BLOG ARTICLE League of Legends | 18 ARTICLE FOUND

  1. 2013/04/15 Week 2 Power Rankings
  2. 2013/04/11 Weekly news 2nd week of Apr
  3. 2013/04/07 Week 1 match review
  4. 2013/04/06 OGN Power Rankings - Week 1
  5. 2013/04/04 KT Rolster B
  6. 2013/04/03 LG-IM (1)
  7. 2013/04/02 Najin Sword
  8. 2013/04/01 CJ Entus Frost
  9. 2013/03/31 SKT T1 Team 1
  10. 2013/03/30 KT Rolster A

OGN Power Rankings – Week  2

1.      KT Rolster B (Last wk 1) – Most impressive thing about KT B this week wasn’t that they played well as a unit or that they showed the ability to dominate when given the chance it was their ability to adapt to situations and make adjustments on the fly. In the first game against Shield, the game looked to be a repeat of their first match against ahq but KT B was able to make the tactical decision of sacrificing ssumday so that inSec could grow as a carry threat and this worked to perfection as inSec was able to garner MVP honours. The team however will need ssumday to step up his game for their future matches for KT B to succeed against the stronger teams. (Next wk vs LG-IM)

2.       CJ Entus Frost  (Last wk 4) – Frost played like their usual selves against the weak ahq Korea team even without their normal line-up. In typical Frost fashion, both matches were even or disadvantageous for Frost in the early going but after the 20 minute mark Frost was able to showcase their superior team fighting and game management abilities en route to two relatively easy victories. Even though Space and Muse had their chance to shine this week, look for Hermes and MadLife to make a triumphant comeback next week when Frost faces off against their biggest rivals Shield in the highly anticipated “LoL Classico” match (Next wk vs NJ SHD)

3.       SKT T1 (2)  (Last wk 3) – Even though T2 seemed outmatched by a hungry Sword team, they were able to eke out a draw with a good comeback victory. T2 displayed superb game management abilities which aren’t often seen from a new team like T2. They also displayed their ability to recuperate from a devastating loss mentally and play a well-executed game when the second game seemed to be a repeat of the first game. Unfortunately for T2, the brutal schedule continues when they meet the other hot team of group A in MVP Blue next week. (Next wk vs. MVP Blue)

4.       MVP Blue (Last wk 2) – MVP Blue ended  up with a draw in two closely contested matches to their sister team MVP Ozone. Even though MVP Blue had the advantage in the first game, they were unable to cope with the Blitzcrank pick but they recovered by having a vastly superior team fighting  compared to Ozone in the second match. This week definitely showed some weaknesses in MVP Blue’s playing especially ChuNyang who played very inconsistently in both matches and the bot lane who was being out played by the imp/mata lane. MVP Blue will face a true test next week when they face the talented T2 team (Next wk vs SKT T1 (2))

5.       Najin Sword (Last wk 10) – The defending champions were able to take the kids to school this week when Najin Sword was able to stomp T2 in their first game. Even though they lost the second game, this along with their SWL match, was the Sword team that we were used to seeing. PraY and Cain played like their usual dominant selves being able to bully their opposition but much of Sword’s resurgence goes to the revitalized play of SSONG, Watch and MakNooN. Watch especially was impressive in the last week because he realized that when he was performing bad, he was becoming nothing more than a walking pink ward thus Watch tried much hard to make an impression early and often which definitely worked out for the better. With SSONG and Watch showing vast improvements on their form, Sword becomes one of the most dangerous teams again. (Next wk vs. KT A)

6.       MVP Ozone (Last wk 6) – MVP Ozone played well in the two matches against their sister team Blue considering all the volatility involved with an in-house affair. However, Ozone was out managed in both games by their sister team and if it weren’t for Mata’s great grabs this week’s outcome could have easily been a 2:0 for MVP Blue. MVP Ozone will need to find ways to create an environment that dade and imp can carry in going forward. Much of this burden will fall under Homme and DanDy who will need to provide their carries this room for their team’s success. With their matchup against Blaze next week, MVP Ozone will look to go on full offensive during the entire match and exploit Blaze’s weaknesses. (Next wk vs. CJ Entus Blaze)

7.       SKT T1 (1) (Last wk 5) – After a disappointing showing against LG-IM this week, T1 will need to think long and hard about their ADC problems as the tournament progresses. In both of the games Raven was caught out many times and he failed to make much impact in the game after often being outplayed by Paragon and Lasha. With an ineffective ADC, it will be difficult for SKT1 to compete against teams with strong bot lanes. It will be interesting to see how Reapered and company decide to deal with this pressing matter in order for T1 to become a more consistent team moving forward. (Next wk vs. ahq Korea)

8.       CJ Entus Blaze (Last wk 9) – Blaze showed the same weaknesses that failed them last week and the same weaknesses that have been pestering them ever since the Winter season in their match against KT A. Even though Flame played very well in both matches as Kennen, Helios remained a non-factor and the bot lane struggled when they had to go 2 vs 2 against Hiro and Me5 in the first match. Added to the fact that Ambition was subdued by constant ganks from KakaO, it was no surprise that Blaze lost the match again in a rout. However, unlike last week, Blaze did recover in the second game with a great game from Flame and a Pentakill from Ambition on Khazix. However, their bot lane and jungle still remains a huge liability for the team going forward especially Helios who really needs to break out of his slump or Blaze may end up being relegated to the NLB for the first time in the team’s history. (Next wk vs. MVP Blue)  

9.       KT A (Last wk 11) – KT A played very well against Blaze in both sets with KakO and Zero quietly becoming top players in their respective roles. KTA’s problem however still lies in their top laner Vitamin who was badly outplayed by the opposing top laner Flame in both games. Even though Vitamin had some nice ultimates with Rumble in the second game, he was a liability in both 1 v 1 and 2 v 2 situations which was tough for KT A to deal with. With an ineffective top laner and an ordinary bot lane, KT A will have to rely on Zero and KakaO to carry every single game. (Next wk vs NJ Sword)

10.   Najin Shield (Last wk 8) – After impressing during the first week of competition with their crisp play, Najin Shield started off their match against the mighty KT B in a similar fashion to last week when they managed to grab an early lead. However they squandered their early game lead ultimately resulting in a 0:2 defeat for the team. Shield will need to brush up on their poor calls and poor team fighting after reviewing their play from this week. Some of the blame for Shield’s poor playing has to be placed on vinylcat who was hardly noticeable in both of the games as Janna. Shield (especially Loco) will prepare extra hard for their next match as Loco will square off against his old teammates in the highly anticipated rivalry match. (Next wk vs. Frost)  

11.   LG-IM (Last wk 12) – IM definitely showed they were no pushovers when they managed to draw against SKT1 this week behind some great plays from Lilac and Lasha on their signature champions. Even the new member Smeb had a decent outing in the first match when IM was able to dominate T1 from start to finish. However, IM still showed their weak game management in the second game when T1 was able to stay close to IM despite falling behind early and eventually winning out with a great series of team fights. For LG-IM to be successful, Lilac will need to spread his Jarvan skills onto other jungle champions as he’s shown that when that Jarvan pick is not available to him, his effectiveness decreases significantly. Life doesn’t get any easier for Lilac and co as they face InSec and co next week. (Next wk vs KT B)  

12.   ahq Korea (Last wk 7) – after having an impressive introduction to the scene, ahq was quick to show every why they were considered to be the weakest team in the tournament. The highlight of ahq’s ineptitude came from the support play Loray who uncharacteristically whiffed on two Crescendos which made Elementz’s Crescendos look good in comparison. Even though the games were definitely close between the two teams, the superior team fighting from Frost made it clear that ahq was not going to come out as victors as the game progressed.  The plays from ActScene and Trace still remained top notch and they tried their best to will their team to victory but the bot lane and mid were out classed and ahq just didn’t have enough fire power to deal with Frost. Ahq will need a repeat performance of first week from their bot lane duo if they want to have a chance of winning some matches in the future (Next wk vs. SKT T1 (1))

 

 

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'League of Legends > Power Rankings' 카테고리의 다른 글

Week 2 Power Rankings  (0) 2013/04/15
OGN Power Rankings - Week 1  (0) 2013/04/06

Team VTG announces their roster for NLB 

Team Virtual Throne Gaming, formed by the former WoW player DrakeDog was delegated tot he NLB after losing to ahq during the offline finals for the OGN Champions Spring. The team has now named themselves VTG Monsters and have named their complete roster. This team will look to go far in the NLB and potentially make it to the champions stage next year (started off poorly with a loss to Xenics Storm in their first match of group stage in the NLB however)

VTG Lucifer (ADC) - Captain

VTG Toten (Jungle)

VTG soft (Supp)

VTG Mes (Top) 

VTG buno (Mid)


FXOpen announces the creation of a Korean LoL team

Soon after the announcing the formation of a professional Dota 2 team in Korea, FXOpen has announced that they have picked up an all high-schooler team from a high school LoL club to represent their brand in the KR LoL scene. It will be interesting to see how far they can go as a group of friends starting out their careers together at such a young age. 


Nicegametv announces that the winners of their TESORO progamer academy program will be immediately able to sign a contract with an unknown professional organization

In a recent announcement, nicegame.tv has made an announcement that the winners of the pro academy will be picked up by a well known organization and will receive a pro contract immediately. The announcement on who this organization may be is set to be made on May 13th.


Sources: LoL inven, Fomos, Leaguethis

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Weekly news 2nd week of Apr  (0) 2013/04/11

NJ SWD vs MVP Blue

Game 1

In game one, Najin Sword looked to shut down Easyhoon by sending their bot duo to the mid lane and PraY’s Caitlyn was able to get the first blood on Easyhoon’s Karthus with a timely gank from Watch’s Volibear. After the first blood however, things went downhill for Sword as they did not pick up more kills until 30 minutes into the game. Throughout the game, the global ult combination of ChuNyang’s Nocturne, Cheonju’s Shen and Easyhoon’s Karthus was too much for Sword to handle. Added to the fact that FLahm’s Thresh was making plays with his death sentence and the Box, MVP Blue was able to win every team fight leading to a dominant victory.

MVP Blue (51.8k) 18:3 NJSWD (38.0k)

MVP FLahm (Supp) - Thresh

Game 2

In game two, Najin Sword was finally able to run a comp that they were used to running in the SWL with Kennen performing a protective role for PraY. The match was kept relatively close unlike the last one with each team trading kills. However, in the first real team fight at mid, Watch’s Volibear was caught out of position and Sword was forced to engage in a reactionary manner which ended up giving Deft’s Vayne a double kill in the process. With a 3 for 1 trade. After this fight, Sword members would continually be caught and killed one by one until MVP Blue was able to get the Baron, get inhibitors and win convincingly win the team fight near the nexus towers finishing off a convincing 2:0 domiantion of last year’s champion Najin Sword.

NJSWD (33.8k) 8:25 MVP Blue (48.8k)

MVP Deft (ADC) – Vayne

2:0 MVP Blue

Thoughts on the match

Definitely a statement showing from MVP Blue dominating last year’s champions in both matches. The skill combination from the former GSG members was impressive but they were overshadowed by the great playing from the new comers Deft and FLahm who each won the MVP in the two games. MVP Blue was also able to use a well thought out team comp (well executed global comp game 1, limiting Kennen and Voli through slows, Cataclysm, Knockbacks) in both games to neutralize Sword’s picks while having good synergy between them. It was also impressive that MVP Blue did not have a moment where it looked as if they would be in a position to throw the game which speaks volumes about their calm game management.

On the other hand, Sword looked out of it as a whole and it was especially surprising to see the bottom duo of Cain and PraY playing so poorly. Sword was also using picks that they had been using for all of SWL and it was clear that Sword’s strategy was read beforehand and countered effectively by MVP Blue. For Sword and their coaching staff, they will need to keep this in mind when they face another new team in SKT T1 (2) or they may start off the season with 2 losses. It’ll be interesting to see if MVP Blue can keep up this form for the rest of the season and it will also be interesting to see if Sword can recover from a 2:0 start for the second season in a row

 

SKT T1 (1) vs CJ Entus Frost

Game 1

The first bout of two kespa giants on the Champion stage began with a first blood from the new member Hermes’ Caitlyn along with an additional kill with the help of Shy’s Olaf as he teleported to help the bottom duo in the top lane. However, this led to a large cs difference between Shy’s Olaf and Reapered’s Vladimir and Shy was no longer able to keep up with Reapered even surrendering a solo kill under his own second turret. After aggressively pushing out all of the outer turrets, SKT was able to catch out CloudTemplar, MadLife and Hermes trying to pressure the top tower and with the three of them dying, SKT was able to take an uncontested baron at the 18 minute mark. After that point it was clear that Frost was unable to deal with all the damage that was coming out from SKT, especially Reapered and the game was ended soon after with a convincing 4 for 1 team fight inside of Frost’s base

SKT T1 (1) (49.8k) 20:9 Cj Entus Frost (35.3k)

MVP Reapered (Top) – Vladimir

Game 2

The second game began with RapidSTAR’s Karthus becoming the victim of first blood by SuNo’s Lux with a great gank from Beelzehan’s Volibear. SKT then went for a relatively quick dragon by the 8 min mark but Beelzehan made a big mess of smiting the dragon and CloudTemplar’s Shen was able to simply walk in and smite steal the dragon. After the laning phase ended SKT’s poke comp, led by Reaperd’s Jayce and SuNo, was able to pick up a couple of kills for SKT through successful pokes at middle. However, Hermes was able to answer with a double kill and the mid outer tower. The game was tipped in Frost’s favour at the 20 min mark when Frost engaged aggressively in a team fight after Shy’s Elise was able to catch out Raven’s Kogmaw with a great cocoon. The cocoon was then followed by a ult and taunt combo from CloudTemplar and a crescendo from MadLife which led to a big loss for SKT and allowing Frost to kill Baron uncontested. Frost was then able to gain advantages by having the split push presence of Shen which allowed them to two man Baron. The ensuing team fight, MadLife was able to hit his crescendo on two members of SKT which was then promptly followed by a flash taunt from Shen leading to a four for none engagement. A final engagement was fought between Frost and SKT in SKT’s base where Frost was able to clean up house with their overwhelming firepower.

CJ Entus Frost (58.4k) 16:7 SKT T1 (1) (41.9k)

MVP Shy (Top) – Elise

1:1 Draw

Thoughts on the match

This match was an entertaining set with each team taking a dominating victory in each game. In the first game, the forced teleport from Shy and CloudTemplar’s inability to make an influence in the game caused the whole game to snowball out of control. That being said, the relentless pushing and snowballing by SKT was reminiscent of Blaze in the old days. If the TP by Shy was the turning point of game 1, the nonchalant smite steal by CloudTemplar was the turning point in game 2. From there, Frost seemed to have regained their former self and they were able to beat SKT in every team fight through hard engages effectively nullifying SKT’s poke composition.

Frost as a team hasn’t changed a lot even with a change in the ADC position. They were still a great team fighting team and they were still vulnerable early game because of CloudTemplar’s herbivore mentality. Frost’s season will still depend on how Templar plays in each game. If he is as ineffective as he was in game 1 of the SKT set, then Frost will struggle mightily against every team but if Templar can exert himself OR if his laners can win their lanes even without jungle pressure Frost will still be a feared late game team.

SKT T1 (1) was also the team that we were used to seeing. SKT is a team that can win by being very aggressive during all phases of the game but as we saw in game 2, the over zealous playing caused SKT to lose the game. Another worrying sight for SKT was that Raven was found in a horrible position almost all the time and it was seen that this kind of a mistake never goes unpunished with a team like CJ Frost. Raven will have to be more mindful of his surroundings in SKT’s next outing or risk losing the game for the team again.

Fun fact: CJ has lost every single one of their first games since the start of the Summer season of OGN

 

MVP Ozone vs KT A

Game 1

In game one, MVP Ozone was the one to get ahead of KT A by getting first blood on Vitamin’s Renekton through the use of requiem. The turning point in the ghame came from a beautiful flash crescendo by Mata which led to a 4 for 2 advantage for MVP with a triple kill from imp on Kogmaw. From there, MVP was able to beat KTA again on a contention for dragon and in ensuing skirmished throughout the game, Karthus and Kogmaw was too much for KTA to handle. The last nail in the coffin came on a team fight at Baron where KTA was starting off a desperation Baron when Nocturne engaged on KTA immediately and the resulting team fight led to a 4 for 1 exchange in the favour of Ozone. From there Ozone was able to bully their way into the KTA base leading to a KTA surrender vote.

MVP Ozone (60.0k) 21:7 KT A (51.4k)

MVP Mata (Supp) – Sona

Game 2

Game two saw a classic brawl by both teams and it saw more than one kill per minute during the whole game. The first blood came in the bottom lane where Hiro’s varus was able to get the first kill on DanDy’s Xin Zhao but the kill was answered by Homme’s Shen who was able to kill Me5’s Sona. As the game progressed, each team was trading blow for blow but most importantly, imp’s Vayne was able to secure a triple kill top to expediate his growth. Even with Vayne’s growth, KT A was able to stay ahead in the global gold count by securing the dragon but in the ensuing team fight, the great engage by dade’s Diana and Homme’s Shen allowed MVP to come out ahead in the team fight. However during the next team fight, a great untilmate combo from Varus and Sona led to a 4 for 2 exchange for KT A. A seemingly great engage occurred for KT A in the next team fight when they were able to instantly burst down Diana with a well placed over the wall crescendo from Me5 but even with Diana dead, a free dealing Vayne was able to wreak havoc on the KT A  team. From that point onwards, Vayne was too much for KT A to handle and aside from being caught out in the jungle, Vayne was able to deal tremendous amounts of damage every fight to lead MVP Ozone to a victory.

KT A (39.0k) 20:30 MVP Ozone (43.4k)

MVP imp (AD) – Vayne

2:0 MVP Ozone Win

Thoughts on the match

Dade and imp showed that they can be carry forces in both games playing a huge role in their teams’ 2:0 victory.  It was also interesting to see that MVP Ozone’s team comp in both games were specialized for isolated skirmishes which could speak volumes about their teams concept and MVP Ozone’s answer to their relatively weak team fighting. The 2:0 score line was definitely good for MVP Ozone but despite this score line, both of the sets were closely contested and MVP Ozone showed some weaknesses in their game management.

On the other hand, KT A definitely looked improved compared to last season with the addition of Kakao but Vitamin remained a liability in both of the games. Vitamin’s inability to effectively go on imp during the second game especially was a huge problem for KT A throughout the game and it allowed imp to be their downfall. For KT A to avoid last place, they will need Vitamin to step up his game. In addition, it was quite unclear if KT A was trying to go with as team fight comp or a skirmish based comp in both games since they were unable to dictate the flow of the game in both games.

In their next matches, both teams will need to improve upon their games and limit the mistakes that they made during the set. For MVP, their ability to snowball and finish a game convincingly will be put to test by a more experienced team like Blaze. For KT A, their weakness in the top lane will likely be exploited by other teams in the tournament for their remaining matches. It’ll be interesting to see how both teams respond in order to remedy their issues.


Najin Shield vs LG-IM

Game 1

In the first game, Najin Shield’s wombo combo composition of Lux, Kennen, Jarvan, Miss Fortune and Sona paid dividends for Shield as they were able to win team fights after team fights with lux binding, cataclysm, crescendo and bullet time along with slicing maelstrom. After Shield won a team fight, they would push down towers as a group or take dragons as a group and they eventually won the game by winning the final team fight near baron with double kills from Save and Locodoco. While MidKing tried his best on Karthus to do the most damage that he possibly can, Shield’s aoe team comp was too much in the end. While the team composition of Shield was incredible, the way they played the game was also something to notice. For the majority of the game, Locodoco would be building damage items before building any attack speed items and Save would be building pure AP damage items instead of CDR items. By building this way, both Loco and Save were able to maximize their burst potential. In order to complement this incredible burst, Expession also built a Rylai’s and an abyssal scepter. Finally, Shield’s methodical approach to managing the game was also notable.

LG-IM (51.5k)  9:21 Najin Shield (65.4k)

MVP Save (Mid) – Lux

Game 2

The second game saw an exciting affair between the two teams which ended in an unbelievable fashion. LG-IM was able to get thing started quickly when Wolf gave up first blood for the second game in a row to Smeb’s Rumble. However, even with the first blood Smeb was performing much worse than his counter part Expession’s Nidalee who was in a 2 v 1 situation of his own in the top lane and one point, Expession had almost double the cs of Smeb. As the game went on, Shield was able to secure their second dragon by the 17 minute mark and Expession was able to split push at will all the way up to LG-IM inhibitor turret. After a prolonged chase by LG-IM, they were surrounded by Save on Twisted Fate coming in with destiny and Expession coming down from the top lane which ended up being a four for naught trade in favour of Shield. At this point Shield seemed to be cruising their way to victory in the second set with a 7k gold lead by the 23 minute mark but then the possible candidate for throw of the season occurred when Shield decided to split push both top and bot lanes with Expession and Locodoco on Caitlyn. Seeing this split push, IM decided to five man push mid and they were able to get the mid inhibitor with ease. The throw happened here as LG-IM tried to retreat and save their base, 3 members of Shield inexplicably engaged on 4 members of LG-IM leading to Sona and Twisted Fate being killed. Making the situation worse was that Expession was soloed by Smeb while trying to get the inhibitor in the bot lane.  While Loco did manage to get the top inhibitor, he was prevented from recalling by Smeb and LG-IM was able to take down the nexus and win in a thrilling fashion.

Najin Shield (49.2k) 8:7 LG-IM (44.8k)

MVP MidKing (Mid) – Jayce

1:1 Draw

Thoughts on the match

The end result of a draw definitely left both teams awestruck. Shield will feel that they have been robbed of a 2:0 win. They came out with a good game plan in both of the games and almost executed their strategy to perfection in both games except for the last minute of game 2. It will be interesting how this loss affects Shield mentally. Aside from the large mishap however, Shield showed good objective control and they showed the ability to play with a well thought out team comp. If Shield can prevent themselves from making such huge errors from now onwards, they could be a competitive team in the wide-open group B. The LG-IM match also showed the growth of Save as a player and he showed that he may not be such a liability for Shield as originally thought.

On the other hand, LG-IM proved everyone that League of Legends is a tower breaking game and as long as you can break the other teams nexus, you win no matter the gold count or kill count but they were still struggling with the game management issue and strategy issues that have been ailing them since the team’s inception. One saving grace from this Bo2 with Shield was that if you manage to throw a game as badly as Shield did, even a team like LG-IM can make the appropriate decisions and take advantage of it. In addition to this, Smeb showed late game heroics by being able to defend LG-IM’s base on both sides and showed considerable game sense by preventing Loco from recalling to guarantee the victory.

 

KT B vs ahq Korea

Game 1

The first game saw KT B going into the game with a considerable disadvantage during the pick and ban phase as KT B chose a team of one dimensional initiators such as ssumday on Renekton and inSec on Volibear while ahq chose to play a strong disengage team led by HooN on Ryze, Trace on Elise and Loray on Sona. In the early game, KT B was in the driver’s seat led by Ryu on Diana who was able to get the first blood on Sona and KT B was also able to grab he first dragon of the game. In the ensuing team fight in the dragon pit, KT B lost out heavily in the exchange going 0 for 3 in the fight. In response, KT B was able to 5 man pressure the top tower and kill Elise and Ryze in the process but they were forced to take heavy damage to their mid tier 2 turret in a counter push. The tipping point in the game came in the 13 minute mark when ahq decided to team push the top outer turret and a team fight ensued. Even though Ryu was able to get a great engage with moonfall and Kayle ult on him, KT B ended up losing out on the trade with a great Sona ult from Loray and a triple kill from Promise on Varus. From this point onwards, members of KTB started getting caught out of position and ahq was able to take the mid towers and a dragon as a result. The team fights which occurred afterwards was a testament to the champion mismatch that happened as a result of a poor pick/ban by KT B. With a fed Varus wreaking havoc in every team fight, KT B was simply unable to hard engage on Promise due to the amount of disengages on ahq. The game ended with a final team fight just outside of KT B’s base when Diana was able to successfully engage in on Varus but the simple difference in power level was too much for KT B as they lost ssumday, Ryu and Mafa during the fight and ahq proceeded to end the game.

ahq Korea (46.9k) 22:11 KT B (37.6k)

MVP Promise (AD) – Varus

Game 2

In the second game, KT B was able to have a much more successful pick/ban phase compared to the last game when they were completely counter picked. It was ahq who tried to pull off the first move by stealing the enemy blue buff but Actscene’s Vi was caught out during the process and was killed by inSec’s Nocturne for first blood. From there, the game was all downhill for ahq as they frantically tried to match Promise’s Vayne in a favourable situation by constantly swapping lanes but this lane swapping caused KT B to dominate ahq in terms of cs and there was a considerable cs difference between the two teams as the game went on. The game remained largely passive until a fight broke out in the ahq jungle and KT was able to come out with a 3:0 trade along with the mid inner turret. During the next dragon timing, another fight broke out near the dragon pit where KT was able to come out with a 4 for 2 trade and the dragon. With a 6k gold advantage, KT did not squander the lead by relentless engaging into yet another team fight at mid which was able to net KT a 5 for 1. The final fight was fought near the Baron area where KT B was able to win out a 5 vs 4 fight and steal the Baron thereby ending the game.

KT B (48.8k) 20:9 ahq Korea (36.4k)

MVP Score (AD) – Caitlyn

1:1 Draw

Thoughts on the match

This set was definitely an eye-opening set where ahq was able to take a set off the current favourites KT B. For KT B, this match revealed their vulnerability as when ssumday is shut down, the whole team is in trouble because KT B loses considerable team fight presence when ssumday is shut down. The biggest problem was that when ssumday did get shutdown, there was nothing that Score could do as he was effectively taken out of the game along with ssumday even though Ryu tried his best to fulfill the tank role in place of ssumday. It will be interesting if other teams start to aggressively go after ssumday to try and shut him down in their future matches. The saving grace for KT B was that in the second game when they were able to start off evenly during the pick/ban stage, they were able to outplay ahq and show their dominant force which made them so successful before the Spring season.

For ahq they were successful in their debut with a draw against perhaps the strongest team in Korea right now. Ahq was impressive not only with their high skill level but also with their tactical preparations which allowed them to completely outplay KT B in the first game. Ahq’s sharp initiation from their jungler ActScene and top laner Trace was definitely impressive to watch and it gave room for Promise to deal some good amounts of damage. On top of this, Loray lived up to expectations and was able to play well in the support role. However, the question mark still remains with HooN. HooN performed decently but his control was subpar compared to the rest of the team and it still remains to be seen if Shield was justified in letting him go.

 

Match of the Week

SKT T1 (2) vs CJ Entus Blaze

Game 1

This was a statement game for both sides. For Blaze, they were looking to show everyone that they are the team to beat this season with a dominant victory and for T2, they were looking for the opportunity to live up to their hype.

In the first game, Blaze opted for a standard team comp with Flame on Rumble, Helios on Nasus, Ambition on Khazix, Capt. Jack on Varus and Lustboy on Lulu while T2 went for a poke comp by having Impact on Jayce, Faker on Nidalee, bengi on Jarvan, Piglet on Caitlyn and PoohManDu on Fiddlesticks. T2 was the one to draw first blood as a great gank from bengi allowed ManDu to pick up the first blood on Capt. Jack. In the mid lane, Ambition made an amateur error by evolving his spikes in plain view of Faker who immediately saw the chance to flash in and execute Ambition. Faker then roamed bot lane where he was able to pick up a triple kill, giving him a score of 4/0 by the 7 minute mark. With the huge advantage T2 was able to play their poke comp to a perfection dealing large chunks of damage while seizing Blaze’s turrets. Against the poke comp in addition to the Cataclysm, Crowstorm, Blaze was unable to hold their turrets but even with 2 inhibitors down, Blaze was able to continually farm and gain kills in team fights when they decided to hard engage with the Equalizer from Rumble. For a while, the game looked to be on the balance and T2 seemed to be on verge of throwing the game away but a mistake from Blaze near Baron allowed T2 to kill Capt. Jack and Ambition and ending the game.

CJ Entus Blaze (45.0k) 6:16 SKT T1 (2) (54.2k)

MVP Faker (Mid) – Nidalee

Game 2

The second game of the set saw T2 playing an aoe magic damage comp with Fiddlesticks support, Karthus mid and Kennen top. While Blaze was running a more traditional comp with Diana mid, Khazix top, Jarvan jungle and the bottom duo playing the same champions as game 1. First blood was drawn again by Fiddlesticks again when he was able to kill Helios on a counter gank. The first big fight of the game came near the dragon area where Blaze seemed to have an advantage but Karthus’ requiem was able to net T2 a double kill evening out the team fight.  The game was really tipped in favour of T2 on a team near T2 outer mid tower when Helios made a bad play leading to a double kill from Karthus then T2 proceeded to dive Blaze under Blaze’s outer mid tower resulting in four kills in total, a tower and a dragon for T2. From there, Blaze was constantly looking for opportunities to engage in an advantageous team fight but each time the fire power from T2’s team comp was too much for Blaze to handle.

SKT T1 (2) (58.2K) 23:11 CJ Entus Blaze (48.1k)

MVP Faker (Mid) – Karthus

2:0 SKT T1 (2) Win

Thoughts on the match

For the second year in a row, Blaze fell victims to the upstart candidate of the tournament in SKT T1 (2). The T2 line-up showed great individual skills and they were able to dismantle Blaze in a convincing fashion. In addition to their mechanical skills, their team composition and game strategy to play against a team like Blaze was also well executed. However, one are that they did show a lack of experience was in overall game management as there were tense moments in game 1 even with a seemingly insurmountable gold lead when it looked as if Blaze was poised to make a comeback and even in game 2, the instance where Jarvan was allowed to steal Baron will not go unpunished in the future. Despite the mistakes, T2 definitely made a statement by beating Blaze 2:0 much like MVP Blue. For Blaze this was a wake-up call game. This set showed the predictability of picks from Blaze and it allowed T2 to make a counter strategy against the likely picks that Blaze would throw at them (though this was a problem shared by all of the 4 top teams who struggled in the first round). In addition, the criticisms that the doubters of Blaze had before the tournament started (unreliable jungler, weak laning by bot lane) hasn’t been solved by Blaze yet so it will be interesting how Blaze will fare against all of the aggressive bot lanes in their group (aside from Hiro & Me5). As well if Helios doesn’t regain his form soon, Blaze could potentially find themselves knocked out during the group stages.

 

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Week 1 match review  (0) 2013/04/07

OGN Power Rankings – Week

1. KT Rolster B – considering that all of the top teams from last season went 0:2 against teams that they had never faced before, KT B fared better than them by going 1:1 against ahq. It is also hard to argue with the form that KT B had coming into the tournament thus they get the nod for 1. (Next wk vs NJ SHD)

2. MVP Blueafter having the hottest off season, MVP Blue lived up to their recent hype with their methodical destruction of last year’s champions Najin Sword. What’s more impressive is that the Sword team was able to beat TPS later that weak in the SWL tournament showing that they weren’t totally out of shape. Time will tell if this year’s MVP Blue will finally break out of their OGN Champions miseries of recent seasons. (Next wk vs MVP Ozone)

3. SKT T1 (2) – You can only say “wow” after watching this team beat Blaze in a dominating fashion. With unprecedented hype coming into the tournament, T2 showed that the hype was much deserved. Next week they’ll have a chance to solidify their place in the KR LoL scene when they face last year’s champions Sword who will be motivated to make amends for their embarrassing first week performance by being T2. (Next wk vs Najin Sword)

4. CJ Entus Frost – Even with a change in the roster, Frost was still Frost both good and bad. Frost still looked like the team who can out team fight any team in the world but they also showed that they can be blown out of the water during the laning phase when Templar becomes irrelevant in the game.  (next wk vs ahq KR)

5. SKT T1 (1) – The first team of SKT had a mixed bag of results against Frost. In the first game they were able to successfully run away with the game through relentless aggression coming from all sides but in the second game, Raven was being caught out lef and right and it cost them dearly. (next wk vs LG-IM)

6. MVP Ozone the other team in group A to take a victory was MVP Ozone and they were able to do it through incredible playing from dade, imp and Mata. However, the games that MVP Ozone played were definitely the sloppiest of all the games played this week and ozone will need to clean up on this areas for the future. (next wk vs MVP Blue)

7. ahq Korea ahq definitely impressed after a strong showing against KT B in their Champions appearance. The players were definitely ready to show what they were capable of and with some help from KT B, they were able to make a statement in their match. However, next week will be a stern challenge again as ahq squares off against the old timers CJ Entus Frost (next wk vs CJ Entus Frost)

8. Najin Shield – Locodoco has to have lost some sleep after the team’s epic meltdown against LG-IM in the final minutes of their second game which cost Shield a very impressive 2:0 sweep of a weak LG-IM. It doesn’t get any better for Locodoco and company as they face the fan favourites KT Rolster B in what could be Shield’s biggest challenge in this group. (next wk vs KT B)

9. CJ Entus Blaze – Given Blaze’s tendency to lose against talented new teams, it wasn’t a big surprise that T2 was able to give Blaze more than they could handle. Even in the defeat, Blaze showed glimpse of why they are considered one of the best teams in Korea led by their top laner Flame. Things should be easier for Blaze this week as they square off against KT A (next wk vs KT A)

10. Najin Sword – was Sword possibly looking beyond their OGN Champions opponents and looking at their SWL opponents TPS? Whatever the case may be, Sword definitely needs to snap themselves out of their inexplicable slump and at least survive the group stage. Next week will be a tough test for Sword yet again as they face Faker and company. Sword better hope that SSONG and Watch are on their game or they will struggle mightily  (next wk vs SKT T1 (2))

11. KT A – The play of Zero and Kakao was solid and the bot lane was serviceable in their match against MVP Ozone but with Vitamin playing badly in both matches, KT A was under the mercy of imp and dade who imposed their will on KT A in the two matches. With Flame being Vitamin’s opponent next week, look for the agony of Vitamin to continue next week. (next wk vs CJ Entus Blaze)

12. LG-IM – The comeback kids of the week, LG-IM was involved in one of the most bizarre finishes ever in a LoL match. LG-IM will definitely take anything that comes their way and Lilac’s expression after the second game against Shield definitely summed up LG-IM’s hard fought victory. With SKT T1 next week, LG-IM may try to sneak a victory by a T1 team that can sometimes be overaggressive. (next wk vs SKT T1 (1))


Also working on a more comprehensive match review for each match

 

 

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Week 2 Power Rankings  (0) 2013/04/15
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KT B – The best team in Korea?

ssumday (Top)

inSec (Jungle)

Ryu (Mid)

Score (AD)

Mafa (Supp)

-          3rd OGN Champions Winter (W 3:0 Blaze)

-          1st MLG Dallas International Exhibit (W 2:1 GG)

 

Team review

The KT Rolster team B was formed after the team A was formed. With the recommendations of Vitamin, the former core of StarTale players Ryu, Score and Mafa formed the basis of a team that would quickly become one of the most feared teams in the scene. Since their successful debut at Champions Winter, the line-up has since then undergone some changes. KakaO was moved to Team A in order to make room for inSec and Ragan was released to make room for ssumday. With these additions, the consensus opinion around the scene was that KT B became extremely stronger as a result and they may be thed best team in the scene right now in-terms of skill and form. This season of Champions will show us if KTB is indeed befitting of the title “Best team in Korea” and they will look to live up to the expectations by being the last ones standing come Summer time.

Generally speaking, KT B was a team that’s loved to play a mid to long game against all opponents during the last season of Champions.  This was due to the fact that only the top lane would play extremely aggressive so that there would be either a kill for or a kill given to the opposition. The bot lane of Score and Mafa would serve as the epitome of passivism often being content with just farming and only grabbing kills when there would be a perfect opportunity. Thus generally, the early emphasis for the jungler is given to the top lane and if the top lane is able to get first blood, then the top lane is basically left alone for KT B while the jungler goes to gain other advantages. With the addition of inSec and ssumday, this style has still remained but the level of aggression seen from the team generally has increased in order to accommodate for inSec’s level of aggression. This season, it will be interesting to observe the team colours of KTB, whether they would become an aggressive team or remain the same as before remains to be seen.

 

Team Strengths

Strong tank line

The strength of KT B is usually generated by their tank line of ssumday and inSec. Unlike other teams however, inSec is usually the one playing the role of the off-tank damage dealer and ssumday is usually assigned the role of pure tanker. Regardless of their given roles, these two players excel at what they do and they serve as the engines of KT B going forward in the game. Both of the players are highly skilled and highly aggressive which suits them perfectly for the role of tank. In a team fight situation or even during laning, you can often see ssumday or inSec going in aggressively to initiate or trade. Often cases, this works for the better of the team as the high level of aggression causes the opposing team to try and peel the tanks off their carries. Situations like these is also a testament to the ability of inSec and ssumday to farm or get enough  kills during the laning phase that they can become significant threats once the mid game arrives. Having a solid tank line also helps out a carry like Score who is usually not in the position to do the most amount of damage but given the room to free farm by the tanks, Score can do a decent amount of damage for the team to come out ahead. Going into the new season of Champions look for the dynamic inSec and ssumday top/jungle duo to carry KT B’s matches and look for this dynamic duo to also make the highlight reel on a weekly basis.

Strong mid game

If Sword was the team who excelled at the early game and Frost was the team who excelled at the late game, KT B is a team that excels at during the mid game. What KT B do exceptionally well after the outer towers go down is roam in order to find kills on the maps which can lead to objectives. The center of attention during this period is none other than the mid player Ryu. When Ryu plays a high mobility champion like Evelyn, Khazix or Diana he will aggressively look for kills once laning phase has ended. This aggressive roaming added to the incredible skill combination usually displayed from players like Mafa, allows this team to have strong skirmishes and engages. If it does get to the point that a strong mid game can translate into a decent lead it is not often that KT B squanders the lead rest of the way usually playing a slow methodical game until they can finish the game. This is why it’s crucial for the KT B team not to have a disastrous early game so that they can take advantage of their great mid game once the power spike hits with levels and items. The addition of ssumday and inSec will only strengthen KT B’s dominance in the mid game and should teams not be able to find an answer to deal with this dominance, they will have a tough game ahead of them.

Well rounded players

 When you think of KT B, the first thing that comes to mind is how well rounded their team is. I’ve already mentioned the strength of their top and jungler but the rest of the team is not too shabby as well. If you listed the top 3 players in each position, it’ll be hard to argue with inserting each member of KT B in the top 3. This means that KT B is probably the only team in the KR scene not to have a player who really falls behind his colleagues in terms of relative skill level. This of course doesn’t mean that each player is equally skilled but it does mean that the players can rely on each other and play as a true team. This is also one of the reasons why KT B is good. If a player like ssumday goes with a pure tank build, he will obviously lack the damage to impact the game but because he understands that if he does he job by initiating and taking aggro, he can trust his teammates to deal all the necessary damage for them to win. Same goes for inSec who usually tends to build more damage oriented items compared to tank items knowing that ssumday would be able tank. The philosophy applies to the damage dealers as well while they will build items according to need, they will tend to build as much damage as they can in order to complement their front line. And all the members of the team are supported by Mafawho can definitely make great plays and shine as bright as the rest of the team with great CCs and great saves.  

 

Team weaknesses

The question marks

Even a team who’s known to be without a weak link definitely has several question marks going in. Ssumday is definitely an impressive player and has risen as one of the best top laners in a short amount of time but he makes many little mistakes which haven’t been highlighted too much yet. Ssumday generally is not a great cser and he does have a tendency to miss out on some cs. In addition, he has moments of misplay when he does a wall flash or a wall dash and if he does this during high leverage situations, it could very well signal a loss for KT B. InSec also has his hsare of issues to iron out. Sometimes when you watch inSec, he seems to be so caught up on making a play that he over commits and that gets him into a bad situation. This is definitely the result of playing on a team like CJ where he was expected to carry every game but on a team like KT B, he must learn to tone down on his over committing and aggressive play style in order to meet the rest of the team at a happy medium. Ryu is usually a consistent player every night out but as it was seen during last Champion’s Winter semis, Ryu can have moments when he has a mental breakdown. It was clear by the emotion displayed on his face that he really didn’t have a way to deal with this mental breakdown after getting dominated by Ssong and this was one of the reasons why he played so poorly in both sets. Scorer is a player praised for not dying and having a godlike KDA but as it stands, he should never be in the discussion for the best ADC because he simply doesn’t do enough damage during team fights. Score has the opposite play style of someone like PraY who will not mind dying if he can pour out the most amount of damage he could for his team. Recently, Score has shown that he’s willing to get into fights but without the impeccable positioning of PraY or the mechanical skills of other top level Ads, it will be interesting to see if Score can adapt to a new playing style. As for Mafa, he doesn’t have a glaring question mark about him but you can usually notice that in lane, the bot duo doesn’t really get ahead of the other duo. While this is mostly due to Score’s tendency to just farm, Mafa also has to share the blame for being the lane partner.

Team fight ability

One of the worries that a KT B fan can have while watching this team is their team fighting ability. As it was displayed during their match against GG, KT B can struggle in even fight situations or even when they are just slightly ahead if they face a team like GG. This was observed in their loss to Frost when a bad team fight at mid lost them the whole game. Granted these two teams are probably the best in the world when it comes to team fighting but the fact that KT B is behind them by a decent margin makes it difficult for the team to play for a true late game where the game would be even for a long period of time. If KT B wants to win the whole tournament this time around, they will definitely need to beat a team who will be better than them in team fights. Time will tell if they have remedied this problem but if KT B really wants to live up to their namesake of being the best team in Korea, then they better show us that they can be good at every aspect of the game.

 

Key Player: ssumday (Top)

As mentioned previously, the KT B team’s strength really originates from the top lane and it trickles down to the other lanes in a butter fly effect style. If ssumday can continue to play as he has been playing, then there is no doubt that he’ll be a force in the top lane and that in turn will help all the other lanes but should teams figure out how to play against him and exploit his little mistakes, KT B may look a lot more vulnerable then they may seem.

 

Season Expectations

KT B is definitely one of the favourites going into the tournament and they should easily place top 4. However, anything can happen during the course of a tournament and should KT B run into a team like Blaze in the knock out rounds, they may have to wait until they can be crowned the champions of Korea.

 

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LG-IM – Their own Incredible Miracle?

Smeb (Top)

Lilac (Jungle)

MidKing (Mid)

Paragon (AD)

Lasha (Supp)

-          9th ~ 16th OGN Champions Summer (1W 2L)

-          5th ~ 8th OGN Champions Winter (L 2:3 Blaze)

-          NLB Winter 5th ~ 8th (L 0:2 GSG)

-          1st IEM Sao Paulo (W 2:0 Anexis)

-          7th ~ 8th IEM World Championships (2W 3L)

Team review

When the SC two giants IM decided to start a LoL team from the former members of Team OP, there was high expectation that this team would continue the success of Team OP. However until the recent win at Sao Paolo, the IM LoL team had never reached a meaningful finals stage and they have thus far remained a huge disappointment. Their failure to succeed was quite perplexing given the fact that their team was composed of highly talented individuals. All the fans of IM are still waiting for that magical day when all of the talent on this team will start to click and the team will finally be able to play as if they were a team instead of playing a soloq game. Perhaps this season is that magical season when the team finally plays like a team and IM will finally be able to achieve something in the OGN Champions tournament.

The team is headlined by the famous player Lilac who used to make a name for himself with his solid play in the top lane but when Cornsalad joined IM in order to preserve the seeding from Team OP, Lilac was asked to move to support where he played subpar. Lilac was then moved back to top where he wasn’t able to recapture his old self and now he’s being asked to play jungle (his original role on IM) with the departure of Ring Troll. It’ll be interesting to see if Lilac can finally shine one more time in his natural position and for a player who’s been asked to sacrifice so much for the team, he really deserves a chance to shine. We will see if Lilac can turn back the clocks to one year ago and shine during this year’s Champions Spring like he did during last year Champions Spring.


Team Strengths

Solid play from the bottom line

The bottom duo of Paragon and Lasha have been the anchors of the team ever since Lasha was brought in to replace the former IM support Livy. Even when  the team does terribly, this duo was seen to do well and when the team is doing relatively well, this duo can usually carry games. A travesty for both these players is that because they play on a relatively weak team, they are usually overlooked but these two players may be the most underrated players in the scene right now. Paragon is a player who has really suffered from not having a good support or a good tank line to initiate and peel for him for a long time but when given the chance he can be that guy to carry his team and he really has solid play all around while being exceptionally good at sniping things with his Ez ult (GG Froggen). Lasha is probably one of the best Zyra supports in the scene along with kkinsh and while no one may talk about him in the best support KR discussion,  he has quietly established himself as one of the best if not the best player on the IM team. With a new look team and an inexperienced top laner, the bottom duo will have to perform as they always have and try to remain relevant in the game regardless of how the rest of their team are doing.

Addition by subtraction

During recent times, there was a change to the IM line-up with Ring being removed from the team and Smeb being added to the team from their second team. This could potentially go in favour of IM because I have always felt that Ring was never a really good player after he was let go by MiG. Ring would never make great decisions as a jungler and he to me really was only good when he played Lee Sin. Despite his level of play, Ring has always had many followers (due to his glorious hair…) but he didn’t have the play to back it up. While his replacement Lilac may not be that much better than him, the team probably could benefit from getting less attention because of a single individual. In addition, if Smeb can perform better than Lilac in the top lane, then the whole ordeal will work better for the team since Lilac can play the tank roll much more proficiently than Ring can coming out of the jungle.

Strong laning

IM is a team that’s best known as the team of hard throwers but for someone to throw a game, they need to have a lead to begin with. Perhaps the most frustrating situation with IM is that they are quite skilled when it comes to laning and rarely you see IM losing terribly during this phase. This is a testament to the amount of individual talent on this team. This can definitely be an asset for the team going forward. With the season 3 changes, gaining an advantage in the lane has garnered much more emphasis compared to season 2. While laning is not the only part of the game, being able to gain an advantage is definitely a nice thing to have. Should IM ever look to press their advantages after laning, then they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

 

Team weaknesses

Shallow champion pools

IM is probably the team with the shallowest champion pool in the tournament. While Smeb hasn’t been in the competitive scene for a long time, he’s only played 3 champions so far and Lilac is also a question mark with his champion selection as he just recently switched into the jungle role. Elsewhere, MidKing has mainly played Jayce, Ryze or TF without having played the popular AD bruiser picks. Even their bottom  lane only really play the current traditional champs and they have never shown the ability to play something very unexpected unlike the other bot duos. As a result of this shallow champion selection pool, IM is generally more rigid in their strategies and they are not able to have a strategic advantage over the other teams in terms of picks and bans. However now that they have a true second team who can scrim with them at a competitive level, the IM first team can look to improve tremendously from practice and improve upon their shallow champion pools. By doing so, their team will benefit greatly in the long run in all aspects of the game.

The league of throws

The one feature of IM that frustrates their fans the most is that they often gain a lead on their opponent only to throw it away slowly until they lose. This is the sign of a team that lacks a true shot caller and as a result IM often play the game as if it’s a soloq game. More often than not, you can see IM wandering around aimlessly during the team fight phase without getting any objectives. This allows the opposition to catch up on the gold differences. In addition, IM tends to engage in team fights when their whole team would not be there or a stray member of their team would be caught out causing them to lose objectives and causing this reverse snowballing. It also doesn’t help that IM’s team fighting is subpar compared to other top tier teams and all of their late game weaknesses usually cumulate to them losing grandiosely (against paiN, Millenium, Blaze). If IM can control their uncontrollable urge to start throwing, then they might actually pose a challenge to the top teams in the league but if they play like the IM we love and adore, they’ll remain as the most disappointing team in OGN Champions history along with Najin Shield.

Lack of a real strategy  

Another problem that the “lower tier” teams exhibit is that because they aren’t as proficient on many champions, they are not able to make strategic picks and thus lack a real strategy behind their team compositions. It has been shown time and time again that games can be won and lost during the pick and ban stage.  For IM, you usually do not witness a game when they take make a clever strategic move during the pick/ban stage. The only thing that could be said about IM is that if they’re able to get champs that they know how to use well or if they can get the “OP” champions in the patch, they succeeded in their picks and bans. There’s definitely a limit to this because even if there are OP champions in current competitive play, there are ways to counter these OP champions and if a team knows that IM will go for certain champions, they can definitely find a way to bait those picks and dismantle them. With the addition of a second team, IM will need to theorycraft and improve upon their knowledge aspect of their game as well so that they can have some depth as a team.

 

Key Player: None

The reason that there is no particular player who needs to step up his game in order for this team to succeed  is that this particular team doesn’t need a single hero to succeed. IM will require a full team effort to show that they can play as a unit and not act as if it’s another game of soloq they’re playing. Every member of the team will also need to become smarter in their playing and if they are able to accomplish all this, they will definitely be able to be a great team (this team nearly knocked out Blaze last year).

 

Season expectations

Given their recent form and the fact that they have shuffled their line-up recently, I would have to rate IM as the weakest team in the tournament being only better than AhQ.  That being said, group B is definitely the weaker of the two groups and IM have a chance to advance if they can get a game off from the top teams in the group. 


IRL OP cause me to be tardy :D

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Najin Sword – can they pull off the first ever repeat?

MakNooN (Top)

Watch (Jungle)

Ssong (Mid)

PraY (AD)

Cain (Supp)

-          3rd OGN Champions Summer (W 2:0 Blaze)

-          5th ~ 8th Season 2 World Championship (L 0:2 TPA)

-          2nd MLG Fall Championship (L 1:4 Blaze)

-          1st OGN Champions Winter (W 3:0 Frost)

Team review

After the devastating loss against MiG Frost during the inaugural season of OGN Champions, many fans were voicing their dissatisfaction against MakNooN and his costly throws that caused the team to lose games. The head of the Najin corporation did decide to remove MakNooN from the Najin e-mfire team but knowing MakNooN’s talent, he decided to give MakNooN a second chance by letting him form a team which would suit his Do Dive playing style better. The end product of MakNooN’s search was what is now known as Najin Sword. In their early days, Najin Sword was known as MakNooN’s one man show who would love to dive the opposing team when given the chance and be flamboyant in their playing style. They were also a team who were known to be good in the lane but if you stalled against them, you could almost guarantee a victory. This was definitely the case until Najin Sword had a match with CLG.Eu, a team that was known to be one of the best in the world at dragging games out and winning those games. After their loss to CLG.Eu, Sword was a completely different team and with their new found improvement, they were able to beat Blaze twice en route to a place in the season 2 finals an impressive feat considering the team was only formed before the Summer season of OGN. After the Season 2 championships, the Sword team improved further and they were able to win OGN Champions Winter in a dominating fashion. During this season of OGN the champions, Sword will be out to defend their title as champions and they will look to once again triumph over their “lol classico” rivals en route to a victory.

 

Team Strengths

Much improved late game management

Ever since the aforementioned CLG.EU game, Najin Sword ‘s ability to manage late game situations has improved significantly. There are several reasons for Najin Sword’s improvement in their in-game management. The most important reason is the number of high level competitive matches that this was able to have in short amount of time and all of the experiences cumulated during that time. Many teams who are able to beat an established team during the laning phase don’t lack mechanical ability what they usually lack is the decision making which allows them to press their advantages and end games. When experience allowed the members of Sword to finally learn how to team fight at a high level and snowball their advantages by performing objectives, Sword became one of the most well rounded teams in Korea. The combined strength of Sword’s aggressive laning with their improve late game was too difficult for anyone to handle last season. It remains to be seen if Sword can still remain as the most balanced team in Korea for the upcoming season with their formidable laning phase and late game since they will be challenged by the old favourites CJ Entus Blaze & Frost but they will be fielding challenges from new powerhouses like KT B.

No longer a one man team

When people think about Sword, the immediate reaction is for people top think about MakNooN. In recent times however, the team’s focus has shifted from MakNooN to other members of the team. PraY is a player who is still not a household name outside of Korea but PraY is definitely one of if not the best ADC in Korea at this point and time. What makes PraY such an amazing ADC is his impeccable positioning in team fights which allows him to deal the maximum amount of damage without being killed by the opposing tanks. With signature champions like Kogmaw and Twitch, Sword can always count on PraY to fill a hyper carry role to win the game. In addition to PraY, Ssong has definitely improved tremendously ever since his introduction into the league scene. During the early days, Ssong (along with watch) was seen as liabilities for the team and when he was able to carry a game, people would be surprised more often than not. During last Champion’s Winter however, Ssong was able to carry games after games with his amazing mechanics and he was becoming the top priority target to shut down for the opposing teams instead of MakNooN. Ssong’s playing has improved so much that when teams face Sword, they are forced to ban TF, Evelyn or Kayle, the 3 champions that Ssong excels at.  With the emphasis now being on other members of the team, Sword no longer crumbles if you just shut down MakNooN in a game. In fact in recent matches, teams have been able to control MakNooN but Sword has demonstrated the ability to win games with an ineffective MakNooN. Even without the aggressive roaming that we are used to seeing from MakNooN, Sword now finds a way to win games and this is definitely a testament to the team’s growth in ability.

Fast adaptation to foreign strategies

Whether it’s because MakNooN keeps up to date on foreign tournaments quite frequently or for other reasons, Najin Sword has been one of the fastest adapters to new metas in the Korean scene. This fast adaptation to new “OP” champions or item builds has allowed Najin Sword to gain an advantage during the last season of Champions especially in the finals when they benchmarked GG’s tactics to dismantle Frost. Being able to play a new playing style in a short amount of time is definitely a daunting task especially if it involves learning new champions to work out at the competitive level. On the other hand, playing against new styles is an even more difficult task for the opposition as they may never have had the chance to prepare against it. However, with new comers showing they too can adapt to the new metas, it is uncertain if Najin Sword’s fast adaptation can remain their unique strength in the upcoming champions.

 

Team weaknesses

What happened to MakNooN?

After the winter finals, Sword has competed in numerous tournaments but in almost every single match they’ve had, MakNooN was being outclassed by almost every top laner. This is partially due to the fact that he was against a 2 v 1 match-up for teams not wanting to go against the PraY/Cain duo but even given this fact, he did much worse compared to the other top laner. One reason for this could have been that after he won the finals, he hasn’t practiced as much as before and given his tendencies to make decisions when the game doesn’t go too well for him, it wouldn’t bode well for him if his skill level has deteriorated. Another reason could have definitely been due to the MakNooN scandal that has surfaced after the winter finals ended. It’s clear that pro players are often checking on the fansites to see what their supporters thought about them and when MakNooN saw the community being quite negative about him, he could have become disappointed and lacked his usual confidence going into matches. The other reason could have been that all of his contemporaries have now caught up to him in terms of skill level or even surpassed him but this is hard to believe since this was a guy who displayed his dominance not too long ago. Whatever it is that’s ailing MakNooN, he must sort them out and go back to being MakNooN. Even if his team is not as reliant on him anymore, this is still his team and he still has quite an impact on his team with his playing. Sword better hope that MakNooN recovers fast else they may not be as dominant as people think they are.

Inconsistencies of Watch and Ssong

It is true that during the Winter season, this duo of Ssong and Watch has shown considerable growth as players and they have shown the ability to carry their teams when they need it. However, they still show that from time to time, their playing is not as consistent as the team’s bot duo. Ssong especially is the most noticeable victim to inconsistent playing largely due to the huge gap that exists between his good days and bad days. When you watch Ssong on good days, he can be an indomitable force in the mid lane being able to single handedly carry his team to victory from the brinks of defeat (Game 2 against LGD and entire set against KT B of Champions Winter) but when he’s not playing well he’s usually the reason that his team loses  (games against iG). Ssong will need to bring his best every night out in their group because all of the mid players in the group have the potential to carry their team to victory on any given night and with MakNooN being in the state he is in right now, Sword will definitely need Ssong to carry their games along with PraY on a nightly basis. The inconsistent playing of Watch is quite peculiar. On his good days he is definitely a great jungler being able to make ganks and also being able to make great decisions during team fights but on bad days it just seems like he’s lost, he makes terrible decisions and his movements get read by the other team quite easily. Having more of a support role compared to a carry role, Watch will need to play well to be able to support his carries from doing the maximum amounts of damage during team fight situations for Sword to be successful.

Weak early game?

For a Sword team which used to be known as the strongest team in Korea bdfore the 20 minute mark, it was surprising to see that in their recent matches, they actually fell behind quite a bit in all of their matches before turning it around with super human efforts in team fights and through overall good late game management (creep pushing, objectives, baron fishing etc.). It is peculiar to see however, that the team who was best known for being so strong and aggressive in the lane has lost their luster. It is also troubling that when Sword faced teams who were considered below their level, they were able to recover from falling behind early but when they faced a team like iG who were equal or better than them in skill level, they were snowballed against and lost their games quite lopsidedly. If Sword wants to compete with teams like KT B, Blaze and Frost they will need to go back to their Champions Winter ways when they dominated during the laning phase because their team fighting or late game management is still not on par with a team like Blaze or Frost. It is also a big loss for a team to have one of their biggest strengths being turned into one of their weaknesses.  We will be able to see if Najin Sword’s change in playing style is a temporary ordeal or not in the coming days.

 

Key player: Ssong (Mid)

Even though this team is still considered MakNooN’s team, the shift has now definitely changed from MakNooN to players like Ssong and PraY. Ssong will need to recapture his dominant and consistent self from the Winter season playoffs for Sword to have a chance at the first ever repeat in the OGN Champions tournament history. On his good days, Ssong may be the best mid player in Korea even ahead of the likes of Ambition and Easyhoon and he’ll have a chance to prove that when he faces against them in his group. With MakNooN’s performance being worrisome, the burden will fall on Ssong’s shoulders to give his team a hope for a win in each game they play.

 Why Ssong needs to be in top shape


Team Expectations

Being last year’s champions, it is no secret that they have a target on their backs. While their recent form is worrisome, I have no doubt that they will make it out of their group but should they not place 1st or 2nd, they may be forced to play against a team like Frost, KT B or SKT T1 which may give their team some trouble on their way to the finals.

 

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CJ Entus Frost – Can they continue their dominance in the scene?

Shy (Top)

CloudTemplar (Jungle)

RapidStar (Mid)

Hermes (Space) (ADC)

MadLife (kkinsh) (Supp)

-          2nd OGN Champions Spring 2012 (L 0:3 Blaze)

-          1st OGN Champions Summer (W 3:2 CLG.EU)

-          2nd Season 2 Championship (L 1:3 TPA)

-          3 ~ 4th IEM Katowice (L 0:2 GG)

-          2nd OGN Champions Winter (L 0:3 NJ SWD)

-          2nd IEM VII World Championships (L 1:3 Blaze)

Team review

One of the oldest and most decorated team in Korea, CJ Entus Frost are no strangers when it comes to competing in tournaments and being successful in them. Having made to every single finals on a LAN tournament with the exception of IEM Katowice is impressive considering the fact that the LoL scene changes at a rapid rate and despite the fact Frost has found a way to win each and every time. Being so successful, it is no wonder that this team is the most renowned team in Korea with a huge following both positive and negative. All the popularity aside, Frost has seemingly lost a step after the season 3 changes were implemented but even in their weakened state, they were able to grind out wins until GG showed the text book example of how Frost can be beaten. NJ WSD then deployed the exact same tactics as GG did in order to dominate Frost in the finals. Since the finals loss, Frost has only competed in the IEM World Championships where they were able to beat GG this time around en route to losing an all CJ Entus final. With more than enough time to adapt to the new season 3 changes, we will be able to see if Frost can regain their dominance and remain as the most consistent progaming team in the history of LoL.

 

Team Strengths

Every member on the team is a carry

Frost is a unique team in many ways but one of the things which stand out the most for this team is that no particular emphasis is placed on a single member of the team to carry a game. In the top lane, Shy usually draws out a minimal of one or even 2 targeted bans against him and even with these bans, his champion pool is large enough that he can carry using the unbanned champion that is available. Shy what contributes to his team on a nightly basis is his excellent csing ability and carry potential as the game transition from mid to late game. RapidStar in the mid lane is one of the most aggressive mid laners in the LoL scene. While he may fall behind the enemy mid lane in terms of cs, RapidStar makes up for this through aggressive roaming and gaining kills. Thus if the game is going awry for Frost in the early going, look for RapidStar to make plays along with CloudTemplar to turn the game around. CloudTemplar, the jungler has carried countless games with his famous Shen and his greatest strength is being able to make good decisions on the fly especially during counter ganking situations and late game situations where his game management can often give his team the advantage. The support player MadLife is often called a god for his high mechanical ability and playmaking abilities (Blitz, Ali). Despite the fact that MadLife has shown signs that he may be human in his recent form, he will still be counted on as a reliable force in the bottom lane. Finally the new member Hermes has demonstrated on MVP Blue that he has the high level of mechanics to be a late-game carry threat. Adding to this fact that Hermes has a wider variety of champions in his arsenal compared to Woong, it will be interesting to see what Hermes can offer for the team as a new carry. With all of their members given specific duties along with the potential to carry while performing their specific role, it won`t be a surprising sight to see a different member winning the MVP each game.

The incredible and mysterious team fighting ability

When you watch Frost’s matches, some moments during the match can sometimes perplex you. At first sight, it may seem that Frost is not doing anything spectacular and making flashy plays in team fights but somehow, they manage to come out the victors in team fights. One such moment was during the season 2 championship finals in game 1 where CloudTemplar seemingly engaged into the whole TPA team by himself when Frost was behind. Somehow Frost was able to win the team fight and win the game. In terms of pure team fighting ability, Frost is definitely one of the best teams in the world if not the best in the world along with teams like GG. One of the reasons for their strong team fighting is that every member on Frost knows their role very well during a team fight situation and they are often very confident going into every team fight if they’re even or even slightly behind.  In addition to this, Frost is a very communicative team constantly talking amongst each other to check cool downs and their positions to see when they can engage and when they should disengage. A lot of the credit for this goes to MadLife especially because while CloudTemplar makes a lot of calls and discusses what Frost should be doing, MadLife usually the one to give the final say on what the team should or shouldn’t be doing. Knowing that Frost can pull out miraculous team fights can also limit the strategies that the opposing team can prepare against Frost. Unless the opposing team feels that they can go into 5 vs 5 team fights and continually come out ahead, they must find a way to obtain a large advantage during the laning phase or through skirmishes which may or may not work for them. Overall, Frost’s incredible team fighting is definitely a wonder to behold and a scary phenomenon for the opposition to go up against.

Cold Blooded

The final strength and perhaps the aspect of the game that Frost excels more than anyone in the world may be their high mental strength in game. Mentality is a rarely spoken aspect of the game but just like a normal sport, it has an immense effect on a player’s performance. As such, it is not a coincidence that Frost has the best win rate in blind pick matches and it is also not a coincidence that they can win games even if they fall behind in the early game. Each member of Frost is rarely seen to be nervous and it shows in their playing. One well documented game in which the members of Frost did say they were mentally shaken was their game against TPA due to the crowd being largely biased against them for the infamous Woong cheater debauchery. CloudTemplar stated in an interview that the crowd’s reactions were definitely affecting the members and it translated into a bad performance for them. Aside from that particular game however, members of Frost usually exercise good judgement which allows them to play the game with minimal mistakes. Team Frost’s never-say-die attitude combined with their wealth of experience in high leverage situations is what makes them deadly in tournaments especially during the knock out stages.

 

Team weaknesses

Weak early game

Out of all the world class teams in the world, Frost may boast the weakest laning phases and early game play. There are several reasons for this weakness. One of them as mentioned is that Frost likes to take the game into the mid-late game if the skill level between the teams is relatively even since they have the confidence that they can beat any team in the late game situation. Another reason related to this is that the team composition of Frost used to be almost always a late game team comp where the team would synergize best when they were all together. The problem with this of course is that with the dawn of season 3, the emphasis on a strong lane phase has grown considerably which led to the exponential increase in the exposure of Frost’s weak laning. In season 3, it wasn’t simply enough to survive the lanes and that transition still remains to be an issue for Frost. The level of success that Frost can achieve in the upcoming season against teams like KT B and NJ SWD will definitely depend on the solution to their laning problems. If not, a repeat of last year’s finals is sure to ensue.

Inconsistent plays of RapidStar and CloudTemplar

During the Winter season, the two players who failed to impress the most were CloudTemplar and RapidStar. After the season 3 change which saw a host of nerfs to RapidStar’s main champion pool, he did not adapt well to the change and thus digressed in his performance. RapidStar’s failure to play a champion such as Kayle led to Frost using a ban on Kayle even if they were Blue side instead of being able to pick it up in addition to this he has become quite predictable in his champion choices in recent times making it easier for the opposing teams to prepare against him. While RapidStar’s level of play has still remained at a high level, he will need to show that he can still improve as a player and truly become a world class mid player. CloudTemplar is the other player who did not adapt very well to season 3 changes. Templar’s style of passive jungling in season 2 was definitely a success but as season 3 changes came about (along with that Skarner nerf), it was no longer acceptable to be passive as a jungler. This change in how the game was played definitely affected Templar as a player because even in season 3, he was playing champions who were good in season 2. After the devastating loss against NJ SWD and GG where Templar was sought out as the weak point of Frost, Templar has tried greatly to show a change in his play style in order to match the current meta. However, Templar showed in his matches that he still hasn’t adapted well to the new playing style and showed there’s still work to be done. One of the reasons that Frost previously had a weak laning phase was due to the jungling style of Templar. Templar would not be the one to make his presence felt all around the map rather his style of play would depend heavily on counter ganking and making sure that he can grow as much as he can to become a threat in the long run. It will be interesting to see how Templar can integrate his old playing style with the current aggressive meta in order to be successful in his own way. If Templar is unsuccessful however, look for Frost to struggle in many of their matches against opposition of equal level.

The loss of Woong

I know not many people will agree with me when I say this but at the end of his tenure with Frost Woong was actually a GOOD ADC for the team. After the CJ Entus matches in the round of 8 Woong was definitely a different player on Frost and he would often carry his team. This is not to say that he was one of the best ADCs in the world but he was one of the best ADCs for a team like Frost where the ADC is role is not given that much emphasis compared to other teams (as Loco mentioned during a broadcast). By switching from Woong to Hermes, it will be interesting to see if Frost will have to spend more resources in trying to feed Hermes and in turn how that will affect the whole team’s play as a unit. In addition to game play, Woong was also the founder of the original Frost line-up and he would be one of the most knowledgeable players on the team. It will be interesting to see if Frost’s pick and ban strategies deteriorate as a result of Woong’s departure or remains the same with the majority of the players and coaching staff still remaining on the team. This season will be interesting to see exactly what Woong provided for the team other than absorbing all the hate from the fans.

 

Key Player CloudTemplar (Jungle)

As I mentioned before, Frost is not a team who relies on one single person to carry their games but in order for their game plan to work out, it also means that they need everyone to perform their given duties in every game. This is why ClouidTemplar needs to perform at a level we’re used to seeing from him during the new season of OGN Champions if Frost doesn’t wish to risk missing the finals of the Champions stage for the first time in their team history. In addition to performing well in-game, Templar is also their leader and if he doesn’t perform well it could start off an adverse chain reaction for the team mentally which would signal doom for a team that had recently lost one of their other leaders in the off-season.

 

Season expectations

Even with all the doubts you can’t look beyond Frost’s experience and skill level. With a relatively weak group Frost should have no trouble reaching the RO8 and depending on match-ups even RO4 but should they meet NJ SWD, Blaze or KT B in the semis, it may signal the end of Frost’s consecutive appearances in the finals of the OGN Champions tournament

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SKT T1 Team 1 – Do they have the offline magic?

Reapered (Top)

Beelzehan (Jungle)

SuNo (Mid)

Raven (AD)

StarLast (Supp)

-          1st IEM Cologne (W 2:1 Fnatic)

-          3rd ~4th IEM VII World Championships (L 0:2 CJ Entus Blaze)

-          7th ~ 12th SWL Season 2 (1W 4L)

Team Review

When Reapered left Blaze, there were many speculations that he would be forming a new team which was sponsored by a kespa organization. This team was the first SKT team  which composed of Reapered, H0ro, the former Xenics jungler, and three new comers StarLast, UandMe and MighTiLy. As their first tournament, this team attended IEM Cologne and they were able to make a grand entrance into the competitive LoL scene by winning the tournament led by their leader Reapered. Since that win, everything has been downhill for SKT1. The team seemingly could not win any match after their big victory in cologne. SKT1 almost every match in the SWL and they would lose online qualifiers for Katowice as well. The troubling thing was that in the SWL, they weren’t just losing but they were losing lopsidedly. By the time IEM world Championships came around, SKT1 changed their troubled mid laner MighTiLy for the former PSW Ares member SuNo and the team was able to finish in the top 4 for the tournament beating CJ Entus Frost in the process. While SKT1 have shown flashes of brilliance in their matches, they will need to show up with a completely different performance level to remain relevant for this year’s OGN Champions the Spring.

The main focus of SKT1 is of course its captain and famous shot caller Reapered. With his new team, Reapered still loves to utilize the tactics he used to employ on his former team Blaze. SKT1’s basic strategy involves around lane swapping for favourable lane match ups and aggressive tower pushing in all lanes. Unlike his old team however, SKT1 revolves around small skirmishes rather than full strength team fights with varying degrees of success. In the Spring Season, look for SKT 1 to put pressure all around the map at all times if they want to be successful.

 

Team Strengths

The double edged sword of the bottom lane

The most unique feature of this SKT1 team definitely comes from the bot lane duo. The ADC Rave excels in playing champions without an inherent escape mechanism such as Twitch and MF but even while playing these champs without an escape skill, he is unbelievably aggressive in his play. Raven is often not just content with farming in the lane, if given the chance he’ll even commit into a tower dive to secure a kill. This level of aggression can be troublesome for the opposition when StarLast is added into the equation. StarLast is a support player who mainly plays ranged supports and when given the opportunity, he can make top tier plays for his team (3 v 1 kill against SK was amazing) with his high level of mechanics. While the overly aggressive playstyle of Raven and StarLast can dominate a lane if they get ahead, they will also lose a lane miserably if they start to fall behind. It will be interesting how Reapered thinks of a way to best utilize this aggressive duo who can potentially carry their games on a given day or fall into the opponent’s trap and become the weak spot on a different day.

The carry potential of SuNo

SuNo has demonstrated in his short time with SKT1 that he is as much a carry potential as his friend and team 2 counter part Faker. Ever since joining SKT1, SuNo has only had 3 games where he was under deaths and he only had one game when he had 0 kills. Considering that SKT1’s win rate even with SuNo is about 50%, those stats show that SuNo could potentially be counted on to carry his team in every match. SuNo is a player who has the micro skills and the type of positioning in team fights in order to deal a high amount of damage without dying. These attributes will allow him to gain kills when given then opportunity and thus will provide the opportunity for SuNo to carry a game even if he’s set behind due to an unfavourable matchup

The game calling of Reapered

In an AMA, Toyz had stated before that Blaze with Reapered was the scariest tam to face. That’s not only a testament to Blaze’s overall team strength, but the fact that Toyz pecifically mentions with Reapered is testament to Reapered’s game calling abilities. Reapered’s game calling was on full display in their first tournament at cologne when the audio for the team chat was being streamed. Since Cologne, SKT1 did have mixed results as mentioned but when you look at games they won, especially SKT1’s game against Najin Shield and CJ Entus Frost, you can see that Reapered’s game calling is still a weapon to be feared. The hall mark for a Reapered game call is that when a game is close to even and there’s a moment where the other team surrenders their slight advantage, his team is able to seize that opportunity and snowball the game through. What you notice in these games is that Reapered calls for team fights and team fight situations as soon as he realizes that his team has an advantage in some way (position, items, summoners, ults) and during team fights he calls for the priority targets in order for the fight to be successful. Teams facing SKT1 will have to be mindful of this fact and realize that they need to prevent situations where they can potentially throw a game

 

Team weaknesses

Laning of Reapered // The stubbornness of Reapered

Reapered is a player who himself has admitted that he’s not a top tier laner. This sometimes becomes an immense issue for the team because when he does extremely poorly, his overall judgment tends to falter and his calls become poorer in quality. The one that suffers the most from this is Beelzehan. When you watch SKT1 games, you can often see that Beelzehan would trying to be giving an advantage to Reapered even when there could be better situations elsewhere. Even when Reapered falls behind by a lot, you can often observe that Beelzehan is moved to Reapered’s position in order to provide presence for him however, when facing higher tier teams, this led to the other team going straight for dragon or other objectives available on the map. In the Spring season, we can assume that Reapoered will definitely utilize the lane swap in almost every game but if he gets into 1 v 1 situations, it will be important for him to hold his own against the likes of ssumday and Shy else his whole team will suffer.

The second potential weakness stemming from Reapered is that he can be very stubborn in his playing. In terms of lane matches, if he has it set in his mind that a particular lane match is essential for the team to have, then he will make his team swap each time the other team swaps their lanes regardless of the current situation in the lane. In terms of his lane playing, if he has the idea that his lane should be a winnable lane but he’s not winning that lane due to a gank, outplay etc. he will try to force plays to try to get ahead but these attempts usually tend to end badly for Reapered. For his team to succeed, Reapered will have to let go of the idea that he has to be the star of his team (either strategically or carry wise) and act accordingly to the best interests of his team.

The weak points of SuNo

Even though SuNo has shown that he has the potential to carry his team, he has his share of issues to work out. In his competitive matches with SKT1, SuNo has shown that he will mainly play Karthus, Lux and TF (Jayce to a degree). We don’t know if this is a tactical decision or not but until he shows that he can play more champions at a high level, his shallow champion pool will be a disadvantage for his team. In addition, SuNo tends to have a selfish playstyle, what this means is that he will save his skills in order to last hit enemies. While this nets him kills and could be an important factor in him carrying a game, there were situations where if he did more damage  during the team fight by throwing out Lux ults at the beginning of a fight, it could have worked out much better for the team as a whole (Game 1 vs LG-IM 2 for example). If SuNo learns to trust his teammates a bit more and trust them to deal more damage, SKT1 will grow as whole to become a better team.

 

Key Player: Beelzehan (Jungle)

Without a doubt, this is Reapered’s team and how he performs as a laner and the team captain will determine the fate of SKT1 in this upcoming Season. That is why it will be important for Beelzehan to take special care for Reapered in the top lane to mask some of Reapered`s weak laning tendencies. If Beelzehan can successfully get Reapered going, then SKT1 will play better as a whole. In addition, Beelzehan will be asked to sacrifice the most for his team and it will be important for him to remain relavant in the game especially compared to the other team’s jungler by gaining all the exp and gold that he can get. How well Beelzehan can execute his role will definitely have a direct effect on the outcome the SKT1’s games.

 

Team expectations

Being in a weak group, I don’t see a scenario where SKT1 doesn’t finish in the top 4 of their group. However, it’s also hard to imagine SKT1 being in the top 2 of the group with their inconsistent performances and should they finish 3rd or 4th, they will most likely only be able to advance to the BO8

 

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KT Rolster A – Can they be as good as their sister team?

Vitamin (Top)

KakaO (Jungle)

Zero (Mid)

Hiro (ADC)

Me5 (Supp)


-         5th ~ 8th OGN Champions Winter (L 1:3 KTB)

-         5th ~ 8th NLB Winter (L 1:2 MVP Blue)

 

Team review

As LoL’s popularity grew larger, many of the kespa organizations were always looking at the right moment to jump into the LoL scene. KT Rolster, saw its opportunity to jump into the scene when the StarTale LoL team was disbanded and they picked up its former members to form KT Rolster’s own LoL team. The first team which was formed, now known as KT A, was led by the former Najin Shield ADC Hiro and former StartTale player Vitamin. The rest of the team was assembled with then new comers Reset (Murloc), Knight of Zero and Wall. After an underwhelming performance in the Winter season where KT A was overshadowed by their sister team KT B, the team underwent an overhaul again when Reset left due to personal reasons and Wall also left. They were replaced by Me5, the former MVP Blue support player and KakaO the jungler from KT B. With these additions along with the existing group of players, this year’s KT A team is ready to show that they are as good as their sister team KT B.

 The current rendition of the KT A team will likely look to cause mini team fights all throughout the game led by KakO and Zero who will likely play a champion with teleport or a global. Even when they get to the team fighting stage, it is likely that they will look for specific engagements where they can catch the opposition off guard instead of trying to fight a full 5 vs 5 team fight. As a result, look for KT A games to be action packed with high amount of kills and look for the games to be back and forth with plenty of throws.

 

Team Strengths

Ganking force of KakaO

One of the main reasons that KT A has adapted this new approach of having many mini team fights is the play style of KakaO as a jungler. KakaO is a player who excels at ganking, especially lane ganking. When KakaO first joined tem KT B, he was usually playing a background role to Score, Ryu and Ragan but as he gathered more competitive experience, KakaO developed into a reliable playmaker for KT B. Especially in the matches against Blaze, KakaO showed that he can carry games and during the off-season he has shown that he has developed further as a player after finally realizing what he excels in.  With his high mechanical skills, large champion pool and innovative ganking routes, look for KakaO to be making plays for his new team at any time facet of the game.

Versatility of Zero

Zero is a player who is not talked about a lot as a top mid laner in the Korean scene but he is definitely one of the most unique mid laners that Korea has to offer. In his matches Zero has played at least 10 different champions and some champions on this list include Olaf, Nunu, Nasus and Fizz. With the competency to play these many champions in a competitive setting, Zero offers an immense amount of strategic value to his team. Aside from his champion choices, Zero is also not too shabby when it comes to other aspects of the game. Even during his amateur days, Zero was known as a good mid laner, especially in 1 v 1 situations. The jungle upgrade that he received during the off-season can only help him grow into a more dominant force in the scene. Zero has already shown during the short time that he played with KakaO, they have a good synergy between them and this can only translate into better performances moving forward. During this season of champions it will be interesting if Zero can establish himself as one of the best mid laners in the tournament and it will also be interesting to see what new champions he can bring out from his bag of tricks.

Surprisingly solid bottom lane

So far in their matches, KT A has shown that their new bottom duo of Hiro and Me5 were stronger than what people were led to believe. Hiro is a player that has been in the LoL scen for a long time and while he doesn’t have the high mechanical ability compared to some of the younger players in the scene, he is rarely found to be doing something he shouldn’t be doing. Hiro also fits the current meta by playing a style similar to Score in that he always tries in every team fight to prioritize surviving as the most important goal instead of forward flashing, forward netting etc. to grab an extra kill. Me5 is a player that loves to play Lulu and he has shown that given the opportunity he can change the course of a team fight with a great Ult used either to save someone or used offensively as a knock up. More importantly, he and Hiro seemed to be on the same page when they were laning together. Since Hiro is a player who isn’t overly aggressive in the lane, Me5 was seen to play accordingly in the lane and allowing Hiro to just cs in the lane. While this duo of Hiro and Me5 may not make the flashiest plays in the game, their solid consistent play will be a valuable asset for the team going forward.


Team weaknesses

Vulnerability of Vitamin

Vitamin is a player who’s also been in the LoL scene for a long time but he is definitely a player who has not been able to make his mark in the LoL scene. Part of Vitamin’s problem is that he has no champions that he really dominates with and while he can have one or two games where he can dominate, the other times he’s largely kept under control and his influence on the game is very minimal. As such, Vitamin may be sought after as the weakest link on the team and teams facing KT A could potentially look to exploit this weakness. The weakness of Vitamin also limits the team fighting potential of KT A and therefore, the strength of KT A goes down exponentially in long drawn out games where the global gold remains generally even. During this season of Champions winter, Vitamin needs to show that he can go toe to toe with the likes of Flame, MakNooN and Impact while showing that he can stay ahead of the likes of Cheonju and Homme. Should he not be up to task for this, it may the last season of OGN Champions that we see Vitamin in competitive play.

 Suspect long game management

The mark of a good team is not only that they have solid members at every position on the team or that they can team fight very well. A good team must know how to manage a long drawn out game and grind out a win in these situations. So far KT A has not shown that given an even game, they can win by managing the game and going into 5 v 5 team fight situations. Having more time to practice will remedy this flaw somewhat but fundamentally, they need their tank line to be able to perform really well in late game situations. This means with KakaO usually playing the role of the anti-carry, Vitamin will need to learn to become a better initiator and a peeler for his carries. Having a team like KT B to scrim against will definitely help a lot with this situation as unlike KT A, the KT B team performs well in team fight situations led by solid plays from ssumday and inSec. If KT A can learn from their sister team KT B, the KT Rolster teams will be as feared as the CJ Entus teams.

 

Key player: KakaO (Jungle)

Given the team’s flaws, it will be important for KakaO to create advantageous situations especially for his solo laners so that his team can get an advantage which they can snowball and win during the mid- game phase. Being such a great ganker, he can create unexpected situations at any given moment and the amount of presence he can exert in any given game will directly correlate to the amount of success this season’s KT A team will have.

 

Team expectations

KT A can definitely finish 3rd in their group but if they do, they will have a high chance of meeting CJ Frost or a repeat of last year’s quarterfinals match-up which could signal a quick exit for KT A. 



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