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A song of Mechanics and Rotations: SK in LCS W1

By Michael 'Wtblife' Ardelean
May 24, 2014 11:40

ImageAllstars is over, another game-less week has gone by and everyone's hungry for more of those tasty LCS matches. Wait no longer, as the summer split starts big with a super week.

After an amazing spring split our lineup is back and ready to rock the EU LCS. With the 1st regular season place and the 2nd playoffs place in the bag, we are eager to watch some more of this fine League of Legends action. And which match would be better than e-Sport's “el clasico”: SK Gaming versus Fnatic.

SK Gaming vs. Fnatic

The opener for this summer split was once again SK Gaming vs Fnatic! This also meant that the regular season second placed against the winner of spring split. Fnatic played below their potential at All-Star and so the majority of LCS fans thought that they will start a bit sloppy and not that outstanding as in the beginning of spring split.

Fnatic started strong in this one. With a classic pick composition with LeBlanc and Elise they executed their strategy near perfection. With an early kill and massive gold lead after a few minutes already, SK looked for the turning point. They grouped as at least four people and created picks themselves which consequently lead to tower kills. During the whole midgame, SK was in charge of the game. With rotations and transitions they were known for in the spring split they evened out the gold count around the 28th minute. Since then the good late game scaling of the new Kayle build (Runaans Hurricane and late Lichbane) paid off and Jesiz shredded through Fnatic’s frontline. After the first Baron of the game, SK turned on the charging Fnatic members and destroyed their Nexus after a chase along the midlane.

SK Gaming vs. Gambit Gaming

After Alex Ich left Gambit, everyone had their eyes on how the “new” Gambit will do without their main Carry. Gambit subbed in NiQ (former Denial midlaner) for the first week of LCS and has Fomko, a fairly unknown Russian midlaner, who will start in week two.

The first 10 minutes were pretty much both teams farming up and waiting for team rotations. The kill count started rising in the 10th minute when Gambit forced a dragon fight and caught two SK members split from the rest of their team. This game was completely different from the one against Fnatic with very careful and non-aggressive plays. Fredy used his strength due to a favourable match-up in the toplane and pushed Darien in his base early on. The problem in this game was that CandyPanda got outfarmed pretty heavily. This threw the whole composition of SK behind and they had to stall out the game and play very careful to let CandyPanda catch back up and get his core items. Slowly but surely SK caught up in every midgame team fight. nRated especially did some good work with his Dark Bindings and well placed ultimates and the combination of Aatrox and Yasuo worked quite well, even though they were behind. Nevertheless Gambit was able to push in multiple lanes and get two inhibitor turrets. The fight for the bottom inhibitor was the turning point for SK but unfortunately, they couldn’t snowball from that. Their full AD composition was countered by a heavy armour frontline of Gambit and the Intervention from Kayle. In the end it came down to a split decision what lost SK the game and secured Gambit the first and only win in this super week.

SK Gaming vs. Copenhagen Wolves

Leaving the wrath last game behind, SK went on to fight the EU Copenhagen Wolves. The wolves are considered to have a rather strong early game, while the early game from SK was their weakness in the first games.

Match number three started with such a high amount of rotations, MonteCristo would be proud of EU. By the 20 minute mark, probably everyone was on every lane at least once. The community was praising SK for their superior teamplay and shot calling. That being said, they simply outplayed the wolves and gained an early advantage. This led to a rather easy game, as SK's advantage wouldn't stop getting bigger. Even though they were far ahead, the decision was playing it safe and going tutorial style. Eventually they took down the last inhibitor turret and ended the game with a dramatic fountain dive from Freddy on Jax.

SK Gaming vs. Supa Hot Crew

Super week last game turned out to be a interesting one. EUSupa Hot Crew managed to defeat Alliance in an underdog match-up. Were they able to defeat the team, that looked really strong in their last game?

SK's Jesiz got Nidalee, a champion he is very comfortable on and Candy Panda went Korean style by picking Kog'Maw. Surprisingly, the game started out rather slow. Both teams tried to farm up and go for late game, but it eventually came to a clash nearby Nashor's pit. This led to a 1-1 exchange, which isn't a lot, but it started the team oriented aggression. There was no real advantage, as the gold lead kept didn't pass the ~3k range and went back and forth.

SHC managed to catch Kog'Maw off guard at 45 minutes. This error was “only” punished with SK's mid inhibitor. A strong team fight in their base and two very well aimed spears by Jesiz lead to SK getting the upper hand. Just a couple of seconds after their small victory they headed to baron and SHC reacted with a disastrous call: They went in 3v5 and died in no time. What looked like a safe victory turned out to be a thrilling ending, due to a huge minion wave on SK's nexus. However, the nail-biting had an end after the minions respawned to help out nRated and Freddy and save the day. With their base cleared, SK managed to push through SHC and finish a very entertaining game.

This article was a joint effort from editors Philip "Phil122" Neubauer and Michael "wtblife" Ardelean



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