Day 2 of the Group Stage had some moments where the outcome of a game was unpredictable, but others to where games were at a stalemate. We saw multiple instances of Garen and Yuumi bot lane, but also a good amount of priority for Elise as a pick.
Here is a breakdown of the games from Day 2 and what could be considered as some of the most important plays of each game.
SK Telecom T1 vs Royal Never Give Up
SKT, along with other teams, seemed to have a good amount of pick priority for Renekton. The obvious picks that stand out within this draft are the Blitzcrank pick over picking the available Rakan to pair with Xayah, along with Faker last picking Twisted Fate.
This game was completely back and forth as both teams focused towards the bot lane, with Faker ulting down there repeatedly to try and get his bot lane ahead. The brilliance of SKT ends up showing when they’re able to use their global comp in order to pressure Mordekaiser in the side lane and grab an inhibitor turret because of it, along with Baron. After the baron, SKT decide to 1-3-1, and a poor play from Effort trying to get deep vision near RNG’s mid tier 2 turret stops SKT from taking full advantage of their baron buff. It seemed as though Effort had forgotten he was playing against a Blitzcrank. SKT were still able to win despite this setback. For the most important play of the game, the very end of the game was a backdoor play, as Faker rushes top to take the inhibitor while the rest of SKT are holding off RNG in bot lane. SKT TP both Khan and Teddy inside RNG's base, meanwhile Effort and Clid stop recalls, with Effort using his Redemption to stop Xiaohu and Clid suicides to stop other recalls.
Fnatic vs Clutch Gaming
Garen/Yuumi bot, Tristana top
CG opt for the lesser of two evils (or so they think) with letting Garen/Yuumi slip through the draft rather than Twisted Fate. Rather than doing what SKT did before, CG ban Kayle themselves on the second part of draft phase.
FNC had a difficult time trying to get baron due to their low damage comp for the late game, but they used it as a bait to then engage onto CG with the Garen just running at them. Vulcan also couldn’t really catch out the Garen due to the Yuumi able to ult during stasis which stopped a lot of CG’s pick potential. 36:15 near Elder, FNC get a 5 for 1 as Bwipo flanks and gets a great taunt onto Damonte. Nemesis joins in to kill him and then they both destroy the backline as the rest of FNC focus the frontline and crucially don’t allow Huni’s Tristana to enter the fight.
Team Liquid vs Invictus Gaming
Fiddlesticks is the pick that is surprising, but it makes sense since he can just point-and-click against Rakan. IG also allowed TL to get the Xayah and Rakan, as that would be the obvious choice for TL after IG take Kai’sa, but it looks like it was a bit of a bait as IG had the Fiddlesticks counter prepared. Along with all of this, TheShy easily is allowed to grab the Vladamir top to soft counter the GP as they play the scaling war for late game.
This game was all about Xmithie vs Leyan as both were constantly ganking, with mishaps from IG early on through ganks on the bottom side of the map. The play which ends the game is at 30:50 with Rookie getting a massive shockwave near baron, allowing them to cleanup TL and then end the game shortly afterwards. Vladamir was the ticking time bomb which TL couldn’t avoid, as Impact was getting smashed in the side lane throughout the mid game, but with Orianna from IG, TL didn’t necessarily have the better teamfight either.
AHQ Esports Club vs Damwon Gaming
Qiyana mid, Camille top
This is the first Qiyana we’ve seen in the Group Stage and it didn’t really perform to expectations as Rainbow wasn’t able to get off any roams, although his ultimates did prove useful in teamfights.
Showmaker destroyed the mid lane as he was up +30 CS at 10 minutes. 11:30 is when things start to heat up as BeryL gets caught behind the Mountain drake and this prompts a teamfight, which DWG win getting 4 for 2 as Rumble didn’t really catch many people within his ult and Qiyana’s ult was used to initiate but Xayah wasn’t there to put DPS out, having to then run away from Showmaker’s Akali. What ties this entire game together for DWG was their ability to control vision near baron pit, as they sneak baron at 22:40, as Canyon shows up to kill a ward while Nuclear and BeryL get baron to a third of its HP and then Canyon goes back to help them secure it.
Griffin vs G2 Esports
Strange that G2 picks Elise and Ornn. Seems like they just wanted to take away the Renekton Elise combo from Griffin.
Jankos gets 2 successful ganks off top which sets Wunder up for success for the rest of the game. G2 still play this game a little sloppy as Jankos doesn’t give Wunder any vision priority for top side which Wunder is then ganked by Tarzan. Most of Jankos’ attention is diverted to bot side, but this just allows GRF to lane swap and then get Rift Herald. While there isn’t one direct play which helps G2 win this game, it’s the idea that GRF have no optimal wave clear and this allows G2 to consistently keep mid wave priority and therefore vision priority as a result. G2 are easily able to secure baron vision and then ultimately win the game off of their advantage of wave clear from the Orianna pick. 20:40 is a good example of G2 having mid priority and able to cut through the enemy jungle faster to help Wunder with a team fight that’s about to take place, allowing G2 to get 4 for 2 and bot tier 2.
Cloud9 vs Hong Kong Attitude
Heimerdinger bot, Irelia mid, Garen/Yummi bot, Tristana mid
The greatest takeaway from this draft is the Quinn ban from C9, which points towards HKA’s ability to play Quinn, along with a strong inclination towards Renekton and Elise. Heimerdinger being picked by Sneaky also shows that maybe he got some lessons from Deftly. It’s also crucial to take note that Kayle wasn’t banned this game, which SKT showed was a good counter to Garen/Yuumi bot lane during Day 1.
C9 had a difficult time fighting against this Garen pick during the mid game, which largely stalled out the game. The thing about this Garen pick is that once C9 get baron, it’s almost impossible to stop the siege as Garen doesn’t have any wave clear. Crash was absolutely clueless as to where to be on the map, as Svenskeren didn’t really play towards top side, which HKA was probably expecting due to the champion picks. This allowed for Svenskeren to keep vision for bot and allow them to push. Meanwhile, Licorice gained his own lead top lane. While C9 won this game, they definitely struggled and the biggest hiccup was their first baron, as they were pushing top lane at 40:45, C9 get caught by a Garen/Yuumi combo and Gragas ult, resulting in HKA getting a 4 for 0 and prolonging the game.
Day 2 of the Group Stage is over and the second big test for SKT was completed, G2 didn’t disappoint and DWG can at least boast their superior macro knowledge over lesser teams. We’ve seen both the positives and negatives of Garen/Yuumi bot lane and we may be in store for more adaptations to fight this combo.
Izento has been a writer for the LoL scene since Season 7, and has been playing the game since Season 1. Follow him on Twitter at @ggIzento for more League content.
Images courtesy of LoL Esports
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