The 2016 New Zealand Gaming Championship kicked off last night with one exhilarating, action packed thriller of an opening series matchup. Before we jump into the action, here are a few quick headlines regarding the NZGC Premiership 2016:
The first marquee matchup of the NZGC Premiership 2016 featured King 5 vs Tigereye. If you couldn’t catch the action live, you can always check out the VODS here – https://www.twitch.tv/letsplaylive.
What a way to start this season! This was perhaps the best game of the series as well.
Pick and bans went really well for both teams, with King 5 preferring to go with champions they felt most comfortable on. The Viktor and Lucian combo provided a ton of burst damage potential from their carry positions.
Meanwhile, Tigereye went with a more unorthodox champion selection strategy. Ekko is a strong champion in the current patch, but Tigereye decided to take him into the jungle, something we haven’t seen in competitive play.
Both teams were content to focus on farm through the first 11 minutes of the game. As King 5 postured around drake, lildecoy was caught out of position trying to ward, giving Tigereye first blood. Tigereye quickly followed that up with Ocean drake, then turned on King 5 as they attempted to retreat, picking up another 3 kills.
While Tigereye had built up an early lead through kills, King 5 decided to play more passively, focusing on finding picks and building a creep score advantage. That strategy proved to be vital, as they were able to dwindle away Tigereye’s advantage and slowly build a 4k gold lead through 30 minutes.
This game was ultimately decided at Baron. King 5 was able to take the uncontested Baron 37 minutes into the game, but a disastrous series of events directly after left four of their team members dead. Tigereye took everything but the Nexus in response. A few minutes later, Tigereye ended the game with a 1-0 series advantage.
Both teams decided to change strategy a bit going into game two. After the back and forth, chaotic team fighting oriented compositions in game one, King 5 and Tigereye decided to both draft pick compositions.
This was yet another close fight between these two teams, where the game really was decided on one team fight.
First blood went to Tigereye’s jungler after a great dive on top lane. Tigereye would continue to find the picks in the early game, building up a 5-0 kill lead. Once again though, we see that King 5’s superiority in lane with CS makes their gold deficit minimal.
Where game two really opened up at was 22 minutes in. Tigereye had a 3k gold advantage and was looking to find a fight. King 5 was more than ready, after some beautiful mechanical plays by Raven on Ekko and a perfectly placed Taliyah ultimate by Artaphernes.
After going 3-1 in the previous team fight and closing the overall kill gap, King 5 immediately turned to Baron. While Tigereye was able to successfully defend it, King 5 picked up yet another kill.
With the gold essentially tied at 31 minutes into the game, both teams postured over Ocean drake. King 5 would once again win the skirmish, smiting away drake and picking up two more kills. With only three enemy team members alive, King 5 was able to rush over to Baron and secure another objective.
Now with Baron buff, King 5 pushed down bottom lane, ending the game a few minutes later. With the series tied 1-1, we’re heading to a decisive game 3!
Going into game three, King 5 started out by picking three straight tanky champions (Trundle, Gragas, and Braum). Tigereye responded by grabbing an aggressive, damage oriented team composition. It left them susceptible because of all their squishy picks, requiring pristine team fighting coordination.
King 5 started out this game with far more aggression than we saw from them in game one or two. King 5’ Raven was able to solo rrarefliction(playing Ekko) in the top lane with a beautiful flash Q auto attack for first blood.
Simultaneously, Kayo was able to dwindle down OKTiger in the bottom lane. With Kayo low on HP and retreating, Tigereye’s mid laner, Artaphenes, came rushing down river to try and clean up the kills. Kayo positioned himself perfectly though, avoiding a flash combo from Viktor, allowing Bill to come in on Gragas and pick up a kill.
King 5 was now up 3-0 in kills, and their performance in the past two games indicated they knew how to build an advantage with CS. This spelled trouble for Tigereye.
After finding another pick, King 5 invaded Tigereye jungle, picking up three more kills. The rout was on.
15 minutes into the game, King 5 had a demanding 9k gold lead. A desperate team fight in the bottom lane as King 5 chipped away at the turret finally broke the dam. King 5 took the win at 27 minutes in game three.
What a spectacular series to open up the NZGC this year! King 5 is your matchup one winner in a thrilling, 2-1 final.
This post match report was brought to you by Logitech and Twitch.