BY: BRYANT 'HUSKKIEE' NG
Yesterday was the first day of the League of Legends Worlds 2017 Group Stage and our South East Asia representative, Gigabyte Marines (GAM) has already made its mark on the international stage by taking down Fnatic (FNC) which happens to be the third seed from Europe.
From drafting to in-game strategy to closing out the game, GAM has not only broken the conventional style of League of Legends, but they also brought back some strats from previous seasons which definitively took FNC by surprise and eventually led to them crumbing under the onslaught of the Marines.
If there is one word that is appropriate to describe the performance of GAM, it is ‘chaos’. From the minute both teams load onto the rift, GAM has already put their plans into actions; setting up the jungle, performing level one lane swaps, hitting level 6 on their jungler at just 5 minutes into the game, GAM played a style so unconventional it not only broke the current meta, but also broke FNC. In order to figure out what GAM was really planning before their eventually victory, here are the breakdowns of their strategy.
“Most people would want to refer to the chaotic style as a team that doesn’t understand how to play the game. This is actually chaos that’s orchestrated.” - Dash
From the get-go at the drawing board, GAM drafted a team composition that has consistent peel, adverse mobility and sustainable damage all packed into their kit. Every single one of their champion has some way to peel for themselves or their teammates topped off with mobility that allows them to transverse the terrain of Runeterra with ease; not to mention they can siege extremely well with Tristana as the demolisher.
FNC opted for a more standard team composition, focusing on full blown teamfight and sustain when committing. Although they have mobility in the form of Caps’ Ryze with his Realm Warp, it’s is not as reliable as GAM’s kit when it comes to moving around the entire map. With that being said and the tables being set by both teams, the name of the game for GAM is to force skirmish and win while FNC have to go for a 5v5 bloodbath.
Breaking the meta:
For GAM, meta is a thing of the past. It’s pretty clear that they have prepared themselves well enough to bring forth armageddon onto FNC. The first move on their chessboard was to perform a lane swap, sending NoWay’s Tristana and Nevan’s Lulu to the top lane to face off against sOAZ’s Maokai while Archie’s Galio is set to rotate to the bot lane to hold Rekkles’ Varus and Jezis’s Karma off. From the draft alone, sOAZ will have a tougher time against GAM’s bot lane duo simply because of their early fighting capabilities, Nevan opting for Thunderlord’s Decree while also picking up Heal and Ignite, giving him and NoWay potential to easily win a 1v1. That is then complimented by GAM’s tower sieging kit with Tristana’s Explosive Charge and Lulu’s Whimsy steroids, allowing them to effectively push turrets without any repercussions.
With the lane swap completed, the jungle is where GAM’s strategy focuses on. Instead of immediately rotating to bot, Archie stayed and helped Levi’s Nocturne to leash his camps, allowing Levi to power-level and hit his power spike as soon as possible. Normally the timing for a jungler hitting level 6 is around the 7-8 minutes mark, but because Levi got a lot of help from Archie early on, he reached level 6 at just 5 minutes 10 seconds. With Paranoia up on the table, Levi immediately utilized his mobility and kit to surprise FNC’s bot lane and assassinate Jezis for an easy kill.
“Paranoia, 5 minutes into the game!” - Draco
GAM’s execution was flawless, leading to a level starvation for sOAZ, a broken top lane turret, a bot lane in shambles, and a global gold surge for GAM as they take down FNC’s structures and snatch objectives away from their opponents. Every time FNC tries to pick a fight with GAM, the Marines will answer with a turret, eventually forcing FNC to play their game which the European squad had no answer to.
GAM also played their team composition to its fullest, focusing on forcing skirmishes through teleports and mobility, assassinating FNC’s lineup with Levi as the dive bomber and NoWay as the marksman. FNC was eventually crushed by the constant pressure from GAM, nailing NoWay a perfect KDA, a quadra kill which had the penta stolen by Optimus, and a win for the Vietnamese squad.
“This strategy was actually discovered by Archie. We decided to test it and it worked out.” - Levi
Wrapping up the Kings of Europe:
GAM’s confidence in breaking the meta has contributed to their victory against FNC, but credits also go to their innovation to pull out something that no team expected to see especially on the international stage. The unconventional power leveling of Levi and the level 1 lane swap by GAM caught FNC with their pants down and that eventually snowballed into an unstoppable lead for the Marines. With the first blow being dealt by GAM towards FNC, Longzhu Gaming (LZ) and Immortals (IMT) remain in their way; whether GAM can prove themselves by taking down the powerhouse from North America (NA) and Korea, they might just have to rely on more unconventional strats.
“I’m pretty sure after that game, even Rekkles’ dad would be cheering for GAM.” - Azael