Please Sing for Sneaky

Zach “Sneaky” Scuderi – “I make up for it in other ways, like just screaming randomly.”

Parqueso – Are the changes to 8.2 going to be a buff to Cloud 9’s bot lane? Is this playing towards your strength? Are you more excited for the changes that are coming?

Image provided by Riot Games

Sneaky – “I’d say personally I always enjoy changes, basically no matter what they are. The only time they’re sad is if they nerf all ADCs, so I just lose power overall rather than compensation nerfs. I really enjoy those, where they hit something on a champion’s kit but then they buff something else to compensate. So it’s not like ‘Yeah your champion is just worse, no matter what.’

With any patch, changing up the starting items, it’s always fun to figure out what you’re supposed to do because it kind of feels like it opens up more picks. With Targon’s and triple pot it was so hard to push people out of lane, but now you can’t really buy it – I mean you can, but nobody buys it right now – you buy dorans blade or shield usually as the starter for ADCs. So it’s just a whole lot less sustain… You can get knocked out easier. It’s pretty fun to play.

I enjoy my time! I am not sure if I can say it’s beneficial for the C9 bot lane, because it’s always a learning experience for every patch, even if they don’t change anything [bot lane specific]. There’s always things changing around like new picks or small meta changes.”

 

P – Speaking of new picks, have you seen much change in the scrims? Are there any more interesting picks coming out in scrims that we haven’t seen yet?

Image provided by Riot Games

S – “It’s been a little bit different. I haven’t seen too much Ezreal because, you know, they nerfed Klepto AND Ez. I mean, Targon’s is removed too… Besides that, the pool has been pretty similar to last patch for ADCs. And supports too. I mean there are some things you could play. Like Brand got buffed, you could potentially play him support. Jinx got buffed too, she could be pretty good. I play her in solo queue, and she feels pretty nice. So there could be some people that will come out a bit more in this patch, but just not the first week. Usually in the first week people are still playing what they’re used to rather than ‘Oh, Jinx got a huge buff, she’s really good into this!’ That kinda takes a while to figure out.”

P – Smoothie said he was expecting to see a lot of range supports, but then it’s been mostly tanks still. Do you expect that to continue? Or is that something that is maybe just people continuing that playstyle from the last two weeks?

S – “I think that is for sure one of the things that was looked at when the patch notes came out, like those supports coming in. I think there is still a possibility of them coming in, but it’s just figuring out what you have to remove from the game to make those picks viable. Like say Alistar kills the ranged supports, no matter what… If you ban it, does that open up all the picks? And people will test that kind of thing. And maybe sometimes people just won’t pick the Alistar and then they’ll play into it and they’re like ‘Wow, that was really stupid.’ I don’t know about one week, because generally those things kind of take time… I think that stuff definitely comes out, but I think it might take a while.”

 

Image provided by Riot Games

P – So, just for a random switch up, who is the best singer on your team? Or who sings the most?

S – “Personally, I cringe when I hear people sing to songs. It’s not like it’s terrible but…”

P – What if they’re a really good singer?

S – “Yeah I still cringe. Like have you seen Darshan’s videos? He has made a few videos with CLG doing covers of songs. I just can’t watch them. There is something about them that makes me not able to listen to people just singing along to a song.”

P – What if they’re singing just lyrics, like not along to a song?

S – “It is not necessarily as much a cringe but… *laughs* Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t enjoy it that much so I don’t sing much myself, but I make up for it in other ways like just screaming randomly. Similar noise levels I guess.”

 


Thanks for reading! Find Sneaky on Twitter @Sneaky to sing him the prettiest of lullabies. Check in soon for more interviews and content! If you’d like to contact me, go ahead and tweet @parkeso. For pictures and stories, follow my Insta @parqueso. If you’re not big into social media, email me at parkesotwo@gmail.com. =)

Targon’s? More like TarGONE’s

Apollo – “Targon’s meta is dead… I think.”

 

First thing’s first, let’s breakdown the Double Targon’s meta.

The “Double Targon’s” factor was the scapegoat and catalyst of the prominent competitive meta for patch 8.1. It, along with other contributing factors, allowed weak laners to survive the early game and scale up for late game teamfights. The meta was not only made possible by both ADC and Support taking Targon’s Brace, but also by Fleet Footwork, Overheal, Perfect Timing (AKA Stopwatch), Kleptomancy Elixermancy (Ezreal only), etc. Because of all the defensive options, bot laners were extremely safe (definitely not the status quo). Strong early laners had no guarantee of being able to smash lane because the enemy laners could always count on healing and playing defensively.

This made engage supports, like Alistar, much stronger, the mindset being, “If you don’t lock the enemy down and kill them now, they will heal it all back!”. That, in turn, increased the value of more defensive supports like Braum and Taric too! If Ali engages, Braum throws up a shield and absorbs all the damage. And because Targon’s increased it’s heal by % missing health, it was insanely easy to heal up after any skirmishes that didn’t end up in a kill. If you chunk an enemy ADC down to 30% health, within a couple Fleet Footwork procs and a few clangs of the Relic Shield, they would be back at a comfortable 90%. They may lose pressure for one or two waves, but the danger factor was incredibly low.

To make matters worse, once the Targon’s quest is completed, you generate a hefty shield while out of combat. So this meant laners walked to lane with a passive shield, immediately generated an Overheal shield on top, added even more shield with Fleet Footwork (which also provides even more movement speed for running away), and had tons of Targon’s proc healing if the shield was ever broken.

Combine all that with 4 Stopwatches in the bot lane, and everyone became virtually unkillable. Viable ADCs were almost exclusively late game scalers and top tier team-fighters. Kog’Maw, Kalista, Ezreal, and Tristana topped the charts, with others like Varus and Sivir falling short behind. Lucian, sadly, was left unplayed – except by Huni; but that’s a whole different story for another time.

With all these cheap and effective ways of scaling for late, the bot lane became an extremely dangerous place to be a minion.

Image provided by Minion Champion Spotlight


But don’t just take my word for it. Take a pro’s words instead!

Doublelift explains that, “Targon’s is an extension of the support meta, because people become unkillable, and supports are stronger than ADs in lane. So [prior to this meta] you get in these weird situations where even when you hit a Tahm Kench twice, if he Qs you once, you actually lost the trade… So that’s why Targon’s came in. If I’m gonna be useless, I might as well be useless but generate gold for my support who is actually useful!” 

And what’s with all the festivities? Patch 8.1 is a…

“Farmfest,” – Apollo, Hakuho, Aphromoo, Adrian, Smoothie

“Snoozefest,” – Doublelift (said twice)

 

That equals 7 festivals for our minions! But don’t be fooled. It still is a crap place to be for those little descendants of Lari


Provided by TimeLordJikan

Changes to expect in 8.2?

As it turns out, this meta was pretty lame to watch, mostly due to the slowdown on botside. Therefore, the patch largely focuses bot side to address and influence that lane specifically. Even most of the Keystone changes were focused on the bot lane. Guardian and Aftershock both got a slight power shift to make them each a bit more unique and more specifically viable rather than generally fine.

Smoothie predicts that, “Next patch, the ranged supports are going to have a bigger impact in lane. But, blind picking melees may still be strong.” Aphromoo seemed to be on the same page, stating there is “probably gonna be a lot more ranged supports, [though] Ali and Braum will still be in there for counters.” He also predicts that “ardent is gonna come back a little bit,” though he claims to not really favor that meta either. 

Altec points out that 8.2 will bring back some spice to the lane again. “Now that the double Targon’s meta is gone, you will see more difference between the bot lanes. You’ll get to see who are the good bot lanes and the not so good bot lanes… If people make bad trades, it should be a lot easier to make plays.” 

If Altec is right, the Clutch Gaming duo in Apollo and Hakuho may be in luck! Apollo states, “We’re better when we’re fighting bot lane, rather than the farming, hyper carry [style] bot lane.” Although he later claims it’s all in Hakuho’s favor. “I just go with the flow,” he says. Hakuho agrees, stating “As a laner, I always wanna fight in bot lane.” And with palpable enthusiasm and anticipation for the upcoming matches, he claims he’s “hyped for next patch, because the bot lane meta is kinda boring right now… Bot lane is gonna be fun again!” 

However, even with all of this hope for change, Doublelift still finds time for some last second pessimism realism. “I have a feeling that games are still going to be going super long, and if Janna comes back into the meta, I might actually claw my eyeballs out.”


But Apollo, is it really, really dead?

Of course we won’t know until we see the meta unfold, but we can all sure hope so. Altec claims that while, “Technically you can still buy Targons, it’s just not as good as it was before.” I actually think that is extremely important! The potential to run double Targon’s provides the ability for Kog’Maw (and other crazy scalers) to stay relevant in a meta that is sub-optimal for hyper carries, while still providing room for those like Lucian to shine!

Doublelift agrees, stating “It definitely won’t be as strong, but it’ll still be viable. I don’t think it’ll be every game, but I think initially what’ll happen is everyone is gonna switch to dorans, and then someone is gonna find a way to make targons still viable and it’s gonna be finding its way back. Because yeah sure you don’t have the shield, but what you have is three wards. That’s not bad!” At least now when we see double Targon’s, it will change the entire botside game, because vision control will get a heck of a lot more lopsided. Dives onto the scaling carries will be hard because of vision, not 300+ health shields on the ADC!! 

 

I asked Doublelift if he would be the first to bring out the Yasuo ADC, to which he responded, “Yeah yeah. No. Idk Idk!” Unsatisfied, I challenged him, “Well, can you pull it off?” And with full confidence….

“Yeah, I can pull off Yasuo ADC. Easy!” – Doublelift 

Image Provided by Riot Games

 


And what’s the deal with Thresh? Wildturtle told me there would be buffs!!

Don’t expect to see Thresh much in competitive as long as we are in 8.2. After the Targon nerfs to ranged champions, I think even Nunu might have a higher play rate despite him potentially being perma-banned for a while. And although Aphromoo claimed that “Thresh is still viable, but it really depends on confidence,” Adrian disagreed. “I still think Thresh is pretty bad… He definitely needs more buffs… I don’t think there is any good situation to play him unless you’re really good at Thresh and there’s nothing else to play.” Either way, I hope to see a little love thrown towards everyone’s favorite chain warden so we can get back to watching even more big flays in the bot lane.


 

Image provided by Sunsero

Thanks for reading! For questions on the current meta, find some reliable source somewhere, or just watch the NA LCS every weekend! I’ll be there talking to your favorite pros. Tweet me some questions you want to ask @parkeso. Follow me on Insta @parqueso for some fun stories of pros and fan interactions, especially Saturday and Sunday! For all other inquiries, you can email me at parkesotwo@gmail.com. Thanks! And email Riot asking for Thresh buffs!

NA LCS

The Champs of the NA LCS Week 2

With Week 2 of the NA LCS behind us, Riot has released an infographic detailing the stats for the week. The Infographic contains all sorts of information, ranging from the match results to the best players of the week. However, one thing that specifically jumps out are the champion presence and win rate stats. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Champion Presence

Over the last week of play, there were many champions who were either picked or banned for almost every match. However, in the case of three champions, they had presence for all 10 matches. The most prolific of these champions being Zoe, the aspect of Twilight. Zoe has an incredibly strong kit, ranging from CC to insane burst damage. To make matters that much worse, she has the ability to do half your health at level 1. With that in mind,  you can start to see why she was banned 9 times out of 10, slipping through the ban phase only once.

That time was during the Echo Fox vs TSM game, as soon as Zoe was on the table Echo Fox snapped it up for their mid-laner Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun. TSM choose not to ban it thinking they could counter it should the pick come out, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. Fenix proceeded to absolutely demolish, going 8/1/13 in an almost hour-long match.

 

NA LCS

Source: Riot Games

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Ezreal. Ezreal was picked in 9 of the 10 NA LCS matches, being banned only a single time. Ezreal is a very popular pick, not only in the NA LCS but also in solo queue. According to Champion.gg, he is the 3rd most picked ADC with an 11.82% play rate, being surpassed only by Vayne and Tristana, both of which are late game powerhouses.

Ezreal rose to the top of the meta with the release of the reforged runes system, being one of the best abusers of the Kleptomancy keystone. Kleptomancy for those who don’t know grants gold for landing an auto attack after using an ability. It also gives the chance at a random consumable when this auto attack lands. You may now be asking why Ezreal is able to use the rune to greater effect than many other champions. The answer, his Q. Ezreal’s Q applies on-hit effects, meaning in the case of Klepto, his Q counts as both the spell and the auto attack. Combine this with his Q’s low cooldown time and you have a recipe for klepto spam.

Champion Winrate

Moving onto champion win rate, the infographic only included champions that had been played in more than 3 games. The infographic shows late game powerhouses such as Tristana and Azir, who if left to their own devices will completely demolish their enemies. However, what is interesting here is that the only 2 champions with a 100% win rate are champions who come online earlier in the game. Gangplank comes online mid game, and Taric is good during the lane phase.

The question here is why they exhibit higher win rates compared to the late game carries who are essentially a guaranteed win should the match last long enough. There are two reasons for this, average match length and champion kit. Let’s start with match length, the average match length during week 2of the NA LCS was around 42 minutes. At an average of 42 minutes champions like Tristana who aren’t as good early game don’t fully come online. This is especially true vs early game damage dealers who can continuously poke them out of lane and deny CS.

NA LCS

Source: Riot Games

Secondly, we need to take a look at champion kit. First up is Mr. Fabulous himself, Taric. Taric is a great laner, this is due to his stuns and passive armour increases. He is able to set up kills an keep his team safe with relative ease, making him a very well rounded pick. Not to mention the fact that he has one of the best ultimates in the game, potentially making his entire team invulnerable.

Gangplank, on the other hand, is rather weak during the early lane phase in terms of skirmishing potential. However, this remedied by the combination of his Q and Kleptomancy. That’s right Kleptomancy is back for a second round. Similarly to Ezreal’s Q, Gangplank’s Q applies on-hit effects, but to make it that much sweeter, his Q grants bonus gold if it kills a unit. This allows Gangplank to be ahead of the enemy laner by an entire item at about 20 mins. This happens even if they go even in lane.

To take a look at the rest of the infographic, which includes lots of interesting information about the week, click here.

CREDITS

Featured Image: LoLUniverse

Other Image(s): LoL Esports

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on SoundCloud. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Brandon!

To continue enjoying great content from your favourite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon

 

MSI 2017: SKT Faker, Bang, Peanut

Standout Performances from Day 2 of MSI Group Stage

Day 2 of the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational Group Stage has come to an end. League of Legends fans have settled into expectations for their favorite teams. While the tournament has had its fair share of under-performers, these players deserve recognition for outstanding performances on the day.

SKT v. TSM: Peanut

Consistently ranked as a top player internationally, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho has shown up just as expected. During SKT’s match-up against TSM, Peanut demolished the field. He finished the match with a 13.0 KDA, and 82 percent more damage per minute than Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen (375 to 206). Due to Peanut’s early pro-activity, and punishing Svenskeren’s map movements, SKT was able to secure a 5,000 gold lead around 14 minutes in. Peanut’s Lee Sin continues to be undefeated, and this match illustrates why.

GAM v. FW: Betty

Gigabyte Marines built a huge lead on Flash Wolves, but they were unable to secure the win. Much of the comeback was mounted by Lu “Betty” Yuhung on Ezreal. After he finished building Blade of the Ruined King and Muramana, Betty was able to melt through GAM’s team, particularly Phan “Stark” Công Minh’s Galio. Using proper positioning, Betty stayed safe through most of the mid-late game and put out high damage. He finished with a 16.0 KDA, and an enormous 819 damage per minute (39.2 percent of FW’s total damage).

G2 v. WE: Condi

A 10.0 KDA, 100 percent kill participation, and 21.9 percent of Team WE’s gold are all the highlight stats for Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie against G2. His Graves delivered tons of damage while accelerating the tempo of the game, which finished in 28 minutes. This win was definitely a team effort. Jin “Mystic” Sung-jun and Ke “957” Changyu contributed Ashe and Kled ultimates to lock down G2’s carries. However, Condi’s early control of the jungle neutralized Kim “Trick” Gang-Yun and blew the game wide open.

FW v. TSM: Karsa

Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan has been having a good tournament so far, despite Flash Wolves’ overall poor start to the MSI Group Stage. Playing against TSM, Karsa was the catalyst for countering Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell’s Fizz, which got ahead early in this match-up. Karsa moved around the map to always be in the middle of the action. He finished with a 14.0 KDA, 459 damage per minute, and 5.9 CS per minute. Beyond the first eight minutes, TSM’s Svenskeren paled in comparison.

GAM v. G2: Perkz

Fizz has been much more popular in top lane so far at MSI, but Luka “Perkz” Perković decided to take him mid against Gigabyte Marines. Once he reached level 6, and unlocked Chum the Waters, he was a true force. Not only did Perkz do the most damage in the match-up (27,677), but he also controlled the side lanes throughout. He engaged, disengaged, and re-engaged effectively, hopping in and out of fights using Playful Trickster, Hextech Protobelt, and Flash. His risky plays around Baron and Elder Drake dazzled the Brazilian crowd.

WE v. SKT: Bang

Bae “Bang” Jun-sik’s two deaths were both within the first 15 minutes of this game. From there, he was able to amass seven kills and six assists, ending with a 6.5 KDA. SKT was confident to put Bang on a squishy hyper-carry, Twitch. Han “Peanut” Wang-ho and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan were given Ivern and Nami, respectively, while Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok was drafted Orianna (all healing and shielding champions). If Bang had failed to rebound after the poor early game, then SKT would have most likely lost their first match of the tournament to Team WE.

Player/Champion Statistics: Games of Legends, Stage.GG

Featured Image: LoL Esports Photos


You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Thomas!

Faker the “Meta establisher”

Courtesy of, www.youtube.com

                           Courtesy of, www.youtube.com

A Meta Establisher is someone who plays a champion and other people for whatever reason, follow the lead of the Meta Establisher and play the champions that the meta Establisher is playing. Below are a few reasons why Faker has been an incredible Meta Establisher in the midlane throughout his career.
Faker has long been considered one the the best League of Legends player of all time. Although his statistics on every category are beyond impressive, one aspect of his game that should not be overlooked is the respect other players have for him. Faker has established the meta in the mid lane almost since he came into the scene, some of it has to do with his ability to quickly figure out what champions are overpowered after a patch is introduced, but the respect other players have for him, also contributes to his Meta Establisher history.

Xerath:

Faker introduced Xerath into the scene worsening the wave-clear meta where Xerath and Ziggs were prioritized. Throughout the next few months Xerath was the top pick/banned champion across all regions and was introduced by Faker.

Ryze:

Faker introduced Ryze into season 5 Worlds. It was not until the tournament was over that other teams realized that the champion was overpowered, yet Faker figured it out before the tournament started and continued to use it even in the finals against Koo Tigers.

Karma: 

Faker introduced Karma into the scene. The champion was used in the midland for a short time, yet other regions(notably NA) picked it up. Faker only played Karma once, funnily enough lost that game. However, Karma was a contested pick in NA, exacerbating the situation due to the fact that Bjergsen got a pentakill on her.
Faker played his first competitive game of season 6 with Corki. Although he has not played any other games with the champion, Corki has become a priority pick in NA, and has seen some play in other regions.

Viktor:

The champion that was more established by one player in my opinion was Viktor in season 5. Faker prioritized this champion picking it into anything last season. This is something very uncharacteristic of Faker since his incredibly big champion pool, means that he typically does not highly prioritize a single champion. However, his undefeated record on the champion, making it one of the champions that he is undefeated on having played the most games on(used to be LeBlanc, but he lost with her at MSI). The interesting part is that every region prioritized Viktor as well last season when the midlane meta was composed of :Cassiopia, Azir and Viktor. Yet, LMS region and NA had negative win rates on the champion despite prioritizing it. NA had more than ten games played on Viktor and continued to first pick/ban just because Faker had tremendous success on the champion.

LeBlanc:

Arguably Faker’s most successful champion is LeBlanc, one of the champions that requires mastery in order to play at the competitive level. Last season before MSI, around spring time, every team banned LeBlanc against SKT. Yet, anyone else who attempted to play the champion, was not nearly as impressive as Faker was. No other player was feared for his LeBlanc, yet teams had to ban it against SKT and it took the most anti-LeBlanc team composition to finally defeat Faker on that champion. Although very few players followed Faker’s lead around this time, and even fewer had success on her, LeBlanc deserves an honorable mention because Faker was the only one that figured out how to effectively use her. The champion was later nerfed and it can be said it was a target nerf towards Faker as he alone made the champion look overpowered.

Honorable mentions:

There are many more examples like mid Riven, Zed, Ahri and Ezreal that Faker has in some way or another influenced the meta with. They deserve an honorable mention, but they were either not introduced by Faker, or other players did not follow Faker and played the champion enough.