Two Stories, One Ending: LCL 2015 Spring Season Finals
BY Mr. Write - April 22, 2015
The LCL 2015 Spring Playoffs brought together eight schools to battle for glory and pride, but in the end, after proving their worth the playoffs bore two champions-in-the-making; DLSU Viridis Arcus, defeating PUP Hotseat and the UST Tigers for their place; and CSB Bida Gaming, taking down OLFU Infuzed and FEU Tamarawrs to secure their spot to the finals. DLSU has been a force to be reckoned with during the group stages, showcasing power-plays and powerful objective control strategies, making them also just a fearsome during the playoffs. While looking over to CSB Bida Gaming, contenders who play skillfully against any foe, in both mechanics and rotations, and have what it takes to seize the championship title.
Though these ten players came from different schools and were divided by different backgrounds, they pushed aside their differences and aimed for one goal; to be named the LCL 2015 Champions, to take pride in their hard work, and to bring honor to their alma mater.
Playing By Their Game: DLSU Takes First Win
In a best of three match, CSB takes no chances for the infamous Rebengga of DLSU to dominate the jungle, as he has done in many games over the season. The ban roster shifts towards the Jungle and Top lane, most notably Rebengga’s Nidalee was taken down. The game begins with a swapped lane for DLSU, favoring the game already to their cause; Centhier’s Lulu avoids an unfavorable match-up against xKaigu’s Irelia, while Panalo’s Kog’maw opens minion farming to transition to mid-game, where he will be at his strongest. CSB takes the bait. Though they do fully utilize their SOBRANG KULIT’s Nunu to the fullest, taking two free dragons for themselves, DLSU keeps a blind eye and focuses on snowballing during the mid-game. 11:55 mark on the clock and Fierywarrior exhibits mechanical prowess as he takes down a heavily aggressive play from Valentinee. Soon after, DLSU takes to rotating around the map, since the mid-game was in their favor, bagging their first dragon and winning a team fight as well. From then on CSB continued to play on the back-foot, cutting their losses and conceding at the 31:14 mark. This was not the CSB we were used to seeing, as their previous games always showcased their imposing wills in team fights and skirmishes.
Heating Things Up: CSB’s Retaliation
The second games of the match does not simmer things down, with only one win needed for DLSU, the pressure is on CSB. Right off the bat, CSB decides to ban out Centhier’s Lulu and Fierywarrior’s LeBlanc, opting to weed out the some powerful picks on DLSU’s side. xKaigu picks up Rumble, a comfort pick on his part, while Valentinee strays from the norm and picks himself Lux for the mid lane. The second game did not disappoint, aggressive plays for both junglers continued throughout the game, most notably CSB’s SOBRANG KULITjust shows that he can go toe-to-toe with an elite jungler like Rebengga, who has been a dominating force throughout the season. KULIT’s presence in the solo lanes leads to multiple burnt flashes and overall pressure. 8:48 minutes into the match and we’re treated to a Jungle-Top skirmish, Centhier showing off Maokai mechanics, by surviving over a lengthy matchup against not only xKaigu and SOBRANG KULIT but also Valentinee whose rotation bags him two kills for himself (one kill onto Fierywarrior off-camera). 11:12 mark, the fight between junglers still continues; with the tables turned, CSB's SOBRANG KULIT initiates a counter-gank against Fierywarrior and Rebengga, with his team following close behind. Though they were outnumbered in this extended team fight, CSB comes out on top bagging three kills but giving none of their own. But despite their unfavorable trades, DLSU did not give up. 13:49 into the clock, DLSU retaliates on CSB by collapsing on their dragon pickup, landing Panaloa double kill. A back-and-forth of team fights and skirmishes, but ultimately DLSU’s Fierywarrior falls short in this game, hindering his team throughout the match, constantly being picked out before a team fight even erupts. 41:18 marks the last team fight for the match. Despite being able to catch CSB’s Reon out of position, CSB responds by preemptively starting the team fight, but with DLSU’s lack of power, the team fight results to an ACE in favor of CSB, who then heads straight for the Nexus to secure a victory, clocking in at 42:23 minutes.
The Explosive Finale
The third and final game of the match offered higher tensions between both teams. Every lane from the top to the bottom going hard on aggression, 4:12 on the timer and we witness an intense skirmish between the bot lane duos and respective junglers, though First blood was not taken, once again, SOBRANG KULIT imposes himself as an aggressive and dominant jungler. Instead, First blood goes over to CSB’s mid laner Valetinee, who takes advantage of Fierywarrior’s vulnerable Twisted Fate pick. Early game seemingly leaned towards DLSU; with Rebengga constantly camping Bot lane, landing them kills and even a dragon, but from a statistical point, CSB Valentinee and SOBRANG KULIT lead in CS, which was overlooked by many. 19:26 on the clock, a full team fight erupts at the dragon pit, trading off a 1 for 4 in favor of CSB, precisely showing how CSB dominates games through mid-game transitions. 25 minutes into the game, DLSU leads the scoreboard by 2 kills, yet CSB leads the gold advantage by almost 2k. This is a table-turned version of game 1 of the Finals, CSB gives up a few objectives to take a transitional fold into mid-game and forcing team fights. The game, however, was not over; DLSU still puts up a fight and wins two team fights, countering their aggression. 33:44 on the clock and CSB takes Baron, after ACE-ing DLSU in an extended team fight for dragon. DLSU returns the favor by ACE-ing CSB after they become a bit overzealous in taking down the third tier tower at top, granting DLSU an inhibitor. The constant tug-of-war shows just how much dedication each team is putting into the game, with no other match in the playoffs coming close to the intensity of this one. 43:18 marks the last team fight for both teams, where CSB’s 6k gold lead comes into play, dominating the engagement with a trade of 1 for an ACE. And just like that, 44:08 on the clock, CSB rises as the LCL Spring Champions.
The Unsung Heroes: xSolar and SOBRANG KULIT
The entire LCL Spring playoffs brought some great plays and even greater players to the field, but two players stand out in this split; xSolar and SOBRANG KULIT, support and jungler of team CSB Bida Gaming, respectively. xSolar showed precisely how a top-tier support has the ability to carry his team to victory. Support players have always been overshadowed by the very players they raise up, but a support is indeed a valuable part of the team. xSolar’s skill shots and ward-coverage certainly puts his team ahead, but also his unwavering and relentless yearning to go into a fight to secure kills for his teammates. Time and time again xSolar can be seen on the frontline, often ignored, locking down priority targets and setting up potential skirmish victories for his team. The finals also revealed SOBRANG KULIT, a jungler who just went head-to-head with Rebengga, considered as an elite jungler by many. Following his track record during the spring split, SOBRANG KULIT can indeed be considered as a formidable jungler to look out for. There are many players who showed their worth in the playoffs, but xSolar and SOBRANG KULIT are players who deserve the recognition coming to them, as the unsung heroes.