A surprising pick came out of the TSM vs. Cloud9 match today when Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik picked Neeko for her first appearance on the LCS stage.
The early game was Broken Blade’s to control against Cloud9’s Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, who was constantly poked out of lane by Neeko. Her Shapesplitter passive, which makes every third auto attack empowered, was really useful in lane to harass Licorice and get an early CS lead. This passive is also great for splitpushing later in the game, as we saw from Broken Blade today.
Broken Blade also used her E-Q combo to full effect in the early game, punishing Licorice whenever he stepped up to farm some minions. Even though Neeko’s early game was decent, the mid game is where the pick began to shine alongside her teammates.
In this match, TSM opted for a heavy poke composition that was strengthened by its one-shot potential. With Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg on Zoe and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen on lethality Varus, Cloud9 had to avoid every single form of crowd control or risk dying. With Zoe’s Sleepy Trouble Bubble and Varus’ ultimate, Neeko’s Tangle-Barbs was another long-range root that gave TSM a chance to assassinate any target.
Although Broken Blade wasn’t able to hit many ultimates in the one-vs-one top lane, her teamfight potential with her invisibility into Pop Blossom is great. As seen here, a great flank from Broken Blade helped secure three more kills for his team and led to a Baron.
This team composition was a perfect storm for Neeko to flourish, which TSM did for a majority of the match. Unfortunately, this team composition can also easily falter should they make any sort of positioning error, which we saw toward the end of the TSM vs. Cloud9 match.
Ultimately, we saw the highs and lows of what Neeko could do on the LCS stage. If TSM didn’t make that final fatal positioning error, we might have seen Neeko’s first win on the LCS stage as well. We’ll have to wait and see whether another team will choose the Curious Chameleon again.