TPA - Sneaking Up on Paris

By Riot Mirhi

All-Star Paris deserves to be known as the tale of three kings: with SKT T1 K, Taipei Assassins and Fnatic in attendance, this will be the first time that all three world championship winning organizations will be under the same roof to compete. The Taipei Assassins, especially, have much to prove: their current roster had middling impact back at IEM Katowice. But with an updated roster for Paris, it may prove fatal to overlook them.

ADC - Bebe

KDA: 7.57

Most Played Champion: Sivir

Bebe's proven remarkably adept at shouldering the burdens expected of a team captain and the last remaining member of the original Season 2 World Championship team. Though Season 3 was a rough patch for him, as the necessities of effectively cobbling together a brand new team saw him play every role but jungle and support, his return to the bot lane carry position has given the Assassins a rock-solid foundation to depend upon.

Most recently, his play style has evolved away from safe, mobile laners like Ezreal and Sivir – champions that have enabled him to safely pad his KDA while his tanks distracted the enemy. Though dueling champions like Twitch and Draven carry an innate risk of overextending, especially against the likes of combat-happy rivals like AHQ, his KDA has barely been nicked. If teams can't get a good grasp on him, he'll be altogether too happy to punish them for it.

Support - Jay

KDA: 4.63

Most Played Champion: Thresh

Jay's support style stands in sharp contrast to former captain Mistake – passive ranged supports don't fit too well into his hands. He'd much rather rock the hard engage with Leona or Thresh, seeking to gain a direct win over lanes and team-fights, rather than whittle out indirect advantages via soft pressure.

Which is not to say he can't play other champions – his Leona gets banned often enough. But on-point Solar Flares are his calling card, more than anything else.

Mid - Morning

KDA: 6.55

Most Played Champion: Lulu

Morning's shown off his zoning prowess before, nuking Gambit Gaming apart with devastating Mega Inferno Bombs, and laying waste to Alex Ich with impeccable skillshot placement. As with seemingly all Taiwanese mid laners, he carries on Toyz's legacy in one very specific manner: an Orianna that demands respect. With the returning prominence of the clockwork champion, the question isn't if it'll show up, but how often and whether the opposing All-Star teams will allow it.

Top - Achie

KDA: 5.23

Most Played Champion: Renekton

Top laner Achie has big shoes to fill: his predecessor, Stanley, was a notorious innovator, playing champions others wouldn't dare bring to the role on a competitive level. It didn't always work – for every Hextech Revolver stacking Vladimir he launched, there's the Cassiopeia experiment that just had him die to ganks over and over.

Achie, in comparison, is an orthodox top laner, though not one without signature specializations. Prior to the changes, he was a proponent for Gragas top lanes – the combination of innate tankiness and long-range poke made him ideal even in the face of 2v1 harassment, or even 4v0 early pushes. While the redesign of the Rabble Rouser might mitigate his preference for AP carry builds, he's played enough against Vietnam's full-tank version to work around the changes.

Jungle - Winds

KDA: 4.26

Most Played Champion: Kha'Zix

Southeast Asia's "King of Thieves" made a huge splash back during his acquisition by the Taipei Snipers: as one of the Season 3 representatives on Gamania Bears, he was arguably among the best of the second-generation Taiwanese League of Legends pro players in the aftermath of Season 2. Though there were questions as to how well he'd adapt to the Snipers, the immediate results spoke for themselves: he quickly racked up a tally of stolen Dragons and Barons, and made a name for himself as Southeast Asia's premier jungler.

And now he's on the Taipei Assassins. For many in the local community, he's considered a strict upgrade over predecessor DinTer. He's proven capable of single-handedly carrying his team, even as the Snipers struggled without Mistake's leadership, and has also proven capable of adjusting easily into a new team's roster.

Looking forward to TPA at Paris

The Taipei Assassins are a complete team. They have consistent lanes and take team-fight coordination to the next level. When all else fails, they can rely on bebe to single-handedly dominate the game. Watch for potential early-game fireworks as their aggression knows no limits and their new jungler, Winds, should be eager to showcase his leadership and skills back on the world stage.

5 years ago

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