June 14, 2021, 1:17 PM

G2 beat MAD Lions to kick off the LEC Summer Split

G2 beat MAD Lions to kick off the LEC Summer Split
G2 Esports and MAD Lions met in the first match of the LEC Summer Season. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
By Jorge Pedraz
Filed Under
G2 started the Spring Split with a statement win over the reigning LEC champions. It was a high level of League of Legends and a completely different composition from MAD Lions than what they showed during the Spring Split. This was a clash between two of the biggest contenders for the title with a lot to analyze.
Let’s cut to the chase.

The draft

After the first nine picks, MAD Lions had the counter-pick in the top lane. Having drafted a composition that already lacked CC and with picks like Leona or Wukong banned, they decided to go for the Jayce:
This pick on R5 completely changes the picture. MAD Lions had almost no engage tools and they committed to a 1-3-1 poke composition with a lot of disengage as Lucian and Ezreal can dash away, Rumble’s Equalizer (R) can be used defensively, Jayce’s Thundering Blow (E) knocks enemies back and Braum can protect them all with his shield.
MAD Lions played with 4 potential carries and in order to execute this composition properly, they needed to be ahead. Especially both solo laners, Lucian and Jayce, if they wanted to be comfortable in isolation when the 1-3-1 was set.
Additionally, with these kinds of compositions you can’t afford to make any positioning mistakes because if you do, the opposite team is going to punish you with exactly what you are missing, engage.

Changes in the jungle

For those who don’t know, MSI was played on 11.9, a patch that we analyzed here.
Patch 11.10 brought some significant changes to the jungle. The camp respawn timer went up from 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 15 seconds. This might look like a minor change, but it actually modifies the jungle pathing.
We were used to watching junglers full clear, reset and full clear again during the whole Spring Split, but those extra seconds now allow them to look for more ganks without being punished a lot.
That was exactly the matchup we had in this game. Jankos on Xin Zhao, a champion more focused on ganks, against Elyoya on Rumble, a champion that would rather full clear until he gets to level 6.
Both junglers started on their blue buff, cleared their blue side jungle and while Rumble was heading into his red side jungle, Xin Zhao spots Lucian pushing the mid lane way too much and goes for a gank that grants him the first blood.
What are the consequences?
Xin Zhao gets his midlaner ahead, Rumble recalls after the full clear, and Xin Zhao decides to skip his krugs to match him in tempo:
After the reset, Elyoya kept farming the respawning camps while Jankos went straight for another mid lane gank. The extra camps farmed by Elyoya allowed him to be a level ahead of Jankos and succeed in the countergank:
In conclusion, the changes in the jungle allow junglers to spend more time in lanes rather than power-farming, but obviously, if you don’t keep a good balance between ganking and farming you would fall behind in XP.
In this game, even if Xin Zhao was behind in camps during the early game, the gold lead was pretty much even with Rumble, with just a slight ± 300 gold difference between them.
In the first LEC matchday, Rumble was picked 4 times and Xin Zhao 3, both being clearly the most picked champions in the jungle.
The jungle meta offers a wide variety of choices and that’s always good news for the game.

The mid game macro

After the first turrets were taken down, the map was split. G2 had the top push and vision and MAD Lions had so on the bot side.
The problem for MAD Lions, as we mentioned at the beginning, was that their solo laners were not really ahead. The initial range advantage that Armut on Jayce could have over Wunder on Viego vanished as Viego went for a heavy-armor build.
The Spanish team couldn’t fully commit to the 1-3-1 and instead, Jayce would take the side lane with Humanoid on Lucian traveling between lanes to help his teammates out.
At minute 18, one single play gave MAD Lions some hope. G2 was pushing the mid lane while Armut and Elyoya moved to the bot lane with the herald. Instead of defending the tower, Caps on Syndra recognized the number advantage for G2 and teleported in to try to go for a play. MAD Lions’ members successfully disengaged and the bot lane herald took down the tier 2 tower and charged into the tier 3.
Armut makes his way into mid as the second dragon of the game was spawning and on his way he chunks out Caps with a single ‘Shock Blast’ (Q), forcing G2 to retire and securing the second drake for MAD Lions:
And that’s one of the biggest strengths of these compositions. With Jayce, Lucian and Ezreal they can get the enemies so low before teamfights that they can’t join the fray. It’s time now to analyze some of the disadvantages.

The teamfights

As we mentioned previously, with only Braum protecting the four squishy MAD Lions members and with no engage tools, the teamfights require perfect communication and execution to succeed.
G2 was sitting in a much more comfortable position ahead of the fights. Syndra provides stun and burst, Viego and Xin Zhao are fighters with a lot of sustain in their kits, Varus can poke out with his arrows and use his ‘Chain of Corruption’ offensive or defensively and Rakan is a main engage tool if he recognizes any missteps as well as a shield provider.
At minute 23, G2 had a 700 gold lead and all tier 1 towers down. MAD Lions pushed the side lanes getting the tier 1 on top and tiers 1 and 2 on bot. Besides, they had two dragons as the fight for the soul point was unveiling.
Just a single misstep is all that it takes to lose a game.
While Lucian and Jayce were on their way to join the rest of the team, Carzzy on Ezreal goes in without vision control with the ‘Arcane Shift’ (E) to try to poke out the enemies. He misses his ‘Mystic Shot’ (Q), and now sits in an awkward position:
He is in the front lane, without his E, with just two teammates around and Viego standing on a scary flank. Mikyx on Rakan goes in with the ‘Grand Entrance’ (W) which Carzzy has to flash away:
Now it’s even worse for Carzzy as he is completely isolated in the dragon pit with no E and no flash, an easy target for Jankos on Xin Zhao who flashes in and uses the ‘Crescent Guard’ (R) to knock back Carzzy’s allies:
His ‘Three Talon Strike’ (Q) sets the kill for Varus’ arrow as G2 would win a crucial 3x0 fight that translated into securing the drake and the Baron Nashor. Watch the full sequence:
From that point the game was pretty much doomed thanks also to this beautiful ‘Prowler’s Claw’ into ‘Chains of Corruption’ from Rekkles on Varus with the baron buff push:

Conclusion

MAD Lions left their classic team fight-oriented drafts and tried a more difficult to execute composition against G2, who looked on point and not willing to let go of another LEC title. But the LEC Summer Split has just started, and you can follow all games with us!

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