It went about as expected for what should be a top team playing a bottom feeder new to the LCS. At least, until it didn’t.
New top laner Kevin “kev1n” Rubiszewski, who replaced Mike “Wickd” Petersen after the team’s disappointing 4-4 start, showed off his skill early on Lissandra, putting up a 5/3/6 KDA line including some early kills that helped build a huge lead for Elements.
The team was squarely in control of the game, with a massive 10,000 gold lead and four dragons against zero. Team captain Henrik “Froggen” Hansen had an 8/0/8 score line on Ahri, with more than 400 creeps to his name, a massively fed carry. Elements seemed content to slowly close out the game, aimlessly moving through the map objective to objective, a glacier creeping to an inevitable conclusion.
Then, they lost.
Elements went to take a Baron, but Giants Gaming managed to steal it with a great smite by Federico “Fr3deric” Lizondoà.
Then Giants started a push up bottom lane and found themselves score a free kill on support player Patrick “Nyph” Funke. The rest of Elements straggled in, and all of a sudden Giants found themselves in a five-on-two situation on Elements doorstep. They pushed into the base, and despite Hansen’s best efforts, scoring two more kills, the Spaniards took the Nexus.
. @WolfyFiltiarn The greatest throw I’ve seen. Serves them right for never pushing their advantage. That baron call was dumb
— Chase Wassenar (@RedShirtKing) February 19, 2015
With 41 minutes on the game clock, Elements had a 10.2k gold lead. They had four Dragons against zero. Six towers killed against four. One minute later, they had lost the game. Calling it “the greatest throw I’ve seen” is likely not an understatement.
Shook to be replaced by a hamster who has been taught how to click the smite button with his nose.
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) February 19, 2015
I dont think losing ever felt that bitter .. holy shit man, still cant believe it
— Marcel Feldkamp (@MarcelFeldkamp) February 19, 2015
Hansen leaned his head back on his chair after the match, eyes closed, like a man trying to calm a roiling sea of emotion churning underneath.
It was such an Elements way to lose. The team had a huge advantage, yet they failed to capitalize on it by pushing the right objectives at the right times. If Cloud9 or SK Gaming had that lead, for example, the game would have been over 10 minutes before that ill-fated Baron.
But the match was a poignant reminder that a roster change, while perhaps an improvement in skill and the team dynamic, doesn’t necessarily fix the most basic problems with the team. Elements is still Elements—their in-game leadership is aimless, and today they completely missed the mark.