IEM Kiev Semi Finals
Viktor Patch/Best of 3
January 21 2012
Welcome Summoners to Dcgreen’s play by play match coverage of IEM Kiev’s 1stsemifinal match between Moscow 5 and SK Gaming. Before getting into the match itself I would like to discuss my thoughts on these teams and how I perceive they will play against each other. Right off the bat I am giving this series to
Moscow 5 2-0. M5 showed in the group stages that they are the real deal and they are here to win and I would say that TSM has the right to be scared of them. I also believe M5 is unshaken by the fact this is a LAN event and as far as I can tell they thrive off the spotlight and attention which only fuels their already stunning gameplay and teamwork. SK, on the other hand, is a good team but they’re tournament performance to me feels capped. I see them as paid talent whose individual skill falls off hard when they come across teams that have actual chemistry and thrive in more ways than being able to play their assigned lane. They are pub stompers and have the ability to eliminate other teams that are less composed (Curse with 3 subs) or weaker (White Lotus) than them, but when it comes to actual “teams” they can no longer compete and I believe this to be the reason they have not taken 1st place in any major event. This could also be attributed to their recent line-up changes but I stand by my original opinion, as their current “core” has had time to practice and jive, and I am unimpressed by what I have seen from them.
Semi Final 1: Moscow 5 vs SK Gaming Game 1 (M5 first ban/pick)
Game 1 was off to an interesting start with SK using their last ban on Yorick instead of Shyvana which seems to be the lynch pin to M5’s success, it may be possible that they know something about M5 and Yorick that we have yet to see but I honestly feel like a Shyvana ban is a good way to try and dismantle the Russian powerhouse. M5 rounded out their lineup with mid Mordekaiser and another AD Kennen, which is becoming a crowd favorite; expect to see it soon in a solo queue near you! Ocelot last picked a questionable Anivia, to rust the master of metal and with that we headed to the fields of justice!
M5 started the game by employing some old and new tactics. They sent Kennen top to face Irelia, and GangPlank bottom to fight with Soraka and Sivir (old tactic: switching top and bot lanes); meanwhile Sona followed Shyvana into the enemy jungle and assisted her with stealing the enemy red (new tactic: jungling with the support.) The trespassing women then made their way top lane to assist Kennen in getting first blood on Irelia. Shyvana then returned to the enemy jungle where she was caught and killed, but as soon as she respawned she went right back and stole the enemy blue.
After getting firstblood Kennen was too much for Irelia to handle, and then when Sona came to stay things really got out of hand, so Soraka abandoned bottom and made her way top to her new home. The fur started to fly in top lane as both duos were at each other’s throats! Gangplank had to break up the fight with his ultimate and then teleported in to mediate personally, no one died but tension was high! While this was happening Shyvana and Mordekaiser ventured into the enemy jungle to once again steal their red. Shyvana was successful, which is really all that matters, and abandoned Mordekaiser who found himself on the wrong side of an Anivia wall.
At 11 minutes M5 killed dragon completely free and Shyvana then made her way to the enemy blue and stole it, continuing to deny it from Anivia. Shyvana then recalled home and got an oracle and proceeded to eliminate the enemy wards and gain map control for M5. Kennen killed Irelia top and her tower fell shortly after. Mordekaiser followed suit by obliterating Anivia and killing her tower as well.
17 minutes looked exactly like 11, as M5 took a free dragon and headed to the enemy blue. M5’s actions in the enemy jungle forced Rammus to smite blue which worked just the same, as long as it wasn’t on Anivia. This tension evolved into a fight and Kennen was killed by Anivia before M5 completely withdrew from the enemy jungle. Despite losing some of their members during invades M5 remained firmly in the driver seat of this game with an 8k gold advantage over SK only 20 minutes in. Realizing they have full map control M5 headed towards Baron; they assigned GangPlank to sit on the ledge by the enemy red and fight off anyone coming to stop them. Sure enough 4 members of SK showed up and GangPlank tanked all of them with ease while his team killed Baron, truly a sight to see. Rammus, who managed to bypass GangPlank, attempted to steal Baron by flashing into the pit of which he had no vision. Needless to say M5 emerged from river with Baron.
Despite having Baron M5 was not able to successfully push any towers because of Anivia’s aoe, so they did the next best thing which was kill her, steal her blue, and then get another dragon. Once Baron wore off the enemy, SK decided to mount an offensive of their own middle. M5 fought back and chased SK into their jungle where Anivia placed a perfect wall separating GangPlank from his team! Unfaltered by Anivia’s cheap party tricks, the remaining M5 flashed the wall and killed 3 members of SK, losing none of their own; they then got Baron again. With a new Baron they push up middle and kill Rammus and Anivia before also destroying the middle inhibitor and 1 of the Nexus turrets. On their way out Sona and GangPlank were caught and killed, but it was a meager setback for the rampaging Russians who returned shortly after to finish off SK. A new team fight broke out and Rammus and Irelia were quickly dismembered. Without their front line champions, the remaining SK was helpless to defend their Nexus as it was razed to the ground. Game 1 goes to M5 with a final score of 15-10 and an 18k gold advantage at 30minutes.
Winner: Moscow 5
Semi Final 1: Moscow 5 vs SK Gaming Game 2 (SK first ban/pick)
Game 2 started again, with what seems to be the definition of the new competitive meta, counter jungling the enemy buffs. Gangplank invaded the enemy red and then recalled/teleported top to face off against Renekton. This strategy proved its worth as GangPlank got firstblood on Renekton at 6 minutes and also had double his cs (44 to 22). At 7minutes GangPlank, Ryze, and Shyvana went to the enemy blue to start taking control of it. Meanwhile Renekton, now alone top, was curious as to where his lane opponent was and ventured into his jungle alone to see where he was. M5 then emerged from the enemy jungle with the blue buff and all wearing new pairs of croc skin boots.
At 12 minutes M5 was camping the enemy blue right on schedule. This time Udyr decided to check the buff he was later found face down infront of M5’s fireplace. In bottom lane Sivir pushed down the tower and killed Miss Fortune with the help of Morgana, the first real play by SK all game. Dragon spawned at 16minutes which M5 killed seconds before SK showed up. A small fight broke out but thanks to 10/10 people having flash, no one died.M5 traveled bottom after dragon to even up the tower count in the lane before returning to farming.
M5’s alarm went off signaling that the enemy blue was to be up soon so they headed over there leaving Miss Fortune bot to keep farming and keep split pressure. SK left Sivir bottom to handle Miss Fortune and the remaining 4 headed to blue where a showdown ensued! Not only did M5 successfully steal the enemy blue but they obliterated all 4 members of SK and even Miss Fortune killed Sivir bottom scoring her team a perfect Ace. The triumphant M5 members then made their way to Baron.
With new shiny purple particles circling their heads M5 pushed hard on the middle turrets and somehow Sivir got caught in their wake. The rest of SK mounted a defense at their middle turret but were bowled over by the ten thousand fists of M5, scoring a perfect Ace followed by the surrender from SK. The final score was 14-1.
Winner: Moscow 5
Just as I predicted M5 takes the series 2-0 from SK. It is clear to me that M5 is the team to beat in this tournament. Their team play and coordination is completely flawless and they all help each other in achieving their desired goals. It is also interesting to see how they have created their own meta of the lanes helping the jungler counter jungle, as opposed to the jungler helping gank the lanes. Not to say Diamond did not gank, but he was most effective when he was running train on the enemy jungle especially when his mates were there to help.
As for SK they basically performed how I expected them to. They all played their lanes to the best of their ability and then never came together as a cohesive unit to stop the terror of M5. It was like watching a solo queue team vs a premade. SK has a lot of growing up to do as a team if they ever want to get out of the shadow of their competitors. With 2 months between Kiev and Hanover I hope they put in the practice to get back to fighting form again.
With this decisive victory M5 will advance to the Finals where they await the winner of TSM vs Dignitas. My money is on TSM.