SK Gaming Threading the Needle against Fnatic

The first week of the LEC was a success. Aside from a few hiccups, game delays, lag issues, and misclicks during champion select, the games themselves did not disappoint. The meta was sculptured in a way that teams thought about unique team comps. The first game in the LEC Spring Split did not disappoint. Even though most teams picked champions to flex into different roles, the first game featured champions in their standard roles.

Fnatic and SK Gaming faced to kick off the year. Their rivalry halted when SK Gaming was relegated back in 2016. When Fnatic and SK Gaming faced off, it was termed “El Clasico” — a term used when Ocelote (from SK Gaming) and Xpeke (from Fnatic) represented their respective teams, kicking off a rivalry between the two players. Their rivalry culminated in 2013 IEM Katowice when Xpeke made the famous backdoor play to defeat SK Gaming. Now with a new lineup, SK Gaming is ready to get back into form.

Near the end of the game, Fnatic pushed SK against the wall and was ready to push mid to win the game. SK had one last chance to defen. Will this play define Fnatic’s new dynasty without Caps? Or will SK Gaming fight back showing the rest of the LEC that they are a new team to be feared?

Let’s break it down.

Fnatic took an early lead in all lanes, resulting in bounties of relatively equal value across all Fnatic players. They had good engage with Sion, Pyke, and Lee Sin, burst damage with Akali, and a Lucian to clean it all up. They pushed SK in their inner-mid tower, granted they could have taken a risk, and captured Baron before doing so. However, SK Gaming had champion ultimates that are ready to use if Fnatic took the gamble on Baron. Pirean’s Lissandra ultimate was up, which has an area-of-effect (AOE) ultimate that would slow Fnatic inside the Baron pit and Dreams’ Braum ultimate that knocks up all enemies standing in its line-of-sight. Another option is Fnatic could utilize a 1-3-1 play, pushing the side lanes into the inhibitor turret, and putting more pressure against SK Gaming. Instead, we saw Fnatic putting pressure in the mid lane.

A key figure in SK Gaming’s comeback is Selfmade, a highly touted prospect going into the LEC Spring Split. Prior to this year, he played for Mad Lions E.C., along with fellow teammates Crownshot and Werlyb, and dominated the LVP SuperLiga Orange. Against Fnatic, Selfmade played with their heads throughout the game, even before this game. Prior to this game, Fnatic and SK Gaming played the official first game in the LEC, which had to be remade due to lag issues from Fnatic. Before the remake, Selfmade initiated ganks in the top and bot lanes with Xin Zhao. In this current meta, Xin Zhao with the Hail of Blades rune is a power pick among pro teams. Hail of Blades grants a 110% bonus attack speed upon attacking an enemy champion for your next 3 basic attacks, resulting in high burst damage. Selfmade abused this against Fnatic, resulting in 2 kills, 1 death, and 4 assists.

During champion select in the remade game, Fnatic banned Xin Zhao from Selfmade. This resulted in SK Gaming picking Sejuani, who has great initiation in team fights and crowd control (CC). Selfmade did not have identical impact with Sejuani as he did with Xin Zhao. Fnatic capitalized on this fact, producing positive KDA ratios across all lanes. However, Selfmade kept Fnatic in check, ganking top and bot, producing 2 kills, 1 death, and 3 assists going into the last moments of the game.

Pushing against the inner mid tower with Selfmade in their minds, Fnatic attempted one last push to win the game. One thing to note is that going into this push, none of Fnatic’s carries are equipped with a Quicksilver Sash (QSS) or Mercurial Scimitar, which grants an active ability to negate crowd control on themselves. However, Crownshot answered Fnatic’s push with an Ezreal W to Q, which burst Broxah to death. Selfmade closed in on Fnatic with Sejuani’s abilities to slow them down, and SK Gaming took down 2 of 5 Fnatic bounties, swinging the lead to SK Gaming’s favor.

After capturing Baron, SK Gaming pushed into Fnatic’s base. Selfmade possibly made the play of the Spring Split, strafing the Fnatic squad, unleashing Sejuani’s ultimate to Rekkles with a narrow window to spare, and SK Gaming got the big upset thus far in the year.


Agilities Talks About the Off Season, the Importance of the Overwatch World Cup, and More

Originally posted at https://www.vpesports.com/overwatch/agilities-talks-about-the-off-season-the-importance-of-the-overwatch-world-cup-and-more

By  Chris Cuevo

Special to VPEsports

The offseason is up and running with the World Cup, Overwatch Contenders Season 3 Trials, and roster moves around the Overwatch League. One of the stops during the offseason is the California Cup. Collegiate teams like UC Irvine, UCLA, UCSD, and UC Berkeley competed for bragging rights as the best Overwatch team in California. UC Irvine took the crown at the California Cup, continuing their championship streak following the 2018 College League of Legends Championship.

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Echo Fox Secures Top Eight Finishes in Street Fighter and Shadowverse at Dreamhack Montreal

Originally posted at https://www.echofox.gg/news/echo-fox-secures-top-eight-finished-in-street-fighter-and-shadowverse-at-dreamhack-montreal

Dreamhack Montreal is the major event for Shadowverse to be viewed by a mass audience. Echo Fox players, Cure Mango and Gengur, well represented the team throughout the weekend. Justin Wong came out to support the boys this weekend in hopes of taking home first place.

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Team Norway’s ONIGOD on His Journey in Overwatch, His Mission in the World Cup, and His Chances in Signing with an Overwatch League Team

Originally posted at https://www.overwatchscore.com/overwatch-events/team-norways-onigod-on-his-journey-in-overwatch-his-mission-in-the-world-cup-and-his-chances-in-signing-with-an-overwatch-league-team/

The US Group Stage of the 2018 Overwatch World Cup kicked off last night. One of the participating teams, Norway, won their match against Switzerland but lost against Brazil later in the night. Norwegian player Stefan “ONIGOD” Fiskerstrand played extraordinarily during those two games as both Widowmaker and McCree. After Norway’s match against Brazil, ONIGOD stopped backstage to talk about his journey in the Overwatch scene, his mission in the Overwatch World Cup, and his chances in signing with an Overwatch League team in Season 2.

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Surefour Talks His Experience in Widow Duels, Overwatch World Cup, and More

Originally posted at https://www.overwatchscore.com/overwatch-events/surefour-talks-experience-widow-duels-overwatch-world-cup/

The Overwatch All-Star weekend took place a few weeks ago in the Blizzard Arena, Burbank, California. The first day featured several events, one of the premier events being a 1v1 Widowmaker tournament. Participants in the event include the best sharpshooters of the Overwatch League: Philadelphia Fusion’s Carpe, New York Excelsior’s Saebyeolbe, and Los Angeles Valiant’s Soon to name a few. Possibly the most consistent Widowmaker players of the league, Los Angeles Gladiators’ Surefour showcased his abilities during the event as well. Prior to his final showdown against Carpe, Surefour spoke to the media in regards to the all-star event, this year’s Overwatch World Cup, and more.

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Rebuilding A Dynasty: A Seoul-ful Retrospective

Originally posted at https://www.overwatchscore.com/overwatch-league-weeeeeeteams/rebuilding-dynasty-retrospective-look-seoul-dynasty/

The Seoul Dynasty were touted early on as the best team in the Overwatch League, with a good chance of winning the inaugural season championship. As the season progressed, though, doubts arose from fans and analysts alike. A particular thread on Reddit questioned the downfall of the Dynasty.

“It’s synergy, pretty obviously, when you watch their games. They look indecisive. They don’t seem to trust their main tanks (Miro doesn’t seem to get a lot of follow-up very often.) They’re not always clear about peeling for Ryujehong. They’re rarely on the same targets.”

Whatever the case may be, the Dynasty was unable to fix their issues, and that led to their collapse. Before the Overwatch League, the Seoul Dynasty was a force to be reckoned with.

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Team Liquid’s Pobelter Talks Music, Who Would Be in His KPop Band, and LCS Franchising

Team Liquid is currently the best team in the NA LCS. With a first-place finish in the Spring Split and first-place going into the Summer Split playoffs, Team Liquid is making their mark to take their talents into the Worlds stage.  Team Liquid’s mid laner, Eugene “Pobelter” Park stopped by after their victory against Echo Fox to talk about music and more.

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100 Thieves’ Ssumday on Thoughts About Being Summer Split MVP: “I believe it.”

100 Thieves had a turbulence of emotions throughout the Summer Split. Getting swept in 3 games in the Spring Split grand finals and a controversial trade occurred with William “Meteos” Hartman are examples of the adversities they went through. Despite the hardships, 100 Thieves continue to play at a high level in the Summer Split. They are a game behind Team Liquid in the standings with one more week remaining. Top laner for 100 Thieves and Summer Split MVP candidate, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho chatted with me in this exclusive interview to talk about getting Andy “AnDa” Hoang acclimated into the team and what he thinks of the competition in the LCK.

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FlyQuest’s WildTurtle on His Thoughts About LCS’ Viewership, His Team’s Confidence in This Split, and the Best Support He’s Played With

FlyQuest continues to be a dark horse in this Summer Split. Previously in the Spring Split, they were in the bottom rung of the ladder and as a result, garnered doubters thinking they would generate similar results going into the summer. They quietly came up the standings and currently sitting tied for 3rd place with Echo Fox. With one last week in the split, FlyQuest’s AD Carry Jason “WildTurtle” Tran talked about the split thus far, his pro gaming career, and what he thinks is the best Support he’s played with.

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NA LCS 2018 Summer Split Week 8 Recap

Originally posted at https://www.echofox.gg/news/na-lcs-2018-summer-split-week-8-recap

The end of the season is almost to a close. Two more weeks left to make a statement for the rest of the LCS season. Two more weeks to prove Echo Fox has the best roster in the LCS. Two more weeks to show the other teams why Echo Fox is a team to be feared. The time is now.

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