BY MATTHEW 'CAMOU' CHAN
After a month of highly intense competition, the TLC group stages finally entered the final week of its play with many teams still in contention of reaching the playoff spots. Many could argue that the first match of the week was the most important one as it saw Fire Dragoon go up against Orange Esports. FDG needed a win to be able to place themselves in a favourable position for the final playoff spot while ORS needed a win to secure the 2nd seed.
Fire Dragoon vs Orange Esports - Under Expectations
The draft of the first game saw FDG secure a heavy pick off composition with Lee Sin and Ashe, while Gnar and Braum bringing huge team fighting potential. On the other hand, ORS continue to put Rexion on a winning top laner with a Renekton whilst the rest of the map had good pick potential with Taliyah and Varus. All in all, you could argue, both teams ran similar compositions and it would come down to the execution.
The early game was relatively even with both teams seemingly happy to just farm things out for the better half of 8 minutes. However, that ended when FDG tried for a proactive play in the bottom lane and managed to take down Nasi Lemak’s Thresh but just when the Dragoons thought that had secure an advantage, Kirino made an excellent roam to the bot lane, using his wall to stop the escape path of the retreating FDG members, allowing his team to pick up the stragglers.
Even after that scrimmage, things were still looking very even with both teams trading blow for blow, not allowing one another to take a huge advantage in the game. Even at 20 minutes, only 1k gold separated both teams as neither wanted to make a mistake and played extra careful but that changed when FDG tried to take the Infernal Drake.
FDG’s positioning for that fight was downright horrible as their main engage and tank, Gnar was pushing bottom lane while the other 4 decided to dance around the Dragon area. This provided Nasi Lemak an opportunity to engage on the enemy team with a great hook on Xare’s Lee Sin and on top of that, Rexion & SnatcheR were in a great position to flank FDG’s back line, ultimately allowing them to not only win the fight 4 for 0, but to also help them take down the Dragon and the inner mid turret. ORS were firmly in the driver’s seat after that engage with a 5k gold lead in their back pocket.
From then on, it was clear it was Orange’s game to lose as they were slowly winning in all the small scrimmages on the map. FDG constantly tried to make proactive plays by picking off stray members but Orange were always able to respond with a stronger play, expanding their advantage little by little. Orange Esports took down the Baron Nashor and used its buff to dismantle FDG’s base, one lane at a time, having destroyed all 3 inhibitors down at one time. With that, they were able to slowly march their way into FDG’s remaining base, winning the fight and destroying the nexus.
The draft of the second game saw ORS picking a composition with a strong potential to reach the back line with Rumble and Camilie while FDG went for the dive comp spectacular, complete with a Jarvan IV and Galio support. It was clear that FDG had to make sure they get an early lead and snowball from there to prevent ORS hitting their core items and wrecking team fights.
The early game for the 2nd game was almost a carbon copy of the first game with minimal kills across the map and both teams having similar total gold. However, the one thing that was different in this game was Neko getting camped by SnatcheR’s Elise, helping his top laner snowball early on. Though he was able to keep up in his cs, Neko sat with a 0/3/1 score, with his turret destroyed at 10 minutes, unlocking Camilie to the rest of the map.
From there, it felt like FDG was self-destructing, as they were not really functioning well as a team, going in one at a time, ultimately allowing ORS to build a respectable gold lead and strong map pressure. Orange allowed their Camilie to push his advantage over Jarvan IV and made his of his strong kill pressure to take down turrets. On top of that, Nasi Lemak was on top of this game by constantly picking off FDG members with his Thresh, hooking enemies, allowing his team to delete them off the map. With everything working for ORS, and with the help of Rift Herald, they were able to take down the first inhibitor by 20 minutes.
There was just no coming back for FDG from there as they were just way too far behind. They tried to make proactive plays on the map by attempting to pick ORS members off, but they didn’t have enough damage to kill them off and with a final hook by Nasi Lemak picking Xare off, they were able to ace FDG, ending the game in 24 minutes, taking the series & effectively killing FDG’s hopes for a playoff spot.
Player of the Series: ORS Nasi Lemak
Maybe it was Raya mood or just the hype but Nasi Lemak was unstoppable on his Thresh. Across both games, he made great pick offs with his hooks and saved his teammates countless times with his lantern as well. Nasi Lemak is definitely comfortable on his Thresh, maybe making a case for future enemies to ban it out against him whenever he is on the support role.
The 2nd series of the day saw Nirvana Gaming go up against 4moD, with the both teams knowing that whoever wins the series would be able to leapfrog over Fire Dragoon and knocking them out of the playoff spots in the process. Needless to say, everyone were glued to the screen, waiting to see the outcome of this series.
4moD once again sticked to their philosophy and played a composition they have been using the whole series, a carry top laner with a strong early jungler to help the team snowball, with a scaling marksman. On the flip side, Nirvana wanted to try counter the early aggressive by picking Renekton in the top lane and Jhin in bot lane to attempt to win the lane straight out.
This game was as straightforward as possible for Nirvana Gaming, taking the lead from start to finish, effectively executing their game plan precisely the way they needed it. They were able to
With NvG already locked in as the final team to qualify for the playoffs, both teams drafted some whacky champions in the 2nd game of the series as it basically didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Atup managed to get his hands on Riven while NvG picked a Quinn top for themselves.
This game was simply an all out brawl between both teams as it felt as the fighting never stopped. By the end of the game, there were more than 80 kills across both teams in the 48 minute game. It was clear that both teams were playing the game with light spirits, constantly engaging on one another. 4moD was the team with the upper hand throughout the game but they were unable to close the game due to NvG’s resilience. The game itself was a perfect example of a “clown fiesta” with non-stop fights. Thankfully in the end, 4moD were able to end the game despite NvG’s strongest defense attempt, ultimately ending the series with a 1-1 score line.
Player of the Series: 4moD Atup
Despite not reaching the playoffs, Atup is still without a doubt one of the best top laners in the League! Case in point, his Riven in the second game of the series. He was able to pull off phenomonal plays and with his great understanding of the champion, his performance was a delight to watch through and through. Hopefully, we will see him succeed in the future, perhaps with a stronger line up around him. But well, who knows what will happen.
After today’s set of matches, we are able to see who are the final teams who will head to playoffs of TLC and who will be forced to sit out until next split. The real surprise here will have to be Fire Dragoon, not being able to secure themselves a spot in the playoffs despite being the other professional team in the league, next to Kuala Lumpur Hunters. Well, with playoffs still around a month away, many things still can change, we will just have to wait and see what happens.
Make sure you stay tune and keep yourself updated by constantly checking tlcmy.garena.com!