Growth or stagnation lays before Rogue coming into the LEC Summer Split of this year. In the Spring Split, Rogue lacked consistency on a game to game basis, but they always had moments of brilliance that make one wonder where does the ceiling for this team lie? Including playoffs, the team ended 13-13 in game score. In terms of stats, they have slight advantages in most categories but the biggest stat is their first tower percentage which is 73%. This says Rogue know how to use Rift Herald and advantageous lane matchups to secure the early gold advantage that first tower secures. Going beyond that, looking at their game score versus the rest of the league, Rogue went 6-0 versus Misfits, Vitality, and SK. That is nearly half their total wins against those teams. Which, doing the math, means Rogue’s record against the playoff teams, minus Misfits, is 7-13. Growth needs to happen for Rogue to contend in Summer for playoffs and potentially worlds.
Growth or stagnation in Rogue’s summer split will come down to how the team chains objectives. Objective chaining? That sounds weird. Well, it means setting up objectives at given times that a team can go from one objective to the next, to the next. For example, taking first tower in bot lane leads to dragon take, which leads to a lane swap. This lane swap secures Rift Herald priority. Taking Rift Herald means a team has priority to take mid tower at their leisure for the next two and a half minutes. It is taking one point into another that can propel Rogue from this jam in the middle of the table to top-four. Chaining objectives secures an effective snowball to give a team an advantageous position to play from going into mid-game. Rogue lead the league in what can be called wave management. Whenever they made a play, the waves were pushing into the enemy teams half of the map.
Team Fight/Skirmish Execution
Rogue struggled in situations where events in the game got messy. When things were by the book, Rogue executed quite well. But when the enemy team looks for aggressive skirmishes. A big example of this was the second game versus FNATIC. FNATIC ran Zac and Ornn, which means any fight in the mid game, FNATIC has control over the proverbial go button for a fight. Rogue cannot have enough disengage in a standard composition for that much engage. While still having enough damage to deal with two of the strongest meta tanks in the game, Rogue need improvement from each player in executing in these scenarios in order for growth to occur and for Rogue to challenge for top four. Steps forward from Inspired and Vander are crucial to the success of this concept. As in most scenarios, the determination of how a skirmish plays out, lays within those who can engage or disengage a fight. Primarily that lays within the jungle and support roles.
Growth or Stagnation in terms of Consistency
Becoming a more consistent team is what all teams reach for. However, right now, Rogue fall far short of that goal. All these points make sense, but will not matter if Rogue cannot execute these on a consistent basis. Growing into a more consistent team lays on a difficult path. But it is a path that must be taken for Rogue to reach its goals. That goal being the LEC champion. Until improvements are made in the above areas, things grow more difficult for Rogue with each passing day. Looking at the LEC for Summer, eight teams will be vying for playoffs and any win they can steal, or secure against the big three gives them a massive boost over the rest of the league.
Looking at the rest of the League
Assuming Rogue go 4-0 against the bottom two teams, that means Rogue have to win a minimum of 5 games against MAD Lions, XL, Misfits, Origen, FNATIC and G2. Nine wins will probably be the playoff cut off once again. Considering what MAD Lions did in playoffs, that may be difficult for Rogue to take games there. The 2-0 versus Misfits will not happen again, not with Misfits picking up Kobbe. At best that is 1-1 now. Rogue will probably take a game off MAD and XL. So that leaves the team two wins short of playoffs. That is where the above points need to come into play, securing another win against the above three, or swiping a game off Origen, FNATIC or maybe even G2, will help immensely.
Growth or stagnation, words that will describe Rogue’s summer split this year. Will the fans simply see more of the up and down roller coaster ride from last split, or will consistency rise? The roster on paper can challenge the best teams in Europe. However, steps need to be taken in the above areas for that to happen. Laning phase not worried about, how Rogue plays the first ten minutes minus skirmishing is not something to worry about. It’s that x-factor that needs to be addressed if Rogue wants to be top 4.
You can also follow Aaron on Twitter @CL_Primus or message him on Discord (Prlmus#5916)