Bans and Picks
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It was hard to tell exactly where Incredible Miracle stood in the Korean scene after their dismantling of CJ Entus in the 5th place tiebreaker for the Korean Regionals. Their performance in Azubu The Champions Summer was very underwhelming only beating MVP Blue while losing to both Counter Logic Gaming teams. However, there was a lot of promise on the team with a Lilac and their recent addition of Mid King. CJ Entus didn't fare all that much better in the summer tournament, losing all three games including one against now defunct Natus Vincere. NaJin Sword is newer in the scene but showed great results with the top 3 finish in the summer tournament beating teams like: Startale, Dignitas, and Azubu Blaze.
Incredible Miracle started out strong with a great performance from Ring and Cornsalad. Sword tried to stay in the game through taking a couple towers and dragon early but the teamfight of Incredible Miracle was just too much to handle. The late game of Cornsalad combined with the amazing initiation of Alistar and Lulu all but locked down Sword. Incredible Miracle took a 1-0 lead on the favorite NaJin Sword.
The rest of the games weren't nearly as good as Incredible Miracle as MaKNooN became a true terror.
After game 1, NaJin Sword started banning Vladimir which meant that MidKing would have access to Ahri but that ended up being a non-factor. Over the next three games, NaJin Sword was able to get Ezreal and Maokai combined with high crowd control supports like Leona, Zyra, and Sona. Incredible Miracle never provided an answer for what was destroying them in games 2, 3, and 4. In every game they decided to ban split pushers, Nidalee and Shen, and Orianna. They were obviously afraid of MaKNooN's split pushing but his team fight bruiser and initiation champions were just as big of a threat.
In game 2, Incredible Miracle went after an effective initiation strategy with Nocturne's Paranoia into Lulu's Wild Growth but that was not enough. The strategy did not turn out to be as great as it would seem. Ring's build was interesting to say the least with an Avarice Blade but not into a Youmuu's Ghostblade. The game really came down to going too long. Ssong got way too strong and couldn't be dealt with, Ring would initiate but melt almost instantly to Paragon and Ssong. Sword initiated much better than IM with the Lilac's Crescendo followed up with an untouched Ezreal that destroyed all of IM.
Ring's Build on Nocturne
Ssong's Build on Karthus
Ssong's build focused on mana regen early to take Wraiths
In game 3, MaKNooN decided to play AP Rengar and it seemed as if IM had no response for it. AP Rengar usually falls off but the way MaKNooN played him made him powerful the entire game. Build by MaKNooN:
Since all of Rengar's ability power damage comes from his Battle Roar and the Deathfire Grasp, he had to find a way to do damage in the late game. The Abyssal Scepter reduced the magic resist of all enemy champions allowing the Haunting Guise to do that much more work with Battle Roar. The pressure that MaKNooN was able to put on everyone with his sneaky combo allowed his teammates to get to the late game they needed.
In game 4, NaJin Sword got out to a really quick lead feeding PraY enough to get him a The Bloodthirster and Phage before 15 minutes. Ssong on Ryze and PraY drowned Incredible Miracle in a snowball that became an avalanche. The guest commentator and professional AD Carry, Locodoco, commented on how Ring was behind all game because he took too long waiting for a gank to pan out in the top lane. WatcH got way ahead of his counterpart and MaKNooN stayed on par with Cornsalad, so the failed gank probably ended up costing IM the game or at least costed them a closer game.
NaJin Sword goes on to face Xenics Storm in the next round of the Korean Regionals gauntlet on Wednesday, September, 19th at 6:30 AM EST. The two will play to face Azubu Blaze for the chance to represent Korea in the Season 2 World Championships.