Okay, so the Team Dragon Knights vs Team Fusion Game Two just recently ended and I just wanted to say good job to both teams this week, as they ended up 1-1. I’ll be spending a lot of time talking about the pick and ban phase as well as both teams compositions, regarding what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and what each teams win conditions are regarding their compositions. I’ll try to talk briefly about the lane matchups, how the lanes ended up doing and what caused this. After I talk about lanes I’ll talk about each team’s objective control, map pressure and how they play the rotation game.
Picks and Bans
Team Dragon Knights: Sion Lissandra Leblanc
Team Fusion: Jayce Jarvan Annie
So I’ll begin by talking about Team Fusion’s bans. Jayce, that’s not really a surprise. Anyone that knows who Narakyle is knows that he’s pretty much deemed the best Jayce in the world, especially outside of professional players. It’s a must ban. They haven’t dropped a game where he’s gotten Jayce. Jarvan is a Kez ban and a pretty big one. Kez plays a lot of Jarvan. It fits well with his playstyle which is essentially a utility based, gank oriented jungle playstyle that revolves around getting his laners ahead and making sure that there is sufficient vision on the map. Annie is obviously a Smoothie ban. She’s a strong laning support, she’s a strong play making support, and Louis really needs that in a support, since his laning has been what most would say is his weakest point of play.
Going on to Team Dragon Knight’s bans, I’m going to go ahead and warn the readers now, I may rant a little bit, because I absolutely don’t understand one of these bans. So, we have the Sion ban, which is targeted towards Chunkyfresh. Sion is arguably one of the best tanks in the game right now. He provides a good chunk of CC to a team fight, and is an absolute monster to try and kill in the late game. Really the only way to deal with him is honestly to just ignore him, which is hard to do since he has his Q on a pretty low cooldown, as well as a fairly high damage slow that’s almost guaranteed to hit someone in a small area. Not a terrible ban, especially when TDK had problems dealing with him in their games against Enemy. I’m going to skip the Lissandra ban, because that’s my biggest problem with the ban phase from TDK. The LeBlanc ban was a good ban. I personally think that Huhi is a much better assassin player than Kyle is. Although I’m not really sure if the LB ban was really warranted. I think that a different ban would have allowed TDK to maybe get more power picks, considering that Fusion’s draft phase was a lot better than TDK’s.
So, I’m going to go ahead and make a separate paragraph for this. I really, really, REALLY, don’t understand the Lissandra ban. I know a lot of people are thinking “Well, Lissandra’s a really good top laner, she’s meta, she’s versatile.” And while I understand that, Chunky hasn’t really performed on anyone other than Irelia. He’s had a few Lulu games, where he really didn’t individually perform, especially in laning. Irelia is his strongest top laner, by quite a bit. I think this particular ban really completely messed up a potential good draft from TDK, while also giving power picks to Fusion, for honestly nothing in return. Now, this is just a hypothetical, because I personally don’t know if TDK came in here wanting to run a certain composition, which may be the reason for the ban itself, but we’re just going to imagine that they go along as the draft plays out. So let’s say that TDK bans Irelia and the rest of the bans stay the same. Okay, here’s the predicament that Fusion now faces. They have one pick in their first round. They either take Lissandra, who Chunky really isn’t fantastic on, but it’s still a good pick to have, which allows Team Dragon Knights to take Nidalee on their first rotation, which they haven’t lost a game with, to my knowledge. Alternatively, they first pick Nidalee, and Lissandra, who Seraph plays a pretty good amount of, especially last season when she wasn’t really a big deal to play in the professional scene, so he has a lot of experience on her, and he kind of decimated Chunky and the rest of Fusion, up until their throw, with her last game. If they had just done this instead, they’re taking away two power picks. They’re taking away Chunky’s best top laner, and they get someone that either Kez can play well, or Seraph can play well. I don’t know why they wouldn’t just ban out Irelia. That’s just my opinion on the matter, I really think it would have done them a lot of good to do.
Now, going onto the actual draft phase, we have a first pick Nidalee from Fusion. This is a flex pick for both Huhi as well as Nintendude. Nidalee is both a threat in the mid lane at the moment, as well as the jungle, but more so in the jungle as of her buffs to her hunt a few patches ago. This immediately screams that Fusion will have some sort of poke based composition. It’s a power pick for any team that gets it, especially in the right composition.
Next we have Team Dragon Knights who pick up Rek’sai as well as Sona. I don’t really care for Rek’sai as opposed to a lot of other junglers right now. He does fit well with TDK’s strengths, which is objective control in regards to dragon, especially before twenty minutes. I don’t really think it’s a Kez like champion. Rek’sai really doesn’t get that tanky anymore, her damage output isn’t what it was on release, and other than the initial engage from an unburrow, she doesn’t bring anything to a team fight. The most that Rek’sai does for them is alert them that someone is walking towards them if they don’t happen to have wards in that area, which is weird, since Kez always gets a sightstone on his jungle, and TDKs map vision is pretty good. The Sona pick isn’t really strange. They’ve had success with it before. Smoothie is a pretty good Sona. She offers lane sustain, which is important for them since Louis’ laning isn’t really fantastic. She offers the choice of both engage as well as disengage, which depending on how Fusion decides to play out the draft, is really good.
Next we have Fusion taking Irelia and Corki. It’s really no surprise. It’s Chunky’s best top laner. She provides great damage, she can one on one any other top laner for the most part, once she gets Triforce. She’s good in team fights, she can jump to the back line. Just a versatile pick that honestly should not have gone through. Huhi picks up Corki for Nien. Corki has definitely been one of Nien’s best stat producing ADCs thus far since his time on Fusion. He’s really good at being able to zone out the enemy team, harass them, and he can play the lane very well. Once again, if I’m TDK, this is obviously going to be a poke style composition. There’s really no doubts about it. You have Nidalee and Corki, with a good front line tank in Irelia, who can also harass with her ultimate.
For TDK’s next two picks we get Zed and Graves. Kyle’s a pretty good assassin player. Not quite as good as Huhi, but acceptable at this level of play. That being said, I don’t really care for the pick. It doesn’t bring them any reliable damage against Fusion’s team comp thus far. At no point in the game should Zed get close enough to Fusion’s carries to pop them with his Death Mark, if Fusion play it right. Graves, once again, don’t like it on Louis. He’s too early game oriented, which Louis really isn’t that fantastic at. It’s a good combination with Sona, however. Their level 1-6 are really strong together, with that amazing burst potential at level 6.
For Fusion’s last two picks, we have Ezreal and Alistar. This may cause some confusion for TDK as both Corki and Ezreal can go either mid or bottom lane, although Ezreal has been used more towards the mid lane role rather than in the bottom lane. The Corki Alistar combination in the bottom lane is fairly strong after Corki picks up his Sheen. Alistar provides amazing front line tankiness, he can reposition enemy champions as well as stun them. This completes what is a really well rounded poke composition from Fusion. They have great damage as well as tankiness in their frontline with Irelia and Alistar. They have great mixed damage in Ezreal, Nidalee and Corki as well as ways to disengage with all three as well.
TDK’s last pick is Kennen for Seraph. Seraph is a pretty good Kennen player. I don’t see where it fits in this composition, though. They’re going for a lot of hard engage for Fusion, but something along the lines of Kennen really isn’t that good, especially after you’ve just seen that they’ve locked in an Alistar, who can almost completely negate your ability to get a good 3-5 man ultimate.
Overall, I think the draft phase goes heavily in favor of Fusion. What they need to do in the laning phase to get ahead really is just force a lane swap, since they’re weaker than TDK’s bottom lane in the early levels, try and out farm and outscale TDK’s bot lane, and make sure that Irelia is able to farm in the lane swap, since she has a much easier time farming under tower than Kennen. Doing this will, barring mess ups, allow them to get to the mid game, where their composition excels, and hopefully take a lead and build on it into the late game.
What TDK needs to do, is make sure that they can get the 2v2. Louis is the weaker ADC out of him and Nien, so the advantage early is really helpful leading into the mid game, where Corki seemingly begins to outscale Graves. They need to make sure that Seraph is able to lane properly against Chunkyfresh, as Irelia after level 3 can punish Kennen if he hasn’t already bullied Irelia out of lane, and if Irelia is even or ahead after 6, she pretty much demolishes Kennen in a 1v1. As far as jungle match ups go, each team just needs to provide good jungle pressure, make sure that they’ve set their lanes up to succeed, etc.
So, I covered what the lanes needed to do in my win conditions segment. So I’ll go ahead and jump right into some major things that caused the lanes to turn out how they did.
So, Fusion does indeed force their lane swap, however Team Dragon Knights becomes aware of this happening, and is able to get their 2v2 in the top lane. This doesn’t last very long, as Nien and Trance push the wave as quickly as they can, recall and go bot lane while having Chunkyfresh teleport to the top lane, to force their 2v1. TDK responds to this by sending Smoothie bottom lane to duo lane with Seraph, while Louis gets his 1 on 1 against Irelia.
Overall these happenings make it a bit better for Fusion in the long run. But as far as the early game is concerned, it works out better for Team Dragon Knights, as they have pressure on the first Dragon, with no teleport able to come in from Irelia, and equal lanes all around.
Objective and Vision control
I’ll begin talking about the map control an objective control of both teams now. This is the first dragon taken by TDK. They see that Nintendude is in the top lane, so they begin taking their first dragon knowing that there won’t be any chance of a smite steal. Louis had come back into lane while Nien was still there and forced him out with his ultimate. They have complete vision control over this Dragon and know that there isn’t any vision from Fusion on it. Overall a good example of Dragon control from TDK, although the top lane turret does take a lot of damage from Nintendude and Chunky, in return.
This is the second dragon attempt by TDK. They force the backs of Alistar and Corki, which means a relatively safe attempt, but there is still the threat of Nintendude coming to steal it. Nintendude does attempt to steal the Dragon, but actually misses his smite, which allows TDK to get their second dragon. This was a very poor attempt by TDK. It was extremely rushed, they didn’t have a guaranteed smite on it, and they lost mid tower for it. They’ve essentially just been trading dragons for Towers, which, in terms of efficiency and late game ability, the towers are actually worth more, until TDK can actually get their 5th dragon.
After this point, it’s really just downhill for Team Dragon Knights. They don’t have a gold lead, which was essential for them to transition into later parts of the game. Fusion plays their comp extremely well. Fusion is zoning out the players of Team Dragon Knights with four of their members, while Chunky makes sure that Seraph can’t leave top lane without giving up their turret. Fusion makes sure that side lanes are pushed, they push mid until it goes down and then instantly begins rotating to the bottom lane to try and pick the bottom lane tier two turret up. They’ve met their win conditions. It’s just up to them to make sure not to throw, and they don’t. They play their composition perfectly in regards to knowing that they can siege any of these towers, with no threat of an engage due to Seraph being tied top, and even if he does come, Alistar can knock him away. They can harass TDK while they are defending towers. They can fight TDK in the jungle if any of them get caught out while rotating. Overall it was a very methodical game by Fusion, although there were glimpses of their weak warding in regards to Dragon.
It was a really good game, and I think it was the best series of any of the teams this week, as it really showcased the strengths and weaknesses of what I feel are top contenders in the NACS.
Poor draft from TDK, while Fusion has a strong one.
Fusion plays their early game correctly.
TDK still showcase their Dragon control.
TDK show their priority of Dragon over turrets, which is arguably worse to do.
Fusion showcase their ability to rotate amongst the map very well.
Fusion played to their win conditions, while TDK didn’t.