David and Goliath: Fnatic Rip Apart Kingzone DragonX

Did that really just happen?

In a story straight out of a fairytale, Fnatic pulled a complete 180 to take down Korean juggernauts Kingzone DragonX. After going 0-2 on the first day of the group stage, many were already writing off Fnatic. To be honest, who can blame them, Fnatic made mistake after mistake, with the only hope for the team being mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther. However, today it seems that Fnatic has patched over the cracks in their foundation and are here to contend.


Early Game


Source: Riot Games Flickr


Right off the bat from level 1, Fnatic decided to go on the offensive, setting up their famed brush of death in bot side river. Unfortunately for Kingzone, Kim “PraY” Jong-in decided to face check the brush and paid for it with his life. Right off the back of this Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen and the rest of Fnatic began to invade KZ’s jungle, forcing Han “Peanut” Wang-ho out, and securing red buff and raptors.

This already set up KZ at a massive disadvantage, as they make all their plays through Peanut. Peanut is the one snowballing lanes, Peanut is the one opening up the map. However, with him neutralized and top laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong getting shoved under his tower, KZ had no foothold in the early game.


Fool me once, Shame on you. Fool me Twice, Shame on Peanut


Source: Riot Games

Fnatic didn’t stop at the early game. They continued to put constant pressure on Peanut’s red buff. Every time they would do this peanut would try and contest and every time he would fail. Although the blame wasn’t just on peanut for trying to contest, it also fell on Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, who made terrible teleport calls and awkward dives into the entire Fnatic squad.

With the constant mistakes coming out of the two biggest playmakers on KZ, all hope was lost, they lost team fight after team fight. When the time came for baron they had such little map pressure and vision that they couldn’t even make a dent. As soon as they even got close to the baron pit, Fnatic would turn around and chase them off, denying Peanut the 50/50 smite. Therefore, cementing the fate of the match.


Final Nail in the Coffin


Source: Riot Games

Kingzone put up a valiant fight whilst Fnatic was sieging their base, but it was only a matter of time till Fnatic took the nexus. With every subsequent attempt at cracking KZ’s base, they whittled away at their defences. They took inhibitors whilst keeping KZ busy with team fights, and whilst KZ won the fights, they lost the war. Their base laid in tatters as a result of constant waves of super minions, KZ put up one last fight before Fnatic did the impossible and defeated the tournament favourites. Will Kingzone be able to bounce back? Will Fnatic continue this stellar performance? Only time will tell.


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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games


Kingzone DragonX beat KT Rolster to claim LCK Supremacy

Yesterday Kingzone DragonX (Formerly Longzhu) defeated KT Rolster and claimed the top spot in the LCK standings.

It was an important match for both teams. The winner would claim the top spot in the standings after KSV’s loss to Rox Tigers. Finally, the LCK would have its sole leader after constant contention for the first place spot.

Match 1


Source: Riot Games Flickr

After a slow start to match 1, with the only advantage being a small CS lead held by Kingzone, KT attempted a gank in mid. It was a short-lived attempt, with Kingzone’s mid-laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong instantly realizing the gank was incoming. He immediately used a combo onto unsuspecting KT mid-laner Heo “PawN” Won-seok. This gave enough time for Kingzone’s jungler, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho to get to the fight and turn the tables.

The play resulted in a double kill over to the side of Kingzone giving them the tempo they needed to steamroll the rest of the match. They used this advantage to gain vision control of KT’s Jungle, meaning all gank attempts by KT were immediately identified and avoided.

Kingzone began to show time and time again just how heavily they outclassed KT, by setting up baits and plays all over the map. This was consistently successful as KT were in no position to fight for vision control. Kingzone closed out the match off the back of a second Baron kill by Kingzone, giving them the final push they needed to close out Match 1.

Match 2

Match 2 was a completely different story than the first. Instead of being a sluggish start to the match, Peanut power farmed up to level 4 on Zac and immediately looked for a gank opportunity in top lane.



Source: Riot Games Flickr

The gank proved successful and scored Kingzone first blood. KT was caught completely by surprise as Zac isn’t normally a champion that hits level 4 so quickly due to his slower early clear. However, thanks to a slightly unorthodox jungle pathing, Peanut was able to pull it off.


KT looked incredibly strong in the early game, with far superior objective control than Kingzone. But when it came to later in the match where team fighting was the most important, Kingzone stole the show. They won out almost every team fight, taking control of the match and dictating its pace. Throughout all of the team fights it seemed as if KT had dozed off, they became sloppy in their execution, handing over kill after kill to Kingzone.

After a Baron kill at 35 minutes into the match, Kingzone marched up bot lane with their newly acquired Baron buff and sieged KT’s base. They were met with very little contention as they seized an easy 4 kills and proceeded to close out the match at 36:58 and cementing their victory.


Other Image(s): LoL EsportsLoL Esports

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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.


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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