It's semifinals time! The best four teams of UNSW are ready to fight to be crowned and heralded as the best! However, there would be only two teams to remain...
Series 1: Flexing on Kenzo 2k18 vs Andy in Lane Omegalul
The first game of the semifinals between Team “Flexing on Kenzo 2k18” and Team “Andy in Lane Omegalul” began with some forensically strategic picks and a standard opening game characterized by a lack of aggression… perhaps a calm before the storm?
First blood went to team Andy at the 9 minutes mark, where Virtus’ Tahm Kench tongue punched a fleeing Lucian (Satan Blaze) and snagged up a hefty 400 gold lead for team Andy. Despite failing to obtain first blood themselves, team Flexing on Kenzo picked up their pace and immediately showed some early game dominance in the preceding 10 minutes. Yet this turbulent game showed no lack of surprises, as many fights in the bottom lane turned the tide back into team Andy in Lane’s favor. As one kill led to another, team Andy in Lane was comfortably getting picks on futile defenders in a middle lane siege.
For a while it seemed like momentum would keep this pace going, but this rollercoaster of a game once again got turned upside down when a heated engage in the topside jungle of team Flexing on Kenzo demonstrated the chemistry between Megablacker’s Taric and Satanblaze’s Lucian.
On the back of this fight, team Flexing on Kenzo swept the game, taking the victory and ending it with a 5.5k gold lead.
We talked to the players after the games, and some shared their mentalities coming into the semi-finals:
“Considering the fact that andy in lane omegalul were on a winning streak and had not lost yet, we weren’t really expecting much so we kind of went in 4fun not caring whether we won or lost.” - PORTR1D (Top laner of Team Kenzo)
The team captain of team Andy “Virtus” provided some possible insight as to why his team had failed to secure a victory:
“Early game lb’s (“little rain drops” of team Andy) reckless flash/ignite cost her the entire laning phase, losing xp, levels, back timings and most importantly lane pressure allowing kassadin (“awkwardcane” of team Kenzo) to scale and making the counterpick effectively useless.” - Virtus (Jungler of Team Kenzo)
PORTR1D of team Kenzo then explains a vital factor in their teams hard-earned victory:
“This (team Andy’s failure to ban Evelynn) allowed Sexymario258 (Evelynn, jungler of team Kenzo) to pop off and apply pressure on one of her stronger picks that have been constantly banned previously due to its sheer oppressiveness and tendency to make team ff15 in soloq." - PORTR1D
Series 2: Front line adc Desmond 1v9s and throws vs buying gf.
Whilst the semifinal clash between Team “Flexing on Kenzo 2k18” and “Andy in Lane Omegalul” was much anticipated, the match between Team “Front line adc Desmond 1v9s and throws” vs. Team “buying gf” looked to be a much less exciting affair. An obligatory match, if you will, for Team Desmond (Group A, 1st seed) as they ploughed towards the finals. Their most recent game together lasted a mere 25 minutes, with Team buying gf unable to secure a single turret. It really makes you consider the level of the teams in this tournament, such as Add super top laner Kenzo if you are cute Asian egirl 18+ only, who were arguably crushed harder in a 2 – 0 sweep against buying gf.
However, Team buying gf looked to be on the upswing after recent roster changes, especially with the addition of star jungler and shotcaller Enkikx I Blink, whose brilliant Vi play propelled the team to a surprise win over Team Add super top laner Kenzo if you are cute Asian egirl, 18+ only in the quarterfinals. A fitting rival, surely, for Team Desmond’s carry jungler (A Superminion), who left group stages with the most kills, and an absurd kda of 10.
The game started slowly, with Team buying gf only securing first turret bounty at 15 minutes following a well-executed dive on Zedmond’s Xayah. However, Shaco’s (A Superminion) pressure topside soon led to a simple trade of structures.
Dragons were slain, and kills traded, but both teams stood even until an attempted pick onto Nocturne (Enkikx I Blink) went awry. A narrow escape. A fiery Pyroclasm. A deadly onslaught of autos. In a flash, Team buying gf had secured three kills and moments later, an uncontested baron.
Having amassed a 5k gold lead, Team buying gf were attempting their second baron until a decisive Rakan engage interrupted their efforts. The fight looked over as quickly as it began, after a piercing flurry of Xayah feathers and a Voice of Light from Aurelion Sol melted through red health bars. A clutch turnaround by Gnar and Brand, however, redeemed the seemingly lost fight, ultimately leading to an even trade of kills. Though in the turmoil of the fight, Shaco had stolen Baron.
Through strategic wave manipulation, Team buying gf earned another free Elder Dragon and crushed the ensuing team fight, thanks again to the devastating AoE of Twitch and Brand. Capitalising on the numbers advantage, they cracked open the inhibitors of blue base before they were forced to beat a retreat.
Minutes later, buffed with the third baron of the game, red team looked set to pull off an unlikely win until their overzealous attempt to finish ended with them being aced. However, the damage had been done, the blue base lay in shambles save for a single respawned inhibitor.
For each advantage red side eked out, Team Desmond doggedly stood their ground. Every baron siege halted by a clutch assassination. Every supposed team fight win countered by brilliant Xayah positioning.
With both kills and gold dead even at 56 minutes into the game, the match was poised on a knife’s edge. The deciding fight occurred as both teams postured for the third Elder dragon of the game.
The abrupt conclusion of the fight felt perhaps unfitting for such a tight contest, but Team Desmond faced no qualms taking the win. A win everybody expected but no one saw coming after they conceded three Barons, two Elder Dragons and every structure in their base.
When asked about deciding factors of the game, Enkikx I Blink (Team buying gf’s jungler) picked an unlikely candidate. It was not the troublesome Shaco who burst Twitch at key moments, nor the cerebral Xayah play with 34% share of the team’s damage, but rather the oft-overlooked support.
“[Rakan’s] engages and cc he brought just destroyed our options…if I had to pick an mvp for game 1, it’s definitely their Rakan” - Enkikx I Blink
He went on to praise the enemy comp, especially the hidden synergies between champions such as Aurelion Sol and Xayah, though identified the lack of co-ordination in teamfights as an issue. Nyxia Eternal (Team buying gf’s toplaner) similarly identified teamfighting as a factor in their loss.
“For some reason that day, we all seemed to want to shotcall… [it] didn’t hurt in laning but when it got to team fights, we were toast” - Nyxia Eternal
Zedmond (Team Desmond’s ADC) commended the enemy team’s early game jungle pressure. Whilst his team was far behind for much of the game, he recognised their late game win condition.
“We eventually were able to come back and get the win because the entire team was committed to our shot calling and we picked key moments in the game where we knew we had no choice but to fight” - Zedmond
In some ways, the game showcased a team snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In many other ways, however, this was a showcase of their individual talent and skirmishing prowess. Team buying gf entered champ select as definite underdogs; on the rift, however, they showed no signs of submission. Though they tragically fell at the last hurdle, it was a match often characterised by intelligent play from both teams, and thrilling team fights to be remembered.
Thanks go to all four teams who played in this series! We hope that it was enjoyable for both players and viewers! Be sure to check our our socials for the upcoming article on finals and more League content!
Written by Colby "kobe lu" Lu [2018 Marketing (Publications) Subcommittee]
and Stephen "PHANSCENETH" Chan [2018 Marketing (Media) Subcommittee]
Edited by Kenzo "Neo Tokyo Floral" Jeanson [2018 Marketing (Publications) Subcommittee]