We would like to revive “Gambit Analysis” column with a breakdown of our game against Alliance during the first week of LCS EU Summer. Our goal with this column is to provide you with our insights about a single most interesting game we play during every single week of LCS, regardless whether we won it or not.

Read: LCS Summer W3 SK WIN

What was your plan going into the game?
Our plan was to play the early game well, since we believe that early game is Alliance’s strength.  On the other hand, we knew that Alliance rarely contest first couple of Dragons, therefore we planned to take control over this objective.

Did you manage to fulfill your plan during the draft?
Prior to the game, our analyst suggested us to ban Twitch and/or Shyvana, but we banned what we think was right – two strongest supports, whom we didn’t want to pick, and didn't want to be picked by them, moreover, we didn’t want Wicked to play Irelia, his best champion. These bans were not bad, in our opinion. Their bans didn’t surprise us – Kayle and Kassadin, bans targeted at our mid lane, the strongest champions in the game right now, and Elise to force Evelynn vs Lee Sin match-up, which was fine with Shook.
Composition we were playing was used during our scrims, Yasuo and Gragas have a good synergy, but Yasuo needs a tank for him to engage safely – Jax was meant to become this tank. Lucian is objectively one of the strongest AD Carries right now and can fit into any composition, Evelynn is the only champion that can deal with Lee Sin.
We got what we wanted and handed a relatively strong composition of Shyvana, Lee Sin and Lulu over to them. Their goal was to create chaos in our ranks thanks to Shyvana’s ultimate that allows her to flank, Lee Sin’s kick and an additional knock-up from Lulu’s ultimate. It would allow Twitch to appear out of nowhere and one shot someone during this mess.

What were you supposed to do in theory to overcome their composition?
In theory, we relied on Jax getting tanky and making a good use of our ultimates, leaving Gragas’ ult for Twitch.  Should we play correctly, he would be the only threat on their team, since Lulu is more of an AP Support than an AP damage dealer. On top of that should avoid staying close to each other to prevent Twitch from dealing AOE damage, as well as refrain from chasing them in order to avoid getting caught off guard. Their composition relies on having a good vision control. If we were to determine a place for a fight, we would be able to minimize our losses – we could prevent Twitch from appearing unexpectedly and Shyvana from flanking.

What can you say about Darien’s performance in the beginning of the game?
We watched their previous games and were aware of them invading blue buffs, but we didn’t pay attention to it, even though we were warned. Darien started to push his lane proactively to force their duo lane to retreat from our blue and they did it. But he decided to flee towards mid, where he unexpectedly came across their top laner and jungler. He didn’t react in time and started teleporting too late.

Why was Jax spending most of the game with the rest of your team, while Shyvana was split pushing?
Shyvana was feeling safe in the bot lane, one versus one against Lucian. You cannot say that about Jax, since he was going up against Twitch and Morgana. However, both of them were present in the first team fight in the mid lane, which ended up with a one versus two trade.

Why were you successful at securing objectives, even though you didn’t do so well in team fights?
We had better timers and rotations, whereas Alliance’s play style wasn’t disposed to it. Moreover, their power spike was meant to happen later than ours, since Lulu and Twitch rely on items to start killing and Shyvana relies on items to avoid dying. We got two Dragons with a one versus two exchange prior to the second, took two of their blue buffs and thus delayed Froggen from getting Athene’s and Rabadon’s.

Why was Darien scouting 25 minutes into the game? Did you plan to take a turret while he was distracting them?
If you don’t take this episode out of context, you can notice that 90 seconds prior to that they killed Evelynn that allowed them to go for Baron. They wanted to bait and were waiting for us in a small brush for 30 seconds, but they didn’t know that their pink ward didn’t spot our ward that granted us vision over the Baron pit. Darien wanted to make sure that they somehow didn’t start doing Baron, in a way that our ward would not witness it.

Weren’t you afraid to go into the later stages of the game, when your top laner was falling behind in farm by a large margin?
We were, but it didn’t come down to our willingness of going into this stage of the game. On the other hand, delaying the game for so long wasn’t the best idea, since it allowed Twitch to grab a lot of farm and become dangerous.

Could you explain your positioning at Dragon 27 minutes into the game? Why would Darien teleport to that ward and split you into two camps and thus create a two for nothing exchange in favour of Alliance?
We didn’t expect that they can catch Gragas out. When Gragas got caught, it allowed them to pursue Yasuo and Lucian. Initially this positioning would allow us to lock Twitch from two sides and prevent him from popping out of invisibility. You have to keep in mind that they didn’t see Evelynn. Perhaps it was a better idea for Jax to stick with the rest of our team and leave Evelynn alone.

What went wrong during the fight 32 minutes into the game?
Shyvana engaged, and Darien underestimated her survivability and decided to engage himself counting on us quickly taking care of Shyvana and help him in focusing his target. Shyvana was too fed at that point and Gragas’ ultimate was already used on zoning their team away from Shyvana, but she didn’t die, so we couldn’t stop Twitch when he joined the fight.

The final battle took place 37 minutes into the game. How come did Alliance overcome you and managed to get Nashor?
Well, the outcome was decided even earlier, but in this fight Gragas caught Morgana’s Q way before Lucian joined the fight. Shyvana succeeded in dealing with him thanks to her AOE damage.

What conclusion can you make having played this game?
We should improve our understanding of the enemy power spikes and improve our communication during the game, especially if we are behind.