I hustled down to the Coca-Cola dome early this morning to beat the traffic and, more importantly, to catch the League of Legends finals happening at 9:30am.
Going in to the final there was a clear favourite; the Roccat team have not lost a game since… ever. Between last rAge and this one leading up to the finals, the unstoppable squad hadn’t dropped a single game.
Challenger Leash.LoL.DGC had quite the mammoth task on their hands, and a perfect undefeated record has to be intimidating.
Not exactly impossible however, as yesterday we saw clear favourite PandaTank get swept 3-0 in the Starcraft 2 finals; which wasn’t the only upset of the weekend either.
So at 9:30 sharp I took my seat in the DGL’s Spectator Lounge, waiting to see if David could take down Goliath.
Entering the draft we saw a couple of unconventional bans in the form of Pantheon and Nocturne; respect bans made on knowledge of the opposing team members’ strongest champions. After the dust settled, the teams ended up like this:
Roccat: Vi, Annie, Ezrael, Zac, Viktor
Leash: Aatrox, Zyra, Caitlyn, Wukong, Malphite
Early game was all about the bot lane. Roccat got a quick first blood with help from the Vi, catching Leash off-guard without a river ward, and proceeded to camp the lane from there. While the top and mid lanes went fairly even, Roccat continued to press the advantage bot with 3 and even 4 man ganks neutering the Caitlyn and eliminating Zyra’s damage potential in the mid-late game.
Leash’s unconventional AP mid Malphite managed to get fed off some effective counter-ganks bot, opting for a very aggressive triple Doran’s Ring build.
Heading into the mid-game, Roccat had a decent gold lead, which they extended by taking turrets, minions and control of the map.
Just when it looked to be a wrap, Leash managed to claw their way back in with some excellent teamfights, but the comeback was cut short after a horrible Baron fight that saw Roccat get the purple monster as well as 3 kills while losing nothing themselves.
The game ended shortly after that.
Leash pulled out the respect bans for the second game, opting to eliminate Viktor and Annie from the game. With a few changes from the last game, the teams shook out like this:
Leash: Vi, Zyra, Caitlyn, Wukong, Lissandra
Roccat: Jarvan IV, Leona, Twitch, Malphite, Ahri
In contrast to the last game, Game 2 had a very quiet early game, with all the lanes trading fairly evenly. Interestingly, Malphite went top this game but still opted for AP over tanky items. Leash quickly moved into a fast push strategy, taking turrets while Roccat struggled to defend. As small skirmishes broke out, Roccat consistently came out on top.
This meant that moving into mid-game, Roccat had a few more kills while Leash had the advantage in objectives. Things started to look bad fast for Leash, as Roccat opened up a big kill lead with Twitch starting to look unstoppable at 5-0.
Once again, Leash started to claw their way back in with some fantastic teamfights. The real hero of these fights was the Wukong, who got two triple kills in two fights. The Zyra of Game 2 looked like a different player; he was locking down important champions and landing critical ultimates in the teamfights.
Leash’s Wukong proved too difficult to deal with, and the monkey’s insane AOE damage combined with the AOE crowd control of Malphite and Zyra, causing the spectator room to erupt as Roccat are dealt their very first loss.
It’s interesting to note that before going into the series, Roccat said themselves that Leash’s Wukong was going to be a problem. During the break before the final game, there was much speculative chatter over whether or not Roccat would swallow their pride and ban him in the third game.
All respect bans from Roccat this round, choosing to eliminate the Zyra and Wukong that destroyed them in the previous game, along with the Pantheon they’ve avoided since the beginning. With Leash’s go-to champions gone, the teams looked like this:
Roccat: Vi, Annie, Ezrael, Zac, Cho’Gath
Leash: Jarvan IV, Janna, Caitlyn, Lissandra, Malphite
The lanes turned out a bit strangely for the final game, with the top and mid champions heading to the top and bot lanes to solo, with the adc and support going mid.
The game crawled along for 9 minutes of no action, then suddenly exploded with Roccat taking 3 kills in a one-sided fight.
Not to be outdone, Leash quickly countered with three kills of their own, taking the mid and top towers along with them. This was the beginning of many back and forth trades.
The real turning point in the game was a huge teamfight top, where both teams disengaged with 2 casualties apiece and 3 severely wounded survivors. Roccat showed their experience with an amazing re-engage to catch Leash off-guard and turn a 2 for 2 into a 2 for 5.
They maintained this momentum, continuing to dominate every teamfight with better focus and better positioning. They snowballed these one-sided fights into a huge gold lead, culminating in a baron fight that saw Roccat easily dispatching Leash, taking both baron and the game.
The final game really showed off Roccat’s experience as a team. Zac and Cho’Gath were all-stars, proving way too tank for Leash’s composition to take down. Zac and his dinosaur friend were excellent at charging down the carries in teamfights, and it was their ability to consistently focus the right targets while keeping their own damage-dealers alive that won Roccat the game, and the Championship.