Kien Lam – Lolesports
Last week I said CLG was looking like one of the best teams in the league (they then went 0-2), and I suggested there was a gap between the top six teams and the bottom four teams (there isn’t). This week I’ve replaced the magic eight ball I was using to make predictions and will instead use the dart throwing method. Here’s this week’s 10 thoughts to keep you company on Valentine’s Day (you’re single because you prefer it!).
Watching Jensen play League of Legends is like watching someone in a workout commercial. They’re lifting weights and running and contorting their body into pretzel formations. It looks so easy. They look great! You think, “I could do that. I could get swole.” And then you go to the gym and fall on the treadmill and lie there and think about your life. It’s not that easy! Jensen makes juking skillshots from some of the best players in the world look like a simple routine. And even if you do manage to corner him, Smoothie appears out of nowhere and ganks you. They’ve got a big week against TSM and FOX, though — can they ride this momentum to the top?
Fox and mouse
Echo Fox has become rather adept at playing with their food. It’s hard to call it “throwing” because after a five minute run of them filing into the enemy one-by-one, they’re still somehow up 10k gold. Like, what? They’ve been so dominant in the early game that they actually let random audience members (Rick Fox?!) sub in for a few minutes to get some reps on the stage. This seeming lack of focus in blowouts may eventually bite them in the ass, but for now let’s appreciate that they’re trying to keep it exciting for us.
On the fourth day, God said, “Let there be Liquid.” And it was so. The beauty of best of 1s is that it allows for us to make a lot of crazy claims because there are a lot of crazy results. So bless TL for doing their best to gravitate back towards their mean. Can you imagine if this team made Worlds, though? It’d be a guaranteed Semifinal appearance — at least there, fourth place would be a blessing and not a curse. For now they still hold a slight edge over the teams behind them, and ultimately I still think this is a strong roster. They’ve also got a much easier schedule this week against an also reeling CLG and GGS.
I don’t think this is what pr0lly had in mind when he said he wanted his team to play an annoying playstyle, but it’s gotta be annoying for their fans to lose against FLY and GGS. I don’t think this sea of thieves is sinking just yet, but the downward trajectory is worrying. The roster is full of players who haven’t had many team results to speak for since 2016, so expectations may be tied a little too closely to their legacies. Still, it’s only a minor slump, and they should have the mental fortitude to withstand it. After losing to GGS, though, there are clearly no easy matchups on the schedule. Another 0-2 week could lead to a much bigger spiral.
Apollo stole the show with his buff steals, and you might be inclined to say that’s just luck, but let me tell you that 360 no-scopes are works of art. There is nothing lucky about art. But the most artful performance from CG this weekend came from Febiven. I still think that there will come a time when someone else needs to step up — like, if Febiven were to have a bad game, I don’t see this team winning. But the flipside to this is simple. Febiven should be a superstar. So just don’t have a bad game. That’s as easy as stealing a buff with an Ezreal ult, right?
Miss smite once, shame on who?
Sometimes you miss Smite. Sometimes you miss it three times. It happens. Props to MikeYeung for keeping his head up and bouncing back after Saturday’s debacle against CG. TSM could have done better to fully secure the objective, and MikeYeung could have just Smited on time, but it’s just one of the more volatile plays in League of Legends. The bigger win for TSM this weekend is that Zven played like a monster — he and mithy may have finally figured out how to play with TSM. Now they just need to figure out how to close out games more consistently. Maybe they should just purposely start the game behind, though. Can’t throw a lead if you don’t have one.
GamingMe last week: CLG is on a three-game winning streak and look like one of the best teams in the league.
CLG: What does CLG stand for again?
Scheduled for liftoff?
FlyQuest finally debuted their full roster last week, and they looked… FLY! They looked much better — that’s to be expected as these are the pieces they originally put together. We’re already halfway through the season, though, and they don’t really have much time to fully gel with the playoff race being this tight. They have matches this week against CG and OPT, who flank them on both sides of the standings. They’ll need to make a run at some point to push for a playoff spot, and this is about as good of a chance as they’re going to get.
Too little, too late
This team seems to struggle a bit with finding the right fight in the mid game. There were a couple of engages in their match against CG where PowerOfEvil would Galio ult into the fight on soft CC instead of waiting for the Camille to go in. I’m not sure if it’s a patience thing or if Zig took too long to engage, but it’s pretty clear they’re not quite on the same page when it comes to team fights. Even the initial fight that turned that game featured Arrow’s Kalista getting isolated by Kha’Zix as his team piled forward. Makes me wonder if there’s a clear voice calling the shots right now. Ultimately, this feels like a team that’s missing just a little bit, except they’re missing a little bit in a bunch of different areas. They’ve got a matchup against GGS to avoid last place this week — this is a must-win for their morale.
These are the two hottest teams in the league and it features a whole bunch of players in the early running for the Spring Split MVP award. I’m curious to see how Fenix will hold up this week with Azir and Ryze nerfed — this should spur the first real shift in the mid lane meta since the season started. We already know Jensen can adapt to anything, but Fenix hasn’t shown the same kind of resilience in the past. C9 may also wisen up and ban Zac from Dardoch to limit the FOX engage capabilities. Patches have been the catalyst for major slumps in the past for some teams, and seeing the top two teams in the league clash should give us a pretty good indication of some things to expect. I think the matchup will revolve heavily around what happens in mid lane — Fenix had a dominant performance last time vs. C9, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can replicate that. What do you think — will the mid lane meta change much? What new champions can we expect on patch 8.3, if any?