<article id="giantKillers"><header><img style="width: 100%; height: auto;" src="http://www.liquidlegends.net/staff/Laural/intz_banner.png" /></img></header>
<h2 class="title background"><span>Giant Killers</span></h2>
<p class="text">Last week, the moniker "Giant Killers" was assigned to INTZ e-Sports Red after the bottom tier team managed to take a game from top three opponent, paiN Gaming. If this had been their only victory, the name would have faded after a week as Red would have dropped two games to first-place, and undefeated, opponent Vivo Fibra Keyd Stars in Week 6. However, this is not what happened.
As the old sports adage goes, "That's why they play the game."
This past week of Brazil's Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends was not kind to Keyd Stars, although it cemented the nickname "Giant Killers" for the upstart INTZ Red, who managed to not only take one game from the undefeated team, but sweep them 2-0 in their Week 6 set. If Keyd examines their weaknesses now, this could be a boon for the top team, who still has a chance to earn a bye to the Semifinals. Better to address their weaknesses now, than be faced with an inability to overcome them at the more crucial juncture of playoffs.
Ultimately, this is good for the region if Keyd, and other teams, learn from these games, especially Game 1.</p>
<img class="imgfix align-center" src="http://www.liquidlegends.net/staff/JonGalt/IMG/giant_killers_championSelect.jpg">
<h2 class="title background"><span>Champion Select</span></h2>
<p class="text">For the past two weeks, Keyd has banned Ryze on blue side. This isn't necessarily a cause for concern, but it speaks volumes about what they're aiming for in Champion Select, and the manner in which the pick ban phase unfolds is directly related to Keyd's Ryze ban. Either top laner Whesley "Leko" Holler, isn't comfortable enough to position well on Ryze or, more likely, Keyd doesn't want to be pushed into picking that champion – Ryze necessitates an attention to the top lane, and enough confidence in your top laner to deal with a camp – should INTZ Red refuse to ban it.
It takes 14 seconds for Leko to lock in Kalista for AD carry André "esA" Pavezi, with good reason. Not only has she been a power pick in all regions, but esA specifically has been a Kalista monster this split, with a 19.5 KDA and 76% kill participation on the Spear of Vengeance. Red is now free to save their AD pick (Sivir) for later, and grab both Gragas and Alistar, two picks that end up making significant impact in Red's team fights. This is followed by Rek'Sai and Annie for Keyd, Sivir and Maokai for Red, Ahri and Gnar for Keyd, and Varus for Red.
As Keyd has evolved and adjusted to their new jungler, Gabriel "Revolta" Henud, they've primarily relied on taking initiative in the early to mid game, accumulating an insurmountable lead. This is once again reflected in this game, where they'll be relying on Kalista's early power and lane dominance along with Revolta's constant Rek'Sai presence. Ahri, in addition to being a relatively safe choice, partners with Annie well if the two can make picks around the map.</p>
<img class="imgfix align-center" src="http://www.liquidlegends.net/staff/JonGalt/IMG/giant_killers_revoltaVision.jpg">
<h2 class="title background"><span>The Loop and Revolta Vision Net</span></h2>
<p class="text">One of the reasons why Keyd has gone without key in-game mistakes punished is because the combination of Revolta and support Caio "Loop" Almeida. Together, the two set a stifling vision net that no opponent had been able to break through. Once Keyd takes a turret, they immediately move either Loop or Revolta into the area to lay down wards and clear out enemy vision. Most teams cannot give Keyd an inch because of how well they'll transition their advantages into superior vision and continue to push, garnering more objectives by the minute.
However, Keyd did not have an auspicious start in this particular game. Red manages to strike first. Revolta begins on his weak side, starting Gromp with Leko before rotating down to wolves. A Keyd river ward spots Red's jungler Jonas "Caos" Vriesman and top laner Leonardo "Robo" Souza invading the Keyd blue. This both chases Revolta and Leko off of their blue buff and sets up a four-man fast push top for Red. Because Red was quicker to take the top turret, SacyR is already on the bottom side of the map by the time Revolta begins the blue buff. Most importantly, SacyR harasses Revolta long enough for Red's mid laner Bruno "Brucer" Pereira, and support Márcio "Eryon" Reis to join in the fray. Eryon's Alistar locks down Revolta and First Blood goes to SacyR's Sivir while the blue buff is given to Brucer's Varus.
All in all, it's a rough initial start for Keyd. In spite of this, Keyd still manages to get the upper hand due to the fact that Red botches their minion pushes, and Keyd are not denied experience. In fact, Keyd emerges ahead in CS across all three lanes, while Caos is forced to look after Robo. EsA and Loop capitalize when SacyR pushes too far forward. The engage from Loop draws out Robo's Teleport (more on Robo and his Teleport tendencies later) and the skirmish ends with Robo dead and a kill to esA. Keyd transitions this immediately into a dragon.
As previously mentioned, once Keyd earns an advantage like this, they tend to leverage it in their favor through superior vision control. Following their first dragon, Loop and Revolta immediately rotate top, casting their vision net in Red's jungle. EsA is sent top side to deal with Red's minion push while Leko takes care of warding bot side. Keyd then tightens their net, collapsing onto the top turret. SacyR is in the bottom lane, unable to help Red, while Keyd mid laner Murilo "takeshi" Alves has also pushed Brucer to his turret so he cannot rotate top. Keyd takes the turret and Leko returns to the bot lane in time to stop SacyR from taking Keyd's bot tier one.
From this point on, Keyd owns all of the map pressure. They slowly stifle Red of their resources and push them into their base.</p>
<img class="imgfix align-center" src="http://www.liquidlegends.net/staff/JonGalt/IMG/giant_killers_keydLose.jpg">
<h2 class="title background"><span>So . . . how does Keyd lose?</span></h2>
<p class="text">Keyd's vision net has allowed them to get away with making numerous mistakes that opponents have been unable to recognize or capitalize on. This includes anything from positional errors to back timings and minion control. In their win, Red doesn't actually do a stand up job of capitalizing on these errors either – Keyd's vision was too stifling and gave Keyd an advantage on Red throughout most of the match.
For example, around 15:30 Loop overextends and is caught by Brucer's Varus ultimate. He is immediately evaporated by SacyR and Brucer while Caos pushes takeshi out of the fight with an Explosive Cask. Unfortunately, this entire fight is all for Red's own Blue Buff. Mid is pushed up in Keyd's favor and, while both top laners did burn and subsequently cancel their Teleports, Leko has Robo pushed back to his tier two. In spite of the mistake, Keyd still has positional advantages throughout the map. Keyd simply disengages, taking the loss of Loop in stride, and proceeds to farm Red's top jungle while pressuring top. They are a team incredibly adept at covering their weaknesses.</p>
<p class="text" style="font-style:oblique;">So, how exactly did Keyd lose, when they were pressuring Red for the majority of the game?</p>
<p class="text">The one weakness that Keyd cannot fully hide is their inadequate team fighting. Prior CBLoL opponents – CNB e-Sports immediately comes to mind – have out-team fought Keyd but not capitalized on their team fight victories. Keyd's vision net and early advantages allow them to choose their skirmishes and terrain. If an opponent over pursues, Loop is often able to use his crowd control on supports like Annie, Nautilus, Thresh, and Bard to keep enemies in disadvantageous situations. However, this hides the fact that their targeting and positioning in team fights is frequently poor. Additionally, as fights evolve, Keyd's members often look out-of-sync with each other as compared to other teams.
Red's first strong team fight showing happens when Keyd takes their fourth dragon. Knowing that Red will need to contest – at that time, the dragon score was 3-0 in Keyd's favor – takeshi pushes bot while Leko pushes top in preparation. However, when Revolta begins the dragon along with takeshi and Loop, they neglect to sweep out the dragon pit. A well-placed ward from Red facilitates Robo's Teleport into the pit while Eryon, Brucer, Caos, and SacyR all collapse. Eryon headbutts esA, buying time for Robo who immediately jumps on the AD carry upon arrival. Brucer locks up Loop with Chain of Corruption, and by the time esA is able to activate Fate's Call, Robo's Maokai is already on top of his Kalista. Meanwhile, Leko has followed Robo's Teleport, but has no Gnar rage, and is unable to help his teammates. Takeshi dies to SacyR, and Robo's Maokai soaks up esA's damage on the frontline of the fight, allowing for Brucer, Eryon, and SacyR to clean up. This three for zero trade was the beginning of the end for Keyd.</p>
<img class="imgfix align-center" src="http://www.liquidlegends.net/staff/JonGalt/IMG/giant_killers_roboWedding.jpg">
<h2 class="title background"><span>The Red Robo Wedding (And Honeymoon Phase)</span></h2>
<p class="text">Had this been the INTZ Red team of a few weeks ago – sans Robo with Caos top and former jungler Leonardo "Leozuxo" Camícia – it's difficult to imagine this same 2-0 upset. What Robo brings to Red, aside from mechanical outplays on broken champions, is a trigger-happy nature, for better or for worse – recall his aforementioned immediate Teleport to bot lane in an attempt to rescue SacyR in the early game. Robo never hesitates to jump on an opponent, to Teleport and save a teammate, to dive a tower, or to flank in a team fight, and Red is a stronger team for it.
Additionally, his team fight targeting is surprisingly precise, facilitating Red's engages and allowing their carries to clean up. Throughout this Game 1 against Keyd, Robo – along with Eryon – continuously found Keyd's esA and removed him from participating. They are sloppy in taking objectives, their vision needs significant improvement, and their map movements have glaring weaknesses; however, INTZ Red's team fighting is now some of the best in the region thanks to Robo's continued, oft-reckless aggression. Matching up against Keyd's significantly weaker skirmishing, Red handed Keyd their first loss by exploiting this mismatch.
As the game devolved for Keyd, they lost advantages in vision and positioning, yet still tried to push as if they still had their vision net in place. Red grew bolder, beginning to out-muscle Keyd as the two postured for Baron.
The game breaks for Keyd at 32:43, when Loop and Eryon simultaneously make their moves. Positioned far forward, and without Mega Gnar, Leko provides a perfect target for Eryon's Alistar. Eryon knocks up both Leko and esA. At the same time, Loop Flashes and lands a Tibbers stun onto SacyR. Revolta and takeshi are both on the backline, unable to immediately follow up on Loop's initiation, and esA is prevented from killing SacyR thanks to Eryon. Robo jumps onto Loop and kills him while also zoning out takeshi's Ahri. Takeshi splits from the other three Keyd members in an attempt to kill Robo. Unfortunately for takeshi, Robo's Maokai is extremely tanky at this point in the game. The two teams trade kills as takeshi and SacyR both die.
At this point, Keyd should have backed off the inhibitor. Instead, Revolta, esA, and Leko continue to push in a group, setting the stage for a beautiful three-man knock up from Eryon who hands over a triple kill to Brucer's Varus.</p>
<img class="imgfix align-center" src="http://www.liquidlegends.net/staff/JonGalt/IMG/giant_killers_end.png">
<p class="text">Robo is hardly the star of this team fight – that honor belongs to Eryon and his Alistar – but Robo's presence and zone control in this specific instance, and fights throughout the set, have tightened Red's team fighting exponentially. Most importantly, he injects Red with a confidence that sets opponents on edge. Many of Red's team fights were won due to superior positioning gained from sheer audacity.
Red made many mistakes this game, some of which Keyd were able to capitalize on, but the key to their victory was superior team fight targeting and a cohesive aggression. They come away from these games with a new swagger to their step and confirmation that they're headed in the right direction. Meanwhile, Keyd returns to the drawing board. Now made aware of holes in their play that have existed for weeks, they can hopefully address these issues sooner rather than later.</p>
<h2 class="title background"><span>Enjoy these pieces?</span></h2>
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- <strong>Writers:</strong>Emily Rand
- <strong>Graphics:</strong>Laural, JonGalt
- <strong>Photos:</strong> Riot Games Brazil