Congratulations are in order to INTZ e-Sports for their 3-0 sweep of paiN Gaming in the first split semifinals of CBLoL 2015. It wasn’t pretty – questions still remain regarding the strength of INTZ after most recent patch changes – but Brazil’s top team capitalized on advantages given to them, and snowballed their momentum across all three games. By the time the last game rolled around, INTZ was fully in their comfort zone and completely overpowered their opponent.
Perhaps paiN Gaming should take a page from “A Clockwork Orange,” relax with some Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and burn the image of Gabriel “Tockers” Claumann’s last-second Emperor’s Divide sweeping away paiN’s game one victory as they were on INTZ’s nexus firmly into their minds. One of the more humiliating defeats this year, the waning moments of any momentum that paiN Gaming had in this semifinal came down to a split focus among their team members and a near-perfect Azir ultimate from their opponent.
A split focus is something that has plagued the infamous Brazilian team since the beginning of this CBLoL split. PaiN has lacked a unifying identity, and while they have strong individual pieces, those pieces have rarely loaded up into a game together and had a clear roadmap of what they want to accomplish.
In fact, this standard Snake Esports style protect-the-Kog’Maw composition that paiN ran in their first semifinal game is one that the team has looked comfortable on, having also run a similar composition against KaBuM! Orange in Week 5 of the regular season. The Xerath was a nice added touch, possibly inspired by Snake’s mid-laner Lu “Baka” Fan, or paiN mid laner Gabriel “Kami” Santos’ proficiency on the champion. With this composition, paiN is a far more steady team, with clearer in-game and objective focus.
Upon falling behind early against INTZ in game one, they remained steadfast, capitalizing on INTZ’s inability to further push their lead against paiN’s top laner, Whesley “Leko” Holler. Similar to Counter Logic Gaming’s failure to capitalize on their early lead over Team SoloMid in their Week 8 loss – particularly against TSM’s top laner, Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, who like Leko was also on Lulu – INTZ allowed Leko back into the game while paiN drew INTZ into disadvantageous teamfights. It would be a shame for paiN to go back to the strategic drawing board following this game, simply because of a last-minute error.
INTZ know all too well the pain of their semifinal opponents, having lost in similar fashion to Vivo Fibra Keyd Stars in Week 3 of this CBLoL split. While their communication during champion select of game one indicated their anticipation of paiN’s composition, their in-game manner of dealing with it was lacking. Falling behind while running a poke composition is always disastrous, unless your name is the Jin Air Green Wings, or now INTZ e-Sports. While the former stalls out the game perfectly until their comfort zone of post-50 minutes, the same cannot be said for the latter team, in spite of garnering the early game lead. If anything, INTZ was too passive in their first match, unable to recognize the advantages that they had.
As the games progressed, so did INTZ’s confidence, with the third game quickly snowballing in their favor, showcasing the early aggression that INTZ has been known for all split. Support Luan “Jockster” Cardoso shone on Thresh, controlling teamfights with perfectly-timed flays. Most importantly, star jungler Gabriel “Revolta” Henud proved that he could still be a significant carry threat on the much-maligned Lee Sin in the new tank jungle meta.
The beating heart of INTZ, Revolta has indubitably had a banner season, transforming INTZ from a more passive, laning team to one that thrives on aggressive dives and early objective control. Questions arose, upon release of 5.5 and the rise of tank junglers, if Revolta would be able to remain relevant on the latest patches as his style favors high-mobility playmaking junglers. While Revolta may not have silenced all of his critics, the message was sent loud and clear in games two and three that his ability to make plays has not diminished in the slightest.