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OGN HOT6iX Champions Spring Third Place Match Preview

OGN HOT6iX Champions Third Place Match Preview

Two of Korea’s hottest teams will go head to head in the OGN Champions 3rd place match on May 16th - Samsung Galaxy Ozone and CJ Blaze. Lauded as the possible new dominant force in OGN Champions, Ozone knocked out a shaky SKT T1K in the Quarterfinals in a 3-1 Bo5 victory using an incredibly aggressive playstyle. Ozone repeatedly invaded SKT T1 K’s jungle, forcing them backward and punishing them at every turn, and with such a high risk/high reward strategy, Ozone, backed by their formidable support staff, demonstrated their control both strategically and mechanically that has defined their consistent showing in Champions seasons.

Their consistency in skill and variety in strategy has helped them reach similar results in Masters; Ozone along with their sister team Samsung Galaxy Blue boast a 5-1 overall set record for the Samsung organization, and the Ozone roster themselves went 6-2 in games. That said, their one set loss, and both Ozone defeats, came at the end of the season as a result of Ozone being completely outplayed by both SKT teams. In addition, their sister team Blue managed to defeat Ozone, forcing them into the third-place match rather than the finals. Despite their recent hiccups, Samsung Galaxy Ozone still have what it takes to outsmart and outprepare their enemies making them a fierce team to contend with.

CJ Blaze has always been Korea’s version of NA teams Curse or Dignitas, looking strong for parts of the early season but then never really making it past the quarterfinals. Blaze, unlike Ozone, has been inconsistent in OGN Champions, usually dropping out of Champions to the NLB and placing 5th -8th overall (1st-4th in NLB). The organization’s spring Masters group stage set record was 3-3; the Blaze roster themselves went 4-3 overall. As such one can’t sing the praises of Blaze without qualification---they’ve always been a good team, but not a team you would write home about based on their strategy.

Korean games proceed at an increasingly fast pace, due to every team’s being able to snowball and then close games quickly from small advantages. Blaze’s general strategy, unfortunately, doesn’t hold up to this meta. They generally to try to funnel gold into sololane superstars Flame and Ambition, who always seem to want to singlehandedly carry their team to victory, and the team fails when they can’t---which happens frequently, because it takes too long for them to get to that carry status. When they can’t carry, the team fails.

For example, a recent game in Masters against the slumping KT Bullets was a disaster for Blaze---Ambition was dismantled by Ryu, and Flame could not get going against Leopard. CJ Blaze may have a huge fanbase from these two players, but most of their losses are due to Flame and Ambition being shut down. That said, if one of them can get fed enough, Blaze can pull out the win---as long as they can hold out until 45-50-minute mark.

When comparing the two teams, there’s not a lot of competition---Samsung Galaxy Ozone look to be the favorites. They have shown great strategic variety and control, and the team that upset them in the semifinals, Samsung Blue, benefits from the same coaching staff and is considered by many to be the strongest or second-strongest team in Korea. CJ Blaze, however, has remained stagnant in their playstyle. Flame and Ambition keep trying to carry the team, rather than coordinating with the rest of their teammates for victories. My prediction for tonight’s third-place match is a 3-0 Samsung Galaxy Ozone clean sweep… but then again, this is OGN Champions - anything could happen!

Published on 15. May 2014
Written by Kenneth Hui (Guest Writer) - @OtaKhu052
Edited by Alex "Matteo" Kirilov - @ProphetMatteo and @RheingoldRiver