Welcome to The Partition, a look back and analysis on the streamed teams. I’m still a bit sick and it’s an entirely new patch but lets get into it.
This week on The Partition; A fight for the position in the Top 5: Bristol Palace of… Bristol university against Sussex Offenders of… Sussex. Really made it easy for me this week.
The Picks and Bans Phase
It’s Patch 8.4 and whilst there’s been vision nerfs, mage item changes and plenty of buffs and nerfs all around (Hello Banner of Command, welcome back to the meta) , it’s been pushed into an even more teamfighting meta.
The initial Ban Phase saw the effects of this: The power picks of Sejuani, Sion and Warwick from SO were quickly followed by Tristana, Galio and Jarven from BP.
Almost immediately Zac went off the table landing in SO’s hands. No surprises there but BP followed it up with late game scaling in the Corki and strangely the Vi. Vi has always been known for aggressive plays, there is no back out button when she goes in so maybe looking for a bit of decisiveness from BP. SO countered with Xayah and Orianna; two of these most stable champions in their roles. Varus joined the fray adding even more late game scaling to BP.
Second Ban Phase and SO had gamed BP into wasting a ban on Rakan so the deadly but loving duo bot lane couldn’t torment BP. They followed it up with a Tahm ban, their single target champions sighing in relief. SO had more freedom to ban, in my personal opinion, the strongest champions currently: Yorick and Shen (The ultimate Banner users)
Second Pick Phase started with supports on the table. Taric went to SO and Braum to BP, both teams taking in defenses for the inevitable big team fights. Though out of nowhere SO had the Aatrox drop in as their final pick for the top lane, Chappll obviously feeling very confident. Maokai came in, having made a small come back into the meta, to round out the very dive heavy composition of BP.
The Early Game
The Early Game was dominated by the Zac pick who made gank after gank after gank. BP clearly didn’t respect the distance as he not only picked up kills but gained early jungle vision in BP’s jungle. Only Maokai in the top lane was winning anything early. BP were obviously suffering from their pick phase as First, Second and Third blood came through for SO in the first 11 minutes.
Wet noodle fights continued constantly in the top lane as the tree went up against the… weapon demon thing? It was small bits of damage followed by healing auto attacks. Now repeat, about 60 times. So even the winning lane for BP wasn’t really doing much.
Down in the bot lane, Xayah and Taric’s laning pressure along with Zac’s superior vision control (And babysitting) allowed them to push up to the tower consistently, First Tower Blood coming in at 11 minutes freeing up the bot lane to roam around allowing the mid game to take hold.
You could say they began to fly away with the game (Vedius would be proud of me)
Now I know what you’re thinking, what about the Vi? Such a unique jungle champion pick couldn’t have been doing nothing right? Well as we enter the mid-game Vi had been hovering around top side for a while and whilst everyone wasn’t looking, quickly snuck a Rift Herald at the 12 minute mark. Maokai too had been sneakily winning fights against the Aatrox. Close fights though and both went away licking wounds. Still no kills.
After the loss of the tower, BP’s bot lane actually made the first move towards mid. Zac, however, lay in wait and bounced on the Varus. Orianna providing the CC and Xayah the damage. They got one but unfortunately missed out on the second as Braum hopped his way out on Vi’s back.
This left the tower bare as BP were in full retreat allowing a quick pickup of the damaged tower. The enemy jungle now theirs, SO made an example of them. Xayah and Taric hunted Vi down and then flashed after the Corki as he attempted to pickup blue, the copter defeated by feathers in it’s engine.
And in the top lane: Nothing is really happening. Still.
Wet noodle fights should be done by tanks, not an Aatrox
SO decided to change that as they quickly moved their bot lane top and extended the gold lead even further as BP answered with their own bot lane. Turns out it was the wrong answer as Varus and Braum dropped like flies to the beautiful bird and they picked up another tower.
BP managed to trade back for once as Vi summoned Shelly in the mid lane and then quickly ran down to bot lane with the Corki. It’s 16 minutes and BP finally get their first tower of the game and suddenly three of them are bot, taking another. SO try to answer back attempting to dive the second tower in top lane. It looks dicey as Corki Teleports in to turn around the fight but Orianna turns up to turn it back around again, taking the tower and the kills.
It’s 18 minutes and SO have a huge 6k gold lead yet it’s BP that quickly pickup the Infernal drake. On the retreat as the opponent arrives, BP suddenly turn around a Zac engage who went a blob too far. They buy themselves some time until SO try a baron bait.
It takes a couple of tries, but finally a baron bait by SO makes the Maokai teleport in. And here Vi’s weakness is put on full display. After going in with the first Assault and Battery of the game, BP have no choice but to attempt a doomed fight. 4 Kills for 1 to SO.
It’s 23 minutes in, SO have just taken the Baron and the gold difference is now a whopping 8k. And whilst it isn’t late game yet, it certainly feels like it. Xayah already has three items to Varus’ two.
SO proceed to catch BP out, quickly shredding through the Maokai and pushing over the paper thin Vi. An inhibitor drops for BP and the scrabble to get back kills but it leads to their doom as SO turns it around again.
Dashing from base after a reset, and practically picking up the mountain drake on a drive by, they run up the bot lane to seal BP’s doom. Superminions running in through the mid and burning through towers and champions like a chainsaw set on fire they crash into the Nexus at just under 28 minutes (And with no Banners! What an unusual game for Patch 8.4)
Many would consider putting the blame on the Vi jungle pick, it having little to no impact, for this loss for BP. However the same can also be said to the Aatrox top lane. Both picks virtually did nothing through the entire of the game. Now these picks effectively have the same role so lets discuss them for a second. Both are melee based divers with moderate CC. They excel in 2-3 man skirmishes. Why it didn’t work for SO was because they didn’t need a diver. If all they wanted to have is for someone to go even with the Maokai then they should’ve left one of their second stage bans open and first picked it, the supports were of no rush. Yorick or Shen would’ve been great to just go even.
Why it didn’t work for BP is cause it was never used in the right place. Vi was a standout choice in a team of a lot of defensive tools, escapes and single target CC. Comboed together it would’ve been great but it was never applied. Top lane or Bot lane would’ve been able to help setup her gank with their own CC but it never happened.
Nothing matters if you’re not willing
Now why BP lost is because they were unwilling. Look in the end, it doesn’t matter what sort of team composition you have, it doesn’t matter what sort of meta it is; if you aren’t willing. The amount of champions who didn’t flash the initial Zac E. The amount of minutes wasted where Vi sat in a bush waiting to go on Orianna despite having the tool to force the play. If you’re unwilling to commit, whether it’s the flash, the engage, the objective, it’ll lead to situations you’re too far behind when you do commit.
Congratulations to Sussex Offenders for getting into the Top 5 of the South. Immaculate play from your jungler HappyChimeNoises
You can find the entire match, the last of the stream, here at: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/235221206
This has been Benjamin Price, bringing you puns and the Partition.