Last weekend’s Super Week was a disappointment. Riding a 5-1 record in our last six games, we were optimistic going into the weekend. It was apparent from these games how one relatively small mistake can decide the outcome of a game. At this level of play, giving your opponent an advantage early is a recipe for disaster.
For example, in our game against XDG, the timing of Nintendude’s top lane gank attempt with ZionSpartan on Benny’s Trundle at around the 5:00 point was just slightly off. Benny got away, ZionSpartan did not get an early advantage, and the time was wasted for Nintendude. Shortly after that, ZionSpartan was caught a little out of position by Xmithie and Benny, dying to the gank. If Nintendude’s earlier gank had been successful, getting ZionSpartan ahead in lane, the entire game could have been completely different.
Another example was our game against CLG. With the game even, Nintendude made an early solo move toward Dragon, and backed off when he saw Link coming to defend. When Link turned back around toward top lane, it seemed safe to go back to Dragon. However, with no wards and a Jungle Eve lurking, that decision turned into First Blood for Dexter and Dragon for CLG. The game snowballed from that point forward, with the team never recovering from the mistake.
Of course, it is important to minimize mistakes and get ahead early. But when your team has strong individual laners like ZionSpartan and Shiphtur, this is even more critical. Our take away from the weekend is to focus carefully on our early game, look carefully for the best opportunities to get ahead early, and avoid mistakes that can snowball the game in our opponent’s favor.
So what do you do when you have a rough weekend, and need to get prepared for your next matches? Like a relief pitcher in baseball that gives up a winning run in the 9th inning, you need to have a short memory. The past is the past, and there is nothing you can do to change it. You draw upon the confidence of your ability to perform, and learn from your mistakes instead of dwelling on them. Here’s what we are doing to be prepared:
- Practice the Champions in the meta, and look for combinations that fit our team. The new patch came out just a few days before Super Week. The two weeks off will give us time to better evaluate the changes, and to practice the OP heroes that will work for us.
- Analyze the VOD’s from our Super Week matches to identify how to improve. We will also watch the matches from our next opponents to look for tendencies to develop game strategy.
- Focus on the positives – Our bot lane is playing better every week. The synergy between WizFujiiN and Daydreamin continues to improve. WizFujiiN is showing he has the ability to carry, and we believe this bodes well for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Given the opportunity, ZionSpartan and Shiphtur have the ability to carry a game by themselves. That has not changed. NintendudeX has had some very good games helping his lanes to get ahead early. We’ll continue to find ways to put Nintendude in favorable positions where he can have a positive impact on the game.
- Practice for consistency – it will be our goal to bring our best every single game. This means practicing every day and every game just like it is an LCS match.
We are still well positioned to move into the playoffs. We have a two game advantage over XDG, and a one game edge over EG. So if our record for the remaining games is the same or better than these two teams, we will advance. In the event of ties, head-to-head record is the first tie-breaker. Because we are 3-0 against EG already, should we finish with the same record at the end of the regular season, we will finish ahead. We have a 2-1 head-to-head advantage over XDG, with one game to play. From our previous three weeks, we also know how we are capable of playing. We can draw from that experience to play the last three weeks of the regular season with confidence.
Come back next week for analysis of our games against Cloud 9 and CLG.