Immortals is undoubtedly the best League of Legends team in the West. Immortals isn’t unbeatable, as Cloud9 showed Sunday with a close game all the way through to the end. Still, as the halfway point of the spring split has passed, it’s worth taking a closer look at the team that has dominated the conversation in its first go-around in the North American League of Legends Championship Series.
Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin is by far the best jungler in North America, and quite possibly the best player. He is always in the right place at the right time, and he garners insane gold and experience advantages for himself. Perhaps his most under the radar quality is his high team fight awareness. A great example of that came Sunday against Cloud9, as he flashed into the side bush to stop Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi’s full ultimate on Jihn).
Team fight coordination
There have been a couple team fights Jason “WildTurtle” Tran has won by himself. With either Lulu comps or some other sort of other protection comp with Soraka or Janna, WildTurtle has made crazy plays, going into the front line as Kalista, knowing he can’t die, blowing multiple important cooldowns on the enemy, gaining the upper hand in the team fight. This type of coordination has been carrying the entire team.
Big things were expected from Heo “Huni” Seung Hoon going into the season, and sitting on a 10-0 record is pretty big. Huni’s champion pool has shown to be huge, making it almost impossible to ban out. Alongside Reignover and mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park, it’s been difficult for any opponent to target ban. Huni and Pobelter have played seven champions apiece this split, and Reignover has played six.
The one downside of Huni is that he can get over cocky, which sometimes leads to a questionable play or pick. For example, he blind picked Quinn into An “BalIs” Le, who is notorious for playing tanks, on Sunday. It resulted in a solo kill from Balls, as he picked Malphite, a bad matchup for Quinn. Huni’s great team fighting plays alongside the rest of the team, however, made the solo kill not a factor.
Overall, Immortals looks like it can compete on the international level. Its coordination is what sets these guys apart from any team in the West, and why they should be a huge threat to any team. Just like last year’s Fnatic, though, an undefeated regular season might still come with doubts about the team on the international level.
There should be less of that with Immortals, as the same undefeated top/jungle dynamic duo should not be doubted.
What’s H2k’s ceiling?
Immortals looks like a giant threat to any team, but what about the top teams coming out from Europe?
It’s tough to say what team is the undisputed best. While It should be H2K, but its play without starting mid laner Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook has been sloppy the last few weeks, and that won’t cut it against the very best teams in the world.
Another thing that is bothersome is the sometimes hard-headed nature of ADC Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou. FORG1VEN is a brilliant and mechanically-gifted player, but some of his small decision making is questionable. In Thursday’s game against Unicorns of Love, FORG1VEN, while playing on Ezreal, didn’t build the blue build, opting to go to the traditional Trinity Force build. H2k still won the game, and FORG1VEN went on twitter to showing he still had the most damage on the team without blue build (even though he is simply incorrect about which is the superior build mathematically).
Playing Caitlyn in Friday’s loss to G2 Esports, he didn’t get traps until Level 12. Traps can come in handy and are very much needed now after the Caitlyn changes. She relies on abusing her head shots, and ignoring the much more powerful traps is a bad idea. In that same game, he didn’t build Last Whisper even though G2 had a Malphite and H2K had a triple ADC comp. He also went to twitter again when criticized for that and claimed he didn’t get farm. If you look at his items, he built a questionable Phantom Dancer as the fourth item, and had components of Blade of the Ruined King for his fifth. That means Last whisperer wasn’t going to be built until he was fully built with six items. There is no reason to build Phantom Dancer there; he needed Blade of the Ruined King and Last Whisper as soon as possible.
The struggles are real at times, but H2k should be fine, especially if Ryu is ever able to return. Jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski has been the picture of consistency, and despite FORG1VEN’s occasional slip ups, he’s still one of the best. There’s reason to believe H2K will be the undisputed best in Europe by the time all is said and done.
All photos courtesy of Riot Games.