Archive:Leaguepedia Articles/2014 NA LCS - Week 8 Matchup Preview - Cloud 9 vs Counter Logic Gaming
|2014 NA LCS - Week 8 Matchup Preview - Cloud 9 vs Counter Logic Gaming|
As teams restlessly evolved through the LCS over eight weeks, a few teams have separated themselves from the pack. Team SoloMid and Cloud9's comfortable tenure on the top 2 spots has found a worthy challenger in Counter Logic Gaming; since Dexter's arrival, the team sports a record of six wins and two losses.
Today's matchup between CLG and C9 will allow observers to draw a clearer picture of the NA LCS. Whether Counter Logic Gaming crumbles and joins the pack, or whether Cloud 9 stumbles and witnesses TSM detach itself from the other seven teams, it will all depend on the outcome of this matchup.
Blitz League, Diverging Approaches
CLG vs C9 will be a race against the clock, as the two participants average the first and third fastest average game times respectively. CLG's current status as the team with shortest games overall constitutes a massive turnaround from their Season 3 days, as the players benefited from MonteCristo's systemic objective-oriented approach, and from the building synergy between LiNk and Dexter. As it stands, their average game time slid down from roughly 43 minutes in Season 3 to 34:48 in Season 4 so far.
On the other side of the match-up sits Cloud 9, the third fastest team (35:50, a marginal change from S3) and one of the most bloodthirsty teams in the league (255 kills, 2nd). This statistic may seem irrelevant given CLG's standing as 3rd most prolific kill scorer (211), until a closer look reveals C9's tendency to spread the wealth: C9 earns 2.5 assists per kill, whereas CLG earns 2.40. C9 reaps more bounties and spread the wealth better.
The two teams know how to turn the slightest advantage into a landslide victory, and they will both race towards objectives. The two teams have won 100% of the matchups where they destroyed the first inhibitor, and 90% of the bouts where they slew Baron Nashor first. It is safe to expect that the two participating teams will trade blow for blow and manage their plays, so as to maintain a medium amount of risk and exact high-reward rotations.
The one common parameter CLG and C9 share is their knack for asserting map control, which they use to spiral games out of control. However, they have slightly different methods in their approaches. Perhaps the most telling parameter is CLG's apparent disregard for early-game dragons, contrasted with Cloud 9's interest in the tailed beast. Yet, the two teams actively seek dragon once its bounty rises near or above a tower's. Perhaps the most telling stat reflects the ability to turn a fast turret into a victory. Cloud 9 claimed the victory in 90% of the games they snatched a tower, a staggering difference from CLG's low 54%. This difference tells us more than anything else, as CLG has secured just as many first towers as Cloud 9.
The Defining Parameters
The Spider Wars
As one of the strongest junglers in the game, Elise's pick-ban stats stands at a whopping 100%. In this matchup, two prolific Elise players will participate in today's game. Dexter's ease at the champion may warrant a ban on Cloud 9's side. Yet, simplifying it to these few sentences would be a far-fetched maneuver.
Entangling the spider's webs from the match-up offers a distinct chance of other hard-engage champions to emerge, such as Pantheon, Wukong, and Vi. However, the most dangerous options would be Lee Sin, an ever strong pick, and Evelynn, who saw a massive resurgence in Season 4 thanks to Diamondprox's performances. This is one of the two catch-22 scenarios the two American teams have to consider. What is the second, you may ask?
The Mid Lane Wars
The two midlaners have impressive champion pools, and their teammates will seek to maximize their effect. Of the possible bans Cloud 9 can make on LiNk, Lulu and LeBlanc stand out as major causes for concern. Meanwhile, CLG will have to wonder which of these possibilities is the most dangerous: Kassadin, Kha'Zix, LeBlanc, and Lulu.
Over the weeks, the Fae Sorceress became a must-pick (and must-ban) champion, as her damage output and utility allowed her to steal Orianna's status as a safe, all-purpose and risk-free pick. LiNk's good results on Lulu allowed CLG to rampage through the rankings, and the games where Lulu reigned supreme coincided with Dexter's return to the lineup. Will Cloud 9 be the Copenhagen Wolves to CLG's Gambit Gaming? (Why CW left Kassadin open for GMB)
Silence Sneaky (or LiNk)
Another worthy point of consideration is Sneaky's tendency to participate in a majority of Cloud 9's skirmishes. The AD Carry contributes to 89.45% of Cloud 9's slaughterfest. On the other hand, CLG relies on LiNk's playmaking ability yields 78% LiNk-enhanced kills, and Dexter is willing to take the necessary steps for CLG to win.
Cloud 9 may find itself in the same place they were in in Week 5 Day 1 of the LCS, where Sneaky's Draven stumbled time and time again to Dexter's Vi and LiNk's Lulu. Nien's development grants CLG the ability to fend off Balls' Renekton. However, forewarned is forearmed: C9's ability to analyze their mistakes may net them a clear advantage if such a situation was to re-occur.
CLG and Cloud 9 may see their fate sealed by the end of the pick-ban phase. With the parameters listed above, it is extremely likely that a few strong picks may filter out of the ban phase. In the end, Provided C9 Meteos and his teammates have studied Week 5's footage, they may default to their usual hard engage approach without a hitch. It has netted them 15 wins out of a possible 18, after all.
The ball is in CLG's camp, as their ability to close out games with a pick-centric composition is unrivaled around the league (a whopping 100%). Playing Cloud 9's game would complicate matters, as their winrate as a hard-engage composition is a relatively low 61%, which they will have to size up against Cloud 9's 81% winrate against that type of team composition.
It all falls down on the amount of preparation the two teams have done, and on MonteCristo's contributions in CLG's. Whether Aphromoo and his teammates had ample time to minimize weaknesses or not will heavily weigh in on the game's outcome, as Cloud 9 is famous for constantly exploiting their opponent's weaknesses.
Whichever Jungler facilitates his teammates' laning phase will propel their side to map control dominance.