My name is Renato “Shakarez” Perdigão, until very recently I worked as an analyst for Team Liquid, other than that I’m most notably known for getting Diamond 1 in Season 3 and 4 playing only Kayle. I am also known for my videos on Youtube, very frequently focused on analysis, more specifically focused on itemization, off-meta picks and tendencies.
Context of the Report:
I’d like to preface this by saying that this is NOT how I’d do a report if I would have to do it right now. I think my skills have vastly improved and there are certain aspects of the game I didn’t cover enough when making this, such as vision control and jungle pathing.
I ended up never finishing/polishing this report as Team Liquid hired me back in January. Either way I hope it’s a good read
Gambit ban Pantheon, Azir and Jarvan. They have the superior jungler with the deeper champion pool and CLG is playing with a sub. Two bans on two of the top tier junglers is a smart strategy by Gambit to put Thinkcard out of his comfort zone.
Azir is a ban targeted at Zionspartan, multiple sources say he’s been practicing the pick so it made sense to ban a carry oriented champion from Zionspartan, a player known for his preference on aggressive and carry top laners.
CLG ban Irelia, Syndra, Gnar. Two bans for Cabochard. It’s important to look at past games here. Not only are they both priority champions for top lane, Cabochard also performs very well on both. He had a very solid performance versus Dignitas with Irelia and played Gnar masterfully in Game 1, giving Gambit the lead in the BO5.
NiQ is a Syndra main and possibly the champion he’s known for the most, expected ban by CLG
We’re looking at two teams that could be doing better on their drafting phase, both have work to do in order to improve, especially CLG.
The Missing Lissandra:
This was the second game in a row in where Lissandra completely fell through the pick and ban phase, which is surprising and shows that both teams either have distaste for the champion or simply haven’t practiced it enough. Gambit and CLG only picked Lissandra once in the whole tournament and the champion was never banned in their games
Detailed Pick phase:
Overall Gambit has BY FAR the better draft.
Gambit are blue side so they have first pick, they promptly get Lee Sin, one of Diamondprox’s best champions and a top tier jungler with unmatched early game pressure. With Pantheon and Jarvan banned, Lee Sin is probably the next best option for the jungle, so it’s natural that Gambit wants to secure it.
The Lee Sin pick is also very good because it doesn’t give CLG a lot of information; he’s a versatile jungler that can fit multiple compositions.
CLG then picks LeBlanc and Thresh on their first rotation. These picks are both high priority picks to deny Gambit.
NiQ played LeBlanc game 1 and Edward played Thresh and both showed solid performances on those champions.
The most important part of the draft this game by far.
Jax is a tremendously smart pick. Irelia and Gnar are out of the way,which leaves Jax, Lissandra, Maokai and Rumble as potential strong picks. Zionspartan can probably play any of the other top lane picks, but he thrives when playing carry top laners. Taking Jax from him means he’ll have to pick something that doesn’t fit his style AS well.
CLG are not going to pick Lissandra because she’s not going to stop Jax and because she doesn’t fit the composition CLG is going for.
The Corki pick is something that in my opinion shouldn’t have been shown so soon. CLG has 0 games on Corki during the Summer Split, Playoffs and the Promotion tournament. If you check Doublelift’s Solo Queue accounts you’ll also notice that it’s amongst his least played AD Carries, ranked 6th.
Link certainly won’t be playing Corki with LeBlanc locked in. They could have delayed this pick for their third rotation and picked their mid laner or support instead.
This is Gambit’s biggest mistake in the entire draft phase, instead of picking Corki they could have gone for the earlier Janna or Kassadin.
An argument can be made for leaving Kassadin for third rotation; there are three prominent picks that can be used by Gambit to play against LeBlanc: Zed, Kassadin and Lissandra.
- Picking the Zed obviously means you’ll need some magic damage to balance the composition out. This usually means an AP toplaner but Jax is already locked in, however Gambit could still pick Zed IF they have Corki, who is known for doing more Magic damage than Physical.
- Picking Lissandra for mid lane would mean they would have their source of Magic Damage and thus could pick any ADC for third rotation, as more Magic Damage would not be necessary. Wave clear isn’t an issue either as Lissandra can fill out that role pretty well.
- Kassadin is an anti-mage that can play defensively and survive the LeBlanc matchup with the use of his Null Sphere Shield.
The other option and the most sensible one in my eyes would have been to pick Janna on Gambit’s second rotation. It gives CLG minimal information (it might even trick them into thinking they’re going to see a Graves/Lucian for the Eye of the Storm (Janna Shield) combo) and delays Gambit’s decision to pick their ADC/Mid combo and guarantee a pairing that gives the composition both Magic damage and Wave Clear.
CLG’s second rotation is when things start falling apart. Gambit did a terrific job target banning Thinkcard. Jarvan, Pantheon and Lee are all taken and he doesn’t have the deepest of champion pools, which only leave him Elise and Nunu.
Now both of these champions CAN be good picks when played correctly. The problem is that they have significant problems if things don’t go their way.
Elise has quite good early game pressure and her clear was buffed on 4.21. Alongside the fact that Juggernaut is a viable item path for her again, allowing her to grab Sorcerer’s Shoes and possibly Haunting Guise if she’s ahead, stacking up on Magic Penetration and thus boosting her % health skills. The problem is that if she or her team fall behind she becomes a glorified Stun bot. She’ll never have gold for her offensive core items and will have to itemize for defense, in the form of Locket of the Iron Solari and FH/Omen. 40% CDR Elise is strong, but without any offensive penetration items she’ll have next to no damage.
While Elise is a comfort champion for Thinkcard it’s going to be hard for him to match Diamondprox’s Lee Sin pressure.
CLG then picks Vayne, after briefly hovering over Maokai. On one hand it may seem they’re taking more time to think of an AD top laner to balance out the composition, however they need a champion to protect the Vayne so the Maokai hover can be seen as something that gives CLG’s composition away before they finish the draft.
Gambit finish their draft with the Kassadin and the Janna pick up, as mentioned before Kassadin is a laner that can hold his own and survive the early game against LeBlanc with Crystalline Flask and his Null Sphere. Janna ends up being a jack of all trades type support that can fit multiple compositions, helping with disengage and peel in teamfights and buffing teammates.
Presumably after realizing there’s no better pick that can serve as a peeler for the Vayne, CLG end their draft with the Maokai pick they had hovered on their second rotation.
Both teams move as a unit to get deep ward coverage on the ‘Blue Buff side’ of the jungle. CLG are invading top side to figure out if they can send Vayne/Thresh top lane to 2v1, as they’ll have a hard time if they have to lane versus Corki/Janna.
CLG move as a unit and never give away their position, they want to keep Gambit in the dark regarding a lane swap for as long as possible. If Gambit are certain that CLG will lane swap, they can easily send their ADC/Support pairing to top lane to matchup versus Vayne and Thresh.
Gambit somewhat expect this invade on their top side jungle and go for their own invade on blue buff. They play it out carefully as they don’t want to fight level 1. CLG has Thresh, who can be very deadly to get an early first blood or force out a summoner.
Upon finding the enemy bot side jungle empty Gambit already know almost for certain that CLG are on their own jungle, so they decide not to check it.
It’s important to mention that both 1:21 and 1:29 wards were seen by the opposite team. Despite being wards that are placed in tower range and thus visible for the opponent, their objective is have vision to figure out who’s going to fill out bot/top lane. This either forces the opponent to show their hand or move around it and potentially lose some seconds.
Gambit start with 4 of their members in the bottom side jungle and each member takes one camp. The idea here is to give each member experience, but more importantly TIME to figure out where CLG’s duo lane is going to be, which is heavily suspected to be top. After taking the Razorbeaks, Cabochard moves to top lane alongside Janna. Jax isn’t the best 1v2 champion so the help from Janna helps him survive the early laning phase and even have a chance to make aggressive moves. Corki has Valkyrie so he can go solo bot lane vs Maokai.
First blood occurs in midlane, surprisingly in Kassadin’s favor. Leblanc was trading very aggressively, but not getting much out of the trades due to close to perfect timing Null Spheres, allowing Kassadin to shield himself from most of the damage. This alongside the fact that he started with Crystalline Flask let him outsustain Leblanc. It’s also important to note that Link was trading very poorly as was getting aggroed by the minions constantly. The Janna/Jax duo lane works out for Gambit, as they force Vayne out of lane and force out two summoners from doublelift.
After the kill mid lane, Thinkcard stays around mid lane to get Link a kill and hopefully even the lane out again. A good gank forces Kassadin’s flash out but he’s still very safe in lane.
CLG swap their duo lane back to bot lane 6 minutes in and aside from a 1 for 1 trade on top lane, not much more happened during the early stages of the game. CLG played somewhat defensively but Gambit was still able to get a good advantage to give them a small gold lead while going into mid game.
10:30. Another mistake by Link giving NiQ another kill on Kassadin. He constantly lets Kassadin put out Null Spheres on him without trading back and in the end doesn’t respect Riftwalk’s range and pays dearly for it. Despite then dying to Elise, Gambit is in an excellent position. Corki will soon have his triforce and Kassadin already has his Rod of Ages components.
13:00 First Dragon
Shortly after killing Jax top lane and a prolonged fight on bot lane that ended up being a 2 for 1 for CLG, they decide to go for Dragon, as Maokai had teleported to bot lane for the fight and Jax is seen top lane with his Teleport on Cooldown.
CLG decide to get Dragon but they make multiple mistakes. For one, despite pulling it down initially, LeBlanc’s movement to put a ward on the other side of the pit makes the dragon move back into the pit. This is a result of poor dragon aggro management.
Secondly, when the Dragon is low and Q’d by Lee Sin, the whole CLG squad stops attacking. This causes the Dragon to reset and buys Gambit more time, the dragon wasn’t low enough to be killed by Lee Sin, if only one member had kept attacking it wouldn’t have been reset and they could’ve taken it easily as Elise’s execute smite combo makes it very easy to secure dragon.
Third and lastly, CLG don’t pull the dragon again! This allows Lee Sin to connect his Q onto the dragon and with the aid of NiQ they burst the dragon, steal it from CLG and manage to get out unscathed.
20:00 – Ace for Gambit
After this 5 for 2 in favor of Gambit and a 2nd dragon, Gambit is now again in the lead, despite only have a 1k gold advantage. This is a very important moment to highlight because CLG doesn’t understand (or completely ignores) powerspikes.
On Gambit’s side we have already two Trinity Forces built, NiQ’s Kassadin has had his RoA stacking for the last 4 minutes and he even has a Needlessly Large Rod on top of that. Corki also already has Sorcerer’s Shoes so he’ll be doing a lot of magic damage with his Rockets and Phosphorus bombs.
CLG has a comp that relied on Link to get big early in order to transition into mid/late game. They need to control vision to create picks using Thresh/Maokai/LeBlanc. However he is 2-3, only boasting a Morellonomicon and a NLR.
Since he is not at his two item powerspike he is unable to burst down Kassadin. To make matters worse the chase ends up not being worth it and he doesn’t kill his opponent. From here CLG HAVE to back. Their main nuker is down and they have a weaker teamfight as Vayne and Maokai haven’t fully scaled to hyper carry and ultra-tank respectively.
A few minutes later and after getting an ace and the second dragon, Gambit get two towers, using the Corki powerspike to brute force the opponent from any possible defense.
27:00 – Failed pickoff attempt by CLG and 2-0 for Gambit
Before seeing LeBlanc, Gambit had no vision of 4 members of CLG. The team gets impatient and tries to pick someone off, failing both Ethereal Chains and Death sentence.
Gambit knows the team does not have Maokai and turn to fight, getting two kills for nothing.
Impatience here ends up completely dictating CLG’s fate. They had two options here.
- Wait for a better opportunity to get a pick (aka wait more time inside the brush)
- Back off after seeing that Gambit wouldn’t go close
This series of events ends up giving Gambit an opportunity for Baron, which is interrupted by Zionspartan, that ends up dying checking the Baron.
30:00 – Gambit pick off Maokai, attempt Baron and get aced. 5 for 3 for CLG
After a great pick onto Maokai, Gambit decides to start off Baron. Things don’t go well and CLG end up acing Gambit, despite being 4v5.
Lack of communication from Gambit’s side. If you review the team fight you’ll notice half of the team committing to responding to CLG’s aggression, while the other half is still doing baron.
In this situation and with Vayne reaching her powerspike, Gambit need to be on the same page. Baron is not low enough to consider staying inside the Baron pit so there are two options, retreat or fight. But the team needs to be on the same page.
Other notable late game moments:
- 35:53 – Uncontested Baron for CLG
- 41:00 – 3 for 2 and Dragon in favor of CLG
- 44:40 – 2 for 1 in favor of CLG
- 46:55 – 2 for 1 and Baron in favor of CLG, followed by Dragon for Gambit and another 2 for 1 in favor of CLG
- 49:00 – CLG gets overconfident, Doublelift dies inside Gambit’s base
- 52:40 – Base Race, Gambit win the game