Sorry this is late; PAX East taking over my time right now. I found some time to write this up so here we go!
Europe Finals: Origen vs G2 Esports
Th finals between these two teams was an interesting turn of events. In Game, G2 was in a clear position to win. However, they also showed a lot of their risky side as they made decisions that could have made the game harder to win or even aetting themselves up to lose. I was a little worried for them in this respect but the constant hammering and “making plays” playstyle is how they succeeded to this point.
Game 2 was a turn of events as Origen seem to find their footing and made it out with a solid game 2 victory. Mostly due to punishing the Twisted Fate pick that Perkz chose which didn’t pan out. I believe the idea was to use TF to help/gank other lanes and have that split push pressure but Perkz was kept down pretty hard which allowed Origen to get ahead and had the pressure which prevented the split push threat. The bright light was that Kikis on G2 was doing well overall.
Game 3 Perkz was on Zed, and he rolled over Origen. He also pulled threat allowing G2 to make plays on the map. This allowed G2 to snowball the game into a win. Pretty much Game One all over again.
Game 4 PowerofEvil was swapped out for xPeke who played Lissandra. At first, it looks like Orgen was going to win. xPeke and Amazing kept Perkz, on Zed, down. They also had decent control in top and bottom lane which helped propel Origen into an advantageous lead. Then Baron happened, G2’s jungler Trickgot the Baron steal which gave G2 the slight advantage. What closed out the game was that a few minutes later another engagement occurred but xPeke mistimed a Zhonya’s and got killed by Perkz Death Mark which allowed G2 to push through to the base at 40 minutes with super minions. Needless to say, G2 won the game at that moment.
North America Finals: Counter Logic Gaming vs Team Solo Mid
The finals for this series had me on the edge of my seat. It was great series. Tje games showed that Stixxay and Hauntzer have a small optimal champ pool where Stixxay really shined with Caitlyn and Tristana. Hauntzer with Poppy and Maokai.
Game 1 was quite even thought CLG had the better map control due to killing more towers. However, CLG seems to win the important fights which eventually resulted in TSM’s inhibitors in the top and bottom lane getting taken out. With that, Aphromoo used banner of command to buff a cannon minion. What CLG did afterwards is bait TSM out with a Baron bait. CLG lost the fight but TSM couldn’t clear out the minions that flooded into their base as a result which resulted in a Winion game.
Game 2 was a game that was very TSM sided as Hauntzer did work on Poppy and Sven on Graves. They were able to secure an early lead and keep the pressure on. No one on CLG could pressure back effectively to gain back ground. A team fight broke out in mid lane on CLG’s side and TSM won a 4-0 which allowed them to win the game.
Game 3 was a CLG win mainly due to Aphromoo’s Bard. is ultimates and stuns made teamfights a nightmare for TSM as they got caught out a multitude of times (which you can’t really fault them for, flash is a 5 min cooldown). To be quite honest I thought TSM was coming back a bit near the end but then a teamfight broke out that allow Stixxay to free hit on people. which resulted in the game winning Ace for CLG.
Game 4 was a game TSM had a lot of control in. Same story as game 3 minus the Bard on TSM and Stixxay losing the Caitlyn pick. A team fight broke out oddly enough in the middle top lane. However, TSM easily won that due to CLG all training into the fight one by one and all dying as a result. This allowed TSM to push into the base for a win.
Game 5 could have gone either way. Fights were even. Gold was pretty even. Kill were even. But it was the protect the ADC comp from CLG that won them this game. Stixxay played Tristana as was able to get the kills and resets to wipe out over half of TSM for the game winning team fight.
As good as G2 Esports did in the LCS split, I don’t think they’ll do as well at MSI. The reason being is the way they played felt like they were taking risk at times and sometimes they overstayed their welcome. Both these things could potentially screw them versus these other teams, especially the Korean and Chinese teams.
Counter Logic Gaming I think will be a string team going into MSI. They showed great teamwork and coordination in team fights and every person on that team has their moment to shine. Really interested to see how CLG fairs.
So I got around to watching the semifinal games for Worlds and as expected SKT made it to the finals. KT Rolster made it to the finals as well but not in a way I expected.
Origen vs SKT
Let’s start with Origen vs SKT. I think everyone knew this was going to be an uphill battle for Origen. In an interesting twist Easyhoon, and not Faker, played the semi finals. This was probably a strategic move in order to not give away Faker’s pocket picks for the finals. Origen’s first mistake in the first game was not banning Kalista and leaving Fiora open. At least that’s what I thought in picks and bans but Origen was able to keep ahead until around 30 minutes. Then the Fiora and Kalista picks started to shine. With the quick flanks and high burst damage Fiora has late game, the easy baron secures from Kalista, it helped SKT bring the game back. The big mistake for Origen that broke the game open for SKT was getting split up between Baron and a split pushing Fiora taking bottom inhibitor which resulted in a loss of both. I will say thought that Origen played super well around Niels who was on Tristana wrecking face.
Game 2 resulted in a similar game pace where both teams were close in gold but SKT mangaged to pull ahead objective wise which helped them snowball into a lead with Baron. Origen didn’t play as well in this game. Game 3 resulted in a 25 minute win. I think Origen’s morale was a little low going into Game 3.
Another thing to note is that I feel Amazing’s positioning at times were really poor during all three games. Also, some early focus needed to go top lane in game 1 which they corrected in game 2 but I feel the amount of focus in game 3 on Marin was a bit too much as took away from the other areas on the map pressure wise.
KOO Tigers vs Fnatic
Over to KOO Tigers vs Fnatic. The first game wasn’t bad actually expect that Fnatic gave up way too many Dragons for their gold lead that didn’t result in much as the game went on. KOO started to pressure more and more as the game went on. The 5th Dragon forced Fnatic into a situation where they had to take Dragon otherwise KOO Tigers would win with 5th Dragon + late game Kassadin. It turns out that Febiven on Leblanc got really chunked out mere seconds before the fight started and that pretty much sealed the fight and the game.
The second game Fnatic picked Skarner. Now, I’m all for pocket picks but Skarner needs a team behind him doing damage while you slow the enemy team down. I didn’t see any of that happen. And Kuro picked Veigar which pretty much counters Skarner’s chance of ulting someone productively. Since Kuro, yet again, picked another late game champion (who can one shot not less), Smeb and Pray having a better time than their lane counterparts and the score being 17-4 in KOO’s favor at 30 minutes, you could tell the game was pretty over.
The last 3rd game was such a stomp. The chain CC and the winning lanes on KOO’s side pretty much sealed the game at 20 minutes. So what went wrong for Fnatic to lose 0-3? First off is surprisingly the Kennen ADC pick. I know it’s a cool pocket pick that has been working for them at Worlds but I felt it would only go so far. It turned out semis was that limit. Fnatic realized this and went for more traditional AD carries but in game 2 went for Skarner which, in my opinion, is not a good pick when it can be counter picked; for example, Veigar. Game 3 I felt Huni just tilted hard which never helps Fnatic and the morale was low enough for KOO to take the final win.
Who Will Win Worlds?
Now the question is: who’s going to win Worlds this time? I think it’ll be SKT but it could be a 3-1 series given KT Rolster played rather well versus Fnatic who many would argue is a stronger team than Origen. It’d be highly interesting if the games were close and went the 5 game distance. Another question to be answered is if Faker or Easyhoon will be playing in the finals. I’d imagine it’d be Faker but you never know. It’d be cool to see SKT take it because they would be the first team to win 2 LoLWorld Championships. We’ll see what happens when these two Korean teams throw down on Halloween!
Man, these last two weeks have been interesting to watch. To be quite honest with you all, I had predetermined a lot of results for this Worlds. In this respect I thought it would be a boring Worlds to watch. I was wrong. I was so dead wrong. This has been the most interesting Group Stage of Worlds I’ve ever seen. Let’s jump right into it.
Week 1 – The Underdogs: Cloud 9 & Origen
If I told you that Cloud 9 and Origen would be the the top of their respective groups by the end of week 1, you would have called me insane. And you would have been well within your rights to do so. But it turns out that’s exactly what happened. Cloud 9 toppled AHQ, Invictus and Fnatic. These 3 teams are not push overs. With Cloud 9’s run in the summer split, Hai coming in 2-3 months before Worlds as the jungler, and everyone except Sneaky always performing well, you can see why people had low expectations. But they managed to put up some convincing games. A similar story for Origen. Not in terms of having weak players but just not strong enough to beat the likes of KT Rolster and LGD Gaming. However, they too went on a hot streak of wins.
The team I believe was the most disappointing was LGD Gaming. They were a 1st seed and very hyped to get out of groups but they did not show up at all in the first week. TSM was lacking in performance as well but it wasn’t expected that TSM would do well this year.
Week 2 – Random Surge & Drops In Performance
Week 2 was a turnaround week for most teams. Group C pretty much doubled their win/loss from Week 1. There wasn’t much expectation for Bangkok Titans and H2K to go through since the Titans part of a weaker region and H2K did not have a stellar end of the split in LCS. Also, the fact that they were against EDG and SKT which are teams that have proved to be exceptionally good teams wasn’t in their favor.
Group A was very surprising as Flash Wolves made a surprising comeback and 3-0 for week 2. Another upset was CLG. They sadly went back to their ways of good steak/bad streak which I honestly thought was fixed. They did run similar comps throughout their matches. Pain Gaming was surprisingly good in the 2nd week and actually put pressure on teams. They can be a decent threat next year.
Group B was interesting as AHQ and Fnatic showed up and both made 3-0 comebacks looking way better than in week 1. For Group D LGD Gaming looked better than in Week 1 but it wasn’t enough to comeback. TSM was disappointing in their performance, they had one decent game but their problems showed.
Looking At Quarterfinals
The drawing for the quarterfinals was done live right after the last match for groups. Origen vs Flash Wolves I really can’t say who would win this. On their best days I think both teams will be pretty even. If I had to choose, I’d go Flash Wolves. AHQ vs SKT I think SKT has it. AHQ did do way bettern in the 2nd week but SKT is another beast of a team to play against. EDG vs Fnatic will be an explosive one; possibly to all 5 games but I think Fnatic can pull a win out of that matchup. KT Rolster vs KOO Tigers is another matchup that can be really close if both teams bring their A game. If I’d have to pick, it’s be KT Rolster on this one.
And that does it for covering groups. We’ll see how Quarterfinals pan out.