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Storm Watch Week 9 Semi Finals

Hello everyone and welcome to the semifinals. Last week featured some massive upsets and we are now down to the top four teams in BOLE. Today's article will be a recap of all 4 series played last week and my thoughts on the semifinal matchups left in the league.

Games In Review

Final Boss vs. DZG Arcadia 3-0 for DZG Arcadia

I have no idea what the hell Final Boss was cooking with their draft in game 1, but it was an affront to chefs everywhere. Final Boss was playing a team comp with meager range, almost no engage options and a very weak frontline. DZG had a much more stable draft with engage options from Zac support and Vi jungle with plenty of dive follow-up with Zeri and Azir. Game 1 of this series was fairly stable, as the teams figured each other out. There were 6 kills in the first 15 minutes. DZG mostly played towards their Zeri lane in the early game sending Vi for an early cheese gank bot blowing the flash of Rumble support and then returning ganking to secure kills later. Zetta on Udyr for Final Boss was primarily playing for their own lead(as they did all series) making sure to out-farm Vi. This was the only game of the series where this worked Zetta was able to get the 1st set of Grubs and 2 Dragons. The first 15 minutes of this game were quiet and fairly stable; there was a substantial farm lead for DZG being up 2.5k but Final Boss had 2 dragons and 3 grubs. But Final Boss played this game like they had massive gold leads in the mid-game. They took some disastrous fights, such as when DZG invaded 16 minutes later to steal blue on a cross-map. Final Boss got overzealous trying to defend their blue buff on a cross-map trade and lost 4 members for 0. DZG for the rest of this game simply grouped up whenever possible and would wipe Final Boss as they come to fight 4v5 while Trundle split pushed in the top lane. The game at 20 minutes was completely out of hand with DZG having a 7k gold lead and DZG securing a pick into a baron at 22 minutes ending game 1. 

In game 2, both teams drafted much better, with more standard team fight compositions and fewer incredibly weird fringe picks. The early game again was quiet. There was no 1st blood in this game until almost 9 minutes in. But DZG was out laning Final Boss. Every lane had priority letting them get the first two dragons, the first tower and even gave roam timers for KaizerCool on Zac support to help set up first blood and multiple picks onto AlyXO’s Hwei mid. At 15 minutes DZG again had the gold lead and was in complete control of the game taking over the top side of the map. Final Boss on the cross-map got some kills onto their Jinx, but it was not nearly enough. At 17:30, the final boss went for a top-side 4v4, trying to cash in on some bounties and giving themselves an avenue back into the game. Final Boss failed to get a kill and lost 4 members. DZG at this point in mid-game again had too much of a lead to lose being up 9 to 2 in kills and 3 dragons to 0. When Final Boss was forced to contest Soul at 22 minutes they got aced Baron was secured by DZG and the Final Boss Nexus exploded just 4 minutes later.

For Game 3 DZG assembles the ultimate wombo combo team taking Rumble, Jarvan, and Yasuo. Final Boss decided to play towards split push and tempo to combat this in the draft taking Tristana Karthus and Jax with a more aggressive bot lane of Twitch Braum. This is the only game of the series with any sort of level 1 invading as Final Boss gets Flash off Castro and is able to get a level 2 kill bot lane because of it. There seems to be some sign of life for Final Boss finally being shown in this series as they have a 2-kill lead at 5 minutes. But Final Boss was unable to captilzie on their early game gold lead and at 15 minutes the kills were tied up and DZG again had both Dragons. Faulteh and Spicy Tuna Fish for Final Boss see that this game is as good as over and try to make the hero play in bot lane. They die after burning all of their resources and again at 20 minutes, the game is done. DZG is ahead 13 to 5 in kills and has all 3 dragons. A clean ace at 23 minutes gives DZG Baron and Dragon Soul and DZG is so far ahead they dive through two towers to complete the sweep. 

For my MVP of the winning team, Canny gets my vote. While Andicus in mid lane had an incredible series had a gold lead at 15 minutes all series and only died twice( having a 16.0 KDA) Canny did the most damage in this series(doing almost an entire third more than Andicus) and still had a 12.0 KDA. Games 2 and 3 of this series really did feel like top diff where the Shaqtus on Jax was unable to do anything and Canny just ran the game.

A single member of Final Boss doesn't deserve a shoutout for that series. Everyone played not just bad but awful. Faulteh was the closest member to having a good series but they did such negligible damage numbers(less than 10k damage a game or like 350 damage a minute) that I cannot give it to them. Zetta in the jungle, while having the best damage numbers literally just power farmed 3 games in a row and never ganked. The Shaqtus got top gapped and AlyXO had 3 kill participation this entire series.  

TLDR: DZG out laned Final Boss all series got massive gold leads and beat them with their wallets. Final Boss had no control in any of these 3 games and looked lost without a lead.

MVP of Final Boss: Canny the Top Laner

MVP of DZG Arcadia: No one

Omega Wooper Vs. Team Syndicate 3-1 for Omega Wooper

Game 1 of this series had Omega Wooper feeling themselves. In the first three minutes of the game, every lane for Wooper committed to trying to kill their lane opposition blowing summoner spells to go all in. Despite this the Syndicate players held flashes and escaped jungle ganks first blood was not until 9 minutes into game 1. Wooper as always played for their bot lane while Syndicate played much more toward mid-lane in game 1. At the 15-minute mark, Wooper was slightly ahead of Syndicate having a 1.5k gold lead and 1st tower. The teams were tied in dragons and grubs and Okami the mid laner of Syndicate was very ahead of IshaN keeping Syndicate in this game. Moredsreich and Sixela continued to get picks for Wooper with their Ashe Braum throughout the mid-game. Anyone without flash would simply get chain-stunned as soon as a slow landed. But when Baron spawned the game quickly changed to favor Syndicate. As the teams started fighting over vision a full 5v5 teamfight started. Syndicate emerged victorious thanks to an incredible Gwen W buying almost 4 full seconds of Syndicate free hitting while the ranged carries of Wooper were unable to contribute DPS. The game stalls for the next 5 minutes as both teams trust in their scaling simply waiting for the next Baron to spawn. Syndicate blunders trading Baron for their third dragon but Wooper cannot do anything with their Baron buff. They fumbled some attempted tower dives and only killed a single side-lane tower. The next point of contention was Soul for Syndicate and XSoccer25X stole it. With all the cloud dragons slain Mint on Zeri was now fully online and, with a Lulu peeling for them, is unstoppable in team fights. Okami on Orianna was also doing incredible damage and landed several massive shockwaves.

In game 2 I think Syndicate absolutely screwed themselves in the draft and made this game practically impossible for themselves. The only reason this game ended after the 23-minute mark is that Okami on Corki stole the Baron buff, so the game ended in 27 minutes instead. Syndicate took Shen who is one of the worst picks possible into Mordekaiser and Raijin got absolutely dumpstered top lane getting solo killed 4 times in lane. The entire Wooper draft was about absorbing dive pressure and keeping fights long and Syndicate has a poke composition with 3 tanks to hard engage. Wooper steamrolled this game; they were ahead 10 kills to 3, had all 6 grubs, and had a 4k gold lead at just 14 minutes. By 20 minutes this game was all over but the crying.  

In game 3, the Syndicate draft woes continued when Wooper picked Sylas, while Syndicate had some of the best ults in the game to steal(Maplhite, Maokai, Sejuani are all S-tier ults to steal). Geyser on Aatrox for Wooper was simply a Thanos-level threat. Syndicate had low mobility as a team and Aatrox could just drain tank their entire team after they blew all their CC. I was amazed that Syndicate was in this game whatsoever. Syndicate played the early game quite well for the first 10 minutes. They had a 1k gold lead thanks to some great mid-lane roams and had even taken the first dragon. Even when Syndicate got a huge team fight win got their ADC a quadra kill, and Baron at 20 minutes Wooper still had a gold lead. In team fights Wooper simply had too many threats. Whoever got chain stunned would die but the other members of the team would be able to win 4v5 quite easily. 

Sadly, the last game of the series was not close. I liked the team composition that both teams took in the draft. Syndicate went for lots of team fighting and incredible scaling while Wooper went for more mid-game power spikes and peel potential. Wooper however more or less had 3 winning lanes again and Syndicate did not have the damage to kill the members of Wooper past the early game. I really think that if Syndicate took Vayne top(which I am assuming Riajin can play as they play lots of ADC) instead of Smolder this game would have been theirs to win. Raijin again was a complete non-factor in this game allowing Gyser to more or less kill any single person who entered the death realm with him at any point. Raijin was a crucial draft piece in this game for Syndicate as every other member of this team was playing utility Raijin needed to bring the damage. Whenever XSoccer25X could gank, they had incredible kill setups and got ahead, but when he was not in lanes, his teammates struggled. The game was still close at 15 minutes Wooper was only up 1.5k gold while both teams were tied on dragons. The lack of damage was caught up to Syndicate in the mid-game and they stopped being able to trade kills. Wooper pressed their lead incredibly hard daring Syndicate to fight them and had a 5k gold lead by 20 minutes while Syndicate desperately tried to stall and get Smolder into the game. After Wooper took the Baron, you could visually see the members of Syndicate deflate. They started to face check bushes, and Wooper confidently closed out this series.

Geyser in the top lane for Wooper is the easy MVP candidate for this series. Being able to blind pick a top laner in the 1st rotation and dominate with it is insane. Geyser only died twice in the 3 games that Wooper won(dying a total of 6 times in 4 games) and did the most damage every single game except for game 1 where they lost(Gyser was outdamaged by Okami). Geyser had 8 solo kills this series they completely warped the top side of the map and I hope DZG comes in with some Mordekiaser counterpicks ready.

Okami in mid-lane for Team Syndicate I think was by far their best player in this series. Okami more or less won game one by having four shockwaves that hit 3+ targets. They were the only player on this team to get solo kills, had some great roams, stole a baron buff and killed more players and minions than anyone else on their team. There is not much more you could want from them.

TLDR: Syndicate had some major draft woes this series not being able to draft the damage necessary to fight Wooper past the mid-game. Both teams played towards their bot lane all series but the top gaps are where the bulk of the gold leads came from.  

MVP of Omega Wooper: Gysęr in the top lane

MVP of Team Syndicate: Okami in the mid lane

Clown Gaming Forklift Certified Vs. Conduit Jiji 3-0 For Conduit Jiji

Game 1 of their series started out really well for Clown Gaming, as everyone had anticipated. Clown secured the first and second blood, the first dragon and even contested the first set of grubs having a 1k gold lead by 9 minutes in. Jiji started the second dragon of the game and Clown was able to thwart them but Clown gor greedy. They attempted to finish the second dragon instead of resetting wile on vision and the entirety of Jiji had respawned and were sprinting straight at them. Clown gave over 3 kills putting Jiji back into the game and letting Shifti as Twitch start to snowball a lead. At 15 minutes the game was almost tied in gold, both teams had 1 dragon and both had some grubs. Clown started to lose in mid game as they did not have to tools to play the map. CZI on Trundle was able to almost completely ignore VeyCaution’s Skarner sitting in the side lanes. Without this tank presence, Clown did not have the necessary dive threats to kill Shifti’s Twitch and they were able to open up and Spray and Pray down team fights. Chris got some huge multi-man sleeps as well come team fights and Clown simply got out macrod around the map. Clown Gaming was never at an objective first never had the vision and was forced to face check time and time again. Even the great Baron steal by OccuptationalHzrd did nothing for this game Jiji took game one.

In game 2 of this series, both Clown Gaming and Conduit Jiji drafted for mid-game power spikes and team fight prowess. Clown took a little bit more side lane threats with Yone and Renekton while Jiji took more burst with Gragas and Annie. Clown again started strong having the push advantage in all 3 of their lanes and were able to fend off the early ganks from Chris. Jiji opted to take the 1st set of grubs while Clown took the first dragon thanks to the priority they had in mid and bot lane. The junglers continued to path away from each other for the first 12 minutes of the game. When Chris was in the bot lane killing AFKBoulder and counterjungling, OccupationalHzrd could be seen taking the grubs. At 13 minutes was the first real team fight of game two over the second Dragon. Clown was able to take this fight thanks to some great crowd control layering but they left Induced their ADC out to dry. As mid-game rolled around both Clown and Conduit settled in to farm no individual lanes were able to build up meaningful turret damage. The game was slightly Clown Gaming favoured as they had both early Dragons and a 1k gold lead. But as mid-game approached Jiji started to come back yet again as Chris on Hecraim was able to start outpacing the clear of OccupationalHzrd and was able to make plays before the Skarner could join in for Clown. Jiji made sure to make it early to the spawn of the third dragon of the game was once again firmly in control and when Clown came to contest vision, they were unprepared for the team fight and Jiji won convincingly. Clown at 20 minutes lost all sense of Macro and started to over stay on the map. After taking mid tower Clown proceeded to dive top lane onto CZI after the entire Jiji roster had reset. Jiji avenged their top laner and the game at 20 minutes was now 12-6 in kills for Jiji with a 2k gold lead. Jiji then kept punishing the over extending members of Clown never letting any fight be just a 1v1. Clown lost 4 picks in a row, lost Dragon, and a pick onto OccupationalHzrd led to a Baron for Jiji. Just 5 minutes later, Jiji was now 7k gold up and was knocking on the clown gaming mid inhibitor. One Caitlyn face-checking an Annie later and this game was over. 

Game 3 started once again with Jiji falling behind and Clown gaming getting an early lead. By 10 minutes Clown was up 4 kills to 0 had the 1st set of grubs and had a 3k gold lead. At the 15-minute mark the gold lead was still the same and OccupationalHzrd feelling themselves were even able to steal a Rift Hearld. But Jiji once again as the third dragon spawned proved to be the more coordinated team. As Induced and AFKBoulder tried to hit the mid lane tower before Dragon spawned Canela Tea on Talyiah walled off their escape and they got a pick securing themselves a dragon. Clown started to play better and kept the pressure up claimed some more towers and at 20 minutes, had a 4.5 k gold lead with 4 towers. Clown started to pressure the baron at 21 minutes, and Jiji having the jungle warded tracked them. Jiji won the enusing fight thanks to some serious chunk damage onto OccupationalHzrd and VeyCaution thanks to Canela Teas's great Talyiah play. This 3 for 1 fight gave Jiji the Baron Buff and a way back into the game. Clown rushed Dragon and was able to claim it at the price of their ADC and top lane giving themselves a win condition. Jiji then utilized their baron and took 4 towers and now had a 3k gold lead of their own making a 6k gold swing in 10 minutes. Induced for Clown as Cho Gath gets caught clearing Vision and Clown use all of their resources to save their tank. Jiji is able to secure their kill on Cho Gath and burn several imperative flashes allowing them to finish off the game and the series.   

For the MVPs, Chris and Canela Tea both played incredibly well and I think deserve Co MVP awards for their efforts. Chris did the most damage to champions of everyone this entire series, with Canela Tea right behind them. Chirs ended the series with a 16.33 KDA, and Canela Tea had a 15.0 KDA, as both only died an average of once a game. Game 2 was a jungle diff for Chris but game 3 was a mid diff for Canela Tea. Shifti at ADC even had a great series but they did about 400 less damage a minute this series so I am giving it to the jungle and mid.  

On the side of Clown Gaming, I am not sure who deserves the MVP award for this series. I think it is safe to say that every single player on this roster disappointed and did not play up to their normal level.  If we look at KDAs no one on this team had above a 1.0 KDA in this series. No player had runway gold leads for most of the series. Cyclone in mid was the only player to get any solo kills but they were also solo killed themselves numerous times. AFKBoluder did the most damage for Clown in this series as a support but was playing Zyra and Senna in all 3 games. Veycaution was held kill less in 2 of the 3 games. Induced being a substitute that is off role you cannot expect too much of but had terrible positioning and got caught numerous times before an objective.  

MVP of Clown Gaming: No one

MVP of Conduit Jiji: Chris in the Jungle or Canela Tea in Mid Lane

TLDR: Clown despite getting early advantages in all 3 games faltered in the mid-game. Jiji was able to play the Macro game better getting key picks before objectives and looked to be supporting each other much more than Clown who appeared to be playing as individuals.

Mint Spark Vs. Bloom Abyss 3-0 for Mint Spark

Game 1 of this series started with a quiet early game as both Mint Spark and Bloom fell each other out while drafting teams with lots of scaling picks. First blood was secured for Mint at 5 minutes onto Jakob’s Azir when he over pushed but other than that incident the early game was farming. The first action on the map was at 11 minutes when the second set of grubs spawned. Bloom sent their entire to fight for Grubs, and Mint Spark was late, losing 3 kills but trading for the 2nd dragon. At the 15-minute mark of game one Bloom was in the lead with a 1k gold lead and 5 grubs but were down 2 dragons. As the next Dragon spawned Mint Spark grouped early and forced Bloom off the objective. Bloom was able to secure the side lane push, and when CTRL ULT ELITE left the fight early, Bloom went for a double TP play onto Dragon and the 4v5 fight, securing it. After that Dragon fight, Mint started to group more as a team, focusing on neutral objectives like Baron and Dragons while Bloom focused more on killing towers. As the third Dragon spawned Mint once again was there early and Bloom played the map more taking top tier 2 and looking to start Baron. Mint saw this peeled off of Dragon and fought Bloom at the Baron. Mint swung the game heavily in their favor winning the team fight 4 for 1 fight and securing their 3rd dragon of the game. A pick onto Jakob of Bloom gives Mint Baron at the cost of 2 mid-lane towers just 3 minutes later. But Mint won the game off the back of this Baron securing bot and mid inhibitor and their Dragon Soul. With a 7k gold lead Mountinan Dragon soul, a Veigar with 1300 AP Mint is able to end the game just 5 minutes later.

In game 2 of this series, Bloom makes some very odd draft choices last picking Singed top lane into Tahm Kench and having a Sejuani jungle paired with 0 melee champions who auto attack. This game was very low-action and quite boring to play. There was only 1 kill before 15 minutes (Albino for Mint Spark onto Jakob), and the teams continued to avoid fighting. Mint and Bloom traded the first set of objectives with Mint taking Dragon and Bloom taking the Void Grubs. At 17 minutes is the only action of the game as the 3rd dragon spawns. Mint and Bloom fight a 3v3 in the bot lane which Mint Spark Wins to get their third Dragon. At 19 minutes, the one-team fight of the entire early game happens, and Mint wins decisively with 4 kills and only loses their support with multiple members surviving on sub 300 hp. The mid-game then drops into another lull as Mint waits for their soul to spawn and does not let Bloom anywhere outside their base. When Bloom eventually leaves their base to contest soul Mint wipes Bloom. A short seige later this game ends pre 25 minutes with Mint having a 15-4 kill lead, Dragon Soul, Baron Buff and a 10k gold lead. 

In game 3 Bloom tries their best in the early game to get a lead teams trade flashes looking for solo kills, and there was even a team fight over the first dragon. Bloom wins the early game fight as they decide to TP their Renketon into bot lane to secure a kill and the fight, leaving Mint to collect turret plates. At 8 minutes, Bloom throws the games when they roam as 4 to the top lane and try to dive CTRL ULT ELITES Mundo while on vision. It goes horribly wrong for Bloom as CTRL ULT ELITE lives, and Mint gets 4 kills. By 9 minutes into this game, both Wukong and Mundo for Mint had already completed their first full item and started to take over the game. RatQueenDeliliah on Wukong secures the next Dragon, set of grubs and rift herald. By 15 minutes, Mint Spark had a 2k gold lead and was up 9 to 4 in kills. Bloom realizing they need to start doing something different, set up a death bush around the third Dragon. But they cannot get a kill onto Wukong with this setup splitting their focus and eventually trade 3 for 1, losing their mid tower and dragon. With a 5k gold lead, Mint Spark starts just to throw their wallets at Bloom trying to get them to fight whenever possible and warding aggressively. A baited fight at 25 minutes leads to some more kills and at 26 minutes Mint has enough of a gold lead to dive Bloom under their tier 2 tower mid-lane and win the team fight without a single member dying ending the game before 30 minutes.   

The MVP of this series was easily RatQueenDeliliah for Mint Spark in the Jungle. RatQueenDeliliah did the most damage in this series for Mint Spark had a 14.25 KDA and secured every single smite this series. RatQueenDeliliah ganked at opportune times and played incredibly well on both the tank of Skarner and more Skimishing side of Wukong. Cloudbry for Bloom Abyss deserves the MVP for them just based off of their game 3 performance of Ziggs not to mention the fact they died the least on Bloom this entire series, farmed the most CS and had the most damage on their team every game.

TLDR: Mint Spark focused on Dragon and Barons playing for team fights while Bloom tried their best to play for Towers and Grubs. Bloom was unable to fight Mint Spark at almost any point in this series winning just 2 team fights and losing every game while having above a 10k gold deficit.     

MVP of Mint Spark: RatQueenDeliliah In the Jungle

MVP of Bloom Abyss: Cloudbry at ADC

Upcoming Predictions Top 4

Omega Wooper Vs DZG Arcadia 3-1 For DZG Arcadia

It is safe to say that DZG Arcadia's placement in the top four was a major surprise to everyone except the members of DZG Arcadia. Omega Wooper also won their first series in 3 weeks as they finally had someone besides their bot lane step it up. Gyser showed up huge in the top 8 but the question becomes can they be that dominant again? 

I have DZG winning this series, as I think the solo lanes of DZG easily clear that of Omega Wooper. Canny is the highest-ranked player in BOLE at Diamond 2 being a full division above Raijin(Gyser’s opponent last week) and is someone who actually plays top lane. I don't think 1st picking Mordekaiser will go quite as well if I had to guess. Gyser has not looked the most comfortable this season on traditional weak-side champion picks and I worry that Canny will just play for counter picks and solo Gyser. IshaN in mid, despite winning last week still has some huge red flags. IshaN died 16 times last week which was 32% of the team's deaths having a 2.8 KDA dying more than their engage jungler and support. Andicus in mid for DZG is also a fantastic mid laner and I am unsure if Wooper will have the agency on the top side of the map that is needed to give Mordeish time to scale.

Mint Spark Vs. Conduit Jiji 

As the top laner of Mint Spark, I generally do not like to write about my team as I am often biased toward the teams that I play for.

Here are some community predictions:

DZG coach - Kharn thinks:

Conduit 3-1 Mint Spark Conduit will win because of top gap, if they lose it will be because they don't have a Jinx answer other than Twitch and ego and don't ban it.

Mint Spark ADC- KTL:I think Spark wins 3-1 because we have been the better team all season. we have answers for their best champs in all roles.

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