Nov 23 2015 - 9:15 pm
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Analysis on Early Game Starts for OG vs TSM Game 1 and CLG vs JAG Game 2

OG vs TSM Game 1 In the very beginning of the game both teams take up defensive positions. They spread out their trinket wards to cover the entrances to the each jungle area.
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OG vs TSM Game 1

In the very beginning of the game both teams take up defensive positions. They spread out their trinket wards to cover the entrances to the each jungle area. TSM’s duo is spotted by Niels trinket warding the bot lane tri bush. OG decided to swap their duo top lane. The first reason they would this is to minimize the off chances that Hauntzer can snowball in a 1v1 situation. If he doesn’t get going TSM’s overall early game drops down and even if TSM matched the lane swap it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. OG can play standard comfortably against TSM. The second reason is lane swaps require more strategic play. Different scenarios will play out which require different counter plays. TSM so happens to be a new team where their strategic play and communication are worse. The players may have experience dealing with these types of scenarios, but working as a team facing them is a whole different story.  Finally, the main reason is so they can set up their level 2 gank mid.

OG starts red buff so they can quickly attempt a level 2 cheese gank mid. This has been done often in lane swaps by Chinese teams during LPL summer split. The red buff start ensures you get level 2 when killing raptors, which is the closest camp on the side to the mid lane. The second small thing to note on the red buff start is if the enemy support roams into your jungle they will typically trinket ward and check the buff in that jungle. If you take the buff it diminishes the chances they will slow down your jungle progression. TSM decide to start on bot side because they didn’t expect a lane swap by OG. There were no deep wards placed so it would be a blind call to lane swap. OG doesn’t know TSM is starting in bot jungle though. You could say they are just inferring this.

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Now there are a couple of reasons why this level 2 cheese gank mid works. When in a lane swap scenario you have the option to delay your fast push or even freeze. While your AD carry slow pushes the wave you rotate your support to above the upper mid bush while your top laner approaches above the lower mid bush like displayed in the image. It becomes a two prong attack that unless the enemy mid laner trinket wards early they won’t expect this coming. The results will usually either be the enemy mid laner blowing their flash or chunking them. If you achieve nothing then you continue with the plan of pushing down the top tier-1 tower. Just keep in mind that your top laner will be behind in experience while the enemy can in theory rotate quicker to bot lane to bounce the wave sooner.  The second reason is Bjergsen is on a low mobile mid laner who is level 1. Ganking a level 2 Leblanc wouldn’t be worth it since she can just distortion away, but a level 1 or even level 2 Orianna is worth the investment. Bjergsen ends up getting chunked which alters the advantageous match up for Bjergsen against Cassiopeia.

While your support and top laner attempt the gank your jungler will be continuing the typical jungle pathing to head top lane. There is an option to invest your jungler in the level 2 gank mid, but if this fails it will put your team farther behind due to the enemy double jungle getting more time to kill camps. It is easier to get away with your support and top laner since they aren’t going to be as behind as your jungler would be. The only time you can really invest your jungler in a 3 man gank mid is when you control both top jungle regions or both bot jungle regions. Doing so allows for a quick gank check while you rotate your double jungle across river. You don’t lose much time efficiency while also proccing an opportunity to get your mid laner ahead.

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A great example is EDG vs LGD Game 2 in the summer playoffs. EDG gank mid lane with Koro1, Meiko, and Clearlove since GODV was pushed up while also controlling both bot jungle regions. If there is no chance to gank then nothing is lost, but if there is the benefits are great.

Finally, after the gank is executed OG decided to invade TSM’s red jungle knowing they have priority with Niels being on top side and POE from the mid lane since he should have more pressure after the gank. If a fight breaks out they will have the numbers advantage. OG should be anticipating TSM being on this side because the red buff is still up which means they didn’t start on top side. If TSM decided to roam into OG’s red jungle there aren’t many camps up. This means TSM would be on the bot tier-1 tower since they wouldn’t have anything to do, but we clearly see Doublelift still on his own with the 3rd wave approaching. For those that don’t know, typically in a slow push set up you want the full 3rd wave to crash on the enemy tower while you have your top laner there. This is a risky move by TSM because of the number disadvantage, but they also don’t want to get three buffed. The best play they are looking for is pouncing on Amazing who may be farming on his own while his team 3 man pushes top tier-1. Instead, they find OG invading in the jungle. They almost kill Mithy, but due to Hauntzer stunning the red buff instead of Mithy it completely turns the fight around. The fight also drags on long enough for both Niels and POE to respond. It’s a safe assumption that if TSM were to kill Mithy and continue fighting OG would still have back up to kill some TSM members. As I mentioned, this is a very risky play to make where the negatives heavily outweigh the benefits. OG gets three kills along with the gank mid to give them a punishing early game. Soaz gets an early armguard, something no Renekton player wants to face.

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Finally, after the gank is executed OG decided to invade TSM’s red jungle knowing they have priority with Niels being on top side and POE from the mid lane since he should have more pressure after the gank. If a fight breaks out they will have the numbers advantage. OG should be anticipating TSM being on this side because the red buff is still up which means they didn’t start on top side. If TSM decided to roam into OG’s red jungle there aren’t many camps up. This means TSM would be on the bot tier-1 tower since they wouldn’t have anything to do, but we clearly see Doublelift still on his own with the 3rd wave approaching. For those that don’t know, typically in a slow push set up you want the full 3rd wave to crash on the enemy tower while you have your top laner there. This is a risky move by TSM because of the number disadvantage, but they also don’t want to get three buffed. The best play they are looking for is pouncing on Amazing who may be farming on his own while his team 3 man pushes top tier-1. Instead, they find OG invading in the jungle. They almost kill Mithy, but due to Hauntzer stunning the red buff instead of Mithy it completely turns the fight around. The fight also drags on long enough for both Niels and POE to respond. It’s a safe assumption that if TSM were to kill Mithy and continue fighting OG would still have back up to kill some TSM members. As I mentioned, this is a very risky play to make where the negatives heavily outweigh the benefits. OG gets three kills along with the gank mid to give them a punishing early game. Soaz gets an early armguard, something no Renekton player wants to face.

What we can take away from this is if you’re ever in TSM’s shoes sometimes it’s better to just accept the bad start without forcing a risky play. After realizing the lane swap they can go bot lane, get one jungle camp, and push the tower with 4. They may be able to bounce the wave quicker and then push OG’s bounced wave into their top tier-1. Cassiopeia will be in a power trough going tear which allows for a time slot where they can pressure mid harder. This opens up the map for more plays while OG is just slightly ahead instead of massively ahead.

CLG vs JAG Game 2

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Going into this JAG wants to lane swap against CLG due to the Kalista and Bard lane match up. It would lighten the pressure on their duo lane while also giving Ryze the chance to farm safely with a bounced wave. What CLG does is invade top side to get deep trinket wards down. This forces JAG’s hand where if they try to start in their red jungle CLG would have knowledge to set up an ambush or harass them. CLG is essentially forcing JAG to start bot side. Now the error by JAG in this situation is not emphasizing their resources on bot side. What I mean by this is starting in CLG’s red jungle. Instead, JAG decides to accept the lane swap which not only puts them in a disadvantage state, but also gives Xmithie the option to gank the highest priority lane, Darashan’s lane.

If you focus on the jungle pathing it would push Winged onto bot side for his first route. CLG understands this so now they can have free reign on top while their bot lane just needs to set up sentries to keep them safe in case of a gank. Don’t forget it would also mean Huhi just needs to hug the top side in mid lane in order to be safe from an early gank. The error CLG makes invading is not looking to gank SoHawn top side after he already blew flash. CLG decided to greed on a possible 3-buff versus pushing Darshan ahead early on. Granted, Xmithie does eventually get Darshan ahead top side, but he could have executed this more quickly.

The biggest take away from CLG’s start is realizing what kind of openings can be both beneficial to your lanes while hurting the enemy team. Invading to force standard lanes is a great move, but there is counter play to this as I mentioned like starting JAG starting in CLG’s red jungle then possibly looking for an early tower dive. Constant awareness of what counter plays are open need to be examined and prepared by teams or else situations like this can occur.

Credits towards ESL for the VODS/images I took from their games.

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