While Twisted Fate has seen play prior to patch 4.5—Jin Air’s Song “Fly” Young-jun drew bans in LoL Masters, while other NACS teams have played him as well—the Card Master’s tricks were brought to the forefront in high-profile matches in both LCS and OGN this past week. Counter Logic Gaming’s Austin “Link” Shin played him in his LCS Spring semifinals match versus Team SoloMid, while SK Telecom T1 K and Samsung Galaxy Blue did the same in their OGN quarterfinals matches. Just yesterday, Hai “Hai” Lam played TF for Cloud 9 in the deciding match, also against Team SoloMid.
Tag Archives: League of Legends
Cloud 9’s dominance in the North American professional League of Legends scene dates back to last season, and their sustained success comes in large part to their internationally focused approach to regional competition. They pay attention to the world metagame, but incorporate their own strategies based on local influences as well. The emergence of solo lane Soraka in the North American solo-queue challenger scene is one such influence, which the team has incorporated into the highest level of professional team play. Over the course of the past few weeks, Cloud 9’s mid-laner, Hai “Hai” Lam boasts a 3-0 record with Soraka, earning a target ban status heading into their regional playoffs.
The KT Rolster organization flexed their strategic muscle over the past weekend with impressive wins in IEM Katowice and OGN Champions Spring 2014 by the Bullets and Arrows, respectively. While the former, more senior, team accomplished a flawless run en route to the world championship, they employed an interesting team composition in the semifinals against Gambit Gaming, one which was used mere hours earlier by their sister team, KT Arrows, in their own 2-0 sweep against Prime Optimus.
The composition centres around Kha’Zix in the jungle, a champion that will surely see an incredible spike in usage in most of the major pro leagues. A recent buff to his Evolved Active Camouflage enabled an incredible amount of mobility that allows the Voidreaver to slip in and out of teamfight situations and do considerable amounts of damage while taking barely any in return with the help of Void Assault and a number of other abilities offered by specific champions, namely Karma and Shen.
Twisted Fate is a broken champion. This is a fact that Riot has said directly and that teams across the world acknowledge by consistently banning him in competitive play. Unlike Jayce, who is overpowered in part because his kit is being abused in ways that were not intended, Twisted Fate is overpowered because he is working exactly as he is supposed to. Twisted Fate’s ult, Destiny, allows him to have a map presence unlike any other champion in the game, and simply being picked forces the opposing team to change their strategies and playstyle to account for him. In the hands of the extremely skilled players and teams, such a game presence translates into a huge advantage. And because no team wants to have to deal with that advantage, Twisted Fate is consistently banned by teams particularly in China and Korea. It’s also very telling that Twisted Fate is largely absent from the NA scene, but that’s a discussion for another time. What is important is that Twisted Fate has a huge influence on the competitive game in a way that he shouldn’t as a champion that has been identified for needing changes.
One of the most fascinating things about sport isn’t necessarily the mechanics and theory that contribute to a game’s outcome, but rather the human element, the unpredictable being that often goes against our perceived expectations. Humans play the game, and everything that humans are, leading up to that game, add a layer of emotional depth that goes beyond strategy and analysis. You can ask a basketball player about high percentage shots and efficient shooting zones like the “corner three,” but if that particular shot is the one that wins a game, you’re probably more likely to hear about how that player feels about being the hero, the redeemed, the legend, and so forth. That moment is a story to the person who experienced it.
Week 5 was highlighted by what was perhaps the most entertaining (yet, beneath the surface, most exposing) game of the LCS season so far in North America. With heavyweights Vulcun and Cloud 9 battling for the top of the class, Cloud 9 came back in unbelievable fashion. It really bugs me that in this game, much like others this week and last, it was an indecisive b**** call that decided the outcome of victory.
Bar- I mean, Mr. Nashor, has been unkind to this league, and in the spirit of Dignitas, here are some B-words that describe the teams in this week’s power rankings.
At the highest level of play, the most renowned professional League of Legends players are often heralded for their “champion pool” within a given role on the team with which they play, usually resulting in instances where teams ban out specific champions that the individual can play. At the North American and European LCS level, the talent pool isn’t high enough to warrant blanket champion must-bans the same way Jayce and Twisted Fate are banned in Korea and elsewhere in Season 3; outside of that, bans are most often directed at players in order to limit their champion selection options, which opens up a wide variety of counterplay strategies from the opposing team.
Hello! My name is Myst and I’ll be joining Kriz as a writer for the Piltover Pundit. I am not an exceptional League player, only mid-tier, but I enjoy the game quite a lot and want to share my observations and experiences playing it. In the future I may write about any number of topics related to the game (including Riot or the professional scene), but for my introductory post I want to tell you a little about why I love League of Legends.
Yesterday, an interesting League of Legends educational service called LoL-Class.com launched. It is a service that takes an online lecture approach to teach customers how to become better at the game. Its main attraction point is its partnership with professional League teams from the North American scene, most notably the top teams in the ladder right now, with lessons taught from the pros at both Cloud 9 HyperX and Vulcun TechBargains, among others. I was fortunate enough to be selected to attend a test lecture last night, which featured Cloud 9’s mid laner, Hai Lam.
Week 4 in the North American LCS essentially cemented the top two teams in the league, whose performances this week were an emphatic statement that they belong where they are, regardless of what their record indicates, and regardless of the fan perception (that is, popularity) of teams in the league right now.
This being the inaugural power rankings post, commentary on each team is more detailed than what will become the norm, as I have plenty of thoughts on the current state of the North American scene and its current standings.