This past Sunday, the 9th of December, 2012, we played our first pre-season match for AHGL against Zenimax. I hadn’t given my guys much time to prepare for this team specifically, but we had practiced a lot together and we assumed everything would be fine.
We get into the lobby and ask if the other team is ready. They respond in the affirmative, probably as nervous as we are. My team and I discuss in Skype what we are planning on doing for lanes and roles. We’re thinking our usual comp of Lux and Panth in bot lane and probably LeBlanc mid. We did our usual bans starting with Darius. Enemy team’s first ban: LeBlanc. Ok, no big deal, I play a number of AP carries, they can’t ban me out! They did do themselves a favor to ban out my LeBlanc, but we’re not going to let them discourage us. We ban our Alistar because he can really mess up bot lane’s strategy. Enemy team’s second ban: Pantheon. Um, what?! They were totally prepared! They knew what we wanted to do! They were ready for us! Panic sets in.
We literally threw our strat out the window and switched on the spot. Jake requests top, Riven. Dan agrees to go support, which means I’m playing ranged AD. Steve offers to jungle and Jeff takes over mid. This really killed a lot of the tension. We knew where we were going and were planning on playing roles that we know and understand.
I picked up Ezreal with first pick because his mobility in bot lane makes him really safe. Enemy team picks up Lux. They knew us too well! Picks continue and everyone got what they wanted. We had Jeff run Kassadin so he could gank and chase and burst. He did that really well. Kass was also a solid counter-pick to Katarina, as Jeff had recently played that match-up and knew what to do to beat Kat in lane.
The enemy team’s WuKong pick seemed strange at first, but he scales really well with Black Cleaver and his attack timer reset, plus his ult. Cleverly, Zenimax decided to swap Katarina and WuKong so that Kat didn’t have to see Kass in lane and she could do a bit better, while WuKong could try to shut down Kass with more sustained damage. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out like they had planned.
Jake got a few kills on Kat and snowballed it into the nastiest top lane imaginable for Katarina. Jake was so big that Kat couldn’t lane with him, yet was too far behind to be of any use to gank or pressure other lanes.
Meanwhile, in bot lane, I was playing support Ezreal while my Zyra racked up kill after kill. I didn’t finish the game with most assists on purpose. No, usually I go for the Kobe approach and just take lots of shots and never pass the ball. Zyra just managed to get all the last hits on champions! I’m pretty sure Dan does it on purpose, but we’ll never know.
Yes, Jake and I were stacking Black Cleavers! Nothing like getting the enemy down to 0 armor so that Riven and Ezreal can rip them to pieces. It was the first time I had purchased armor pen on Ezreal, and it was hilarious! My Q would deal so much damage! It felt like I had a Sheen! Consecutive Q’s were even more powerful. I loved picking on Lux and MF under turret with my Q. Cho couldn’t really gank us because I could always E away from him, and I’d just wait for his rupture before I used my blink. The games first blood was when Cho came to gank I just stutter-stepped back while auto attacking and shooting Q’s (leaving myself 90 mana of course) and got some poor soul so low that when they turned to leave Zyra plants finished them off. That time I couldn’t blame Dan for stealing my kill!
Eventually this game snow-balled to the point that Jake was 14-0, and the enemy team just had to run from him. When they wouldn’t run he would just turn and kill all of them. The surrender vote came out and we were very satisfied with our victory. We had played well, minimized our mistakes, Dan had helped call objectives, we had team-fought well, and it worked out for the best.
We’re looking forward to our second pre-season game that’s coming up probably this Sunday. We play against Curse. The game will be streamed at http://www.twitch.tv/adyendrus where you’ll be able to hear all of the team commentary as we go up against one of the larger names in the After Hours Gaming League. I’m just glad Liquid112 isn’t on that team anymore!