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SK in the EU LCS: Week 8

By Philipp 'Phil403' Neubauer
Mar 10, 2014 12:28

ImageThe second Super week of the season knocked at the door and SK came out big!

SK Gaming vs. Millenium

The Bans
SK Gaming: Trundle, Leblanc, Elise
Millenium: Vayne, Nidalee, Kassadin

The Picks
SK Gaming: Renekton, Pantheon, Lulu, Annie, Jinx
Millenium: Shyvana, Evelyn, Ziggs, Thresh, Tristana

The first match for SK this week was under a bad omen. Our record versus the Millenium guys was 0-2 but a lot had changed since the first two weeks of LCS, at least on SK's side.

In the pick & ban phase, Millenium concentrated at banning two of SK's main champions in the form of Vayne and Nidalee, plus the standard Kassadin ban as a purple side team. SK did not want to deal with Kerp's LeBlanc, a champion he did very well in the games he got her and the Trundle, just to be allowed to pick Renekton as Trundle usually out scales the crocodile in the late game. Fredy picked him right away and SK built a nice AoE composition around it with the reliable Pantheon/Annie combination which worked out in previous games. Sure Millenium had some great AoE too, especially with the Ziggs-Shyvana-Evelynn combination but they weren't able to execute it properly.

Coming into the match, SK struggled to create the early game in their favour. In an invade Millenium picked up first blood where nRated had to flash. Creaton and Jree capitalized, going on him and picking up a kill in the laning phase which got them ahead. As the flash was down for five minutes, they continued going aggressive on CandyPanda and nRated. As Svenskeren and the SK botlane got level six, the action began. As in some of their previous matches, nRated and Svenskeren were able to execute the combination of Stunn/Skyfall which unfortunately, lead to a double kill for nRated who some time later was the man with the most kills in the game. Most of the dragon fights were pretty successful for SK. Despite this, during the midgame, the gold count was pretty much even.

As in the past matches you could see that SK has some great rotations. Even though the money was on the Support they were able to out rotate Millenium and pick up towers which gave them the gold lead. It is important to mention Creaton's item build on Tristana. He went for a Blade of the Ruined King and a Static Shiv early on. That means two attack speed items with no real damage to back it up. This fact equalized the whole situation a lot when it comes to damaging the enemy frontline properly. His Infinity Edge came way too late in my opinion. Fredy won his lane as usual and became a pretty reliable factor in the match plan for SK. They also played the mind game with sending Fredy top for split pushing, letting him get ganked and then jump out of the bush to turn the fight in their favour.

The late game Baron dancing was pretty difficult for SK. Due to the annoying Ziggs bombs, they couldn't really start the Baron itself. So SK drew the attention back to the midlane and pushed it to get Millenium away from Nashor. With the quick wave clear of Lulu and her Lichbane, the pressure was really high. An awesome fight in the midlane where SK wanted to catch Kerp out of position turned slightly sour but with a quick reaction and good decision the fight swung again in our favour with the Tibbers stun on Creaton to get him to flash. SK chased them back to their base, taking the middle inhibitor and the Baron after. Sieging and diving the botlane inhibitor turret secured SK the victory and the second place in the standing, tied up with Gambit Gaming.

SK Gaming vs. Gambit

The Bans
SK Gaming: Kassadin, Lulu, Elise
Gambit: Nidalee, Ziggs, Pantheon

The Picks
SK Gaming: Renekton, Evelynn, Zed, Vayne, Annie
Gambit: Aatrox, Lee, Leblanc, Lucian, Thresh

With a loss on Gambit's and a win on SK's side at the first day of LCS Superweek, the two tied teams looked for a win to hold this second spot in the standings for themselves.

SK was able to secure the Renekton for Fredy once again and CandyPanda was finally allowed to get his hands on Vayne. In addition, nRated got to play Annie as he did in the game against Millenium yesterday. Simply the Zed pick didn't fit in here. The last time Jesiz picked him up was in the promotion vs. SHC which they actually lost also because of a weak performance by him. In addition, he faced a problem I will explain later.

The early game was really slow with the focus of getting farmed up for the latter dragon fights. Neither laner went for 1v1 action. The peace was broken by a roam from Jesiz to the botlane where he picked up first blood. With a little bit of a misplay on toplane, Fredy and Svenskeren tried to tower dive Darien. However, that turned sour as Diamond was quick to respond and score a double kill. From that point on, the game got rolling and unfortunately, it was in Gambit's favour. With multiple Guardian Angels on their side plus a Zhonyas in Alex Ich's inventory, Jesiz had no real target to go for which turned him into a harmless little ninja. In the late game team fights, SK had to focus what was in their face and that was unfortunately an Aatrox with two revives. Due to this, SK couldn't really utilize their team composition and got out damaged in late game. After a Baron pick up of Gambit, they simply rolled over SK with their three GA's, earned the victory and secured the second spot behind ROCCAT.

SK Gaming vs. ROCCAT

The Bans
SK Gaming: Trundle, Caitlyn, Elise
ROCCAT: Pantheon, Renekton, Kassadin

The Picks
SK Gaming: Jax, Evelyn, Lulu, Sivir, Kayle
ROCCAT: Aatrox, Wukong, Ziggs, Lucian, Thresh

Fredy went for Jax for the first time this Season and topped that with a double protection combination with nRated on Kayle and Jesiz on Lulu. Both picks allowed the Jax to freely wreak havoc once he reaches his power spike and also gave SK a lot of mobility and protection for CandyPanda.

The very slow early game gave both junglers the opportunity to farm up to level 6 and reach their first peak when it comes to ganking. NRated and CandyPanda applied great pressure with the fast pushing combination of Kayle and Sivir and were able to outfarm ROCCAT early on. Knowing that they need gold and items to make their team comp work, SK extended the laning phase to reach that point without giving too much free gold to ROCCAT. Once the solo laners were strong enough (Jax with Triforce e.g.) they looked for team fights and siege in the midlane. Like in the past weeks, SK rotated faster than their enemy and was able to get sneaky Dragons of it. In addition, CandyPanda split pushed the botlane to extend his CS lead even further.

In the late game, SK capitalized on their high mobility team. A sneaky Baron and a big chase through the top side jungle secured SK two kills and the middle inhibitor in the consequence. At this point, SK was so far ahead that they were able to take down both Nexus towers and close out the game.

SK always looked very concentrated in this match, always knowing what to do next. You could clearly see their match plan in front of you and how well they executed it.

SK Gaming vs. Fnatic

The Bans
SK Gaming: Kassadin, Lulu, LeBlanc
Fnatic: Annie, Pantheon, Kayle

The Picks
SK Gaming: Renekton, Elise, Nidalee, Lucian, Thresh
Fnatic: Trundle, Evelynn, Ahri, Caitlyn, Morgana

The last match of Super week was the "El Clásico" of the EU LCS: SK Gaming vs. Fnatic. Both were 2-1 this Superweek and looked for a good score at the end of these hard three days of matches.

Coming into the pick & ban phase, Fnatic focused on outbaning the frightening combination of Grand Skyfall + lockdown and showed some respect to nRated with the Kayle ban. SK concentrated on banning bad matchups for a Nidalee to control xPeke.

Both junglers tried to pressure botlane early on to get their star AD-carries rolling but unfortunately both times, the Jungler who ganked had to go back to base because he got turned on. SK showed how you should ward against an Evelynn in the Jungle, deep warding the enemy jungle camps (instead of pink warding the river). Again, SK captivates with good Dragon control by knowing when to start it and how to control the lanes while doing. In the midlane, Jesiz needed to play back because of the bad matchup. He played very cautiously and did a good job, farming under the turret.

A good chase at the midlane secured SK three kills and allowed them to do an uncontested Baron afterwards. From this point on, SK dictated the match even more. With the spears from Jesiz finding their targets consistently, they were able to secure objective after objective. In the 25th minute, SK was allowed to simply faceroll Fnatic in their base and from then on to take the game.

Conclusion of Week 8:

SK ended the Superweek with a score of 3 - 1 and are now tied up for first place with Gambit Gaming. With three matches being concincing victories and one match where they simply got out picked in champion select, CandyPanda, Jesiz and co. proved their current form and have the chance to secure the first spot against the likes of the Copenhagen Wolves and ROCCAT in next week of LCS. These matches will take place at the 20th and 21th of March, one week after IEM Katowice.

How do you rate the performance of SK this Superweek? Will they be able to play consistently or will they drop more games now? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!



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