Since the OPL has switched from a Bo1 to a Bo3 format, drafting has become more of a factor in sets. Due to this change I have decided to start a weekly write-up that covers everything in the mind of Legacy prior and during the OPL games in regards to drafting and champion prioritisation. The good side is that this lets you guys know whats going on behind the scenes but it also opens up on our thought process which means feedback can be openly received; allowing myself and Legacy as a whole to improve.
However, the downside is that it exposes teams weaknesses to the public which isn’t necessarily a bad thing overall but some may consider it bad mannered or take it in the wrong light. Everything said about players in regards to skill/champion pools isn’t an attack on the player, but a judgement based on information and instead should be used as a reason to learn and improve. I will not include any specific instances from scrims for obvious reasons.
AV have an interesting line-up with strong players across the board, their strongest point is that they have carries in all 3 roles; all 3 of them have the ability to carry and will do so if given the opportunity. Their weak point is their champion pools. Why is this a big problem? Because all 3 of their possible carries have weak pools and this can be exploited.
While most of this is based on Solo Queue statistics and general knowledge of players as well as AV’s last game played against Hellions. Some of this could be false assumptions on players.
Malaz does not know how to play Gangplank and Lissandra and prefers tanky top laners such as Poppy, Malphite and Tahm (especially). Although he knows how to play Ryze which is a factor to include into the draft.
Wrekt plays assassins primarily; we did not know much about him besides the fact that he does not know how to play Gangplank to a high level(not banning it was planned) and because of Malaz not playing Lissandra; a flex could not occur here. We did not know of his Ryze.
Finally, Destiny, has exclusively played Lucian, we assumed he knows how to play Ezreal as well as Kalista, but we ruled anything like Kog’maw out of the draft for them. Their botlane skill level and champion picks were a non factor throughout the entire drafting phase (soz destiny ❤).
Because of three of their players being relatively new to the OPL, their champion pools suffered, our plan was to exploit this and to win via drafting. Bans were pretty standard in the first game besides the fact that THREE (Lissandra, Lulu, Gangplank) were still up after ban phase ended. Because of us being red side we thought we got the better end of the stick.
I have seen some people criticise the fact that we picked Lulu/Liss (because they were pressured into picking Gangplank away from us even though we knew Wrekt was not an accomplished player on it). We did not feel the need to use those picks as ‘true flex picks’. We knew from the first 2 picks a Kog’maw comp would be played (as we have been practicing) and because of the fact that Malaz cannot play Gangplank, we knew it was going mid. So really we only sacrificed a top counterpick, not a mid and top counterpick (Lulu is fine into Gangplank).
In my opinion, with us receiving our two most comfort picks and their first pick being a not-so comfortable pick, we had won. We went in with the idea that if we had an even/better draft than them we would win; we got everything we wanted in just the first rotation. Their other picks did not matter, the Poppy flex tricked us but ended up being useless and their Zac pick did not matter against Trundle (reason why he was picked is because he has insane peel and can stop his jump). We knew Destiny would play Lucian but past 2 item kog it would not matter. Rek’sai, a failsafe tank jungler was picked and so was Kog, all we had to do was be even or ahead at 25 or so minutes and we would win team fights naturally and eventually the game (as they had no split push pressure, Malaz’ champ pool does not allow for that, no Fiora etc.)
This one was a bit different, we wanted Ryze as first pick as both a strong first pick and a strong counter pick, and we knew they had to ban Gangplank or give it to us as they most likely would not have picked it again after the first game. Due to how the bans went and us manipulating the amount of ‘OP’ champions we were able to create a scenario where we could first pick Ryze, deny them any similar OP champions like Lulu, and always have the Gangplank in the back pocket.
I specifically told the team not to worry about Blindturkey’s Alistar as I did not respect it (Alistar is harder than most people think, and is more of a decision making champion than a mechanically intensive one, however Blindturkey played it well and k1ng disrepected it). They picked Alistar first rotation as he is a strong pick into Ryze and in general and Elise(?). Once again I feel like the drafting phase was already won. We received 1 or 2 OP champions and they received 1 (but not respected like Wrekt’s Gangplank). As we always wanted Gangplank we picked a faceroll bot lane that would 99% win (which we did initially but screwed up later on which caused the game to be a bit more sloppy and increased in duration) and Rek’sai just as a strong, tank jungler. They picked Lucian (100% pick rate cmon destiny) and LeBlanc, we knew at this point, like last game, if we made it to 25 or so minutes even or ahead, we would naturally win based on draft.
While this isn’t EVERY thought or consideration that went into the draft it is just a brief summary so some people can get an idea of what we did tonight. If anyone has any recommendations or advice/constructive criticism, I am very open and receptive to it, and would love to hear your opinion!
On a final note, I wasn’t very impressed with my play in the early game for both games, playing overly-aggressive when I did not need to and trying to push advantages too hard. However this has all been noted and will be improved upon for next weeks game against Hellions.
(I did not proof read this, so I am sorry in advance for grammatical or spelling errors).