Each position’s top underperformer in the MSI group stage

The 2018 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational group stage concludes, with Royal Never Give Up surpassing Flash Wolves in a tie-breaker for first place. The six participating group stage teams represented elite organizations, each major region’s Spring Split victor. Every roster featured big names with historic reputations and colorful narratives. This event is designed to be a clash of major players with unique strengths and diverse talents.

However, like every other tournament, MSI brought out the worst in some individuals. Although fans have faith in their favorite players’ work ethic, ambition and talent, certain players could not put their best foot forward this time around. The group stage saw several teams suffer from lackluster individual performances out of each position. Here are the worst offenders who did not show their true potential over the 10 to 11 games.

Top – Khan

Kingzone Khan underperformed at the 2018 MSI group stage

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

The only true top lane carnivore coming into the tournament, Khan is known as a monster that only played three tank games in the 2018 LCK spring regular season. He played significantly more matches on Gangplank, Gnar, Camille and Jayce, unlike the rest of the top lane field at MSI. Just like Worlds 2017, Khan came into this tournament as a touted weapon for Kingzone to wield against his island opponents.

But the anticipated results did not really come to fruition. Sure, Khan tops the charts in laning differences at 10 and 15 minutes, but he failed to transition these leads into major advantages for his team. Other than Kingzone’s match-ups with EVOS, Khan took the back seat to the rest of his team. Khan made poor team-fighting decisions, often over-aggressively diving the back line without back up. Like other tops, Khan over-extended in the side lane without proper vision or communication to back off.

Of course, Khan did not perform poorly in the MSI group stage compared to the rest of the field. He simply underperformed compared to audiences’ expectations. His 21.4 percent MSI kill participation pales in comparison to his 60.9 LCK Spring. He dropped his DPM from 570 to 356 without significantly less gold share. And Khan’s 2.2 KDA ranks lowest among MSI tops, while his 5.9 KDA was number one among LCK tops. He has not been able to perform to expectations just yet, which could be critical to Kingzone’s third place group stage finish.

Jungle – mLXG

Royal Never Give Up Mlxg underperformed at 2018 MSI Group Stage

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Though Royal Never Give Up finished group stage at the top of the standings, Mlxg stands out as an under-performer. Despite RNG’s high average gold difference at 15 minutes (+430), Mlxg averaged behind 308, second to last among junglers. While similar statistics are not available for the LPL, his gold per minute and damage per minute dropped six and 18 percent from Spring Split to MSI, despite playing fewer tanks. RNG’s First Blood percentage also dropped from 50 percent to 27.3 percent, with Mlxg contributing only 30 percent participation.

Similar to Khan, Mlxg did not perform poorly compared to the field. He definitely came across as a top three starting jungler. Mlxg mostly just played lower than fans have come to expect from him, especially in the earlier stages of the game. Few matches felt like he controlled the tempo. Comparatively, Karsa clearly controlled the pace of RNG’s game against Flash Wolves on day four.

By day five, Mlxg looked warmed up. His Xin Zhao against Flash Wolves and Graves against Team Liquid felt more controlled, more calculated. Hopefully, this form transitions into the bracket stage of MSI. Peanut, Broxah and MooJin essentially played to or above expectations. For RNG to reach the next level in a best-of series, Mlxg needs to channel his more aggressive early-game style. He is certainly capable of greater play than he has demonstrated during most of MSI.

Mid – Pobelter

Team Liquid Pobelter underperformed at 2018 MSI group stage

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While Pobelter is not considered to be a major threat by NA LCS fans, most considered him to be on an upward trajectory since Spring Split playoffs. His role in the finals against 100 Thieves awarded him Most Valuable Player of the series. MSI has brought that momentum to a screeching halt, as Pobelter has not lived up to expectations.

Team Liquid’s mid laner ranks last in laning stats at 15 minutes in the MSI group stage, which is not necessarily surprising, considering he was middle-of-the-pack during the regular season Spring Split. During playoffs he was roughly fourth or fifth in laning among mids. But, what he lacked in early game dominance, Pobelter made up for with team-fighting prowess. He knows the limits of his champion once he hits the two to three item mark, which is how he earned a 7.2 KDA and 527 damage per minute in playoffs.

At MSI, Pobelter has a 2.8 KDA and 363 damage per minute. Team Liquid drafted him slightly different champions, such as Malzahar, Karma and Taliyah, but that does not make up the discrepancy between playoff Pobelter and MSI Pobelter. He seemed off all tournament, often getting caught during his split-push or roaming between lanes. This bump in the road is unfortunate, as many fans were enjoying Pobelter’s success. Caps, Maple, and even Warzone put their teams on their backs at times. Team Liquid could not count on Pobelter in the same way this time around.

AD Carry – Rekkles

Fnatic Rekkles underperformed at 2018 MSI group stage

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Recency bias will cause European fans to turn their heads away from Rekkles’ overall lowered performance at MSI. From awkward drafts featuring Sivir when no other AD carry was playing her, to overly passive skirmishing, Rekkles had major issues during group stage. Unsurprisingly, Rekkles only composed of 27.1 percent of his team’s damage, while other members of the team stepped up to make up for his lack of presence.

For example, Uzi, PraY, Doublelift, and Betty output anywhere from 90 to 110 percent of their 2017 Worlds’ damage at 2018 MSI. Rekkles’ damage per minute dropped to 80 percent of his Worlds’ numbers. He put up a 6.5 KDA, third among AD carries, but mostly from lower deaths, not higher kills or assists. Rekkles’ champion preferences essentially gave up Fnatic’s early game pressure around bottom lane, while other teams prioritized more aggressive champions and playstyles.

Rekkles’ final Xayah game versus Team Liquid should restore hope for EU LCS followers. For seemingly the first time during the tournament, Rekkles and Hylissang exhibited substantial early laning pressure, and transitioned their power throughout the map. Rekkles output larger damage numbers and higher kill participation, which constricted Team Liquid the way Fnatic dominated Spring Split playoffs. As the West’s last hope of an MSI victory, Fnatic will need more of this Rekkles during the bracket stage.

Support – Olleh

Team Liquid Olleh underperformed at 2018 MSI group stage

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Without beating a dead horse too much, Olleh fell flat at MSI, and was arguably the largest liability in the entire event. From sub-par day one play, to stepping down at one point, to further reduced execution, Team Liquid’s support looked completely out of sorts. His decision-making with Tahm Kench, Alistar and Braum was questionable, which is why safer supports, like Janna and Morgana, better suited him.

With supports having much less statistical analysis to back up their play, eye testing becomes much more important. Compared with SwordArt, Ming, GorillA and even Hylissang, Olleh felt outclassed. While every other support player showed off clutch play-making, particularly on Rakan, Olleh’s best plays were in the background and his worst plays remained memorable.

This tournament is far from Olleh’s best, and anyone who has followed his time in North America knows his potential. He was a top support in North America on Immortals, and he was strong this spring. Olleh will most likely come back even stronger this summer. However, this MSI will be a dark stain on his record, as he severely underperformed when Team Liquid needed him most.

credits

Images: LoL Esports Flickr

Player and Team Statistics: GamesofLegends.com

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Brigitte

How Brigitte Broke the Overwatch Meta

Blizzard Entertainment recently released Overwatch’s 27th hero. This has brought about mixed feelings among players. Brigitte, Overwatch’s newest character, is a support hero who is essentially a weaker version of Reinhardt that can also heal allies. Brigitte’s unique but strong kit leaves a far greater impact than what people initially thought. Since her release, numerous Overwatch players have agreed that Brigitte may have broken the Overwatch meta.

Gone with the Old and In with the New

Previously, Overwatch teams would run dive – an easy to play and extremely punishing team composition to use against poorly coordinated teams. dive is effective because teams can single out and eliminate an enemy. This allows teams that run dive to attain a numbers advantage. With the introduction of Brigitte, everything changed.

Brigitte’s whole kit offers a variety of ways to counter dive. First, Brigitte’s passive ability, Inspire, heals nearby allies when she deals damage. This is great tool in general when fighting as a team. Similarly, another one of Brigitte’s abilities, Repair Pack, allows her to target heal a single ally. Repair Pack heals for 150 health and over-heals by adding additional armor for any extra healing past a hero’s maximum health pool. This ability crosses the line of fairness and steps in absurdity, as it allows teammates to become significantly more durable.

Shield Bash is another tool that Brigitte can use to stop a dive. Brigitte’s Shield Bash is like McCree’s Flashbang, in that it stuns opponents for a short period of time, even when enemies have their shield deployed. Shield Bash is great for stopping enemy heroes that may be diving or flanking. Brigitte’s last normal ability, Whip Shot, knocks back any person that her flail meets. This is yet another tool that she can use to stop a dive.

Finally, Brigitte’s Ultimate, Rally, speeds up teammates around her and provides them with armor. Rally affords 15 armor every second for ten seconds, and, at maximum, can grant 150 armor to a teammate. Moreover, this armor also stacks with other heroes who provide armor or additional shields. Brigitte, when used with a Symmetra Shield Generator or Torbjorn armor packs, is axiomatically difficult to kill unless you can strip off enemy armor with Sombra’s EMP. As strong as she is, Brigitte has too many tools to deal with divers.

To see learn more about Brigitte’s abilities, check out the video below.

Triple Tank and/or Triple Support?

Brigitte has changed competitive Overwatch quite drastically. Players in competitive solo queue run triple support or triple tank compositions because dive is virtually impossible to play. Brigitte can counter any person who dives in or flanks. Additionally, Brigitte gives so much healing and armor that it can make winning a fight seem like a futile endeavor. She has shifted the meta completely.

Looking Ahead

Brigitte is good for Overwatch. However, as of writing, she is undeniably overpowered. The fact that she alone can counter an entire team composition has caused many players to express understandable concern. Changes to Overwatch, or any competitive game, should not be so drastic that they significantly change how most players approach their playstyle. It is not healthy for the game’s longevity nor its competitive edge. Players have walked away from the game because she is frustrating to play against.

This is just one of the few problems that haunts Overwatch and its players. Currently, Blizzard is refusing to address this. If Blizzard can create a healthy balance between heroes’ strengths and weaknesses, Overwatch could be even more appealing.

 

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Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch

Videos Clips: Overwatch

Potential mid-season targets for EU LCS teams

The 2018 EU LCS Spring Split has concluded, and Europe enters the mid-season. This year is special, because, for the first time in a while, relegation is abolished. While franchising has not happened in the European league, like North America, teams remain secure for Summer Split, regardless of their place in the spring standings.

This time last year, the EU LCS saw several major mid-season roster changes, including Ninjas in Pyjamas and Mysterious Monkeys entering the league, Misfits picking up Maxlore and YamatoCannon leaving Splyce. With the risk of relegation off the table, it is unclear if this mid-season will show the same volume and depth of changes. That being said, here are the most likely targets for EU LCS teams hoping to shake things up this mid-season.

Unicorns of Love: Top-Support

Unicorns of Love may need to consider replacing WhiteKnight this mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

The Unicorns finished Spring Split in tenth place with a 6-12 record. They spent almost the entire nine weeks in last place. Kold stood out as their key catalyst in the early game, playing Kayn, Evelynn, Kha’Zix, and Rengar outside of the meta junglers. His momentum and activity during laning phase pushed the pace for Unicorns’ opponents, but rarely allowed the team to snowball. Samux also performed fairly well across the split, with a string of carry performances on Tristana. These two feel like the best place to start for UOL’s roster moving forward.

Exileh continued his trend of tumultuous performances, sometimes carrying, sometimes feeding. Since Spring 2017, Exileh has been one of the most inconsistent mid laners in the EU LCS. His high points look dominant, while his low points look like feeding. Unicorns of Love will probably keep him, but it would not be too surprising if they replaced him. Bringing in new players to play around him may be better in the short term.

WhiteKnight and Totoro feel like the weak links on this roster. Unicorns’ top laner simply lost lane almost every match, and rarely made up for it in the mid-game. His Gnar was relatively good, but WhiteKnight finished significantly low in almost every top lane statistic. Totoro had a decent LCS debut, but did not bring a “wow” factor to the Unicorns. He was able to make some big plays on Alistar and Tahm Kench, but his Braum and Rakan did not translate as well. Best.GG ranks Totoro seventh among EU LCS supports, around the same level as Promisq, Targamas and Vander. However, these players are a tier below Kasing, Hylissang and Norskeren.

Giants: bot-support

Giants may need to consider replacing Steeelback this mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Giants came out swinging this spring, hovering among top four for the first six weeks. Unfortunately, a 1-5 record over the last three weeks dropped them to finish ninth overall. Once the meta shifted towards faster games with bottom-centric compositions, Giants fell apart. Ruin could not carry as much as his first few weeks. Betsy did not have adequate time to safely scale to late fights. Djoko’s supportive, control jungle style became much less effective.

However, Steeelback and Targamas were the biggest offenders. Steeelback and Targamas finished the season at the bottom of the league in almost every statistic, from laning phase to damage and KDA. Targamas’ rookie status allows him some grace, but Steeelback is a veteran of Europe, and this split was awful for him. Going into Summer Split, it would not be surprising to see at least one of these two replaced.

Of course, Giants entered the Spring Split with four-fifths of a new roster. It takes time for these players to synergize and build communication, especially when it comes to adapting to changes together. However, it is alarming when a team starts the split strong and progressively gets worse and worse. Betsy and Steelback have played in the EU LCS for a long time, but have not seen success in quite a while. Giants have a lot to think about in this mid-season. They do not need to worry about relegation, but if their goal is to compete with top teams in Europe, then they will have to make changes for summer.

Everyone else

Misfits and ROCCAT may not need to replace anyone on their rosters this mid-season

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Without the fear of relegation, the other eight teams will most likely maintain their rosters. H2K and ROCCAT probably field the weakest rosters, on paper, in the league; yet, they made it into playoffs. Misfits and Schalke 04 are composed of star players, but they consistently lost key matches, and could not execute in clutch moments. Fnatic, G2, Splyce and Vitality showed moments of brilliance over the course of the Spring Split. The players on these teams are not the issue.

Schalke could maybe benefit from organizational change. Something prevented their superstar roster from success, whether that be coaching, management, or something else. From the outside, it is impossible to know what underlying issues plagued them. Misfits falls into a similar category, with three-fifths of their Worlds roster unable to place top six in Europe. Granted, PowerOfEvil and IgNar were powerful components of the squad last year. It is difficult to believe that two new players under the same coach and organization would result in such lowered performance.

H2K and ROCCAT clawed their way into playoffs through steady improvement over the split and winning when it counted. H2K, specifically, made roster adjustments part-way through the split, which made a huge difference in their performance. They could realistically keep what is working and build off of it. ROCCAT understandably struggled in different positions throughout the spring, considering both its solo laners are Korean imports. However, Memento and Norskeren provided stalwart, consistent support. HeaQ exhibited highs and lows, but seems promising overall. Roster-wise, it may be worth retaining these players and working on consistency, communication, and synergy.

The 2018 mid-season may be the least tumultuous in Europe’s history. The region has historically seen rapid turnover between splits, due to new organizations entering the league regularly. Without the Promotion Tournament, the current LCS organizations can rest on their laurels and turn towards improvement and development, rather than risky, immediate change. Unless top talent turns to North America’s bottom-tier teams, expect those players to remain on their same teams.

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Images: LoL Esports Flickr

The Game Haus covered the NA LCS finals LIVE. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter for articles, pictures, videos, interviews, and more content from Thomas and other contributors!

Doublelift thinks Olleh can play anything

TL Doublelift on what makes Olleh unique: “Well, first, he’s Korean.”

Team Liquid won the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split on Sunday, becoming the fourth organization to do so. They took 100 Thieves 3-0 in a best-of-five series to cement their victory. Every member contributed powerful performances, between Xmithie’s Baron steal, Impact’s gank resistance, Pobelter’s Shurima Shuffles and Olleh and Doublelift’s bottom lane dominance.

Particularly stand-out, this win presents Doublelift with his third title on a new organization. He won with CLG in Summer 2015, TSM in Summers 2016 and 2017, and now with Team Liquid in Spring 2018. No other player has accomplished this feat in the NA LCS.

Doublelift has won with three different supports, as well. He paired with Aphromoo on CLG, Biofrost on TSM and now Olleh on Liquid. Finding success with so many different players is impressive, because the AD carry and support positions are so intertwined in League of Legends. One cannot succeed without the other, and some marksmen have risen or fallen because of bad supports, and vice versa. Doublelift is one of the only players to remain consistent, regardless of  the teammates that surround him.

Finals press conference

Doublelift and Olleh won the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split finals with Team Liquid

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

After their win on Sunday, Team Liquid held a press conference. Each individual fielded questions regarding their year as a team and how they found success in playoffs. Here is what Doublelift had to say, when asked about what makes Olleh unique compared to his past supports:

Well, first, he’s Korean. (laugh)

I think the main thing is just, every support is totally different actually. Every time you play with a new teammate, you realize they have a different point system. And I think for Olleh, his point system is really play-making and looking to engage–looking to make a big, risky play.

I used to play like that, too, actually, so, we’re playing together at the wrong time. But, now I’m a lot more safe, I guess. After having so many bad experiences at Worlds I play a lot more safe, so, at first, we were really bad together. And every week we just worked on it. So, I think Olleh is unique, because he is really willing to play any style, and when we talk about bot lane, or when I criticize him, he’s really good at improving and making changes.

After the end of the regular season and playoffs and stuff, I think we are really good. It was like every day, every week, we’re just talking about stuff, and he’s making changes, I’m making changes. So I think that’s what’s really unique about him. He’s a really balanced player. He can play everything.

Considering Team Liquid had a 5-1 record over the first three weeks of the split, few outside viewers probably noticed much issue with Doublelift and Olleh’s synergy. However, Doublelift describes a long process of rigorous improvement and adaptation. Winning games on stage in the NA LCS does not seem like enough for Doublelift. His aspirations go beyond North America. Doublelift wants to perform at international events, and grow to be the best. Olleh has helped him secure another NA LCS title; maybe he will finally be the key to international success, as well.

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Images: LoL Esports Flickr

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FOX Altec did not prepare anything special for Clutch Gaming's bot lane

FOX Altec on facing Clutch’s bottom lane for third place: “I was not afraid of Clutch’s 2-v-2.”

Echo Fox decimated Clutch Gaming in their third place match of the NA LCS Spring Split playoffs. Their top-side trio of Huni-Dardoch-Fenix took over every single game, leaving both bottom lanes to their own devices. Such inactive bottom lanes are very different from the other games of quarterfinals and semifinals.

Quarters and Semis

Looking at Team Liquid’s victories over Cloud9, Doublelift and Olleh accounted for roughly 73 percent kill participation. Sneaky was involved in 86 percent of Cloud9’s kills. In the TSM-Clutch series, Zven and Mithy combined for an 8-27-23 scoreline (1.15 KDA) versus Apollo and Hakuho’s 20-7-48 (9.71 KDA). When Echo Fox lost to Team Liquid and Clutch lost to 100 Thieves in semifinals, Doublelift and Cody Sun won Player of the Series, with Doublelift specifically dominating TL’s series. Altec and Adrian combined for a 1.31 KDA in that series.

Third place match

Compare those matches to the third place match. Altec only participated in 36 percent of Echo Fox’s kills. Even as support, Adrian was only involved in 51 percent. FOX barely used their bottom lane to take the 3-0 over Clutch Gaming, turning the “bot-centric meta” on its head.

FOX Altec did not preapre anything special before facing Clutch Gaming in the third place match

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

When asked about preparing to face Apollo and Hakuho leading into the third place match, Altec responded “I was not afraid of Clutch’s 2-v-2. Sure, Hakuho has looked good on Thresh, but Adrian and I have unique picks of our own that we can pull out whenever we need to. We practiced a lot in scrims, but we didn’t prepare anything special for this series.”

Altec and Adrian played fine. They didn’t need to do more than keep Apollo and Hakuho glued to bottom lane by constantly pushing. Echo Fox only banned Thresh once, but Clutch drafted Tahm Kench and Braum for Hakuho, while Apollo’s Caitlyn and Varus failed to earn any early pressure. Adrian’s Nami was crucial in disengaging any roams and ganks from Febiven and Lira, keeping Altec safe.

Fenix, Dardoch, and Huni’s spectacular play won this series. With their snowballs rolling, Altec and Adrian simply needed to play safe, which they accomplished. Clutch’s bottom lane was unable to gain leads for themselves, and they watched the rest of their team crumbled.

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Images: LoL Esports Flickr

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fnatic

EU LCS Spring Split All-Pro Awards

The 2018 EU LCS Spring Split regular season has finished, and the standings are locked. Before the league enters playoffs, it is important to reflect on the past nine weeks and recognize the All-Pro players who have stood out. Each split, “the EU LCS English broadcast team, regional language broadcast teams, 3rd party media, and pro teams” submit ballots outlining their choices of the best players.

All-Pro Team, Coach of the Split, Rookie of the Split, and Most Valuable Player are the four recognitions. Each of these categories has its own definition, which is outlined on LoLesports.com, and copied within each section below. This is my public ballot and reasoning for each individual chosen.

All-Pro Team 

“The EU LCS All-Pro team represents the individual stars in their respective roles. Players in the 1st team are the objectively best players in each position. If you’re in the All-Pro team, you truly are the best in Europe.”

First Team

TOP – G2 WUNDER

G2 Wunder is my choice for first team All-Pro top laner

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Wunder is one of the most clear standout performers this Spring Split, compared to others playing his position. Just watching G2’s games, fans can tell that he is always maintaining pressure. The audience most likely remembers his carry performances on Gangplank and Camille, but Wunder also put up solid wins on Ornn, Gnar, and Cho’Gath to round out his champion pool.

Objectively, Wunder leads top laners in almost every statistic–kills per game, assists per game, deaths per game, death share, gold and CS difference at 10 minutes, and damage per minute. His 5.9 KDA is tied fourth in the league, which is much higher than the next best top laner (Alphari, 22nd). Wunder should be an honest MVP candidate for this Spring Split.

JUNGLE – SPY XERXE

Jungle is one of the toughest roles to judge independently, because it is a less structured role than laners. Xerxe won out at the end of the day, because of his early proactivity and overall value to Splyce. When compared to G2’s Jankos, Xerxe offers more utility and cerebral gameplay. He has shown success on a wide range of champions, as well as efficiently choosing between farming and ganking.

Xerxe leads junglers in KDA, death share, First Blood, and gold difference at 10 minutes. His 63 percent First Blood rate is the highest in the entire league, which boosts Splyce’s team rate to 74 percent (second overall). Xerxe has also never suffered as the victim of First Blood, and his 13 percent death share is fourth lowest in the league. Finally, Xerxe is the only jungler to draft Ivern on stage, giving him a bit of a “wild card” factor.

MID – G2 PERKZ

G2 Perkz is my choice for first team All-Pro mid laner

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

The mid lane was pretty stacked this split, but Perkz is still best-in-class. Not only does he feel like an anchor for G2 in the early game, but he is also an intimidating carry in the late game. He brings more stability and consistency than any other competitor in his role. While abusing the meta picks, Azir, Ryze, and Zoe, Perkz has also experimented with more assist-centric picks, such as Sion, Galio, and Taliyah.

Perkz’s 4.7 KDA, 78.9 percent kill participation, 5.6 CS difference at 10 minutes, and 650 damage per minute are all top three for mid lane. His death share 21.8 percent death share is fairly high, but Caps and Jiizuke have 21 and 19.5 percent, respectively. By the 15 minute mark, Perkz averages ahead in 73.7 percent of games, also third highest among mid laners. This deep and wide strength profile that makes Perkz number one.

ADC – FNC REKKLES

With Zven relocated to North America, Rekkles has been able to showcase just how deadly he can be. Even in games where Fnatic fall drastically behind, Rekkles is somehow able to solo carry teamfights. Few players in the league probably eat more bans during the draft than Rekkles.

Some of his statistics are jaw-dropping. Among AD carries, Rekkles has the highest KDA (13.5), First Blood rate (44 percent), gold difference at 10 (+254), and damage per minute (674). There is a reason Fnatic provides him with the highest gold share of all marksmen. Rekkles is also unafraid to draft Ezreal or Sivir when his role is pinched, and then still execute without fail. It is hard to form an argument against him as first team All-Pro.

SUPPORT – MSF MIKYX

MSF Mikyx is my choice for first team All-Pro support

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Despite Misfits’ team-wide issues, Mikyx has been excelling as support. He and Hans sama have a dominant laning phase, generally accounting for most of Misfits’ early game leads. Mikyx follows through as a threat through all phases of the game, often acting as crucial disengage and protection to allies, or catching out an enemy and salvaging fights.

Surprisingly, Mikyx holds the second highest overall First Blood rate in the EU LCS–56 percent. Misfits’ support also averages 8.1 assists per game and 80.1 kill participation, both second among supports. According to Games of Legends, Mikyx has the highest support vision score per minute (2.98), and, he is ranked the second best EU LCS support by Best.GG. His 3.4 KDA is pretty average overall, but mostly due to his 26.6 percent death share. Thirteen of his 18 games have been on tanks, such as Braum, Tahm Kench, or Alistar, so higher deaths is not terrible since he is so involved in Misfits’ teamfights and vision.

Second Team

TOP – MSF ALPHARI

Misfits’ top laner comes in for EU LCS second team All-Pro. While other tops have varying effectiveness over the course of the split, Alphari brings higher highs and higher lows. He pushes his leads, especially on carries like Gangplank or Camille, and minimizes his losses. Alphari’s champion pool seems deeper, as well, showing solid performances on Shen, Malphite, Swain, and Cho’Gath.

A 4.1 KDA (second among tops), 17.2 percent death share (first among tops), and zero percent First Blood victim rate (tied first among tops) make up Alphari’s most impressive statistics. In a pool of over-aggressive, reckless top laners, Alphari remans calculated and safe. Even with Misfits’ low overall win rate, Alphari keeps his cool and never seems to lose the game for his team. If Misfits are able to solve their late-game decision problems, then expect Alphari to shine even brighter.

JUNGLE – G2 JANKOS

G2 Jankos is my choice for second team All-Pro jungler

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

In a strange twist, having the two best solo laners is the only issue holding Jankos back from first team All-Pro. No doubt, Jankos has been a consistent force in the EU LCS this split. He turns up for ganks and counter-ganks whenever needed, but is often allowed to free farm while Wunder and Perkz hold down their lanes.

Jankos’ 80.8 kill participation and 3.17 vision score per minute are the highest among junglers. He also holds top three for KDA (5.9), death share (17.6 percent), and damage per minute (212). Jankos has been one of the few junglers to look formidable on such a wide array of champions, including Nunu, Kha’Zix, Skarner, and Olaf.

MID – FNC CAPS

What Caps lacks in the laning phase he makes up in the mid and late game. While generally the target of a lot of enemy pressure, Caps gets through the early game as best he can. Caps always becomes Fnatic’s secondary damage threat with Rekkles and takes over games. His diverse champion skill set, including Aurelion Sol and Veigar, makes drafting versus Fnatic extremely difficult.

Caps has the second highest damage per minute (659) in the EU LCS, and the highest damage share (32.6 percent) of any mid laner. His 4.3 KDA is tied for third among mids. While his kill participation and CS/gold/XP difference at 10 minutes are on the lower side, Caps does the most important job for mid laners–dishing damage while staying safe. His .07 deaths per 1000 damage contributes to his first place rank on Best.GG.

ADC – MSF HANS SAMA

MSF Hans sama is my choice for second team All-Pro AD carry

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Hans sama is like a watered down Rekkles. He is online at all stages of the game, often winning lane with Mikyx and transitioning to crushing team fights. Misfits’ AD carry has exceptional positioning around objectives, allowing himself to output damage while remaining alive. He is one of the only EU AD carries that looks good on Kog’Maw.

Hans sama holds a 5.3 KDA, second only to Rekkles. He leads marksmen in CS difference at 10 minutes (+7.6) and First Blood rate (44 percent), and has a top three gold difference at 10 (+210), damage share (33.3 percent), and share of games ahead at 15 minutes (72.2 percent). All of these statistics are even more impressive when taking into account Misfits’ 44 percent win rate.

SUPPORT – G2 WADID

Wadid carried over his play-making from last year onto G2. Excelling on Braum, Taric, and Janna, G2’s support does a great job protecting Hjarnan and enabling his carries. Wadid may not have the most dominant laning phase of all the supports, but he is the best at pressuring objectives and fighting in the mid-late game.

8.2 assists per game sets Wadid at the top of the entire EU LCS. Although he only has the fourth highest kill participation among supports (77 percent), Wadid makes up for it with the second lowest deaths per game (1.9). Wadid is actually ranked as the strongest support in EU by Best.GG, and his 9.8 percent gold share is the second lowest in the league.

Third Team

TOP – SPY ODOAMNE

SPY Odoamne is my choice for third team All-Pro top laner

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Recency and win rate bias probably puts Odoamne above Alphari for some people. But, looking back on the first few weeks of the Spring Split, Odoamne really struggled. Just looking on his first six matches, Odoamne’s KDA was 1.04. However, he maintained a 3.37 KDA over the last 13 games.Odoamne’s resurgence has allowed Splyce to finish the split in third place, and if he held this higher form over the entire split, then maybe he would be second or first team All-Pro.

Despite these earlier woes, Odoamne averages ahead in CS, XP, and gold at 10 minutes. He also participates in First Blood in 42 percent of games (first among top laners). While Odoamne has the highest death share among top laners (33.8 percent), he also contributes 25.6 percent of Splyce’s damage (second among tops). Odo is peaking at the perfect time for playoffs, with powerful performances on Camille, Vladimir, Cho’Gath, and Sion.

JUNGLE – FNC BROXAH

Even though Broxah is surrounded by strong players and veteran leadership, he deserves credit for his individual performances this split. Broxah plays a large part in Fnatic’s ability to gain early pressure and transition into mid-game momentum. The team averages ahead by 800 gold at 15 minutes (second in EU), has a 78 percent First Blood rate (first in EU), a 61 percent dragon control rate, and a 58 percent Baron control rate (both second in EU). Fnatic also maintains a 55 percent jungle control rate, which is first in the league.

Broxah has been crucial to Fnatic’s dominance this split. Jarvan IV, Sejuani, and Zac have put Broxah on initiation duty, which works well for the team. However, Broxah’s Kha’Zix games have been some of the best in the league. He has the second highest KDA (6.5), third lowest death share (15.3 percent), and the second highest First Blood rate (50 percent), while never falling victim to First Blood. Broxah has truly come into his own this year.

MID – VIT JIIZUKE

Jiizuke has been a central part of Vitality’s success this split. His aggression has helped define the team’s playstyle, which kept Vitality towards the top for most of the regular season. The best-looking Ryze in EU, Jiizuke benefitted most from the Zoe-Azir-Ryze meta prior to patch 8.5. His highlight plays are some of the flashiest of the entire split, often pulling off 1-v-2s and clutch escapes.

Jiizuke averages ahead in lane in 77.8 percent of games with top three gold, XP, and CS differences at 15 minutes. He also outputs 611 damage per minute (second among mids), which makes up 31.8 percent of Vitality’s overall damage (second among mids). And while Vitality has been on a downward trajectory on the back half of the split, few would blame it on Jiizuke’s performance. He offers the most kills per game (3.6), but also the third most deaths per game (2.1).

ADC – H2K SHERIFF

H2K Sheriff is my choice for third team All-Pro AD carry

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

Sheriff and H2K have had the opposite effect this split. Prior to Shook’s starting, Sheriff only had seven kills and 11 assists over eight games, most of which were in H2K’s win over Fnatic. His KDA was 1.8. He and H2K were free wins in the eyes of the community.

Since Shook joined the team, Sheriff has blossomed into a true late game carry. His KDA has risen to 4.2 (5.87 over the last 10 games). Sheriff outputs the third most damage per minute (652), has the highest kill participation (85.5 percent), and the third lowest death share (12.8 percent) in the entire league, despite the devastating first four weeks. Other AD carries, such as Kobbe, Hjarnan, and Minitroupax, are not able to match Sheriff’s consistency, despite their stronger teammates and being higher in the standings.

SUPPORT – FNC HYLISSANG

Although Hylissang is not the star of Fnatic, he has still been a solid performer for the top team. Fnatic’s overall strength allows Hylissang to get away with more face-checking and errors than other supports, but his initiations and his impact with champions like Braum, Rakan, and Alistar is undeniable. His strategies are working much better this year with Fnatic’s controlled style than last year with Unicorns of Love.

Hylissang has a top three KDA (3.7), gold and XP difference at 15 minutes (+229, +150), and First Blood rate (50 percent) among supports. The rest of his stats are not ideal, especially considering Fnatic’s place in the standings, but his utility and effectiveness for the team raise him above other supports like Norskeren or kaSing. Hylissang feels more like a threat of his own.

Rookie of the Split

VIT Jiizuke is my choice for Rookie of the Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

VIT JIIZUKE

The 2018 EU LCS Spring Split has been full of promising rookies, including Jiizuke, Sheriff, Norskeren, and Minitroupax. However, what elevates Jiizuke, in particular, is everything he brings to the game. Not only is he formidable on the Rift, but he also brings so much that League of Legends fans enjoy–aggressive playmaking, high energy on stage, and a winning personality. Jiizuke immediately left his mark on the EU LCS from day one, and he has been riding the wave ever since. Vitality is lucky to have him as a competitive mid laner, but fans are also lucky to spectate live and on-screen.

Coach of the Split

SPY PETER DUN

While Splyce still need to prove themselves moving into playoffs, they have had a much better regular season than many expected. Peter Dun came on board a plateaued organization with a rebuilt roster for 2018. So far he has been able to lead the team to a third place regular season finish, and each individual member, as well as the team as a whole, seems to get better week after week.

YamatoCannon comes in a close second for this award, but the fact that four fifths of Vitality’s roster had already played together last split, and Vitality’s loss of momentum over the split, detracted from his perceived contributions.

Most Valuable Player

FNC Rekkles is my choice for Most Valuable Player

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

FNC REKKLES

This vote does not require much explanation. Rekkles is a world-class player who looks just as good as ever. With Febiven, PowerOfEvil, Zven, and Mithy gone to North America, Rekkles has much less star power to contend with. He is one of the only players to play at a consistently high level over the entire split, at all stages of the game, on any champion, regardless of the draft.

When SoaZ or Caps is diminished, Rekkles is always the one that steps up to carry the team. When Fnatic falls behind by a significant amount, Rekkles is the one that reels it back in. Every other player in the EU LCS feels like they have significant weaknesses. Rekkles overshadows them all.

Honorable Mentions

FNC SOAZ/BWIPO

SoaZ is certainly a top three top laner. While his statistics are not stellar, his role on Fnatic is essential to how they play. Enemies often set SoaZ behind and catch him out in side lanes, but he milks the attention and makes those sacrifices in order for Fnatic to win other areas and make aggressive trades.

But it feels awkward voting for SoaZ over Odoamne or Alphari when he did not play the last couple of games. Fnatic has been very transparent about why they brought Bwipo on stage, and it was not because SoaZ is slumping or having any issues. But, because he did not finish out the regular season, and Bwipo was able to step in without hurting Fnatic’s chances, it is hard to cast a vote for SoaZ.

H2K SHOOK/SELFIE

H2K Shook deserves an honorable mention

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

In that same vein, Shook and Selfie did not play the entire split. However, it is undeniable how large their impact has been for H2K. Before Shook joined the team, H2K had a 1-7 record. Since he joined, H2K has had a 7-3 record. His ability to control the pace of the game, and to help H2K maintain mental fortitude through rough games, deserves credit.

Also, Selfie has been essential to H2K’s wins. Statistically, he has a very strong laning phase, and is involved in over 80 percent of H2K’s kills, while keeping the lowest death share of all mid laners. This split has been the best showing of LCS play from Selfie, and he could be in the conversation for the third best mid laner if he had played over the entire split at his current level.

credits

Featured Image: LoL Esports Flickr

Other Images: LoL Esports Flickr

Statistics: Oracles Elixir, Games of Legends

Looking for a podcast covering EU and NA LCS? Check out LCS Weekly on Twitch. 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!

Smite’s Unofficial Power Rankings – Spring Season 5

Hinduman’s Unofficial Smite Rankings are here.

On Sunday, HiRez’s  Esports talent manager, lead smite caster and resident Brit Graham “Hinduman” Hadfield released his first Smite “Power Rankings” of season 5. As a team-based game in Smite, individual rankings based on pure statistics don’t work as well as with many other more individual based sports. This being said, Hinduman’s opinionated rankings are as close to a formal ranking system as Smite gets.

The latest rankings are the first since September 2017, and with Super Regionals and Worlds both having passed since then, there were many changes to the rankings. This article will break down the risers and fallers, as well as give some opinions on what The Game Haus’s Smite writers think Hinduman could have done differently!

Solo Lane Rankings

In North America, the main change here is the return to the league of Nicklaus “Divios” Neumeyer. Although he sat out for Season 4, he instantly returns at #2 in the rankings and will hope to resume his Season 3 reign of terror in the North American solo lane this split. Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill’s solid season 4 and resulting promotion to a top team (Spacestation) is also reflected by his modest +2 rise to #3. The big loser in North America was ScaryD. Unable to produce his best play in the Fall split and on his third roster of the year he falls a huge 4 places.

In Europe, a strong showing from the Croatian Adrian “Deathwalker” Benko throughout season 4 has led some to pronounce that he might be the best player in the world. Although it may be too early to make such a sweeping declaration, his place as #1 in Europe was made clear by his continual redefining of the solo metagame throughout the last season. A modest showing from Jeroen “Xaliea” Klaver at Worlds was the only factor keeping the flagging Harry ‘Variety’ Cumming from falling further, meaning the Season 3 Worlds MVP falls only a single place.

Mid Lane Rankings

Starting out in North America once again, the two Worlds Mid Laners both make rises in the rankings. A huge +3 for Kim “Baskin” Woon-young reflects the superb team carry he has once again become. Known in Season 2 and 3 as one of the best Solo Lane players in the world, he took a few months to establish himself in the Mid Lane. However he showed up with a huge performance at the World Championships in January bringing him into consideration as one the top players in the world. A more modest +1 rise from Brandon “Venenu” Casale was also clearly deserved. The biggest story, however, has to be the three new, returning or role-swapping players to the position. More changes are therefore certainly coming in the next iteration of these rankings.

Europe, however, is a completely different tale. Although there is one new face, the rest of the rankings remain exactly as they were, with Emil “PrettyPrime” Edström and Joakim “Zyrhoes” Verngren retaining the top two spots.

Jungle Rankings

Similar to the Mid Lane rankings, In North America again we see a meteoric rise for one of the SPL’s younger players, Lucas “Screammmmm” Spracklin. Almost a completely new player to accompany his name change from Varizial1, Spracklin has risen to the top of the region, reflecting his team’s World Championship victory. The other players in the region all shuffle down to reflect this, as well as to make room at #4 for the return to the Jungle of the former NA king Andrew “Andinster” Woodward.

Over in Europe, good overall seasons for British standout Benjamin “CaptainTwig” Knight as well as Bulgarian ace Aleksandar “iceicebaby” Zahariev have finally displaced long-time favourite Kennet “Adapting” Ros and Summer Split standout Anders “QvoFred” Korsbo at the top of the roster. It will be interesting to see if the Season 5 meta helps the latter return to former glory.

 

ADC and Support Rankings

In North America, the EUnited ranking revolution continues further with Support Michael “PolarBearMike” Heiss and ADC Maksim “PandaCat” Yanevich rising four and three places respectively, with a couple of returning players and role swaps the only other major changes to the rankings.

A similar story can be seen in Europe, with Team Rival’s strong end to the season reflected by the respective improval of Liam “Vote” Shanks and Petar “KaLaS” Matejić.

Our Perspective

Personally, the biggest disparity in the rankings to me was Venenu’s somewhat modest rise to #3 considering his domination playing The Morrigan and Discordia at Worlds. I would honestly have been fine with him being rated #1 in his position along with the rest of his team.

TGH Smite writer Nolan Evans believes that KikiSoCheeky did very little to deserve holding onto Fourth place in the solo standings. Indeed, he reckons that both Fineokay and ScaryD deserve to be above him!

What do you think? Have your say in the comments or on twitter, you can tweet me @KingHazzam or us in general at @TheGameHausEsports

 

All rankings are the opinion and sole work of @HirezHinduman on twitter and do not reflect the official views of Hirez or The Game Haus. All Images created by The Game Haus using these rankings.

Deju Vu for the Seoul Dynasty entering week five on the outside of the playoffs

Stage one and stage two have had an eerily similar feel for the Seoul Dynasty. In both stages, the Dynasty get off to a hot start only to be fighting from the outside-looking-in heading into the final week of the stage. The two losses in week four insured the Dynasty another uphill battle, one that ended poorly for them in stage one.

The Dynasty flopping against the top teams

A heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the New York Excelsior and a rather sloppy performance against the London Spitfire put them back in an almost identical situation to stage one. With the same score lines, the Dynasty has a serious issue with not showing up against the consensus best teams. And after their latest upsetting performance, their playoff fate no longer rests in their own hands. It’s now dependent on the Los Angeles Gladiators or the Spitfire losing a few games by a somewhat wide margin.

Let’s look back at the matches, Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park has proven to be a serious problem for the Dynasty backline and for the bulk of that roster. In the two regular-season matchups, the Tracer-expert has made a living off disrupting the Dynasty gameplan. Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byeon is having a nice stage two, but the lack of Tracer duel wins is a problem, and Byung-sung “Fleta” Kim hasn’t looked as dominant in stage two. Down the line, the Dynasty struggled to contain any of the Excelsior playmakers.

Switching over to the London Spitfire, a combination of an assertive game plan and simply outperforming their counterparts on the other side have given the Spitfire an astounding eight-game winning streak over the Dynasty. As main Zenyatta player Sung-tae “BDosin” Choi likes to say, “Seoul Dynasty’s weakness is (the) London Spitfire,” and after two dominating efforts, it’s hard to disagree. No other team has been able to disrupt the cerebral style that the Dynasty brings into matches. It’s clear that bringing the fight to the Dynasty will give them trouble.

Not to mention the fact that these struggles against GC Busan pre-date the Overwatch League if you look back on how Lunatic-Hai ended their Apex run. What’s the cause of this? A regression of skill amongst the most noteworthy names on this roster or is this a coaching issue? The bulk of the responsibility isn’t on one player, but the lack of coordination and underperforming from the entire roster.

What’s going on with Ryujehong?

Je-hong “Ryujehong” Ryu is one of the more accomplished players in the Overwatch League. The first player on a grand stage to really separate himself from the rest of the pack. His skill has always been flashy, but sensible and measured.Ever since the benching in stage one, life’s been tough on Ryujehong. His struggles are bleeding into Jin-hyuk “Miro” Gong’s effectiveness and are overall hurting the dive.

As Overwatchers contenders commentator James “Jamerson” Lee pointed out to me, tracking Ryujehong’s discord orbs have not been easy. In the loss to the Spitfire and Excelsior, the emphasis on Ryujehong specifically made it really tough on him. The combination of focus fire and having to deal with Syung-heon “JJoNak” Bang and BDosin Zenyatta volleys lead to some rather un-Ryujehong like performances. It’s been a growing issue within the Dynasty’s attack and could be a point of contention moving forward.

Tobi at a press conference. Photo via Seoul Dynasty Twitter

Moreover, Ryujehong isn’t exactly known for his play on Zenyatta. Yes, he’s proven to play Zenyatta at an incredibly high level and is absolutely considered one of the best in the Overwatch League, but most of his notoriety as the supreme support main comes from his play on Ana. In no way do I think keeping Ryujehong on the bench is a smart move, but inserting Gi-do “Gido” Moon into some situations might be a switch the Dynasty need.

Identically, Jin-mo “Tobi” Yang hasn’t been playing at his best this season either. The same could be said for Fleta, who started stage one as the frontrunner for MVP. Randomly, the one position that’s been getting strong performances has been Munchkin or Joon-hyuk “Bunny” Chae on Tracer, who have both stepped up in stage two. On top of that, the contributions of Joon-hyuk “Zunba” Kim on D.va have been outstanding for a team struggling on dives.

Looking ahead for Seoul

Luckily for the Dynasty, the schedule ends with two bottom-six opponents, even if one of those is the struggling stage on playoff team Houston Outlaws. The other would be the Florida Mayhem who has shown great improvement in stage two. It will take a combination of the Los Angeles Gladiators (or Spitfire) ending the week 0-2 while losing both games by more than a few maps.

Unfortunately for the Dynasty, based on the way the Gladiators have been playing recently it, feels unlikely that will happen. If the Dynasty gets no help this week, they will find themselves watching their second consecutive playoff round from the couch, and based off expectations heading into the Overwatch League would be a colossal underachievement for them. Regardless of stage playoffs, the Dynasty sit at 13-5 atop the Pacific division and have their eyes set on the ultimate prize at the end of the inaugural season. 

 

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Featured photo via Seoul Dynasty twitter

Overwatch

Can Seoul Dynasty Slow the NYXL?

The past couple weeks in Stage 2 have been nothing but full speed ahead for the New York Excelsior. With a big upcoming game against the Seoul Dynasty at the beginning of Week 4, the results could drastically influence Stage 2 playoff seeding. As of right now, the NYXL and Seoul Dynasty are the top two teams in the Overwatch League, with the London Spitfire closely behind. The NYXL may be ahead in the overall standings, yet the Seoul Dynasty still find themselves leading the pack in Stage 2. Nevertheless, both teams are pushing themselves so that they can get the top spot going into the Stage 2 playoffs. With an epic match on Wednesday, March 14, will Seoul be able to slow down the NYXL or will the NYXL silence Seoul’s roar?

Overview

Both teams have so much star-power and talent on their rosters that there is a marquee matchup in every role. It is hard to argue that there are better players who aren’t already on either of these two teams. With such great players in every position, the two main matchups that I am going to focus on is support and DPS.

Support matchup

It is safe to say that the teams who have the best supports have found the most success so far in the Overwatch League. Supports provide tangible things such as healing and damage, but also intangibles such as communication, leadership and the ability to track other team’s abilities. Support is a very powerful position when the right players are in and working together. In this coming matchup both teams have the best Zenyatta players in the league – Seong-Hyun “Jjonak” Bang on NYXL and Je-Hong “Ryujehong” Ryu on Seoul Dynasty. Both players drastically alter the game with their play. Whichever Zenyatta can give their team an advantage with an early pick on the other team and can use their ultimate more effectively in team fights, will ultimately give their team a greater chance of winning. The clip below shows Jjonak’s impact in a team fight.

DPS matchup

Let’s not forget about the DPS matchup! The two-big flex DPS players to watch is Hae-Seong “Libero” Kim from the NYXL vs Byung-Sun “FLETA” Kim from Seoul. Both players can play just about every hero at a high level. In Overwatch, a game where counter picks can make a huge difference, expect to see many different heroes come out from these players in an attempt to counter the other and ultimately give their team an advantage. In addition to Libero and FLETA, expect to see a big Tracer matchup out of NYXL’s Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park and Dynasty’s Sang-Beom “Munchkin” Byun or Jun-Hyeok “Bunny” Chae. All three Tracer players have their own unique play style, which helps their respective team dictate the pace of the game. The clip below shows the impact of Seoul Dynasty’s DPS players, helping secure a team fight win against the Philadelphia Fusion.

Last thoughts

It’s undeniable that these are two of the best teams in the Overwatch League. However, who is really the number one team in the game? With an epic matchup between the Seoul Dynasty and NYXL that went all the way to a map five in Stage 1, and now has playoff implications in Stage 2, this rematch is one that you do not want to miss. Will Seoul prove that they are again the greatest team in Overwatch or will the NYXL flex their strength and show why they are the number one team in the overall standings?

 

For more of the best esports news, follow The Game Haus on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to keep up with my posts or myself, come check out my twitter:@J02Armstrong. Thanks for reading!

Featured Image Credit: Overwatch League

Videos Clips: Overwatch League

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. =)