March the 13th saw the yet be to defeated Sunderland Seers return to the rift to take on Team Engage.
Lining up on the blue side were Sunderland Seers:
Top Lane – Rivenge Returns (Nidalee)
Jungle – TooneXx (Jarvan IV)
Mid – Earth9732 (Galio)
Bot – Toashtie (Jinx)
Support – S9 Zyro (Alistar)
And on the red side Team Engage:
Top Lane – Newrick (Kennen)
Jungle – vxgamerlord (Sejuani)
Mid – ChunkoMode (Sylas)
Bot – 6ft2 eboy (Kai’Sa)
Support – skilllessnoobi (Nami)
The match began with the opponents taking up usual defensive lines of scrimmage across the river, with both junglers starting on their bottom side. There was some aggressive level one trading in Mid lane from Sylas, with Galio coming off less kindly but the first real action occurred as the two junglers both pathed for bottom river scuttle crab. vxgamerlord on Sejuani claimed the scuttle for Team Engage but lost her flash in her retreat as TooneXx on Jarvan IV challenged her. Off the back of this play Seers’ bot lane had moved up into the river and Jinx was caught by a skilllessnoobi’s Nami Aqua Prison forcing her flash early but a good combo by S9 Zyro’s Alistar onto both Kai’Sa and Nami saved Jinx’s life and also blew Kai’Sa’s heal after both ignites were traded by the supports. The bot lanes of both teams were packing lots of crowd control and this game was already shaping up to be very bot focused.
Barely 3 minutes into the game Sejuani’s missing flash was capitalised on by Sunderland Seers as TooneXx predicted Sejuani would try and get the top river scuttle crab for the valuable experience it offers. Top laner Rivenge Returns reacted to the play first and rotated down to leave the Sejuani stuck between the Exemplar of Demacia and the Bestial Huntress resulting in first blood to Sunderland Seers.
In the bot lane Toashtie’s Jinx was punished in a similar fashion with Kai’Sa claiming the first kill for Team Engage, meaning across the map the game was still very even.
There was a short reprieve to catch a breather, as both teams returned to farming and despite first blood gold Team Engage had a small 0.1k gold lead thanks to big farm advantages in Middle and Bot.
The player at the centre of the early game was TooneXx however, and he found his way into the bot lane to secure a kill onto Nami, welcome gold going over to Jinx’s backpockets (if she has any!). In the top lane Newrick’s Kennen hit 6 and very nearly secured a solo kill onto Nidalee, who had some fancy footsteps, not for the last time in this game, to dodge the final Thundering Shuriken and get out alive.
The priority from bot lane transitioned into an early Infernal Drake for Sunderland Seers, despite ChunkoMode on Sylas continuing to dominate midlane in terms of CS, doubling that of his opponent. ChunkoMode often had the push and gave Sejuani some room to breathe in her jungle and keep up in farm against the otherwise oppressive Jarvan IV.
A bot lane skirmish that saw nearly all players involved, was started by Sylas cleverly roaming with the stolen Galio’s ultimate, (who no doubt was crying Demacian stone tears at the unethical wielding of magic #lorebreak). The fight was turned in favour of Sunderland Seers and thus began
The Biggest Snowball Ever and the second drake of the game, an Ocean was secured for the blue side team.
Team Engage slipped in to take the Rift Herald and a narrowly missed Sejuani ultimate on the 1/0/1 Nidalee turned into another skirmish that Seers came out on top on.
The game crested a defining moment, which delivered my highlight of the game, as Rivenge Returns Nidalee now 2/0/2 who had been well matched by Team Engage’s top laner Newrick used her now completed Lich Bane to take the game’s first tower and then provide a fine display of footwork, dancing in and out of the minion wave to dodge skillshots, shrugging off the Kennen and pouncing for the solo kill. It was a close, high skilled 1v1 but sadly the lane became lost to Kennen after this.
With the game at 7-2, 13 minutes in and the gold lead amounting to 3.5k in favour of Seers. They began to move into Team Engage’s jungle and assert their dominance and start pushing their advantage. Some picks went over to Team Engage, picking up another kill onto Kai’Sa who was sitting pretty at 3-1 but as they took one step forward, it felt as if Seers pushed them another two steps back taking counter kill onto Sylas moments after.
A second infernal easily went over to Seers and superior teamfighting and decision making across the Seers Line-up saw them take objectives and kills in a Mundo-esque fashion, as they pleased and they closed out the game through top lane without any further troubles in 21 minutes and 50 seconds.
Player of the game was a tough call between Jungler TooneXx, who controlled the jungle and pace of the game but taking my player of the game with an off meta Nidalee top pick who snowballed her lead into other lanes so effectively and with a final flawless finishing score of 11/0/4 is Rivenge Returns. GG Seers who move to the finals and take on Farnborough Falcons who defeated their co-Farnborough team the Foxes in the other semi-final and unlucky Team Engage who can be happy with the season they’ve had.