The Pro Gaming Series 2014 Spring Season has come to its end and across the dozens of action-packed games this season, we have seen some quite unorthodox (yet proven effective) picks from none other than team Wargod's top laner, WG JLC.
Renekton, Trundle, Gragas and other tanky bruiser top lane champions are the common champion picks on eSports/competitive games regardless if international or local leagues and we rarely see squishy champions getting picked. Though there are Rumble, Ryze, Kennen picks from time to time, most of the pro players still go for the tanky champions and some with split pushing potential. Would a squishy high burst Champion fare well in the top lane versus a tanky champion?
Annie is one of the champions that Jaiby “WG JLC” Paglingayen (Wargod's top laner) recently showcased on their March 22 - Game 1 match against team Mineski. As if to prove how well WG JLC handled the Dark Child, it was autobanned by Mineski on Game 2. I once had a chance to ask him why chose Annie in the top lane to take on Renekton and he said that "I like her, Annie has a huge potential in all timeframes whether it's early game, mid game or late game" and quite proved exactly that.
THE EARLY BURST POTENTIAL
It's unusual to see Annie in the top lane, she's usually in the bottom as a support or taking mid as a pure AP burst damage dealer but WG JLC proved how versatile Annie could be in any lane. He is the first summoner to use Annie in the top lane in the Pro Gaming Series and what makes it more special is that he had to face no other than Mineski's top laner Snoy (a highly skilled and accomplished LoL PH player who had the chance to represent the country in the Season 3 World Championships) armed with Renekton.
WG JLC,made use of calculated damage output and right timing to make good use Annie in the top lane. At first, it was thought that Annie's HP sustainability against Renekton will be questionable but he in the end proved everyone wrong, in fact even killing Mineski Snoy (Renekton) during the first 5 minutes of the game. Though WG JLC came out with extremely low health bars, his calculations were proven effective.
Taking advantage of Annie's early burst and disable potential, WG JLC tipped the balance of the game towards his team through good map roaming. His assists and kills continues to snowball and by 20 min mark he is already hugging his Void Staff, Sorcerer Shoes, Seeker's Armguard and Haunting Guise with a 4 kills-1 death score. Making use of cooldown reduction and focusing more on Magic Penetration rather that stacking up his Ability Power, he was able to dish out damage even against opponents that stack up Magic Resist. A single round of Annie's skills can literally disintegrate an opponent especially the high-value, high-damage output yet low-survivability carries.
Annie is not a highly banned champion in League (banned only in 1 out of 30 games on the Pro Gaming Series) but with JLC showing what terror Annie can bring while he wields her power, we may see her being denied from summoners soon on competitive matches especially with JLC around.
From the unstoppable top-lane Annie, we now move on to an Attack Damage and Mana-full Kassadin. Based on the latest huge Patch 4.4 rework on Kassadin, we've seen him transform from a most-feared, highly-banned champion to one that most pro-players tend to shun from. With this in mind, it's pretty interesting to know why WG JLC thought of using Kassadin in their final game against Diamond. Let's take a look at what goes on in our buddy's mind.
PECULIAR EARLY GAME
WG JLC was running stuffs through his mind as he told us that he wasn't supposed to pick Kassadin though he also wanted to try and stray a little away from the meta of Kassadin in the mid. The result? A top-lane Kassadin turned from AP-based mobile burst damage dealer to an attack-damage wielding melee assassin. With a Doran's Blade as initial item and going for pure AD Kassadin armed with the same Movement Speed and Magic Penetration runes as that of what he used with Annie, JLC was able to help turn the tides in favor of Wargods. Things started to heat up when a good gank from their jungle had JLC going by the 26-min mark he already had Trinity Force, Blade of The Ruined King, Muramana and Frozen Heart earning him a godlike mark and a damage output that no one can match 1v1.
HIGH RISK, HIGH REWARDS
We've seen in a lot of pro leagues that having Kassadin summoned in the Rift poses a lot of risks including Kassadin being a melee champion and the huge amount of mana that Riftwalk consumes. But take him through these risks and you can get yourself an unstoppable mobile assassin machine that can take out high-value targets in the blink of an eye. But with Kassadin's decreased burst potential that came with the 4.4 patch, it is feared to be the end of Kassadin's reign as the most-feared (and banned) champion in the League.
JLC, however, removed these disadvantages out of the equation, surpassed the risks and made the best out of Kassadin landing himself with an unbelievable 16-2 end-game score.
"I'm pretty good with most of the champions but I usually put it in situation and the champion that I am going up against with" - WG JLC