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IEM Katowice Semi-Final #1: Azubu Blaze vs Fnatic

By Daniel 'd1dx' Yordanov
Jan 20, 2013 13:18


ImageThe two powerhouses clash for a place in the grand finals of IEM Katowice!

Both teams came into this match with high morale. Blaze easily topped their group while Fnatic were coming high from a brilliant match versus EU SK Gaming .

KR Azubu Blaze vs. EU Fnatic

Game 1:

Bans:
Azubu Blaze: Lee Sin, Cho’Gath, Kha'Zix

Fnatic: Olaf, Shen, Evelyn


Picks:
Azubu Blaze: Kayle, Caitlyn, Lulu, Nidalee, Dr.Mundo

Fnatic: Elise, Amumu, Zyra, Kog’Maw, Twisted Fate


A bit of an anti-climatic beginning as both teams met on mid but no kills were exchanged. Kayle was given blue buff, while Hellios quickly invaded the red buff leaving Cyanide crippled. Consistent pressure from Blaze resulted in the mid turret of Fnatic falling at the 5th minute mark. However, the amazing synergy between xPeke and sOAZ gave them first blood as Twisted Fate "ulted" top and finished Nidalee. Despite getting the outer bot turret of Fnatic, a kill for YellowStar on Kog was definitely not wanted by the Koreans. A brilliant display defensive presence was showcased by Azubu as Nidalee managed to escape a triple stun situation with the help of the Lulu ultimate. Consequently, the third and final turret of Fnatic fell.

First dragon of the game went to the Koreans as they quickly dispatched the beast and denied the poke from their opponents. This extended their gold lead to 2,5k. A skirmish ensued on mid as xPeke took down Hellios but Cpt. Jack avenged his fallen comrade. As Nidalee was split-pushing top, the circumstances allowed the Koreans to take down the second mid turret of their foes and further extend their gold lead. The relentless split-pushing continued as Azubu took down their sixth turret in a row which tightened the grip around Fnatic even more. However, they decided enough is enough and grabbed two kills after a brilliant initiation by Cyanide. This also resulted in the first dragon of the game for the Europeans who brought down the gold deficit by a little.

With all three lanes pushed, Azubu quickly snatched the Baron and disposed of Cyanide who tried his trademark steal. With the buff under their belts they immediately sieged the inhibitor and took it down. From this point on, all of Fnatic’s initiations were denied as they desperately tried to even the odds by grabbing kills. An inevitable ace followed as Azubu showcased how their tactical dominance can win games.

Winner: Azubu Blaze

Image

Game 2:

Bans:
Azubu Blaze: Lee Sin, Cho’Gath, Kog'Maw

Fnatic: Olaf, Kayle, Twisted Fate


Picks:
Azubu Blaze: Sona, Amumu, Evelyn, Elise, Miss Fortune

Fnatic: Kha'Zix, Nidalee, Shen, Lulu, Caitlyn


The game started rather quietly as both junglers went on their usual routes and no lanes were swapped. Blaze made a couple of ganking attempts but were left empty-handed. The first blood came at the 9th minute as Cpt. Jack’s Miss Fortune managed to eliminate Lulu. An incredible spear by xPeke’s Nidalee managed to equalize the kill score as he caught a low on health Amumu on dragon. Consequently, the mid turret of Blaze was taken down. Minutes later the action was off the charts! xPeke paid a visit to bot ensuring that YellowStar gets his doubekill onto the Korean bot lane duo. Immediately afterwards,the Spaniard played an important role on top where sOAZ took down Elise. Fnatic grabbed a total of 5 kills in less than three minutes! However, Blaze did respond with kills for Amumu and Evelyn which kept the gold even. The Koreans got themselves together, took down dragon and besieged the mid turret. As it fell they spearheaded into the gold lead.

Quick maneuvering by Fnatic allowed them to take down the second mid turret with ease and retake map control. An intense fight on mid turned horrible for Blaze as they lost 4 men and consequently their base mid tower. xPeke and his troops wisely turned to baron Nashor and took his buff to solidify their lead. The siege of the base bot turret turned into an xPeke spear fiesta as he demolished Cpt. Jack twice and eliminated Hellios. 5k gold ahead, Fnatic returned home and purchased everything needed to finish the game as only the top inhibitor was left standing.

The desperation fight by Blaze was initiated a bit sloppy despite getting a kill. What the Koreans did not take into account was the sneaky back door by sOAZ and xPeke. Azubu lost their first game in Katowice and all thanks to the one-man show from xPeke.

Winner: Fnatic

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Game 3:

Bans:
Azubu Blaze: Lee Sin, Kha’Zix, Twisted Fate

Fnatic: Olaf, Kayle, Shen


Picks:
Azubu Blaze: Cho’Gath, Nunu, Ryze, Kog’Maw, Nidalee

Fnatic: Caitlyn, Amumu, Evelyn, Kassadin, Blitzcrank


Fnatic took a play from Azubu’s book by stealing the red buff of Hellios. However, the Cho’Gath boldly accepted the exchange and took Cyanide’s red in turn. Top and bot lane were completely switched but no real plays came in the early game. An unfortunate facecheck by nRated cost him the first blood as Hellios was waiting in the same bush. A minute later, a three-man dive top turned wrong for the Koreans as xPeke and nRated assisted YellowStar who was on the brink of death.

A brilliant play by Lustboy denied a kill onto Hellios as Blitzcrank managed to hook the jungler. This resulted in a wasted teleport by xPeke and more farming time for Ambition’s Ryze. Azubu adopted a more passive-aggressive approach towards Fnatic - they poked hard as to ensure that team objectives would not be contested. A nice gank almost went wrong as both xPeke and Cyanide stayed alive by the skin of their teeth after taking down Ambition. Minutes later, a brave four-man dive eliminated Amibtion once again. What is more, the mid tower also was razed once Ryze fell. On the 20th minute mark we witnessed Cyanide’s trademark dragon steal as he snatched the beast right under the Korean’s noses.

An unfavorable exchange for Fnatic near baron gave Kog’Maw a triple kill. YellowStar did pick off Cho’Gath a minute later but Azubu was still in the lead. The back and forth fight did wear off Fnatic. This was wisely used by Azubu who pushed the Europeans back and comfortably took the baron buff. This put the Koreans in the driving seat as they started picking off towers. The power of the late-game Kog’Maw came into full fruition as he played a vital role in later exchanges. Azubu not only contained Fnatic’s aggression but managed to swiftly retaliate. With a precisely executed push they ended the game and are awaiting their new opponents at the final!

Winner: Azubu Blaze

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Pictures courtesy of ESL.


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