Coming into the European LCS Spring Split, Elements, formerly known as Alliance, were favorites to take first place. Unfortunately, they’ve hit a road block this year. The passive styles of mid laner Froggen and AD carry Rekkles seem to hurt them, while jungler Shook and top laner Wickd have both underperformed for various reasons. However, this week’s matchups epitomized the problems that Elements had all season. Wickd was benched earlier in the season for former Millenium top laner Kev1n, and support Nyph was moved to the head coaching role and replaced by a more vocal veteran support in Krepo. After two weeks, Wickd returned to the starting lineup, and during a game against middle of the pack team Unicorns of Love, Elements fell apart.
After being benched for two weeks, top laner Wickd returned to the starting lineup. After an underwhelming game on Gnar, it seemed he wasn’t back to his formerly dominant self yet. The composition Elements chose against Unicorns of Love put Wickd on a supportive top laner in Lulu, a champion that has many ways to escape and provides shields and boosts to the rest of the team during team fights.
The First Gank
At four minutes into the game, UOL jungler Kikis on Sion and support Hylissang on Annie ganked top lane with AD carry Vardags on Graves and stunned him up. In this case, Wickd’s trinket ward was not in the river but in the bush closest to his tower in lane. Wickd also had another sight ward in inventory that should’ve been placed in the river bush to prevent this gank from succeeding. This gank was entirely Wickd’s fault because he could’ve provided himself the proper vision after pushing up past the river. First blood went to Vardags to begin the snowball.
The Second Gank
At nearly six minutes into the game, only two minutes after the first gank, Wickd pushed past river once again on his Lulu. This time, he had his sight ward placed in the tri brush, which spotted out Kikis. However, from the tri brush behind his tower, a level 2 support Hylissang flashed under his tower and flanked Wickd to secure yet another kill, this time for Kikis. This gank was preventable if Elements jungler Shook was aware of Unicorns of Love’s position. The blue side of their jungle had only UOL wards inside it, so there was little to no way Wickd could expect a squishy Annie support to flash under his tower to secure a kill. When this happened, Rekkles and Krepo took the bottom lane outer turret, a decent response from Elements’ bot lane.
The Third Gank
At nearly fifteen minutes into the game, Wickd kept up in farm with lane opponent Vizicsacsi on Maokai and began to bully him. He flashed to finish off Vizicsacsi, but Kikis surprised Wickd once again by using Sion’s ultimate to flank him, once again from behind his turret, while Hylissang stunned him up once again. This time Elements reacted by roaming to kill UOL AD carry Vardags to no avail. Once again, there were no wards in the blue side jungle of Elements to stop Kikis from flanking. Vizicsacsi placed a pink ward in the river brush to remove Wickd’s ward in river, and he only had a ward at the farthest lane brush at the time of the gank. They traded Wickd’s life for a flash from the AD carry.
The Fourth Gank
Only thirty seconds after they caught Wickd the third time, four members of Unicorns of Love roamed top unseen (once again, no vision in the blue side jungle). Wickd teleported back to lane to die once again. Mid laner PowerOfEvil, support Hylissang, and jungler Kikis ganked from behind Wickd’s tower and blew him up for his fourth death. Elements mid laner Froggen took UOL’s mid lane tower off of this, which was the first time they got something back for a dive on Wickd. Shook immediately used Rek’Sai’s ultimate to steal Unicorns of Love’s wolves. Vizicsacsi took the top lane turret in response.
Elements made several mistakes as a team, not just Wickd. Sure, Wickd could’ve warded more, but then again, Shook should’ve either attempted a countergank early on or placed vision on his blue side jungle. Three of these four ganks could’ve been foiled easily with a response from Shook. Shook prioritized counterjungling, which set his top lane behind immensely, and Wickd never truly recovered from the mounting pressure. He ended the game on Lulu with a KDA of 1/9/6. In my opinion, if Wickd is the only one on the team willing to play aggressive, teams will continue to punish this and allow Elements to bring themselves to their knees all the way to the relegation tournament.