Top 5 games – Worlds Group Stage 2015 week 1
#5 Fnatic vs Invictus Gaming – The “Opener”
The very first game to be played at WGS. Fans expected the game to go either way, as both teams are more or less equal in skill. However, the match quickly snowballed in favour Fnatic, and eventually Invictus Gaming surrendered 20 minutes into the game. The pace at which this match played out was refreshing, as most regions are used to a passive playstyle where not much happens in the first 15 minutes. In short, for a week opener, the match between Fnatic and Invictus Gaming undoubtedly delivered.
#4 Counter Logic Gaming vs Flash Wolves – The “Guessing Game”
Given CLG’s performance in the second half of the NA LCS Summer split, most people predicted a quick win for CLG. However, due to Zion’s and Aphromoo’s underperformance early in the game, the match dragged on for just over 41 minutes. Flash wolves gained a lead 10 minutes into the game by camping ZionSpartan, and then proceeded to advance themselves through a series of CLG’s misplays and outrotations, as seen 32 mins into the game where FW claim baron and proceed to push midlane.
Everything looked bad for Counter Logic Gaming… Until their team composition kicked in.
By combining a late game carry (Jinx) with a beefy frontline (Gnar, Alistar) and Pobelter’s (Lulu) ultimate, CLG managed to turn the tables in their favour and close out the game –In an unexpected way, to say the least, as Flash Wolves’ AD Carry Kkramer (Tristana) got caught by Xmithie’s (Elise) cocoon, despite having both summoner spells up as well as Rocket Jump. Although CLG were steadily claiming control over the game’s momentum, it was Kkramer’s death that made FW lose.
I’m putting this match on the 4th place is because it was pretty much a guessing game. No one at the time could tell if CLG would come back or not, particularly the way Kkramer got caught out of position.
#3 SKT Telecom T1 vs Edward Gaming – “It’s all Marin”
It could be said that EDG were giving their fans hope thanks to early dragons, which made it look like they’re quickly gaining advantage. However, a quick look at both teams’ compositions shows that the hope was false, because it is obvious that EDG’s main focus was surviving until late game, while SKT were looking to teamfight as soon as possible.
While EDG’s plan wasn’t exactly bad, they did fail to meet certain criteria in order to pull off their team comp – that criteria being the vision control.
The one thing that EDG wanted to avoid were the teamfights; here, SKT clearly outmatches them with their champion picks, featuring Sivir, Ryze, Renekton and Braum, who provide massive AOE damage and mobility. To do that, EDG needed a lot of wards (which they were lacking) as well as sweepers (SKT had roughly 12 wards on the map at all times, which was enough to catch them offguard). Had EDG controlled the vision, they would have easily been able to outrotate SKT and reach their nexus. Instead, they were forced to contest objectives – and that led to teamfights, which ended up being EDG’s downfall.
Overall, EDG had the potential to win the game by simply outrotating SKT, but because they tilted and lost control of the vision around the map, they became easy pickings for SK Telecom T1 – Marin in particular, who ended up with a 10/0 score by the end of the game.
#2 Origen vs LGD Gaming – “xSoaz!”
Most people on Reddit are amazed with xPeke’s performance in this game, but let’s be honest – who the heck expected SoaZ to backdoor the enemy nexus with Vladimir?!
Honestly, this game was one big roller coaster. For the first 30 minutes of the game, LGD Gaming have been steadily building up their advantage. Nicely fed Imp? Check. Early towers and dragons? Check. KDA Advantage? Check.
So then, why did LGD, who were supposedly one of the most menacing looking (performance wise) teams out there, lose to Origen? I’m looking at the highlights of the game on Youtube, and I see a certain pattern in this match – as soon as the game reaches a 30 minute mark, LGD become complacent, confident of their ability to win the game. And that’s why they begin to misposition as well as hesitate in their decision making, as evidenced by a well executed xPeke’s (Orianna) ult, and LGD Gaming dancing between dragon and baron, deciding on whether to defend one or take the other. At this point I assume LGD lost momentum, and had such a hard time focusing on the game, that they hardly saw SoaZ approach their nexus from botlane, because they were so busy contesting baron. All of the above allowed an easy backdoor on LGD’s base, and eventually their defeat.
On a side note, I would also agree with what Saintvicious said about the pick and ban phase – Acorn (LGD) picking up Malphite looked good on paper, but in reality this champ’s playstyle is too linear and predictable to pull out on an international tournament.
#1 Cloud 9 vs Fnatic – “EU vs NA!”
Let me just tell you straight away that this game is probably the most difficult to talk about. It was clear from the beginning that FNC are better at rotating than C9, as seen by LemonNation dying in… unusual places, including the tier 3 top tower, right at the core of the enemy base. It was also clear that Lemon wasn’t exactly playing at his best. His Morgana pick was the key to success, and although C9 did win in the end, their early game looked underwhelming due to Lemon getting caught in various places or shielding the wrong targets.
The baron fights were also key; I found it bizarre that Cloud 9 tried to take down the baron when it was clearly warded by Fnatic – heck, they could see it right next to their pink ward, and yet they didn’t take it out. Hence the baron got stolen by FNC, giving them a huge lead.
However, the tables turned when the exact same situation happened a little later in the game, except it was Fnatic taking down the baron, and Hai managed to steal it. Thanks to that, Cloud 9 managed to kill the dragon for extra bonuses, force a teamfight (in which Balls scored a pentakill) and effectively finish the game. A huge comeback from Cloud 9 turned the game into the most entertaining game to watch in week 1, thus the first place.