On paper, everyone knew that Immortals would be a strong team. The Korean dynamic duo of Huni and Reignover, long-time NA regular Pobelter, former TSM AD carry, Wildturtle, and support Adrian from Team Impulse all made for an impressive looking roster, but nobody expected them to dominate the competition as decisively as they did. They finished the split with a 17-1 score, making them the most successful team in NA LCS history, whilst topping the charts in many statistics with an impressive team KDA of 2.1 and all of their players having a KDA of 5+. They play fast games and tend to win by large margins. To break down IMT’s success, you have to start with Reignover. The former Fnatic rookie started his pro career alongside Huni a little over a year ago and has been praised ever since his debut for his calculated aggression and high pressure gameplay. He uses his game knowledge and mechanical prowess to gain an advantage over his opponent often totally shutting them out of the game. One of the most impressive things about his play is his aggressive moves rarely set him behind in farm and he often out-farms and out-pressures the enemy jungler. Reignover tops the charts in CS differential at 10 and 20 minutes as well as the chart for damage as a jungler. The damage stat is particularly impressive when you consider that he mostly plays tanks, and usually prioritises a warding smite upgrade. His synergy with Huni is also worth mentioning and is a large part of why Immortals have been so successful this split. During his early Fnatic days, Reignover would camp Huni’s lane, allowing him to gain a large advantage which he would extend to other lanes. The pair work together very cohesively making up a strong 2 man unit. Traditionally, Reignover opts towards tanky junglers in order to facilitate as his team’s primary engage, as Huni and Adrian rare play tanks. For this reason his most played junglers have been Rek Sai and Gragas. These champions allow him to make plays for the team, often flashing for Rek Sai engages that Huni and the rest of the team invariably follow up on. Huni is the second piece of the puzzle. The fan favourite toplaner has become somewhat of a superstar since his debut on Fnatic due to his flashy aggressive style, and quirky, fun personality. In the past, his aggression has occasionally landed him in trouble, but this split because he has Adrian, Reignover and Pobelter covering his back, he has been allowed to thrive. When it comes to stats, it is very hard to argue against Huni being the best toplaner in NA as he tops the charts in CS differential at 10 (13.1), kills(69), and damage per minute (610). He has also scored not one, but two Pentakills this split, on two of his current favourite champions, Quinn and Ekko, and has a wide pool of carry champions at his disposal. He’s also never afraid to bring out pocket picks to the table when he believes they will land him a good matchup, such as his Cho Gath, Yasuo, and Jarvan. In the beginning of his career, Huni made his name on Rumble and Hecarim, and more recently at the World Championships he showed his mechanical skill on Riven and Fiora. This season he’s played 9 different champions, with his most played being Quinn. Unfortunately for Huni, Quinn has fallen out of favour in the toplane, with the meta shifting towards tanks and away from Huni’s playstyle. Toplane will be an interesting lane to watch in this series as Huni is a tough player to predict, both in champion select and in-game. In the midlane, we have Pobelter. Pobelter is a player who spent the first half of his career being shunted from struggling team to struggling team, until finally finding his break on CLG last split, making it all the way to the World Championships. His play-style is mostly that of a facilitator and supportive midlaner, favouring high peel champions, such as Lux and Lulu, or map pressure champions, such as Twisted Fate and Corki which IMT use to create a numbers advantage in fights. He has been a solid performer for the team, always ready to follow up on engages and make plays for his team when needed. He has the highest KDA amongst midlaners due to playing safe in lane and rarely making risky decisions. Coming into Immortals, AD carry Wildturtle had the most to prove. After a disappointing performance by TSM at Worlds ending with several of their players retiring, there were rumours of Turtle also stepping down from professional play, especially considering the criticism he came under last season for his play. When Doublelift was announced as the starting AD carry for TSM, Turtle chose to make himself a free agent, and was quickly picked up by IMT and has looked like a completely different player on his new team. He plays with confidence and purpose and looks like he might have finally found a team environment that suits his style. This split, he has the highest number of kills for any player in the NA LCS (104), and the second fewest deaths (31) amongst AD carries resulting in an impressive 7.0 KDA ratio for the regular season. Couple this with the fact that he also leads the damage charts, with 674 DMP, it’s hard to argue that Turtle hasn’t had the most successful split of his career. He usually falls slightly behind in CS in lane with an average 0.6 behind his opponent at 10 minutes, but Turtle has never been a lane dominant player instead relying on his team-fight positioning mechanics in team-fights to make his impact. Before the season started, there was a lot of buzz around the IMT line-up, with everyone talking about Huni, Reignover, Turtle and Pobelter as big pickups, Adrian fell by the wayside. Coming from TIP, Adrian’s peel heavy supportive style often went under the radar as Rush and Impact were the star players of the team. This season however, Adrian has really come into his own as one of the best peel style supports in NA. He has played most of his games on Janna and Soraka, who are the perfect champions for IMT, as Huni and Wildturtle have aggressive tendencies which their members are there to facilitate. Adrian has had an impressive split, and many MVP performances with the highest KDA (8.2) of all starters in NA which is particularly impressive considering he only has 5 kills to his name (The second least for all starters). Semi-Final Keys to Success IMT come into the semi-finals as strong favourites against TSM, who despite having a strong showing against Cloud 9 last weekend, have struggled for much of the regular season. If they stick to their play style, they should be able to beat TSM, and there are several key areas which they should look to to accomplish this. Midlane Midlane is without a doubt Team Solomid’s biggest asset. However, Bjergsen and Pobelter have vastly different play-styles with Bjergsen being a lane dominant player who can take over games, and Pobelter being a safe facilitator for the big carries in his team. Pobelter also has a lot of pressure around the map and seems to always be about for his team when they need him. Twisted Fate is a champion which enables him to do this effectively, especially as it proved to be a champion which TSM struggled to deal with in their quarterfinal match against Cloud 9. Pressure This brings us to our next point. TSM have always struggled to deal with multiple points of pressure and crumble when forced into making big decisions involving global ultimate and splitpush. Given Huni and Pobelter’s champion pools, they should be able to accomplish this and force TSM into disarray. Stick to the plan IMT have rarely had to deviate from their core setup this season which usually consists of Adrian on a ranged support and Huni on a carry. Reignover tends to tank for Huni and get him ahead where he transitions his leads, either into map pressure, or into other lanes. Against TSM there should be little standing in their way of keeping to this strategy. As for champions in the toplane given the current tank meta, I expect Ekko to be a priority for Huni, as he has found a lot of success on this champion and Tank Ekko is seen by some as an answer to a lot of the metas toplane tanks that Hauntzer has tended towards. Either that or Huni will surprise us with another new pick. Toplane Azir? Full AD Jarvan? Who knows! Prediction This will be an interesting series to watch, considering that Huni, Reignover, Wildturtle and Pobelter will all be playing against their former team-mates, however I predict that IMT will win this series 3-0 and go on to face the winner of CLG vs. Team Liquid in the NA LCS finals.