For the Vanguard’s second-round coverage of the spring tournament, we will continue on with our same two winning teams from last week and see who brought the wallop this week.
Fifty Shades of Thigh Highs vs. Don’t Ban Syndra: Game 1
In this best-of-three match, the two teams clashed hard and fast in games filled to the brim with non-stop action and constant poke, poke, poke, team fights.
The first game started off with bans of Jinx, Vladamir, Morgana, Warwick, Lucian and Brand. The picks were across the board and presumes these teams did their research and banned based on the other team’s best champs.
Don’t Ban Syndra went Janna/Siver bottom, Riven top, Lissandra mid, and a Vi Jungle. Reasonably tanky with good damage per second (DPS), mobility, slows and initiates.
Fifty Shades of Thigh Highs opposed them with Vayne/Nautilus bottom, Irelia top, Ahri mid and the big fat keg-cracking Gragas in the jungle for a fairly equal team, though possibly more burnable other than their dedicated tank Nautilus.
Fifty Shades started off pushing their lanes in a little harder—pulling in a few extra minion kills (CS or creep score), but also leaving them more open to ganks.
Vi used this to her advantage and, with her giant metal fisticuffs style, took a first-blood gank on Ahri while she piled on Lissandra, but Ahri’s ignite just barely ticked down Lissandra, leaving it a one for one.
In the early games the teams were playing fairly similar. Lanes were trading kills, and team fights were rarely outnumbered. Wards were being placed well by both sides, and there weren’t many surprises.
Fifty Shades did set up a tricky play at around thirteen minutes. Nautalus drew three of Don’t Ban Syndra’s team out of lane thinking they could take him, but when they engaged, Irelia teleported to a ward behind them and Vayne followed up out from the lane. The three converged on Syndra’s three, taking them off guard for two kills followed by a quick dragon slaying.
The rest of the game was continuously tight game play, but Fifty Shades came out ahead in the end: 21 kills to 7 and a surrender at 23 minutes.
Irelia really dominated in this game with 10 kills, she was formidable 1v1, and dangerous in team fights. Ahri’s DPS was also to be feared, and as always Gragas’s explosive kegs knocked enemies into places they did not want to be.
Don’t Ban Syndra worked well together and made no obvious mistakes during this game. Their picks and strategy were cautious but still willing to go in when needed. The cards were dealt, and every Fifty Shades member getting out of a fight with a sliver of health was a card taken from their deck.
This game Fifty Shades banned Ahri, who they had done so well with the game before, making me think she was a champ that Don’t Ban Syndra’s mid lane summoner XXXIZ specialized in. The other two champs that excelled in the first game, Irelia and Vayne, were both banned as well, along with Jinx, Warwick and Lucian again.
The lineup for Fifty Shades was LeBlanc mid, Olaf top, Hecarim Jung and Draven/Vel’Koz bottom—a very odd support pick. Vel’Koz certainly has all the knock-ups and slows needed, but could he be effective without the CS he would normally get as a mid laner?
Their strategy was clear from their picks, Fifty Shades was going for massive DPS. The question is if such an aggressive strategy was too risky.
Don’t Ban Syndra, on the other hand, also had a high DPS team but a little more tricky to play. They went with an Orianna mid who can shield and deal out the damage, Riven top, the demonic laughing scarecrow Fiddlesticks jungle, whose ultimate can decimate an entire team so long as he can live through it, and Graves/Leona bottom.
As was seen in last week’s match with TSYM, Sulamadora, who played Fiddle, again went into Fifty Shades’ jungle to steal their first blue and gromp mobs. This time he gets away with it, severely disabling Hecarim’s start.
Fifty Shades drew first blood this game with two kills top lane. Olaf’s near-dead DPS was still high enough to burn down Riven, and Hecarim charged in to finish off the attempted Fiddle gank and save Olaf.
Hecarim’s charge played heavy into this game, allowing him to surprise the enemy team from such a long distance. He seemed always to be there when they wanted him least, and his high dps disabled escapes that might have happened otherwise.
The unstoppable train that was (Br)Olaf, with his Bud Light, frat-boy drinking helmet, was unmatchable throughout the game.
Olaf epitomized their team—the brute force model—all in with max DPS up until someone dies. This play style overtook the trickier game play of Don’t Ban Syndra picks of Fiddle and Orianna. At 10 minutes Fifty Shades was up 8–1, mostly from jungle and top killings.
Mid and bottom for Fifty Shades were winning their lanes as well. Blame it on a boost of confidence from the first game, but they were on a roll.
The game ended with LeBlanc 14/4/20, Hecarim 11/4/5, Draven 14/9/12, Olaf 18/5/8 and Vel’Koz 2/3/22.
With an 18,000 gold lead (an absurdly huge amount), Fifty Shades took an ace and recalled to base, clearly enjoying giving Don’t Ban Syndra the beating that they were, and dragging out the end, maybe trying to force a second surrender.
The impending doom of this match went on for far too long, but with a final Barron and the expected meat grinder of minions, and a full five-up team, they finished off the base at 36 minutes.
It would have been satisfying to see the scarecrow tear it up with his murder of crows surrounding him, a chaos twister of fear and damage galore, but Olaf’s constant “Brooooo” as he hammered multiple enemies at a time sufficed.