DCL’s Basement Basher: Mahogany vs Willow, a match sponsored by NSE

NSE Mahogany and NSE Willow finally faced off on Wednesday after 16 weeks of the Dutch College League. While both teams represented NSE, there was no doubt both teams wanted to secure the win. Their stories seemed quite similar; the first part of the split underwhelming, resulting in both mid laners being swapped, after which the search for synergy continued.

There was a lot on the line for this game, specifically to relegate or not to relegate. I, Discolor, will try to give you my perspective on this game.

Pick and Ban
The game was hyped up weeks prior to its start; with gasfornuis’ jungle Ivern being the boogeyman, there was no way this champion was going to get through champion select. Furthermore, Brand was a highly contested pick for both supports.  In addition to this, Willow, having purple side, opted to not ban out mid lane from the start and rather use the last pick to counterpick whichever champion Erudite chose.
There were 3 main comps we wanted to focus on; an engage comp with Nocturne/Shen, a poke comp and a Gragas/Yasuo comp. It all depended on the bans of Mahogany; seeing their first ban go to Shen meant our first comp got denied, after which we chose to focus on the Gragas pick (knowing Ramzar would pick Irelia and having practiced this matchup), since this pick has the options to work in both comps. We secured a solid bot lane with Brand being on our side and picked Nunu for Caitlyn/Yasuo. I should note that Xerath was not banned in the first ban phase, which left it open for both Erudite and me, but neither of us felt the need to blind pick it, knowing the other had counter possibilities, and specifically for myself, knowing I had the final pick.
After a final ban phase, 6 mid lane champions were banned, leaving quite a small pool. This is probably the key moment in the whole game. Erudite blindly locked in Twisted Fate, even though Cassiopeia and Morgana were left open. This gave Willow and me a perfect counter pick and team comp finisher, Yasuo, which is probably what spelled the doom of Mahogany.

Game
The game started off slow, with Mahogany gaining vision on the Nunu’s start and bot lane not cheesing eachother. Darium dashed forward on Lucian, wasting his escape, which resulted in first blood for Tricksy. Meanwhile Xitoxic was busy gaining vision in gasfornuis’ jungle. The vision control that Xitoxic provided was critical for this game. This map control, in combination with the lack of vision for Mahogany gave Willow dragons and made sure I could gain full advantage on mid lane with Yasuo. I can’t remember how many times Xitoxic told me the position of Rek’sai and how many times I was told not to go for that cannon minion. This communication was key, playing passive when needed while still preserving my notorious aggressiveness.

The game progressed and while Erudite tried to gain an advantage by teleporting on bot/top, the pressure on mid from Yasuo was insane. I gained almost double cs on Twisted Fate. This advantage in mid lane gave Xitoxic and me an opportunity to take away gasfornuis’ jungle and snowball by taking farm and objectives. Having a Yasuo that nobody could contest 1v1 turned our strategy into a 4-0-1. I pushed objectives solo while my team was defending. Invasive and I swapped the outer lanes according to the cooldown of his teleport. While most of these rotations could have gone a lot cleaner, the end was within sight, if only we could keep the pressure on.
The final nail biting moment was the baron fight. Knowing nobody was capable of contesting me, I pressured bot lane for the inhibitor while my team defended baron. Mahogany chose correctly and hard engaged the 5v4 on Baron. We took this fight, while disengaging would have been better, which should have resulted in 4 dead Willow members and a baron for Mahogany. Luckily the fight turned in our favour, giving us a win on both sides of the map.
The final stage of the game gave us a baron (killed within 5 seconds due to earth dragons) and with a flash Gragas engage we secured top inhib and the nexus.

A well deserved win for Willow and prospect for more solid teamfights and rotations.
I’m a happy mid laner having gained a solo double kill and the second win with my team on my first Yasuo appearance. Also the following was said: “Cleanest Yasuo DCL” – Jonathan ‘J0nathan’ Schermer

By Bjarty “Discolor” Garcia, edited by Mark “0ptixx” Wever

On picture: Darium, AD Carry of NSE Mahogany

About: Mark Wever