Why the Taipei Assassins Will Win Season 2

For those of you who missed the final World Elite-Counter Logic Gaming EU match last night and the exciting semi-finals, we saw the last two Western powerhouse teams, CLG.EU and M5 being knocked out by Azubu Frost and Taipei Assassins, respectively.  Today's blog is not a factual look into items or into builds, but a (biased) examination of the two teams remaining in the Season 2 World Championships.  Not many people are surprised that we are seeing Azubu Frost in the grand finals, but the addition of Taipei Assassins instead of the heavily-favored Moscow 5 brings an element of change into our final matchup.

While many spectators have long favored Frost in the matchup, Taipei Assassins have had an unexpectedly strong showing over the course of the Season 2 championships.  It is this strength combined with a few other things listed below which lead me to favor the underdog TPA team over the Korean powerhouse.  Coming into the finals, I see 4 distinct advantages for Taipei Assassins over Azubu Frost that lead me to predict a Season 2 win for them on October 13th.

1. The world has only seen 5 games from Taipei.

Azubu Frost is coming into the finals as a powerhouse.  The world has been following Frost and its sister team Azubu Blaze for months, and other teams have dozens of AZF replays against top Korean teams to watch and study.  On the other hand, most public TPA games were stomps against weak Southeast Asian teams in the Garena league, and the games against stronger teams have not been played recently.

Frost has used all of their cards already.  They have already played 8 games this tournament, with half of those games using team-tailored strategies to take out specific opponents.  If they had any planned cheese or unorthodox team compositions, they have already used them.  On the other hand, we have seen nothing but brilliant standard play from Taipei Assassins.  Given how long the team has had to plan their strategies, there is still a possibility that they will pull out cheese strategies to take a game or two off their opponents.

2. TPA has knocked out top seeds from both Europe and Korea.

Azubu Frost has knocked out Najin Sword and Team SoloMid.  Team Solomid came into the tournament without much confidence as vlogs from both TSM and Curse proved that they had not been a dominant force in scrims.  Additionally, Azubu Frost already had extensive practice playing against Sword and similar teams, as they were from the same region.  Sword was beaten with standard Korean play, and a weak North American Team was unsurprisingly outplayed by the Korean snowball meta.

Last night, Moscow 5 lost a Best-Of-3 set for only the second time on LAN in 10 months since debuting at IEV Kiev in January.  By knocking out the most favored team of both spectators and professional players, Taipei Assassins have set themselves up to be one of the greatest threats of the tournament and beyond to Season 3.  In addition to knocking out what many saw as the "team to beat," TPA also took out the #2 seed in the rest of Korea in Najin Sword.  While it is debatable how strong iG really was at a team, Taipei definitely had to play through a more difficult bracket in the Round of 8 and the semi-finals to get to their final match; Frost only had to prove themselves with early-game invades against CLG.EU, a team that isn't renowned for their early game, and against a weak TSM.

3. CLG.EU/TPA have been scrimming non-stop all week, while Frost has only scrimmed other Asian teams.

Ultimately, a best of 5 series could go either way, and it comes down to practice to see who will win the championships.  And this is where the difference lies.  TPA has been scrimming a dominant team, CLG.EU, all week in preparation for the finals.  On the other hand, there aren't any Western teams that will scrim with Frost, which means that they will have weaker practice opponents coming into Saturday's match.

In a series where one mistake can make the difference between victory and defeat, the caliber of scrimmage partners may make the ultimate difference in who will win the set.  With Western teams willing to scrim Taipei Assassins, but not Azubu Frost, TPA has an automatic advantage by being able to play the best teams outside of their actual opponents.

4. AZF-Shy has only been playing LoL for 6 months.

No matter what your background is, if you've been playing for 6 months, you haven't seen the entire game.  No amount of mechanical and team skill can save you if you are thrown against a team composition or a champion that you have never seen before.  If the Taipei Assassins brings out something previously unseen in competitive play, inexperience can throw any player off their game.  The top lane is where we may see the greatest possibility of cheese, as inexperience in any way will be a perceived weakness until proved otherwise.

Take Doublelift as an example.  When he first burst on to the scene with his stellar Blitzcrank play, everybody in North America knew that he had a bright future in competitive play.  Yet despite his mechanics, he was shunted from team to team until he had enough experience?  Why?  Because when he had to face something that he had no prior experience with (support Taric), he choked and failed miserably.  It took him almost a full year to adjust fully into the competitive climate, when he moved into the AD Carry position for CLG.NA.  TPA can use Doublelift as an example and throw something unorthodox at Shy.  No matter how strong he may appear, unconventional play may throw him off his game, perhaps fatally for Azubu Frost.

In contrast with Shy's relative inexperience, Taipei has players who have been playing and making a name for themselves on the North American server for years.  Lilballz was the original jungler for Counter Logic Gaming NA, and bebeisadog has been sitting in the Top 25 players on NA since the beginning of Season 1 despite his high ping.  With their depth of experience, it is possible that they could bring back an old metagame to trick things up.

Other Thoughts

No matter what the result (or my predicted matchup), the Best-Of-5 series we will see from Azubu Frost and Taipei Assassins will be one of the closest sets of the series.  Frost definitely has the teamwork and the strategy to take down yet another powerhouse on the world stage, and the series could go either way.  But still, I feel in my heart that Taipei will reign supreme this season.  And my prediction for the final?  3-1 TPA-AZF

Do you agree with me, or will Azubu Frost take the finals?  Please comment below!

 


To be honest, the loss of both CLG.EU and Moscow 5 in the semi-finals broke my heart last night.  The only event that I remember being on par with this "tragedy" was when ReginaId was banned for playing with someone who had hacked HotshotGG (which gave CLG an easy win in Preseason 1 finals).  So in conclusion to today's blog, I'd like you to listen to the theme song for all of North America and Europe right now:
 


For more of my work:

-- Find old posts @ the RoG forums and new posts every Thursday.
-- Find my Item Efficiency Spreadsheet at bit.ly/mathcraft.

-- Feel free to find me in the "A DIFFerent View" chatroom on the NA server.
-- Contact me at [email protected]
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44

Comments

  • #38 APXZX

    You called it perfectly! I thought it would be 3-1 TPA as well, good job.

  • #36 NicknameMy

    The one team which is the best cheater will win.

  • #37 Waaargh

    Get over yourself.

  • #35 kravac

    Point 4 is silly.
    6 months of play can mean a lot of different things depending on who's the player. Not to mention that hours played per day mean a lot more and that's unknown.
    So those 6 months Shy has may be far more valuable to his play than some other pro's playing from Beta. Him being in finals goes well with that too.

  • #19 SixLeggedSpider

    Did you watch Shy's Singed? The amount of fucks he did not give easily rivals people who have been playing since Beta. Dude is legit.

  • #30 greenlikeblue

    Calling it now, Shy will continue to dominate, just as he has done this entire tournament. It doesn't even matter how much he's played, he is clearly much better than all of us if he can help carry a team into the finals.

  • #17 bamorsha

    Could we please move past these racist comments? Seriously, I don't post much, but I thought it wouldn't be so bad on RoG. This pathetic, I'm sorry for these rude and insensitive comments, but I'm so sick of this crap as is the majority of people here.

    On a note related to the article, it has some fair points, but Frost could also pull out a 'secret strat' if they have one prepared. We'll see, in LA, in 2 days .

     

    -On a side note, I'm going to the finals! Super excited :D

  • #20 chaosbowser

    Its not racism. Its more or less nationalism on a regional scale. It also has a lot to do with the fact that Asian domination in competitive video games is something kind of depressingly ubiquitous. Is it really so bad that the writer wanted a N.A. / Euro team to make it to the finals? Moreover, i wasn't even a fan of Euro domination in season 1 either. People just don't like to see a whole region of the world have reigning domain over your entire competitive scene. Watching Asia utterly dominate all other regions is rather depressing when you come from NA or Euro as well as just plain boring from an objective perspective. Stop misinterpreting people.

  • #41 LolLolLolJake

    If you want to be depressed about the teams from Asia dominating, you should have been depressed weeks ago when all the NA teams fucking did was play solo queue all day instead of ACTUALLY PRACTICING AS A TEAM. Asian teams don't win because they're asian. The team that win (Asia/EU) win because they're actually willing to put in the effort to get better. It's literally that simple.

  • #42 chaosbowser

    Just because America doesn't care doesn't make it any less depressing? I don't understand your point. Am I supposed to be happy that the only region in the world that seems to give any fucks is Asia? Either way how much N.A. teams suck isn't really my point . My point is just regional domination sucks and whoever's fault that is isn't really something i care about?

  • #43 CJTHeroofTime

    Who's saying they won because they're asian?  I don't think anyone disagrees that the NA teams' mindset with regards to practicing is not as good as the asian teams'.  The mindset has nothing to do with race, nationality, ethnicity, whatever.  The fact of the matter is the teams from asia (and are therefore asian) practiced better than the north american teams.

  • #44 Waaargh

    Quote from chaosbowser »

    Just because America doesn't care doesn't make it any less depressing? I don't understand your point. Am I supposed to be happy that the only region in the world that seems to give any fucks is Asia? Either way how much N.A. teams suck isn't really my point . My point is just regional domination sucks and whoever's fault that is isn't really something i care about?

    You should poke the pro NA and EU teams to get practicing more and playing around less. With  less dedication comes less success in the tournament environment. Alternatively you can start a campaign about having pro teams do worse, perhaps M5 and the Asian teams will hear about it and take it to their hearts.

  • #46 chaosbowser

    The funny part is they're both equally likely to succeed.

  • #47 LolLolLolJake

    But M5 is white, which makes all the difference for people like you.

  • #16 underthemoon

    I'm tired of all the racist comments about TPA. These racist idiots should stop bitching. The reason the North American teams can't compete on an Asian level is because they don't put effort into winning. Should we punish Asian teams for trying to win? I like TSM, but if they want to win, they have to practice more. Retarded Westerners crying about how Asians ruin everything isn't the solution.

  • #21 chaosbowser

    Its not racism. Its more or less nationalism on a regional scale. It also has a lot to do with the fact that Asian domination in competitive video games is something kind of depressingly ubiquitous. Is it really so bad that the writer wanted a N.A. / Euro team to make it to the finals? Moreover, i wasn't even a fan of Euro domination in season 1 either. People just don't like to see a whole region of the world have reigning domain over your entire competitive scene. Watching Asia utterly dominate all other regions is rather depressing when you come from NA or Euro as well as just plain boring from an objective perspective.

  • #39 LolLolLolJake

    Why is the Asian teams winning depressing? If you want to be depressed about Asia dominating, you should have been depressed weeks ago when all the NA teams fucking did was play solo queue all day instead of ACTUALLY PRACTICING AS A TEAM. Asian teams don't win because they're asian. They win because they're actually willing to put in the effort to get better. There's no secret formula here.

  • #9 Kharai

    TPA is the only honest team left in the tournament. I can't wait for AZF to get the asterisk 2nd place* (FOR CHEATING!)

    In all honesty, I'm still angry they weren't booted from the tournament. It sets an extremely poor example to start off the next level of e-sports with this tournament. 

    I'm calling it right now, TPA wins, or TSM house riots (no pun intended). 

  • #13 Corinye

    In case yoy didnt saw the official Riot's statement, Azubu were punished, but the "cheat" did not have significant impact on the match. So TSM would lose anyways, get over it.

  • #15 Kharai

    Quote from Corinye »

    In case yoy didnt saw the official Riot's statement, Azubu were punished, but the "cheat" did not have significant impact on the match. So TSM would lose anyways, get over it.

    It did. That's their way of brushing it under the rug. You're a hater, and I'm not a TSM fanboy. 
    Also, you literally would never pick the champs TSM did without relying on that strategy that they were cheated out of. 

    I was a MIG Frost fan. Now I'm kind of ashamed to say that. So don't you preach to me buddy.

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