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SKT T1 vs Royal Club, Game 3/3

Of all the games to analyze in the world championship, I'm choosing the last game in the finals. Some might argue that this game was anticlimactic, that nothing exciting transpired, and if you look at the scores, the jungler on the losing team had zero deaths. How does that even happen? Don't teams win off aces and kill gold? That's why I think this game is really worth looking at. It exemplifies the kind of play that matters and the reason teams like Fnatic lost, despite having some of the highest KDAs in the playoffs.

Picks and bans:

SKT: Annie, Renekton, Zed
RYL: Orianna, Shen, Vi

SKT first picks Jax.

SKT lineup: Jax, Jarvan IV, Gragas, Corki, Zyra
RYL lineup: Kennen, Lee Sin, Fizz, Caitlyn, Sona


The Kennen pick is a lane bully to prevent Jax's early dominance. Both laners should shove evenly. Jax can avoid some auto attack harass, and Kennen must be more fearful of burst damage, but he should still win lane in isolation.

Typically, I give melee vs melee caster matchups to Fizz, simply because Fizz is melee+ with his increased range. That said, he has more tools to work against Gragas, including playful trickster if dodge isn't enough to avoid barrel burst. I do believe Fizz can have a slightly easier time landing his ultimate on Gragas, as well. Though Gragas can play smart and use his lower cooldown dash to avoid engages and wait to ult into tower range after trickster is on cooldown. Fizz, as a result, should be aware of this. Fizz can also lower the passive sustain with grievous wounds.

Corki and Zyra should be able to wave clear Caitlyn and Sona away from the tower, preventing Caitlyn from playing the way she wants to play, i.e. free potshots while the enemy attempts to farm under turret. Sona would be able to sustain Zyra's fabled poke damage, and Caitlyn generally free to kite around Zyra ult after Sona flash/crescendo. The lane is fairly even, but slightly in favor of the Caitlyn/Sona since they out range Corki and counter Zyra. Both marksmen have escapes, but supports susceptible to ganks. Sona moreso than Zyra.

Both junglers will be strong early, able to gank at level two if they feel it is necessary, though waiting to level three is more advantageous in the risk/reward assessment. Jarvan IV has slightly more strength with the damage he's putting out and harder cc when he lands his combo. Lee Sin, on the other hand, has higher mobility and stick potential, which will make him a better early diver. It ultimately comes down to who ganks a lane first, which is why we want to look at which lanes are prime targets.

High mobility on both sides of top and mid make bottom lane an easier gank at early levels. A focus on Zyra or Sona makes 2v1s ill-advised for both teams, considering those lanes will both get extremely pushed, and the 2v2 will break even, especially for Sona, as she has no ability to disengage with snare and Jarvan IV's hard CC should reliably force a flash at least. Both top-laners are probably mid-tier 2v1 champions, so a 2v1 swap, ultimately, would be in favor of SKT. Jax will get going either way, and Kennen wants a 1v1 to act as a lane bully. In addition, pushing forward on Sona is riskier than on Zyra. Finally, the bruiser combo of Jax+Jarvan IV will put out a lot more burst and lockdown than Lee Sin+Kennen, resulting in easier ganks. I can see SKT initiating a 2v1 here.

Barring this, ganks onto Kennen will make his lane phase less dominant and help Jax get going, so this is prime lane to gank for SKT. On the same side, Fizz is more the hyper carry for RYL, and Faker will use his dashes aggressively if the lane is frozen, so ganks on midlane by Lucky would be most advantageous and increase map pressure. Ultimately, good strategies here for SKT would be to force 2v1, then gank Sona with Jax and Jarvan IV. For RYL, they want strict matchups for once, so they will try to get those. If SKT get their lanes, Jarvan IV will best farm between Faker and Impact to initiate a gank onto Tabe or be present for the countergank mid. In this case, Lucky needs to act reactively and also farm this area to countergank wherever bengi shows first. In the case where RYL gets their lanes, Lucky should initiate a gank mid around Fizz level 2, Tabe should have heavy ward coverage in lane, and Kennen should bully Jax. All this would force pressure top, and allow for early dragons with a stronger mid. SKT could react to this by taking pinks to lane and still killing Sona early, So it will be a race to kill Sona either way, buy RYL will have a better chance of getting pressure top if Lucky can show first and successfully gank Faker.

1:15 GoDLike spotted top by superior ward coverage made by PoohManDuh. SKT initiates their switch. Noteably, Kennen started Doran's Blade, making the matchup even shittier. I want to say that this is the part where RYL loses, but then...

2:01 GoDLike facechecks lane brush and burns flash. Yep, it's over.

2:36 Lucky shows mid, heading top.

3:30 Lucky shows top to help hold.

4:31 bengi ganks bottom, gets Uzi's flash.

4:52 Lucky shows mid, Gragas dashes away.

6:22 Uzi and Tabe switch to top, Uzi behind 4 farm, GoDLike behind 16 farm.

6:48 bengi dives GoDLike, first blood. (Note Jax up 3 levels to Kennen here)

7:23 bengi steals blue buff from RYL alone.

8:17 Faker gets his own blue buff.

9ish RYL ganks Jax, burns three summoners for it, SKT reacts sending bengi top and having Gragas pressure mid turret.

They get a top turret top, RYL trades back top and bottom turrets around 10.

10:40 Piglet gets mid turret while jungle, support, Jax get dragon.

12:12 fight in lower RYL jungle shows how useless GoDLike is compared to Impact already. ggggg.

12:39 SKT gets their first second tier turret bottom. Note that this is the FIRST time when all of SKT's pressure has been on one side of the map. Uzi is top, but the first tier turret there is already gone, so the best he can do is shove wave.

13ish RYL finally get a positional advantage on first tier mid, but Piglet's wave clear shows how dire this situation is because he can solo defend. This is also a result of no vision top side, and only Jax present on the map.

14:45 Whitez dives Zyra for--reasons(?), and Impact kills him.

15:45 Faker could have stayed top to pressure when Tabe and Caitlyn when mid, but at this point, I'm nitpicking. In fact, they probably expected it, which is why Whitez initiated a fight.

16:47 SKT takes bottom inhib.

19:18 SKT barons.

20 Last ditch engage results in loss for RYL.

SKT got their lanes early with better vision. Though they predicted there would be a swap. GoDLike taking doran's blade and face-checking to lose flash, forced jungle pressure top initially from RYL, which is not where Lucky wanted to be. He attempted to gank mid anyway, but this drove GoDLike further behind, and none of these ganks were successful. In either case, Lucky showing top and mid gave bengi prime pressure over the only really gankable lane, containing Zyra and Sona, where he gets Uzi's flash.

Finally, the lanes swap back, but at that point, Kennen has 0 pressure vs Jax, and he just--dies. There was really nothing else he could do.

Royal's strategy relied entirely upon Kennen being a lane bully and pressuring Jax because the previous two games showed that they really could not deal with bengi without a strong lane to pull him. This strategy was flawed in execution and conception. For one thing, the bans they made were Orianna, Shen, Vi. Impact wants Jax. That's why they ban Renekton. Renekton is the only thing that's really able to shutdown Jax and do anything later on that isn't counterable by something like Gragas ult or Zyra snare. Plus, he picked Jax twice already. So the Shen ban has no real use here. The Vi ban I can understand since bengi is just a monster, so targeting him is okay, but I feel like Jarvan IV does everything that Vi does, except better. Either one of these bans could have been exchanged with a Jax ban. I am guessing the Vi would be optimal, as they did not want to deal with a Shen either. But I also kind of feel like Impact's Shen is weak, and GoDLike could have played Kennen against that with better results.

Ult canceling baybee.

The second flaw here was the warding and early positioning. Kennen stood in river brush, which is commonly warded, granting vision. If he doesn't want to lose the lane swap game, he needs to not stand there. Stand in base until the last minute, forcing SKT to lose ex if they really want that swap.

Third flaw was the Doran's Blade start. If you know your lane is better, and the enemy's champion can theoretically 2v1, do not start something worthless in 2v1 like doran's blade and anticipate the swap instead. With a shield you can still bully the matchup, but you are safe in case of 2v1. Or hell, start something that will let you get a ward since you want to shove on Jax anyway.

Finally, who the fuck facechecks at the world finals?

From there, Royal lost an essential component of their strategy. bengi got to do whatever he wanted again, and Fizz didn't get started due mostly to Lucky's indecision. He went top to try to pressure, but then decided Whitez would still be a better asset and showed mid too late when Faker could expect him, and Whitez lost the super early advantage (did anyone see him half health Gragas with one spell? Fuck you, Lucky).

The rest of the match was examples of SKT outpressuring. The first time they grouped (12:39) was when they knew RYL couldn't effectively pressure the lane on the other side of the map. RYL continuously grouped to deal with Jax earlier, but SKT played smart and got turrets off of it. This got to the point where RYL expected constant pressure in all lanes and engaged on a presumed 4v5 around sixteen minutes in, but the MIND GAMES had Faker jump out of brush after all the shit was blown and clean house.

Of course, by then, it was already well over, but it's just more examples of SKT out-thinking RYL. We all know Whitez and Uzi can play as well as Faker and Piglet, and anyone who says otherwise is pretty much full of shit. That's not what happened this game. The only player you can argue really got out-played here was GoDLike, but I still feel like that was more mental retardation than anything remotely to do with skill.

And before anyone says "This final was worthless; it was decided in champ select." That's 90% of games. Why do you think everyone pays analysts?
Tags: gtw, lol analysis
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