Free- ✔ (9) or ✘ (SM)

So let’s talk about that uber-hyped C9 vs TSM game.  People were ready for C9 to win this one – “C9-0” was spammed in many places.  They had reason for this to be the case cause up till this set of games, C9 was undefeated.  Moreover, this was a rematch between the two teams from the just as hyped week 1 battle that helped start off the split, which C9 had won.  Also, TSM was surprise upset by Echo Fox where Game 1 was just an embarrassment for TSM what with EF getting thirty-three kills to TSM’s 12.

Anyway, back to the rematch.  Game 1 was the usual fare – tanks in the top lane, carry junglers, safer and lower tiered picks out of the pool of mid laners (since so many had gotten banned out), lethality/utility ADCs, and kinda surprisingly some utility supports.  This was almost a shut out by TSM: C9 got three kills, three towers, and one drake in a thirty-minute game.  Watching the top ranked NALCS team be essentially dismantled to such a degree was a mind-blowing experience.  Hauntzer particularly played that game to perfection while going 3/0/8.  He’s the tank initiate – he’s supposed to be the one to die!  Yet he not only never dies, but he gets the most kill participation on the entire team.

Now we get to Games 2 and 3.  Today, we’re gonna be looking at picks.  Not even all the picks really, we’re gonna be looking at Rumble.  Whenever teamfights have become meta, Rumble has become meta.  This is due to the massive AOE damage presence that Rumble brings to fights with Flamespitter and especially his ultimate, the Equalizer.  Moreover, he generally fairs well facing tanks due to how much of a bullying presence he has during laning phase.

Holy moly.  These two games featured some of the unluckiest and/or worst Rumble gameplay by some of the supposedly best players in the entire region.  I don’t even know what to say.

Oh wait, I do – here’s the rest of the post:

Bad plays by Hauntzer

As expected, Hauntzer on Rumble is winning the lane matchup against Impact on Nautilus with a CS lead of eleven (i.e. roughly two waves) at the time of the clip.  Even as beefy as Naut is, especially early, he’s gonna have trouble dealing with the pressure that Rumble applies.  That’s why you see the Corrupting Potion and two Doran’s Rings – they’re survival tools until Impact can buy magic resist.

Then we get a smart play by Contractz and Impact to invade Svenskeren’s jungle together and either get the kill or at least force him to back off since they’re both a level above their respective opponents and thus have the advantage.  Svenskeren manages to survive so nominally the play has failed, though there is a mild advantage to C9 since they know that Svenskeren must back, and they can also steal his jungle camps.

The Lee Sin’s q is in no way close to being back up, and the Kha’Zix has gotten out of range of Lee’s ult, so Hauntzer didn’t need to do anything other than play cautiously since he knows that the Naut is also probably closeby.  However, he reacts massively late while trying to help save Svenskeren by throwing down Equalizer along the path that the Lee would have to follow if he were going to chase the Kha.  But since Contractz had already turned around, the Equalizer completely misses.  Then Hauntzer gets collapsed on by Nautilus and Lee Sin and dies.

Terrible plays like this as well as Impact being a god on tanks as usual allow C9 to win the 2nd game.

Bad plays by Impact

This is a far simpler clip to watch.  Solokills aren’t supposed to happen in pro-play.  The expectation is that these players are capable enough and on roughly the same parity of skill such that regardless of what champions they’re playing, they should remain equal until some outside force influences the match up, such as big item spikes or ganks by the jungler.

Here the Rumble has a CS lead as expected.  While Impact tries to bully Hauntzer for some free harass while he’s trying to cs under tower, the Shen taunts the Rumble into tower aggro-range, thereby causing Impact to eat multiple tower shots and blow his ultimate while Shen gets the solokill.

Let me reiterate, this should not have happened.  The Shen didn’t have any outside support pressuring the Rumble to walk into tower range.  He didn’t unexpectedly blow his flash to try to get the taunt to connect.  Impact just massively mispositions due to being greedy about harassing the Shen and damaging as much of the wave as he could at the same time.

Terrible plays like this as well as Hauntzer being a god on tanks as usual allow TSM to clinch the series with the win on the 3rd game.

Rumble’s problems

Super Galaxy Rumble, courtesy of Riot Games.
Rumble is an AP carry.  He’s supposed to output massive AOE magic damage and win fights.  What happens when Rumble or any carry doesn’t get the gold he needs to stay ahead of the tank curve?  He’s useless.  During both games, Rumble was essentially just walking around gold for the enemy team.

When you’re losing, but have a chance to come back due to lategame scaling, then you’re supposed to huddle behind your towers and your tanks until lategame arrives.  Rumble doesn’t have a late game.  Yeah, he can buy more items, but Rumble has his largest powerspikes off of flat magic penetration, which are the items that he gets first.  After that, it’s a desperate game to try to close out the match before you get outscaled and lose.

Well, even if Rumble gets behind like in these games, it’s still possible to turn around fights with how massive his ult is.  What this requires is either the enemy team to be positioned terribly, like in a choke point in the jungle (unlikely), or have a tank of some sort lockdown the enemy team (the usual case).

Tanks and CC

A metagolem build, courtesy of Itmetal
In neither of these games was there a tank on the side of the Rumble.  Tanks come out of three positions: top, jungle, or support.  In Game 2, with Rumble top, Kha jungle, and Zyra support, while Zyra provides some crowd control with her snare and AOE knockup with her ult, both of those abilities are slow and extremely telegraphed, meaning that usually it doesn’t land.  Then there’s Ashe’s ult, which can stun one person.  Using Rumble’s ult for just one person is rather a waste of its potential.  In Game 3, with Rumble top, Kha jungle, and Zyra support, there’s literally no difference.  There’s a Jhin this time around for some CC with the snare and the slow with the ult, and an Ekko for the extremely slow, telegraphed AOE stun, but that isn’t gonna help much either.

The reason for that is that though they might land some spells, there’s no one with low cooldown hard CC, in order to keep people there and at bay from the rest of the team, or at least to eat a lot of damage while the rest of the team harasses from a distance and waits for cooldowns.  I watched a lot of games, mostly from last split when Rumble was popular as well, in order to understand how the Rumble pick just abysmally failed in this set.  You should check some of them out too if you head over to /r/LoLEventVods so that you can see that most of the time, when there’s a Rumble on a winning team especially a team winning later on in the game, there’s also a tank of some sort being played.

Have you ever had a game where your team comp was just completely mixed up while you were doing Flex 5s?  Yasuo with no other knock-ups, Sivir with a poke team, Blitz into Darius and Leona?  I know I have – why don’t you tell some of yours in the comments!