May 13 – Grading the LCS NA Summer Promotional Teams Day 1: Velocity E-sports

LCS NA just had their promotional tournament, and we saw some explosive matches between experienced teams in the LCS against the best challengers to date. Some teams made it in, some teams dropped out, and some teams are gone forever. Time to take a look at what these challengers are made of.

Velocity E-sports

Velocity formed in March from the remains of Dirt Nap Gaming, and despite losing Mid player Prolly to compLexity, made a strong play this weekend. Players like frommaplestreet, brother of TSM’s TheOddOne, and Vileroze, whose screams you could hear on stream, help give this team character, despite the relatively new faces. They edged out a close 3-2 victory and sent Team MRN packing.

Laning: B+

Velocity played about even with MRN during the games, ignoring game 2, and maplestreet consistently struggled to keep up with Nientonsoh. Still, game 4 showed what maple can pull off when he is on point, and VES managed a few strategic ganks that gave them advantages moving into the midgame. They really made a point to focus on wave clear, and it showed.

Teamfights: C

Occasionally, Velocity would engage in a bad place and lose a teamfight, or stay too long in a lane unprotected, or dive a tower to get a kill only to get blown up. These kinds of mistakes led to a majority of MRN’s comebacks. Notably, game 3’s loss came only a couple minutes after maplestreet went a little too far into MRN’s base in an attempt to kill MegaZero. The fight resulted in 4 VES deaths, and only one for MRN.

Maplestreet getting blown up

Maplestreet getting blown up

Strategy: A-

Go watch game 2. Go watch it now. Jungle Ezreal absolutely froze MRN in their tracks, and the dedication to split pushing all three lanes throughout the game was delightful to watch. Nk Inc apparently developed the Jungle Ezreal idea all by himself, but it took the team to execute it. They absolutely caught MRN with their pants down. Of special note is the dragon steal from Ez utilizing his double Flash. Brilliant stuff.

Edit: Upon further consideration, changed from an A to an A-. Yes, Game 2 was strategically dominating, but their other games were much more standard and to a point, reactive instead of actively executing a strategy.

Overall: B

The biggest thing to note about Velocity is that they are very new to the LCS atmosphere. They even acknowledged it in their post-game interview, “this is the first best-of-five we’ve ever had as a team.” Games they go into with a prepared strategy like game 2 will go outstanding for them, as Vileroze is able to communicate well and clearly. I’d say their decision to draft him based off of his leadership and communication skills is easily the largest reason for their placement into LCS, and I look forward to seeing more strategies coming out of Nk Inc. They may not blow through LCS teams, but that’s ok. From my perspective, they can only get better from here.

 

Note: I will be grading all four LCS promo teams that challenged a seated LCS team throughout this week, so look forward to more in the coming days! Tomorrow is Quantic.


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