Over Staying their Welcome
Learning to pull the trigger on a play is an essential part of any strategy, learning to back-off, however, is just as important. Over staying after securing an objective or kill can be dangerous and most of the time fatal. Such was the case for KT Rolster when they faced-off against MVP. KT started the series dominantly, showing the world why they were worthy adversaries of SKT by repeatedly out playing MVP, catching them off guard and turning fights into their favor. However, despite their mechanical prowess, KT repeatedly made devastating mistakes that cost them the series – over staying their welcome. Resetting the map after a big fight or after securing an objective is essential in ensuring that the enemy can’t get a return kill or map control. Failure to reset the map can open opportunities for the enemy to get back into the game after losing a fight.
KT vs MVP Game 1
To illustrate this, let’s look at KT rolster’s first game against MVP. 23 minutes into the game, an infernal drake spawned and both teams started setting up to capture the drake. However, MVP’s jungler Beyond on Elise makes a crucial blunder, walking around the bottom side of the dragon pit, away from his team. Seeing Elise alone, KT immediately jumps on him and secures the kill a few seconds later. Without their jungler, MVP was forced back while KT took the infernal drake.
Then, spotting MVP’s support Max on a ward, KT’s Deft on Ashe, immediately fires an enchanted crystal arrow, hitting Max easily. KT’s Pawn and Score then follow up with realm warp from Ryze and Leap from Kha’zix to make easy work of Max. Within 22 seconds, KT was able to secure 2 kills and an infernal drake, which is more than enough objectives to warrant a reset especially with baron up. However, KT refused to back-off and went after MVP Ian’s Syndra who was fleeing into MVP’s blue side jungle and this was where things started to go wrong for KT.
In hopes of cutting Ian off, KT’s Smeb teleported into a ward, immediately popped Dominus and began his chase unto Ian who retreated in front of the wolf camp. With nowhere to go, Ian was forced to flash the incoming dash from Smeb’s Renekton but not before using unleashed power on Smeb. Ian follows up with scatter the weak and dark sphere to secure the kill on Smeb. Now, KT was the one on the run, unfortunately for them, Pawn was also caught by Syndra’s stun, giving MVP’s ADD on Camille more than enough time to hookshot/wall dive his way into Pawn’s face, locking him up with hextech ultimatum while MVP’s Maha on Jhin feeds him bullets with curtain call. With Pawn dead, MVP then chases the remaining members of KT forcing out a flash from Deft and an ultimate from Score but unlike KT, MVP immediately backed-off into the baron pit after securing the advantages they needed. With two members down and Score chunked out, KT was not able to contest MVP as they take away the baron. With this, KT essentially gave away their four thousand gold lead and more importantly, the tempo of the game to MVP, allowing MVP to crawl back into the game.
This same mistake continued on to game 2 where KT simply did not respect MVP’s ability to punish them hard. Through-out game 2, KT simply went to dive MVP under turrets not respecting the damage MVP can dish out especially with Kog’maw and Brand, thus giving away one or two kills in exchange. Nonetheless, KT still managed to eke away a 4 thousand gold lead with 13 kills by 21 minutes. However, like the previous match, KT makes the mistake of staying way past their curfew inside MVP’s territory. 21 minutes in, KT manages to catch Maha at Max inside MVP blue side jungle. Smeb drops his equalizer on top of Maha while Deft locks Max up with deadly Flourish. Score jumps in with thrill of the hunt to secure the two kills. KT then rotates to the mid lane and takes the outer turret along with Ian after Pawn flashes forward to lock him up with rune prison. Within less than a minute, KT has propelled themselves to a six thousand gold lead over MVP. However, KT refuses to respect MVP’s ability to retaliate when Smeb and Mata chose to take the raptor camp away from Beyond. Unknown to them, Beyond and ADD are already laying down an ambush. Beyond uses leap to surprise Smeb while ADD wall dives to stun Mata then weaves an auto attack to Smeb. Mata tries to save Smeb by using devour but ADD slows him down with tactical sweep and locks him up with hextech ultimatum. With nowhere to go, Mata spits out Smeb who tries to kill beyond by using flame spitter then zhonyas hourglass to buy some time, however, Beyond was able to flash away while ADD secures the kill on Smeb. With Smeb dying to ADD, KT traded two kills for the raptor camp simply because they didn’t back-off earlier.
League of Legends is all about team work. With five players on every team, each team has an array of 60 unique skills that can be allocated for any objective the team deems worth the trade. Choosing which objectives are worth taking, as well as which cooldowns are worth trading it for are important considerations a team has to make before committing. KT Rolster, however, seemed to forgot the latter of the two.
Consider the game ending team fight during game 1 against MVP. MVP was sieging the tier two mid turret, however, with no minions to tank the turret, MVP was forced to retreat. KT took this opportunity to open up on MVP with Deft firing his enchanted crystal arrow while Pawn and Smeb channeled the realm warp from the cover of the fog of war. The arrow hits Max and as soon as they arrive, Smeb uses cull to meek on Max while Pawn uses rune prison on Ian. With this engagement, KT has used all of their initiation tools as well as all their hard crowd control, the majority of which landed on Max, who was more than happy to receive all of them and still flash away easily.
MVP however, only used Ian’s dark sphere and scatter the weak and Max’s tongue lash and flash to disengage. With no more gap closers, crowd control and engagement tools, KT were sitting ducks to MVP’s re-engage. MVP opens up with Mata’s deadly flourish followed by Beyond’s Cocoon to lock up Smeb. Ian uses dark sphere and force of will to slow down Pawn while Maha starts the curtain call. Maha feeds the first shot of curtain call to Pawn, slowing him down for Ian to land a dark sphere – scatter the weak combo, stunning him. Maha proceeds to fire at Deft’s fleeing ashe, hitting her square in the face. As Deft continued to run, Smeb, who was in front of him, triggers a lotus trap. Fearing the damage from captive audience, Smeb and Deft veer to the left side where Maha was able to fire the final shot of curtain call cleanly through Pawn, who activated zhonyas hourglass to avoid damge, hitting Deft cleanly, making him explode with 1208 critical strike damage.
MVP proceeds to clean up Pawn right after he exits status with Ian, Beyond, ADD and Max making quick work of him. MVP proceeds to the turret, chipping away its health. ADD uses the turret as a target for hook shot, then wall dives straight into Score who tried to retreat to the safety of their inhibitor turret. However, ADD still has his ultimate, hextech ultimatum and locks up Score, making any chance of escape futile. With the rest of MVP dishing out damage, Score falls immediately, as well as the tier two turret. With everyone dead except Mata and Smeb, MVP went and destroyed the turret and inhibitor, with ADD wall diving to kill Mata. Smeb as the lone defender was not able to do anything against the siege MVP brought upon the nexus turrets and eventually the turrets.
Had KT allocated their resources properly, piling unto Ian’s Syndra instead of Max’s Tahm Kench, or using their engagement tool one at a time, that team fight could have gone very differently. Moreover, had KT allocated more resources on getting out instead of going in, then they may have survived the re-engage from MVP.
Tunnel vision is a common mistake for teams around the world. It happens when a team becomes too focused on something that they lose track of what is happening around them. An example of this is when you fail to look at your mini map when you are busy trading autos with the opponent. For KT rolster however, their tunnel vision came at a huge cost – the match and more importantly, the series.
Taking a look at KT Rolster 23 minutes into game two against MVP, KT had the perfect set up around MVP’s red side jungle. Vision control was denied from MVP, who were forced to back off after KT’s Score started thrill of the hunt. Catching MVP at a choke point, KT uses Pawn’s realm warp to deliver 3 members into MVP’s fleeing pack while Deft slowed them down with curtain call. Beyond and Max quickly fell as Smeb laid down the red carpet with equalizer and Pawn shoots over load after over load with Score securing the kill with battle roar.
With two members of MVP gone, Pawn, Score and Smeb turn their attention to the next prey on the table, MVP’s Maha on Kog’maw who was trying to kite away into the base. Pawn uses exhaust to try and slow down Maha but Maha flashes over the wall into the safety of his base. With the turret comfortably in between him and his enemies, Maha activates bio-arcane barrage to poke down Pawn and Smeb, weaving a shot from living artillery in between every auto. With four of KT diving in, they fail to notice Ian’s Jayce and ADD’s Camille murdering Deft in the backline, locking him up with hextech ultimatum and knocking him away with thundering blows. A few auto attacks later, Deft falls alongside Mata. With the death of Deft and Mata, Ian and ADD were free to close in on the remaining members of KT, all them desperately trying to flee the damage Kog’maw was dishing out. Pawn falls to one last living artillery shot, while Score falls to ADD’s tactical sweep after flashing to gain distance. With Smeb as the lone survivor, MVP easily sends him back to the fountain after a successful wall dive from ADD to stun him up. With nobody to contest, MVP was able to secure the baron after take the mid outer turret.
Looking back, MVP was able to turn the fight around thanks to KT focusing too much on killing Maha, failing to recognize the danger Deft faced all alone in the back line. If KT was able to back up Deft before he went down, KT would not have lost a major part of their damage and would have had enough to deal with MVP’s remaining members and prevent them from taking baron because the only reason Maha was able to walk back into the fight was because the threat from Deft’s long range auto attacks were gone.
As MVP hammer down the remaining of KT’s nexus, KT is faced with the daunting fact. With barely a week before they face the greatest opponent of their entire career, they have a lot of work to do before they can even say they’re ready to face SKT. KT better use their vacation properly, work to cover their weaknesses and prepare an array of game plans, because as they return to the rift, the gods of League of Legends will be there, definitely ready to face their adversaries, and only time will tell who will come out victorious.
With uncertainties plaguing the Top Tier teams in the world, one thing is for certain, as both teams battle it out, as first blood spills into the rift, as bodies fall to the ground and as the nexus shatters into a million pieces – the world will be watching.