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Worlds Focus: Supports to Learn From

Crab

Crab

Sun 7th Oct 2018 - 10:00am

Engage, protect, and vision. These are the three biggest tenets for a good support player. With Worlds season upon us, the best of the best are gathered to show the world their stuff. Out of all these players, a select few are elite. These are the supports that you should watch as far as teamfight tendencies and subtle movements in order to improve your understanding of the support role.

Nguyen “Palette” Hai Trung - Phong Vu Buffalo

PVB PaletteImage courtesy of lolesports

Phong Vu Buffalo is the team that won the Vietnam Championship Series. Although relatively unknown, PVB plays host to some great individual talents, none as impressive as their support, Palette. Palette’s champion pool leans towards more protective supports such as Braum, Tahm Kench, Shen, and Rakan. His KDA as support was best in the league averaging a 6.1 throughout the Summer Split. Beyond his strong base mechanics, the area where Palette truly shines is his vision control.

Each and every game, Palette’s vision control and ward coverage is textbook. He places wards in the right areas at the right times in a scope that’s not just impressive for the VCS, but compared to the world’s best as well. When watching PVB at Worlds, keep an eye out for Palette as he helps his team keep an eye out for the enemy jungler and ganks.

Cho “Mata” Se-Hyeong - KT Rolster

KT Rolster MataImage courtesy of lolesports

Jumping from one of the most unheard of supports at Worlds to one of the most well-known, Mata is as noticeable a name as there is for iconic support players. Mata has been on some of the most recognizable teams in the world, such as MVP, SSW, RNG, and his current team KT Rolster. Known for his playmaking support pool, featuring Thresh, Braum, and Alistar, Mata has exemplified the meaning of carrying from the support role.

The best thing to take away from watching Mata is just how second-perfect his decisiveness is when choosing his engages. Even though he plays such high risk, center of the teamfight champions, Mata averaged only 1.2 deaths in his domestic league. When he’s the engager, he’s able to engage at such a high success rate because of his positioning and game sense. If you like to play aggressive, playmaking supports, KT Rolster's Mata is your best resource for understanding how to play aggro without playing reckless.

Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh - Flash Wolves

FW SwordArtImage courtesy of lolesports

There has never been a team as dominant domestically as Flash Wolves. There has also never been a player so dominant in their league at their position than SwordArt. Although he plays in the LMS, SwordArt has been around as long as anyone. He started playing in 2012 at the age of 15 and has made Worlds six years running. In the same span, Flash Wolves have won the LMS title almost every year and SwordArt has averaged 1 death per game the entire 2018 campaign through all competitions. Many players have come and gone within this organization, but the one thing that you can always count on is SwordArt (and Maple, but that’s another story), especially when you’re talking about how far a support can push the envelope in order to roam. SwordArt doesn’t just roam for vision, he roams for everything. Vision, mid ganks, top ganks, pressure on the enemy jungler; if he has a reason to leave lane to another part of the map, he most likely will.

His champion pool usually focuses on heavy engage champions or champions with long crowd control. Morgana has been his mainstay for a long time, but Rakan, Thresh, and Alistar have also seen play regularly. Many players have lost affinity for mobility boots and roaming in general due to the stressed importance of the ADC role in the meta, but SwordArt stays true to his wandering style. Keep an eye out for how he is able to roam while keeping tabs on his ADC to keep up in lane.

Honorable Mentions

There are plenty of great supports going to Worlds and every game will be a great learning opportunity. Some other supports that deserve a mention are Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black from 100 Thieves for his exceptional shot calling and objective control and No “Snowflower” Hoi-Jong from Bahçeşehir SuperMassive as one of the import players added to help SuperMassive claim its first ever title in the Turkish Championship League through good team synergy and great mechanics.

Whether it’s vision or mechanics, engage or disengage, Thresh or Soraka, these support players are all great examples of players to emulate in order to improve your game. With a World Championship on the line, I’m sure they’re going to show us things even greater than we expect.

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