: TSM 2018 = Boston Red Sox 1920, except the Red Sox at least got $125,000. TSM giving up on DoubleLift will cause them to not make Worlds for a very long time. They are going to regret that move every year that TL goes to MSI/Worlds, and TSM watches from their separate locations.
: 13 Ways of Looking at Success: A Lolesports feature. Keith -- "I definitely thought about how Sneaky's fans would react to me playing for him."
Hey all -- hope you have the chance to make it through this article! This is my first collaboration as a Rioter with a free lance writer, and I think Cathy's piece is super great. Hope you enjoy reading the stories of some of the more unsung players in the league!
OHminus (NA)
: "Too slow for the meta" That seems like a lot of teams this season. Maybe Riot's putting out the patches a bit too fast - two MAJOR midseason patches one after the other? (Jungle changes -> ad changes/item changes). All this within a month - kinda not fair to the players. Every week it seems like its a different patch and that something has changed. It's honestly sad to see teams like TL, CG, KZ go down spots simply because the balance and live design teams are pumping out the works at a rapidfire pace.
I think teams were just caught off by the volume of the changes -- I believe we've said we won't be doing patch cadences like this again, though. But in a world where we DID keep up the cadence, I think teams would adjust to it and understand that they should make more drastic changes more frequently. I feel like a lot of the hesitance to change is based on their understanding of old patch cycles' smaller influence on the meta.
: article is written from the lowest and most casual understanding of competitive gaming/sports. marksmen are not complaining cus meta change they are complaining the fundamentals of their position have been deleted overnight. this has never happened in league before. and i cant think of a single time this has ever happened in sports before. Even when the meta of jg changes there is still fundamentals of jgling such as good pathing that allow pro players to succeed even in meta that dont favor them. players like Darshan havent been playing for years cus they have a vast champion pool on any given patch he can probably only play a handful of champions to a high level. He has been playing so long cus he has mastered the fundamentals of top such as tp awareness. The fundamentals adc players have been told to practice for years now is high mouse accuracy with high amount of inputs and positioning. a lot of fundamentals DONT exist in mages. Fundamental changes in sports normally take years if not decades to change. example is football in late 80s start to move to more of a passing game and it took until early 2000s for the changes to be finalized. that is a change over 20yrs. this is a change over 1 night with the drop of one patch. Riot has a massive double standard we see an evolving mid lane meta right now called funneling and riot is actively trying to kill it because jglers and mid laners are crying about it.
Hey, thanks for the response. What do you mean when you say the fundamentals of the position have been changed? The role is still played in the exact same way -- none of the champions have been changed. At most some of them have different items and different (generally later) power spikes than before. Champions like Kai'Sa, Lucian, and Ezreal are still perfectly viable along with a few others like Jhin and Xayah who can fit plenty of team compositions. I don't feel like that number of ADCs being viable is any less than most metas? Don't get me wrong -- definitely crit ADCs have been nerfed, but I'm just not seeing this "fundamental" change you are talking about. Is it maybe they have to face mages in lane now? Does that drastically change how they're supposed to play their own role? Even at the pro level, ADCs are still played as much if not more than bruisers and mages. I don't think it's a black or white situation of "if you can't play mages, then you're out!" I don't think it's a wildly outrageous expectation to ask them to pick up some mages, though -- it's not absolutely required, but it does give their teams more options. As for sports -- of course some of the examples aren't going to be perfect, but I do think we saw the likes of Thabeet and Hibbert fall off absolutely suddenly in the NBA. We saw Whiteside benched in critical moments at the end of games last year. We saw the spread offense consume college sports in the matter of a decade (teams who were slow to adopt kept losing). Things like net sizes being changed or hand checks or AR or small tweaks to what refs choose to call or not call also have immediate and noticeable changes to the game. Or when the NBA introduced the 3 point line, or when they moved it closer and then back farther. Or the NFL increasing protections for receivers. There are countless examples.
: Still entertaining read but a lot of straight up info, would be interesting to hear your opinion on the stuff that’s been goin on, eg c9 benched players, TL throwing to GGS, FOX winning by technicality. The analysts had a lot to say, would be cool to hear your input
Thanks for the feedback! I probably leaned too heavily into information this week since I wanted to get people up to speed for the summer. For the stuff you mentioned: 1. I think C9's been pretty transparent about their rationale -- between the starters "slacking" and the academy players performing well, this seems entirely like a kick-in-the-ass move my management. As much as I want to see the academy guys do well, they're mostly proven entities -- it's hard for me to imagine they'll suddenly have a career redefining renaissance. Keeping Jensen/Sneaky/Smoothie on the bench for too long seems like the wrong play if they hope to make a splash at Worlds (and at this point for the org, that should be their main goal). 2. TL lost randomly to GGS last split, too (and pretty embarrassingly at that) -- they just don't pay proper respect sometimes. They picked some fights in both of their losses to GGS this year as if they were ahead / just thought they could outplay their opponents. This might bite them in the ass come Worlds if they get a smaller region's team in their group. 3. I don't have much to say about FOX's win other than the official statements we released. I think it's an unfortunate situation, and I hope we can figure out how to make it never happen again.
: "And, well, I’ve got my money on Spider-Man." So Dardoch is going to be come an Elise main? Interesting prediction, Mean Mister Kien. ;)
: How much does it pay?
Rates will vary depending on experience.
: I can't wait to hear the roar of the crowd on finals day. I hope they will chant for doublelift. I can imagine how good that would make him feel. Bet 10million ggesports coins on liquid. Hope the 4th banner and the meme of a lifetime can be created. I think it will go to game 5. but TL has so much star power.
I'm super pumped to be in Miami for this! I'm getting emotional just thinking about it, though. I hope the crowd really shows their love and support.
KJrowe (NA)
: I just want you to first know that I enjoy these every week because they are some what funny and insightful but where did you get your statistics for KP because according to this site Ryu's KP is 68.8% and the lowest of a player who played all their team's games is Solo with 56.7%. Also the second highest KP of someone who played in all their team's games is PowerOfEvil at 81.2%
Hiya -- I meant lowest for mid laners. Sorry for not being clearer. :) And the second highest was only for ADCs.
: @meanmisterkien — “the two former SKT top laners (kind of a weird thing to say!) will duke it out in the Semis” — was that on purpose? Most of the time I can tell, but not sure this time...
: Love how your stories always give meaningful insight into the lives of pro players. Keep up the awesome work!
Zhugan (NA)
: Ya know I am getting pretty tired of the blatant TSM favoritism. TSM has looked good in the back half of the split. But the first place team in the League right now handed TSM one of their few defeats and has looked almost invincible in the back half of the split. And its not like Meteos and Moo lack any experience at beating TSM in finals, given that both played for teams that have done just that.
Last week someone accused me of having CLG favoritism (and being anti-TSM). :P Meteos hasn't won a title in four years, and Aphromoo has been two years. I agree that they have experience and that they look really good right now, and if you want to peg them as your favorite, then that's totally respectable. I'm just not betting against TSM given their recent form and their recent history.
: Yo Kein, I just wanted to say that I very much enjoyed this article. The writing style of these "10 thoughts" articles and the wit you have makes for a very entertaining to read. Keep up the good work!
: Is there a better resolution version of the image of him on IMT? I'd love to have it as a wallpaper.
Belgoop (NA)
: Rito, give this guy a raise. I have never read the articles on the lolesports site before, but now I look forward to these. Well done, Kien, you had me rolling.
Thanks for reading! I'll be passing this along to my boss as testimony for that sick raise. :)
: I don't tend to comment because I feel like I'm nitpicking, but... "Just look at what happened to SKT without their star and savior, Huni." I have no idea if this is meant to be a serious point or sarcasm. Peanut's gone, not that he was particularly effective last season. Wolf was the jungler for the first two weeks. They didn't pull Effort off support until they lost the first game to MVP in their fifth match. Even with Wolf back at support, apparently he's still mostly playing jungle in solo queue. But "star and savior" is so off it sounds like you're poking fun at the struggles he had last season. I genuinely have no idea how to take this.
BIG GERM (NA)
: We’re already two-thirds of the way through the season! Here’s this week’s 10 thoughts (or is this a Tide commercial?). From the bottom of first paragraph. What? 2/3 through lol
ahsaya (NA)
: There should be a Rick Fox cam for the duration of all Echo Fox games.
S1mthi (NA)
: What about the debuting players? Any of them to look out for?
I think they're all interesting! There's a lot of buzz around C9's new top laner, Licorice -- people are saying he could be the next breakout NA native, but he has some pretty big shoes to fill. Impact was a rock for C9 when they needed him the most. GGS are fielding Deftly at ADC, who's been in the Challenger scene for the last year or so. It's hard to say how he'll stack up to LCS competition, but he's Matt is known for being fairly lane dominant, and he definitely won't have issues being in the wrong spot with Hai shotcalling. Anda is the last rookie -- he was supposed to be FlyQuest's jungler last year, but Visa issues stopped that at the last hour. He's also Balls' cousin. His team at least is super confident in him from what I've heard.
: These changes totally Runed the game. Hehehe
Now I'm just sad I didn't crack this joke first.
: Not 3-1 it was a 3-0
Ah crud. I made that edit halfway through game 3 and forgot to change it back. I was sure they'd lose that. o_o Thanks for the callout!
Kitsunya (NA)
: I love reading these articles. Really hope 1 day I can publish similar articles for Riot as a journalist! :')
: It's hard to forget that SKT swept this SSG team in the LCK playoffs. I'm still excited to watch the finals, but I'm hoping for a repeat of Worlds 2016 and not LCK 2017.
I think SSG has shown so much improvement throughout Worlds. Very excited for this match up and definitely hope we get 5 games! LCK Winter is OP ~_~
: So ur saying SSG doesn't have a chance at beating Longzhu in #1? They did go 3-1 against them in series this season.
Yeah -- I don't think this meta suits SSG. I could be wrong, but I think SSG is stronger in a meta that revolves around mid lane or even top lane. I feel like Cuvee is the only lane that's going to match up evenly, but Cuzz can play around Khan better than Ambition or Haru around Cuvee.
: Hey, do you think that C9 has a good chance of beating SKT this second time if SKT can't fix their weak early games from week one? Also, I think that SKT crushing C9 was due to bad choices from C9 like their first gank on Faker, not saying C9 would've won the first game but I think it would've been more competitive.
I don't think so. I think C9 is really good against teams weaker than them. They're really great when it comes to winning lane and then winning the game -- think H2K from last year. I think they flop over a bit in 50/50 situations or when they're behind, though. And the competition will make it harder for them to win lane as they progress. It's not impossible, but I think they'd need 2 out of 3 lanes to win, and I think SKT has the advantage in all three lanes.
: I disagree with why they think NA is strong, and more importantly what they said about TSM. TSM has the easiest group and they still are struggling, while C9 and IMT have the two hardest groups and are thriving. EDG and AHQ are not weak teams yet C9 was able to make them look like wild card teams. Likewise Fnatic is amazing yet IMT made a quick comeback after punishing a mistake by one person (much like a Korean team would do). As goes Korea, they could have two 1-2 teams and in my opinion they will have that next year if the current trends continue to happen. Korea is no longer a guarantee anymore, and if C9 and/or IMT cleaned up their play we could very well see an NA win over the "most dominant" region. This could just be NA bias, but NA is no longer a region that can just be ignored or counted out of finals. There is a very real possibility that an NA team makes it to finals, or even wins, this year. Feel free to disagree or agree, I'm interested in hearing responses.
I meant that from this point on, TSM has the toughest road. If C9 beats ahq -- which they should -- then they all but assure they'll make it out barring a miracle EDG run. Likewise, if IMT knocks out the Marines, then an even less likely FNC miracle run is what would knock them down. Both of those matchups favor the NA teams big time. However, TSM likely needs to win 2 matches this week to secure their advance. The Flash Wolves are 0-3, but remember TSM actually struggled against them. I think anything short of 2 teams from NA advancing at this point would be a disappointment, but it's a very likely chance all three make it.
: How do you get 6-0, if there's on 4 days and I only see 3 matches for each team? Then 4 days after the teams play each other once, there is knockout stage. Where does it say 6 games, cuz I don't see it, but I would like 6 matches for each team.. NVM I see it week 2 is not shown, its hidden, you guys are right nvm.
Group Stage is 2 weeks long! 3 matches this week and 3 matches next week. It's a double round robin where teams play every other team in their group twice.
: TSM 6-0 one of the biggest joke i've ever heard
For the record, I think it's very unlikely. But here's the case for it: * This is the first time -- ever -- that TSM returns the exact lineup to Worlds from the previous year. This means no Worlds newcomers. And it means they've had to endure loss together and subsequently bounce back from last year's colossal disappointment. * This is off the heels of a rather dominant Rift Rivals showing. Maybe EU is just weak, but before that, they actually matched up well against both the FW and WE at MSI 2017. Were they heads and shoulders above those two? No. But is it conceivable to imagine they could 2-0 both of them? Yes. It's only two games. * This support meta favors dominant hyper carry ADCs. Who better to have than Doublelift? The onus, for once, isn't on Bjergsen to carry TSM. The other three teams feature newcomer ADCs. All three are talented, but it's not wild to imagine they might falter under pressure. Mystic has been hyped considerably, but we saw him struggle a bit in the Group Stage. * If you want to stretch back even further, NA actually had the second highest win percentage at Worlds last year in the group stage. Their teams went a combined 9-9. Before that was CLG's second place finish at MSI 2016. They have been, in my opinion, trending upwards. * All that said, I want to reiterate that them going 6-0 was a "crazy" prediction. I'd be surprised if it does happen, but if it does, I will be sure to say, "I CALLED IT." :^)
Beanok (NA)
: The twitter link for @meanmisterkein at the bottom of the article is broken.
Ah -- nice catch. Fixing it now!
: Rivalries aside, this will be the best NA finals to date. I am fully expecting some sort of 3-2, but regardless really want a great performance at worlds.
I actually expect TSM to win this one 3-1. (riot tsm bias smh) I hope I'm wrong and we do get a 5 game series, though!
: @Mean Mister Kien, In your "6 thoughts going into playoffs", Team NV's segment says "they need to secure a win here to atleast make the regional qualifier for worlds". Does that mean if they go 0-3 to Clg in the Quarterfinals that they won't be able to participate in the 'Gauntlet' tournament for the 3rd seed going to worlds?
Correct. Doesn't matter if it's 0-3 or 2-3 -- if Envy loses to CLG, then their season is completely over (FlyQuest would play in the Regional Qualifier thanks to their points from the Spring Split).
: Yo holmes it still calls them a "playoff newcomer" in the match preview ;P
I don't know what you're talking about. {{champion:84}}
Gurroruo (NA)
: This isn't Envy's first time , they did it in 2016 Summer
You are correct! Someone actually caught that for me in edits, but I'm an idiot and published the old version. 8) It's updated now. :)
: Lotta silly comments here but honestly this article was really good and I'm really glad I sat here and read it all. Good on you Kien. You really gave me a new look a lot of these players and their lives that they live, even if it wasn't a huge insight.
Thank you for spending time with it! Here's some extra B-Roll FOOTAGE that didn't quite make the final version of this: And you thought the whole boosted animals thing was a meme. Beyond that, Gate said, “I only go to the bathroom upstairs [at the LCS studio]. It’s nice and no one is there. It’s a strategy.” The existence of this bathroom was one of the first secrets I learned when I started at Riot. I asked Keith if he had any pre-game preparation. He hesitated and said, “It’s inappropriate. Is it fine to say?” At this point I was waiting for some bombshell that I wouldn’t be able to include in here. But he continued, “It’s not really a ritual. I just take a shit before every game.” You could tell Gate felt relieved when he said, “I thought you were going to say you do satanic rituals before every game.” From there I wondered what happened if they had to use the bathroom in the middle of a game. I know sometimes I just wait for an extra long death timer, but they don’t really have that luxury. “Easily!” said Gate. “Once for sure I had too much caffeine or water and 10 minutes into the game I had to pee really badly. I had to try extra hard to win quickly. We definitely won that game.”
: Can someone explain the joke next to DIG for me?
It's a reference to the "Spongebob mocking" meme. It's pretty dumb, to be honest. ... I'm pretty dumb.
: Typo: Cloud 9 should have a 4 next to it, according to the numbering system you've employed.
Actually, 4th is reserved for Team Liquid. ... (Thanks -- my bad T_T )
: Great post - Thank You!
Thanks for reading! Always glad to see you on these posts. :)
: " Their core have never missed the playoffs" Didn't Hai/Lemon/Balls not make the playoffs in 2015 Summer ? I have CLG over TSM this week; not going to go in detail why because who cares as long as X beats X etc that's all that matters to be people on these boards anyways.
Hai subbed in halfway through that split as a jungler, so I didn't count that.
dakm102 (NA)
: you cant overextend if your whole team overextends. {{sticker:slayer-pantheon-thumbs}}
Exactly! It's a next level strat.
Kairu777 (NA)
: Was a sad thing to see TSM eliminated, but wasn't near as disappointing as I would have thought because really it seemed like anything could happen with those bottom 4 teams. Was a thrill to watch until the end. My question though is how did G2 solidify themselves as the 3rd semi-finalist once FW beat GAM? I missed the analysis portions around that part.
In a 3 way tie, it looks at head to head scores against each other. G2 was 3-1 overall against FW and TSM, so they automatically advanced.
: I am going to be need of medical assistance if FW and SUP do as crazy of a series as this one.
Imagine being next to BR media as TSM goes down 0-2 after having told them, "I think TSM will win this pretty easily. 3-0 probably." {{summoner:3}}
Rodarson (NA)
: Always look forward to reading Kien's content. I laughed more in 3 minutes than at 2 half-hour scripted comedy TV shows.
Haven't you heard that the NA LCS is scripted, though? This is just part of it. (Also you should watch funnier shows like Bojack Horseman).
: "Dignitas corrected course and stormed to an 8-3 record over the next nine games" Counting is hard
Jhin only helped me count to 4, so I don't know anything after that. Sorry! (It's fixed.)
: Am I the only one that noticed that TSM's thought this week is the one that they used for cloud 9 last week {{sticker:zombie-brand-mindblown}}
Ugh. I'll make sure my editor hears about this. (I am my editor.) (I am sorry. It is now fixed.)
R1KO (NA)
: Give this man a journalism job because this article had me all up in my feelings. Hai isn't my brother, but I look up to him and related with so many things in this post to not see him as an older sibling, and I'm the oldest in my family. He is the reason, along with the original Cloud9 roster, that I took interest in the game. FLY Hai vs the team he helped create. They say you have to face your demons, and on stage for these boys is where the battle will take place. I wouldn't be upset if FlyQuest gave Cloud9 their first loss.
I already have this job, ha! Thanks for reading it. :)
R1KO (NA)
: Give this man a journalism job because this article had me all up in my feelings. Hai isn't my brother, but I look up to him and related with so many things in this post to not see him as an older sibling, and I'm the oldest in my family. He is the reason, along with the original Cloud9 roster, that I took interest in the game. FLY Hai vs the team he helped create. They say you have to face your demons, and on stage for these boys is where the battle will take place. I wouldn't be upset if FlyQuest gave Cloud9 their first loss.
I already have this job, ha! Thanks for reading it. :)
: Urgod
Sources say pros don't play Urgod because they don't want to put any disrespect on his name.
octokill (NA)
: Nice article, but I was looking forward to more analysis on the 10 ban system. I'm sure the teams aren't done changing their pick/ban phase strategy all over the split.
I'll be curious to see how teams evolve as well. One thing I've been thinking about is why teams are shying away from ADC --> I think it's primarily because it takes too long to ramp up and an early misstep can completely screw over a bot-focused strategy (again, because of TP parties). But, perhaps, if you run a lot of good counter-gankers (like Shen and TF), then maybe you can always respond to bot lane pressure to accelerate the pace towards end game. I'm not sure if teams have the personnel to justify even trying it, though. I feel it's just easier to propel one of the other lanes. But 7.2 should remove some power from the jungle, so you might see teams shift a little more focus into powering up their bot lane. I'd bet on TL being one of the first to give it a real shot.
: I logged in just to say this was a quite good article. Intruiging tactical analysis of overall trends, and none of the typical boring caster analysis (there are some casters that spice things up, but a lot of them say the same lines we have already heard over and over). If this is going to be a recurring article every week, I will find it.
Thanks for the kind words! This will indeed be weekly. :)
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Mean Mister Kien

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