EU LCS W3D2 Pick/Ban Recap
As always for ease of reference here are my Tier 1's for each role before we get to the recaps. (Patch 6.1)
Top Tier 1: Ryze, Gangplank, Lulu, Fiora, Lissandra
Mid Tier 1: Lulu, Ryze, Gangplank, Viktor, Zed
Jungle Tier 1: Rek'Sai, Lee Sin, Elise, Kindred, Graves, Nidalee
ADC Tier 1: Lucian, Corki, Kalista, Tristana, Miss Fortune
Support Tier 1: Bard, Alistar, Thresh, Janna, Trundle, Braum
As a quick note keep in mind that Kindred is banned in competitive currently due to a bug.
OG vs EL
OG (Blue): Quinn, Elise, Leblanc
EL (Red): Tahm Kench, Kalista, Gangplank
OG (Blue): Alistar; Lucian, Lulu; Lee Sin, Poppy
EL (Red): Corki, Rek'Sai; Viktor, Zilean; Fiora
A lot of strong picks made it through bans here, and Ryze slips all the way through picks as well. As always you can assume I'd prefer him to basically every pick besides Lulu, but I won't mention him during the analysis as I assume both teams just don't play him. Teams have started to value the OP trio of Lulu/Ryze/GP less and less and while I can understand it based on their results thus far I don't agree with it and I think their lackluster record is largely a result of teams having little practice with them due to them always being banned in scrims.
OG first picks Alistar. While I value Lulu and Corki much higher given that both are up it's fine to first pick something else here as they are not a very enticing combo so OG is likely to get one on the next rotation. I would actually have preferred they first pick Poppy here because there are three (four counting Ryze) powerful flex picks up and they are all magic damage (Lissandra/Lulu/Corki), so taking the powerful AD flex would give you by far the most options. Alistar also continues to be overrated for me and is just a very good and maybe the best Support rather than clearly the best like he is consistently picked.
EL first rotation Corki/Rek'Sai. Solid picks here, I would slightly prefer Lulu to Corki but it's close and grabbing the physical Rek'Sai with Elise banned is a huge deal amongst all these AP champions available. Poppy would have been strong again as well but these are good picks.
OG take Lucian/Lulu, perfect power picks here that are the best in role and great together.
EL second rotation Viktor/Zilean, and we finally see a Zilean Support. I think he's a viable though rather narrow pick, but you really need to have a big short-range carry to get full value out of him. EL doesn't have one to this point, and with Top their only remaining role this is a massive Fiora signal as by far the most powerful champion of this type available, and they already have plenty of magic damage with Viktor/Corki. Viktor is a great blind and fine matchup versus Lulu that makes sense to set up the possible Fiora. The problem with these picks is the Zilean really falls off if OG just take Fiora themselves with their next rotation, so unless you are prepared to play Jax or maybe Quinn as well you should either not pick Zilean or grab the Fiora here. In a vacuum I'd prefer they just take Lissandra/Thresh to keep their solo lane options open for the last pick.
OG elect to take Lee Sin/Poppy however, failing to deny the Fiora from EL. Lee is the strongest Jungler on the board so no issue there, but taking Poppy over Fiora here is just silly on multiple levels. First, Fiora is simply a stronger Top in a vacuum than Poppy in my opinion. Second, as mentioned above Fiora is the absolute perfect last pick for EL's composition, and she has a fine matchip into Poppy so you are basically just giving them their ideal champion for zero penalty. Third and perhaps most importantly, Fiora is absolutely insane with Lulu! Lulu is the absolute best champion to pair with Fiora in teamfights, turning her into a completely unstoppable force should she get rolling. Fiora was just a slam dunk pick here and it's a huge mistake by OG not to grab her. Their composition is still strong, but would have been an absolute powerhouse with her, as in my opinion Fiora/Lulu/Lucian are the strongest possible carry trio in the game right now.
EL last pick Fiora, a perfect pick for their composition as mentioned above and their composition is very powerful with plenty of teamfight power and an extremely strong four man core with massive wave clear to allow Fiora to split as well.
This was a very interesting draft due to the bans allowing so many powerful picks through, and both teams did well to assemble a cohesive composition in the end. That being said OG missed a huge opportunity to crush the draft by taking Fiora and EL may have been left out to dry had OG done so, so both teams left something to be desired for me. Very even draft overall.
VIT vs GIA
VIT (Blue): Tahm Kench, Shen, Corki
GIA (Red): Poppy, Lulu, Elise
VIT (Blue): Gangplank; Graves, Thresh; Miss Fortune, Kennen
GIA (Red): Morgana, Kalista; Ahri, Lee Sin; Lissandra
Once again Ryze slips all the way through, my preference for him to all these picks if either tema could play him still applies.
VIT first pick Gangplank. Glad to see this pick not being disrespected like the other two, and in my opinion a mistake by GIA as there really aren't huge power picks for them to pick up in response.
GIA grab Morgana/Kalista. I'm always ok but not thrilled with early Kalista picks, but the Morgana is just bizarre. She does have good synergy with Kalista's ultimate, but she offers zero value against VIT's first pick GP and the traditional Alistar/Thresh pairings with Kalista are both available. Perhaps they had a champion that gets huge value out of Black Shield in mind for later in the draft or wanted a pick composition (in which case Thresh would still work great), but this is puzzling. I would have gone for Lucian/Lissandra here.
VIT take Graves/Thresh. Graves is a strong pick and I don't mind if teams want his playstyle but I really dislike willingly going into a double ADC composition when you have GP already. Aside from stacking physical damage I just feel GP is at his best when he has ample aoe CC to set him up and taking a Jungler with none when Rek'Sai is still on the board is nonsensical. I can see why teams might think it's good as teams are forced to dive into the double ADC's making GP's barrels all the more threatening as an anti-dive tool, but it doesn't work out that well in practice as teams have an easy time forcing skirmishes or flanking with your paucity of CC. Thresh is of course fine as an early pick to hide your composition, again Lucian/Lissandra were slam dunk picks for me here though that would have made their teamfight absolutely monstrous.
GIA second rotation Ahri/Lee Sin. These are strong picks, I'd slightly prefer Lissandra to Ahri just on flex potential but these are both powerful picks that work well with the pick potential of Kalista/Morg, and Ahri is a safe blind.
VIT last rotation Miss Fortune/Kennen. These are completely unexpected picks that turn them into a four threat composition with immense mid-range threat. I don't really like it however, as you've now doubled down with another champion in MF that needs aoe CC setup (like GP) and Kennen is the only champion reliably bringing it on the team, with Thresh sometimes accomplishing it if he can engage with hook and Box on a carry but that's fairly rare. I also just don't think Kennen is very strong at the moment and blinding him is pretty silly to me. I'm a broken record at this point, but Lissandra/Lucian would have been perfect picks to round out their composition bringing the necessary CC with Liss and a more versatile, powerful, and safe ADC against a team with Ahri/Kalista.
GIA last pick Lissandra, a great choice who has kill pressure against Kennen while fitting in with their pick composition and threatening MF in teamfights.
This was a poor draft by both teams for me, but GIA main crimes of giving up GP and first picking Morgana were fairly negated by VIT failing to set GP up well and making themselves quite vulnerable to the pick composition GIA has assembled. GIA have kill pressure in both solo lanes and with huge threat in both picks and teamfights I give their composition a solid edge. Kennen is also the only AP threat on VIT so if GIA can shut him down early (which is very possible and he is very poor at laning from behind) they can easily snowball teamfights with Zhonyas on Ahri/Lissandra negating a ton of VIT's damage.
UOL vs G2
UOL (Blue): Lissandra, Zed, Tahm Kench
G2 (Red): Gangplank, Kalista, Ryze
UOL (Blue): Lulu; Fiora, Alistar; Ezreal, Rek'Sai
G2 (Red): Corki, Lucian; Poppy, Nidalee; Braum
UOL smartly first pick Lulu, Corki is the other consideration but either is fine and I slightly prefer Lulu due to being Tier 1 in two roles (where Corki Mid is Tier 2 in my opinion).
G2 first rotation Corki/Lucian. As I mentioned above I don't love forcing Corki to go Mid early but here I think it's worth it as with Kalista banned they are able to knock UOL down the power curve signifincantly at the ADC position with these two picks. Really smart picks to combo with their Kalista ban, I ultimately still don't love giving up Lulu to force yourself into Corki Mid but it's definitely an interesting ploy and I applaud G2 for thinking in this manner even if this particular application isn't perfect.
UOL grab Fiora/Alistar next. I absolutely love pairing Fiora with Lulu as always and Alistar is of course a fine early pick, great choices here.
G2 second roration Poppy/Nidalee. This clearly gives them incredible siege potential and UOL needs to quickly adjust to pick up wave clear or hard engage with their next selections. I really like these picks by G2 as they are both powerful and synergystic with their first two selections, and again display good thinking to set up a good situation for Trick to play Nidalee which is a champion he likes that not many other EU teams play right now.
UOL last rotation Ezreal/Rek'Sai. These are fine standard picks for what's on the board, but don't do a whole lot to remedy their problematic situation should G2 get ahead and siege. Rek'Sai doesn't provide hard enough engage, and while Ezreal brings some waveclear it's not nearly reliable enough to remedy this problem. I'd have preferred they take Tristana/Lee Sin here, as Lee would bring more engage potential and Tristana has huge synergy with Lulu in addition to her early pushing power increasing their chances of getting an early lead and denying G2 the opportunity to get an advantage they can abuse (especially compared to the weak early game of blue Ezreal). Still UOL's composition is very powerful and if Fiora gets rolling G2 will have absolutely no answer so they are by no means screwed here, but if they do fall behind they will have little way out.
G2 last pick Braum. He's a strong lane with Lucian and does offer good disengage, in addition to blocking Ezreal ultimate which is one of their two sources of wave clear. That all makes him a solid choice, although I do think Janna would have made their siege completely unassailable by easily denying both Alistar and Rek'Sai's engage, and she also is an excellent laner with Lucian.
This was a really strong draft from both teams, and while I think G2 out did UOL from a thinking standpoint it's largely negated by UOL having slightly stronger champions led by the insane Lulu/Fiora combo. I'll give the slight edge to G2 as they can abuse their lead if the team is ahead on gold where as UOL is more reliant on specifically getting Fiora going, but a very close and great draft.
*Post game note*
Perkz is really a phenomenal Corki player and that game combined with a few other recent ones has changed my opinion on Corki Mid to some degree. His early-mid game presence is simply massive and given he's also a safe blind he will be slotting in by Viktor as a Tier 1 Mid going forward. I do still slightly prefer him as ADC though but this makes their first rotation of Corki/Lucian even more impressive in my eyes.
FNC vs SPY
FNC (Blue): Fiora, Graves, Kalista
SPY (Red): Gangplank, Poppy, Tahm Kench
FNC (Blue): Corki; Nidalee, Braum; Lucian, Shen
SPY (Red): Ezreal, Elise; Thresh, Ryze; Lux
FNC first pick Corki over Ryze and Lulu, this is fine as they are very close to me and the presence of both solo laners means taking one here isn't as necessary. Gamsu has played pretty much exclusively tanks since joining FNC also, so perhaps he isn't comfortable on Ryze and thus it wouldn't actually be a flex pick for them.
SPY first rotation Ezreal/Elise. Perhaps with Corki on the other side they wanted to deny the popular Corki/Ezreal combination, but with Lucian up i don't care for this at all. Elise is always a fine early pick, but considering Ryze (and Lulu) is up and Corki is already on FNC I don't see the need to take the AP Jungle source so early. Lucian + Lulu would be the picks for me here.
FNC grab Nidalee/Braum next. They are clearly laying claim to another poke/siege comp here, and I really dislike doing it this early with this many power picks available. Perhaps they wanted to deny them from SPY as Ezreal/Elise fit in poke as well and they do offer little engage potential to combat FNC's siege, but showing your hand this early with mediocre picks in terms of power is entirely suspect to me. I'd much prefer Lucian/Rek'Sai here to secure strong physical damage sources and leave Lulu or Ryze as the Top lane option last rotation.
SPY grab Thresh/Ryze. While I certainly think Ryze is a worthwhile pick in general neither of these picks do much against FNC's obvious poke, and the composition in general does little to support Ryze with CC or frontline. I'd rather they took Lissandra here to threaten the possible double ADC's and bring much more engage to the table. Thresh/Bard/Alistar all would bring similar engage potential here so any of them are fine, and Leona should be kept in mind as an option against these compositions as well.
FNC last rotation Lucian/Shen. Lucian is an easy pick here to combo excellently with Corki/Nid on the siege and the need for physical damage making it easy to shift Corki Mid. I don't really like the Shen however, as he is pretty much a free lane for Ryze to scale against and hardly a split push threat against him either. I'd rather they just had a generic peeling Tank to siege with them, and Gnar would have been an excellent choice to fill this role.
SPY last pick Lux. This is not at all what I was expecting here and I have mixed feelings about this pick. Spy certainly does have a lot of CC to set up picks for Lux and she can easily farm out the lane against Corki while providing massive wave clear to combat FNC's siege. The problem I have with the pick is this is now maybe the worst Ryze pick I've seen as he has almost no frontline or speed boost to help him navigate the poke and huge mid-range threat brought by FNC's composition. They really just have no engage options and are entirely reliant on catching someone with a hook/cocoon/bind to stop a siege, which FNC should be able to avoid if they play carefully. I really would have preferred they put Ryze Mid and bring some form of hard engage Top whether it be Lissandra/Malphite/Hecarim even Maokai, just anything to give them a chance to stop FNC's siege. Even sending Ezreal Mid and picking Sivir to allow Ryze to chase down FNC. The situation they are in isn't terrible as they basically matched poke compositions and they do outscale, but they will be outpressured Bot and Mid early on and in a poke vs poke matchup gaining the first lead is everything. Slight edge to FNC here, but I don't like either teams champion prioritization this draft.
ROC vs H2K
ROC (Blue): Shen, Tahm Kench, Lulu
H2K (Red): Ryze, Gangplank, Rek'Sai
ROC (Blue): Alistar; Graves, Lissandra; Kalista, Quinn
H2K (Red): Poppy, Elise; Corki, Trundle; Jayce
ROC first pick Alistar despite Corki being up which I strongly dislike, as Corki has equal power to Alistar at two positions.
H2K first rotation Poppy/Elise. These are a strong pairing for sure but I'd prefer they grab Corki/Poppy as they are easily the two strongest flex picks on the board and pair fantastically with each other as dual flex picks at four different positions while being great in siege comps and providing opposing damage types. They are an absolutely phenomenal first rotation pairing and missing out on them here is a huge mistake to me.
ROC grab Graves/Lissandra. As much as I like Lissandra in general she's not particularly good against either of H2K's picks so far and Corki would be a far superior choice here. Graves is fine and makes sense as a pairing to provide huge burst potential of opposing damage types with Liss, but I'd much prefer they just took Rek'Sai/Corki here.
H2K grab Corki/Trundle next. Corki is an easy pick, I don't really like the Trundle though as he's really not great against any of ROC's picks so far, I'd prefer Bard/Thresh here but Trundle is certainly fine.
ROC last rotation Kalista/Quinn. Well this was certainly unexpected, as they go for the triple ADC composition. I do like the composition in a vacuum as Alistar and Lissandra are excellent complementary champions for this, but picking triple ADC into a team with Poppy and two semi-tanks as well (Elise/Trundle) is just not wise in my opinion as itemization now becomes insanely efficient for these champions. There's a little value in these picks in that Lissandra/Quinn can swap depending on H2K's last pick, but this just isn't the time to pull this out in my opinion as H2K's frontline combined with Corki's massive burst damage is going to make teamfighting really difficult. I'd much prefer their composition with standard power picks here like Lucian + Viktor/Ahri. The one thing I will give them is that when you are an underdog team I don't mind picking an oddball composition with unusual snowball potential to create a high variance game and try and steal a win, I just wish they hadn't given H2K this many tools against it.
H2K last pick Jayce. I don't really like this pick as he doesn't really have an advantageous lane against Quinn or Lissandra and is merely ok against ROC's composition in teamfights. Something like Viktor/Leblanc/Ahri could have been much more threatening to the triple ADC's in teamfights and they would have been fine in terms of damage profile as Poppy with some physical damage from Corki would have been enough considering ROC has no tanks to itemize defenses heavily. Picking Ezreal and sending Corki Mid would have worked as well as Ezreal would get value from the armor on Iceborn Gauntlet in this situation.
This is another case where I don't really care for either draft but a significant edge goes to H2K as they should easily win due to item efficiency if they don't allow ROC to snowball early.