No NA team has faced more changes in the 2016/17 split than Immortals. After a seventh-place finish in the spring split, the young team must work hard to climb back to a top-three position which they held one year ago. We will discuss their big wins and losses, play style and statistics, top performer(s), and what they must do to succeed.
Immortals finished a tough season with a record of 8-10, falling just one match win behind both Dignitas and FlyQuest at 9-9 for a playoff spot. While Immortals did not perform to the same level as their 2016 summer split, key events this season would suggest that the new team, with only Pobelter returning, will have a strong chance of placing top 4 in the summer split.
Week Six saw Immortals drop two attainable victories to Team Liquid (TL wins 2-1) and Team EnVyUs (NV wins 2-1). To be clear, this was before Doublelift was transferred to Team Liquid, which makes the loss even more detrimental. With those two wins, Immortals would have finished with a 10-8 record and would be fighting CLG for the 4th place spot.
From February onward, Immortals proved that they could battle with the best of NA, defeating FlyQuest 2-0 in Week 7, C9 2-1 in Week 8, and CLG 2-0 in Week 9. In all three of these games, Immortals developed a steady gold lead early and managed to maintain their lead.
Immortals love to push the envelope. This largely revolves around setting up Pobelter in the early game to carry the squad as seen below.
To develop a lead, Immortals often rely on Dardoch’s aggressive early pressure as a snowballing tool. Similarly, if Pobelter is not able to develop a lead early (or worse, falls behind), the enemy mid and jungle work together to shut Dardoch down as seen below.
Why did this all happen?
In 2016, Immortals rode their momentum all the way to the summer split semifinals – so what happened? Immortals lost four of their five team members, with WildTurtle heading back to TSM, Huni back to SKT T1, Reignover to Team Liquid, and Adrian to Phoenix 1. With only Pobelter remaining, Immortals rebuilt with two “imports” and two NALCS players.
This is likely why we saw Immortals struggle early in the split, and turn up the volume from February onwards. The team simply did not have enough time to develop into a cohesive unit, especially with how long it takes to integrate a foreign player thanks to a language barrier.
Player Stats: Immortals vs CLG
– Best Kill Participation: Dardoch, followed by Huhi
– Best KDA: Cody Sun, followed by Olleh
– CS Per minute: Cody Sun, followed by Pobelter
Statistically, Immortals had decent bottom lane synergy and a jungler with high kill participation. While Flame does not statistically hold up in comparison to Darshan, early top lane pressure from IMT’s Dardoch resulted in Flame taking control of the top lane 9/10 times.
Immortals Top Performer
This is a difficult question to answer because Dardoch might be too volatile to place him at the top. We could post multiple montages of Pobelter putting the team on his back during the Spring Split, and an analysis of Week 8’s loss to C9 shows how integral he is to the team.
In game two of that series, Pobelter was forced onto Vladimir and was easily pushed in by C9’s Jensen on Orianna. That left bottom side jungle without a ward and Contractz was able to sneak into Dardoch’s jungle and kill him at red buff. Watch below.
Because Immortals rely on Pobelter to carry, a 0-2 mid and jungle can execute a dive that results in a poor 1 for 1 trade. Now that everyone and their mother knows that Pobelter is a key component to Immortal’s success (and failure), what can they do to diversify their win conditions?
Immortals need to improve on their group cohesion, while reducing the amount of risky early game plays which often put them behind. With strong competition in the bottom lane against an inexperienced Cody Sun, Dardoch should continue to stay aggressive, keeping in mind the threat of a counter gank. There is no denying that Immortals are going to lose matches to superior opponents in the future; it’s the silly losses to average teams caused by poor jungle pathing by both Dardoch and the team which MUST be improved upon. In short, Immortals have a solid chance of being a top four team in the NA LCS summer split.
What are your thoughts? Discuss in the comments below!