LCS Summer Playoffs: Criticism of TSM and Cloud9 Drafts is Wrong

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

We break down some of the criticisms levied by LCS commentators on perceived poor drafts by TSM and Cloud9

Cloud9 Bottom Lane

If we look at Cloud9’s Game 1 draft, arguably the most one-sided game of the series, it’s hard to imagine this at all being considered a bad draft. With both Kalista and Caitlyn banned, Cloud9 first-picked Ezreal. In phase two, they would couple it with Yuumi and not deviate from that duo the entire series.

Many have levied criticism against C9 for staying with this duo after they lost the series in four games. However, if you watch the games, especially Games 1 and 2, the Ezreal/Yuumi combo was the reason C9 were still in the game.

The amount of safe reliable poke from this bottom lane is absurd. The problem analysts have is that C9 clearly needed to change something up, but were unwilling to take a different bot lane pick like Senna. Now that we have seen how good Senna is on this patch – particularly in Cloud9’s hands after their series against Evil Geniuses – this seems like a massive error in draft.

The problem with this line of thinking is that despite the Ezreal/Yuumi duo clearly being a point of strength in the series the fact that C9 lost makes the duo bad. Such “analysis” ignores everything that happened in the game and only evaluates the game based on the scoreline.

In Games 3 & 4 Zven began playing far more recklessly and put himself in multiple positions where it was easy to FlyQuest to CC and kill him. This is best exemplified when he used his Arcane Shift into four FlyQuest members who were taking the dragon and was immediately killed. For many, this play evoked flashbacks to Spring 2019 Finals where (then TSM) Zven suicided multiple times to ultimately deliver Liquid their third straight title.

The Ezreal/Yuumi pick itself was still a strong pick however, the issue in both those games was execution. It is also worth mentioning Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun’s Thresh was a great response to the Yuumi. FlyQuest understood they were not going to win that lane, so IgNar roamed to exert pressure on the rest of the map. It was a great response to Cloud9’s draft but does not mean C9’s draft in and of itself was bad.