BF Sword Gragas: Revealing the Importance of Teamwork through BM

Runic Echoes into Ohmwrecker into BF Sword into sell BF Sword for Zhonya’s to jump in the enemy fountain. William “Meteos” Hartman established this highly-meta breaking Gragas build in game four of C9’s quarterfinals playoffs against NV last weekend.

Is this build powerful? Certainly not. Is it troll? Most likely. Should Meteos be fined for unsportsmanlike-conduct? No.

Starting at the top of the standings and slowly having descended, Team NV has shown repeated weakness as a team when it comes to coordinating as five. Despite coming out the gates strong, the team dynamic within NV has slowly deteriorated as their competitors toughened. It is no surprise by this point that the three Korean players on the team ( Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong, Kim “Procxin” Seyoung   and Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo) synergize in a way that seemingly excludes their bot lane (Benjamin “LOD” de Munck  and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent ). I can’t speak on behalf of NV or inner team dynamics, but at least the team prowess they demonstrated on the Rift does not resemble that of a fully coordinated ensemble.

Despite performing well in the first games against C9, NV pulled out an all-in-early-game-aggressive comp featuring Lee Sin jungle and Pantheon mid when faced with potential elimination. These two champions in particular exhibit playstyles that contrast the comps NV played in their first games of their series, and two champions that say, “I need to carry this #soloqueue style”.

Was NV’s final comp meant to come off as troll? Not sure, but there are definitely elements of cheese in these picks that propelled NV’s unprecedented aggression into their (final) game four. When these efforts backfired, C9’s Meteos pulled out his secret Gragas build for, what I presume, was an attempt at counter-cheesing their opponents.

Despite claims that Meteos’ build reflects poor sportsmanship, as C9 was quite frankly wrecking NV as proven by Jensen’s record breaking 20 kills on LeBlanc, this one match demonstrates the importance of team coordination as superior to individual skill level. While NV’s laners may be evenly matched to C9’s, the dynamic within the C9 crew proved to be far superior.

This statistic is not uncommon in the NA LCS. Take a look at the other game featured last weekend, TL vs CLG, and the same finding rings true: while Dardoch, Lourlo and Fenix may be stronger than their counterparts, CLG’s ability to play as a group dominated their quarterfinals match.

In fact, this past week Esports Writer Fionn posted a statistic on twitter revealing regional dominance across worldwide LoL:

# of domestic champions:

Korea: 6 (7 if ROX wins)
China: 5
NA: 3 (4 if IMT wins)
EU: 3 (4 if SPY, H2k, UoL win)
Taiwan: 3 (4 if HKE wins)

This statistic suggests that the top teams create a monopolistic stranglehold on the regional playoffs. What exactly contributes to TSM, C9 and CLG’s victories season after season? What is the recipe for success that these few teams have found to LoL that newer teams with skilled players cannot break through?

I used NV as a case study for this article, but looking across other teams in the League, with TL being the loudest example, the lack of team coordination reigns as the premier folly preventing these teams from breaking through.

As always, please let me know your thoughts on the dominance of teamwork or Gragas builds in the comment section below!

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