EDG: Worlds Diary (Day 7)
Original Post: http://www.weibo.com/p/1001603894529899019578
About the Author:
Author: EDG Sam (??)
Bio: Co-founder and Current Manager of Edward Gaming
Day 7: In Pursuit
Today marks the end to the first round of Group Stage games with the results of the LPL teams being poor. From the viewers perspective, perhaps this has been the most exciting Worlds with no absolute powerhouse dominating. There is the Flashwolves that beats Koo. Then there is the Flashwolves that manages to lose to a Wildcard team. The performances of the Western teams during groups has been particularly eye-catching. Group B’s C9, Group D’s OG, and Group C’s SKT have all practically ensured their qualifications with 3 wins.
Why is something like this happening? The opinion and analysis from China points to the Pick/Ban and Champion selection as the major issue. After the first round of scrims and practices, I feel that the Western teams have a better grasp on strategy and wave management compared to the other regions. I’ll admit that I’m no professional when it comes to tactics. However, as the saying goes, even if you’ve never tried pork, at least you know what a pig looks like (Even if you’ve never personally experienced something, at least you’ve heard about it). Therefore today, I’ll be showing off my swordsmanship in front of Guan Yu (T/L: Chinese General), displaying my mastery of the axe outside Lu Ban’s (T/L: Carpenter) front door, selling Watermelon in front of Wang Po (T/L: Farmer/Merchant. There is a story about him selling cantaloupes), and writing my resume in front of Mao Sui (T/L: Another historical figure who’s considered talented). I’ll try and act the part and guide you through my analysis of the games.
Why do I say that the western teams are better at strategy? There are a few points to consider. The first is in terms of summoner spells on mid laners. The use of teleport is an example of where Western teams have a better understanding of the current patch. Another point is in pick/ban where the traditional priority on mid lane counters has shifted to the top lane. A third example is their decision-making and execution of lane-swaps. This third point, I feel, is the main reason why Western teams have performed so well in the group stages. At the moment, the LPL team’s understanding of lane swaps is too simple and incomplete. When we decide to push down the first turret, we don’t have a system or procedure that takes into account the waves in the top and bottom lanes. The outcome of the match is therefore often decided in the first eight minutes. The wildcard teams victory over the Flashwolves today was achieved through the use of a simple laneswap, without any fighting, to destroy the top lane. They were able to achieve this victory despite being inferior in both skill and synergy. Something similar also happened in our match against SKT. Simply through a superior laneswap, they were able to build up an early lead. The emphasis on support/jungle roaming that’s commonplace in the LPL and Season 4 SSW’s impressive laning and early invades for vision control, are both made useless by a properly executed lane-swap in the current meta. After the first round of Group Stages, it appears that the LMS, Wildcard, and LPL regions are inferior to the Western and Korean regions in this regard.
You can argue that if you draft a certain team comp, that you can win in team fights or something similar later on. However, teams aren’t going to fight you when you want. By the time team fights happen, you realise that you’re already so far behind that you can’t win. In terms of champion priority, besides the bugged/op champion in this patch, it seems that there is more emphasis on the ADC’s Tristana and Sivir. These two champions make it incredibly easy to wave-clear and take down early turrets through the lane-swap. Which also allows you to invade for vision and jungle camps. Why do teams on the Blue-side place so much emphasis on Darius in the top lane? It’s because there’s always one champion that’s bound to be countered on the blue side and letting Darius get countered is more forgiving.
At the moment, the situation for the 3 teams from LPL is looking rather grim. In Group B, even though iG managed to get a single win, the other teams have all been impressive. With the group now wide open, there is still a chance for iG in the second round of the group stages. However, if they don’t make the right adjustments and fix their strategic issues, it’s hard to say who will qualify.
In Group C, even though EDG managed two wins in the first round, it is clear that we are tactically inferior to SKT. If we fail to beat H2K in the upcoming games, there is still a chance that we’ll be sent packing.
In Group D, LGD failed to get even a single win. The only thing they can do now is wait for a miracle to happen. If they still can’t figure out their opponents tactics and choose to mindlessly rely on their mechanics, then the only chance for them to qualify is in their dreams.
The LPL scene at the moment is lacking in strategic and open-minded talents in the backroom staff. If you wan’t to talk raw mechanics or team fighting, I think nobody can disagree that Western teams are lacking. However, when the gap in skill’s not that big, tactical understanding and adaptation more than compensates for this. Skilled players who can think and express themselves often go on to pursue other careers. People who do analysis and try to enter the industry rely to much on breaking the status quo in hopes of making it big. The scene in China is truly missing talents who are willing to fill the less glamorous positions.
For the second round of group stages we shall fight with our lives on the line. In the unavoidable battles ahead, may the wise man win!
To all the viewers out there, you’re only seeing what’s going on on the outside. Instead of merely jumping on the obvious criticisms, try and understand what’s going on behind the scenes. To the readers, are you ready?
PS: The images are from the Riot-organised fan meet. The reason there’s only four players in the images is because Pawn’s back condition made it difficult for him to attend while Koro’s still recovering from his neck injury. Please don’t comment and ask why we’re not letting him start, attend events, or even appear in pictures.