EU LCS – Alliance Plays Scared
Throughout the off-season, no team has had more excitement, or more pressure, surrounding their games during super week than Alliance. Froggen’s super team, comprised of stars from other top ranked LCS teams, was heavily favored in three of their four games in the kickoff week of the 2014 season. Unfortunately for fans of the King of Anivia, Froggen’s team fell woefully short of even the lowest expectations. With one game left to play in super week, Alliance sits at 0-3, dropping two of those games to the newly qualified Copenhagen Wolves and Supa Hot Crew.
So why, with so much talent, leadership, and experience on the team have Wickd, Tabzz, and crew struggled so much. The team was finalized very recently, with longtime SK Gaming Support, Nyph, having just been acquired. Analysts have pointed to the lack of time the newly cemented roster has had to get in sync. However, based on their play, and the team’s clear respect for Froggen’s leadership, there seems to be a larger issue at work–Alliance is playing scared.
After this potential juggernaut destroyed Dignitas in the Battle of the Atlantic, expectations for the LCS skyrocketed. Pro players and analysts alike were calling Alliance their preseason favorites to win the spring split. After leaving the most solid roster in professional League of Legends history with Evil Geniuses, Froggen and Wickd have to prove that they made the right choice to stay in Europe. They need to win, and as a result Alliance is playing not to lose.
Hall of fame wide receiver Chris Carter has often said “More games in the [National Football League] are lost than won.” His point is that more teams throw away victories with mistakes than play perfectly and win big. Alliance is so scared of failure that their twitchiness and lack of decision making has cost them three LCS losses.
In their first match against the Copenhagen Wolves, faced a key decision that determined the outcome of the match. the Wolves had four members starting a dragon fight, while Cowtard’s Kayle was pushing fast down the midlane towards the inhibitor tower. Alliance needed to decide in an instant whether to stop Kayle in the midlane, or take their numbers advantage to a fight at dragon. Instead, they wandered between both points in the jungle, and lost themselves dragon and a tower. That gold advantage pushed the Wolves too far ahead, and they slowly beat down Alliance from there.
After a disappointing performance against Fnatic, Alliance entered picks and bans against Supa Hot Crew needing to get out with a win. Early on in their champion selection, Alliance chose Kha’Zix, a champion most commonly used in the mid lane as a hyper carry. Instead, Froggen chose to play Leblanc and send the Kha’Zix to the jungle with Shook. In every team fight Froggen missed his skill shots, and Shook used his leap to escape fights rather than to secure kills. Their team composition was dependent on flexing their muscles early and often, gaining a lead and pressing their foot down on the throat of the Supa Hot Crew. Instead, they fell behind early, missed opportunities for surprise kills, and spent more time running away than they did attacking.
Alliance seem to be unclear in their goals within the game. They could not decide their priorities in the match against the Wolves, and set themselves behind with their champion selection against the Supa Hot Crew. They will need to refocus, find their own playstyle, and commit to it if they have any hope of climbing out of the hole they have dug for themselves in week one of the 2014 LCS.
Watch all of Alliance’s matches from week one at https://www.youtube.com/lolchampseries