Jan 18 2017 - 4:15 pm
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10 Bans Later: A look at the drafts of Longzhu Gaming vs. Samsung Galaxy

With the new 10-ban system in action, let's take a look at how it affected the Samsung Galaxy vs. Longzhu Gaming match.
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When Riot announced the changes to the drafting system, there were certainly a lot of questions, as well as excitement. With Korea's first matches coming to an end, I wanted to examine how the team's utilized the new system throughout their match. *Spoilers ahead*


Rosters

Longzhu Gaming

  • Top - Koo "Expession" Bon-taek
  • Jungle - Lee "Crash" Dong-woo
  • Mid - Song "Fly" Yong-jun
  • ADC - Kim "PraY" Jong-in
  • Support - Kang "GorillA" Beom-hyeon

Samsung Galaxy

  • Top - Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin
  • Jungle - Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong / Kang "Haru" Min-seung
  • Mid - Lee "Crown" Min-ho
  • ADC - Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk
  • Support - Jo "Core JJ" Yong-in

Game One:

Winner: Longzhu Gaming (Blue Side)

First Ban phase:

Cassiopeia (LZ) - LeBlanc (SSG)

Ryze (LZ) - Camille (SSG)

Varus (LZ) - Ashe (SSG)

First Pick Phase:

Rengar (LZ) - Zyra/Lee Sin (SSG)

Jhin/Miss Fortune (LZ) - Ezreal (SSG)

Second Ban Phase:

Syndra (SSG) - Jayce (LZ)

Ekko (SSG) - Maokai (LZ)

Second Pick Phase:

Poppy (SSG) - Taliyah (LZ)

Singed (LZ) - Viktor (SSG)

The first set of bans was pretty standard. LG banned out a couple of power picks in the mid lane in Cass and Ryze to help out their mid laner against Samsung's star mid laner, Crown. Varus has been gaining some traction lately as a top tier ADC, so Longzhu wanted to leave themselves a power pick for their first pick. Camille/LeBlanc were the first two bans for red side in four out of the five games in the first two matches of LCK, so no surprises here. PraY is also known for his incredible Ashe, so Samsung chose to ban this signature pick out over the likes of Rengar. It seems Samsung was alright with giving up the Rengar as they could grab themselves Lee Sin in response. Not wanting to show more picks, Samsung also grabbed Zyra in their first rotation, which Longzhu responded with Jhin/MF, which both do a great job of handling Zyra lanes. Samsung finished off the first pick phase by grabbing Ezreal in hopes of staying safe from the devastation Jhin/MF could bring in the bottom lane.

In the second ban phase, Samsung targeted Longzhu's Fly with two more bans, while Longzhu targeted CuVee with their last two bans. Samsung used their final blind pick to get themselves Poppy, who is probably the safest top lane champion to blind pick. This is where Longzhu respond with a surprise Singed pick, and a safe Taliyah for Fly. As everyone would expect, the drafting ended with Samsung grabbing Viktor for Crown.

Despite initially narrowly missing out on first blood, Longzhu was able to bring Rengar and Tailyah back to the bottom lane to secure a double kill to get their team the lead. Viktor is a champion that really felt the nerfs to Rylai's, and in this game, Crown found himself unable to take over against Fly's Taliyah. By 20 minutes, Longzhu was ahead by four kills, two dragons, and two towers. The long range engage of Taliyah/Jhin allowed Rengar and Singed to capitalize whenever Samsung stepped out from under their towers. With a pretty convincing game one by Longzhu, Samsung had a lot to change up going into game two.

Game Two:

Winner: Samsung Galaxy (Blue Side)

First Ban phase:

Taliyah (SSG) - Rengar (LZ)

Ashe (SSG) - Karma (LZ)

LeBlanc (SSG) - Ryze (LZ)

First Pick Phase:

Camille (SSG) - Elise/Varus (LZ)

Jhin/Zyra (SSG) - Miss Fortune (LZ)

Second Ban Phase:

Kha'Zix (LZ) - Maokai (SSG)

Cassiopeia (LZ) - Singed (SSG)

Second Pick Phase:

Ekko (LZ) - Rek'Sai (SSG)

Oriana (SSG) - Jax (LZ)

Samsung kept their two bans of Ashe and LeBlanc, but instead of banning Camille, they chose to ban out Taliyah. Longzhu used their first two bans on Rengar and Karma, and were left with a choice of banning Camille or Ryze. Longzhu chose Ryze, and as a result, Camille was able to make her LCK debut. With Varus being on the table in this game, Longzhu picked him up along with Elise for their first rotation. With Ashe banned out, Samsung secured their bot lane of Jhin/Zyra, while Longzhu stuck with the MF support.

Going into the second ban phase, Longzhu had yet to pick their solo lanes, while Samsung still needed their mid/jungle. Samsung used their last two bans to take out Maokai, as well as the Singed they previously were unable to answer. Longzhu again banned Cassiopeia, and also took out Kha'Zix, in an attempt to secure early game dominance with their jungle pick. With Ekko available, Longzhu grabbed him for Fly, while Samsung got two very safe picks in Orianna and Rek'Sai. After letting Camille through, you'd guess Longzhu had an answer, and that answer was Jax, to finish off this drafting phase.

Despite Elise catching Rek'Sai at her red buff and getting her to below 25 percent health, Rek'Sai was able to heal up and wrap around mid lane to secure first blood. Shortly after, with both mid laners having used their summoners, both supports and junglers made a visit to the mid lane in a close fight, resulting in Crown barely escaping. As this went on, Jax began to gain some traction in the top lane and was on the verge of getting a decent cs lead, but then Rek'Sai showed up. While the gank barely missed out on a kill, it was still able to deny a large wave, and keep Camille even in gold.

Aside from a kill in the bottom lane in favor of Longzhu, the game mellowed out until a countergank in the mid lane got Samsung a double kill and first tower. Longzhu responded by grabbing the Ocean Drake, but Camille was able to constantly push in Jax and build herself quite a large lead in the meantime. As the game went on, Camille showed us why she's a must-ban in her current state, despite Jax seeming like a decent pick in the 1v1 matchup. With a 5k gold lead at 20 minutes, Samsung didn't let up, tying the series at 1-1. With each team having a clear advantage obtained from their drafts, picks and bans were going to be vital in the final game of this series.

Game Three:

Winner: Samsung Galaxy (Red Side)

First Ban phase:

Cassiopeia (LZ) - LeBlanc (SSG)

Ryze (LZ) - Camille (SSG)

Varus (LZ) - Rengar (SSG)

First Pick Phase:

Ashe (LZ) - Maokai/Kha'Zix (SSG)

Karma/Ekko (LZ) - Zyra (SSG)

Second Ban Phase:

Rek'Sai (SSG) - Orianna (LZ)

Elise (SSG) - Malzahar (LZ)

Second Pick Phase:

Ezreal (SSG) - Lee Sin (LZ)

Nautilus (LZ) - Corki (SSG)

The first set of bans went just as game one did, with the exception of Samsuing dropping the Ashe ban to instead ban Rengar. Finally, PraY was able to get his hands on Ashe, while Samsung took the previously-banned Maokai/Kha'zix. Longzhu finished their bot lane with Karma and stuck with the Ekko pick that struggled in the previous game, while Samsung stuck with the Zyra support. Samsung used their last two bans to remove Rek'Sai and Elise, forcing Crash onto Lee Sin. Samsung grabbed themselves a double ADC composition with Corki/Ezreal, while Longzhu took the tank vs. tank matchup by drafting Nautlius into Maokai.

Samsung started off the game by sneakily placing a ward on Longzhu's blue buff. This resulted in Kha'Zix stealing the blue buff while getting first blood on Lee Sin. Even with Miss Fortune banned, CoreJJ's Zyra was unable to help Ezreal keep up in the laning phase, with Ashe taking a 37 cs lead and first tower before 13 minutes into the game. Afterward, Longzhu tried to get a pick on Ezreal after landing an Ashe arrow on him, but Samsung was ready for this and ended up coming out three kills for zero.

With Kha'Zix being fairly strong, a pick on Lee SIn resulted in Samsung getting Baron, along with another three kills. Despite PraY maintaining a large cs lead throughout the game, his Ashe was unable to do much against Samsung, as their Baron push netted them two inhibitors. Despite Longzhu getting some picks and their own Baron buff, the gold deficit was too much to overcome, as Samsung slowly let their super minion pressure overwhelm Longzhu for the victory.

Conclusions

With the exception of Longzhu in game two, each team used both of their second bans to focus one player. We've seen that this can lead to teams being able to force players onto a specific champion, such as Crash onto Lee Sin in game three. This makes early picks even more important, as when a team has a role picked that the other team doesn't, it allows them to secure a favorable matchup.

11 out of the 12 bottom lane picks were in the first phase, while five of the six mid lane picks were in the first phase. This shows that teams are afraid of grabbing a mid laner without knowing much of the enemy composition, while bottom lanes seem to not even be concerned with counterpicks, with Samsung taking the Zyra into MF in back-to-back games. I'd say this is a result of teams considering there to be fewer top tier ADC/support champions, and are worried about being forced onto a weaker champion.

With six different support champions being played over five games of LCK so far, I think that there's enough viable supports that I'd like to see teams picking solo lanes earlier. I think red side being able to grab the last pick before their fourth and fifth bans could open up some really interesting options, where certain champions can prosper with hard counters removed. There's really endless possibilities with this new system, and I'm excited to see which teams can master it first.


What are your first impressions of the new drafting system? Let me know @calvinbwitt and follow @GAMURScom for more League of Legends content.

Photo credits: SPOTV GAMES

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