MSI Semifinals 2017: Team WE v. G2 Esports

MSI: Team WE vs. G2 Esports Preview

Saturday May 20, 2017, the second semifinals match of MSI will be underway. Team WE will face off against G2 Esports for a spot in the finals. Both teams have exhibited their fair share of stellar and underwhelming performances throughout the tournament. They will be doing their best to shore up the weak spots and study their opponents in order to reach peak performance. This best-of-five series will be all or nothing.

Team WE

The LPL representatives have made it through MSI with a 7-3 record, just below SKT. They dropped games to TSM, SKT, and GAM. Every player has had standout performances throughout the tournament. Team WE will be favored to win in this match-up, since they defeated G2 in both of their Group Stage bouts.

How They Win

WE outclasses G2 in almost every statistic. Gold difference at 15 minutes (+1,047/-342), first three turrets (80 percent/10 percent), dragon control (47 percent/30 percent) and baron control (54 percent/38 percent) all heavily favor the Chinese team.

In both of their victories against G2, WE drafted Ashe for Jin “Mystic” Sung-jun and Malzahar for Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun. WE’s jungler, Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie, massacred Kim “Trick” Gang-Yun in the early game. Su “Xiye” Han-Wei played AP diver-assassins LeBlanc and Kassadin. And Ke “957” Changyu has been most impactful on tanky disruptors, particularly Kled.

All of these pieces come together to form a bursty pick composition. Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen was most often caught out by Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Nether Grasp, Explosive Cask, or Chaaaaaaaarge!!! and deleted before he was able to output enough damage. Team WE should maintain this draft strategy and playstyle, because G2 does not seem to have an answer at the moment.

Both wins were secured between 28 and 31 minutes. Team WE took first turret in both matches, which led to the first three turrets in just under 20 minutes. They then proceeded to take baron between 21 and 25 minutes, which allowed WE to break G2’s base and win. In their first game, G2 secured one tower and one dragon. In the follow-up match, WE did not allow them to take any towers or dragons.

How They Lose

Karma and Nami are champion picks that stick out in Team WE’s losses. Xiye lost both games when taking Karma to the mid lane, and Ben lost both games when playing Nami support. 957 looked weak on top lane Jayce, as well. The individuals cannot be fully to blame, but it seems like a good idea to keep these picks on the bench for now.

All of WE’s losses came off the back of sub-30-minute barons secured by their opponent. Against TSM, the gold difference never rose to more than 2,000 until they took a baron. From there, TSM closed out the game, taking a second baron and only ceding 4 kills. Team WE was leading SKT by 2,100 gold at 22 minutes, but Han “Peanut” Wang-ho landed a baron steal. SKT broke their base, took a second baron and won. Team WE’s loss to GAM was mostly due to Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh’s Kha’Zix getting fed a triple kill around 10 minutes.

If WE gives over baron, their chances of losing are high. When viewing statistics for the four semifinal teams, their win rates align with their first baron rates. This objective is pivotal to their playstyle. Properly pressuring around baron was a main catalyst for drawing in G2 and picking off key carries. However, if WE is sloppy in clearing vision or shot-calling around Smite, then it could spell disaster.

Player To Watch

Team WE’s top laner, 957

Team WE’s victory will rely heavily on 957 in the top lane. They have won every game that he has drafted Kled, and he has maintained a 27.0 KDA with the champion. On the other hand, his single Jayce game fed TSM their first 5 kills. G2’s Ki “Expect” Dae-Han is not necessarily the same carry threat that SKT or TSM have. WE will rely on 957 to repeat the masterful disruption he exhibited against G2 in their prior match-ups.

G2 Esports

Making it into semifinals by the skin of its teeth is G2 Esports. The EU LCS representatives finished the Group Stage with a 4-6 record, only picking up wins against Flash Wolves (2), GIGABYTE Marines (1), and TSM (1). Seeing as they lost both matches against Team WE, they are the underdog in this best-of-five series.

How They Win

G2’s victories varied drastically from each other. Three of the four wins were secured 42 minutes or later, and allowed the enemy team to secure at least one baron. Two of those three late-game wins involved G2 falling behind 8,000-9,000 gold at some point. The only champions drafted in multiple wins were Caitlyn, Nunu, and Orianna.

In all of their wins, Zven had two or fewer deaths and had a gold lead on the enemy AD Carry. It is obvious that he is their primary carry threat. G2 lost both games that he drafted Ashe. Zven only has wins on Caitlyn, Twitch, and Kog’Maw thus, G2’s draft will need to revolve around these champions. Ivern, Lulu, Karma, and Orianna have at least 50 percent win rates for G2 thus far. Combining multiple enchanters into the draft may allow Zven to break even through the early game and fully carry in the mid-late game.

Luka “Perkz” Perković has also been a consistent source of damage throughout MSI. Mid lane is arguably the most stacked position at the tournament, and Perkz has been going toe-to-toe with some of the best in the world. He has been averaging 28.8 percent of G2’s damage, the highest among all mid laners (second highest overall behind Zven). Putting Perkz on a champion that can control side waves, particularly Fizz, could be a good back-up if Orianna is banned.

How They Lose

There are several situations that G2 should avoid. Keep Trick off of Lee Sin, he failed horribly twice on the champion. Also, they should not draft Ashe for Zven or Zyra for Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez. Zven needs to be able to output immense damage, and Mithy plays much better on protective champions. Even Tahm Kench or Braum are preferable to Zyra if Lulu or Karma are unavailable.

If Trick continues to have poor early games, then this will most surely be G2’s defeat. Trick has the second lowest KDA and the second highest death share of all players at the tournament. He also has the lowest average damage of all junglers at the event.

While their best strategy generally results in early deficits, G2 will need to play intelligently between 15 and 30 minutes. Team WE’s average game time is over 5 minutes shorter than G2’s, which means if they cede 4,000-6,000 gold leads, then it will be highly unlikely for G2 to win.

Player To Watch

G2 Esport’s top laner, Expect

Expect has been putting up some big games this tournament. He has maintained a 3.7 KDA while only contributing 11.9 percent of G2’s deaths. The top laner has secured wins on Jayce, Gragas, Shen, and Nautilus. G2 also released a video of the final shot-calling from their win over TSM, showing the team’s faith in Expect.

The flip side is that Expect has some of the lowest damage of the top laners at the tournament, and his kill participation is low compared to 957. G2 will need him to be more involved as a proactive member of the team, matching 957’s map movements. Perkz and Zven can pump out the damage. Mithy can shield and provide vision. And Trick is under-performing. Expect may be the biggest factor that could turn this match-up on its head.

Prediction

Unless the stars align, and G2 are able to draft a true “protect the ADC” composition, then Team WE will skunk them 3-0. Trick got steamrolled by Condi in both of their Group Stage games. Mystic and Ben have been performing well enough to keep up with Zven and Mithy. Expect and 957 will most likely be trying to execute similar strategies, but 957 has proven to be more successful up to this point. Perkz matches up against Xiye pretty well, but the synergy among the entire team is heavily in WE’s favor.


Player/Champion Statistics: Oracle’s Elixir

All Images: LoL Esports Photos

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Outlandish League of Legends Champion Personalities

For the most part, champions in League of Legends’ personalities fall under a few broad categories:

  • I’m a fighter to prove/defend something
  • I’m a ninja
  • I’m just a murderer
  • I’m good at fighting so they sent me here
  • I’m a yordle and I’m funny and whimsical and free spirited
  • I’m from the Void and I’m scary AF
  • I’m just insane
  • I love death and am hyper emo and obsessed with it
  • I’m really p*ssed off and edgy

However, there a few champions who break these molds and stand out as true icons on the rift, champions so unique that during any game you will get a “OMG I LUV (insert name) LULZ” every game you play as them. Personally, I like these champions a lot. I like any character that is not just, “I’m here because I am good at killing.”

Amumu just wants some friends :( (Image:http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Amumu/SkinsTrivia)

Amumu just wants some friends 🙁 (Courtesy of leagueoflegends.wiki.com)

Amumu, the Sad Mummy, is one of these champions. He is great. He has a ward, he has a composition named after his ultimate (Curse of the Sad Bullet Time), and he’s really sad. All he wants is some friends, but he can never seem to find any. His abilities consist of throwing out his mummy wraps, crying, throwing a fit, and cursing an area around himself. A far cry from the swordsmen and bowmen of the Rift, yawn. Cheer up bud, you have a friend in me Amumu.

Zac, in all of his delicious glory (Image: gameonhub.weebly.com)

Zac, in all of his delicious glory (Courtesy of gameonhub.weebly.com)

Zac, the Secret Weapon, was made for this, literally. He was made in Zaun, a land of untapped scientific exploration, and looks like he is made of green Jell-O. You can also get his skins or chromas, which make him look purple, gold, orange, or pink Jell-O respectively. He also has a Pool Party skin, which finally puts clothes on him in the form of a Speedo and snorkel mask. He is blue Jell-O, and he has little rubber duckies in him. In-game, he gets bigger the more health he has, and the bigger he is the bigger area of effect his spells have. In his lore he always got picked on in school for being a green gelatinous monster. Middle school kids can be merciless and brutal.

Nunu and Willump, respectively (Image: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Nunu/SkinsTrivia)

Nunu and Willump, respectively (Courtesy of leagueoflegends.wikia.com)

Nunu, the Yeti Rider, is a parka clad boy who rides a yeti. Honestly, the yeti does most of the work. The yeti walks around, the yeti can consume minions and monsters, the yeti’s blood boils, raising his and an ally’s attack speed and movement speed, and the yeti has the power to control the temperature in the air around him and make it so cold that enemies get slowed and eventually take damage. Nunu, the boy, throws snowballs. Oh! The yeti’s name is Willump! Did you know that?

He's a king, he couldn't get a hat that fits? (Image: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/champion/tahm-kench-126/skins)

He’s a king, he couldn’t get a hat that fits? (Courtesy of mobafire.com)

Tahm Kench, the River King, is just a hungry demon looking for some grub. He makes jokes about eating, he taunts people with threats of eating them, and he just eats people. He has a taunt specific for most of the champions in the game, and he spits up a hamburger, then re-eats it. Ewwie. This guy will truly eat anything! He even eats Zac! (Zac looks delicious, that’s the point of this article.) He even eats his teammates. He just eats, and eats, and eats, then his team wins.

I didn't think it was possible to get enough Draven in one photo, this might be it though. (Image: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Draven-sees-it-all-with-style-407545861)

I didn’t think it was possible to get enough Draven in one photo, this might be it though. (Courtesy of deviantart.com)

Draven, the Glorius Executioner, while he is just a murderer, puts quite a twist on it. Back in Noxus, where he hails from, he was an executioner. People would come from all around to see some of his executions. Then, one day, a prisoner tried to run away, so Draven threw the axe at him. It caught him flush, and the Glory came to the Glorious Executioner. Primetime, Beast Hunter, and even Draven, Draven takes many forms. (Editor’s note: It’s not Draven, It’s Draaaaaaaaaven.)

Malphite isn't your everyday rock. He can be: marble, obsidian, green, a transformer, a boat, he can even be coral! (Image: leagueoflegends.wikia.com)

Malphite isn’t your everyday rock. He can be: marble, obsidian, green, a transformer, a boat, he can even be coral! (Courtesy of leagueoflegends.wikia.com)

Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith, is a solid foundation on which a team can be built. He has an engage, his ultimate ability, that is really hard to counter. He is a champion who, if on the other team, should not be taken for granted. He can be really tanky, a true mountain of a champion. His primary focus is building rock-hard armor, which boosts the power of some of his abilities. If you haven’t figured it out yet (somehow) he’s a big rock. Without joking though, yes his ultimate is a crazy good engage and yes you can build a team composition around him.

There are more champions who don’t fit a mold, Annie, Orianna and Nautilus to name a few. Sadly, a lot of the champions are cookie-cutter, no-nonsense fighters. The Garens and Darius’s of the world are fine, I guess, but they don’t bring very much fun to the table. It’s always nice to have a character like Draven in your rotation to liven things up a bit.