Doublelift at Worlds: Groups Day 3
Hey it’s Doublelift, analyst for the World Championships and AD for Counter Logic Gaming, here to give you my thoughts on the third day of Groups so far at the S3WC. As always, I’m going to try to get to the point as fast as possible, which is going to create a lot of disparity on the length at which I talk about each game.
Lemondogs vs OMG
The big matchup here to watch was the Chinese MVP Cool versus the well-respected assassin player, Nukeduck. Cool lost mid really hard to Nukeduck, which allowed Fizz to snowball into a comfortable midgame lead. When something like this happens, a team like OMG knows to go into damage control and try to minimize losses while playing off their strongest members.
The double Abyssal Scepter build that you saw, while questionable, would allow both Kennen and Ahri to lane safely and get their team comp into the mid-lategame that it was built for. Tristana spikes late, Kennen spikes late, Ahri is strong all game but was shut down early. This means that OMG simply needed to give up a few dragons and farm the game out for as long as possible, which is exactly what they did.
Lemondogs needed to snowball their advantage into towers, which would lead into map control and eventually a pick-off near Baron after playing the vision game. EU metagame, however, doesn’t implement this tactic and therefore they took the game so slowly that OMG was able to come back.
SK Telecom T1 vs GamingGear.eu
There’s not much to say about this game. GG was simply overmatched in every lane and in all aspects including picks, strategy, playcalling, and lane rotations. A top tier Korean team like SKT should be able to consistently sweep an inexperienced team such as GG.
TSM vs LD
Lemondogs’ first mistake was giving TSM Zed. Even though they got Shen and Elise, which would otherwise be very strong picks, against TSM these can be easily dealt with. Giving Regi his strongest and most consistent champion will allow him to comfortably shotcall on someone that fits his playstyle perfectly. As seen later in the day, Reginald’s shotcalling actually is affected most when he is less comfortable on the champion he is playing. The human factor really comes into play here.
Vlad countered Shen, Caitlyn countered Vayne, and Ahri was constantly camped by the Zed-Vi combo. This win felt really unattainable for Lemondogs from the start, but Nukeduck made it a landslide victory due to his lack of respect for Vi. I can understand that he would think Vi was too far behind to do anything because of her poor 0-2 start, but the first blood was mitigated by the fact that Shen bought a Cloth Armor with his money – effectively useless against his Vlad counter matchup.
All three lanes lost and allowed TSM to cleanly and methodically choke LD out of every dragon, objective, and slowly whittle away at their base.
GamingGear.EU vs OMG
As expected, OMG stomped all three lanes and crushed GG in a similar fashion to SKT. Not much to say here either, except it is worth noting that San plays Kog and also favors the Trinity Force first build. Kog + Fiddle is a weak lane that I wouldn’t expect them to run against other bot lanes, and I am actually concerned for their weak laning against stronger and more aggressive duos.
TSM vs SKT T1
This is the match everyone wants to hear about. First, running down the picks, SKT T1 has a much weaker team comp as the game goes late, and especially due to the fact that Renekton, Ahri, and Caitlyn really have no synergy together. Looking at TSM’s team comp, Gragas/Rumble/Elise/Corki are all poke-heavy champions with a lot of mobility, burst, and catch. TSM’s team comp is just much better suited for 5v5’s and even siege/poke situations.
Strategically, TSM plays the early game very well. In the 3v1 dive mirrored between both teams, Impact stays and chooses to die under tower while Dyrus wisely runs away and allows his tower to fall. However, due to mechanical misplay by TSM, Impact is able to get away where otherwise he should have given up a free first blood. This gold swing potential would have snowballed TSM.
SKT T1’s choice not to push top lane all the way to the tier 2 tower allows Dyrus to freeze, as he has a cannon minion to freeze on, and will permanently hold the wave in dangerous territory against Renekton. On TSM’s side, bot lane is unfrozen and is a long lane that gives Caitlyn a distinct disadvantage against Corki/Sona (a strong all-in lane that can chase Caitlyn once they engage). Without a tower, Piglet plays overaggressive multiple times and is actually ganked at around the 8 minute mark. Due to misplay again, he is able to live and WildTurtle doesn’t get as snowballed as he should.
Dyrus’ greed also costs TSM heavily, as his freeze in the top lane is broken and his tier 2 tower goes down all because of his overaggressive CSing. If he had played back, Bengi would have wasted all of his time trying to break the freeze in top and shown himself, allowing TSM’s other lanes to play very aggressively.
As I said in the broadcast multiple times, Korean teams in OGN seem to have gone into a gentleman’s agreement not to 3v1 dive since Champions Spring 2013. SKT T1 was not actually a team back in the days when 3v1 diving was a thing, and therefore the change in game-flow and strategy that comes with that is unfamiliar to them. This is why strategically, they lost this game.
However, because of TSM’s numerous mistakes, SKT T1 is able to get a huge tower advantage and control the pace of the mid game, something that they are very used to. This comfort allows them to execute the very distinct Korean way of closing out the game – pinking the red-side enemy jungle and waiting to get picks. Eventually, Regi face-checks because there is too much pressure on TSM to check Baron. SKT T1 played the vision game perfectly and closed the game out against TSM quite easily afterwards.
I am really looking forward to their next match against each other, as I think SKT T1 will have to shape up their early game strategy and lane placements if they want to have a chance against TSM. It was very uncharacteristic of TSM to make so many mistakes in laning phase when they were handed the game on a silver platter, and I don’t expect them to do it again.