Before this week of LCS play kicks off, and OGN Summer starts soon, I had a few thoughts on early LCS play and the OGN qualifiers.
The hyper-carry is back. High damage, high risk champions like Kog’maw and Twitch have made their way back into competitive play in the Spring and Summer season, expanding a not-so-stagnant AD Carry pool (I’ve personally witnessed the successful competitive play of every AD Carry except Ashe and Urgot). Recently Alliance of the EU LCS threw a wrench in the hyper-carry composition by adding Anivia as a mid-laner. Alliance’s midlaner, Froggen, is a well known Anivia expert, and they used her late game scaling and excellent zoning to protect the AD Carry in their two wins last week. A second preferred component of the composition is Thresh, the do-it-all support that has excellent engage, disengage, peel, tankiness, and crowd control. Don’t worry though, we’ll nerf someone straight out of competitive play first (more on that later). I love Thresh, I really do, but he’s does almost everything with very little downside/counterplay.
So how do you pick against the hyper-carry comp? With hard engage and backline diving champs. I suspect we will see more Vi again in the jungle, as the rise of Morgana as a support hurt Vi. Banning Morgana, which does happen sometimes, means Vi becomes Vi-able again (yes, you just read that). Early game junglers are still preferred, but hyper-carry comps are happy to go late game, so jungle ganks before level 6 might not be the end of the world.
You can also counter the hyper-carry comp with bans targeted at the preferred supports or AD carries. Currently we see the vast majority of bans aimed at mid lane, then jungle or top lane. That could change. I’m curious whether we will see Anivia bans against Alliance, and I suspect we will.
I’m supremely disappointed with Riot’s quick decision to nerf Soraka out of competitive play. The Soraka pick opened up the mid lane, by either letting her through the ban phase or opening up a different midlaner by banning her. I thought that change to her silencing ability was ok, but didn’t like the damage reduction of her Starfall (Q). In addition, my biggest gripe of all was not letting the pro players work out a counter. She was a fun pick to see, and her composition encouraged small skirmishes all game long. It’s too bad it was gone in a flash.
– TSM is a mess, I’m not sure Coach Locodoco can fix it.
– LMQ is the real deal, but probably not the best team in NA right now.
– Dignitas is playing incredible right now, and I see flashes of excellence from Cloud 9. Cloud 9 has some issues to sort out, but at their highest level are the best team in NA. Dignitas could get there though, the two additions from Coast and the coaching have done wonders for that team.
– Alliance looks fantastic, and I think the improved map play makes them the best team in Europe. SK is very good, but I’m not sure their individual skills are strong enough when they play other teams with good map movements.
– Fnatic is playing just good enough for them to think things don’t need to change. They’re wrong. As far as I’m concerned, even if they win the EU Summer Split, they are irrelevant to the world stage. They are incredibly skilled, but they take terrible trades in objectives and don’t play the map.
– Samsung is really really really scary good. Odds on favorite for a Season 4 World Championship. Wake up early to watch OGN or Masters and you’ll see what I mean.