A viewer’s guide to English casters worldwide (With notes about French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean casts).

For the last few months i think everybody has been noticing the increased “diversity” of remarks about casters so I thought I put together a small guide to the casters around the world.  I watch a lot of league but I don’t know all the casters but I’ll do my best to include everybody I know about but hopefully if people only watch the casters they enjoy the less “diverse” comments will be seen. I am an English speaker with 5 years of Spanish education 2 years of French and I’m learning Chinese presently.  For languages that are not English I don’t know the individual names of casters just what the tournaments were Casted. Maybe some of the reader’s will be able to add some caster’s names in the comments below.

NA LCS:

Phreak – Long time player and now caster.  I think his casting is fun and energetic and keeps everybody watching involved in the game no matter how boring it is.  Some of his puns miss their mark but no matter how many puns miss he is sure consistent and always be back for more.  He is knowledgeable about game fundamentals and many times adds depth to the discussions about league strategy during the games.  He does stream and Actually find his stream very enjoyable and lots of tips can be given.   Admits mistakes and always trying to improve (Sometimes he misses item buys and talks about how someone just bought an item and how its going to help when they bought it 10minutes ago; It’s minor but i find it annoying).   He casts but his home is in front of huge monitor as he John Madden’s league.

Jatt – Ex pro one of the best casters.  I find how he does his hair is a little weird sometimes.  A little bit nit-picky there.  Always casts well and always explains everything.  Goes very in depth to league strategy and makes good chit chat with every caster he is paired up with.  I don’t find him as the best interviewer though and should let others do that for him (Only because interviewers are more about personal stuff more than actual game strategy).

Kobe24- Not my personal favorite but he is a good caster.  Makes good talk and sometimes makes good remark about why players are making decisions.  He is much better at looking at each lane and describing how players are going to win their lane than looking at the entire game and overall game strategy.  This different than other casters and one reason why i like kobe.

Rivington – Knows a lot about the game but I find that sometimes doesn’t communicate his knowledge as he casts.  Otherwise very good and I find he pairs best with Jatt.

For entertaiment watch Phreak and Kobe but for in-depth game knowledge  watch Jatt and Riv 3.

EU LCS:
Deman, Quickshot (?), Jason Kaplan, Joe “Joe Miller” Miller.

Deman: I think I can label him as the most fun caster and he also uses “diverse” language and it just makes him better.  He’s good at making awkward situations more awkward and then somehow bringing the cast back with a perfect comment.  He knows so much about league and is able to communicate all of his thoughts clearly.

Quickshot: I find him entertaining and fun and very similar to Deman.  His casting is very good but for some reason I enjoy him even more when he is at the analyst desk looking at the games after they have happened and he gives some really good insight into the match.  He makes some points that are often missed from the NA LCS group.

Jason: Gives some good insight and I think he is very close to phreak in his casting and that can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you like.  Doesn’t really go above and beyond but do a decent job everytime he is casting.

Joe Miller: Great casting along with great conversation.  I think he is great as a caster and adds and expands to the depth of the conversation about whatever the team’s strategy is but I rarely find that he comes up with the starter comment and that he doesn’t come up with the stuff himself.  However, this doesn’t detract from his casting ability has he excels in all other aspects of being part of a casting team.

If you want to watch

NA:
Optimus Tom (MLG) – I think Optimus is maybe one of the casters in which viewers really like him or they really don’t.  Either way you look at it, I think he is the best solo caster out there however this is also his detriment.  He’s the best solo-caster because he talks enough for 2 people.  I think that he is speaking spanish but is talking in english.  I made a note that sometimes phreak along with other casts miss some items and miss some moves.  Top almost never misses anything and I know this since he tells us every possible thing that is happening on the map.  One again, some people find this bad others good.  I think that tom just needs to tweak his casting a little by slowing down and conversing with other people and asking questions to his co-caster and allowing them to expand on a point he brought up.  Only other thing.  Tom, go to the store.  Buy a new suit and PLEASE GET IT TAILORED.

Studio (tsm tournies ??)  — Wombat (TSM tournies ??) –
I think both of these guys are similar and both of them are nothing special.  Sure they can cast but I don’t get excited when I know they’re casting.  I’m not going to turn on stream just because they are casting.  Maybe it their voices which make everything seem boring and uninteresting but there’s more than that.  I find that both say stuff that is extremely obvious and even when they try and talk about strategy it’s all stuff that I feel is just blah, nothing insightful and anybody who has any league sense was thinking the same thing 5 minutes before.

Dominate Dominion Casters
Not the best casters but I think they will soon be very good.  One is their outlook and how they know they’re not the best but they are always willing to ask for help and see where they can better.  Also they have now been casting for about a year on Dominate dominion and I think they’re improved quiet drastically.  I know they like dominion more than rift but I would really like for them to cast some games of rift in a tournament setting.  I think they are the best casters for teamfights and they really showcase the important abilities in the fights unlike tom who says every ability and other casters that barely say anything.

EU:
German Casters:
I know one word of German So I can’t give much input even though all the games sound extremely exciting though I have zero idea what they’re talking about.

French:
The only french casts that I watch are the AAA casts and these are good.  I think the team fights are great in french and I think the commentary about the strategy is quite good.  I’m sure all the francophone’s already know but these are some good casts.

Spanish :
I’ve seen a few of the Spanish tournies and they are good some good stuff.  Sometimes some of the insight into the given matches are totally different than what I would expect and sometimes its very informative.  Maybe it’s the language different language but I they are fun and the games are good.   Also, they’re are some some South American tournaments with some Chilean teams.  From the few that I’ve watched these were some great games and some great casting.

Asia
Pastrytime (SWL / ESL Asia) Papasmithy  (SWL / ESL Asia)
The two above duo cast with each other so I’ll talk about both of them together.  First off, unlike many of the other casters above I’ve only ever seen these two together or sometimes solo casting if the other can’t attend.  However, they are always so good together.  Now as we have all found that twitch chat in NA, EU games that its a bunch of trash.  However, due to the time difference and limited viewership, twitch chat is great and these casters answer questions from chat and communicate with the viewers.  I find that they have some really good insight into the games but also have really good back and forth talk about strategy, team positions, along with team history last matches.   I find they talk about previous league matches even other tournament games and really prepare for the matches they are casting.  These are always my favorite fair of casters to watch and learn from.  I hope they continue doing the same and only get better.

montecristo (OGN korea) DOA (OGN Korea)
Well they’ve been a part of the best league scene for a long time and they know it, and they act like it (for good or for worse).  However, they’re great casters and they know the Korean/Chinese scene like no other.  These two go into more depth about strategy than even Jatt/Deman only because the Asian scene allows for this while NA/EU scene does not.  They always explain why players are doing what they are doing (Something that I like about Kobe as well).  They have very good banter between themselves and fill in all the spots of downtime very well (I don’t find them very humorous but who am I to judge, lots of people like their jokes so plus for them).  They do have one advantage over all other casters and that’s how scared the viewers are when that Korean Countdown starts and I’ve got the sound on high (SURPRISE).  I think for many viewers at least from the US who decided to stay up one night may watch them once and not really grasp everything they talk about and then don’t have a reason to stay up again.  However, I don’t think casting for the lowest common denominator is good either.  Hopefully, more people watch them and learn a little more about league as they do.

Chobra (OGN Korea, mlg)
Personally I like Chobra more than Montercristo/DoA but not for a reason I can put down on paper.  He’s smart and entertaining and maybe if he talked more I could form a more substantial opinion on him.

GPL casters (english – taiwan)
I think these are the last main group of English casters that I watch on a consistent basis.  Let’s be honest the GPL games can be somewhat frustrating to watch, but some games can super exciting.  Maybe this is due to large skill gap between the teams.  Also, I believe that these casters don’t have English as their first language really limits some of the fill in conversation and humor that other casters bring to the table.  However, they have good insight and really talk in what I would say most straight forward.  example: “It looks the like there moving to dragon” Second caster” And here’s why and how its an opportune moment”.  Easy to listen too and provide a really good amount of overall league knowledge to the viewer.  However, I’ll admit that they don’t go as in-depth with strategy as other casters.

One thing we have to note is the time.  Who is watching the asian scene in english, mostly australians and Europe(?) and a few North Americans who have nothing better to do.  For the most part everybody who actually watches, on a consistent basis, any of the Asian Casts likes them.  I actually want to watch OGN, SWL not just for the good games but also the casters as they provide more than some of their EU/NA counterparts.

Lastly, Korean and Chinese casts are fun to watch even though I don’t know everything they’re saying I sure its insightful and they are great people.  Also I find the Chinese girls casting and walking around at LPL quite attractive.  On the other hand Phreak and his puns are also very attractive.

So viewers what are you looking for in a caster? (Aside from the games)

Entertainment: Phreak, Kobe, Joe Miller, Pastrytime, DoA

In depth Game Knowledge: Montercristo, Jatt, Deman, Quickshot

Improving your game with some easy to follow tips: Chobra, GPL, Optimus Tom, Joe Miller

Saturday Night and you’re drunk and its 4am: KOREA KOREA KOREA (Korean is just a much better shout casting language than Chinese or English, I find that Spanish/french work just as well as korean).

Sunday Morning and you’re hungover but you don’t want to feel lonely: Optimus Tom, Studio, Wombat

Are you a girl (or boy) and you don’t care about League but like a french accent:  Go find Aranae doing some analyst.

Like some straight hair and easy to understand analyst: Krepo is your man.

Just for Fun and a great twitch chat to actually talk about the game: Dominate Dominion

My personal taste in streams: Phreak gives some really good knowledge when he streams.  Also Jaeyoong (?) Has some awesome mechanics and for the most part has very consistent play (more easy to emulate than other players). Lastly, scarra’s stream is quite informative as well and admits when he make mistakes and learning from his mistakes allows the viewer to get better as well.

~Proto

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Guide to level 1 invades. Part 3 of 4.

Alright, this week we’ll be flipping the map around and looking at the perspective of the blue side invading red.  I find that blue teams invade the enemy blue buff, or try to, almost twice as much as they invade the enemy red buff.  And because of this I’ll start out explaining blue buff invades.  Hopefully the map below has a better numbering system for bushes than the map from the previous post.  I also changed how I laid out the map routes changing them into steps instead of each individual steps or stages of an invade.  Stage one is purple, stage 2 is green, stage 3 is orange, and stage 4 is blue.  As I always say, whichever buff you plan on invading, make sure you are warding that buff on your side as well.  Blue invades blue (numbers + routes) jpeg

As the map is set up differently I’ll be changing the way I explain these invades.  But as a starter we’re going to look at stage 1 and 2 first.  Stage 1, purple, just has different paths through the jungle.  Taking these paths will keep you a little bit safer and you be able to watch for any invades by the enemy team.  As you progress, if you choose to invade through, 6/7/8 placing a ward at 9 is a good idea.  Likewise if you are invading you 9/5/4 placing a ward at 6/7/8 would be recommended.  Stage 2, if you are fast out of the base, racing to 7 is the most common invade.  If you know your opponent is super fast out of the base, invading 9/5/4 would be the best action.  This way you don’t lose your level 1 immediately by walking though 7 but with the enemy team already at 6/7/8.    So early to start, 6/7/8, late start, 9/5/4.

Now, stage 3.  We have 3 different paths and they are 4/3, 4/2, and lastly 6/1.

4/3: After making your way through 9/5/4, go to 3 and wait there.  usually you want to make your decision to get to 3 early.  If you do not get to 3 early  Try and get to 3 by 1:00 as this should be before the other team starts looking around.  It may be better off to wait after 9/5.  And go 5/4/2.  But if we make it 3 we’re going to sit tight until 1:38 but 3/2 will be covered later.

4/2 : the basic invade.  At 1:38 head to blue as the enemy team should be taking wolves.  For this invade its best to pink their blue buff immediately just in case they were ready for an invade and the enemy team warded it themselves.  If you pink this brush you have blue control.

6/1:  The previous two invades were centered around 1:55 and blue buff. This invade is centered around the wolves.  Get to 1 as quickly as possible and pink 6 as that is the most likely ward by the enemy team.  After warding move up to 1.  Stay there until 1:40.

Stage 4:  For this we still have to complete the invades that we have started; These invades include: 3/2, 1/wolves (blue/orange) and 1/2.

3/2: leave at 1:38 and head to 2.  Pink blue buff brush and clear out any wards.  Wait for them to now go to blue buff.  Kill as many as you can and take blue.  /OR/ wait for 1:55.  Enemy team has started blue go in along the blue path and take blue and kill as many of them as you can or burn as many flashes as you can.  /OR/  The enemy AD/Support will almost always come through this bush.  Kill both of them and win bot lane easily. with your kills.

1/wolves (blue/orange): At 1: 40 Split up and send 2 people on the orange path and force the enemies to blue.  This invade works best with multiple CC or the enemy team will flash over the wall behind wolves.  Get as many as kills as you can and steal blue.

1/2: Move at 1:56.  With this you are blocking the escape possibilities of the team.  Warding the blue as you go in may give you an extra advantage.  Kill as many as you can and take blue.

Invading red buff as the blue team will be the last part of level 1 invades.

~Protoprismatic

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Guide to level 1 invades. Part 2 of 4.

This post is going to be focused on red buff invades by the red team.  As noted on the last post warring your red buff (1) or behind red buff brush (2) should be done as this one ward gives your team lots of information.  These red buff invades are the most complex level one invades for several reasons including: blue team may try to invade your blue, blue team will almost always ward somewhere in the red buff brush to the river (7, 10, 11, 13) to gain knowledge about your position and lastly duo lane will be at those double golems (8) at 1:40.

So we have a multitude of tactics that start off easy to pull off and other tactics that are more complex. For now, lets start with the simple.

red side (red invade 1)
Red:  After rushing to enemy wraiths (9) and warding we head back passing through (10) and camp in mid lane bot brush (12).  The thinking here is that you might catch some easy kills, getting vision of enemy jungle as well as protecting access to your blue.

Blue:  This isn’t used very much but can work well if you have a ranged snare or stun or even a group speed up such as Jayce.  Starting in position (4) send your snare into the tri brush (5) and rush in.  You may have caught bot lane as they wait for golems to spawn.  If kill or flash is taken, go ahead and take red (7).

Light blue: after storming through the tri brush assess your situation.   If you saw anybody but didn’t burn a flash its best to turn back as they know your position now.  If you decide to press on you have two options.  The first is to run straight to their red (7) an establish position.  Or, go down to the bottom bush (14) and wait for their duo lane to walk from red (7)  -> (8) to golems and kill them as they take the golems.  Now take red.   Main goal of this gank is to get a kill on bot lane and get an early lead bot lane as well.  The second part of this gank is getting red but if you take red you are almost always just trading your red back to them.

red side (red invade 2)

Green: This is another simple invade walking though river to ward wraiths (9).  Next walking to (10), and then warding (7).  Either wait at (10) or (7) and assess your situation.  You have the option of taking red or ganking later on when the jungler decides to take red at about 2:30.  No matter what you do, you either take yellow route going bot or pink route for going back mid.  Remember, if minions haven’t spawned yet stay as a team and pick one route.

These are the 3 most common jungle invade routes for this scenario, red invading blue on the red buff side.  Now, in my last post I initiated a lane swap after almost every invade.  However, I don’t in these invade scenario’s.  The reason being that your bot lane is already bottom and you may lose any advantage by going B and running all the way top lane and if your gank succeeds you should bring your advantage bot lane and try to win your lane.  Following this line of thinking, invading blue is a good option when going for a lane swap and invading red is better when you believe you have an advantage bottom lane.

I’ll be back soon with invades by the blue team.

~Protopismatic

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Guide to Level 1 invades Part 1 of 4.

Today I’ll be looking at the level one invades that center around blue buff invades by the red team.  There are multiple invade paths and all have their own purposes so I’ll do my best to explain each one to the fullest.

red side (blue invade) jpeg

Ok, looking at the picture above we have three main options: Red, blue, Green.  I would like to preemptively add that warding your blue buff (1) is always a good tactic when invading the blue buff of the enemy.

Before stealing the buff we have to make sure we are making a good decision.  Do we know where the opposing team is?  Warding any one of the spots, (2) (3) or (4) may give vision of the enemy team and will give the red team some extra knowledge while invading.  At higher levels of play the blue buff steal usually takes place with 4 team members.  Support, AD, Jungle, and Short lane solo.  As the red team, many lane swaps are started off with a blue buff steal sending either the duo lane mid or top and then sending mid or top respectively bottom.  Usually the champ going bottom is the 5th member of the team and is not involved in the invade.  This champ may take the team’s own blue buff and have the ability to 1v2 for a short time.

  1. We’ll start with the simplest first and that will be invade following the red line.  Staying safe in either of the lower lane brush or in the tri brush the teams moves as a unit directly into the blue buff brush.  The goal is to enter the blue buff bush at 1:40/1:42.  Most likely the enemy team is killing the wolves and you will be remain unseen.  Wait in the brush and you may be able to get a kill or two as the enemy team goes from wolves to blue.  Next, blue is taken as it spawns at 1:55.   At about 2:02 a lane swap is initiated by the red team.  The goal of this gank is to get an early kill and stealing blue.
  2. The next invade path is blue.  The blue path invade has several variations.  The first is the 3 man gank.  After rushing to the enemies tri brush.  As quickly as possible.  These 3 members wait until the blue top lane champ to make their way to top after helping at blue buff.  Usually the three members are Support, AD, and jungle with red team initiating a lane swap. The goal of this gank is to get an early kill and provide for an early advantage top lane.
  3. The next variation is light blue.  This a blue invade while the enemy team is taking their blue buff.  Four members wait in the enemies tri brush after rushing there and at 1:53 leave the tri brush and work there way towards blue buff.  The team engages as the enemy team is hitting the blue buff.   After the fighting is done Red now initiates a lane swap. The goal with this gank is to attack after blue buff is hitting the enemy team, so they’re taking more damage and usually their first abilities are on Cool down allowing for an easy kill and stealing of the blue buff.
  4. The green path works best with a little more teamwork than either red or blue however can have the largest rewards.  Starting off in mid lane or defending an invade of the red buff, Red team moves methodically to end of the bush behind blue buff.  As the wolves spawn at 1:40, getting to the brush behind blue Golem at 1:39 is ideal.  Quickly moving at 1:40 the team can either chose to all go to blue buff brush, all towards the brush close to mid turret or thirdly, split up.  Personally I like to split up having 3 members go the bottom route and 2 going on the top side of wolves.  If timed right you may be able to trap the enemy team and get an advantage.  Like the late blue buff invade it’s best to go in after the enemy team uses their abilities.  For this route, getting around walls and seeing the wolves at 1:42/1:43 is ideal.  The goal is here is to gain as many kills as possible.  This green route is the most often seen with all 5 members of the team contributing however 4 members works as well.
  5. Orange (green continued).  After getting kills, flashes and / or taking the enemy team down low enough where they’re forced to back allows for the blue steal.  After taking blue a lane swap is initiated by red.

So far, at the end of each invade i’ve stated that a lane swap is initiated by red.  This is useful since the duo lane is already near top or mid lane and do not have to port back and run bot, or walk all the way to bottom lane.  However, they’re a few exceptions where not initiating a lane swap may be preferred.   Usually, this is the case when you do manage to get kills in these ganks.  If you are successful the lanes may be able to use this new found advantage by winning their own 1v1 or 2v2 lanes by a large margin rather than trying to 2v1 and 1v2.   I say this because having an extra ward as the support, or boots as an AD will not really add to your 2v1 advantage but by having an extra ward, potions, boots, or even a long sword in a 2v2 lane you may be able to bully your lane opponents by having more damage, vision, or sustain.

I would like to add here that those are the most common invades; if your team comprises of a blitzcrank or syndra stealing the blue buff becomes are very safe option as you can take it over the wall.  Also, your team composition can determine whether or not an invade is a good idea or whether you are better off defending your buffs and heading straight to the laning phase.

So there we have it, the most common blue buff invades by the red team.

~Protoprismatic

League of Legends map can be found here – http://www.ltcstudentweb.com/joshuaperkins/images/SummonersRift.jpg

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Week 3 of LCS NA/EU

Notable stories in NA

This past week in NA we saw the first round of surprises in how the games turned out.  The most notable one would be Team Vulcun.  The team had 0 wins and 5 losses coming into this week but went 3 and 0 over the weekend and have a record of 3 and 5 now.  Many people would say there was better team cohesion or they weren’t playing up to their ability in the previous weeks.  I would disagree with those statements.  In the past weeks, weeks 1 and 2, their mid ManCloud was playing his normal play which consists of being out of position and playing “all in champs” or that have initiation but lack escapes.  This week he changed it up and played Nidalee.  This champ, running as an AP Nidalee, stays on the outside of most team fights, using her poke to whittle down enemies before each engagement.  He used this to great affect and because he has an escape he was able to place himself in better positions throughout his games.  However, we can not overlook the teams they played against which includes a slumping CLG, a one win CompLexity and a one win MRN.  I don’t think these games were able to really determine anything more than that Vulcun is no longer last and really are just a middle of the road team.

The other side of the coin was Good Game University who lost 3 games this week.  They are a middle of the pack team and the loss of Shiptur in Mid and the extensive change to team roles plays a large roll in their losses.  Just like the games played by Vulcun this week, I don’t think the games played this week are a good representation of how the season ends up once they get shiptur back in the line up.

Quick remarks regarding NA

  1. Curse played well and are still 6-0.
  2. Dignitas is showing their stuff beating CLG.
  3. Team MRN and Team CompLexity both earned their first victories of the season. Note that both were against a severely lacking GGU team.
  4. Fear did surpringly well and they hope to follow up with this weeks performance in their 4 games next week.

Quick remarks about LCS EU (I find this much more exciting than NA.)

  1. Unlike NA the EU teams are very much pressed against every opponent they face never getting an easy game.
  2. Fnatic did as expected at least in my book, and should not be underrated even with their new team.
  3. Gambit Gaming, SK, AAA, DragonBorns, and Giants are all really close in ability and we should really see good match ups every week.
  4. Wolves 0 and 8.  They looked worse this week with Bjerg than last week without  him.

Fantasy.  I decided to add this in just incase anybody wanted to see my picks from last week.  Its from leaguepediafantasy.com

I did alright but my two CLG picks let me down a little. Hopefully CLG gets back in form soon.

Image

Asia

The past week saw the end of OGN for a while and very good games were both played in the Battle Royale weekly games and the Club Masters.  We saw a drop in CJ Frost as they have been lacking since S3 started.  However, MVP, the winner of Club Masters, KT Rolster  and Xenics are doing really well and are showing innovative strategies in the best of fives.

Also, I watched Team World Elite v. Najin Shield last night.  Good games with the return of locodoco as AD.  Two major things that can be learned from those matches.  One, World elite is still in top form and secondly, Najin shield has the ability to get better but just need more games as a team.

Overall, It was a great week in the League of legends Professional scene.

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Week 2 Day 2 of LCS NA

All in all today was boring, Curse v. Vulcun, Dignitas v GGU, and TSM v MRN, were all slow with very little action and each game played out as expected.  The games were won just by winning the lanes and then taking the global objectives and all were just slow push to win.  The last game GGU v Vulcun (GGU changing multiple people and roles) really played well and managed to defend and then finally push with their poke comp.  Though this game really only tells us what I predicted from the start; Vulcun is not very good in comparison to the other teams in the series.

Quick Remarks of the Day

  1. Team Vulcun is not very good and lost.
  2. Every team has done as well as I predicted and I don’t see any immediate change to team mechanics and have no reason to think that my first week predictions will be wrong.
  3. MRN needs sharpen up on laning phase and they will stand a chance against TSM, GGU, CompL, and Vulcun.
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Week 2 Day 1 of LCS NA

Week 2 day of LCS took place earlier today.  We saw a few good games but nothing particularly special.  Last week, one of the only comments on my reddit post was about TSM and Dignitas and how TSM was better.  Dignitas showed up today easily beating MRN, and then, beating TSM easily, though they made sure the aggressive behavior was well placed throughout the game. 

The Curse v. Complexity was the best of the day with the Underdog CompLexity taking the early lead and holding it until about 25 minutes.  The late game team comp of Curse made a few well placed moves and easily took over the game and won easily.  However, CompLexity had a very good showing for their first LCS match and should be able to pose problems to the better LCS teams. 

Some other quick remarks

  1. Team Vulcun is still not very good and lost.
  2. I made a mention of twitch getting picked up by some Korean teams after first use in NA.  Tonight in OGN club masters we saw Miss Fortune, Leona picked up after being used this morning in NA LCS.  We might see more of these two in the future.
  3. Dignitas had two interviews today, Crumbz and Scarra;  Crumbz echoed something I made mention of in my first post last week that the main failure of TSM is their predictability.  We saw it in the top lane gank early along with TSM picking similair champs every game.
  4. For Champs picks we’ll continue to see the armor shredders, Jarvin, Xin zhao, and Renekton along Kayle and VI being common picks until something gets picked up to counter them. 
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LCS NA Predictions

I posted this on Reddit after the first few games of LCS NA Week 1 and the link can be found here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/186kn8/one_fans_perspective_on_lcs_na_and_global/

This is the post in text form.

  • I’d thought I just write some of the few thoughts I had about this season and where the league scene will be in 12 weeks coming to end of the first half of LCS. I’m not the best at the game but I do like watching lots of games, even more so than playing and hopefully i have given some insight to how this first 12 weeks will turn out for the NA scene.
  • First off, the NA scene is just plainly getting better. At a faster rate than any scene. Granted, they are farther behind to start with but in the last month games have been decided more from strategy than from straight mechanics. I for one think that is a good thing. The mechanics across the board have seen much improvement in the last 2/3 months and with addition of season 3 items and new build lines have limited the difference between perfect mechanics and really good mechanics; Meaning that if you’re first build is not viable due to deaths and zoning early, changing builds to more cost effective items does not hurt your later game chances as much as it used to in season 2.
  • Last week in the CLG premier series we saw many of the LCS academy teams go up against each other. Looking back on it now, many of those games showed very similair strategies, player mechanics as we saw yesterday and today in LCS. With the addition of these very good “2nd tier teams” I think, we will see the first tier teams improve much faster. With LCS organization and the organization within the teams themselves players will be more focused and perform better. I call the academy teams “2nd tier” but I think a few of them CRS A, DiG, along with Azure Cats, Dirtnap gaming and my up and comer pick Cloud 9 are good enough right now to take on the lower 3 of the LCS standing.
  • One of the major differences I see between NA, EU and Asia, is the consistency of team dynamics. Yes NA players remain good but I find that the team varies a lot. For many of EU / Asia teams there play seems more consistent. After a loss many of the teams seem to be able to regroup emotionally and still come up with a formidable team in the match (exclude frost at OGN winter). With the addition of more time between games in LCS the NA scene gets to scoot around this issue and more than likely not have to deal with this issue as they have a couple days before next match. Another reason why I think that NA is showing signs of life is that for the first time, EU / Asia are looking at NA for possible ideas on how to counter the Asian meta or EU meta. This quite different than the past year where nothing from NA has been picked up elsewhere.
  • Now for my picks this season in NA we do see a split in team abilities with CRS, CLG, DiG at the top. TSM has done well for themselves the first two days but I don’t think they quite at the level of the first three even though TSM did beat DiG. Even after starting with two losses I think GGU is here to stay and continue with unconventional team-comps will be able to really do well in these one game series. For a long time now I’ve thought that Team Vulcan (FeaR) needs to improve a lot. I would pick this team as the team that is in the most need of improving team dynamics. I’ve watched too many games where strategy just beats them. The lanes make it through the lane phases alright and 15/20 minutes in everything changes and they’re on the defensive from there on out. Sometimes good counter-calls are made but most of the time teams systematically beat them between the 20 minute mark and 35 minute mark. Also, Mancloud is out of position too much. Lastly, we have CompLexity (The Brunch Club) and MRN. CompLexity has a good team setup but I don’t think they’re on the same level as some of the teams listed above. However, I do think they’re maybe the one team to improve the most and really be able to take the first few weeks of LCS and make a large improvement in their play for the last 6 weeks or so. I don’t know enough about MRN to give good insights but they have a few good players. I think that they’re in the same boat as Team Vulcan and need to get their team working together first, playing safely in laning phase and being able to out strategize late.

Predictions for the upcoming 12 weeks of LCS NA

  1. Curse
  2. Counter Logic Gaming
  3. Dignitas
  4. Good Game University
  5. Team Solo MID (Snapdragon)
  6. CompLexity
  7. Vulcun
  8. MaRN

 

Thoughts on each teams’ main focus and strategy and how they can improve

  1. Curse: continues to feed off of early saint ganks and Voyboy. Cop/Jacky continue to do well laning and support them late game.
  2. CLG: This is where I think they will end up but I think CLG will fare better through the season if they can pull some of the pressure off Double lift and expand Chauster’s and hotshot’s champ pool into some more damaging rolls rather than supportive.
  3. Dignitas: DiG Plays off kiwi top, and use the consistent Imaqtpie to get into the mid game and have scarra out strategize the other team.
  4. GGU uses the 1 game series to their full advantage and tries to put opposing teams on their guard in champ select. They need to win early to win late. Just like CLG, hopefully we see some help for their AD Dontmashme late game; Shiptur looks up to the challenge. Zionspartan and nintendudeX need to work the games early.
  5. TSM:  They have been playing hidden the last few months but Chaox is there along with theOddone. I think they will start off well this first 6 weeks and fall off late.
  6. CpL: Good teamwork but lower tier mechanics will keep this team in the hunt and out of the bottom two.
  7. Team Vulcun needs to change their ways to get out of the bottom two. Improving on calls midgame will help them out the best.
  8. MRN is just a new team. They’ll start off slow and I think they’ll pick up a few wins nearing the end of the 12 week season. Along with GGU, look for some different team comps as they try to get some surprise tactic wins between weeks 6-12 as there mechanics will keep them from winning in the first 6 weeks.
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