I’m John ‘Rnglol’ Crichton, ex-coach for most notably Dignitas EU, H2K and SHC. Today I’ll be taking a look at last week’s EU LCS encounter between Roccat and Fnatic. What I’ll do is analyse the game from the draft phase to the end, giving my opinion on what happened and why. At the end I’ll leave some tips for both teams moving forward into the next week. I’ll briefly touch on item choices and when people should be returning to base, but for the most part will focus on the actual game-play.
- Win Conditions
- Level One
- Laning Phase
- Mid Game
- Late game
- Tips moving forward
Ban and Picks
Roccat Ban 1:
Huni had a lot of success on the champion during this split and Roccat obviously didn’t feel like dealing with it. Rumble offers a great team fight presence, especially around objectives and small corridors through his ultimate. It should also be noted that Rumble tends to do extremely well in lane against Maokai, a champion that Overpow has played a lot.
Fnatic Ban 1:
With Rumble banned, not many of Huni’s champions punish a Maokai in lane. His other go-to this split has been Lissandra, a champion that Maokai does really well against during the Laning phase and even better in a lane swap due to his early level 2 from soloing a camp.
Roccat Ban 2:
Another target ban, one of Febiven’s strongest champions that he has performed on and has been ban or pick status against Fnatic. Zed can make games really tricky due to the fact he slots into a 1-3-1 formation easily as well as the fact that not many assassins are left viable in the meta.
Fnatic Ban 2:
Roccat managed to pick up one of few wins the previous week through a Juggermaw composition and Fnatic obviously didn’t feel like dealing with the flavour of the month.
Roccat Ban 3:
Sejuani is really strong on Patch 5.5.. After floating around viability, the Cinderhulk changes have turned her into a monster. We’ve not seen Fnatic run it this season but it may not suit Jankos and therefore Roccat take it off the table.
Fnatic Ban 3:
Roccat have had mixed success on this champion so far, Fnatic don’t want Nukeduck on a champion he can make solo plays on and therefore eliminate the possibility.
Roccat rotation 1:
Roccat chooses to pick up a jungler first rotation; nothing wrong with this as Rek’Sai offers great map control through her ultimate and can avoid vision with her tunnels for early ganks. I don’t feel she is as elite this patch due to the scaling of tanks now. It should be noted that this pick also counters Rengar, which Reignover has played a lot this season, due to her sonar system.
Fnatic rotation 1:
Fnatic opt to take Lissandra. She provides teams with great flank engages, can create picks and is overall just a nuisance to deal with for backlines. She’s one of the best flex picks in the game at the moment with an ability to play both mid and top, it means she can become a key tool in building your composition. Especially as red side where you have the final pick of the draft, Huni’s impact with the champion may mindgame Roccat into assuming it would be heading top.
Annie has been seen as a flex pick in other regions but in EU we haven’t seen an Annie top or mid yet. It would be safe to assume this is for support. It suits Yellowstar and provides him with a champion he can engage on, as well as a strong roam and lane.
Roccat rotation 2:
Morgana is another great Flex pick filling 3 roles and brings a lot to the table. Also, she does really well against Lissandra. While i doubt that Nukeduck would be taking this mid, having a top/support flex is really crucial in drafting phases while fleshing out your comp.
3rd flex of the draft so far. Taking a double flex rotation in picks is sometimes good, but it’s not always the best. Lulu provides teams with a strong lane, high base damages and of course the cc and utility of her ultimate. Mainly seen in hyper carry compositions lately, but traditionally she has been a counter to assassins. It should be noted that she is also a strong counter to Rengar and I’m wondering if that was the aim of this champion select for Roccat. Personally, I feel Roccat should be picking up an ADC such as Graves/Corki to suit the Morgana picks and Rek’Sai mid-game. It’s fairly unlikely that Fnatic will run a Lulu with Liss/Annie.
Fnatic rotation 2:
Fnatic opt to take Zac. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Zac in the top lane and with the recent change to the tank jungle item it’s safe to assume this is a jungle pick. Zac provides a solid engage and can dive turrets fairly easily. His lane ganks are usually unseen as he comes from over a wall and lands on your face, knocking you up and then slowing you down. Overall Fnatic’s comp is starting to look very ‘all-in’ so far.
Graves has been a really standard pick in the meta. He pretty much took over Lucians role of being the mid-game fighting machine with lots of burst and a passive to beef him up in team fights. Again suits Fnatic’s in-your-face draft.
Roccat rotation 3:
Pretty much the beta Graves. He does everything that Graves does but a little worse in the early game. Having taken a Morgana and Lulu in the last rotation, this pick left me a little bit confused. I would have assumed something like Jinx or Twitch would have been coming out for the Lulu to compliment. Even Sivir, who has a fairly strong laning phase, could have been really strong pick against Graves since her ultimate can synergise with Lulu in disengage or chase scenarios.
Roccat again with a surprising pick. Jarvan is somewhat of a carry top laner in the sense that he likes to build damage and jump into the back line, blow something up and then shred the enemy tanks with his Dragon Strike. Now I’m not too sure if I like Jarvan as a blind pick. Roccat may have assumed the Lissandra was going top due to Huni’s previous games on the champion but it’s still a flex and I would have rather seen Nukeduck on something he can carry with like Ahri then have Overpow on the Lulu top. Both of which would have done fine against a Lissandra. Even if they really wanted a carry top, Irelia was still open who also does really well against Liss and is less likely to get punished for a slow start to the game.
Fnatic rotation 3:
Fnatic finish off the all-in dive the back line comp with Hecarim. He’s been a huge pick in Asia and somewhat made an appearance in EU too. Generally he will make plays off Teleport and snowball the mid or bot lane. Returning to top with homeguard to shove waves and push the lane out.
Pre-game Lane match-up analysis
This is a strange match up that can fluctuate on gold/xp. Jarvan can farm at range with Dragon Strike and Demacian Standard should he get behind and trades evenly with most champions. Hecarim has a distinct advantage in the sustain from his Spirit of Dread however and can escape Jarvan’s Cataclysm with his Onslaught of Shadows . Pre-6 is where you need to hurt Hecarim and abuse the no flash summoner, since Jarvan provides a knock up to help Rek’Sai set up a gank, it’s very possible to snowball this lane. It’s worth noting that side plays an important factor in this as shown in the image below;
The Red Arrows indicate Hecarim’s escape opportunities at 6, while the Blue Arrow indicated Jarvan’s with Flag and Drag available. Consequently, the blue arrow also represents Hecarim’s landing strip should he choose to use his ult in lane, while shoving Jarvan in, during gank opportunities.
One of the less exciting mid-lane match ups. Lulu tends to bully Lissandra a little, forcing her to farm with Ice Shard from range. Neither really has a huge advantage or kill potential solo. If Lulu can land a polymorph as a gank is coming in however, she can prevent Lissandra from using her Glacial Path to escape. On the flipside, Lissandra can root Lulu in place for a gank after initiating with Glacial Path. It’s all very dependant on gank timing and what spells are available, including flashes. I would say that both champions have extremely good roaming potential as well. With Lulu’s high mobility she can cross the map fairly quick and with her Ultimate, she can help dive towers without much issue. Same with Lissandra, she can avoid vision with her Glacial Path while also flanking an enemy and setting up a kill through her CC.
The first image represents Lissandra’s ability to avoid vision top side and respectively the second image bottom side.
Rek’Sai is hugely favoured in the early to mid game, having better duels and presence on the map she is able to get into the enemy jungle and cause havoc in most match ups, while avoiding vision to create great opportunities with her tunnels. Combined with the fact she farms super fast, it’s all about how much she can punish Zac early on before he becomes a Cinderhulk warrior.
The first image shows Rek’Sai’s ability to avoid vision and gank from behind in the bottom lane. While the second is the respective of top lane. Likewise Zac can also come from the reverse, using his Sling-Shot to jump over walls.
Generally people may assume that Morgana counters Annie since the Black Shield will immune her stun and absorb some of the magic damage. But in this particular matchup experienced Annie players will sit on 3 stacks of passive and proc the stun through her Molten Shield, should the Morgana not shield. If she does Black Shield, you hold the Molten Shield and you now have a long window of opportunity before Black shield is off cooldown. It’s also fair to note that whoever has the lane pushing will be at both an advantage for Teleports from their own team, but a disadvantage should the enemy Teleport.
In this image, the scenario is that Blue side are pushing. With Morgana now having an extremely easy time to land a binding, Jarvan can also Teleport in (see purple arrow) and Cataclysm shortening the area even more. On the flipside, the red arrows indicate the Teleport opportunity of Hecarim, allowing him to come from behind and use his ultimate.
In this image, the scenario is that Red side are pushing. Annie will have a harder time landing Tibbers due to the distance between tower and lane. The red arrows represent Hecarim’s opportunity to Teleport and dive, while the purple being Jarvan’s.
Win Conditions for Roccat:
- Have Rek’Sai dominate the early-mid and snowball top
- Gain Teleport advantage and roam to help bot
- Make sure to have deep vision for picks through Morgana and prevent Zac engages
- Kite in team fights with Lulu and shred tanks with Jarvan Q to avoid an all-in
Basically, Roccat need to get Lucian out of the laning phase without being too far behind, avoiding Graves abusing his early-mid power spikes. They need to pressure top lane early on and the fact that Hecarim is open to ganks due to no flash. Securing vision deep around mid is also important to prevent Zac from snowballing the Lissandra. Creating picks is a must, Fnatic have a much better all-in for team fights and Roccat need to be aware of that. Fights will generally need to be disengaged and help the back line. If Jarvan can get flanks off with Rek’Sai to blow up Graves, that would help as he can assist his back line to clear up the tanks.
Roccat have clear win conditions that they must meet otherwise they can be punished really hard since the dynamic does not suit what the correct format should be. Nukeduck on the carry champion and Overpow providing a more supportive role.
Win Conditions for Fnatic:
- Prevent a snowball top and try to gain Teleport advantage
- Protect bottom lane and don’t get shoved in
- Use Teleport to snowball bottom
- Take as many team fights as possible in the mid-game in order to abuse Graves and Hecarims power spikes
Fnatic are a little more loose in their win conditions due to the fact they have 2 scaling front liners and powerful spikes in base champion abilities. They just need to avoid Rek’Sai having a strong impact early and get their lanes even or ahead to play into the Hecarim Teleports. Fnatic overall have a comp that suits the dynamic of the team, dive into the back line Jungle/Top with a mid laner who can form a 1-3-1 while the ADC provides wave clear and support engage. There is tonnes of mobility to work with, but they need to be aware that Rek’Sai and Lulu are also able to cover ground quickly.
Both teams opt to ‘safe start’. What’s important here is that teams gain information, but nothing too important is gained other than the fact that Hecarim has decided to start Flask without pots. This should indicate that he’s looking to do a camp and then buy. Other item choices that should be noted is Jarvan starting with a flask instead of a long sword. This isn’t optimal, he should be looking to build damage and get a gank from Rek’Sai asap.
It’s also worth noting that Roccat choose to stop the Red side Gromp instead of taking Krugs. While Hecarim starts Raptors and Jarvan decides to help Rek’Sai on Gromp instead of taking control of his wave, this is also suboptimal.
In this scenario where Bottom lane doesn’t want to start Krugs and you have a lane top that you probably want to gank level 3 or 4. Starting on the red side is the correct choice.
Scenario is as follows; Hecarim does Raptors and Teleports to lane, he has level 2 advantage and uses it to bully/shove top. This leaves him wide open to Rek’Sai ganks as by the time she comes Jarvan will have his combo to knock Hecarim up. He has no Teleport to return to lane, losing farm and xp.
Hecarim Teleports to top lane with cloth armor and level 2. He’s opted to take Q-W, so he can out trade Jarvan in the lane and sustain himself from that along with the flask. It’s also fair to note that Jarvan has 3 of his own caster minions up from the previous wave. Really Jarvan should just concede pressure and wait for a gank.
Timer on Hecarims Teleport is now 4:00 due to the use on tower and will be back at 6:25. This should be recorded as a window for Roccat to take advantage of.
In terms of jungle routes, Rek’Sai goes for a full clear which is really greedy. Meanwhile Zac opts to take bottom side scuttler to protect his lanes, they can now shove out and ward tribush to be safe. All options for Rek’Sai to gank bot are now countered by vision, he has to be aware of this (bottom lane clearly ping out the Tri ward) and look towards Mid/Top to make something happen. Trading Rek’Sai’s flash for Lissandra’s would create pressure around the mid lane.
It’s also fair to note that top lane is shoved in now with no ward or scuttler protection for Huni. I can only assume that it was noted by Huni that Rek’Sai started blue side, due to the late lane appearance of Jarvan (who must have been helping Rek’Sai with a pull).
First Jungle Back
Zac and Hecarim back at the same time here. Timed with Rek’Sai’s clear, which is either luck or really impressive timing by Reignover.
Zac now operates in the top side jungle to cover Hecarim, as does Rek’Sai as he now realises that Top is the only lane to gank. It should also be noted that Jarvan has still not based to buy. While Hecarim has shopped twice. Both Junglers once.
While it could be seen as a fair move to lane gank the Hecarim here, really what Rek’Sai needs to be doing is getting the scuttler and heading towards his enemies jungle to create pressure while Jarvan heads back to base to pick up some damage. It’s not guaranteed that a counter gank won’t happen since they have no eyes on Hecarim.
Hecarim and Zac engage while Rek’Sai has been camping in the bush. Overpow opts to E/Q out, which is probably best considering Hecarim still has ignite, then Jankos decides to engage 2v1 and gets chunked out. This has been a complete waste of time for Roccat and they are struggling to make impactful decisions.
Hecarim bases and buys Ninja Tabi, there is little to no chance of Jarvan getting a solo kill at this point now.
Fnatic then take the top side scuttler and pink the middle bush in the river. This means when Hecarim hits 6 he can now roam towards mid with his ult which is a new animal Roccat have to deal with. Fnatic have just been on top the whole of this early game and Roccat have yet to answer, they have not been optimal nor followed any standard guidelines.
First Dragon Preparation
Again Reignover sets up vision protection for his mid/bot side placing a deep ward behind the enemy red and takes the bottom side scuttler. While Febiven shoves in a siege wave to let this happen.
Rek’Sai clears out the pink and heads toward Zacs red side jungle. But at this point Zac is 2 steps ahead, concerned with controlling bot side as Hecarim will be 6 soon to escape any ganks top anyway, as well as abuse his teams power bottom and the wave being shoved mid he opts to take the first dragon of the game.
Now this is something that all teams should do whenever looking to gain deep vision and take objectives. If you have the pressure in the bottom side (where Lucian has based) shove your wave mid and go take the objective. Roccat fail to realise exactly what is going on here. They should know better than this.
While i like the fact that Jankos has placed deep vision and a pink in the enemy red side it’s far too late. His top lane is shoved in and gank opportunities are slim. Nobody is mid. Though it does prevent Zac from ganking mid on this side in the short future, that is but a small win.
It’s also worth noting that Hecarims Teleport is still on CD for another 10-15 seconds at this point, while Jarvan hasn’t used his. They could have contested this dragon opportunity if they read what Fnatic was doing better.
In reality, this is a huge chance missed to even out what has been a lackluster start to the game for Roccat.
Realising the Roccat win conditions
After giving blue over to Lulu, Rek’Sai notices that Zac is low heading towards his red buff. This is a prime opportunity for him to invade and take advantage of those wards he placed earlier.
He plays it smart and comes over the Baron pit wall to avoid the vision. While Lulu shoves mid and Morgana roams upward incase a 3v3 breaks out. However, Lissandra goes to base. Morgana is forced back towards bottom, since it’s being shoved, a potential 4v3 turns into a 2v2 with Lulu lagging behind unable to help in time.
Whenever you are looking to roam from mid, it’s not important that you push the entire wave here, so long as you create an uneven balance then move to join the potential fight asap.
Rek’Sai gains first blood but trades a kill over since he’s just outside the range of Lulu who could flash ult him. Lulu then makes the aggressive play to re engage the fight while Jarvan has already decided to walk away. Had Roccat combined the Lulu ult knock up into the Jarvan E/Q a kill could have potentially happened and went 2 for 1. But both players were on different pages, allowing Hecarim to escape under tower.
Overall Roccat’s two flashes are traded for 1 and 1 kill a piece, more of a win for Fnatic even though Lulu had roamed up to the fight. Keep in mind a few waves are under Jarvan’s tower at this point, so he’s also losing farm.
Abusing the Power Spike
Rek’Sai ults toward mid to cover while Lulu is in base, the wave is shoved in so Lissandra looks to make a roam bot. Instead finding a pink ward which she clears out. Roccat assume the situation is fine, but Lissandra moves down through the river instead and Hecarim Teleports into the tri bush with his newly bought home-guard boots.
In reality, Roccat should have been aware of Lissandra’s movements. Lulu’s failed attempt to roam top has lead to this. Also providing Roccat had any vision in the river at this point they would have seen Lissandra roaming down and conceded the pressure bottom.
This is a great play by Fnatic and once again they are two steps ahead of Roccat, who opt to shove in the wave mid losing a Kill and tower bot. Fnatic also don’t lose Teleport advantage since Jarvan went to Teleport onto the bot tower and decided against it.
Aftermath – Desperate Times
Rek’Sai again decides to head into the enemy red side for vision.
But at this point it’s already too late. Hecarim is able to solo Jarvan now without issue, having a red buff and experience/item advantage. It’s just poor decision making from Jarvan to be this far into a lane he has lost. Luckily for Roccat, Vander was on his way to mid and made a quick diversion to top as the fight broke out, to secure a cross kill with Rek’Sai. At this point it almost feels like Roccat have missed out on their win conditions.
They failed to snowball top and let Fnatic abuse the Graves/Annie lane without repercussions. All that really remains for them is to create picks through Morgana and hope to take objectives off of that.
Right now Roccat should be thinking about getting shallow vision and pink wards. Catch out Annie when she comes into the jungle for vision and try to turn that kill into a tower or deeper vision. They really need the information and have to play conservatively.
The Opportunist Support – 2nd Dragon Prep
Due to the Rek’Sai and Morgana being top, Annie takes the opportunity to gain deep vision in the enemy Red side and set up for Dragon which spawns in 2 mins. While looking to push mid with Graves, Lissandra grabs side-lane farm to make up for the no real advantage gained during the lane.
While Roccat aren’t aware of the timer in full. They should have a rough idea. None of them pick up pinks to clear the vision that Annie has just been gifted. Again complete lack of awareness and information is a downfall.
Hecarim shoves in top, knowing that Jarvan doesn’t have Teleport (nor does he) and moves toward the mid area. However, he gets greedy and moves back up towards the top side that Jarvan has now pushed.
This is a terrible move by Huni and very greedy. He should have been around the middle of the map, knowing that Yellowstar has just secured deep vision and prepared for Dragon. The same goes for Febiven who is respectively pushing the bottom side.
A Glimmer Of Hope
This allows Roccat to engage 5v3 due to the greed of the solo laners. After having set up great vision control, it’s a wonder how Fnatic even found themselves in this situation. But it was very opportunistic and probably the only great chance Roccat had of a comeback.
However, the team fight gets misplayed. They manage to get the kill onto Annie, but go too deep and fail to disengage. With the Lulu ult used on Rek’Sai (Who is at 100% HP already) to land a knock up onto Annie and kill Zac, Roccat have no real punch left in the fight. Meanwhile Fnatic have a huge Hecarim/Lissandra ult land onto Lucian/Jarvan who basically melt immediately. So what could have been a great pick for Roccat turned into an annihilation. Going 5 for 2 Fnatic have all but secured this game
At this point, Roccat must focus on getting their vision into defensive mode. Pinks/Sweepers are key components in this part of recovering a game. Especially when you cannot team fight or over extend.
However, they fail to do so and get flanked by the Hecarim Teleport while sieging mid going 3 for 2 in Fnatics favour, then subsiquently losing another kill and tower in the mid lane as the remaining Roccat members desperately try to defend the push.
Once again Roccat have failed to identify where they need information and have made risky decisions because of it.
Rotations, Rotations, Rotations!
Having got what they wanted from the mid-lane. Fnatic now take control of Roccat’s blueside jungle. With little to no cover on this side, it’s an easy rotation for Fnatic to make. However, with Graves and Lissandra so late to rotate, Roccat manage to quell the siege and push Fnatic off the tower while Jarvan takes the bottom tier 1.
Fnatic make a possibly great rotation into a mess because both carries are lagging behind. They really should have communicated this earlier. Meanwhile shame on Roccat for once again being caught with their pants down.
3rd Time Lucky?
The next dragon spawns and while Fnatic should have prepared vision already, they are slacking. Roccat take the initiative to set up vision first. Even with that, Fnatic are able to brute force the Dragon and take 2 kills as icing on the cake.
When you have vision control, you get to choose the engage. You have the information. Really Roccat shouldn’t be looking to contest this Dragon unless they can create a pick. Otherwise they should be looking to take more control in the shallow areas of the jungle on top side, branching onto the Baron river.
This would allow them a small chance of picking up a kill when a Fnatic member comes into deep ward.
Fnatic then make a swift rotation towards Baron, where Roccat have zero vision, having spent the time warding up for Dragon and fighting. Febiven manages to zone off Rek’Sai and get a kill onto Jarvan. Meanwhile Lulu is busy pushing out the mid – without vision it’s hard to call out Nukeduck for this, he can either follow Jarvan, push mid or face check a bush.
The image below shows possible defensive ward placements (they don’t all have to be pink) that Roccat could have used.
Is that… Darien?
At this point, with Baron buff. Fnatic really want to start taking the remaining towers. Hecarim has been shoving in top to try and draw Roccat towards him, while Lissandra shoves bot. After spotting that Lulu is mid and nobody is in the bottom side jungle. Fnatic make a great rotation towards bot. Meanwhile Roccat invest 3 players into chasing Hecarim. This makes for an easy tower dive and inhibitor.
In this situation, once again Roccat have no shallow vision to see the rotation happen. Keep an eye on your side lanes and react accordingly to movement in your jungle. There is no need to send 3 people top. Chasing and killing Hecarim achieves nothing while leaving your bottom side exposed to a potential Baron buff push.
Side note: Bottom side inhibitor is the most valuable and here’s why
- Furthest from Baron
- Only 1 Nexus Turret can reach minions from side lanes
With a near 12k gold lead and bottom side inhibitor down Fnatic make an easy push on the top side inhibitor. Both side lane inhibitors are down, Fnatic can choose to siege a Nexus Turret or the 3rd and final inhibitor turret mid. Luckily Jarvan makes the decision for them and over extends trying to start a fight. Immediately gets blown up and Fnatic just move to take the middle inhibitor tower, meanwhile Super waves gather from bottom side to take a Nexus turret (remember the note about side lane waves).
This case is pretty annoying. Clearly people are frustrated, but you need to stand your ground and stop yourself from making rash decisions. If you want to gift the team a win, just hit /ff
Afterwords, more Roccat members decide to try their luck against a Fnatic in retreat. Only to meet a certain death. Fnatic take the kills and move to finish off the game.
This was clearly last ditch efforts and i don’t blame them for trying. Fnatics victory was inevitable. But if your only hope is that the enemy makes a fatal error, then you wait patiently for it.
Roccat failed to identify win conditions early enough and with Jarvan spelling out where Rek’Sai was starting, Zac was able to read the game and be two steps ahead while Hecarim went unpunished in the top lane. The only possible chances for a comeback were stopped due to superior vision control from Fnatic and failure to disengage properly by Roccat. Roccat on multiple occasions failed to identify ways to win the game or by the time they did, it was too late.
Tips going forward –
- Identify jungle pathing earlier to suit win conditions
- Appropriate vision control to where it’s needed
- Make use of Teleport advantage especially when it’s your only chance of helping bottom
- Buy pink wards or trinkets when behind and keep your own junglers clean
- Work on disengaging team fights
- Don’t greed for side lane farm when Dragon is coming up and your support has prepped the area
- Make carries aware of rotations in advance so they can siege
- Don’t slack with objective prep because you’re ahead