North American League of Legends Live Game Reviews

In-Game League of Legends Analysis of the Top Games of the Day

Game One:  Echo Fox(1-1) vs. TSM(1-1)

Lane Matchups, Pre-Game Grade, Lane Win Chances(Hard, Soft, Null):

Solo(C+) vs. Broken Blade(A+) Edge-Broken Blade(Hard)

Rush(B) vs. Akaadian(B-) Edge-Rush(Soft)

Fenix(B) vs. Bjergsen (A) Edge-Bjergsen(Hard)

Apollo(A-) vs. Sven(B+) Edge-Apollo(Soft)

Hakuho(B) vs. Smoothie(B+) Edge-Smoothie(Null)

Quick Matchup Breakdowns:

Top Lane: Broken Blade is a monster in the top lane.  I cannot wait to watch the Broken Blade vs. Licorice matchup.  However, Solo has shown to be a slightly mediocre top-laner around the pro league, as he can hold his own but typically needs help.  Broken Blade needs no help from anyone, as he had two solo kills in the first two games of the season, one coming versus one of the former best top laners in the world in Huni.  I believe Broken Blade will beat Solo pretty easily in the top lane, however, we all know that winning lane does not equal to winning the game. Solo gets Aatrox versus the Irelia of Broken Blade, giving Solo a chance at a great matchup.

Jungle:  Rush is mechanically one of the best junglers in NA when on Lee Sin, and I still believe him to be extremely capable.  Whether he gets a champion he can perform on is ALWAYS the question. Akaadian is good, but he is not the focal point on his team.  More of a support jungler style when compared to Rush, but if Rush gets a champion he can perform on he can really help out his top-laner and his mid-laner, and getting each of those two out of the early and mid game will be key.  I give the edge to Rush because he can compete very well by himself compared to Akaadian. Akaadian chooses Nocturne, however, which can provide a lot of support and pressure on the lanes that Lee Sin can’t.

Mid:  Fenix’s Ryze versus Bjergsen’s Lissandra.  As Bjergsen is still numero uno in NA when it comes to mid-laners, Fenix has always shown random flashes of brilliance in the years he’s spent in NA.  Even with help from Rush, Fenix would have to pull a few rabbits out of his hat to decidedly control middle lane, much less win it. Controlling the mid-lane gives Echo Fox the biggest chance of winning this game, given TSM in the previous week when Broken Blade entered the league destroying top-lane, while we watched them wait around, then GIVE away the game due to inaction.  I’m going to give Bjergsen the nod here of course, but mid lane will be the focal point of action to decide victory for Echo Fox. Bjerg wins this lane, which allows movement for him to help his other lanes move forward to victory. On Lissandra, Bjerg will have the opportunity to move around really well and help his lanes, which will give them the best chances to win the game.

Bot:  I love how Apollo plays in big games.  The kid always shows up, in fact, it’s disrespectful for me to call him a kid anymore.  I believe Apollo can compete with the best of them, he’s just never had the opportunity, but you can always count on him to show up when he plays versus the best teams in NA.  I like Zven as well, it’s just that sometimes he makes a mistake, and the snowball is on from the opponent from there, and they lose lane hard. Apollo is consistent, I trust his playmaking over Zven’s.  Slight edge here to Apollo, with the rest coming down to the support. Apollo gets Jayce in opposition to the scaling Ezreal of Zven. This will come down to the pressure Apollo is able to create, and if that pressure can create opportunities for objectives for Echo Fox, the bot-lane can help ease the pressure that will inevitably be felt mid.

Support:  Man, this one was tough, as Hakuho has never given me a reason to doubt his ability.  Smoothie has always proven himself to be a great player as well, which makes me put the responsibility on the ADCs to win the lane or not.  Smoothie has more international experience, and that means more than most are willing to give credit for. If Apollo ever had the international experience I believe he’d be one of the best ADC’s in NA.  I cannot say the same for Hakuho, although I believe in his ability 100%. Very small edge for Smoothie, but overall bot lane edge to Echo Fox.

Edge and Prediction: Edge goes to Echo Fox very slightly on paper.  I’m going with Echo Fox to take a very small victory over TSM.

Live In-Game Analysis:

I love that Rush got his jungler in Lee Sin.  Put him on something comfortable and keep him in the game early.  Fenix is on a safe mid-laner in Ryze, who scales very well versus a Bjerg Lissandra.  Bjerg was winning this early by four cs and a lot of health around the 3:00.

Solo did get a great champ in Aatrox, although he finds himself getting pushed in early by Broken Blade’s Irelia, though he is able to clean up some CS under his turret.  No edge just yet.

I don’t know how I feel about the Jayce bot-lane for Apollo, but I trust him to be able to perform, especially when he can always get into melee range and not just get poked down by blue Ezreal.  Akaadian on Nocturne was out-jungling Rush in terms of CS early by 10 CS around 5:30.

Ocean drake was huge take for Fox, getting out with no deaths before six minutes.  This will help tremendously, especially with Solo top on a mana-less champion vs Irelia who needs mana.  Fenix will also benefit heavily from this vs Bjerg’s Lissandra.

Solo at seven minutes takes a double kill from Broken Blade and Akaadian on a turret dive, I felt with Aatrox’s resurrect passive that Akaadian and Broken Blade should have left him alone, but instead Solo converts a double kill and is up in lane by one item and some gold.

Fenix shows up on Ryze at 8:36 to dive Broken Blade with no flash along with Akaadian’s Nocturne ultimate for another kill.  Fox up 3-1 and 400 gold, while Bjerg stays mid and is up 10CS at just under 10 minutes.

Apollo is doing very well in bot lane, up 10 cs on Jayce which will let him put some pressure on the bot lane, giving Hakuho a chance to roam with the jungle and posture for the Infernal Drake.  TSM does take down Rush and is able to pick up the Infernal Drake instead, even though Solo was almost able to kill Akaadian, but the Tahm Kench from Smoothie makes a huge difference, saving the Nocturne from a sure return kill from Echo Fox.

Fenix and Rush dive Bjerg under the Tier 1 turret, taking another kill, diving perfectly and getting out with Ryze’s Realm Warp.  TSM down 700 gold.

Double kill comes through Bjerg’s TP down to bot-lane after Hakuho’s Ornn takes down the Tahm of Smoothie, Bjerg moves to 3-1 and 132 CS in mid to Fenix’s 126 CS and 1/0/1.

Teams trade the first turret for Rift Herald.  Team fight ensues. Rush and Solo die, along with Akaadian for TSM.  Bjerg goes to 4-1, gold lead cut down to 600 for Echo Fox. TSM playing very well around objectives, Fenix gives up another death which leads to mid turret going down.

Broken Blade moves to bot-lane with some support from Akaadian.  TSM takes a 300 gold lead, up one kill with another Infernal drake spawning around the 16:30 mark.  TSM postures, with Fox looking for space. Another team fight, Fox takes the most damage, both teams seem to reset.  Fox may take a chance at this dragon and does, Akaadian out smites Rush for their second Infernal Drake of the day. Things are still slightly even, 600 gold up with double Infernal dragon, Fox’s early gameplay slowly giving way to the pressure of TSM.  TSM looking to pull ahead by around 1k gold at 19 minutes in.

Apollo on Jayce is up 15 CS at 19:30, Hakuho also playing very well.  Smoothie is doing major work on Tahm Kench, and Bjerg split pushes top lane down around 19:50.  TSM inching and pushing their lead forward. Rush’s Lee Sin not panning out well compared to Akaadian’s Nocturne.  

Solo plays another dive very well, getting a kill on Broken Blade, and the teams move in for a fight which goes 4-0 for Echo Fox.  Akaadian, Bjergsen, and Smoothie all die in the ensuing team fight. Echo Fox move ahead by 2k gold after a great team fight.

Solo playing extremely well on the Aatrox, teams prepare to fight over cloud Drake, TSM takes Solo down, who may have felt a little confident after his plays in the top and bot lane, and another drake goes the way of TSM.  Gold lead still favors Fox. Two outer turrets remain, Fenix takes his Ryze top to take one of them. In that time, Broken Blade’s Irelia takes another outer turret in bot lane.

Sven going with the semi mage build instead of the standard blue build for Ezreal, playing well with 223 CS and sitting at 1/0/4.  He will scale extremely well. Apollo not hitting as many empowered Q’s.

Rush gets caught out a bit, Broken Blade goes down in a team fight, 1-0 Echo Fox after TSM engages.  11-8 in favor of Fox. What looks like a good fight for TSM goes the way of Echo Fox.

TSM waits for Fox in the top-lane, they take Rush down on Lee Sin and get a kill back, as they return to base Fox moves to take mid-lane.  Mid lane turret falls, moving Fox up 2k gold. At 29 minutes, TSM moves to take Baron down 1k gold, TSM engages after starting Baron, they take down Fenix and Rush, losing Broken Blade in the process but they push down mid and move to set a Baron trap for Fox, with Rush down for ten more seconds.  The bait doesn’t work and they reset.

An Ocean Drake is up, Akaadian on Nocturne is in a perfect position and takes it.  Fenix’s Ryze comes in with a double kill after the drake, they continue the chase and go too far, and TSM takes three more kills.  Zven goes 4/0/6 on some costly mistakes by Fox as they are overconfident AGAIN and lose a continued team fight. TSM goes up 400 gold and even the kills at 15-15.  They move to start baron.

Rush gets caught out yet again, TSM turn fully onto baron.  Fox moves to contest, Apollo comes up with a double kill, but Fenix and Hakuho both go down.  Smoothie, Zven and Akaadian finish off Baron completing another ace, and TSM finishes off a slow baron, taking control of the game with a 21-17 kill lead, 4-1 in dragons, up 3k gold, Zven sitting at 7/0/8.  Apollo is sitting at 2/3/9 and still up five CS. Rush sitting at 3/7/7, having been caught out seemingly in every crucial moment.

Gold lead extends at 35:30, the difference being 62k to 67.1k gold in favor of TSM.  TSM takes bot-lane inner turret and inhibitor, still with the Baron power play and moving to take Elder Drake.  TSM finishes the power play with Elder dragon and two minutes to use it. Baron left for fifteen more seconds and TSM looking to take top lane turret.  They continue forward, looking to take just a bit more as they continue pushing mid, taking top inhib as well at 37:37. Fox looks for the final fight, they take down Smoothie, but Zven, Bjerg and Broken Blade finish off the fight.  

Zven plays to the tune of 9/0/10 and TSM takes the game.

Quick End Game Analysis:

Ezreal scaled so well, and Zven took complete control.  Fox looked hurried as they tried to make some plays, but TSM seemed resilient and in-control the entire game.  

It just felt like every time Echo Fox tried to punch TSM once, TSM fired two or three shots back.  One too many mistakes on the side of Echo Fox, and the Jayce doesn’t quite play out for Apollo. I would have liked to see Apollo on an ADC for this game.

Both teams played well, just seemed like TSM was playing with a full deck of cards, while Echo Fox was missing a few.

Game Three: Team Liquid 2-0 vs. 100 Thieves 0-2

Lanes Matchup, Pre-Game Grade, Lane Win Chances(Hard, Soft, Null):

Ssumday(C+) vs. Impact(A-) Edge: Impact(Soft)

Anda(B-) vs. Xmithie(A-) Edge: Xmithie(Soft)

Huhi(C-) vs. Jensen(A-) Edge: Jensen(Hard)

Bang(B+) vs. Doublelift(A) Edge: Doublelift(Null)

Aphromoo(C+) vs. CoreJJ(A+) Edge: CoreJJ(Soft)

Quick Pregame Analysis:

Top Lane:  Ssumday takes Yorick into the Sion of Impact.  Yorick should be able to stay alive, although Impact also loves playing tanks, and stays relatively safe most of the time.  The top lane should go even, but we will see how much help top lane gets from mid and jungle.

Jungle: Xmithie gets Lee Sin vs the Sejuani of Anda, and this tankiness should keep Anda safe, although Xmithie never really gets himself into much trouble.  Xmithie plays super smart in the jungle and the edge goes to him. Sejuani provides a lot of CC and scaling as well, this matchup should depend on plays made around mid and top lane, as the bot lane should play for farm, with Bang taking Viktor.

Mid Lane:  I’m not confident in Huhi’s play, especially recently, though he is on a tankier choice in the matchup of Urgot versus the Akali of Jensen.  Jensen will typically outplay, so we shouldn’t expect much from Huhi. I expect Jensen to lane extremely well, and if Huhi gives up an early play, Jensen will roll and help his other lanes succeed.  The nod goes to Jensen.

Bot Lane: Bang decides to go with Viktor into the Xayah of Doublelift, and with the tanky lineup of 100 Thieves, we will see how much Doublelift and CoreJJ can get done.  If Bang can make plays on this Viktor late game versus the less tanky Akali, Rakan, and Xayah, 100 Thieves has a true shot to scale into the late game. However, Aphro hasn’t played so well, and we will see how well Bang can play on the Viktor instead of a standard ADC choice.

Support:  Aphromoo gets Braum, a great pick for keeping his support safe, but the question will be can Aphro remain safe, as he has given up several deaths in the first two games of the season.  He will be up versus the nerfed Rakan of CoreJJ, we should expect with the Xayah that CoreJJ will be able to not only engage but still stay relatively safe.

Result:  TL takes this one easy, there’s just too many holes on the side of 100 Thieves and too many unanswered questions.  TL looks really solid and should take a game whether or not Bang shows up.

In-game live Analysis:

At 5:00, Xayah is up 10 CS, along with small leads in the mid and top lanes of Team Liquid.  Jungle also seeing a small lead for Xmithie over Anda’s Sejuani.

Doublelift’s Xayah takes first blood off Bang’s Viktor, and  CoreJJ seeing success with engages on the Rakan. Bang playing a little reckless trying to get CS, getting caught in Xayah’s feathers and loses the first blood.

Jensen loses flash and ult to the Urgot in mid, Huhi retaining his flash.  Nothing more happens as the lane resets after jungler intervention. Doublelift returns to lane at 7:32 with a BF sword, goes up 7 CS on Bang.  

Top lane seeing a 12 CS lead for Impact on Sion as he pushes in and wards the jungle of Anda in on the top side.  Jensen pushes in on Akali in mid-lane and looks to keep Xmithie safe with pressure as his Lee Sin completes an Infernal Drake at 8:35.  Team Liquid nursing a 700G lead at 9:11.

All lanes for Liquid pushing, Xmithie able to get some extra work done in the river with Scuttle and vision warding in the jungle of Anda.  

Both teams playing as safe as their comps allowing them, Team Liquid clearly dominating the early game as 100 Thieves look to scale into the late game by staying back, avoiding too much more trouble.  Anda forces out the flash of Sion from Impact, Ssumday’s Yorick and Anda’s Sejuani able to take down the Sion at 11:18. Rakan able to get a kill on Bang again, CoreJJ get out with some health They dive cleanly onto the bot lane of 100 Thieves, both Bang and Aphro go down, giving Anda the Rift Herald, bot lane of TL giving them a 1k gold lead at 12:32.

Stormrazor at 13:12 for Doublelift, as they control this lane and look to push the Braum and Viktor in.  Braum pick not working out at all for the bot lane of 100 Thieves.

Anda takes Rift Herald top-lane, they take the first turret, giving Xmithie the Cloud Dragon at 14:12.  Two dragons for TL and a 500 g lead. Lots of focus top lane for Anda and Ssumday. Bot-lane taking the Tier 1 turret with the support of Xmithie bot.  Doublelift up 147 CS to the 118 of Bang. Seems the mesh isn’t quite well for Aphromoo and Bang, like they are playing super conservative. A pause comes in just after the 15-minute mark.

Mid lane has been left to their own devices as we figured with the Urgot vs Akali.  Impact still up 10 CS in the top lane, Mid also seeing a 9 CS lead for TL. TL moves to a 1-3-1, starting to look at moving pieces around to take the top and mid turrets.  TL has some wards moved forward, Impact enjoying the ghouls of Yorick. TL enjoying a 1.7k gold lead at 17:24. CS leads in all lanes for TL.

The Cloud Drake is up in 50 seconds, and Huhi is left to cleanup duty on CS in the bot-lane, as TL looks to take down Ssumday in the top lane, and they do so with five total TL members moving to take down the Yorick.  No moves made otherwise on the map as Impact is able to TP down to bot-lane and keep Huhi from doing to much damage to bot-lane Tier 1 turret. Jensen looking to do damage on and take top Tier 1 turret at 19:29 which leaves 100 Thieves with the consolation Cloud Drake at 19:40.  Jensen’s Akali finishes Tier 1 top-lane, Doublelift’s Xayah takes mid-lane Tier 1 Turret as three Thieves chase for kills bot.

Jensen continues taking Top Tier 2 with two towers in less than two minutes.  Gold lead at 4K for TL by 20:30. Anda spending a lot of time trying to kill Impact with Ssumday, but Xmithie and Impact turn it and take both Anda and Ssumday down.  They continue the push bot lane for Tier 2 turret. The only Tier 2 turret left standing is the mid turret. TL up 6-1 with a 5k gold lead at 22:00, up 2-1 in drakes and 5-1 in Turrets.

Doublelift seeing a 253 CS lead to the 191 CS of Bang, Thieves will have to look to scale to the 35-minute mark before they can make any moves.  TL looks for a fight at 23:00. Jensen dives and finds Aphro, CoreJJ takes down Huhi, TL looks to push mid after a fight in the bot side jungle of the Thieves, looking to take down the final Tier 2 turret mid-lane, and they do at 23:52.

Ssumday looks to take down the bot-lane Tier 1 of TL, Huhi TPs in, Xmithie runs doing Lee Sin and leaves the Thieves chasing, Jensen begins putting pressure on the top side inner turret of 100 Thieves after the chase for the Xmithie kill.  TL up 7k gold. The space left open around the objectives and chasing for kills leaves the Cloud Drake open for Doublelift’s Xayah.

Ssumday goes in for a kill on Impact at 26:14, the rest of TL turn to Baron.  Ssumday does get the turret and looks to TP to Baron area, TL leaves the pit and Ssumday with the Thieves look to finish Baron. Xmithie’s Lee Sin kicks out Anda, who gets right back with a Sejuani Q and gets the smite on Baron.  TL is so low in the pit after the fight, they lose two members. TL gets out with three members left with Baron. 50/50 smite goes to Xmithie, who rarely loses them. Xmithie level 15 to the level 12 of Anda, makes a huge difference on the play.  

10-4 kill lead for TL, 3-1 in dragons, two clouds and one infernal, 6-3 in turrets, gold lead remains at 7k.  Aphromoo with three deaths, the most on the team.

Thieves still have a small chance if they can hold off a huge power play for TL as they have Baron for 41 more seconds sitting at 709 gold.  Thieves defending turrets well, Baron falls off with a 1056G in favor of TL, and the Thieves were able to defend their base.

A fight ensues under Mid inner turret, with TL losing Impact and CoreJJ.  They save their mid inner turret, move to gold lead to just under 6k for TL, preventing the falling of the inner turret.

Xmithie returns to take the Ocean Drake at 31:55.  Anda still two levels behind Xmithie, with Baron spawning now.

TL pushing in the lanes of 100 Thieves and look to get vision around Baron with TP’s up for all players.  At 35:25 Anda is still two levels behind Xmithie, which will make a huge difference on the smite. Anda takes a lot of damage in the fight, TL looking to take down Bang and Ssumday on the fight for Baron vision.  TL looks for finish off the kills and turrets as Doublelift moves to 4/0/7 and 392 CS with a 1000G bounty to finish out the game.

TL takes the win and looks dominant as they took each small objective and broke open the gold lead to end the game.

TL Wins.

Quick End Game Analysis:

No need to play around with the draft from 100 Thieves in my opinion.  Bang should have had an opportunity to play ADC vs. ADC against Doublelift.  TL has so much confidence right now the draft should have been pretty basic to allow each lane to play something comfortable.  Each lane did that except for the bot lane, and that’s exactly where the problems started for 100 Thieves.

Xmithie always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and choosing to stay bot and give up the top lane, when Impact never really makes mistakes anyway, seemed like a great choice at first, especially when Bang made the mistake of walking into Xayah’s feathers and giving up first blood, a mistake in hindsight that may not have been made had he been on an ADC such as Ezreal which was left open, even if Doublelift did say he had a pocket pick ready.  The Braum choice had zero synergy with the Viktor.

Mid laners played pretty even as they were left alone, with one memorable gank coming in.  100 Thieves played pretty well for the first ten minutes, but after the first blood it just felt like the game was going to slowly go in favor of TL, as pushing in the top on an Impact Sion just felt like a waste of time, when Doublelift was getting a full head of steam in bot-lane behind the support of CoreJJ.


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