Hello, my name is David ”Moonpieman” Tavares. Today i’m taking a look at the draft phase of the recent LCK playoff semifinals between CJ Entus and SK Telecom starting with game one. In this series I will be going in depth analyzing each point of the game starting with picks and bans and explain why i believe each team did what they did as well as give my opinions and what i believe these teams did correctly and what could have been more effective.
- Post Draft
- Win Conditions
- My Thoughts on the Draft Phase
CJ Ban 1: Cassiopeia.
Easyhoon is touted as one of the best cassiopeia players in Korea and possibly the world. some people say he’s better than his counterpart Faker on this champion and raking in an average KDA of 12 and a GPM of 457. Definitely a must ban if against Easyhoon. It is important to remember also that Coco’s most played champions are Leblanc and Kassadin and Cassiopeia can punish both Kassadin and Leblanc with her ult especially now that they can no longer silence her.
SKT Ban 1: Leblanc.
Being that this champion is extremely strong right now and the fact that easyhoon is playing as opposed to Faker. SKT isn’t willing to give up this champion to Coco especially since this is one of his most played champions
CJ Ban 2: Lulu
At first glance to someone not as familiar with the korean scene this ban may be seen as CJ just wanting to shut down a potential Juggermaw composition. This ban does accomplish this especially because bang has come into his role of being another carry on this team. However this ban is mainly a focus ban towards Easyhoon because Lulu is his most played champion. This draft phase you can tell that CJ is targeting Easyhoon and potentially putting him on a champion that he hasn’t had as large of an impact on. or they want to put him on a champion such as vladimir or ziggs or another champion that requires more relaxed farming style in order to reach their power spikes making it easier for Coco to abuse him early.
SKT Ban 2: Thresh
With Madlife’s recent performance on Thresh,Blitzcrank and Nautilus Madlife is returning to his old form. something SKT is clearly weary of.
CJ Ban 3: Kalista
This final ban is essential if you aren’t planning on playing Kalista against SKT. Space and CJ as a whole have shown they aren’t willing to play Kalista let alone first pick where as SKT would be very happy to get Bang onto a champion he has a 100% win rate and 29 KDA on. This champion can shut down the laning phase of anyone in a 2v2 which would pretty much force CJ to laneswap making it very easy for SKT to get an advantage during the laneswap.
SKT Ban 3: Rek’sai
This Ban is an Ambition shut down. he has found tremendous success on this champion however this leaves up Sejuani or Nunu for Ambition to first pick. which are both extremely strong in this meta doesn’t show much of the composition and Ambition has shown prowess on both of these champions having a 100% winrate with both of them.
CJ Entus First rotation: Urgot
This pick is extremely strong currently as he can become very tanky while dealing consistent damage to a single target. it also can be flexed to mid or adc and can set up for a pick comp or just catch someone out of position before an important objective. This pick also forces SKT to lane swap or risk getting poked out early or put huge pressure on their bot lane. overall probably the best first pick for CJ.
SKT First rotation: Sivir,Gragas.
This combo is very strong first rotation as well as denial from ambition being that ambition had a perfect record on gragas as well as nunu which are the only champions he has played in the playoffs so far. The Sivir is a slight take away from Space although we assume that the urgot is going to Space as Coco is yet to play it at all. Gragas is very strong seeing as Tom is playing as opposed to Bengi and Tom has shown a tendency to want to skirmish Gragas is an ideal pick up for Tom assuming he can play it effectively as we have yet to see him play Gragas or at all in a high pressure situation such as the semi-finals. Sivir and gragas as a combination is very strong because their ults can be synergized and used to disengage/engage during a fight.
CJ Second Rotation : Nunu, Nautilus
CJ decides to counter the sivir with consistent cc as opposed to single spell or rotation cc that can easily be spell shielded or ran around. Ambition has shown amazing prowess on Nunu and is extremely aggressive and annoying to deal with. this is ideal for CJ considering Tom is a rookie and might not be so adept to dealing with what Ambition will be putting out. Madlife has shown his hooking ability again and the team felt comfortable letting him play Thresh and Blitzcrank as well as Nautilus. This champion is perfect for Madlife as well as this team. it provides more engage and peel for space’s Urgot who is relatively immobile and also adds more beef to the front-line of CJ.
SKT Second Rotation: Hecarim, Janna
SKT is really looking to just run around the map and out rotate CJ with their high mobility. these picks show they are confident in their team’s ability to fight around objectives as long as they get to them first which with this composition should be easy to do. It’s pretty smart against Nunu which,left alone with dragon or baron can literally eat their HP. SKT isnt looking to let Nunu get their first. Hecarim is easily Marin’s best champion and is extremely strong on this current patch. getting cinderhulk smite, homeguard TP and not getting punished in the laning phase for not having flash due to the lane swap is just a top laners dream they can build damage and still get super tanky. Janna for Wolf is expected, Wolf has always shown the ability to play more passive disengage supports and only recently this season has shown the ability to play more engage champions such as thresh,kennen and annie. Overall we can kind of tell SKT is really just looking to fight as a team over objectives that they get to first and then chase CJ down with their speed.
CJ Final Rotation : Shyvana, Azir
CJ needs some more consistent damage as well as poke and they want to protect the back line even more so they opt for the Shyvana for Shy being she is very strong with cinderhulk skirmishers and has always been one of his most proficient picks. and the Azir so that Coco can sit back being his massive frontline and deal constant magic. It also synergizes very nicely with the bloodboil from nunu.
SKT Final Rotation: Vladimir
Very telegraphed pick. along with the speed boost from sivir and Janna Vlad wants to get in there and get a massive ult off onto everyone just popping their whole team at once. Towards the mid game He will try to split push against CJ slowly drawing pressure to the side lanes. Easyhoon has shown he is very comfortable on this champion who requires a bit of time to get to his power spike although he has a small window in which he can fight before CJ gets too tanky for him to deal with.
Post Draft Phase:
CJ’s approach is to ban out SKT’s strongest champions and force them to play on champions they haven’t dominated on. This is a valid ban strategy although I believe that CJ could put more pressure on the rookie Tom and ban him out and force him to preform. The strategy of focusing easyhoon is a decent strategy although they need coco to perform and need ambition to pressure Tom and force him to make a mistake. CJ picks are very standard for the meta currently. all power picks you’d expect to see and basically just want to have a massive frontline while dealing constant aoe as well as single target damage.
SKT’s approach is to just go down the line of the strongest champions of CJ’s and just eliminate them. however i disagree with rek’sai ban. this left up urgot,sejuani,nunu,all possible first pick champions for CJ that can take over the game. Potentially SKT wants to leave up strong picks so they can pick two strong champions during thier first rotation but being that CJ banned kalista they can first pick urgot and then second rotation pick sivir and sejuani or gragas and just destroy SKT. SKT wants to get into position to fight before engaging which shows why they have Janna, Gragas and Sivir. This is perfect with a composition of Hecarim because they can easily get into the backline and pop whoever they want. however they lack a significant frontline apart from the Gragas.
CJ Win Condition: CJ has a massive beefy team fight team. they are looking to stretch the game out long enough for everyone on their team to just be unkillable and brute force their way into SKT’s base.
SKT Win Condition: SKT’s strategy is designed to be a 1-3-1 split push comp in which they win their lanes and in the mid game use Vladimir and Hecarim to split push the side lanes while Sivir pushes up the mid lane using Gragas and Janna for disengage as sivir has low range and does not easily siege towers.
Leblanc- This ban is very simple and smart as it’s not an Easyhoon champion and one of Coco’s strongest picks not much to say on it.
Thresh- This ban at first glance is slightly perplexing although madlife’s recent performance he is very comfortable on something such as nautilus. however it is actually very smart as they want to get through the laning phase if they are forced into a 2v2 and they want to make CJ’s botlane as weak as possible to not have to deal with the amount of CC as well as
damage thresh brings.
Rek’sai- This ban is the one that is still perplexing. although like thresh Rek’sai brings early aggression and can disrupt SKT’s laning phase. However SKT decides to pick up gragas which can match the aggression of Rek’sai in the early game as well as outscale him the only reason this ban makes any sense is the possible split push pressure Rek’sai can bring however we have yet to see ambition use Rek’sai in this way.
SKT’s composition is very volatile and relies heavily on how well they do in the laning phase if they get behind at all in the laning phase their split push pressure is ruined and they have some weak laners in their bot side so this could very easily go wrong and be forced to play CJ’s game.
CJ Entus Draft:
Unlike SKT all of CJ’s bans are general strong picks in the current meta and are fairly transparent
Cassiopeia: This ban is very obviously focused towards Easyhoon as Coco doesn’t play it and it counters both of Coco’s most played champions.
Lulu: This ban again is focused towards the midlane as Marin hasn’t played Lulu at all since the summer season of 2014 where he was very underwhelming with her. this pick also prevents a potential Juggermaw composition
Kalista: Again another power pick in the current meta. We saw CJ ban this champion in every game against Jin Air and they have shown all season they are not comfortable playing this extremely powerful pick making it a must ban for them.
Composition: Unlike SKT CJ is looking to group as soon as possible and use their massive frontline to brute force objectives and take it to the late game where they will become unkillable and deal massive damage with a bloodboiled Azir for consistent AOE damage as well as Urgot for single target damage and lockdown for SKT’s immobile carries.
Conclusion: Thank you for reading my Analysis of the draft phase of the recent SKT/CJ Entus LCK Semifinals join me next time when i will go in depth into ingame decisionmaking and talk about how each team played out their compositions.