CLG vs Vulcun Spring Playoff Preview
To Counter Logic
It's only logical that the team to face the Vulcans tonight (yes the team name is actually spelled Vulcun) would be Counter Logic Gaming. Our current record against Vulcun is 2-2 in head-to-head match ups for the Spring LCS. And this is by no means an easy win. If LCS has shown us anything, it's that the so called easy wins are always the hardest losses. But longtime CLG fans also know this: losing the first game means we will win the next two. The best-of-one format of LCS has been disadvantageous for our team. We have always been the team that can cut our loss from the first game and come back strong in the next two. How logical is that? Not very.
Vulcun is a team that has had its fair share of ups and downs this season. They started LCS with a surprising lose streak, but over the course of the season they have managed to pull off impressive wins. Composed of Sycho Sid, Xmithie, Mandatorycloud, Zuna, and Bloodwater, Vulcun has three of the original CLG Black members. We will be facing off against a team that has been handpicked by us as some of the top players in North America. Xmithie and Mandatorycloud are both experienced veterans of the league with a diverse champion pool as well. Regardless of the results, this will be an entertaining series to watch.
Vulcun Player Scouting Report
Sycho Sid is a very safe laner when playing specifically against Counter Logic Gaming. Often times he chooses not to trade with HotshotGG, but plays the farm game. In our first two games, he chose to play Singed, taking advantage of Hotshot's passive play and champion pool to successfully farm and build items. Later on in the LCS however, he has picked up more aggressive champions and has opted to use more offensive summoner spells such as ignite over teleport. In the advent of a 1-vs-2 lane, we can expect Sycho Sid to use Rumble. The last time he used Rumble against us, he was playing against Link as Katarina. Rumble ultimates can be game changing and is not a champion in our champion pool. If we cannot pick it, we may have to ban it. Given Sycho Sid's relatively low KDA on Rumble however, there is a chance we can let it by and rely on our dual-lane to outplay their 2-vs-1 lane.
Xmithie plays a similar support-style jungler as Chauster does. He has seven games on both Nasus and Jarvan IV, meaning half of his LCS matches this season have been played on either champion. There is a large apparent difference in win percentage and KDA between the two champions however. If Chauster picks Jarvan IV, then Xmithie has the opportunity to take his other favorite champion Nasus. Doublelift, as we all know, absolutely hates playing Nasus due to his very strong attack speed debuff. It may be in our best interest to pick or ban Nasus, allowing Xmithie to take Jarvan IV. Although he may enjoy playing the champion, the low KDA ratio and win percentage tells a different story in its effectiveness.
Mandatorycloud is a very scary player. Nidalee is a champion that both teams love to use and will be a contested pick or ban. It is doubtful that Nidalee will get passed the ban phase as neither team will want to deal with it. Mandatorycloud has played Nidalee four times this season, and has won every game played on her with an amazing KDA of 40. No, that is not an extra zero added on that number. It can be argued that four games is a very small sample, but anyone who has seen Mandatorycloud play Nidalee knows that the number is no fluke. Lux is Link's favorite champion and will be another champion we have to decide whether to pick or ban. The graphic above is deceptive in that Mandatorycloud has an incredibly diverse champion pool playing 13 champions over the course of the season. One champion that he has not played is Orianna, another favorite of Link.
Zuna is the heart and voice of Vulcun. His shouts can be heard by the thousands watching the LCS games. His loud personality matches his aggressive play as he will pick up the kills and carry Vulcun in the late game. Shutting down Zuna and denying him farm will be important in the upcoming matches. Doublelift has played Tristana, Zuna's best champion, with some success in scrims and in a game last week. The last time Zuna played Tristana against CLG, the game went to the 55 minute mark where Tristana shines. If Vulcan bans out Vayne against Doublelift, then we could see him try out his new found hypercarry tonight.
Bloodwater is the playmaker and shot caller for Vulcun. His most impressive champion is Sona on whom he has an incredible 6.53 KDA ratio. This isn't surprising since Sona's ultimate is very powerful in team fights. His Lulu is also very strong, although his win percentage on her is not as high. With eight games on Sona and nine on Lulu, Bloodwater's favorite champions are quite obvious. That said, supports are not usually banned out in games so it will be interesting to see what CLG does to deal with Bloodwater and Zuna. Chauster typically ganks Doublelift's lane, but the real pressure Bloodwater will put on our team will be during the mid-to-late game where he can make calls.
Vulcun Level One Hotspots
Vulcun plays a relatively safe level one against Counter Logic Gaming. Occasionally they will send in a deep ward to scout CLG's jungle movements to do something surprising. In the last game against Vulcun, they successfully read CLG's positioning and took both blue buffs on the map. This was achieved when they started on the purple side of the map. In general however, Vulcun will protect all four main entrances into their jungle with river wards and lane presence.
A little bit of history, a little bit of wins, and a little bit of losses. Our match against Vulcun all comes down to the amount of preparation put into analysis and practice. The addition of Bloodwater has made Vulcun a much more formidable team. CLG has to find a way to win the early game and laning phase, thereby snowballing the game into their favor. Vulcun's strength, like ours, is playing for the late game. Late game wins are mental battles of positioning and awareness, one little mistake can mean a loss for either team. Losing long games can be mentally fatiguing, so it will be better to rely on a solid game from start to finish. A victory here will allow us to take on Team SoloMid in the semifinals. CLG fighting!
Edit: It was stated previously that Doublelift has not been playing Tristana, when he did in fact play her last week.