At 7 p.m, the last match of Group A officially started.
"Good evening to all our viewers here, welcome to the Ya'an Esports Center! This is the live venue of the second round and fifth week of the regular season in the Official Gods War Pro League. The match between Tianhuan and Luoshendian would decide the final ranking in Group A!"
"Moving on, let us introduce the players on both teams..."
The two commentators quickly introduced everyone.
In the soundproofed room, everyone made use of the time they had to set up their computer. Coach Lin was standing behind everyone with a notebook in his hand.
All the players in Tianhuan didn't look the slightest bit nervous and even Cheng Xing who usually had a tense look on his face during matches also smiled in a relaxed manner. They already won four matches so even if they lost this time, they would still be promoted. Thus, the players felt no pressure at all.
"Both teams are ready, let's start the picks and bans stage of the first round!"
The game interface appeared on the big screens. Luoshendian was randomly assigned to play as the blue team in the first round and received the first ban.
Their first ban went straight to the Blessed Priest. This support was a part of Tianhuan's tactic used to create a difference in speed, as well as being the key to their team comp with a highly mobile Illusionist. Banning him would be equivalent to throwing away two of Tianhuan's comps.
Coach Lin countered by banning a support, the Radiant Shield. The opponent team followed up by sealing the Abyssal Lord away. Coach Lin then banned another support, the Six-Winged Angel. The Six-Winged Angel was a support with hard control skills that can use seal to cause a player to be rooted to their spot without being able to move around.
"In this season, Tianhuan would usually ban supports in the first phase of picks and bans to alleviate the pressure on the bottom lane. In contrast, other teams would no longer continuously ban jungle heroes when playing against Tianhuan now."
"That's right. When everyone played against Tianhuan in the past, they would only ban the jungle heroes in a frenzy. However, they started targeting the support, mid laner, and top laner in this season... because everyone realized that it isn't possible to ban all the jungle heroes. Shuoyue would still be able to let the mid laner develop steadily when playing a support jungler. Once a kill-oriented assassin mage like the Abyssal Lord developed fully, they would be unstoppable!"
"Let us look at the first pick both sides had decided on."
Luoshendian chose the Black Dragon Knight for the top laner. This was the practice known as 'using picks to replace bans'. Qin Yizhu, didn't you like this hero very much? I won't ban it but if I take it first, you still won't be able to take it all the same.
When it was Tianhuan's turn, the first and second pick directly took the Wind Nymph for marksman and Spirit of the Deer for support.
Both commentators looked at each other in surprise. "They actually took this pair!"
"The Spirit of the Deer is a very fragile support, but his ability to protect his allies is extremely strong. He can jump on his teammates and grant them an immunity shield."
"However, the Spirit of the Deer is unable to initiate team fights and his crowd control skill consists only of slowing debuffs. If that is the case, Tianhuan's tankiness on the front line may not be enough. A comp that's too fragile isn't good in team fights.
Luoshendian's second and third picks chose the Forest Envoy and the Warlock of Poison. The logic behind choosing this pair was for the Warlock to be built with attack speed equipment and heap stacks of poison on the opponents while the Forest Envoy would be in charge of replenishing health. The opponents would continuously lose health while the health on their side would continuously be restored. This would result in a war of attrition, and they would be able to beat their opponents back to base frequently, starting a snowball that will eventually establish an economic advantage.
Tianhuan's third pick was the Holy Knight to tank damage.
Both teams only chose the top and bottom lane heroes in the first phase. They left the mid and jungle heroes for the second phase.
Luoshendian's coach banned the Stealthy Rogue and the Brawler without hesitation. One was essential for a jungler core and the other can be played as a support jungler. Lin Feng then banned the Destruction Mage and the Great Witch of the North Sea, both artillery mages.
"Many meta heroes for the mid lane and jungle have been banned!"
"This is when we'll see how deep the jungler and mid laner pools on both teams are."
As Luoshendian was the blue team, they locked in the Frost Goddess first. When it was Tianhuan's turn, the fourth and fifth pick locked in the Sun Mage and Sword God!
"The Sun Mage!"
"Lieyang actually took a close-combat mage? Is this for the front line?"
"Tianhuan's support isn't a tank this time so if the mid laner runs a close-combat mage, he'll be able to initiate team fights. On the other hand, the jungle hero Sword God is more versatile but is extremely difficult to play. He needs to be fast enough to stack passive by clearing camps and it is very easy to self-destruct!"
"That's right. This hero is very unstable. His movements can be very flexible, stacking five layers of passive and swiftly kill the opponents' heroes, but if he can't get the required stacks in time, then he will just be giving free kills away to the opponents' side."
Luoshendian's coach frowned and thought for a moment before saying, "Lock in the Demon Executioner to counter the Sword God."
The Demon Executioner was a jungle hero with the farthest long-ranged attacks. He can hunt down and kill enemies from a faraway distance and unleash his ult and pursue enemies. The Sword God is very flexible and if a jungler with short-ranged attacks is chosen, it will never be able to reach the Sword God. Running the Demon Executioner would be perfect in restraining this hero.
The coach paused, then said, "We'll focus on their jungle this round. Don't let Chi Shuo develop!"
The game began.
As expected, Luoshendian swiftly invaded their jungle and stole Chi Shuo's blue buff. The Sword God was as fragile as paper in the early-game and this bout couldn't be played at all. Chi Shuo directly gave up on the blue buff and went after the red buff quickly instead.
When they started the game by invading the jungle, they tacitly split up into two teams and went different ways. Three went to the top half of the jungle to invade Tianhuan's blue while the remaining two went to the bottom half to defend their own blue. As a result, Luoshendian took three of the opening buffs while Chi Shuo only got one.
"Starting the game with three buffs, what an advantage for Luoshendian!"
"Yes, Luoshendian's jungler is currently one level higher than Shuoyue. The mid lane's river crab may go to them too."
As soon as he spoke, Luoshendian's jungler stole the mid lane's river crab with a smite. His level is now two levels higher than Chi Shuo's.
Tianhuan was already at a disadvantage at the start.
But the economic difference between them was far from enough to affect their situation as the difference was only between the junglers. As long as no one dies, the economy of their mid laner, marksman, and top laner wasn't far from their opponents.
When the first minor dragon spawned, Chi Shuo was only Level 4 whereas the enemy jungler had already hit Level 6.
Ye Shaoyang asked, "Are we still going for the minor dragon?"
Chi Shuo simply said, "Leave it, I'll go invade the opponents' red."
The result of leaving the minor dragon free caused the economic difference between the two teams to get bigger.
The two commentators were a little anxious. "Team Luoshendian's gold is leading by 1000 and the jungler has 500 more gold than their enemy jungler!"
"If Tianhuan continues going like this, their economic differences would only become greater and greater!"
Chi Shuo calculated the exact time the buff would respawn and went to steal the opponents' red.
After claiming the minor dragon, the opponents immediately grouped up and began pushing the bottom tower.
The Demon Executioner placed a 'tracker' on Cheng Xing and the Warlock of Poison immediately followed up by shooting poisonous arrows at him continuously. Three layers of poison were stacked on Cheng Xing in an instant and he decisively flashed away. They couldn’t afford to have any more deaths at this time.
As Cheng Xing had cleared most of the minions before heading back to base, Luoshendian took the remaining minion along and only managed to deal a small amount of damage to Tianhuan's defensive tower. Meanwhile, Chi Shuo and Ye Shaoyang took this chance to invade the opponents' top half jungle area and recovered some of their losses.
Both sides developed steadily, until Luoshendian launched an organized attack on Chi Shuo's blue buff once again.
At this moment, Chi Shuo had already reached Level 6. Ye Shaoyang had also reached Level 6 early on.
Chi Shuo left a ping asking to assemble in the jungle.
A 3v3 group fight commenced in the jungle.
Luoshendian's economy was greater than Tianhuan so naturally, they played very well. The Black Dragon Knight directly unleashed his ult, the Black Dragon's Roar, and aimed it at Chi Shuo. The Demon Executioner followed up and immobilized him, beating Chi Shuo down to low health!