Hi all its Storm/CTRL ULT ELITE again and we have finished our 1st week of BOL Platinum. I hope every team enjoyed their 1st set of games. This week we got our 1st real look at all the teams and I'm here to break down how every matchup went starting in the draft. Im going to go over every pick and ban what suprised me and what I thought were mistakes. After that I will have a short recap on the game and then a some closing thoughts on every series. Big shoutout to Benjamins of the stats team for having these numbers I can look at! Im planning on doing another playoff perdictions after week 3 has concluded.
Titan gaming atlas came into draft in game 1 with a clear plan and executed it very well. Don’t let Soulbert have one of his comfort champions and carry. They spent their 1st 3 bans at the opposing ADC. TA Wild Side decided to split their bans on the mains of Titan Gaming, getting rid of Rågnar’s Sett, AU KnuckeD’s Yummi and Hamsandw1ch’s Veigar. Wukong was left open as a strong flex pick and taken, giving Titan Gaming the start of a great mid game team comp. TA Wild Side retalited taking Viktor and Poppy trying to give themselves peel potential from Wukong. Titan gaming locked in Cait Morg stating that they wanted this game over early and they are going to stack drakes. TA Wild Side took Karma and I think this was their biggest draft blunder. Soulbert needs to take here something that can farm safely and has mobility. How on earth do you approach this dragon fight as someone without a dash in this scenario? If not picking a mobile ADC Ornn was also great here, giving you frontline and a comfort pick for TâcoCât.
Titan Gaming capitalise on the Karma pick and ban Zeri, Ezreal taking away 5 marksmen from Soulbert and locking one themselves. Ta Wild Side ban GP and Syndra high burst champions that would delete the low mobility squishies that they have drafted. Soulbert takes Varus and is kind of doomed to opposing CC. Titan gaming then take Sylas as an equalising lane mid who has CC setup for Wukong and Ornn a fnatasic blind pick who gives you the go button that this team needs to close the gap. TA wildside counter Ornn with Shyvana and again is not what I want. Your team has a great pick comp and needs a frontline so I agree you need some sort of juggernaut. But you so far have no winning lanes and poppy needs somewhere to get ahead. Trundle might have worked here pillar giving poppy more avenues to stun players but would struggle with the bot duos cc and zone. Honestly maybe the answer is to just say screw it TâcoCât you are the win condition here's Fiora go split push we can stall push with Karma Varus Viktor.
This game was more or less a stomp. Titan Gaming shut TA Wildside out from every objective. ACIick and AU KnuckeD played their role extremely well, getting 1st blood, having high kill participation and rotating themselves around the map to collect all of the outer towers. Titan Gaming was up 4k at 10 minutes and 10k at 20 minutes. SingularBread was probably the best player for TA Wildside in game 1.
Game 2 the draft felt very similar for Titan Gaming keeping the same 1st bans in Kogmaw Seraphine and Ashe. TA Wildside decided that morgana was the problem of the bot lane push last game and decided to ban it and kept the Sett Yummi bans. TA wildside took wukong for themselves with 1st pick saying we are going to try and stack drakes this game. Titan Gaming simply locked Cait Lux and said were going to push you under tower all game again and not let you walk into drake. I like what TA Wildside did in response. They went all offence taking Blitzcrank Tristana, a classic 2v2 from back in the day with high burst potential. Titan gaming decided that they needed some disengage, taking Gragas an always b tier jungle/top flex pick who can play for picks or look to play bodyguard. I like Gragas. He is flexible being either full AP 1 shot montage music or can be played as a tank with turbo chemtank trying to max out his CDR to provide as much disruption as possible.
In round 2 Titan Gaming no longer had ADCs to ban so they instead chose to ban out top laners from TâcoCât in Shen and Shyvana. Ta Wildside had a draft plan for game 2 and it was attack bot lane so they got rid of Sylas and Vi. Titan gaming took Orrn again as a denial and safe blind pick. Ta Wildside took twisted fate and Lilia top to give the team such much needed AP and roam opportunities. Titan Gaming Atlas then locked in a very scary counter pick in mid to low mobility mages in Aatrox mid. Twisted Fate does not have high DPS early in the game relying on auto attacks to get push for the 1st few levels. This puts him in the danger zone of Aatrox has very high base damage numbers and built in sustain that allows him to be a top laner. When you put him mid vs low mobility champions he suddenly has kill pressure whenever he can land his basic combo.
This game was much more even with both teams being within 1000 gold of each other at 15 minutes. TA wildside got a 2 for 1 trade securing 1st blood at 4 minutes into the game. Both teams scrapped back and forth trading kills and dragons. But at 22 minutes Titan Gaming was able to secure baron and started to siege mid. After taking the tower Titan gaming went to secure their 2nd drake and a team fight broke out. Titan gaming traded 1 for 4 leaving only blitzcrank to defend and were able to finish the game through mid.
What did this series teach us? Focusing on Soulbert of TA Wild Side is for sure the play. Kurido is going to need to step up for Wild Side he averaged 9k dmg in his 2 games which is way too low. Drakas242 was the bright side KDA wise of Ta Wild Side having 66% KP only dying 4 times the entire series. What we learned from Titan Gaming is that their plan works and teams need to respect it. If you let ACIick and AU KnuckeD push for plates and get ahead they will and they can carry the game. AU KnuckeD played amazing doing the most damage or being damn close to doing the most in both games. It's no wonder the duo is currently sitting on top of the player list in the player stats.
If you did not see this was the 1st streamed match of the platinum season on the BOL Twitch channel. I would highly recommend watching game 2 before reading this as it was a banger of a game. Game 1 there was a bit of stream delay going on and the game was not close.
Mystic cats unfortunately did not have their full roster together for this series. They had an E sub for this series in mid lane so they lost their 1st 2 bans for the match as well as CornStar at top lane with their sub ADC Chad Penguin in bot. With their only ban Mystic Cats took away Darius from The Real Oogway, something I fully support. Elementals Maelstrom banned Gwen Seraphine and Renata in the 1st round taking away some scaling picks from Tambourine King and one of the few top laners Cornstar has won with in solo queue this year. The Mystic Cats took sivir as the 1st pick, something last patch I was in full agreement with. Sivir provides exceptional waveclear, quasi engage and late game scaling. Elementals Malestrom countered with their own hyper carry in Twitch deftly’s signature pick. This would have been my other ban choice if I was Mystic Cats but Darius was probably overall the better ban. They also took lulu who unlocks twitchs potential giving him movement speed and protection allowing the plague rat to pop off. The Mystic Cats added Yummi and Ornn to their team, giving the team some frontline and engage but locking in 2 losing lanes. Yummi Sivir is a lane that just wants to go even and win the game once sivir has 4 items. It's almost always down gold and exp at 15 minutes though and Yummi makes it much harder to ward. Ornn blind generally does not lose hard but he doesn't win hard either. Elementals maelstrom answers Ornn with Tryndamere, a nightmare split pusher who gambles the lane with crits.
In round 2 Elementals Maelstrom Target Support Player who is subbing in mid removing Sylas and Azir. The Mystic Cats ban Graves and Talyiah trying to make sure that they have less early game focused junglers on the map. Elementals Maelstrom take Sejuani with their blind pick, a champion with great ganks and someone who can look to pressure top side with Tryndamere. The Mystic Cats then take Trundle and Kayle. I think Trundle was an awesome pick here giving you a winning matchup and a point of pressure. I honestly think Kayle was a troll blind pick. Your team has very little hard CC and you already have late game on lock. I think the pick here was some sort of control mage like Viktor or Orianna to give you some more CC to stop Tryndamere from just running at you. Elementals Maelstrom simply pick Vicktor and have a winning Top, Mid and Bot lane.
The game 1 was a stomp. The only objective secured by the Mystic Cats was a single drake that was a trade as Cornstar died to a Sejuani gank while it was happening. Elementals Maelstrom had a 4k gold lead at 10 minutes and the game was over by minute 22. Mystic Cats simply did not have any proactive plays they could make taking an almost full scaling team comp. Ornn was never able to group and start fights as tryndamere would simply end the game if he ever stopped matching him.
Game 2 in draft featured the same bans for both teams in round 1. Elementals Maelstrom took
sivir as 1st pick in this game. The Mystic Cats decided that they wanted to shut down Sivir and went for Leona Miss Fortune as their 1st 2 picks. A staple solo queue pairing if Leona can ever catch Sivir MF can easily kill them. Elementals Maelstrom went with Braum Graves for their last 2 picks in the 1st rotation. Braum is a fantastic answer into MF being able to ult her out of her own ult and provides great counter engage with concussive blows. Graves was an interesting pick here; he is one of L9 SKOOTIN’s most played champions so perhaps they just wanted comfort picks. Graves has the benefit of gaining extra armour so he won't get 1 shot by the MF ult in teamfights acting as a sort of drain tank front liner depending on the build. The Mystic Cats grabbed Azir for Support Player with this free opportunity. I think Azir was great here. It gives you some engage opportunities and matches some of the late game scaling of Sivir.
In round 2 The Mystic Cats banned Mordekaiser and Viktor where Elementals Maelstrom banned Lillia and Yorick. The Mystic Cats then took Diana giving counter pick to Cornstar. Diana synergizes well with this team giving more AOE wombo potential as well as someone who can match Graves in clear speed. Elementals Maelstrom then take Ahri and decide to blind pick Sett. I think Ahri is a good idea, you need a champion with mobility to avoid the wombo set up and Ahri also provides pick potential with Graves. Sett as the blind pick is pretty good with Mordekaiser and Darius gone and he allows you to toss an ulting Diana out of your team and those are 2 of his toughest matchups. Mystic Cats answer Sett with Aatrox and have a game plan. The plan is to dive in the back line and kill Ahri and Sivir. Both teams know this Elementals Maelstrom team is all about disengage. Let Ahri ult away let Sivir run away with spell shield and ult, braum is one of the best disengage picks in the game.
This game was an absolute slobber knocker, a blood bath, a fiesta whatever you want to call it this game was it. Elementals Maelstrom again get off to an amazing start The Real Oogway dives Corntstar at level 1 2 and a half minutes into the game. There are some more picks and by 8 minutes we have 9 kills and 15 kills by 11 minutes. The game at 12 minutes looks to be another easy win for Elementals Maelstrom having 2 drakes and a 7 kill lead. But then Mystic Cats starts to claw the game back. They get 4 unanswered kills in a row and then trade 1 for 1 giving a shutdown to their ADC. So at 15 minutes the game is now 12-9 and both teams are even. Following a disaster of a drake fight it's now 14-13 at 17 minutes and Mystic Cats take dragon. Another skirmish, another fight and it's now 32 kills before 20 minutes. By the time the next drake has spawned it is now 40 kills. The following fight at baron is complete pandemonium 30 seconds later. There is a 3 man Azir shuffle into a MF Bullet time and top laners dive ADCs. Mystic Cats however try and get too much after the fight, committing to a dive on graves at his tier 1 tower giving over a huge shutdown. Elementals Maelstrom then set up vision around the baron and are able to secure a pick onto Washing Hands yet again. A 4-0 fight in Elementals Maelstrom favour at minute 26 makes this game 27-25 in kills. Unfortunately Elementals Maelstrom ends the game on this baron push.
What we learned from this series is confirmation that the top side of the map for Elementals Maelstrom does in fact contain good players. TheRealOogway can solo his opposition and will look for risky plays. L9 SKOOTIN more or less took game 2 on their back doing the most damage in the game to players and objectives and was also the richest player in the game. Nèzumi also had a fantastic series with an 8.0 KDA playing safe and was doing 800 damage a minute. Mystic Cats proved at least there is a fight in them. They will not go down quietly and CornStar impressed me a lot in game 2 with their Aatrox. Hopefully this roster will be able to get their full team together soon as they do not have a bye until week 6. Washing hands died too often for my liking in both games. They are going to have to make sure that they always have a warding buddy and need to stop face checking.
Draft 1 of NwE Nebula(NEB) vs Ta Tropics(TAT) if completely different in terms of prioritised picks from every other draft this 1st week. Maybe it's because these teams rescheduled and were playing on a different patch. Or maybe these teams just think that comfort is more important than solo que data suggests. NEB are blue game 1 and they ban Wukong, Poppy and Lissandra wanting to get rid of disengage options. These bans make sense when you look at their overall draft picture in game 1. NEB had a plan and it was early aggressive laning to snowball the game and by god do I hate their draft. TAT on the other hand banned Sivir, Lillia and Gragas. Wanting to pinch the jungle pool in retaliation. NEB then 1st pick Yummi. I don’t think Yummi is that strong and is an odd 1st pick. I also hate the cat. TAT then draft Nautilus and Mordekaiser. I love both these picks. Naut is great into Yummi in lane and brings enough CC to try and burst down whoever the cat attaches to. Mordekaiser is a flex pick here and another great answer to Yummi. Simply ult the parasites carrier and dump the kitty out and beat up the loot pinata. NEB then take Twitch and Gangplank. Twitch pairs fantastic with Yummi giving you respoistion options while stealthed and can lock down people for Twitch's ult to ensure it doesn’t miss. GP is great as a lane answer into Morde as you can cleanse his ult but the Saltwater Scourge is not in a good place right now. Pro play nerfs have gotten rid of the strong early lane GP enjoys and now must play for late game 1 shot with barrels. TAT end round 1 on red side with Samira looking to punish Twitch Yummi as hard as possible.
In round 2 both sides focus their bans on mid getting rid of Ahri, Neeko, Sylas and Twisted Fate. TAT have 1st pick for round 2 and take Fiora revealing that its Mordekaiser jungle and saving counter pick for mid. Fiora vs GP is a very volatile matchup Fiora has auto resets to kill barrels and the chase down potential but miss time a parry or have GP detonate a barrel in your face and you can get 1 shot. NEB then pick Pantheon and LeBlanc going for all out early game aggression. With total scaling lanes in the rest of the map I get needing early game but Pantheon falls off a cliff. Pantheon needs to 1 shot with cheese ganks and the only lane that has the damage or CC to do that is LeBlanc. So your cards are kind of showing if Monix 11x can survive early this game is doomed. Monix 11x then takes Vex a pick that is all about punishing dashes, which is LB’s main trading pattern.
This game 1 is not what NEB wants. In 15 minutes they are down 500 gold and 2 dragons. Paneer then takes over in teamfights and just hard carries. They end the game with 15 kills getting their team soul and baron. Fiora for Fyth is not good, probably being the weakest link on this winning team in game 1. On the bright side for NEB Seppti played great on GP.
Game 2 TAT are on blue and ban Gragas, Lilia and GP. NEB on red ban Sivir, Naut and Wukong. TAT decided that they wanted a strong early game ADC again and picked Miss Fortune to start the draft. NEB decide to match the early game pressure and take Kalista Amumu. This lane has incredible kill pressure with Kalista having some of the highest DPS in the game with rend and Ammumu can lock down targets with his 2 q charges. At 6 you have a nasty AOE wombo that can let amumu play almost suicidal for engage. TAT then decides to take as much disengage as they can, grabbing Alistar and Poppy. Alistar does really well vs Amumu but not so much vs Kalista. If you are not able to burst Kalista in the lockdown window often times Kaltisa can just hop you down. NEB finished off round 1 with Olaf a top/jungle flex who is great into all the CC that TAT just drafted.
For round 2 both teams again focus on mid lane bans taking out Vex Lissandra Viktor and TF. NEB make sure to ban the more decisive picks as they blind Sylas who has some great ults to steal in Alistar and Poppy. TAT then takes Trundle and Ahri flexing the Poppy/Trundle until they know what NEB picks top. Ahri has a great ult for Sylas to take and is not the greatest pick but it is safe and you need something safe here blind. I would have considered Orianna here instead. NEB then finish draft with Gwen who has a great matchup into tanks and can outduel Trundle if the troll king is forced to build for teamfight instead of the splitpush. It turns out its Poppy top when all is said and done and I think that was the wrong choice. Once Gwen has 2 items you can never match them on side lanes.
Game 2 is all about Goati running people down for NEB. As Olaf Goati does the most damage in the game gets 1st blood and just runs amok. Poppy does really well early vs the gwen solo killing them twice. Kalista does not exactly have a pop off performance but hey you won the game! Just buy a pink ward next time or your coach will scream at you.
Game 3 in this series features even more strange picks. These teams have an interest in innovation it seems. NEB are blue side game 1 and ban Wukong, Naut and Lulu. Targeting supports from Jackie Moon 33x is an interesting idea. They do have quite a wide pool and your 2 bans are not at the same type of support so I am very curious why they went with those 2. TAT ban Olaf, Sylas and GP. Olaf and Sylas ran you over in game 2 so those bans make a lot of sense. Game 1 GP played exceptional so I can see that ban as well. NEB take Sivir pick 1. Again as long as sivir has a frontline and peel you are generally set up to win. TAT take Lilia and Twitch for their 1st 2 picks. Lilia is a flex option who can win teamfights by themselves whatever lane they are in. Twitch is great at picking people off and can absolutely crush Sivir if her Summoners are down. NEB then take Amumu Rumble. Rumble is Goatis most played. Amumu from the last game let them win dragon fights so why not take it again? TAT then take Nami looking for burst to hopefully get Twitch ahead as well as disengage from the Sad Mummy.
For Round 2 NEB again bans Lissandra Vex trying to force Monix 11x onto something less safe. TAT ban TF and Gwen wanting to not have Fyth get as hard countered. TAT blind Ornn here. You have a hyper carry already and your team needs engage and frontline Ornn is like the perfect pick. NEB then grav Gnar and Yasuo. This team has nasty AOE wombo combos. Imagine getting Amumu ulted then Gnar scoops your team into a wall with Yasuo, Sivir and Rumble following the damage up. TAT then take a completely wild pick in Pantheon mid as a Yasuo counter. Pantheon absolutely destroys Yasuo early just being able to threaten all ins at any time. If Yasuo decides to just play safe you then roam and look for kills with your CC and huge damage. Again Pantheon falls off a cliff in terms of scaling so if you are unable to leverage your lead the pick is not worth taking.
This game 3 worries me for NEB. You play this early game almost perfectly. You have a 5k gold lead at 15 minutes and by 25 minutes you stretch that all the way up to 10k. You are playing one of the best team fight skewed comps I have ever seen in my life and it takes you 15 more minutes to close the game out? How? Does Lilia just start landing 5 man ults onto your team? Does Twitch and Pantheon assassinate Sivir at every opportunity? Like this game was dead even in kills and looking at the damage it was not close. Rumble did 9k more than Lilia, Sivir did 10k more than Twitch and your other lanes were even in damage. For a 40 minute game the amount of pink wards you guys are buying is not enough.
So the biggest thing I learned while researching this series is to watch out for Paneer when playing TA tropics and Monix 11x. Paneer had games where he dominated like game 1 but game 2 when they got stomped was totally ineffective. Jackiemoon 33x had great vision score every game and really helped macro wise.
Nwe Esports Nebula is a team it turns out this is all about Goati. In their wins Goati was the richest player on the map who also dealt the most damage. In their game 1 loss his Pantheon pick was basically worthless. Despite having a game where they would get reported in solo queue(I don't know how you Junglers do it respect for the mental fortitude) Goati was still a top 30 player stats wise. However Goati is playing for themselves, not the team. NEB only got 1.7 dragons a game which is the lowest out of every winning team this week as well as only 1 rift herald a game. I was expecting way more out of Duck but rubber this series hopefully they can step it up in later weeks. Seppti also had a great series on 3 different picks.
The draft for ABS(Absolute Esports) vs RIA(Revolution Ice Age) began with ABS focusing their bans on Twiz banning their Vex, Viktor and Serpahine. RIA spread their bans out banning Aatrox, Diana and Senna. ABS was able to secure Sejuani as their 1st pick something that Angry Cookie excels on and I think was a great 1st rotation pick. Revolution Ice age did not have their full roster together and were playing with Meekish and Caliburn 2 of their sub players. They decided to give these players comfort and drafted Samira(Meekish’s best solo queue champ) and took Morgana, who is a flex pick for this team. I’m not sure that was wise as Samira wants the enemies to have low CC so she can freely channel her ultimate but Samira is also a takeaway pick from Arts and Crafts. ABS then took Yone and Vayne. Yone has great synergy with Sejuani but I do not know why you would blind pick your mid like this. Are you scared that Yone is going to get taken from you? Maybe scouting revealed that Twiz does not have an answer to the pick. Vayne here is also a questionable pick. Samira almost always outlanes Vayne and there are other ADCs that do better vs Samira. Why not just take a disengage support if you want Vayne that you drafted later anyways? RIA seeing all this AD take Malphite keeping flex opportunities available and having a Yone counter and something to hard engage onto Vayne so the team has a 1 shot opportunity.