Ryan Tang Mailbag - How would I fix Elements
I started an ask.fm but I'm too long-winded to answer in the character limit. I've decided to write some articles about the best questions I noticed. Let me know what you guys think of this. I'll try to go for a more casual approach than my usual articles also, so expect a lot of rambling and discussion of tangential (but at least related) topics.
1) I think fans are overstating Froggen's fall, the team should still be built around him.
One of the (in my opinion) most nonsensical things fans do is suggest that star players adjust their games to better accommodate role players. The worst thing is that this often happens as soon as the team begins performing poorly with no discussion at all of how successful the team was playing previously. Swapping out star players to accommodate role players is one of the most backwards ways of thinking possible. Even worse, these role players often already have flaws when the teams are winning that could be noticed .(In the case of EL, Shook's streakiness and Wickd's overaggression were obvious even during their dominant Split) but suddenly when the team is losing, it is the star that needs to be replaced or revamp their playstyle.
One good example of this that comes to mind is CLG last season. The team placed 3rd in NA (and nearly beat TSM if it weren't for major choking in the Spring Split) and topped much of the Summer Split playing a bot lane oriented playstyle. However, a very large group of fans kept insisting that the team "let Seraph carry" or other pretty ridiculous suggestions when it really just looked like the team's role players were underperforming. Looking at Seraph's career now it looks like a team that "lets Seraph carry" will be a streaky Challenger team...probably where CLG was headed if they had continued "letting Seraph carry" after the first two games of that Crs Academy series. (As I type this, it's looking like TDK has a good chance of auto-qualifying for LCS, but the team has only begun improving after shifting away some resources from Seraph. It's looking like the guy might have some big games every once in a while but is pretty much a career role player.)
I can already see a lot of this logic coming to fore with Elements, with Wickd's benching, a lot of players began blaming Froggen for the team's problems even though Wickd's underperformance had begun even during their great performance last Summer Split (another time people have seemingly completely forgotten even though it was merely months ago.)
I agree that Froggen's playstyle does have some problems, and he has had a very mediocre season by his own standards, but fans hurrying to point out his mistakes should notice that many of these errors wouldn't matter if he had some help from his teammates. Also, there aren't any obvious names to replace him - I still personally consider him a top 5 Western mid laner.
Bringing back Tabzz was a great idea. Tabzz's unique playstyle of aggression/baiting out opponent spells as an independent unit is one of the rarest skills for AD Carries to have. His mechancis basically let him dodge out CC/attacks without much peel while still drawing tons of attention for himself. He isn't the best ever at it all-time, but the people who have managed to exceed him at that skill are very rare and far between (off the top of my head, S2/earlyS4 Doublelift, early S3/now PraY, imp) This style, and simply having another star player, covered up a lot of the team's issues and the early-game action also compensated for one of Froggen's weaknesses (Alliance played best last season when Tabzz was on Lucian or Twitch, two champions that are lane bullies who can create a lot of early-game action through shoves and picks respectively.) If Tabzz skill is where it was at from last season, the team will be in really good shape. The move to kick him out was still really flawed, I don't really know what their logic was and he was clearly their secondary star & a great player in that position. To me, it was the other three players on that team who were "not super." All things considered, Froggen and Tabzz would have been my dream carry pairing in Season 4, outside of maybe something like Bjerg + Forgiven.