Doublelift at Worlds: Final Day of Groups
Because this is the last day of groups, and a lot of the matches are inconsequential or flat out trolling, I’m going to skip the ones that don’t matter or are too troll and try to better explain the patterns I’ve identified from each team.
Gambit vs Fnatic
There’s so much about this game that strikes me as unique, but first I want to lay out the fact that all 3 of Gambit’s lanes were winning. Gambit has surprisingly strong laning coming into groups, and there is absolutely no reason to lose a game when all 3 lanes win.
However, they forgot to account for the fact that xPeke is a straight up gangster. The turning point of the game came from when he outplayed Alex under 2 turrets, despite having lost lane the entire time beforehand. Once Fizz gets rolling, he is incredibly hard to stop, and the pressure that came from Diamond and Alex gave Gambit opportunities to pick up Dragon, roam together, and make plays on sidelanes that would ultimately result in xPeke’s 17-1-3 score. This guy is a bloodthirsty monster so far. I can’t stress enough how hard it should have been for Fnatic to win this game. Both top and bottom were losing substantially in CS.
xPeke just continues to amaze me. I see praises sung and sonnets written about Faker, but nobody really points out how instrumental xPeke is to every one of Fnatic’s wins.
Vulcun vs Ozone
Really just an unfortunate game for Ozone. Dade played absolutely horrible and got first blooded mid 1v1 without using any summoners, and against a triple global comp this alone should lose you the game. However, when Ozone forced a dragon and got it stolen by Xmithie, Shen’s Stand United bugged because he was spamming too many commands at once. THIS WAS A BUG, and if Shen had ported in and made the fight a 5v5, Ozone would have gotten swept. Considering Vulcun was under the impression that Shen was going to appear, they essentially got baited and both TF and Ashe got picked off as a result of the ult bugging.
Afterwards, even though Ozone was 3k gold behind at 15 minutes, Vulcun got outplayed on the right side of mid and let Ozone catch back up. Vulcun is a team that I have identified if they do not have momentum, they can never win. Once they become demoralized and key members of their team get on tilt, they don’t seem to ever recover from making a huge mistake or losing a big fight.
Fnatic vs Mineski
Fun game to watch because of Fnatic’s picks, but not worth talking about.
Gambit vs Vulcun
DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN PLEASE. I don’t really want to dwell too much on this game because of how dirty Vulcun gave it to Gambit during the early game. They accumulated an 8k gold lead because all of Vulcun’s lanes were playing out of their minds. Their dragon and lane rotations were perfect, and they even picked up numerous kills because of their clean and crisp early game play. As I expected, Vulcun is the best team in NA at getting ahead early.
But their decision making is garbage, and they chose the only thing in the entire game that could even give Gambit a chance to turn the game around. They all-inned Baron and got into a 50-50 smite war for no reason. My mind was blown, and sitting with Kenma his disappointed really resonated with me because I want to see Vulcun win and reach their potential.
Ozone vs Mineski
Not worth watching/discussing
Ozone vs Gambit (Tiebreaker)
You know I really don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but Dade lost his team this game due to his poor play. I guarantee he will be catching insane amounts of flak back in Korea, as national pride goes a long way over there, so I really don’t want to dwell on his mistakes too much. However, it is worth pointing out that he wasn’t present for the 4-man push on bot. His team admittedly made the mistake of engaging a fight without him, but Dade ported in and made it worse by baiting both 2 random deaths after the fight was already over. He also could have saved a Tier 2 turret instead, making this a very costly port.
During the next big fight, he ported onto Zyra and immediately died without even getting to Zhonya’s. These 2 fights are what really pulled Gambit so far ahead, that not even Dandy’s incredible Baron steal could pull Ozone out of the hole they dug themselves into.
It’s also worth pointing out that while Imp is practiced on Varus and shown that he can play it in OGN, it’s not an especially good champion against the more assassin-heavy lineups that European teams like to run. Because Imp and Looper have to carry these games now, they can’t afford to play immobile non play making champions.
Overall, I am quite glad that Gambit made it out of groups. Ozone has shown nothing but disappointment for the masses, and I never thought that they were really that great to begin with.
TSM vs Lemondogs
This was actually a very boring game to watch, considering TSM went almost immediately into a passive damage-control mode because Dyrus was killed and proxied top. Once his tower fell and Renekton was slowly turning into an unkillable lane bully, the game all of a sudden was a one-sided Lemondogs show. They took every dragon, slowly whittled away at TSM’s towers, and at almost 25 minutes there was 5 kills.
However, once TSM engaged top lane and lost the first real fight of the game, they continuously got caught and picked off. It was brutal to watch them wander around like minions and either face-check or overextend into Lemondogs. Nukeduck ripped Xpecial apart on respawn, and even Turtle’s miracle plays and early lane kill amounted to nothing. TSM could never really move out of their base safely, and eventually had to check headfirst into Baron. Zyra luckily hit Turtle with a Grasping Roots into ult, which resulted in the immediate death of the only person on TSM who was useful.
All in all a really underwhelming performance by TSM. I would have expected them to have learned from previous games where Dyrus is the target of early ganks.
GamingGear.eu vs SK Telecom T1
Not worth watching/discussing
OMG vs Lemondogs
Support Veigar is an interesting viable pick for OMG. Bigpomelo really likes his unconventional supports, and they swagged on Lemondogs in style. However, this game had very little to analyze as OMG was clearly not taking it very seriously.
TSM vs GamingGear.eu
Not worth watching/discussing
SK Telecom T1 vs OMG
This game was really the gem of the entire day. By far the best display of strategy and execution throughout SKT’s entire group stage, I can only really start off by giving OMG props for playing so well.
OMG’s movements in response to Bengi’s poor early positioning gave Cool first blood. With that, he was able to bully Faker’s Ahri in lane and gain a 25 CS lead in a pure 1v1. When they traded deaths, but Ezreal sniped the last hit on Cool, Faker was behind about 800 gold. This allowed Cool to walk into lane with a completed Athene’s vs Faker’s Codex. SKT wisely all converged mid and flashed onto a flash-less Syndra, which eventually set them up for the miracle play.
After this point, it was just Faker being a god and landing 4 charms in a row. His team followed up beautifully to the miracle that was happening in front of their eyes, and picked up kills on every Charm. SKT got probably the biggest gold lead I’ve ever seen attained in the shortest amount of time. 5 kills, 3 towers, and an inhib went down over the span of 2 minutes.
One thing that’s important to note about taking a 13 minute inhibitor is that it allows everyone on OMG to safely farm lanes while SKT take objectives. The problem with objectives is that they give gold, not experience. At a certain point, Impact was 4 levels behind Gogoing’s Zac. This was huge in giving OMG a fighting chance, as SKT’s front line was severely under leveled from sharing a 5-man split on experience the whole game while OMG continuously farmed up.
However, the fighting chance was extinguished when SKT won a decisive fight inside OMG’s base. I can’t even pinpoint where OMG went wrong except not immediately surrendering when Faker joined the game.