As the intense regular season and playoffs came to an end, only the finals are left to bring the LCK Spring Split to its end. The match between KT Rolster and Samsung Galaxy ended with KT Rolster’s unexpected and overwhelming victory. The core strategy in this match was KT Rolster’s ban focus on ADCs.
That draft was totally unexpected; it wasn’t like they picked Ashe and Varus for each team or just banned one to take one, instead they focused their bans on ADCs in order to take the lead in the bot lane. Lucian couldn’t do anything against Caitlyn, the marksman who has the longest range. Will this kind of draft appear once more in the finals? Junsik ‘Bang’ Bae is a pro who has no marksman he cannot play; he can play Kalita, the champion Seungju ‘Stitch’ Lee played well against Deft’s Jinx, better than anyone. But that doens’t mean Ashe, Varus, and Ezreal won’t be banned. Since Bang’s proficiency in utility ADCs is at the very top, it would be better for KT Rolster to force a meta marksman carry that Deft prefers and plays well.
In his post-victory interview, Deft mentioned that he hasn’t met Kalista as his opponent during his training and doesn’t consider Jinx a great pick. After the bans were mostly focused on ADCs, the strategy of picking Caitlyn would have been good if Samsung didn’t ban her. If SKT goes for ADC bans as well, they will have no choice but go for low tier champions again. If ADC bans were to take place again like the draft for KT and Samsung, what ADC champions will see the light? There are a few champions that have the slightest possibility of being picked under the condition that they were never banned or picked in the draft so far during the 2017 LCK Spring Split.
■ AD Kennen will cause you pain starting from the draft til the end of game
If we say we only have 3rd tier champions left, then ADC Kennen would be a good choice here. He goes well with ‘Blade of the Ruined King’, an item that is a staple in marksman builds and can help players evade one-sided attacks or slow down opponent damage-dealers and bruisers while dealing damage more freely. It may be hard for Kennen to push the lane before level 6 since his arm is too short, but after learning ‘Slicing Maelstrom’ at level 6 Kennen will become a major threat to enemy marksman and can even avade ganks. Not only that, picking Kennen in the drafts could potentially confuse your opponent.
Going for Rekkles’s item build ‘Blade of the Ruined King - Runaan’s Hurricane - Frozen Mallet’ will let you harass your opponent marksman and keep them under pressure in the lane phase. This build will also allow you to deliver decent plays during skirmishes, and just like Fnatic showed in the game against H2K, playing with Shen will grant you synergy for successful turret dives. Of course, this pick has some defects as well; Kennen will have to give up on getting the first turret bonus due to his poor lane pushing ability. Also, Kennen does not have enough damage to melt enemy tanks during mid-late game, and because he is short ranged, it will be hard for him to disengage without Flash.
■ Twitch, the only wide-ranged burst damage dealer among ADCs in late game
When Samsung banned Kog’Maw after Caitlyn against KT, it wouldn’t have been unusual for them to pick Jinx or Kalista, or even Twitch. Twitch is a great champion who can also put ‘Blade of the Ruined King’ to a good use, and he’s not that weak in lane phase. Sure he’s not a great lane pusher and may lack the utility other top ADC champions have, but this rat can carry in the late game more than any other ADC can. If ADCs on both teams were to grow at the same rate, then there’s no other marksman that can shine as much as Twitch can in a team fight.
You can check up on Twitch’s late game carry potential in solo ranked game stats. Based on roughly 30 minute games, Twitch dominates with his 1st place win rate, and it was the same for 35 and 40 minute games. As you look into higher elos, the win rate continues to increase, showing that Twitch can be even more powerful with the right positioning and smart plays. Twitch’s only defect is that, just like Kennen, his lane pushing is poor until he gets ‘Runaan’s Hurricane,’ and is vulnerable to enemy diving as he doesn’t have any CC skill like Kennen does. But still, Twitch is very likely to be picked compared to other ADCs.
■ First turret bonus is important for you? Then take a look at Tristana, a powerful lane pusher!
What’s crucial when it comes to getting the first turret bonus is lane pushing. When both mid laner and jungler have a lead in the game, the best way to snowball is to dive at the bot lane. To do it risk-free, you must be able to push the lane quickly towards the enemy turret. This is where Tristana comes in. She is the champion with the best lane pushing ability, is able to carry in late game, and has Rocket Jump, a skill that greatly increases survivability. Her ult, Buster Shot, can also be used as a means of survival. With a support’s care, a level 18 Tristana has 669 attack range, making her a difficult marksman to kill. Yet why don’t people play her even though she has all of these strengths? It’s because she has a serious flaw.
In a way, Tristana is similar to Sivir. They both are great at lane pushing, but only after they purchase the right core items. Until that point, they are lacking when it comes to skill damage, meaning they often lose early skirmishes. If they fall behind, they become almost helpless and become unable to push lanes. Because she is naturally forced to push the lane, making a mistake in the bot lane could end up with Tristana getting denied CS and the turret.
Apart from these champions, there’s Vayne which Rekkles outperformed with against H2K at the LCS EU semi-finals 2nd set, but LCK is too small for her to roll about, so we’ll leave her out of this.