It's Mag1c: EU Week 2
Here are 13 quick thoughts going into the second week of the EU LCS 2015 Summer Split.
All of the stats mentioned below are available at OraclesElixir.com, along with stats for NA LCS, LCK, LMS, and the NA and EU Challenger series.
- Quick flashback: last week I wrote: "Fnatic loves to build snowballs, especially for Huni, but if the Unicorns of love survive the onslaught and just keeps things close going into the mid game, I give them the edge in team fights and map movement." I was wrong about the Huni part, but at 15 minutes Fnatic was up a kill, up a tower, and ahead by 3,000 gold. That's not a massive snowball, but 16% more gold than the opponent is still a pretty meaningful lead. UoL didn't keep the early game close enough, and they got burned for it. If I was Don Cherry right now, I'd be wearing an amazing paisley suit and saying, "What'd I tell ya!?"
- Last week I said my eyes were on Airwaks, and boy did he step up. He had a combined KDA of 9/5/21 (6.0) and averaged 19% of his team's damage to champions, highest among all EU junglers. That will need to continue against some pretty stiff competition this week, as CW faces the Unicorns of Love and Origen.
- Gambit had a very disappointing first week, and came out looking somewhat like the ghost of SK past, except without the winning part. To me, Forg1ven still hasn't proven enough versatility to justify the "Best ADC EU" claims. (My leanings on that are in point 10!)
- Perhaps more importantly, though, Forg1ven had some positive things to say after the games, and didn't say or do anything to make his teammates look bad. We don't know what the relationships are like behind closed doors, but so far so good for his emotional contributions to the team, at least from an outside view.
- But then there's the issue of Gambit's lack of practice due to internet problems. It's an excuse, and it's valid enough, but it's still an excuse. If I'm remembering right, Gambit had similar issues early in the Spring Split, too. What is Gambit's management doing so wrong to allow this to happen?
- Roccat managed to beat Gambit, but boy did they manage to look bad doing it. Mechanical misplays, lazy backing locations, giving up free creep waves and Towers to a Jax... They've got a lot of work to do.
- Roccat played their games to a backdrop of Steeeeeves. Steve, for his part, played his games to a backdrop of wildlife, outhouses, and marshmallow roasts. (It's a camping metaphor. He got camped. Get it? The jungler lived in the bushes near Steve's lane and ganked him a lot. Yes, you're welcome for this.) You've got to think we'll see more gank focus on Steve before we see less. When we're still this early in the season, coaches and analysts are likely to grab hold of anything that will tell them who to sic their junglers on in the early game. The new guy is an easy target.
- Roccat's response will probably be what they did against Gambit: pick an early-game Jungler like Lee Sin and have Jankos countergank the heck out of top lane. It wasn't a perfect strategy, but it definitely prevented Cabochard from snowballing his Jax. The Lee Sin pick also paid off in a later Tower dive in bot, even though Jankos came out without an assist.
- GIANTS Gaming looked a lot better than their reputation last week. A 1-1 record is respectable, and their win over the Copenhagen Wolves should boost their confidence. But Werlyb played two games of Gnar, and last I heard, Gnar is not spelled J-A-X. That needs to be rectified this week. Please play Jax. Free the Jax. (But really actually though, good on Werlyb for putting on his Tank Pants. Even though he went Frozen Mallet first item in Game 1 and completed Maw of Malmortius second in Game 2. Even despite that, good for him.)
- The Copenhagen Wolves look like that super rare breed: a European team that has higher carry priority in ADC than in Mid. Freeze demonstrated why, going 8/0/5 on Draven and 11/2/4 on Urgot last week. Best ADC EU? Maybe. But it's still early in the split. Let's revisit in a few weeks.
- Another flashback: I was wondering last week how Elements planned to balance their carry threats. The answer turned out to be... I dunno. It was pretty evenly distributed, really. Froggen averaged 29% damage share, Tabzz 25%, and Jwaow 23%. That's about as vanilla and unrevealing as it gets. Froggen still looks like top priority, but not by a very large margin. If Tabzz plays something other than Urgot, his damage share will likely rise and rival Froggen's. More waiting and seeing here.
- Rookie Review: Steve got shut down hard in Week 1, averaging -18.5 CSD@10 and -480 GD@10. PromisQ looked quite good, with a 6.0 KDA and 72% average kill participation. G0dfred was a mixed bag, with a 3.4 KDA and strong 83% average kill participation, but weak vision control (0.99 WPM, 0.17 WCPM).
Of the three, PromisQ showed up strongest, and Steve got Steved pretty hard. (I've decided that "getting Steved" is a thing now.) Time for a second go-round for the rookies, so we can start developing more informed opinions.
- I don't like getting involved in drama, but regarding the Deficio/Dentist situation, I just want to put it out there that I think Riot is doing the right thing by taking such an aggressive stance on conflicts of interest and perceived tampering with contracted players. If LoL is going to last long-term as an esport, it needs to professionalize as much as possible, and that means strict enforcement of contracts and no shady dealings from league management. This is especially important with the current FIFA corruption scandal, which could have people on edge and looking under every rock for any type of misconduct. For Deficio's part, he seems to be handling this in a very mature and professional way, and I applaud him for that. Let's allow his statement to speak for itself, and let's not make things more difficult for him by taking up the pitchforks against Riot.
What are some of the storylines and players you'll be following closely this week? Let's get the discussion going!