March 30, 2021, 6:19 PM

MAD Lions upsets Rogue, advances to LEC Semifinals

MAD Lions upsets Rogue, advances to LEC Semifinals
MAD Lions on stage after their win versus Rogue in the LEC Spring Playoffs. Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games.
By Jorge Pedraz
Filed Under
After a thrilling series in the LEC Playoffs, MAD Lions came back after losing the first map to beat Rogue in four games and will face G2 Esports next Saturday in the Winners’ Bracket Semifinal..
MAD Lions were the underdogs with a 1963 TrackLoL Team Rating (TTR) against the clearly favored Rogue with a 2639 TTR. Rogue had a 2-0 in the Regular Season versus MAD Lions and were, on paper, the biggest candidates to defeat G2 in this Spring Split.
After this weekend, nothing is clear. MAD Lions have beaten Rogue, and G2 almost threw away their 5-game series against Schalke 04 even after leading 2-0.
If you haven’t watched the most thrilling series of the weekend or if you wanna recap the best moments, you can’t miss this game-by-game breakdown that starts now:

Game 1: Rogue shows their playstyle

The draft was one of the keys to the whole series. In their last game of the Regular Season, Rogue tried a bot lane composed of a fasting Senna and Cho’Gath versus Fnatic. They wanted to repeat the same plan in game 1 versus MAD Lions. They used their first two picks on those champions.
But MAD Lions had an answer: Jinx + Thresh. It makes a lot of sense: Jinx is one of the few ADCs who can match Senna’s range and scaling abilities. Thresh provides the mobility that Jinx lacks and a hook on Cho’Gath can be deadly.
The draft was completed with Jayce, Udyr and Azir for Rogue and Malphite, Volibear and Orianna for MAD Lions:
After swaps (Azir and Jayce were swapped later):
Game 1 couldn’t be more Rogue-ish, as we analyzed in this article. Rogue like to set an early gold lead and use their macro game to create plays where they get more gold than their rivals.
In this one, Jayce wins the priority (prio) against Malphite, Azir does so against Orianna and the Senna-Cho’Gath losing lane got the advantage after a flash + Feast (R) by Cho’Gath gave him the first blood.
The prio won by the pushing lanes made them get some plates that established a 2.8K gold difference at minute 13 and an increasing percentage in our TrackLoL win probability model:
At minute 20, the gold difference was noticeable in every lane but the bot lane. And that is something that we should highlight for future games: MAD Lions decided to play around the bot lane.
The infernal soul was one of the win conditions for MAD Lions as they were leading 2 drakes to 1. But right before the fourth drake, they spot Odoamne on Jayce badly positioned. They try to go for a pick committing Thresh Q + R, but a key flash from Odoamne along flash + R from Trymbi on Cho’Gath to get Elyoya on Volibear before he uses his Stormbringer (R) saves him.
Orianna’s shockwave is not enough to finish him and from that point, the fight is doomed. Carzzy on Jinx flashes away but meets Lightning McQueen (Udyr) and Larssen on Azir, who dashes forward and flashes with the Emperor’s Divide to get MAD Lions’ carry.
Take a look at the decisive game-ending team fight:

Game 2: MAD Lions stick to the plan

It was the MAD Lions turn to select sides, and they went for the red side again. One more time, MAD Lions left the Senna open and trusted their plan with Jinx-Thresh, this time it will work.
Draft:
After swaps:
Thresh hooked Cho’Gath granting MAD Lions the first blood in the 2v2 and an early gank from Elyoya on Volibear in the bot side put MAD Lions ahead with 2 kills and a farm advantage for that Jinx.
At minute 8, we find the key play of the early game. Larssen (Azir) has mid lane priority and rotates with Inspired (Graves) to invade Elyoya’s (Volibear) red buff. Inspired finds a ward at an opportune time and gets level 6 after removing it. The advantage is clear so Larssen dashes forward and uses the Emperor’s Divide and flash to move Elyoya into Inspired who tries to finish him, but Elyoya smites the red buff/ This buys time for his team to come to the play:
Take a look now at the play-changing moment. Elyoya is so close to getting level 6 that he moves away from the fight, takes out that ward and reaches 6 unlocking the Stormbringer that will turn the fight to MAD Lions’ side:
It meant a 3x0 and a 2K gold lead for MAD Lions at minute 8:
After a 3x0 for Rogue in the bot lane, the game was again even until Elyoya uses the speed from the Turbo Chemtank plus his R and his Q to find the perfect engage into Inspired, meanwhile, his team puts the mid tower down that allowed Carzzy on Jinx to get 900 gold in that single play:
What did that 900 gold mean for Jinx?
She could complete the Infinity Edge. And how can that be translated into a team fight? If you are well-positioned and your team protects you this is what happens:
Jinx dealt more damage than all Rogue members combined.
Here’s the Baron fight that decided game 2:
That fight was well-tracked by our win probability model that clearly favored MAD Lions from that fight at minute 22:

Game 3: It’s all about Kaiser

Spoiler alert: we will not see Jinx anymore. After what happened in game 2, she was banned twice by Rogue. MAD Lions, in response, banned Senna since they didn’t have a proper answer without the Jinx.
In game 3, we saw Hecarim for the first time for Inspired, and a big change in the bot lanes, Kai’Sa-Vayne was the ADC matchup but the biggest difference came in the supports as Kaiser on Alistar outshined Trymbi on Rakan.
Draft:
After swaps:
After a pretty even early game trading kills here and there, Larssen on Azir overextends, and Kaiser recognizes it. There was good communication as Armut immediately comes to the call with Elyoya, and MAD Lions get a 3x0.
The game was over at minute 22, where a good looking team fight for Rogue after a good Rakan engage coordinated with Sion’s Q, Humanoid on Orianna teleports back into the fight, comes from the back, and lands a shockwave into Hans sama on Kai’Sa finishing off Rogue’s hopes:
Rogue gets aced, MAD Lions get Baron, and the game was over as our model reflected:

Game 4: The comeback

Rogue first-picked an AD mid laner in Lucian plus the always-strong Aphelios-Thresh combo.
Rogue needed some AP damage to balance the composition, so MAD Lions went for a Kennen ban.
There was the option of banning Nidalee too and leave few chances for the jungle (Lillia was picked by MAD Lions) and top to pick AP champions but, in the end, Nidalee was open and MAD Lions were punished for that.
Draft:
After the swaps:
At minute 16, things looked pretty bad for MAD Lions:
Hans sama on Aphelios was 5/0/2 and big item advantage over Carzzy on Kai’Sa. Inspired (Rogue’s source of AP damage) was 3/0/2 and had his mythic item completed.
The win probability model was not optimistic for MAD Lions at minute 16 either:
The gold lead was huge, reaching 6300 at that point.
However, unlike what we are used to seeing from Rogue, the difference will not get any bigger.
MAD Lions knew that their way to come back was the shutdowns. Larssen on Lucian, Aphelios, and Nidalee were the shutdowns’ target, and MAD Lions were confident they could get them.
And they came with a price. Rogue gets the infernal soul but MAD Lions get two of the shutdowns. Carzzy gets two kills and a big shutdown on Aphelios, granting him 1300 gold and Armut on Urgot gets the other one on Lucian plus another extra kill, instant 900 gold.
That gold into MAD Lions’ pockets translates into the completion of an Infinity Edge for Kai’Sa and a Randuin’s Omen for Urgot that will help him a lot against Aphelios.
A few minutes later, Lucian pushes the side lane and Humanoid and Armut instantly see the play. Look how they ping it in the minimap:
Lucian gets caught as the rest of Rogue are rotating to help him. MAD Lions bot lane were also moving with Elyoya and the play results in an ace and a Nashor for MAD Lions:
They flawlessly control the game, getting the elder dragon and another Baron Nashor to finish off the series.

Sum up and what’s next

MAD Lions managed to put on a clinic against one of the biggest contenders for the LEC Spring Split title. Carzzy and Humanoid both stepped up and had better performances than they used to during the Regular Season. But the biggest winners of the series are Armut, Elyoya, and Kaiser.
Armut was facing the best top laner of the Split so far and one of the strongest candidates for the MVP award, Odoamne. He was solid with Malphite, great with his comfort pick, Wukong and carried with Aatrox and especially with the Urgot in the last game.
Elyoya continues shocking everyone in his rookie year. Absolutely no one should be surprised if the Spaniard gets the Rookie of the Year award as we analyzed back in the middle of the Split. He had one of the toughest matchups against Inspired and yet he never fell behind, he picked Volibear 3 times and Lillia once, providing key engages and lots of utility for his team as well as carrying with the bear in game 3.
Kaiser was named the MVP of the series for a reason. Picking Thresh two times and Alistar the other two, he looked flawless. His rotations and map control, his plays hooking without any vision and his enormous participation in team fights with insane Alistar Knockups made him the most valuable player of the MAD Lions.
This MAD Lions roster is indeed scary. They are bold, not afraid of going for plays and they are all on the same page. Usually, the players get all the credit, but the role of Mac and the whole coaching staff adapting the team to the two new rookies is crucial.
MAD Lions already managed to beat G2 during the Regular Season, will they do it again in a best-of-5 series like they did last year in the Spring Playoffs first round?
Follow all the action with us on Saturday at 11 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. PST, 5 p.m. CET.
On the other side, Rogue will face the winner of Friday’s Fnatic vs Schalke 04 on Sunday at 11 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. PST, 5 p.m. CET in a win-or-go-home series.
This weekend was an absolute banger, next weekend looks even better. Stay tuned and enjoy the Playoffs!

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