EG have been a team that fans and analyst have praised for their creative drafts, aggressive playstyle, offseason changes and more. Frankly, up until this last series, many were predicting them to go to the LCS finals. And while that opportunity is still there and very possible, this last series that EG played left many people puzzled. Before going too deep, as of writing, there have been no interviews with EG staff released. This means one can only speculate on the reasons behind these decisions. Speculation is speculation and until questions are answered, it’s only fair to give some benefit of the doubt.
Starting off nice and easy, Impact did not play well in this series. Impact was certainly the favorite versus Ssumday who had a solid split, but wasn’t at the top of the Top Lane discussion. For example, Impact’s laning stats were much better. His [email protected] was 254, [email protected] was 202 and [email protected] was 5.6. Meanwhile, Ssumday’s stats were -29 [email protected], 129 [email protected] and 0.2 [email protected] Ssumday had a slightly higher DPM and damage percentage share stat, but both him and Impact are rather high in the role. They also both have the same KDA. In previous matchups though, Impact always showed that he was the king of the Korean Tops.
In this series, it feels like the roles were reversed. Take for example the series KDA. Ssumday ended the series with a scoreline of 16/10/33, which is a KDA of 4.9. This is well above his 3.3 from the regular season. Impact on the other hand ended 6/16/27 with a KDA of 2.2. This is well below his 3.3 KDA from the regular season. DPM wise it isn’t close, but also it shouldn’t be. Impact had three games on tank duty on Ornn and Sion while Ssumday had all five games on Gnar, Gangplank or Renekton. Impact had two games on Jayce where it just felt like the counterpick to GP didn’t really work all too well. He wasn’t dominating lane. He wasn’t taking over fights. It just felt underwhelming.
It’s crazy to say, but it honestly felt like Impact was the most underperforming player this series. They put him on Sion, who he only played once in Spring, over something like Shen or Gnar. Frankly, this seemed more like an off series for him as he was so consistent all year, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.
Everyone is memeing on Jiizuke after this series, but honestly, he played pretty well. What many people are failing to realize is the unholy amount of resources 100T put into shutting him down. He even implied so in the chat on Hot Line League. Rewatch the games and see how much time both Huhi and Closer are spending near Mid. To be fair, this is a valid strategy against Jiizuke. They knew that if they shut them down early, there really isn’t much he can do. This is also why they kept denying the Ryze which is a scaling late game champion, not just because Jiizuke is a “one trick”.
So how do the rest of EG respond to this? Well, Contractz gave Viego resets into triples mid and IgNar fell for some baits. Jiizuke can literally not play if there is a constant threat of two people in his lane without the rest of his team playing well with him. Contractz needs to shadow, and to be fair, he did. It was just that oftentimes, even when he did, the plays still went positive for the 200 years of game design that is Viego. Jiizuke can’t outplay a flash point and click Ryze root. He can’t outplay a Naut roaming and going Flash Q R. He can’t outplay a Viego sitting there 24/7.
What he can do is anticipated and predict. That is what he did particularly well in the Syndra games. He had “Scatter the Weak” for escape and was able to still beat Abbedagge despite the camp. Now on the LB and Lucian games, it went worse. Part of that is to blame on Jiizuke. But at the same time if one can’t also acknowledge the way he was targeted and how hard that makes the life of a player like Jiizuke rougher, well, there really isn’t much to say. Jiizuke deserves some grief, but certainly not as much as fans have given him on social media.
The Jungle Conundrum:
EG have found themselves in quite the peculiar situation. They have two top-level LCS Junglers in both Contractz and Svenskeren. Contractz, while playing less games, did outperform Svenskeren in the regular season. His more aggressive and carry-oriented playstyle gave EG a different look than Svenskeren. This isn’t to say Svenskeren is bad. He isn’t. He was also a Top 4 Jungler in the LCS, but played more for his lanes. Again, generally speaking. So EG have two different Junglers with two different looks. They start Contractz in all four games versus Dignitas and he looks really good. So the question remained, who did they start against 100T and why?
The simple fact of the matter is that there is a solid case for both. But where fans and analysts alike draw an issue is playing Contractz for every game except Game 5. Pulling him out for the last game is frankly a puzzling move. Despite this, Svenskeren got ahead early and played well. Unfortunately, Closer played better and a couple of insane Lee Sin plays later, it was GG.
If EG were to put in Svenskeren, why not do it after game 2 when Contractz was looking quite shaky. He really wasn’t out jungling Closer in any game. He was at best keeping up. Even furthermore, put Svenskeren in just to steal Viego and put Closer on a different champion? Wasn’t the point that Sven could study the matchup and learn his pathing? If EG keep Closer on Viego that Game 5 looks different for sure.
This whole series just looked like a failure of confidence from EG. After game 3 it looked as though EG were willing to ride or die on Contractz. That was game point. Instead, they make a baffling decision and make both of their players feel awful. Despite winning Coaching Staff of the Year, EG didn’t look like they deserved it here.
Really let my team down today
— Contractz (@Contractz) August 15, 2021
Danny & IgNar:
Despite giving up first blood in the Game 1 quite early, the duo of Danny and IgNar stood up quite well to FBI and Huhi. Danny of course had one of the best plays in LCS history as seen below:
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) August 15, 2021
Danny’s Tristana is so far undefeated and easily his best champion. So this begs the question, why in the name of all things good and holy did EG draft Ziggs? Ziggs is a really strong weak side laner in competitive play. He allows the support to roam quite easily and play safe. His damage is insane. His ability to take towers is also unmatched. Ziggs is just broken. The idea here is to help out the struggling Mid and Top side of the map. But why make your best-performing player all series go weak side on a mage after he literally SOLO FORCED Game 5?
EG staff in interviews have said that Danny is willing and able to play mages. It is something that EG have been working on. In a BO1 regular-season game, this is fine. The thing is though, this isn’t regular season. This is a BO5 Game 5. A Game 5 to make Worlds. Game 1 this is acceptable. Game 5 it is not. Fans have the right to be angry over this pick because the job of a coach is to put the team in the best position to win possible. It just feels like EG’s staff failed that mission.
EG have to play C9 on Thursday. If they win, they play against either TSM or IMT to make Worlds on Sunday. They need to take this one series at a time though. EG need to make sure Impact and Jiizuke are able to get on impactful picks during draft. This should be their biggest priority. They also need to figure out what the Jungle situation is. It doesn’t feel fair to Svenskeren or Contractz how this last series played out. Contractz was clearly heartbroken. Finally, no more mages for Danny. It’s like putting the best goalkeeper in the world on offense. Sure, he can probably do it, but do they REALLY want him up there? Danny is an aggressive ADC player through and through. Tristana, Kai’Sa, Varus, Samira and Aphelios make the most sense.
EG can beat C9. Currently, EG is 4-1 versus C9. Despite this, we need to see the players and coaches step it up. Hopefully the 100T series was a fluke and EG bring it back.
“From Our Haus to Yours”