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Archive for the ‘IEM World Finals 2014’ Category

IEM Katowice: Champion analysis

As the players quietly await their flights home, it’s time to look back at the past three days of League of Legends action from the IEM venue in Katowice, Poland. We had some amazing plays during the 18 games this week-end and we got to see 46 (actually 45, because Kayle was never picked, although she got banned 3 times) champions on the Rift. Here is the detailed list with all the champions picked or banned away this week:

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Top-Lane

The biggest name up there was Renekton, with a combined pick & ban rate of 100%, that means he was either picked or banned in all 18 games. Huge achievement for the Butcher of the Sands who confirms his dominance in the top-lane once more. Although his 55% win-rate is far from impressive, his early lane dominance, bullying ability and snow-ball potential make him the most wanted top-laner at this time. Shyvana was by far the second choice with 10 picks and surprisingly no ban. No one feared the dragon-lady enough to ban her, but almost immediately picker her if she wasn’t. Other options for the top-lane were: Trundle, Aatrox, Olaf, Mundo, Shen, Ryze, Malphite or Jax.

Jungle

With a combined 83% pick & ban rate, Elise comes out as this tournament’s favorite jungler. The spider queen was feared by everyone as she got more bans than picks and with good reason, out of the 6 games she was involved in, her team only lost 1, which nets her an astonishing 83% win rate, the highest of the entire tournament for champions who were involved in four or more games. While Lee Sin was a close second with a combined pick & ban rate of 72%, it was actually Kha’zix who turned heads this week-end. Being mostly played by InSec, the Voidreaver managed to sneak through the ban phase, only gathering one single ban in the entire tournament, despite him turning the tide around in many games and achieving a phenomenal 70% win-rate. Other junglers used this week-end include Evelynn, Wukong, Pantheon, Nocturne, Vi, Hecarim and Fiddlesticks.

Mid-lane

Lulu was definitely the mid-laner no one wanted to lane against, with a combined 94% pick & ban rate and the highest ban-rate of the tournament (72%), the Fae Sorceress only got to play 4 games, because teams were afraid of her immense team-utility, chasing potential and dominant lane presence. The fact that she received more bans than Kassadin (61%) should say it all 🙂 With those two banned most of the time, the players turned their attention towards Gragas and LeBlanc. These two have seen most of the action on the Rift and despite going up head-to-head most of the times, they both have a 60%+ win-rate. Other mid-laners used include: Ziggs, Nidalee, Yasuo, Ori, Zed and Karthus. With the mid-lane having such an important role in the current meta, it is fair to say that people who tried to bring new champions in this lane, like Karthus, Orianna, Yasuo or Zed often struggled in their lane and allowed their opponent to help other lanes as well.

AD-Carry

The holy trinity in the bot-lane was lead by Lucian, with 11 picks and 4 bans and a combined 83% pick & ban rate, the Purifier was the favorite ADC this week-end because of his mobility, high burst potential in lane and a great multi-purpose ultimate. Coming up in second, Sivir, with a combined pick & ban rate of 72% had the biggest win-rate out of all AD-Carries (64%) due in part to her great ultimate which allows for easy engages or disengages. Rounding up the podium we have Caitlyn. The Sheriff of Piltower is regarded by most pros as a very good counter in lane  to both Sivir and Lucian and despite a good escape ability and a long-range snipe ultimate, her win rate plummeted at 29% during the IEM World Finals. Vayne, Varus, Jinx and Ezreal were the other ADCs used in this tournament.

Support

Finally, as far as supports are concerned, Thresh was undoubtedly the king of the hill. The Chain Warden had a combined pick and ban rate of 88%, being picked in 8 games and banned away in another 8. While his win-rate is not impressive (50%) he remains the ultimate play-maker with a huge contribution for the team both when ahead and when behind, his hooks and lanterns can mean instant death for enemies and a saving grace for allies in need. In second place we find the Drak Child herself, Annie with 7 appearances and 3 bans, she was not very impactful this week-end as her team only secured 1 win in the entire tournament and that was the back-door from KTB against GMB. In third place we find the antagonists, Leona and Morgana, with around 40% combined pick & ban rate. Other chosen supports were: Karma (the only champion with 100% win rate out of the ones that played more than 1 game), Sona, Zyra and Zilean.

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FNC – KTB: IEM Grand Final

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.

Game 1

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.

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Game 2

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.

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Game 3

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.

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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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GMB – KTB (Game2): Four for the back-door

GMB on the blue side banned Gragas, LeBlanc, Nidalee and picked Shyvana, Lee Sin, Kha’zix, Lucian and Thresh. On the purple side, KTB banned Evelynn, Lulu, Aatrox and picked Renekton, Elise, Kassadin, Annie and Jinx. Very solid pick and ban phase for both teams, the Koreans surprise everybody as they pick Kassadin, who in their opinion was not nerfed that much.

Gambit show they are not about to go down without a fight and in the 3rd minute, Diamond is already ganking bot and gets himself a kill on Jinx. Insec tries to do the same three minutes later but KTB end up trading kills after that gank, because they tanked the turret for too long, 1-1. Same thing would happen again two minutes later at the next gank in the bot-lane, when they trade 2-2. The Koreans are obviously not accustomed to the “feed to win” mentality of Darien as he kites them for a long time through their base 11 minutes in, before finally dying. In the mean-time though, GMB win a 2-1 skirmish and get the first dragon as well. Same thing would happen two minutes later, as the swag-lord gets chased down in the enemy jungle, while bot-lane secure the outer turret for GMB.

KTB show up better prepared for the next dragon-fight and with the help of better vision and a great Annie Flash-Tibbers engage, they manage to secure a 4-2 win and take down the drake. AlexIch was looking to influence this game as early as possible and gets a solo pick-off kill on Jinx 19 minutes in. GMB fought hard for the next drake and although they managed to win the skirmish, 3-2 they lose the dragon who goes to KTB. The Koreans look very strong in the mid-game and win fights all over the map. A skirmish around the blue-buff turns out bad for GMB who lose it 2-0 and have to concede their mid inner turret. This also meant that KTB could secure better vision around the baron-pit for the upcoming dance, but GMB do not waste time and Kha’zix finds a great engage on Jinx, gets the kill, but the enemy team collapses on him and the Koreans would turn the fight around and win it 5-2, but could not capitalize with a baron. They did benefit from their superior ward placement and following a great bait inside the baron-pit, they would get another two kills on the Russians and hurry to down the mid inhibitor before returning to Nashor, closely followed by GMB who manage to interrupt their baron attempt.

The next minutes were very entertaining for the crowd as KTB would barely win the skirmishes without taking the baron and GMB would look stronger than before in every single one of them. The first time, Darien gets caught and killed which lead to a 4-2 win for the Bullets, but they back off. The second time, KTB wins the skirmish 4-3, this time around the mid-lane, but without capitalizing on any objective, only to see the entire game being turned on it’s head as the Russians find a pick on Kassadin and then demolish the Koreans who came to his aid. 3-0 GMB wins this fight, secure the baron and the dragon 2 minutes later, evening out the gold difference. KTB play very defensive in the next minutes and with a very good wave clear they wait for the baron-buff to time out and then engage on the Russians as Genja’s Lucian gets deleted from the map. At this point, it looked like the game was over, but GMB end up getting an ACE, thanks to the fed Kha’zix who kept getting reset after reset and shredding the entire enemy team. With the 40 second death timers, it seemed nothing could stop the Russians, but not having their adc slowed the demolition-process very much and they only managed to get the mid-inhibitor down, before they would have to go back.

Things were looking good for the Russians though and after the next team-fight they could surely end the game. However, the Koreans had different plans, they saw GMB pushing in the top-lane and sneaked a 4 man squad through the lower part of the jungle, targeting the exposed mid-inhibitor. Renekton was sent in the top-lane to distract GMB and prevent their recalls for as long as possible as the 4 man death-squad ravaged the inhibitor and the only remaining Nexus turret before finishing off the Nexus itself. What a crushing defeat for the Russian champions, there must be something in the air here in Katowice that favors back-doors. The whole crowd was on their feet and chanted “Gam-bit, Gam-bit” for seconds, sympathizing with AlexIch and crew in a very emotional moment. But that was all she wrote, Gambit is out of the competition and the KT Bullets advance to the final tomorrow, where they will face off against another European power-house, Fnatic.

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KTB – GMB (Game 1): Vicious InSec(t)

On the blue side KTB ban Evelynn, Aatrox, Annie and pick Shen, Kha’zix, Gragas, Caitlyn and Karma. Very innovative composition, first time we see the Karma support and the Shen top as a counter to Renekton. On the purple side, GMB ban Thresh, Lee Sin, Lulu and pick Renekton, Nocturne, LeBlanc, Varus and Leona.

Gambit initiate a lane swap, sending their duo in the top-lane and stealing away KTB’s blue buff in the process. In response, the Koreans send Gragas in the top lane and their bot in the mid-lane. In order to stop the turret pressure in the mid-lane, Eddie roams there and they force a flash and a barrier from Caitlyn, but no kill. FB goes to KTB, 9 minutes in, as InSec roams bot and gives Shen the kill over Renekton. A few minutes later, Nocturne is caught out near drake and killed. As a result of that KTB takes away blue buff as well, but lose the next skirmish 3-2 and GMB takes dragon. CS count at the 12 minute mark shows a small advantage for GMB overall, 90-78 top, 69-77 mid and 102-118 bot.

The mid-game is where KTB out-shined their opponents. First off, 16 minutes in, Gragas would take a solo-kill on LeBlanc and although GMB win the next skirmish around dragon, 2-1, KTB walks away with the drake. AlexIch was desperately trying to find a way to get back in this game and managed to get a solo-kill on Shen up top, but when he tried to do the same thing again, Kha’zix was there and finished him off. The next dragon would go uncontested over to KTB, as GMB were simply out of position and unable to fight. Two minutes later, InSec finds Alex all alone in the top-lane again and kills him a second time. Meanwhile, in the bot-lane, a small skirmish breaks out and ends in a draw 1-1, while KTB take the top inner turret.

As KTB get a third uncontested dragon, the action moves to the baron pit and following a prolonged Baron-dance, KTB manage to out-play their opponents, winning the skirmish 4-2, but being to low to stick around they recall. Two minutes later, they come back, get an easy pick, kill the baron and push down the mid-lane. Being ahead by a substantial margin and wearing the baron-buff, the Koreans easily get a 4-0 win in the next team-fight and end the game. 1-0 for the Bullets and Gambit would have to win 2 games in a row now in order to defend their title. InSec would come out huge, 7/3 in this game, being always at the right place, at the right time.

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FNC – C9 (Game 3): Bye bye Apple pie!

Returning to the blue-side yet again, FNC ban Renekton, Gragas, LeBlanc and pick Malphite, Elise, Ziggs, Sivir and Thresh for a final duel with Cloud 9’s Shyvana, Kha’zix, Orianna, Caitlyn and Morgana. C9 previously banned: Lucian, Kassadin and Lulu.

Soaz pulls a trick out of his hat and hides in the bot-lane bush along-side Rekkles and Yellowstar to get the surprise FB on Morgana straight off the bat. He uses the money to buy some more pots to help him sustain in lane and TPs right on top of his turret. Cheeky start for FNC! Cloud 9 were putting a lot of hopes in their bot-lane, but FNC manages a double kill there with the help of Ziggs’ ultimate 6 minutes in. Three minutes later the same scenario would repeat itself, Ziggs’ throws the ultimate again, which only catches Lemonnation this time, as Hai takes out xPeke, but FNC manage to also down the bot outer turret. At the 11 minute mark, the CS count shows Fnatic’s early dominance in the mid, 102-88 and bot-lane, 100-83 while Balls had a small advantage on top, 92-98. Cyanide capitalizes on that dominance and secures the drake before rotating mid, getting a kill on Hai and taking the outer turret there as well.

After losing a second dragon to FNC, Meteos roams top and helps Balls to get a kill on Soaz, but the rest of FNC move top, kill Balls and get the outer turret down. The skirmish continues, C9 get 2 kills of their own before Hai is finally killed by Sivir, 3-2 C9 but FNC get the tower down. The decisive moment of the game would happen 23 minutes in, as C9 chase a kill on Elise too far. The spider gets caught but takes the Thresh lantern and barely escapes. C9 decide to force the engage, but FNC are ready to fight and although they lose 2 members, they get an ACE on C9 and the baron to open up a 7k gold lead. With the Nashor buff on, FNC takes down 2 turrets and the bot-inhibitor and look to rotate top. C9 are ready for them and try to execute a very well thought-out pincer-maneuver, but they are not strong enough and FNC wins that skirmish as well, 3-1 and get the top inhibitor.

30 minutes in FNC get an uncontested baron, as C9 was too far behind to risk it and push down the mid-lane. With 3 inhibitors down, it is next to impossible for C9 to face the onslaught and they lose the game and the series as FNC goes through to the grand final on Sunday thanks to their early lane dominance and better synergy between the mid and bottom lanes.

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FNC – C9 (Game 2): Sneaky steps up

FNC on the blue side ban Renekton, Lulu, LeBlanc and pick a poke-heavy comp with Trundle, Wukong, Nidalee, Caitlyn and Zyra to face off against C9’s Shyvana, Kha’zix, Gragas, Sivir and Morgana. C9 previously banned Lucian, Kassadin, Elise.

This time around, the teams are a bit more cautious in the early game, but the end-result is the same, FB going to FNC as a result of a 3 man gank in the mid-lane. CS count after 10 minutes show dead-even scores in the mid, 80-80 and the bot-lane, 78-78 as Shyvana was able to bully Trundle in the top-lane and get an early lead 77-91. The two teams trade kills in the mid and bottom lane, as Lemonnation and xPeke both die. FNC want to push down the mid-lane and get the outer turret down, but due to a very good wave clear from Gragas can’t achieve their objectives and recall. C9 take advantage of that and rush the first dragon of the game.

Cloud 9 want to get that blue buff away from xPeke and force a fight in the FNC jungle, that ends up in a draw 2-2 with Balls taking the blue-buff. A couple of minutes later, around the dragon pit, C9 are looking for an engage and find the opportunity as they catch Zyra out and win the skirmish with an overall score of 4-1. Sneaky comes out big on this one and C9 secure the dragon as well for the early 4k gold lead. The Americans would have complete control over the dragon pit throughout the entire game and kill it on cool-down. In the 27th minute, following yet another dragon kill though, FNC comes out on top, winning the skirmish 3-2 and getting themselves two inner towers in the top and mid-lane and the action revolved around the baron-pit. Trying to secure better vision of the objective, FNC get caught out and although the fight was pretty even, C9 win it by a land-slide, nailing 3 kills and capitalizing on those kills with a baron and another dragon.

Due to very precise Nidalee spears though, the siege that followed down the mid-lane was unsuccessful and C9 was forced to retreat as they simply could not get to do any damage to the tower. Baron buff wares off and C9 already prepare for the next baron-fight. With both teams dancing around the baron area, FNC manages to get themselves split off, C9 senses it right away, chase down and kill off Zyra and Trundle to secure themselves an easy baron and due to the long death timers they also take the mid inhibitor down and a bonus-kill on Caitlyn, before going back to base. Confident in their 14k lead and having a Banshee’s Veil on three members of the team to deal with Nidalee’s spears, Cloud 9 push down the bottom-lane and after a prolonged and messy siege, they finally manage a hard-engage on FNC. They lose 2 members but they get the ACE on their opponents and manage to close out the game and send the series in a third and decisive game.

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C9 – FNC (Game1): xPecked the jukes!

On the blue side, C9 ban Lucian, Kassadin, Trundle and pick Shyvana, Lee Sin, Gragas, Sivir and Thresh. On the purple side, FNC ban Elise, Lulu, Caitlyn and pick Renekton, Pantheon, LeBlanc, Vayne and Zyra. Time for the old NA versus EU rivalry to decide who goes to the grand final tomorrow and who gets the bragging rights until the next tournament. Remember, FNC defeated C9 at the last World Championships, C9 destroyed FNC in the Battle of the Atlantic and this is their 3rd encounter in 6 months.

First game of the series started out with a solo kill from xPeke on Hai in the mid-lane, FB for LeBlanc in the 4th minute. Cloud 9 tried to do their usual game with Meteos challenging both enemy red and blue buff with the help of Hai and while they manage to get the buffs they invest a lot of resources in this endeavor and are not rewarded with any kills, both Peke and Soaz escaping with a slither of hp. Moreover, FNC take a 9 minute dragon after C9 recalls to base. CS count showed even fights everywhere: 82-94 top, 58-68 mid and 90-86 bot.

Through-out the mid-game FNC was better at grouping up and forcing objectives while C9 were relying on Balls to split-push. 15 minutes in FNC win a skirmish 3-1 and get rewarded with a dragon and the bot outer turret. Another fight around the baron pit happens 21 minutes in the game with the same result, C9 overstays their welcome, get caught, lose the fight 3-1, lose a baron on top of it, while Balls takes a tower in the bot-lane. Triple kill for Rekkles on Vayne and the game looks very good for FNC. With the baron buff on, they destroy two inner turrets and get a bonus kill on Gragas to round up their lead to 6k gold.

Cloud 9 want to get back in this game, finally win a skirmish in their own jungle 2-1, get a dragon on top of it, but by the time the next baron spawns they have no vision control around it and need to face-check it. FNC was waiting for them and manage to get a kill and scare the rest away for an uncontested baron. Rekkles and crew return in the mid-lane and manage to get the inhibitor turret down before an epic fight breaks out. Great plays from both teams showing off their tremendous combat-skills, but it is FNC who comes up on top yet again, 3-2. The game would be decided 3 minutes later as the baron re-spawns and a perfect executed juke from xPeke on LeBlanc fools the entire C9 team into chasing him, blowing their cool-downs only to see LeBlanc vanish and appear behind them, together with the rest of FNC, who take them out, 4-1 and finish the game. 1-0 for FNC in this best of three series.

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