LCK Spring 2016: Week 13 recap
The final week of the Spring season! Who will go to playoffs, and who will go home?
The first game of the final week started off… a bit messily. Both teams succumbed to sloppy trades, such as going for an engagement even with a late teleport. Afreeca more or less sealed the match with a nice shot call of going for Baron when they saw the opposing bot lane, in the bot lane. Then it’s a siege, into another Baron, into another siege, into the win.
A great example of playing to one’s win condition for Longzhu in the second match. They picked a poke and pick composition composed of: Ashe, Varus, and Nidalee; they did just what they needed to do to take the lead: poke and pick. AF couldnt even stay under a turret much less fight back. By the time a team fight came around, Afreeca were too far behind from being on the losing end of multiple trades to do anything and lost.
Similarly, Afreeca followed their own win condition well in Game 3; their Twisted Fate and Gragas made picks all across the map, with special attention payed to bot. With Longzhu’s main damage source, the Jhin, unable to do anything, Afreeca took control of the match in every aspect. The next few team fights would be won in addition to an uncontested Baron which lead to the prompt end of the series.
This was an incredibly close game when all is said and done. The match was filled to the brim with back and forth trading, with no discernable lead until a nexus was destroyed. Only barely did KT gain the upper hand after a close team fight at Baron in the late game, after which they rushed the SKT base and won.
Similar to the previous match, the majority of the game was nearly dead even. Both teams kept the other in check, never allowing too much of a lead or map control lest the other be left behind. However, unlike last time, the final team fight was not close at all, as KT’s Ekko completely destroyed SKT with a magnificent quadra kill. With this unstoppable Ekko, KT closed out the fiercely fought series. Even though it was a 2-0, SKT fought hard, and had things gone just a little bit differently they would’ve been the ones to walk away with the blowout.
It was a pretty strange composition brought out by the Tigers: Ashe, Ryze, and Karma aren’t exactly known for their synergy - not at first glance anyway. Basically, ROX stall in the early game until the blue bullet Ryze, sped up by a homeguard teleport and Karma, can scale up. By the late game Jin Air didn’t stand a chance in any engagement, the Ryze would run in and wreck everybody.
Game 2 wasn’t such a uneventful demolition as the first, JAG put up a pretty good fight at every opportunity. Well, that is to say ROX were punished multiple times for their hubris and overconfidence - but you know, semantics. After an aggressive Baron, ROX stormed the Jin Air, destroyed the sad planes, and won the series.
This is a very interesting match when comparing the numbers and what’s actually happening in game. In other words, KDM seemed to be in control of the game, both dictating the pace and coming out ahead in trades, however, the numbers were always in Samsung’s favor; they always had the gold lead. When the late game came around, Samsung destroyed Kongdoo as if they had been in control the whole time.
Very similar early in the game, KDM pushed SSG around like a schoolyard bully. This time though, Samsung would not make a big comeback in the late game, and Kongdoo would be the ones to take the final fight.
This last match of the series is essentially Game 1 on repeat. Samsung played passively and were behind all game only to come around at the end to win the fight that matters: the one that won the game.
I just love the silly comps CJ can come up with, this time it’s the ‘never die’ composition of Ekko, Kindred, Lissandra, and Ezreal; if only they had a Bard.Throughout this match Afreeca outplayed CJ in just about every way. AF got good early trades, an early Baron, and 5 dragons without much contestation. Well, I mean, JC tried to stop the 5th dragon but were completely annihilated.
Game 2 was just… it hurt to watch. CJ picked the unusual Twitch, as such one generally wants to play it safe early, not CJ though. They gave up both first and second blood due to the Twitch’s aggressively poor misplay by taking turrets shots while poking the enemy laner. Another pick on Twitch later turned into a Baron, which lead to a siege, and a confident win later. Afreeca makin it look easy.
Funnily enough SBENU took the early game quite handily after SKT botched a team fight around dragon. However Bae "Bang" JunSik wasn't going to just roll over and die like some would, he went completely nuts at the next dragon fight and practically 1v5’d SSB. A moderately paced siege later and SKT took the game.
This next match was pretty much over before it even started, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok got some early kills, albeit with the help of a clutch heal from Bang, then snowballed that into absolute control. Funnily enough, SBENU went out with style by trying to sneak a fast Baron under SKT’s nose. Predictably, SKT check and eradicated SBENU. A couple of won teamfights later, including a 16k gold lead and a Bang pentakill, SKT finished the series.
This turned into what is a pretty standard match for KDM these days. They took the early lead, as they do, but fell apart in the late game. I suppose it doesn't help that KT is the best at the exact opposite, lose the early game, come back late game.
Again, KDM aggressively looked for picks and map control, and this time, they actually got it. Admittedly, KT did attempt to come back, but due to their misplay they weren’t able to do much. Even with a Baron stolen away from them, Kongdoo overpowered KT with a massive gold lead.
Poor Hippo, he was picked on all of Game 3, he was killed/doved repeatadly; so much so that during a break the Korean casters noted something to the effect of, ‘it’s okay, don’t feel bad!’ Even with this lead, KT weren’t able to close strangely enough. KDM even came back with a 4-1 in a last ditch team fight, too bad it wasn't enough as KT just won the last team fight with superior mechanics.
And so we come to the final series of the regular Spring season, although it was not a great one unfortunately. Longzhu started off strong, a few picks put them solidly in the lead, and then Jin Air came back, hard. Team fight after team fight, objective after objective, JAG dismantled LZ with surgical precision.
This was yet another game in which Jin Air dragged out the match as long as possible, and it’s painful to watch. Longzhu eventually made a pick and took Baron, which allowed them to siege and win the game. That’s what I would've said, but LZ got caught out and were aced which stalled out the match even more. After what felt like an hour more of sieging and poking, Longzhu bled Jin Air out for the win, although very slowly.
More dull play from dull teams! Jin Air’s initial double TP play failed, LZ took the lead. Then JAG came back off of LZ misplay. That’s been the motto of the entire series really, who will misplay more often? Finally though Expession outplays in a 2v1 which allowed his team to take Baron and finally end this awful, drawn out series, a sorry climax to a wonderfully competitive season.