a League of Legends analysis blog
When the Monsters meet SKT, it’s all about the brawls. There’s no short of drama whenever these 2 teams clash. To make it more interesting, add a Gragas top from Duke because why not? With Maokai back in the meta shifting away from carry top laners like Quinn and Fiora (thanks for the nerf Rito), it’s no surprise that tank Gragas works just as well outside the jungle.
Like the first half of Spring, watch for the zones SKT create in these team fights with their crowd control. The Kalista-Alistar combo continues to haunt Kongdoo, where Bang and Wolf created picks all game post-level 6. The difference of course, is that SKT are much more coherent this time around compared to the chaos that dragged a 3-game series in January.
Here are the top 3 team fights in SKT’s two straight victories over Kongdoo:
TEAMFIGHT: I like what Kongdoo was doing with Kindred jungle. Together with Nautilus support, they warded SKT’s jungle camps up top, all of which had spawned. Blank was on the way and Kindred had the opportunity to steal red, or catch Blank out in his own jungle with Nautilus’ CC. The danger of course, is that all turrets were still up and due to the mirrored lane swap, both Bang and Wolf were hovering around the top jungle as well.
Kongdoo had the vision advantage. Had.
They could have waited and Wolf would have recalled. They could have used their 4 wards to gain a better sense of the situation before starting on red which gave them away immediately. They could have caught Blank out as he approached the buff. If Faker’s Azir decides to sandwich them, they could have used LeBlanc to pressure or catch him on the way. They could have positioned Sivir to help them make a great escape out of SKT’s jungle with fresh loot.
There was an array of options for KDM at this juncture, but it was the straying Sivir who walked past the trinket ward that turned the tides for SKT. Wolf stops recalling and immediately jumps onto SSol who had to burn everything—ult, heal and flash just to get out but not without taking a final hit from Fate’s Call. Lamb’s Respite saves the dying ADC, albeit temporarily. Watch the mini map at this time too: LeBlanc was paces ahead of Faker as she left mid lane early.
From here on 2 fights follow separated by a wall. Both top laners’ teleports channel, each in a great position to attack the other’s backline. Even though Bang flashed into a perfect position over the wall the moment Nautilus ulted, Maokai’s teleport flank right behind Kalista guaranteed elimination with Kindred’s aid.
LeBlanc joined in over the wall as well, which was possibly KDM’s biggest mistake in this extended battle. The thing is, Kalista wasn’t going anywhere. Flash had already been used. Maokai has enough CC and Kindred enough damage to take out the squishy ADC, so when both heavyweights Duke and Hipo rotate, Duke had the advantage 2v1 against the half heath no-flash Kindred and LeBlanc with all their spells on CD.
On the other side Hipo joins GuGer, but not in time as Wolf and Blank manage to pull off one last combo to take out the support. LeBlanc could have stayed on this side of the wall to nuke Graves, but instead gave Maokai an ‘almost double kill’ if not for Faker’s neat Emperor’s Divide save. Granted he also used summoner heal, and together with Alistar’s Triumphant Roar Blank and Wolf barely survive.
‘Break the base’ is a catchy phrase. So many solo Q games have been lost because you’re standing at the enemy’s base with Baron buff and all your team’s gotta do is let the empowered minions chip the turret away…then someone decides to tower dive, then someone else decides to follow, and then your whole team gets aced and you lose the game and you rage report everyone.
Unless of course you’re SKT, then you’d calculate diving into enemy lines with turret-taking time perfectly.
These guys like to get down to business, and fast. The one thing that would have prevented a smooth siege was Kindred’s ult. Lamb’s Respite was Kongdoo’s greatest defense for it gave them a chance to drag out a team fight and possibly turn things around.
So what did SKT do? They created two distinct zones of combat left and right in order to isolate Kindred and force the ult. The moment the turret reached half health, Wolf engaged onto her with Headbutt into Pulverize. Stunned, Grag’s Explosive Cask knocks Kindred further back into a Body Slam while taking a full combo from Graves who finishes it off with Collateral Damage after the Respite. This little lamb was caught and eaten by the Wolf.
Meanwhile on the opposite side of the turret, Bang ults Wolf as he transits from one skirmish to another. It didn’t matter that Nautilus ulted Kalista in an attempt to disengage because the raging bull already caught out the APC. Exhausted, LeBlanc disappears while Emperor’s Divide keeps Maokai in-check. Again.
And SSol’s Sivir…well…she was somewhere in between these two skirmishes doing something.
With SKT switching to blue side, they decided to ban Graves so all 3 top tier junglers, Nidalee, Kindred and the cigar man himself were out of Game 2. SKT chose Corki over Azir and definitely paid a price for it as Kongdoo picked off SKT members throughout the game, holding an average 1.5k gold lead. It wasn’t large because SKT at their core is an objective-oriented team. You take something from them, they’ll take something else across the map.
Because of the back and forth with KDM leading in kills, Baron pressure was high in Game 2. One team would ward up the objective, the other would come and sweep it up. Until this happened.
One Sonic Wave to check an entire bush? Perhaps not the best coverage for SKT. KDM definitely made it look like they had this ambush-teamfight in the bag with a head on 5v3.
Still, it’s the little things that turn into big things because Faker does them. He didn’t just Phosphorus Bomb SSol’s aggressive Relentless Pursuit. He casted it before Lucian even found himself in that spot, taking him down to 15% health before flashing and Valkyring to finish off the ADC.
Suddenly the 4v2 morphed into an advantage for SKT with Bang at full health, and so with that SKT stretch it into a convincing win.