Analyst Challenge – Win Conditions, July 1

The “win conditions” challenge is deceptively simple: look at the two team compositions shown in the screenshot below (blue team on the left; red team on the right) and describe each team’s win conditions.

July 1, 2019 Challenge

BLUE Team:
Poppy, Nocturne, Sylas, Xayah, Rakan

RED Team:
Kennen, Jarvan IV, Aatrox, Sivir, Morgana

Patch: 9.11

The Responses

Cody Gerard wrote a thread.

Scarra was pretty critical, but his thread got more interesting once Malaclypse of MAD Lions / Splyce chimed in with a more nuanced take on the mid lane matchup.

Executioner Ken, the former Assistant Coach for 100 Thieves Academy, had this to offer.

Brokenshard got his “left” and “right” confused, but had some good insights anyways!

The Actual Outcome

This draft came from an NA Academy game between FlyQuest Academy and Clutch Gaming Academy. You can watch the VOD here.

Tim’s Take

Rather than just add another general impression to the analysis that was already offered in the community responses, I’m going to share a few takeaways from a VOD review of the game, to demonstrate how the overall analysis of a game benefits from intentionally identifying win conditions at the start. I think this is especially interesting since it was almost a universal opinion that red side had a large advantage from the draft, but the blue team ended up winning the game! So let’s use the win conditions analysis to understand why that happened.

In brief, we can summarize the win conditions this way:

  • BLUE: Bridge early; control objectives mid/late.
    Blue team might struggle in the laning phase and needs to find a bridge into the mid/late game, where their disengage will come online. Ideally, blue team wants to be first to objectives and use a mix of disengage and flanking to give themselves good turn-or-burn setups. It will be crucial to defend the mid lane and the bot side river to prevent Jarvan/Aatrox from roaming down for easy dives.
  • RED: Play from mid into bot early; win team fights with aoe zone control.
    Red team can try to play around mid lane priority early, either creating invades and 2v2 skirmishes or opening up windows to make plays into bot lane. Later, team fighting will be a great option, but some restraint will be needed, because full-on diving the backline could play into the hands of the Poppy and Xayah. Instead, use the Kennen/Jarvan/Aatrox frontline to control the landscape of the fight, CCing and blowing up Nocturne and Rakan if they try to dive onto Sivir/Morgana.

Here’s an overview of how I saw the game actually play out.

TL;DR Jarvan and Aatrox failed to execute the early laning phase properly, and that led to a loss of control over the game’s pace, therefore loss of control over neutral objectives, and therefore suboptimal setups and execution in team fights.

  • Overall, Jarvan was not able to help Aatrox secure mid lane control in the early laning phase, and this was a huge deciding factor for the overall game outcome.
    • On the first jungle clear, Jarvan IV tried too hard to force a top lane gank instead of calling it off quickly and taking the scuttle crab. This gave Nocturne two crabs, which closed some gank windows and helped Nocturne reach lvl 6 faster. Then Aatrox failed to spot an early TP flank from Strompest’s Sylas and had to burn his Flash. Once Nocturne was lvl 6, the opportunity to control mid lane was basically gone, and the blue team capitalized with a mid lane gank from Nocturne and Rakan.
    • Through all of this, the blue team’s duo lane was decisively winning their lane, helped by Rakan’s smart first ward onto the enemy blue buff. Since the red team hadn’t earned mid control, Morgana had to come help for the later mid lane plays, which made the losses in bot lane pile up.
  • Once the blue team had reached the mid game on even terms, and with Nocturne even a little fed, they were able to force the red team into playing the side lanes defensively. Blue team had all the tempo in the side lanes, which meant they got to dictate a lot of the setups around objectives (one of their win conditions!). At 16:00 the blue team got a good setup around a dragon spawn and used it to win a team fight (although they probably should have lost the fight, but Aatrox failed to get an assist on the first kill of the fight which meant his ultimate didn’t proc).
  • From here on out, the blue team were in control due to dragon buffs and continued tempo leads in the side lanes. The red team tried continuously to force team fights, but had to work too hard for it, attempting to engage from long range using Jarvan combos instead of being able to create scenarios where they could control the pace and positioning of the fight and properly bring the Kennen and Aatrox to bear.

In case you’re interested in more granular thoughts on this game, I posted my complete VOD review notes for this game here.

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