Lorenzo’s CBLoL Week 2 Roundup: Back to square one
Due to infringements relating to their substitute players, both INTZ Team and paiN Gaming lost, respectively, 4 and 2 points. If you add this punishment to the stack of drama surrounding them, one could argue both teams’ players are under a lot of pressure and stress turning this week into a true challenge.
This week was certainly a battle of giants with confrontations such as INTZ Team x Red Canids and paiN Gaming x KaBuM eSports. These games will be the focus of this round up. Winning or losing during the early stages of competition isn’t considered important by many, however this week’s results may boost or demolish certain team’s morales for the following weeks.
INTZ Team (W) x Red Canids (L) G1
Simple and effective, those are the two words that fit best with Red’s composition. Olaf and Lulu have always been an extremely common duo in the competitive scene, similarly to the first game of the series between TSM and Gravity, this composition makes so the gold is focused on Olaf turning him into a literally unstoppable force with the aid of his and Lulu’s ultimates. Combining both Tahm Kench and Elise with the previous champions makes sure Red has a formidable composition coming in for the first game of the series against their ex-sister team.
On the other hand, INTZ managed to snatch five of the most contested picks in the current meta. This composition might not have the greatest early game, however, it’s mid-late game is extremely strong.
There wasn’t a single point during the whole game where Red Canids had a gold lead, even when they were two kills ahead of INTZ. This was due to INTZ’s excellent understanding of wave management and overall macro game. This knowledge was responsible for INTZ's victory in this first game, which gives them at least one point at the end of the week.
INTZ Team (W) x Red Canids (L) G2
While INTZ chose to stay with a similar composition, Red switched things up by putting Marcelo “Ayel” Mello on one of his most comfortable champions, Riven. The rest of the team also changed: in the jungle, for example, Rek’Sai was replaced by a more aggressive option, Graves.
With this change of pace and by punishing INTZ’s mistakes, Red Canids managed to maintain the lead during a big portion of the mid and late game. This lead, however, wasn’t enough to secure the win for Red. Once again INTZ managed to snatch the victory by being superior with their rotations, while also benefitting from the continued pressure they managed to apply on Riven and Graves, making sure both champions’ powerspikes were severely delayed
paiN Gaming (W) x KaBuM eSports (L) G1
If you have been watching LCK recently, this draft won’t seem strange, it is extremely similar to the one during the last game of the kT vs ROX series. While KaBuM went for a poke heavy team composition, paiN went for a more balanced one, their gameplan is to funnel the gold into Ryze and Lucian making both of them potential threats.
The difference between this CBLoL match and the LCK one was the jungler: while ROX Tigers’ jungler, Yoon "Peanut" Wang-ho, managed to give leads to his team, Gustavo “Minerva” Alves didn’t apply pressure to the right places. This difference might not seem that important but it was the key factor that made Peanut’s team win while KaBuM fell behind, since not getting an early advantage against the Ryze made it so he could go to a mid/late game state faster.
Another point that made paiN victorious was the length of the game, since most CBLoL games have been 40+ minutes long, a composition with late game carries is extremely favorable.
paiN Gaming (W) x KaBuM eSports (L) G2
After the first game, KaBuM scrapped the poke heavy strategy and decided to switch to a more standard protect the carry composition, similar to the one used by Red Canids during their first game, the difference being the champion that will receive the buffs (Red=Olaf, KaBuM=Tristana). Comparing this draft to the previous one from paiN, you will see it isn’t much different. What did change, however, was the powerspike of the team, while Ryze requires some time to reach his two/three items powerspike Viktor can always deal a great amount of damage by simply owning one or two full items.
The whole game was back and forth. While paiN managed to grab most of dragons, Pedro Luiz “LEP” Marcari farmed and stayed with zero kills until the 50 minute mark.
After paiN got Baron (55 minutes into the game), a fight started in the mid lane, LEP used his TP on a ward near paiN’s base to flank the enemy team, the problem was: the fight happened in his own tier two turret. His TP cost them the game and gave paiN another win.
Both of theses series demonstrated the importance of macro play over mechanics and drafting. Both mechanics and drafting are important, but none of those matter if the team doesn't know how to properly rotate, manage the waves and do other core actions related to the macro game. In the following weeks I'm sure teams will have learned how execute these actions which will lead to better games and an overall growth of the region.