On paper we had some good series to watch, the top 4 teams of spring all playing each other, Springs #1 team vs #2 and Summer's current #1 vs the current #2. We were half right…
Flash Wolves vs MAD Team 0-2
How the mighty have fallen. Flash wolves snatch defeat from the jaws of victory after turning the tables on MAD in game 1 because Hanabi got solokilled on botside meaning FW had to concede baron or lose their base to the Fiora. This coming after a massive turn around 4v5 baron steal and teamfight after losing their jungler was just painful to watch as it looked like there was hope but Liang just took it away with his kill onto the FW top. Game 2 had 8/10 players playing the same champions as game 1 with only the top laners changing who they played. The runback seemed to play into FW’s favour early. Liang’s aggression on renekton was punished effectively by jungle and mid roaming to gank, and Bugi over all finding more advantages on the map than Kongyue. However a fight in the bot lane is won 3 kills to none and swings the game back to a small lead for MAD because MAD gets more members into the fight first. There is a clear disconnect in communication as teleports are coming late in cases where it would be better to not come at all than be late as multiple fights were won by MAD before FW committed a tp and gifted another kill since they can’t be cancelled anymore. Not that MAD was flawless this game. Liang was caught out a lot in sidelanes and Uniboy had some very late appearances to fights which almost gave FW a way back in.
For a series between the #1 and #2 teams of spring it either paints a sad picture about the state of LMS in spring or just how these teams haven’t adapted to the changes in the game since MSI.
J Team vs AHQ Esports Club 2-1
This series almost delivered on the hype. Game 1 of this series was outstanding from J Team. Despite a number of outplays from AHQ’s botlane and some strong early plays, JT never felt behind and managed to build a massive lead entirely through their rotations and Rest’s ability to split push on Aatrox against Ziv’s Renekton. By 30 minutes, JT was down in kills 1-4 but up in towers 4-1 up in dragons 3-1 and up 2.7k gold. The movements around the map were almost mesmerising as J Team was able to get so much without having to actually fight AHQ. Game 2 almost reversed the roles but AHQ is a team that fights for their leads properly. A 4-man dive botlane into rotating top is how AHQ undid the early game lead from JT. However, this was helped by JT making a mistake on lane assignments choosing to 4 man dive Ziv botside rather then defend the rift herald push up top. They got a kill but lost two turrets, and didn’t even manage to get the bot tier 1. Team fights went back and forth until finally a decisive win that could be converted to an actual advantage came through for AHQ in the form of Baron, with which they were able to simply close out. Game 3 was a game within 500 gold until 20 minutes where JT was able to get the first real lead diving mid tower getting a 2 for 1 trade and the tower itself. This advantage could not be pushed as AHQ did excellently at thwarting any of JT’s attempts to make a fight happen or to even generate a pick. AHQ sadly make a mistake at the baron allowing Rest to push a wave into bot inhib, join the fight at baron, win and then the JT solo laners can tp to the prepared minion wave and just end the game.
The takeaway from this series is that both these teams are good but JT have a stronger macro game which puts them above AHQ. I expect these teams to be the LMS’s first and second seeds at worlds unless something drastic happens either in patches or one of these teams implodes.
Standings + Rankings
This is where the teams sit currently:
|Team||Series score||Game Score|
|AHQ Esports Club||2-1||5-3|
|Hong Kong Attitude||2-1||5-3|
As for my personal rankings:
|C||GRX, ALF, FW|
AHQ just falls short of the top tier for me but they're still a clear second. Their games today showed they aren't fully solid in their map play compared to JT, and we have to consider they've only beaten Flash Wolves and G Rex, two of the bottom teams. JT on the other hand has only HKA left among the top teams to beat.
Alpha and G Rex are in the same tier but ALF has potential to be higher. The problem is they looked so utterly terrible vs J Team that I have a hard time putting them higher even though they beat MAD. G Rex's only win is over Flash Wolves at the moment.
Flash Wolves I was initially gonna put at D tier but they have shown signs of life against the top teams so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. But they're looking like they'll finish the first round robin at 1-5 and 0-6 isn't unrealistic if ALF show up on the day.
That's all for this week.
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