RheingoldRiver brings match reports and interviews from the LCS floor
With excellent overviews of each match and interviews with the expert summoners involved, RheingoldRiver brings fantastic insight into the NA Spring Playoffs that enthralled millions as part of the League of Legends Championship Series event this past weekend.
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Match Report One
The final day of the Spring Playoffs began with the third-place match between Curse and Vulcun, the teams that had been knocked out by GGU and TSM the day before.
In the first game, Vulcun tried the same role swaps that they had used in the last week of the spring split, with Sycho Sid jungling, mancloud ADC, Xmithie playing AP Carry Lux, and Zuna on Shen. Curse was able to shut down Sycho Sid's Zed by stealing his red buff at level 1. While neither team secured first blood for the first 10 minutes, Curse definitely had the upper hand because their team comp was more solid without any early advantages, and they were also able to secure the first dragon and turret before the first kill. The first fight of the game was a 5 for 4 exchange with only Voyboy surviving, and Curse secured themselves a 4k gold lead, mostly through objectives. They were also able to take the first baron, just before the half-hour mark, and through smart trades of lives for towers, Curse slowly pushed toward the win at 44 minutes.
After the first game ended in disappointment for Vulcun, they decided to forego role swaps and returned to their standard positions. The early game went strongly in Curse's favor, as Voyboy's Renekton dominated Sycho Sid's Irelia in top, thanks to an early level 3, and repeated lane swaps between mid and bot gave Curse a significant CS lead due to their superior pushing power. The dive from Renekton and Jarvan IV proved very effective against Zuna's Kog'maw for the first several teamfights, but a miscommunication between Nyjacky and Saintvicious led to a missed Shockwave and a teamfight win plus Baron from Vulcun. After Vulcun's bot inhibitor respawned for the first time, Curse was not able to push it again, and great counter-engages from Vulcun allowed them to win two more teamfights, take a baron and eventually make up their gold and tower deficit. Vulcun won their final teamfight at 50 minutes and rolled through Curse's base, taking the win and drawing the series to a game 3.
Vulcun secured three of the first four buffs in game 3, correctly predicting the attempt by Curse to give their first blue over to Nyjacky, and defending their own blue from Saintvicious's invade by poking Sona down very low in midlane. Securing the first two dragons and several towers, Vulcun were at a 5k gold lead at 20 minutes. At about that time, Vulcun won a fight in botlane thanks to a great flash over the wall away from a Nocturne fear leash as Shen ulted on top of Saintvicious. He made the same play in toplane later on, both times sacrificing flash for Curse's global ults. Vulcun continued to have excellent map positioning and, despite giving up a baron to Curse at 27 minutes, Vulcun were able to take out 4 members of Curse thanks to huge damage from Sycho Sid's Hemoplague. For the next 7 minutes, Vulcun used Curse's strategy of sacrificing lives to secure towers, and they won the game at 34 minutes, taking the title of third-best team in NA.
Match Interview Two
After the game, I spoke with BloodWater, Vulcun's new support player.
Rhein: Congratulations on taking third place, and taking out Curse. In game 1, you decided to do role swaps. What was your feeling on this, and why did you do it?
BloodWater: I really don't like role-swapping, don't like the idea of it. But my team does, because Zuna apparently has a really godlike Shen, and everyone else is good at the other heroes. So we just picked some of our favorite heroes and we swapped it up, except for me, because I'm better in the support position than everyone else. It didn't go as we planned, and from that game I was sort of on a tilt at my team because I took it as trolling sort of. I felt like we should have been more serious about it. It's probably not something that we will see in the future from Vulcun.
Moving onto game 2, you went back to standard positions. The beginning of the game was a lot of lane-swapping between mid and bot. What was your goal, and why did you eventually give it up?
Lane swapping is something you do so that you can gain an advantage for a specific person on your team. We tried to have Lux against Karthus and have us go against their bottom lane, which was in the midlane so we could outperform their midlane and their bottom lane. Because we essentially have the stronger bottom lane, and they tried to dodge us by trying to deny Lux in the midlane. So we just kept trying to swap and swap, but we realized they were pushing faster than we were, so while we were swapping we were missing out on a lot of CS. And Karthus actually had blue buff, and Lux did not, so Karthus was just outfarming Lux like crazy, and it was not a good game for us.
In that game, you started out with a pretty massive deficit, but you ended up coming back. When did you think to yourself that you would be able to win the game?
I honestly had faith. I always have faith. I always try my best, I never give up. It just happened so we got this perfect team fight where my Crescendos on their three major carries, Orianna, Tristana, and Voyboy and two of their other players were in our botlane and they were getting killed. Orianna could not land her ulti with Saint's Jarvan E-Q combo, so that basically won us the game.
What's your secret to having these godlike Crescendos every teamfight? What do you look for to use that cooldown?
I look for everyone's positioning. I try to think about which targets have the highest priority of being CC'd. That's pretty much it, and I try to capitalize on it. The only times I will flash-Crescendo would be if I need to engage a fight that would be in our favor or if I need to follow up immediately with someone else's CC. In those games, I didn't really flash-Crescendo because people were pretty out of position on the Curse side.
In Game 3, your team delayed the Kog'maw pick for a long time. Were you debating between Kog'maw and Sona for that pickup?
My team wanted to pick Sona or Thresh with the Nasus pick, but I wanted to hold off my support pick because they had Nocturne already, and I don't like Sona against Nocturne in general. I felt like Thresh would be way better, because of the Nocturne engage. Thresh can just peel that away, whereas Sona can just be CC'd, or her Crescendo can be blocked away and she can't really do much to peel off Nocturne as compared to Thresh. Luckily they took Sona and I just picked Thresh for the massive peel for Kog'maw.
You’ve only been playing with this team for a few weeks, but you did used to play with Zuna. So what is it like to change teams like that?
It's honestly not a big deal for me. I've been switching teams a lot throughout my career. Being back with Zuna, it's a good feeling because he's an old friend of mine, and it's nice to be back with CLG Black.
Do you have any secret support picks that you're going to be trying out and practicing for the summer split?
I do have some, but the thing is, my team isn't used to playing with them, so that's the only reason I haven't really been showing them. If I was forced to show those picks, let's say Sona gets banned, Thresh gets banned, Lulu gets banned. I'd probably be forced into an unorthodox support pick, but for now they haven't so that's good. As my team does get used to me playing unorthodox picks with them, I'm pretty sure we'll see them next split.
Is that something you might do with role swaps in the future, or are you done with that?
I am not for role swapping. I don't like it at all, so we're probably gonna be done with it.
Do you have any shoutouts you want to make?
Shoutout to PWR Clothing, NOS, Vulcun Gaming, and the owners Ali and Murti. You can follow me on twitter @v_bloodwater.