League of Legends

[Story time] Looking back at the most ingenious competitive strat ever used. GSG vs CJ Entus, Game 5 of NLB Winter 2013.

LeagueofLegends7 - [Story time] Looking back at the most ingenious competitive strat ever used. GSG vs CJ Entus, Game 5 of NLB Winter 2013.

What's the most mind-blowing strategy you've ever seen used by a competitive league of legends team? UOL's jungle TF? Gorilla's MF support? How about season 2 M5 with roaming lee sin alistar?

Or maybe some of you oldies remember the days of the old korean league, when macro play in the league was light years ahead of the rest of the world, pioneering insane strategies like the

. May I present, for your viewing pleasure, what is possibly the best strategic game of competitive league played by not-so-renown teams GSG and CJ Entus in the NLB Winter finals of 2013.

which featured an ARAM style 5 man inhibitor push before the 10-minute mark, featuring support player ManDu flexing onto heimerdinger jungle.

Before you write this game off as a low stakes B-tier game, do note that the rosters were stacked, featuring (eventual) world champions on both sides and many other notable players and was casted by none other than PapaSmithy and PastryTime back when they weren't as well-known as they are today.

RolesGSGCJ Entus
TopCheonju (Acorn) – BlitzLpanda (LongPanda) – Shen
JungleSoLo – OlafinSec – Cho'Gath
MidEasy (Easyhoon) – TFDade – Kha'Zix
ADCClear – CaitlynSpace – Ezreal
SupportManDu (PoohManDu) – HeimKkinsh (Kish) – Sona


Competitive league tends to fall short in terms of strategic and pick diversity as compared to DoTA. We do see unique pocket picks here and there, but this game is on a whole other level. It features careful planning since the pick and bans, a whacky-looking but deliberately and intelligently executed strategy by GSG that led to this amateur team taking the victory using an unusual strategies. If this interests you, do have a look at the VOD. I'll be breaking down some of the things the casters mention that better highlight how GSG pulled this off.

Pick and Bans

This strategy was specifically for blue-side. GSG chose not to ban TF or Shen, two highly contested picks for their global abilities at the time. Had GSG banned either one, CJ would have banned the other to block GSG from first-picking the remaining champion.

GSG then first pick TF, leaving Shen for CJ. CJ also pick up Kha'Zix which was broken as the developers only had 100 years of experience back then. So far so good for GSG. The plan is to bait CJ Entus into champions with low wave clear pre-level 6.

GSG then pick up Caitlyn and Olaf, two very standard picks. Drafting the first 3 picks normally is important because they don't want CJ to get suspicious and also because if CJ happen to draft good wave clear (casters mention Graves and Lulu for example), GSG must be ready to play a standard game as their strategy would not work.

CJ draft Ezreal Sona. Perfect.

GSG spring the trap and draft Blitz and Heimerdinger. Pastrytime proceeds to lose his mind for the next hour. CJ catch wind of what's going on and pick Cho'Gath for inSec. As the timer ticks down, support player ManDu is still holding onto the Donger with smite. The casters are puzzled over his choice of physical damage runes.


The Execution

Off the bat, Olaf takes the blue buff for the early exp and heads top while the other 4 head into the enemy jungle to hook a free red buff and rotate into a 4 man mid push. Sona comes up mid to defend while Ezreal stays bottom. CJ know if that they can weather the push, they will win due to the XP differential. Mid tower falls by 3:30 but GSG aren't stopping. CJ, trying to relieve pressure, force an engage with Cho'Gath landing a 2-man rupture just outside of the mid-tier 2 and Kha'Zix following up for a first blood kill. CJ is still a very good team and trying to find a way out of this. But Caitlyn picks up a kill in return and Shen rotates down mid with a 2-man flash-taunt only to catch a yellow card from TF and feed Caitlyn yet another kill. Meanwhile, Olaf teleports bot to defend the tower against Ezreal. CJ note down the timing of Olaf's TP.

GSG reset with the mid tier 2 at half health while Olaf has hit level 6 at 5:42 from getting solo exp from the side lanes. Meanwhile CJ's highest level champion is only level 4 and Cho'Gath buys berserker greaves to boost his passive wave clear, but it's not nearly enough. All 5 GSG players group up mid and with hooks, traps, stun cards and grenades zoning away CJ from the level 6 7 Olaf, GSG easily down the mid inhibitor tower at 7:20.

GSG reset a second time, with Olaf going back top lane and the other 4 members trying to take the inhibitor. Without the over-levelled Olaf there and Shen + Kha'Zix hitting level 6, CJ know they have the upper hand in a full-on teamfight if Shen ults mid onto GSG's 4 members, which is exactly what they do, taking down Blitzcrank. This is perfectly timed from CJ; they force this engage knowing that Olaf's TP is just about to come off CD and it's do or die time.

Unfortunately, GSG know that CJ know this and were already a step ahead. After showing himself top, Olaf started running towards mid, 10 seconds before Shen even used Stand United. He shows up just in time as CJ was overextended trying to force the engage, killing Shen and almost killing Olaf. With no frontline to protect them from the insane poke and madman bro-laf, GSG take the inhibitor to what is the best caster moment in history.


Papasmithy: "… they are."

Pastrytime: "… Wow."

Closing it out

By now, CJ are really far behind. Sona is still level 4 while Olaf is level 10 with Shurelya's. GSG reset for the third time and push down the bot inhibitor turret at 13:00. Caitlyn uses summoner heal to keep the cannon minion alive longer to tank the inhibitor turret.

(Papa: "There's the heal."

Pastry: "THERE'S A HEAL?!?!?")

GSG aren't able to take the inhibitor though. Noticing Sona should be hitting 6 soon, they recall again, stacking themselves with Doran's items and elixirs. CJ is getting lots of gold and exp from the minions flooding into their base and they actually have a good comp. GSG knows this and are looking to end it. Meanwhile Pastrytime almost drops the F-bomb seeing Heimerdinger's 4 Doran's rings. Papa finally cracks a laugh at Blitz's 3 Doran's blades.

GSG put on a clinic on how to play push comps. Mid (respawned) and bot inhib go down by 15:00. GSG don't greed though, they rotate top and repel any attempts at an engage, but are unable to break the top inhibitor turret and choose to reset.

By now, CJ is catching up quite a bit, with Space's Ezreal doubling the CS of Clear's Caitlyn and farming out a Frozen Gauntlet. CJ pull off a teamfight win but 2 lanes of super minions are just too much. Eventually, one nexus turret falls as GSG respawns and knock down the top inhibitor. The red nexus turns into a mosh pit of minions and CJ furiously type /ff but it's still too early to surrender. Finally the nexus explodes, taking Pastrytime's mind with it, ending one of the best games in league history.

That's about it

Hope these old matches interest you guys. This game was really cool to me back when I first watched it. It showed, to me, how the koreans seemed to play a whole different game back then, focussing so much on macro play, as opposed to other teams that looked towards lane match ups and teamfights. If you're still reading this, thank you, and have a nice day!

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