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Reviewing The Gauntlet

In a surprising turn of events, Cloud9 (C9) has beaten ROX Armada (previously Invincible Armada) in the final stage of the 2017 Mobile Masters Invitational at the Prudential Center in New York. Armada nearly completed the “Run the Gauntlet” challenge, defeating four teams in succession – Tempo Storm, Tribe Gaming, GankStars and NRG – before ultimately falling to the last boss of the gauntlet, Cloud9. This was surprising to me, as in my eyes, Invincible Armada had always been just that: invincible. So, what led to this outcome?

Throughout the five matches of the Invitational, Armada did not significantly vary their team composition. In every match bar one, they locked in Baron as first pick, choosing him for their laner druid’s extremely capable hands. If NRG hadn’t banned Baron, it’s likely Armada would have again first-picked Baron for that match. Their jungler, Mango, chose assassins such as Taka, Blackfeather and Koshka. Their new roamer, Engineeus, taking over the role that Willy had performed superbly in the past, was the only one who changed his hero nearly every match (except for picking Glaive twice), as if eager to prove that he can play multiple heroes, and play them well.

Armada won their first four matches under twenty minutes each, with their aggressive and intimidating playstyle. All of the matches were best of one, as opposed to the usual best of three format seen in most other Vainglory tournaments. Armada won $3000 for every match won, winning a total of $12000 for four matches, a nice sum in their pocket.

In the final match, some believe Armada may have been fatigued, having played four matches with intense concentration beforehand. C9, on the other hand, were completely rested and ready, which may have played a role in the final result. In this match, Armada once again chose Baron as their first pick, following the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Bearing in mind the end result, this may have not been the best choice against Cloud9. Having seen three matches with Armada playing Baron beforehand, they were ready with a strategy to counter him. As it was a best of one format, neither team had the luxury of a rematch. I believe choosing Taka was one of the major reasons Armada ended up losing, as he did not have enough utility during teamfights. Engineeus as Lance also did not perform optimally, dying early on. Cloud9 showed incredible synergy and mechanical skill this match, with every one of their players at the top of their game. With Oldskool as Vox, gabevizzle as Ardan, and iLoveJoseph as Koshka, they were a force to be reckoned with. This match, the tables were turned. It was Cloud9’s turn to gain early advantages leading to their control of the map. For the first time in the gauntlet, it was ROX Armada that ended up fighting an uphill battle, performing well, but ultimately unable to stand up to Cloud9’s top notch synergy and execution.

To analyze exactly how Cloud9 was able to get the edge over ROX Armada, let us first look at another match of theirs. Apart from Cloud9, the team that gave them a run for their money was GankStars. The matches between GankStars and Cloud9 varied slightly in draft with the support roles of the opposition (GankStars had Lance, Cloud9 had Ardan) and Armada’s support (first Lyra, then Lance). While Lance can offer peel against a Koshka, he can’t completely negate an engagement like Lyra with her Bulwark. Where GankStars failed to capitalize on was the early-game potential of Koshka. Koshka is stronger in the early game than Taka and they needed to snowball fast before she fell off.

GankStars made a few rotations into Armada’s jungle but were not able to find many kills, objectives, or a gold lead larger than 3 thousand gold. Following a team fight at the 12 minute mark, GankStars were aced and from then on it went downhill for them. On the other hand, Cloud9 were able to snatch 2 quick kills early on and take the first turret and gold mine before the 10 minute mark. Also at this point, iLoveJoseph’s Koshka had a 20 cs lead over Mango’s Taka.

By the 13 minute mark, a 4 thousand gold lead had been amassed by Cloud9. While druid kept up with his laning efficiently, Mango was starved for gold. Around the 19 minute mark, Cloud9 just barely won a team fight and was then able to take a kraken and all of Armada’s lane turrets.

At this end point, the deciding factor in team fights was the difference between druid’s and Oldskool’s build. “I think a little bit of a mistake from ROX Armada was not playing a scaling composition. As soon as you get to the late game, that’s where it gets dangerous against Oldskool. Oldskool shines in the late game, that is what he wants”, I paraphrase FooJee. Oldskool’s Breaking Point build required him to build stacks off of Mango and Engineeus in order to deal greater amounts of damage, whereas druid’s build was for burst damage and had no scaling potential. In the two major team fights (one before kraken and the final team fight), Oldskool was just barely able to win out, and he ended the fights with 15 and 20 stacks of Breaking Point respectively.

With these builds in mind, the difference in team fighting strategies was another nail in the coffin for Armada. Knowing they were at a disadvantage and not wanting to allow Koshka to jump on their back line, they never fully committed to Oldskool and therefore he was able to build those breaking point stacks and dwindle down his target’s health. On Armada’s side, druid only kept applying a stagnant amount of damage. It’s important to note that while both GankStars and Cloud9 used assassins, Cloud9’s strategy did not prioritize the Baron, but rather his teammates. If Cloud9 could build stacks and force an early fountain of renewal from Armada, the fight would be in their favor. So, by dominating the early game and building for the late game, Cloud9 was able to pull off a winning performance in terms of momentum and map control, but they only narrowly won their team fights against Armada’s composition.

Ultimately, I wholeheartedly believe Cloud9 deserved this win, defeating the reigning World Champions. On the other hand, I also believe ROX Armada didn’t show us all the tools at their disposal, saving the other aces up their sleeves for Vainglory Worlds to come later this year. ROX Armada is still as much of a threat as before, and they’re just getting started, but Cloud9 has also reinforced that they deserve to be seen as a major threat.

Article written by DarkSquall and Ryann17

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EZLBot Update 3.0: Lottery

EZLBot has now launched publicly the EZLBot Lottery. The lottery is a way for anyone that uses the bot to earn ICE by simply using it. Every time you use the bot you have a chance to win ICE. Don’t worry we have spam and troll detection in place to prevent any such circumstances that you are thinking about. 🙂

How do you win? Simple just use the bot whenever you play a game. Any commands that are in relation to Vainglory meaning $stats, $matches etc all will give you a chance to win ICE. Basically, the more you use the bot, the more chance you have at winning ICE! If you win, you will receive a DM by the bot alerting you of your victory.

P.S. We already have 2 winners!

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EZLBot Update 3.0: Comparing Players

Hey there,

Today’s post is about understanding another awesome feature in the 3.0 update which was the biggest update to the bot since launch. Having completely rebuilt the bot to make it much better performance and better scalability we added in the ability to compare players.

Have you ever wondered how you compared against another player? Have you ever wanted to compare yourself against a professional player? Have you ever wanted to compare pro players versus other pro player? Compare 2 players in detail, compare many players, compare players from different regions. EZLBot presents you with the ability to do it all.

Come check it out at Discord or invite the bot to your server at Invite Link.

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EZLBot Update 3.0: Draft Features

EZLBot Update 3.0 is the biggest update to the Bot yet. We have had so many changes that it is no longer even possible to say that it is the same bot. In fact, the bot was completely rebuilt from the ground up. We wanted to make the bot be able to scale and grow much bigger and faster so that we can process over 1100+ servers. Thats right EZLBot is now in over 1100+ servers. There are 15 huge features in this update and to make it easy to see all the awesome stuff. We will be posting a explanation of each new feature right here so hit that subscribe button to learn all the hidden cool toys of EZLBot.

The first feature we will discuss is Draft. EZLBot now shows Draft features show you which heroes are banned, which heroes were selected and which Skins were chosen. View it in details in the Telemetry of your match data. Please enjoy this first feature of many more to come.

See you next time with the second feature explanation.

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Partnership Announcement with G2GeSports

With great pleasure, we are announcing one of the first partnerships of EZL. G2GeSports will be helping run the EU division of the EZL. With their vast experience of hosting tournaments in various eSports (as seen at their website) they will be a great asset to EZL.

We hope to build this relationship much further as time goes on.

For more information, please feel free to contact either G2GeSports or EZL_Official at any time.

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EZL Rules And Regulations

These are the Rules and Regulations and can be referred to by any member to contest or uphold decisions made by other players, the community, or its leadership.

Section 1: Rules and Regulations

All rules are subject to change if needed.

Anyone found to be in violation of these rules and regulations will receive a warning, and after 3 warnings you will be permanently banned from the EZL. Admins may ban someone and forego the 3 warnings depending on the severity of the issue at hand. In the EZL, we do not disrespect or harass anyone, whether they are a member or not, we show inspiring sportsmanship and we take constructive criticism well; we all have something to learn. All public posts, comments, and chats are required to be PG friendly. Therefore, the following behaviour is not allowed, among other things.

  • Profanity
  • Slurs
  • Player shaming
  • Nudity
  • Inappropriate behavior

Section 2: EZL Explanation

The EZL is a league intended for any competitive player from any skill level. In the EZL, a draft will be done near the end of every season to prepare the teams for the next season.

Scouting Period:

The weeks before the draft will be known as the scouting period. During this period Captains will be granted access to all the applications that have been sent in. They will then go through each application and decide to contact each applicant and scout each one by asking further questions, playing with members, or any other form of scouting they wish to conduct.

Draft Day:

On Draft Day, all Captains will be online on discord and on stream to make sure the entire process is held fairly. The order of the draft will be decided a few days in advance and will be completely random. The draft will occur in a serpentine fashion in order to keep it fair.

Preseason:

Once teams have been made, each team is given 1-2 weeks of preseason to prepare for the season. During this time, teams should feel free to practice as much as they would like, and begin to build synergy as a team.

Regular Season:

Each team will be playing against 2 other teams every week. All teams will be required to play 3 games against every other team. Game 1 and Game 2 will be draft with teams switching sides of draft between each. Game 3 will always be Blind Pick. Each game will count towards the Standings, which will be used to decide the seeding for the Playoffs. The better the team does during the regular season, the easier the road to the Championships will be for them during the Playoffs.

Playoffs:

Each team will be seeded into a bracket determined by the standings of the regular season. The playoffs will be played in a Best of 3 Single Elimination format. Once you lose, you are out. Winning gets you into the next round, and closer to the championship.

Players

The league consists of two types of members, they are known as Captains and Members.

Responsibilities (All responsibilities are subject to change as needed):

Captains:

  1. Keeping up to date with all changes, announcements, and important matters and making their team aware of all such things.
  2. Taking screenshots of post game scoreboards, whether it is a victory or not.
  3. Scheduling match times with other captains and reporting each match time.
  4. Keeping teammates aware of all match times.

Trades

Trading is allowed until the midway point of the Regular Season. A trade must be a 1 for 1 trade. Teams are limited to 1 trade in the pre-season, and 1 trade during the last week before the the midway point of the Regular Season.

 

Again, all of the rules and regulations are subject to change as time goes on. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you on the Halcyon Fold.