Uploaded on Sep 18, 2011
Group B - Round 1.1: FnaticMSI vs. SK Gaming
Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge at Gamescom
League of Legends
While this may still be the Group Stage, I don't think that anyone doubts that German hometown hero SK Gaming vs. Pan-European Champion Fnatic MSI could very well be the game of the tournament. With perennial championship contenders on both sides of the stage, game one of IEM day two promised to be an exciting battle.
The bans started off with these two rivals targeting each other's strengths. Almost immediately, SK banned Gragas, the favorite hero of Fnatic MSI's infamous Shushei. In response, Fnatic targeted SK's jungle game, banning Irelia, Nocturne, and Gangplank. After the picks were said and done, Fnatic had fielded a dual-mage team featuring Amumu, Brand, Janna, Tristana, ad Annaie; while SK Gaming had selected a more traditional, bruiser heavy team with Udyr, Lee Sin, Ashe, Soraka, and Anivia.
The game proved to be filled with non-stop action, with neither team giving up any easy kills to one another. The match began with Fnatic setting an elaborate trap for SK at bottom, casting Clairvoyance on their own, occupied brush to fool SK into thinking that they weren't lying in wait. Before minions had even spawned, Fnatic picked up first blood against Ashe at bottom lane.
Throughout the game, Fnatic seemed to exhibit stronger lane control, consistently staying ahead in minion kills despite a series of evenly matched engagements. The action began to heat up again when Fnatic made a risky, aggressive push for dragon. While they managed to secure this important neutral objective, SK aggressively pushed through to dive the entire Fnatic team at bottom tower, securing three kills and claiming the first turret of the match. Despite Fnatic's superior performance in lane and first attack on dragon, SK had managed to keep the cash score within 500 gold.
Attempting to push their advantage further, SK then grouped up for an attack at top. The combined force of Brand and Annie managed to push off the attack and even punish SK. Meanwhile, Amumu and Janna managed to claim mid tower to equalize the turret score. After a brief skirmish at mid where SK finished a kill ahead, the match settled back down to a farming game with Fnatic's superior laning again paying dividends in the gold score.
SK managed to retake the upper hand, however, when a botched play for dragon by Fnatic cost them both Amumu and Annie. Down two champions, Fnatic was forced to cede mid tower to their opponents, allowing SK to bring the game back within 1,000 gold.
A clever gank on Ashe at mid started the next push, allowing Fnatic to exchange their top outer turret for SK's mid inner turret. Fnatic then quickly moved to steal dragon before SK could move to contest them, leaving safely and easily through bottom lane. SK attempted to rally by back-dooring a turret at mid, but failed to catch Fnatic out of position. SK continued to push on regardless, winning an impressive team-fight at mid and taking the inner turret, but sacrificing their bottom turret to minions.
Well past the half-hour mark, the game remained within 3,000 gold, with both teams now warily posturing around Baron Nashor. SK was the first to commit to an attack on the Baron, but was caught by Fnatic and quickly routed in a three to one team fight, allowing Fnatic to finally claim their top outer turret. With this additional gold, Tristana was able to pick up Last Whisper and finish her build.
With neither team willing to stray far from the Baron, a series of even fights ensued in the upper mid jungle area. Finally, SK managed to catch Janna out of position, allowing them to take control and claim both Baron Nashor and Fnatic's Ancient Golem. With this buff in hand, SK claimed the gold advantage for the first time in the matchup. After a failed dash for dragon cost them another two members of the team, things were looking bleak for the Season One Champions.
Grouping up for a push at mid, SK seemed poised for victory. Unfortunately, they failed to keep their momentum and Fnatic broke their advance at the inhibitor turret, once again taking down Ashe for their trouble. Hoping to hold their control of the jungle, SK once again occupied the upper river near the Baron. Fnatic managed to claim a 2:1 victory in on neutral ground before regrouping and launching a push at mid.
Seeming to get tunnel vision, SK once again moved to protect Baron Nashor as Fnatic charged past them down middle lane, forcing Ashe to initiate prematurely with Enchanted Crystal Arrow to stall their attack. With their initiation blown, Fnatic turned on the enemy team, claiming an easy ace before methodically dismantling the enemy base for the win.
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