MVP stood on the cusp of victory, just one game away from completing a reverse sweep over the Afreeca Freecs.
In their last two games, unique picks had carried them to victory. First, a jungle Jax, and then a surprise Sion, the Afreeca Freecs seemed unable to counter their enemy team’s unusual picks.
By Game 4, it was desperation time for the Afreeca Freecs. As a last resort, they subbed in Lee “Spirit” Da-yun, their veteran jungler, to replace the more inexperienced Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha.
And then they first-picked Lulu, a pick which had seen no priority whatsoever throughout the 5-game series. While the sudden priority was suspicious, no one could have expected where Spirit would took it next. Afreeca Freecs activated their trap card; jungle Lulu was a go.
Guys please do not play lulu jungle unless ur adc is kramer 😀
— LOL Afreeca spirit (@LoL_SpiriToT) August 28, 2017
Surprisingly, the unexpected pick worked out perfectly for the Afreeca Freecs. Much of the team’s game plan revolved around getting Jong-Hoon “Kramer” Ha ahead and the Lulu jungle achieved this goal with flying colors.
The combination of Janna and Lulu gave an incredible amount of sustain to Tristana. The double ardent censer build on two of its most powerful wielders gave Kramer enough shields and heals to survive every teamfight.
In addition, Spirit’s strong early ganks on the unorthodox pick, gave his bot lane an early lead against MVP. Kramer finished the game 11/0/3, due in no small part to his faithful supports.
— KeSPA (@KeSPAen) August 28, 2017
Sadly, we may not get the chance to see the yordle in the jungle again anytime soon. This game played out on 7.15, with the rest of the competitive rift a few patches ahead.
In the most recent update, ardent censer received significant nerfs, which should seriously damage Lulu’s competitive potential. The double shield combo won’t be quite as effective, and Lulu’s protect-the-adc strengths will partially evaporate.
That being said, it might be too soon to announce the yordle’s death. Spirit and the rest of the Freecs will continue on in the LCK Regional Finals. Who knows? Maybe Lulu will return.