BY MATTHEW 'CAMOU' CHAN
With the standings already finalized, more or less shaped up, the final day of games were more for pride than anything else. The first game of the series saw Penang titans, Eternity Esports go up against TLC debutants Climax, with both teams hoping to end the group stage on a high.
Even though eE already secured their 3rd seed, they were not going to joke around and draft off-meta picks as they picked a heavy pick off composition with Jarvan IV, Syndra and Braum. Climax on the other hand drafted a heavy team fight composition with a Rumble and Orianna, together with a Rengar to deliver the ball into the back line.
The game started out slow with junglers on both teams opting to power farm to level 4 before pulling off any ganks. However, once the action started, it never stopped. It initially looked good for eE as they managed to pull in 3 kills in exchange for only 1 death in an engage which saw both teams pull all 5 members into the bot lane. However, eE overstepped their boundaries and dove the turret and paid for the price for it as it CLX a few free kills as well as 404 getting executed! (yikes)
From there, the blood brawl just continued with both teams constantly trying to engage on one another by roaming the map. It was clear however that eE were getting the better trades in objectives as well as in terms of kills as the Penang team was able to build a sizable gold lead for themselves despite going full solo queue. Though at time eE overextended and tried to take more than they can chew, they were never really challenged by CLX as they constantly held a comfortable over their counterparts.
At 29 minutes, eE decided they had enough of fun and stomped down the mid lane. Together with a 16 k gold advantage and a baron buff to boot, they were able to wipe CLX off Summoner’s Rift with little to no issue and destroy the nexus.
Though it was all serious business from both teams in game 1, things were a little in game 2 as the draft saw eE and CLX let their hand down and draft some out of the norm picks with eE taking a Graves ADC and CLX going with a Master Yi in the jungle & Vayne in the ADC position; a tribute to Solo Queue warriors all over the world.
If Game 1 was a blood brawl then game 2 was a murder house as teams from either end did not stop their aggression from minute 1 of the game with first blood being drawn by eE 3 minutes into the game. I can be truly honest with you and say that this game is practically impossible to point out any key parts of the game due to the fact that the game was a straight out slaughter fest. Players were dropping like flies left and right with constant action across the map and little objective minded rotations.
If you were to search in the dictionary for the definition of “clown fiesta”, the VOD of this match would show up as reference due to the high amounts of fights. In the end however, CLX finally managed to pick the win over eE as they had the better late game scaling with Vayne and Master Yi in their team and finally at 32 minutes and 70 kills, Climax destroyed the nexus.
Player of the Series: eE Emotion
The Penang jungler made some great picks and showed good understanding in the jungle role to abuse his counterpart in the early stages. eE has to hope that Emotion will bring his A game if they were to stand against Orange eSports in the semi-finals.
The final game of the group stage saw defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hunters face up against TWICE, who had an overall disappointing season, comparing to last split’s stella run to third place. However, TWICE was determined to at least bring down KLH to show everyone that they are still contenders in the League and were no jokes.
Once again, since there were literally no stakes left for this game, both teams pulled out some interesting picks with KLH picking Yasuo and Riven for their solo laners while TWICE decided to draft a Sion support and Evelynn jungle together with a Vel’ Koz in the mid lane.
This game saw the continuation of the aggressive mindset carried over from the previous series as it was yet another game which contain a high number of kills. However, the early game was dominated by KLH as they were able to hold a strong cs lead across 2 out of the 3 lanes. There was one shining light for TWICE as their top laner was able to hold his own against Shiro’s Riven and control the lane for himself.
Whaoo’s Evelynn placed a lot of pressure on the Hunters’ early game and forced them to concede a few unwanted a kills and saw TWICE hold a surprise early kill lead despite losing the majority of their lanes to the Hunters. However, the Hunters were able to tilt the game back towards their favour after some good rotations on the map which saw them build a strong gold lead.
But it was clear that the keyword of the day was “Kill Everything in Sight” as the fights just never stopped between the two teams. Both teams kept on engaging on one another in every corner and in every opportunity they had but KLH never looked deterred as they were comfortably in the lead throughout the game despite the chaos. Also, even though champions were dropping left and right, unlike the series prior, KLH were always focused on the objectives and on 20 minutes, took down the first inhibitor of the game. A couple minutes later, TWICE thought they managed to catch Shiro out of position and maybe turn the game around. However, KLH had other plans and were able to turn things around and end the game.
For the 2nd game, both teams drafted much more conventional picks with KLH drafting a strong early jungler with Nidalee and Irelia and Galio to dive into backline whereas TWICE took the path of the teamfight and picked Rumble and Orianna in hopes they would be able to reach a point where they would be strong enough to win team fights.
KLH’s game plan was clear, they needed Nidalee to help snowball the lanes as she would not be as useful as a Rek’Sai in the latter stages of the game. On the flip side, TW wanted to just farm and wait till the late game until their champions had enough items to do tons of AoE damage.
Unfortunately for TW, it was KLH’s game plan which prevailed as the game saw Wicked go on a rampage with his Nidalee, dominating the early game, aiding all three lanes with enormous amounts of kill pressure. He did not allow TW’s champions to freely farm and constantly roamed the map with Nidalee’s innate high mobility.
KLH was basically a truck and there were just no way for TW to stop it once Wicked started the vehicle. He allowed his carries to rotate early on as he was able to destroy 2 outer turrets within 10 minutes. From there, KLH methodically took TW apart, one objective at a time, not allowing any room for TW to come back and when the game timer was at 22 minutes, with a Baron Buff and 20k gold lead, KLH ended the game with a kill score of 31-4.
Player of the Series: KLH Wicked
Wicked showed great prowess in the jungle and has been performing really well since he stepped into the team in week 4. His Nidalee in the 2nd game was an exhibition of his ability to carry games from the early stages and set up his team to snowball into the late game. No doubt that KLH has picked up a great player in Wicked and hopefully he will be able to continue to show his ability throughout the playoffs.
And with that, the group stages and finally come to an end and we are left to wait for a month until the first playoff game starts. The remaining 4 teams will be hopeful that the break in between will provide them a good buffer to improve their individual skills and innovate new strategies to bring home to TLC title and represent Malaysia in GPL!
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