In this edition of The Win Condition, Izento looks at the matchup of Echo Fox versus Clutch Gaming, which the winner will receive a spot to represent NA at Rift Rivals. This is a recurring series on key matchups and what we can expect when seeing two teams face off on the Rift.
Are foxes affected by FOXDIE?
Echo Fox have been the titans that seemed to be undefeatable until, along come the gods. The patch changes haven’t been favorable to FOX, as they relied heavily on the Kalista pick (Altec playing it 26% of total games this Spring Split) to snowball their bot lane advantage and create another pressure point on the map for Huni to function on the top side. Not a bad plan. But now the team is in a declining state and should look to focus on a safe bot lane, such as Ezreal or Caitlyn, because they will also be against one of the most aggressive bot lane duos in the NA LCS.
The best advantage that Echo Fox have had this entire split seems to be Dardoch’s ability to snowball top lane, but it hasn’t worked well against veteran top laners like Impact or Ssumday. I don’t expect that to be the case this time around. The last time these two teams played against each other was Week 8, where Dardoch invaded greedily as Fenix was nowhere near to help him near the enemy blue. As with many of FOX’s plays, they use Dardoch to control the top side and maintain advantages for them while bot lane survives on their own.
If FOX still want to play this style, they must draft for winning matchups bot lane to make this difference up. Often times, FOX save last pick for Huni to counterpick, as they’re sure he can win any matchup that he deems favorable – but it might be past the point of viability to consider such an option, because it’s not an option if they want any chance at winning against CG.
Echo Fox Win Condition: Draft priority for bot lane and deal with the problems top side through copious amounts of jungle pressure.
Clutch kick and power-over
Clutch Gaming have a great matchup going into Echo Fox and their showing against 100 Thieves makes a case for them to easily handle FOX and quite possibly might be one of the better teams to match up against them stylistically.
Clutch Gaming have shown multiple times that they aren’t afraid to play through their bot lane, which should be the perfect recipe for destroying FOX. For this matchup, CG don’t have anything in particular to worry about, as they don’t have to ban Rakan (since Adrian doesn’t play it), which also means that FOX will have to worry about the deadly bird duo, as Apollo and Hakuho have shown preposterous proficiency on the picks. If these picks are banned (particularly Rakan), that still leaves up Morgana, Thresh and Caitlyn – Adrian has never been considered a Thresh player, but rather having an affinity for enchanters like Janna, Soraka, and Nami. In general, CG are sitting pretty for the bot lane draft phase.
The power of draft is translated over into the jungle, as LirA has seen massive success on Skarner, Olaf and Zac. Against a team that doesn’t have to ban out so many bot lane picks, LirA might have been strained in champion pool, but FOX should pose no such problem. We should expect Dardoch to play towards the top side once again and LirA will have to play appropriately for the countergank when it eventually comes for Solo or Fenix.