Finality. Thirty other teams have fallen by the wayside over the course of this split to leave us with only two - CB Shield and Conduit Esports Goblins. While these two organizations combined for six out of the thirty two teams, it is fascinating that this Finals features the top two teams from Demacia in the very end. Although CB Shield won the regular season matchup between these two teams, this one is the one that truly counts. Both teams have made small adjustments at times throughout the split and look ready to stake their claim on the ultimate prize. Let’s look briefly at how both teams got here last week:
CB Shield versus TDS Knights -> When things went well for TDS Knights, they went very well indeed as their Game Two was a sign of how strong they can be and were throughout most of the split. Unfortunately, they simply did not have the firepower to keep up with CB Shield and lost in four games. CB Shield was able to draft team compositions and champions that largely just needed to not lose massively early and they would have the advantage in the mid to late game. Such was the case throughout most of the series as CB Shield booked their ticket to the Finals.
Conduit Esports Goblins versus TE Genesis-> A clean 3-0 sweep helps to show the importance of consistent adaptability when it came to Conduit Esports Goblins. While TE Genesis did wonderful at drafting strong and capable team compositions throughout the playoffs, the advantages that Conduit Esports Goblins got in Games One and Three were just too substantial. Botlane was a strong suit throughout the series in favor of the Goblins.
Looking Back To The Regular Season:
The matchup between Conduit Esports Goblins and CB Shield was marked with 0utrage getting a powerful pick of Jax and using the top side of the map to influence the rest of the map to counteract a strong Jinx game on Baaamm. Conduit Esports Goblins was able to turn the tables by once more driving the Jinx down CB Shield and getting the necessary leads elsewhere to create the snowball for Conduit’s botlane. Three Jinx games in a row wasn’t the charm for Conduit Esports Goblins but the important factor is that all three games were close. I would expect much of the same although there is likely roster changes from the last time these two teams faced one another, which leads into the next topic.
Looking Ahead to The Finals:
Given that CB Shield has faced Conduit Esports Goblins and bested them before, expect for them to attempt to do much of the same today. While CB Shield come in as likely the favorites, the strength of both teams is their ability to, when equal, create small and continually building leads in the microgame. Given how close the last series between these two teams was, this should lend itself to numerous close games over the course of the finals as a few thousand gold will not be insurmountable by any means. Both midlaners have comfort picks and how those picks are utilized over the course of the split may loom large as we get into potential situations in Games Four and Five if they occur. The winner will likely be the team that is able to get the perfect combination of comfort along with necessary counterpicks. I would not expect either side to create a situation where the other team “has to react” to a particular player’s pick but rather that a power pick will be weaponized by both sides. This is where side selection may come into play but how important it will be will likely depend on the power picks left up by both teams. Conduit Esports Goblins may be considered the slight underdog but we must also realize that this is a team that is well aware of their own abilities. They tend to not give anything away easily and that will keep them in the series. The most important thing I will say about both teams as a substantial strength is that we cannot judge this series on anything but a single game at a time as these two teams will not mentally check out if a single game is lost. As such, while CB Shield defeated Conduit Esports Goblins earlier, this series is truly up in the air until the very end. Both teams would be well deserving of being crowned Champions tonight.
Three Crucial Finals Players
As there are only three players left from the “Crucial” Players and ten people playing, I am going to keep this short and sweet.
0utrage - CB Shield - The matchup toplane is relatively balanced. I would expect Conduit Esports Goblins to do everything in their power to allow Czi favorable matchups in toplane if at all possible.
Cyclone - CB Shield - Cyclone has continued to answer the call on a weekly basis and faces gvgnumber1. With Cyclone, comfort will be key in order to ensure CB Shield is put in an optimal spot for victory.
Beastieric123 - Conduit Esports Ghost - Botlane will be an area where Conduit is likely to opt for comfort and certainty. Given how effective Conduit’s botlane has been throughout the playoffs, I would expect Beastieric123 to play a substantial role when all is said and done.
Wrapping Up The Split
Parting is such sweet sorrow but we must do it now. Thinking back at all the teams and the stories that emerged over the course of the split, it makes me realize all of the voices that combine together to make a split successful. Whether it was through playoff upsets, regular season surprises for better or worse, or simply talking in general chat about how CB Masquerade spared us all (Heaven help us when they unleash their full power next split), everyone left their mark on the split and helped make it memorable. Looking forward to seeing you all around next split, hopefully, or down the road in other amateur Leagues.