ROCCAT vs. GIANTS! – the Bottom of the Barrel Match-Up

Feb 13, 2016

Welcome to the recap of ROCCAT vs. GIANTS!. It’s unfortunate that these teams’ names need to be capitalized for correctness, because it probably makes readers think this match was a big deal when it wasn’t. These two teams have a combined win total of 1, so that means one of them is without a single win at the halfway point. That’s GIANTS!. Many people have said a lot about these two teams, and the one word you can count on is negativity. This week I searched to find anything positive from ROCCAT and GIANTS! matches through the first 4 weeks of the 2016 Summer Split.


How ROCCAT Got To 9th Place

Entering Week 5 in 9th place in the EU LCS required 1 win to achieve, and ROCCAT got that win in their opening match. Since then, they’ve been unable to destroy an opposing Nexus. Team Vitality fell to Team ROCCAT in their first match together, and it was a result that fooled many. Team Vitality were given slightly high expectations before the start of the Split because their roster is packed with talent. Since Week 1 the two teams have gone in opposite directions; ROCCAT has failed to secure a second win, and Team Vitality have won more than 70% of their matches since falling to ROCCAT.

Being at the midway point of the Spring Split, it’s not a time where a team’s record can be summed up as a difficult schedule of opponents. ROCCAT is in 9th place because they’re the 9th-best team in Europe; their win now appears to have come from playing the right team at the right time. When Team Vitality and ROCCAT meet for the second time, during Week 9, it should be an easy win for Vitality after 2 months of developing synergy. Week 2 was critical, but went uncapitalized upon by Team ROCCAT. They lost matches to Elements and Splyce before playing the rest of the top-placed teams consecutively, unable to seal the deal.

ROCCAT didn’t avoid visa problems, and without that to deal with it’s likely that 9th place might be held by Splyce or Elements. It’s unfortunate that 2016 has been the year of the substitute, but roster depth is critical to success in any team sport. First place, H2K Gaming, has played multiple weeks with a mid lane substitute and they sit atop the European region at the moment. Roster depth is a distinguishing factor between the teams at the top and bottom of the standings. The best teams find a way to get it done regardless.

A Moment for GIANTS! Gaming

Before getting into the match, GIANTS! deserve a few words about the first half of their Spring Split. This time I won’t ask how they got to this place like I did for ROCCAT.

That wouldn’t be fair, as the correct answer is: they lost to every team they played for the first four weeks. The eight teams they played in that period were the eight teams placed above the two teams in question here. GIANTS! are in a tough position at the moment, particularly Xpepii, who many had their eyes on coming into 2016 before GIANTS! plummeted discouragingly to 10th place. Xpepii has been on the wrong side of the highlight reel a few times. Splyce’s Sencux handed Xpepii one of 2016’s biggest beatdowns so far, Week 3 Day 1. The highlights of which are below.

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Week 5, Day 1, ROCCAT vs. GIANTS! – The Rematch

It’s important to get this out of the way early: GIANTS! won this game. Quite frankly, I’m almost proud of them. They showed resolve in the moments that counted most (for the most part, more on that later). I think GIANTS! should be able to take a couple things from this match:

10 Times the production

GIANTS! should keep putting Xpepii on passive control Champions instead of assassins. His play-making potential has diminished for the moment, so it’s best to play it safe and ensure Xpepii can farm as necessary to carry games.

The 3.165 KDA he has earned in three matches (2 as Viktor, 1 as Vel’Koz) is nearly 11 times higher than his average KDA of matches played as Azir and Ryze; this is also nearly triple that of Xpepii’s Ahri this Split, who he has picked 5 times out of 9 matches. Teams are giving it to him, because they know Xpepii’s Ahri isn’t threatening at the moment.

Keep playing well at Champion Section. 

ROCCAT first-picked Alistar, a high-priority support to conceal their carries’ picks. GIANTS! countered by picking up the two strongest teamfighting marksmen on Patch 6.2 not named Corki (who was banned) — that’s Kalista and Kindred. This is important because each of these carries does HP-based damage, which negates Alistar’s inherent tankiness. GIANTS! were able to take advantage of the Alistar’s initiations because of these Champion picks.

ROCCAT responds by choosing Rek’Sai and Lucian, which prompts GIANTS! to take Malphite and Braum. Malphite’s armor-based scaling is beneficial against both of ROCCAT’s damage threats so far, and Braum conceals the mid lane pick (to protect Xpepii against Betsy).

The high amount of crowd-control in the GIANTS! team composition makes the Morgana pickup by ROCCAT a good one, but I was surprised to see a second marksman finish the composition. Malphite, post level 6, works well against nearly any marksman pick. I’m even more curious about choosing Quinn when Graves is available. 

How It Played Out The Second Time Around

GIANTS! were getting outplayed by ROCCAT for about 22 minutes. An over-extension while defending their outer mid turret caused both of ROCCAT’s front-liners to die for nothing in return. This play was the beginning of a series of unfortunate events for ROCCAT, who failed to capitalize in key moments.

Giants Wallpaper

Airwaks poorly timed his Smite onto Baron Nashor allowing Betongjocke to secure the benefits for GIANTS!. If you watch closely, you can see that Airwaks’s (Rek’sai) Smite wasn’t used; this is the indication that Betongjocke beat Airwaks to the Smite rather than Airwaks smiting too early (which creates a free last hit for the opposing jungler in most cases). Though GIANTS! were behind and only had two players survive the Baron skirmish, they did well to ensure there was still a shot at winning the match.

I’m reluctant to give GIANTS! a lot of credit for the win because, it’s just one win. And though Betongjocke had a clutch Baron steal that put GIANTS! into position to win, it’s slightly eclipsed by missing his smite the second time around. I’m slightly excited to see what happens with them in future, both in the second half of this Split and afterward. What would have happened if Atom didn’t secure the second Baron for BetongJocke? Can GIANTS! get it together? Will this be the only win they earn this Spring Split? Comment below, or tweet @SheenSah for a guaranteed reply.

Happy LCS, and enjoy the highlights to ROCCAT vs. GIANTS! (Week 5, Day 1)!

Feb 13, 2016
Feb 12, 2016
Feb 12, 2016
Feb 10, 2016
Jor'El Jones
J. "Sheen Sah" Jones is UCLA's cross-regional LCS Analyst, and he isn't afraid to be bold. To predict outcomes for Fantasy LCS enthusiasts, he interviews players, reviews matches and critiques player performances each week. Some consider him the Stephen A. Smith of eSports. If you're one for an eSports debate, he replies to all tweets @SheenSah. Welcome to his archive.
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