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[EN]OGN FINALS PREVIEW: MVP OZONE VS. CJ ENTUS BLAZE


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After a long season, the finals are finally amongst us. The Spring 2013 season started with twelve teams and now stands only two: MVP Ozone and CJ Entus Blaze. There is plenty on the line: the coveted title of OGN Champions as well as some much-needed circuit points in order to grab one of Korea's three spots at the Season 3 finals. With that in mind, let's take a look at these two teams and what they had to go through to get to this point.

 

MVP Ozone

 

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Like with all teams that end up in the finals, MVP Ozone started with the group stages. They started in group A and faced off against daunting teams such as SKT T1 Judgment Day and NaJin Sword. They managed to nab one of the four spots that moves on thanks to the poor performance of their sister team, MVP Blue. Their play was a bit shaky, only ending up 2-2-1 after the group stages were over.

 

MVP Ozone's future didn't look bright as the bracket stage approached. They found themselves up against KT Rolster B, who played poorly against CJ Entus Frost in the last match of the group stages to get an "easier" matchup against MVP Ozone. On paper, KT Rolster B is one of the strongest teams in Korea and potentially the strongest. With their play-making jungler Insec as well as consistent laners and a knack for sneaking Baron, KTB were the heavy favorites in this matchup. However, KTB were off their game that day while Ozone looked on point. The carrying from Imp, the brilliant  Kennen peel from Homme, and the timely CC of the support Mata, and all of a sudden MVP Ozone found themselves winning 3-1 against KT Rolster B.

 

People have said that whoever beats KT Rolster B will win the entire tournament, but to do that, MVP Ozone would have to beat another very promising team: SKT T1 Judgment Day. Both Judgment Day and their sister team, Terminator, as Montecristo and DoA like to call them, looked to pull off a debut tournament win, a so-called "royal road". Judgment Day featured a solo queue star: Faker, who is absolutely monstrous and can play absolutely anything, from the reliable  Jayce to a pocket  LeBlanc. Their jungler Bengi is a very solid initiator, and combined with the  Fiddlesticks support from PoohMandu, and you have a recipe for a bad time.

 

In order to defeat MVP Ozone, Judgment Day would have to rely on Faker to roam and influence other lanes as well as having Piglet and Mandu hopefully shutting down Ozone's bot lane of Imp and Mata. However, MVP Ozone were ready for this, banning Mandu's Fiddlesticks all four games, recognizing that it's a key threat to their reliance on Imp carrying them. Furthermore, Judgment Day went the exact opposite route for their mid laners, picking farm and teamfight oriented champions such as  Karthus and  Orianna instead of someone who can more easily roam like a potential  Diana or  Ahri. With these choices, the doors opened for a 3-1 victory for MVP Ozone.

 

With these two teams down, their biggest test lies in front of them. CJ Entus Blaze looked exceptionally strong in the past few games and is on a 13 game win streak. Furthermore, Blaze beat Ozone 2-0 in the group stages, so Ozone will have to collect themselves well if they don't want a repeat of what happened before.

 

CJ Entus Blaze

 

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CJ Entus Blaze, along with their sister team CJ Entus Frost, are probably the two most famous teams in Korea. They're amongst the oldest teams and feature some major firepower in their top laner Flame, the renowned duo of Captain Jack and Lustboy, and the Korean All-Star mid laner Ambition. Blaze managed to place in the top of their group, ending up 3-1-1 after the dust cleared.

 

Their first test was against SK Telecom T1 Terminator. Terminator, sometimes known as "Reapered's team", went even in group stages, winning 5 and losing 5. Their success often relied on Reapered to do well and then split pushing the opponent to defeat. However, Flame is an absolute monster in the top lane, easily out-CSing Reapered when he was there and taking down several waves when Reapered used  Shen's  Stand United to help his team. It was with these games that revealed top lane Ryze to the world. Ryze's weakness is that he has a weak early game and is immobile but due to Flame's mechanics, even if he got camped, he stayed relevant because of farm and because his team knew what to do in the rest of the map to achieve map presence. Furthermore, Terminator's split-pushing tactic only works if Terminator is ahead, which is difficult due to the wave manipulation that Blaze is so good at doing. Blaze managed an easy 3-0 against SKT T1 Terminator and moved to the semifinals.

 

It wouldn't be a Champions season without a CJ team-kill. In the second semifinals set, Blaze found themselves against Frost, a matchup we have seen several times over. During the games, Blaze looked exceptionally on point, managing a gold lead the majority of the time through superior last hitting and objective control. Helios read Cloudtemplar like a book, counterganking brilliantly and making sure that Cloudtemplar is even less of a threat than he normally is. With that counteraggression, Cloudtemplar was less of a threat in the teamfights. The duo of Captain Jack and Lustboy, who faltered in the group stage, acquired their second win, smashing the opposing bot lane of Hermes and Madlife in both CS and lane control. Furthermore, with Flame as reliable as always, Blaze knew they had someone if something went wrong. Blaze managed to sweep Frost 3-0 in the second semifinal due to their lane and map timing.

 

Only one set is between Blaze and victory, and that's the unexpected team of MVP Ozone. No one expected Ozone to get this far, so the real question is this: Will global warming cause a hole in the ozone layer? Or will the ozone layer hold through and prevent absolute destruction? To get a better read on this, let's take a look at the matchups.

 

Top Lane

 

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In the top lane, we have the phoenix reborn: Flame against the HotshotGG of Korea: Homme. Flame started out small in his competitive debut a while ago, only playing Irelia, but since then blossomed into one of the best top laners in Korea. With a champion pool that's incredible and a knack for sometimes doubling his opponent's CS, Flame is the contingency plan of CJ Entus Blaze in case their other laners go poorly. Meanwhile, Homme prefers to play tanky champions that can help his team out, such as his Shen. He plays a very passive and defensive style in lane, hoping to influence his team a lot in teamfights. He didn't have the greatest group stage but since the bracket stage started, he's looked great in his games.

 

Flame will be looking to pick up his top lane Ryze, something that the CJ teams have played for a bit of time now. He also has several other champions in his repertoire, being mechanically strong with  Jayce,  Elise, and even  Akali. However, he may opt for the  Kennen pick in order to deny Homme the Yordle. Homme would like the Kennen pick to provide peel for Imp, however his  Jarvan IV is also a contender due to the use of  Cataclysm to protect Imp. Ozone oftentimes give Jarvan IV to their jungler, DanDy, so expect to see other tanky top laners from Homme such as  Renekton.

 

Jungle

 

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The jungle matchup features the consistent Helios against the initiator, DanDy. Both of them are reliable junglers who aren't big playmakers like inSec or Watch. They've been criticized for not being as strong as in the past but nevertheless been an important piece for both teams. DanDy has been there mainly to help out his team, assisting his mid and bot laners to gain an advantage. He was known for his counterjungling in earlier seasons but hasn't pulled out the stops yet this season. Helios on the other hand had an upward climb, playing well on Lee Sin in their games against Frost which helped him out with securing top, mid, and jungle control. In order for MVP Ozone to win, DanDy really needs to respond to pressure well and has to be keen for counterganks against Helios.

 

As for champions, DanDy has been keen on that  Jarvan IV pick, whereas Helios preferred  Lee Sin, playing him a lot for these bracket stage matches. DanDy also prefers  Nasus and  Zac picks but is perfectly capable of picking someone with more damage like  Elise if they already have a tanky top laner (which happens a lot because of Homme's playstyle). If Helios doesn't somehow get his Lee Sin, he can also play Nasus and Elise or other champions that can affect the game through lane transitions and objective control rather than pure ganking power.

 

Mid Lane

 

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MVP Ozone's mid laner, dade, faces off against the Korean All-Star mid laner, Ambition. Ambition is sometimes considered the best midlaner in Korea and showed it, beating other midlaners like Faker, RapidStar, and MidKing to the title. With dade up to the plate, it's not an easy task to overthrow the current ruler of the throne. dade will have to rely on his mechanical prowess in order to at least go even in lane. dade is the second threat in Ozone's team, similar to how Link is commonly the second threat in CLG. On the other side, Ambition is an absolute monster with an incredibly wide champion pool and great CSing abilities. He's incredibly consistent in both aggressive and passive champions.

 

Because of their mechanics, both mid laners are capable of playing  Jayce,  Kha'Zix,  Karthus, and  Zed very well. dade may also be looking to take the  Ryze pick away from Blaze, as both Flame and Ambition can play Ryze to expertise. However, Ambition's champion pool really shines in this matchup. His  Twisted Fate is currently at a 100% win rate in competitive play, which means Ozone will have to waste a ban on that. He can also play more mobile champions like  Ahri and  Diana in order to influence the other lanes or just get strong through sheer CSing. Expect a lot of champions to be chosen to deny the other team those chatacters.

 

AD Carry

 

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Bottom lane has two players that are extremely good mechanically. Captain Jack is most famous for his Sivir game where he managed to dodge or break out of four hard CC ultimates as well as coming back against Frost when both their nexus turrets were destroyed. Meanwhile, Imp, oftentimes called DoubleImp due to his  Vayne play and his ego, is the person who puts Ozone on his back. He also has the ego of Doublelift, even saying "Doublelift who?" in a recent interview. Imp is currently at his highest point, carrying Ozone in many games. The real question is can he go higher or will he fall to the resurgence of Captain Jack's power, who seems to be getting his stride back in lane.

 

Because of Imp's role in the team, he really likes picking champions that can do a large amount of damage, mainly  Vayne,  Varus, and  Twitch. His mechanics have shown in his Vayne play, while his positioning with the other two have been impeccable. He really needs to play the damage threat as his team runs the double threat composition often. Meanwhile, Captain Jack stepped back to his Caitlyn, even with her nerfs. He's channeling his inner OGN Winter 2012 season and finding the power needed to help carry his team. He also plays  Kog'Maw and  Varus, champions that have a long-range to poke down towers easily to get the Blaze snowball started.

 

Support

 

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AD carries would not be able to survive without help from their supports. MVP Ozone's Mata and CJ Entus Blaze's Lustboy are the two safety nets that the teams have for their AD carries. Mata has played great all season and was a key instrument in their win over KT Rolster B and is currently placed second in the MVP rankings. Meanwhile, Lustboy had a much harder time in the bracket stage, pitted up against the number 1 and 2 support seeds from the All-Star voting. Lustboy has always been in the shadow of Madlife, but it's his time to shine since Madlife and Frost out of this tournament. Fortunately, Lustboy and Cpt Jack have managed to die less in lane and even taken off surprising kills against their laners, showing that they've become more comfortable in their laning phases.

 

Both supports prefer champions that have AOE CC. Mata's main  Zyra can change games with her Grasping Roots and  Stranglethorns in teamfights. He is also capable of playing a great  Sona, filled with  Flash  Crescendos. As for the Blaze side, Lustboy's  Lulu is always a favorite while recently, he started playing more  Janna, especially in his games against CJ Entus Frost. These two supports also prefer hooking champions, Mata favoring the  Blitzcrank while Lustboy prefers the  Thresh pick. It's with no doubt that both of these supports will influence the game heavily with their CC setups.

 

 

What To Expect

 

Twisted Fate banned every game, whether to deny Ambition or because of Purple Side disadvantage

Targeted bans galore:  Ryze,  Vayne,  Twisted Fate,  Lee Sin,  Jarvan IV

Lee Sin and  Jarvan IV picks for Helios and DanDy respectively, if they get through

Nasus if either one is banned out

Long ranged ADC ( Caitlyn,  Kog'Maw) for Cpt Jack vs high damage ADC ( Vayne,  Varus) for Imp

Supports going for their mainstays:  Lulu and  Zyra

 

Overall

 

With CJ Entus Blaze looking so unstoppable coming into the finals, it's easy to see why they're the favorites, and they have every right to be. MVP Ozone faces their hardest challenge to date, with only one set standing between them and an OGN title victory. However, Blaze won't put up an easy fight as they look to go 2 for 2 with Spring wins. Will the victory of Blaze signal the summer coming in? Or will Ozone look to put a damper in their plans? The true match of the David vs. Goliath starts on 6/15 at 5:00 PM KST, 10:00 AM CEST, 4:00 AM EDT, and 1:00 AM PDT. Don't miss it!

 

Score Predictions

 

PaperLuigi2 predictions: Flame 3-0 Ozone

Jebus McAzn predictions: Flame 3-0 Ozone

 

by esports central

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