Welcome to the last preview for the Quarterfinals. This write-up contains the review of the match KT B vs. MVP Ozone and we are trying to hype you up for the upcoming Quarterfinals CJ Blaze vs. SKT T1 #1 and CJ Frost vs. Najin Sword.
As always, I hope you enjoy it and join us on Teamliquid
<div style="text-align: right;">Signing off,
<h2>Table of Contents</h2>
Quarterfinal #2 recap
Quarterfinal #3 Preview
Quarterfinal #4 Preview
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<div class="LOLsuperheader" id="partone"><span style="color: #dde8e9;">KT Rolster B vs. MVP Ozone</span>
<h2>By: Chexx</h2></div><div class="LOLsuperfeature">
The last game KT B played in OGN was anticlimactic, as they failed to take their match against CJ Frost seriously, hoping to face a ‘weaker’ team in the Quarterfinals. With many fans in Korea angry about KT B’s actions, MVP Ozone went into this series buoyed by the anti-KT sentiment.
KT B picked an aggressive Bottom lane with Caitlyn and Fiddlesticks, who took their tower at 6 minutes into the game and immediately switched to midlane to try for a second early tower kill. Imp and Mata followed them to deny the quick second tower but in the meantime InSec secured the first dragon for KT B. At the 12 minute mark, Score and Mafa destroyed the second tower in mid, then immediately went to top lane and took MVP’s last outer turret quickly after. By 15 minutes into the game, KT B was already nearly 4k gold ahead without any teamfight. MVP Ozone finally made their first move when Dade teleported in with homeguard boots and caught InSec in a rune prison. This was followed up by a nice absolute zero from Homme and a very good chain of corruption by Imp. Mafa channeled Crowstorm but DanDy showed a quick reaction and kicked him out of the MVP Ozone camp. In the end MVP won the first big fight, although they were still behind in gold. Dragon respawned and KT B secured it for another ~1k gold. This time however, MVP was able to gain two additional kills.
This trend continued - KT B tried to gain an advantage through global objectives while MVP Ozone tried to gain its advantage through kills. KT B is famous for doing fast and early Baron’s and this game was not different at 17 minutes KT B nearly snuck a Baron but MVP Ozone caught them right as they finished. The result was Baron for KT B, but two kills for MVP Ozone. When Baron respawned KT B tried to sneak it again but this time MVP reacted faster but they could not steal Baron from KT B. MVP pick up 3 kills this time, but they were still behind in gold.
KT B finally managed to win a teamfight after they caught Homme out of position and ssumday got a perfect empowered QE combination from Jayce on MVP off which allowed them to win the team fight and gain their first inhib. Baron the third was the next big objective on the list of both teams. MVP misused their Teleport-Homeguard Ryze, which allowed KT B to take the Baron because MVP was left with no means to engage on them. KT B took their third Baron and wiped the floor with MVP in the following teamfight, taking the first win.
As the Monte and DoA pointed out, KT B used the PvE approach and only did PvP after they farmed their items.
MVP: Ssumday on Jayce (5/0/3)
Ssumday played phenomenally on Jayce. He nearly hit every empowered Q and forced MVP back before they could even deal any damage to KT B. In addition he had the best KDA rating on his team and participated in 89% of the kills.
Dade did not have a good start in this game. He gave First Blood to Ryu and a few minutes later he died again thanks to a lack of wards against InSec’s Zac. In addition the first dragon of the game went to KT B. It looked like that KT B was in full control of the second game and looked to lock up their second win of the night. At around ~ 13 minutes two fights broke out simultaneously. In the toplane ssumday challenged Imp to a 1v1 while in midlane a teamfight broke out with both teams getting two kills out of it. In the following minutes KT B showed what not to do against MVP Ozone. A low health Ryu attempted to stop the split-pushing Imp, but Imp sought the 1v1 under the enemy tower, killed Ryu, and got away scott free.
After respawning, MVP secured their first dragon but the crafty Imp stayed behind, waiting for the prey he knew would come. Ryu once again was caught and slain. Shortly afterwards, ssumday challenged Imp but perfect kiting from Imp secured him his fourth kill. Now, 16 minutes into the game, Imp’s Vayne was 4/0. From this point on MVP was the dominant team on the map and they rode their advantage, pressuring the map. While MVP was sieging KT B’s second tier towers, KT B decided to engage on MVP. InSec jumped into the midst of MVP but was Condemned immediately and lost half his hp before ssumday could dive on Imp. In the meantime Homme used Slicing Maelstrom to zone the three other members of KT B out of the fight. This allowed MVP to easily roll KT B and gain four kills and two towers. MVP Ozone tried to further extend their lead by taking Baron but InSec managed to pull off one of the most stylish Baron steal with Zac - he bounced in, Smited Baron and then flashed out. Sadly, he was still hunted down by Imp. The last teamfight was at the Inhibitor of KT B. Zac jumped in and knocked Imp out of the fight but Homme was once again able to zone the entire whole enemy team and opened space for Vayne to operate. Only ssumday was able to stick to Vayne but only a minor speedbump for Imp. MVP destroyed KT B and forced the surrender, tying up the series 1:1.
MVP: Imp on Vayne (7/0/4)
Imp managed to bring his team back into the game after they were early behind with four solo kills. He not only carried his team on his back, but also struck fear into the hearts of KT B.
MVP Ozone invaded KT B blue right after Mafa and ssumday came back from placing their ward in the tribrush. Mafa checked the brush at Blue, did not hit anybody, and walked right into his death. Several minutes later, ssumday backed to base while InSec showed himself in the toplane, allowing MVP Ozone to take a two man dragon. However Imp and Dade’s attempts to defend their bottom tower went to waste as their dead corpses watched the tower crumble. 15 minutes into the game MVP Ozone tried to take the second dragon of the game but this time KT B was prepared and fought MVP while they were attacking dragon. Already weakened by Dragon, MVP found themselves helpless against the combo of InSec’s Curse of the Sad Mummy which was overlapped with a Bullet Time from Score. KT B swept the fight three kills to one and then followed up by taking the mid tower as well.
When all players had respawned, both teams faced off again at Dragon but MVP once again were struck by the Amumu-MF combo and KT B once again won the fight three kills to two. Third time was the charm however on MVP’s third attempt, killing the Dragon before KT B could even react. 20 minutes into the game, KT B was up 2 towers and 4 kills, but only had 2k gold.
Momentum began to shift away from KT B as they began sieging the second tier mid tower of MVP Ozone. InSec once again went in with Amumu and tried to start up the Curse of the Sad Bullet Time. However, KT B discovered that when “Press R to Win” team compositions whiff their Ultimates, they are screwed.
+ Show Spoiler +
With InSec only hitting 2 people Score’s Bullet Time was lackluster, with Imp not even being touched at all. As both Ultimates faded from the battlefield, Imp’s Vayne tumbled in and cleaned up winning the battle five kills to three for MVP. MVP continued to close the gold lead, and six minutes later from that teamfight went for Baron. InSec once again attempted the Hail Mary steal but Homme’s Slicing Maelstrom zoned him away, taking 50% of InSec’s health for good measure. When InSec finally managed to engage on MVP, a quick Condemn forced him back out of the Baron Pit and ensured his Curse of the Sad Mummy once again only hit two people. With Score’s Bullet Time late as well the Baron’ed up MVP easily wiped the floor with KT B, acing them five for zero, taking a 4k gold lead and destroying many of KT’s towers. The following two teamfights followed a similar story as the past two, with poor Ultimates by KT B, Homme protecting Vayne with his Slicing Maelstorm and impecable positioning by Imp resulting in KT B losing fight after fight. Even in the last teamfight, when it finally seemed that KT B had managed to catch Dade out of position, he simply used his living shadow to escape over a wall, leaving KT B out of position as MVP Ozone came in to roll over them all. The third game MVP Ozone as they went into match point two games to one.
MVP: Imp on Vayne (13/2/4)
With 13 kills Imp contributed more than 50% of the kills to his team. Additionally his superior positioning and his mechanics secured him his second MVP Award of the day.
In the draft phase Imp finally received a respect ban on Vayne, but KT B still left Kennen open for Homme. The game started with a quick First Blood for KT B but MVP immediately retaliated, picking up two kills of their own. The next highlight moment was when DanDy decided to engage alone on three KT B members as his tower was being destroyed, knowing Imp and Mata were on their way to back him up. While the tower still fell, MVP pulled ahead with a four for two trade in their favor. Two minutes later MVP Ozone start killing Dragon. InSec tried to come in and make the Smite steal plays Lee Sin, but failed to do so. Despite trying to make a valiant escape through the dragon pit, he could not escape the death grip of Imp and Homme who followed him and slayed him lie they did the Dragon.
InSec soon redeemed himself however, making on of the best Lee Sin initiations seen in the OGN. Using his Resonating Strike, InSec jumped onto Mata before placing a ward behind Imp, leaping to the ward and then kicking Imp right into the waiting maw of the KT B line up and a tower. Having lost Imp so early, MVP stood no chance against KT B, allowing them to take the advantage. But it seemed that after such a beautiful play InSec was out of fuel. Indeed, DoA’s opening words in Game 4 came to haunt KT as Sona’s music from KT B simply caused MVP’s Zyra’s plants to grow better with Mata’s Grasping Roots snaring Lee Sin and killing him right as the next teamfight started. With one member already dead KT B was in the same situation MVP was in the previous fight, and MVP Ozone took the fight four for one. While the following teamfight KT B took an early lead three kills to two, Dade’s Jayce quickly turned the tide and one Quadrakill later KT B were Aced.
After this fight MVP Ozone were too much ahead in items and KT B stood no chance, especially with InSec getting caught out of position again. Homme continued to make incredible plays on Kennen, performing an impeccable job protecting Imp and zoning the enemy out with his ultimate and stuns.
+ Show Spoiler +
Here he is zoning out three KT B members, preventing them from engaging onto MVP Ozone as InSec is isolated and picked off.
Despite being criticised as one the weakest link on MVP, Homme he completely stepped it up this series on Kennen. Before the match he sat down asked his team which Champions they want him to play and just practiced like a maniac.
MVP: Mata on Zyra (3/2/18)
Mata had perfect roots every time which allowed MVP Ozone to catch InSec’s slippery Lee Sin multiple times to gain advantages in teamfight and the global objective control. In addition, he participated in 84% of the kills of MVP Ozone and made DoA proud when he scored a double kill.
KT B thought they had the easier opponent but MVP Ozone demonstrated that in the Round of 8 of the OGN, there are no easy opponents left anymore. KT B also underestimated Homme’s Kennen, which was a massive playmaker.. He knew when to dive the enemy team and when to use Maelstrom to stop them on engaging on Imp. Additionally, MVP Ozone managed to keep up with KT B in global objectives, a weakness they had in the past due to a lack of a distinct game plan. While normally it would be Imp carrying MvP Ozone to victory, this victory in the Quaterfinals was a team product where every player pulled their own weight.
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<div class="LOLsuperheader" id="parttwo"><span style="color: #dde8e9;">Winner Interview</span>
<h2>By: Mafia & Chexx</h2></div><div class="LOLsuperfeature">
Q: You reached the Semifinals. How do you feel?
‘Imp’: It’s our first time being in the semifinals. It feels really good and I want to win the tournament.
‘Mata’: I did not think that I will reach the Semifinal in my progamer debut season. Before the season started, our goal was to be in the Semifinals. Now that we reached our goal I am feeling very happy.
‘Imp’: Mata achieved in his debut a win in Club Masters and is in the Semifinals of OGN Spring Season (laughs).
Q: Many people anticipated a win from KTB. What did you think?
‘Imp’: It definitely didn’t feel good. I wasn’t scared of KT B but I was a little bit worried. But our team played really well today.
‘Mata’: I had similar thoughts. As a pro if we battled, I thought we could be disadvantaged. But we felt unbeatable last couple days. Insec and Ssumday both joined teams during the off-season. We thought we were superior in every area except jungle. Today, Insec showed disappointing plays which led us to winning a bit easily.
Q: You lost first match in game objectives. Were you nervous at all?
‘Imp’: We weren’t nervous. As long as we didn’t go overboard on certain plays, we felt we would win the game.
Q: In the second match the early phase was not good. When you made the solokills did you think we can win this?
‘Imp’: I thought I can carry us. Also score lost a lot of cs. Thats why I carried the game.
Q: Excluding Vayne, which champion do you have the most confidence?
‘Imp’: If I was stuck with one Champion I can only play that champion. In the past I played Ezreal and Caitlyn as mains. Now I am stuck with Vayne. In fact, I didn’t want to play Vayne today. But we lost our first match, so I picked a hyper carry in Vayne.
Q: When you picked Vayne. Did the team have rejections?
‘Imp’: They objected. Recently in practice I didn’t play Vayne. I practiced Varus and Caitlyn.
‘Mata’: Last week he only practiced Tristana (laughs). In tournaments he needs to play his confident, best champions.
‘Imp’: In Club Masters I only practiced Caitlyn but I was very good on Ezreal (laughs).
Q: How did you feel about the Vayne ban?
‘Imp’: It felt great. Even favorites KT Rolster B was aware of my Vayne so I felt my Vayne is really strong.
Q: You did really well with Zyra. When you played Zyra you reminded us of Lasha from LG-IM?
'Mata': Even though Lasha plays well, I also play a good Zyra so I was disappointed when there were no mentions of it. It’s hard to hit Zyra’s grasping roots, but in teamfights I’m confident in hitting grasping roots. Zyra is really good when we have one big teamfight. The trend nowadays is ranged carry for top and team composition is based around poking. There is a lot of teams that run poke comp so Zyra is perfect counter for a poking strategy.
Q: In the Semifinals you face SKT T1 #2 are you confident enough to win?
‘Imp’: We’re confident and not scared at all. SKT T1 #2 is similar to our team.
‘Mata’: Our head to head record is 4 to 1 in our favor(laughs).
Q: Last things you want to say?
‘Mata’: I want to thank 갓윤기,불켜보니타릭쨔응,Catastrophi, and Bengi behalf of today’s win. And I have some sort of rivalry with Bengi. This is our first season debut and we joked about who can place higher but our time has arrived. If I beat Bengi, I feel like I can win the tournament.
‘Imp’: I want to thank all the community for supporting us. From now on we will practice hard and play friendly games(laughs).
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<div class="LOLsuperheader" id="partthree"><span style="color: #dde8e9;">CJ Entus Blaze vs. SKT T1 #1</span>
<h2>By: Fionn</h2></div><div class="LOLsuperfeature">
Reaping What You Sow
Being ousted as the top laner of the only team he had ever known, Reapered, along with his upstart Eat Sleep Game team impressed enough during IEM Cologne qualifiers to be picked up by the telecommunication organization and e-sports dynasty, SK Telecom T1. As with any new team, their inexperienced was easy to spot at IEM Cologne, looking shaky except for Reapered. Luckily for SKT, Reapered was able to stuff every single one of his teammates in his backpack and carry them to a championship. Impressive, yes, but criticism of the team outside of Reapered surrounded the team.
Reapered (bottom left) during his time on Blaze
Needing to change things, SKT pointed out their weak point in the mid-lane, taking Mightily off the team and replacing him with the equally inexperienced SuNo. The IEM world championships came and the first test to see how strong SKT could be with a team house and more time to practice together. While they didn't win, losing to their rivals Blaze in the semifinals, the improvement was clear. SuNo gave some stability to the mid position that Mightily failed at bringing, and the bottom lane of StarLast and Raven also looked much improved from their games in Germany.
OGN Champions has let us get to know more about the SKT team and see that StarLast is actually a very strong support, and that Raven is probably in the conversation for the top half of AD carries in Korea, but the reason why this team will win or lose will always fall upon the heavy shoulders of Reapered. This is his team and no one else. If he were to quit tomorrow and decided that he wanted to become a chef, SKT would have to clone Faker as a top laner or absolve the team.
In their five wins this season, Reapered won the MVP award in four of those games. With a record of 5-5, SKT were able to take a game off everyone in Group B, but weren't strong enough to take an outright victory against anyone. Seeing how the knockout rounds have progressed so far, the already conceived notion that Group A was much stronger than Group B is gaining more and more confirmation. KT Rolster B and Najin Shield are already out of the tournament, giving Group B an abysmal score of 1-6 so far against their Group A rivals.
It's harsh to say and might be overlooking the promise of their bot lane duo, but if SKT have any chance of winning, Reapered will have to once again be their Superman. He has time and time again come up in big moments for his team, willing them into the playoffs, but he will have to have his most heroic performance to date if they want to survive this duel with Blaze.
The Phoenix of Blaze
"Flame is terrible! Oh my god, this guy is such a downgrade to Reapered!"
"This guy is trash. If Blaze doesn't replace this guy, their team is done."
"He built two phages! Who is this idiot?"
"Man, Blaze really flamed out in that tournament, didn't they?"
To every story, there are two sides. When Reapered left Blaze, much of the support was on his side. Most people blamed Jack for the departure of one of the best top laners in the world, holding him accountable for breaking up one of the strongest and most popular teams in Korea. With very big shoes to fill, Blaze went out searching for Reapered's placement, searching high and low for the next great top laner that could help them get to where even Reapered couldn't take them - the season three world finals.
Finally, after going through many hopefuls, they picked Flame. Instead of going for a more established top laner from a smaller team or a free agent, they went for someone from the Korean solo queue, hoping he could fill the giant shoes that Reapered left behind. His first few games in the IPL qualifiers were decent, but nothing special. There was some concern that he might not be able to hold up at IPL5, going up against the very best compeition the world had to offer, but Blaze took the risk and bet on Flame to hold his own. Their bet turned out to be a bust, Blaze bombing out of IP5, embarrassingly going 1-2 in the group stages and then even having a few struggles against teams like Blackbean from Thailand before getting taken out by Moscow 5 in the middle stages of the loser's bracket.
Of course, Flame was singled out as the problem. Blaze had competed at MLG only a few short months before, winning the entire event over Najin Sword. With Flame being brand new at the time of the MLG event, Blaze decided to bring their sister team's top laner, Shy, to the event instead. This turned out to be the right decision, Shy helping Blaze to grab the championship. Alongside with the failure at IPL5, gave more ammo to the fans who wanted Flame ousted at the top laner, or wanted to chide Blaze for replacing Reapered with a significantly inferior player.
mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, to burn itself on a funeral pyre, and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope.
Suddenly, like the fabled phoenix itself, Flame, from his death at IPL5, came alive during this seasons of Champions and the world championship at IEM. Be it more time with the team, being more comfortable in the spotlight, or just have an insane amount of potential that just took a few months of practice to unleash, Flame turned himself from the most glaring negative on Blaze to not only the all-star of his team, but maybe the best player in the entire tournament.
The old Flame was gone, but this new Flame that had risen from the ashes and started to carry when his team needed him the most. With Blaze starting the season 0-3, Flame stepped up when they were on the verge of being eliminated early in the season, deciding to destroy every single opponent in the top lane he was given. Be it Vitamin, Maknoon, or Homme, Flame was able to defy logic by somehow getting 100 more CS a game than his top lane opponent. Not only was he able to out farm his opposition, but he was always the key in the team fights for Blaze, usually initiating the start on a Kennen or Diana.
Flame (second to the left) celebrating his rebirth at the IEM World Championships
In this new, crazy and upside down world of Blaze, Flame is now their best player, and their bot lane - comprised of CptJack and Lustboy - is now their weakest link. Their bot lane has been caught out over and over early in games, making Flame have to go into extreme farm mode, trying to even up the gold score with the early kills against the bot lane. Not only has his farming, initiating and decision making been superb this season, but Flame has gone from having a kiddie pool champion roster to having an Olympic-sized champion pool. Kennen, Jayce, Elise, and Diana are the main champions he has shown superb control and understanding of this season, being able to carry with each one.
Blaze's weakness in the bot lane will be a problem if they can't turn that round, but as the Phoenix of Blaze has shown us these past few months, nothing is irreversible. From whipping boy to the MVP of his team, Flame is turning heads and making people start to wonder if he hasn't already become the best top laner in the world.
As you might have already guessed, the key match-up and deciding factor of this series will be between Reapered and Flame. Both have carried their teams this season, and they will both need to be at their best if they hope to do the same in this quarterfinal match-up. On paper, Blaze should be the clear favorites, having an equal or better top lane currently, and having the all-star mid player Ambition also playing very well at the moment. Luckily for SKT, the crack in Blaze's armor will be in how CptJack and Lustboy can stack up against their duo of Raven and StarLast. In terms of experience, CptJack and Lustboy have their opposition beat, but this season has been a comedy of errors for the two to start games.
If Blaze can right the ship in the early game, they should win this series. Flame is on a streak of outproducing his top lane nemesis by almost 100 CS every single game, so Reapered will have a tough task having to carry his team and keep up with Flame's farming talents. Blaze has been able to win their past seven games by having incredible late game decision making and team fighting, but they would be better off not falling behind early like usual and having to make more miracle comebacks like they had to against MVP Ozone.
Another match-up to keep your eyes on will be the battle in the mid-lane. Ambition might have won the all-star vote in commanding fashion, but people are wondering if it the voting was held now, if Faker wouldn't run away with the spot on the Korean team. SuNo, the player who replaced the struggling Mightily, has been a big upgrade, staying in the top five of the regular season KDA and being the only player not named Reapered to pick up MVP points for his team this season.
In the jungle, you have a battle of two players who are usually overlooked when talking about their teams. Helios has been given flack before for not being one of the top echelon junglers in Korea, but he has been steadily improving throughout the season. His play on Lee Sin at times has been key in team fights, and has been able to save their struggling bot lane from ganks with some key saves. Beezlehan, the jungler for SKT, has also been a rock for his team, holding the second spot in jungling KDA, only behind his sister team's benji. He is also one of the only players on the team with any pro experience before SKT, having been a part of Xenics Storm in the early days of OGN Champions.
This might not carry the same anticipation as Frost and Sword will have to close out the quarterfinal stage, but this does hold the most interesting storyline. Will Reapered get the last laugh against his old team once and for all, or will the rise of the Phoenix continue upward to the semifinals?
Staff: Blaze 3 - 1 SKT
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<div class="LOLsuperheader" id="partfour"><span style="color: #dde8e9;">CJ Entus Frost vs. Najin Sword</span>
<h2>By: Mafia</h2></div><div class="LOLsuperfeature">
The most anticipated quarterfinals match comes from our classic rivals in CJ Entus Frost and Najin Sword. Frost and Sword recently faced each other in the ogn winter season finals and Sword convincingly 3-0'd Frost. This finals cemented Najin Sword as the best korean team in season 2 and CJ Entus Frost as a perennial runner-up.
Fast forward to season 3, Frost replaced their AD carry Woong with Hermes who played for MVP Blue. They also kept Space/Muse, who played bot lane for the old CJ Entus. With 3 wins and 2 draws, CJ Frost placed 1st in group B and goes into the playoff with the expectation of winning the finals. Meanwhile, Najin Sword has looked inconsistent and shaky during the group stages. Due to the changing meta, Sword had hard time adjusting to 2v1 lanes as Maknoon's aggressive laning phase contradict the passive style top laners have to be when they are up against 1v2 lanes. With 1 win, 2 draws and 2 losses, Najin Sword placed 4th in group A and faces a rematch of last season finals in CJ Frost.
Top lane match-up
Shy vs Maknoon
The most anticipated match-up of the series. Teams ban out Shy’s Shen and Elise but look for Shy to pick up either Jayce or Rumble. Maknoon has struggled throughout the season but I expect Najin Sword to try to put Maknoon 1 on 1 against Shy so that Maknoon will have more of a carry potential in teamfights. His rumble gets banned out regularly but Maknoon has a diverse champion pool such as Kennen, Renekton, Kha’Zix, Diana so I expect Sword to put more emphasis on giving last picks to either the mid lane or ad carry.
Templar vs Watch
Both junglers love to gank top lane but I’m interested in whether Templar can gank Maknoon in a timing window before Watch comes to counter gank. In group stages, I’ve noticed Frost using Jayce+Rammus speed buff to gank from the tower. Templar’s most played champions this season were rammus and Jarvan but I expect templar to play Jarvan, Nasus and Nautilus for teamfight+initiation. Like everyone on Najin Sword, Watch played abysmal throughout the group stage and there were no signs of improvement down the stretch. I think one of the reasons why Watch struggles is because of his inability to adapt to the meta game when equating ward timing in his ganking equation. Top and Mid laners both start with a sight ward and Watch’s ability to gank pre 6 was one of the reasons why Najin Sword dominated the winter circuit last season. I expect Watch to play a variation of Nocturne, Zac and Jarvan in this bo5 match-up.
Mid Lane match-up
Rapidstar vs SSong
Rapidstar and Ssong both provide solid laning and teamfight presence to the team. Rapidstar in the group stage preferred ap ranged carries opposed to assassins like Zed/Kha’Zix and it’s been paying off for CJ Frost as they’ve clinched 1st in group stage from strong mid plays. I’m expecting a Ryze/Diana/TF ban variation from Sword so look for Rapidstar to play Karthus, Lux and either Ryze/Diana depending on bans. SSong plays near identitcal champions as Rapidstar but more aggressive laning style resulting in kills and less farm. SSong will bring out Kha’Zix and Orianna into the mix but this lane will most likely be a passive/farm lane.
Bot Lane match-up
Hermes/Madlife(Space/Muse) vs Pray/Cain
CJ Frost has been running 2 separate lanes in Hermes/Madlife and Space/Muse throughout the group stages. Although Space/Muse have been playing against weaker opponents, they have looked better than Hermes/Madlife and we could possibly see Frost play without Madlife as the support. However, I think Frost will need Madlife’s warding/experience in the playoffs. Frost typically picks Miss Fortune/Twitch with Sona/Thresh but Madlife has a 6-7 champion support pool so we could see any support being played by Madlife depending on team composition. Pray/Cain bot lane duo won last season by outplaying every other bot lane including Woong/Madlife. But as of late, they have been very inconsistent in their laning phase as well as teamfight where Pray gets an immediate death for bad positioning. It will be up to Watch to peel off incoming damage to Pray but they won’t need too much help for Pray due to lack of assassin champions coming out from Frost. Pray generally plays Miss Fortune, Twitch while Cain plays Leona, Lulu and Thresh as main supports for this season.
Mafia: 3-1 Sword
Chexx: 3-1 Frost
Fionn: 3-0 Frost
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<div style="padding: 0px 20px; border-top: 1px solid #18283e;"><div style="background: url('http://i.imgur.com/JPdmAee.png'); background-size: 150px; width: 150px; padding-top: 160px; text-align: right; float: left;">Art by Caulo (Deviantart)</div><div style="width: 450px; margin-top: 100px; float: right;">This edition of the TeamLiquid LoL write-up was brought to you by GTR, Chexx, Fionn and Mafia.</div><div style="clear: both;"></div>