For today’s grand final I decided to try a different approach to these best of x series, I will merge the reviews in one big article. Let me know what you guys think about it, by using the comment section below. I have said it in the past as well, there is no need to enter your e-mail address, just use your nickname, type in the comment and click on ‘post comment’.
Now, back to the grand final of the IEM Katowice 2014, where European power-house Fnatic will try to take on the Korean KT Rollster Bullets. Although they are among the last teams in Korea, KT Bullets have “gone dark” for 3 weeks and have been preparing specifically for this tournament and it showed, they have not dropped a game so far here in Katowice. On the other side, Fnatic are a bit out of form as they are in the middle of the pack in the EU LCS and haven’t shown the best of forms recently, except yesterday when they managed a big upset and knocked Cloud 9 out of the competition.
FNC, on the blue side ban Renekton, Lulu, Lee Sin and pick Shyvana, Elise, Gragas, Lucian and Morgana to face off against KTB, on the purple side, who banned Ziggs, Kassadin, Thresh and picked Olaf, Kha’zix, LeBlanc, Sivir and Leona.
Fnatic have a great start to this game as Cyanide reads a roam from LeBlanc to the top-lane very well, comes in for the counter-gank and manages to give Shyvana the kill on the enemy mid-laner. Two minutes later, Elise would challenge the red buff of KTB and because mid and top lanes were pushed, both Gragas and Shyvana could assist and Fnatic get a 2-0 win in the 3v3 skirmish. The CS count at the 11 minute mark would show a big lead for Olaf in the top-lane 53-74, Gragas having LeBlanc’s number in the mid-lane 94-80, and FNC’s duo bot being pretty ahead as well 110-96. The Europeans would capitalize on their lead with a 14 minutes dragon to increase their early game gold lead.
Soaz isolated himself in the top-lane and would consistently get picked on by the enemies. InSec pays him a visit 15 minutes in and together with Olaf he manages to slay the dragon and get going on his Kha’zix. Just as the second dragon was about to spawn, xPeke gets caught and killed in the bottom-lane, despite using everything he had to run away. KTB are very happy with that kill and take the dragon as well. A couple of minutes later, FNC overstay their welcome after taking the enemy blue-buff and Morgana pays with her life. For the next dragon, KTB have very good ward control and start it with high confidence. FNC was out of position and could not reply, but Gragas steals it with his ultimate and prevents KTB from getting ahead. Up in the top-lane, Soaz flirts with disaster and gets away with it two times only to be caught and killed a third time.
The baron-dance had a very huge impact in this game, both teams considered baron the holy grail and spent a ridiculous amount of time around it. It’s FNC who starts it first but get interrupted by Olaf who ends up dying for it while the Europeans go away from the pit. Noticing that, KTB start the baron themselves, but FNC come back, interrupt them and get a kill on LeBlanc after which both teams are too low to fight and recall. When they return, Cyanide finds a pick on Leona who goes down instantly, but FNC does not start the baron, instead tip-toe around it, which allows Kha’zix to sneak the dragon and both teams walk away from Nashor once more. The decisive moment of the game looked to be as Kha’zix tries to get a solo-kill on Morgana but great foot-work from Yellowstar keep him alive and the rest of FNC collapse on Kha’zix and finally get him down. Confident in their fighting power, they start off baron and KTB initiates on them with the ultimate from Sivir. Although they went in 4v5, the Koreans knew that several ultimates from FNC were still on cool-down and they manage to wreck FNC, 4-1, taking the baron and the dragon as well.
From this point on Bullets seemed to be in control of the game, Olaf coming out strong as he scaled very well in the late game and became an un-killable tank that could not be cc-ed and with the speed from Sivir’s ultimate had no trouble in sticking to Rekkles’ Lucian like glue. However, KTB did not have the best siege composition so they needed to lure FNC out of their base and what better excuse to do that than Nashor re-spawning, the baron dance could start anew. First time, they trade 1 for 1, both Shyvana and LeBlanc getting killed and a second time, KTB comes out ahead 2-1 as they also get the mid inhibitor down before recalling. Two minutes later, due to their superior vision control, KTB finally sneak the baron and pick off FNC one by one as they came to face-check and immediately retreated. The Koreans find 3 picks and rush down the mid-lane to end the game. 1-0 for KTB in this best of five series, after a pretty even game.
The second game would start with KTB on the blue side banning Morgana, Ziggs, Thresh and picking Ryze, Kha’zix, LeBlanc, Lucian and Karma. On the purple side, FNC banned Elise, Lulu, Kassadin, leaving Lee Sin open for InSec, who did not take the bait. FNC picked Renekton, Pantheon, Gragas, Sivir and Annie.
This game started off slower than the first one with FB going to InSec as he waited for ever in the banana bush to find a pick and he finally did 9 minutes in the game when Cyanide walked by. Up in the top-lane, the legend of a powerful Ryze would emerge as he grabbed himself a 4 minute Tear of the Goddess. CS count 11 minutes in would show dominance in the top 83-68 and bottom lane 95-77 for KTB and an even game in the mid-lane 83-87. This time around, xPeke did not manage to out-cs his opponent and as a whole, FNC with their early-game composition did not look as dominant as they should.
12 mintues in, Soaz manages a 1v1 kill against Ryze and the rest of KTB group for what looked like an uncontested dragon. However, Cyanide uses his Grand Skyfall, lands on top of all of them, smites the dragon away and the rest of FNC come in to support their jungler and they win the team-fight 3-0 much to the delight of the crowd. The joy was short-lived as a failed gank in the top-lane would see KTB win the 4v3 with 3-1 and one minute later, Renekton would get caught and killed again. Around the dragon area, LeBlanc finds Annie wandering around and insta-pops her. Lucian and Pantheon would both get caught out as-well with the entire trade ending 2-1 in favor of the Koreans, who also secure the dragon. In order for the FNC composition to work, they should have been ahead by 4-5k at this time, but they were not and they would lag even more behind 27 minutes in, as they start doing the dragon, only to see it stolen away by Kha’zix. In the team-fight that followed KTB lose two members but manage to ACE the enemy team for the early 3k gold lead.
FNC show they are not ready to give up just yet and after a good rotation top, they manage to down the inner tower before retreating with the help of Sivir’s ultimate. Only two minutes later, Pantheon and Renekton get caught by KTB, killed where they stood and the Koreans attempt to down the baron. FNC realizes they can not contest it and instead get the mid inner turret and the dragon down before recalling. With the baron buff on, KTB take all three inner turrets down and due to their superior team-scaling they manage to get themselves 2 kills, down 2 inhibitors and end the game. 2-0 KTB and FNC will have to win the next 3 games in a row to come back in this one, very tough job ahead for xPeke and crew.
Returning to the blue side, FNC finally ban Kha’zix alongside Sivir and Kassadin and pick Aatrox, Pantheon, LeBlanc, Vayne and Thresh. KTB ban Ziggs, Lulu (although xPeke never plays it), Elise and pick Renekton, Lee Sin (finally for InSec), Gragas, Lucian and Karma. Both teams had something new prepared for this game, but the man who shined the brightest was KTB’s top-laner, Leopard, who played 3 different champions in the 3 games so far and had a huge impact in all of them.
Sensing a lane switch from FNC, KTB send their mid-laner up top, their duo-bot in the mid-lane and their top-laner down bot, same strategy that they used versus Gambit in yesterday’s semi-final. Nevertheless, FB goes to FNC when Cyanide roams top to help Vayne and Thresh capitalize on their lane pressure with a kill on Gragas. KTB don’t mind it and keep pressuring the mid-turret. As it finally goes down in the 5th minute, Karma rotates top and together with Lee Sin and Gragas, they get their first kill on Thresh. Down in the bot-lane, Renekton bullied Aatrox so hard, that he ended up using his passive and dying although Pantheon was there to assist him. Renekton would have gotten a double kill if Cyanide wouldn’t have used his flash to get away. KTB took an uncontested dragon, while FNC was busy finishing off the top-tower and Aatrox died to a gank yet again, one minute later.
Having a gold lead so early in the game for the first time in this series, KTB ran with it as they downed the final outer turret in the top-lane and got a kill on Vayne in the bot-lane at the same time. Ten seconds before the dragon would re-spawn, Lee-Sin gets caught trying to steal the red-buff away from FNC and although they manage to kill him, FNC are too scared to start the dragon, the second they catch a glimpse of Renekton they back away and KTB take it uncontested. Three minutes later, a 4v3 skirmish in the top-lane ends horribly for the Europeans as they lose 2-0. Shortly after, Aatrox gets caught in his own jungle and barely escapes with his passive and the Thresh lantern, but KTB take down both mid and bot inner turrets for an 8k gold lead after 20 minutes.
FNC struggle and want to make something happen as Cyanide’s Grand Skyfall comes in on the over-extended Lucian and Karma in the top-lane and FNC grab themselves a 3 for 1. Some would argue that this was too little, too late as they try to force a baron kill, but KTB react fast and stop it from happening. Despite Peke’s and Rekkles’ efforts to get their team back in this game, FNC were losing their inhibitors one after the other and there was little they could do about it. The top inhibitor went down after 24 minutes, as Rekkles found a kill on Lucian with the rest of FNC retreating to the base. Mid inhibitor went down after 26 minutes following a 3-1 skirmish in favor of KTB and the bottom one would fall as well three minutes later, after a 2-1 team-fight, this time for FNC. KTB make one last (it’s true, very sloppy) push to end the game as xPeke got a double kill, right before the Nexus was destroyed. Very impressive performance from KT Rollster Bullets, the new IEM World Champions, who have not dropped a single game this whole tournament. FNC proved their inconsistency yet again as they simply could not come back in this series after a good performance in the first game.
I managed to capture a live snap-shot of the IEM World Champions 2014, the KT Rollster Bullets, as they were being handed the Cup and the 60.000 $ check. Enjoy! 🙂
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