, not autoing ANYTHING for a good amount of time. SF was aced, and the base cleared with a single auto's worth of HP left on 50SoM's nexus. But it was too late, 50SoM ran it down mid, used their double earth dragon from earlier in the game to take down SF in the closest OKLCS game we've streamed.
Thanks for taking the time to read it. I know it got a bit wordy. I will be doing a similar article for either Platinum- or Gold-capped for Week 2, so let me know if there's any particular thing you'd like me to focus on for those games. I'll do my best to accommodate, and hope to see you on the stream this weekend!