a League of Legends analysis blog
5v5 on Summoner’s Rift is all about dancing. You can tango in pairs at bot, solo date your opponent in mid and top, or make it a threesome when the jungler comes. Choreography becomes most tricky when all 10 champions disco together around an objective.
Few teams have come close to out-maneuvering SKT. KT, AF and LZ are tied in taking 2 games off (as of this posting, we can add SSG to the list). Recently KDM had a solid early game gold lead, but it was BBQ who came even closer. Drafting a heavy CC snowball comp, they led by as much as 4.7k gold.
40 minutes into game 1, BBQ had water, fire, mountain with Elder drag to boot. Because Huni was clearing the incoming wave at bot, BBQ decide to start Baron. If they had both Elder and Baron buffs, they would have been victorious as they make a final push into SKT’s nexus that had 1 defensive turret left.
Instead, Peanut foiled their plans and clutch stole Baron like a hero.
Despite this key stride that turned the game around, it was still compelling to witness how SKT played to their comp’s strengths throughout the game.
SKT had no hard CC, but possessed high speed and mobility (Karma, Zilean, Ezreal). BBQ on the other hand packed hard CC, pick potential, 2 burst assassins for follow-up, and an immobile ADC in the backline who could continually hit stuff while the team engages.
So how do these 2 comps fare against each other?
SKT – Support for frontline Ezreal. His burst last game can chunk down a squishy target swiftly. They also have zones of control with Zil’s bombs and GP’s ult which makes it advantageous to fight in the open.
BBQ – Ashe’s arrow can catch an enemy out of position, paired with an assassin’s burst to eliminate the target before backup arrives. 5v5 in the jungle and around objectives means any approaching adversary will get CC-ed down to death, which is why SKT conceded drag control to BBQ all game
As such, much lies on SKT to find opportunities for frontline Ezreal. They were on the back foot more than 80% of the game and it was imperative to capitalize on mistakes.
Watch how fast SKT react to the information at hand:
SKT know that Talon is top clearing the wave. They then spot Kha out at raptors warding while Faker catches sight of Malz as BBQ push up their vision around Baron. This dissuades BBQ from leaving the jungle through mid as it would be dangerous. With that, just from a single ward placement by Wolf over the wall, SKT see Ashe, kill Ashe.
Observe how Talon, Malz and Kha had to walk all the way back to mid. Not only that, they couldn’t even enter the lane because Zil was zoning them off with bombs.
Finding these openings is definitely not by chance and it refreshing how SKT grab chances so quickly. A near repeat just 3 minutes later, though BBQ had Baron buff and downed mid tower, Bang’s Ezreal arcane shifts right in. Why?
With Talon split pushing bot, Naut and Ashe retreated linearly while Malz and Kha were clearing out vision looking for an opportunity to flank from the side. The moment BBQ split up is where SKT jive. Ashe again gets nuked first, but more importantly Huni’s GP cleverly ults the choke to prevent Malz and Kha from helping their mates and SKT trades 3 for none.
The beauty of League of Legends in this meta is that both a non-traditional frontline Ez comp and an execution heavy pick CC comp can both excel.
Execution heavy is not just a comp with tons of CC. It requires fancy footwork and grooving to the right beat which is what LZ did in their game 1 victory over SKT.
Everyone on LZ possessed high single-target burst damage: Chain CC on a target at just the right time so that a 4v5 situation surfaces. SKT on the other hand were up for team fighting and preventing the burst damage from coming through.
Bang’s Ezreal was top clearing the wave while Nautilus defended bot, leaving 3 members of SKT in mid to defend. Immediately after Faker’s Ori makes an aggressive flash trade with PraY he retreats back to mid tower but is cut off by Ryze’s warp into an arrow to the face. Though Ori cleansed stun, the channel from Shen was timed perfectly to chain taunt. No way Ori was getting out of that one since all summoner spells were burnt.
With that Longzhu gain a turret and a second mountain drake to boost
As much as twerking towards your enemy is rewarded, disengaging is also an art.
It is game 3 of SKT vs LZ. SKT are up more than 10k gold. If LZ wants any hope of coming back to win the series, they had to find a favourable engage:
Teleport Maokai flanking from behind together with Rengar? Awesome.
Ashe arrow hits Orianna as Vladmir pools over? Nice.
4-man Hemoplauge on all SKT squishies excluding the tank? YES!
Wild growth onto Vlad after for continued healthy Transfusions? Please!
At the same time…well…Redemption comes through for SKT, nullifying Vlad’s initial damages =(
SKT have their sums up and both APC and ADC flash to bridge distance away from Vlad and this is where it gets interesting.
Maokai already committed to an engage on SKT’s carries at the rear with Twisted Advance. This leaves LZ’s backline exposed to Nautilus. Instead of a Mao + Rengar combo, Rengar turns to help his team’s backline. Naut casually soaks up all the damage (because SKT are ahead enough for him to be that tanky) while Ori’s ult and Nami’s bubble dissuades LZ from pursing.
Waltzing out alive? Same to you, partner.