NA LCS Summer Week Two Recap
What is This Meta?
A review of week Two of the NA LCS summer split.
By: John Jaskot
This Week in League
Let us start off this week talking a bit about one of the craziest meta strategies that I have seen since League of Legends became an eSport. We are not seeing this meta used very much in the NA LCS yet but over in Korea and Europe they are just about masters at it. The meta strategy currently breaking the mold is.... The Funnel.
The Funnel strategy is very basic in its design but very very difficult to perform. The basic concept is as the name presumes, you funnel a ton of gold into one champion and make them a giant nuke. This breaks the mold of any meta used before by making one of the champion roles of the team a legit minion tank. You take a high attack speed / high AP (ability power) or AD (attack damage) champion and give them smite. You might be thinking “Oh they have smite..... they must be the jungler”, Nope! They are the mid-laner / funnel. The jungler picks a support tank champion and their goal is very simple: Follow the funnel around and help them take all the jungle camps and when needed go hold the minion wave in the mid lane so that your tower does not kill them and wait for the funnel to come collect the gold from these minions. That's it. Pretty simple right? Funnel tons of gold into one champion then protect that champ. This is the current meta.
Game of the Week
This week's GotW is.... lets be honest, a slaughter. Picking this game is very hard for me to do because anyone that knows me knows that TSM is my team. This game did not go in their favor.
The beginning of the end for TSM in this game started where every game starts. The draft phase. As I watched the first three bans for either team I told myself, “What the hell is this!?” I haven't even seen either of these teams use any of these six champions in the recent past. Hell some the streamers I watch off LCS from both of these teams were not even playing these champs. So everything is wide open and this is going to be a super exciting game. TL gets to select first and they pick Irelia. This is a champion that TSM has shown great skill on last week. So who is the power house mid-laner of TSM going to select to counter..... Lulu. What!? A support mid lane? What are you thinking TSM? I’m okay with the rest of the draft phase until I get a dagger in my heart, the straw that broke the camels back. Zven is playing Ezreal... I hate when Zven plays this champion. To me, this game is a loss at the beginning.
The rest of this game goes just as I thought with the powerhouse draft that Team Liquid had.
As we get into the game, Liquid has a large gold lead, TSM towers are falling, Dragons are taken and TSM’s hearts are broken as they get defeated in one of the fastest games of the split thus far. Take a look at the game below and tell me in the comments what could TSM have done differently in the draft to make this game more interesting?
Most Valuable Player of the Week
This weeks MVP for me will be Altec from team Echo Fox. If you look just at the stat lines of Altec this past weekend you may be wondering why I selected him for this award. The answer is simple: mage carry bot lane. Everyone that has seen every meta before this current one knows that the role down bottom was called AD carry. This role was very specific and there were only a handful of champions that fit this role. 22 champions of the 141 available to be exact. This makes for a small selection of champions that an AD carry needs to master for their role in a game.
With this new meta, AD carry players are needing to learn / master new champions that they are not used to playing. This past weekend Altec played Vladimir in both his games. Vladimir is considered an AP (ability power) mage. In the first game against Optic Gaming, Altec's score line was 0 kills - 4 deaths - 5 assists with a creep score of 339. During his second game against Golden Guardians his score line was 9 kills - 1 death - 6 assists with a creep score of 329. The first game against Optic ended in a loss while the second game against Golden Guardians was a win. So why Altec as MVP?
He made a huge improvement playing a champion he is not know to typically play over the weekend. The strides in score line and team play were dramatically different from day one to day two this past weekend. Altec was not the main reason for Echo Fox's struggles in their game one loss and he actually out played the other carry on the side of Optic. The second game he showed exactly how powerful he could be on this champion.
His ability to be valuable in team fights and roam the map for lane pressure was far superior to anything I have seen in Altec in the past. When he was not assisting his team in wiping the other team off the map he would make the perfect rotation to a neutral objective on the map to give his team the edge they needed to win both games. This type of play is not typically seen in Altec in the past and it was on a champion that he is uncomfortable with nonetheless.
For those of you out there that are AD carry mains and don't think that this MVP pick is impressive I challenge you to take a mage down to the bot lane in your next game and see how well you do.
Schedule This Weekend ( June 30th - July 1st )
This Weekends Game to Watch
Both of these teams have a record of 3-1 and seem to be the best I've seen so far at adapting to the new meta. So will the power funneling of Team Liquid take it or will the crazy hyper carry mix-up bring it home for the Fox?