Origen makes Flash Wolves whimper

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In front of a raucous sold-out crowd in London’s historic SSE Arena at Wembley, Origen muzzled Taiwan’s Flash Wolves 3-1 and secured a spot in the Semifinals

In front of a raucous sold-out crowd in London’s historic SSE Arena at Wembley, Origen muzzled Taiwan’s Flash Wolves 3-1 and secured a spot in the Semifinals, where they'll clash with the winner of tomorrow's SKTelecom T1 and ahq e-Sports Club match-up. Though the fans in attendance didn’t get a full five-game series, Origen had an alternative method of ensuring fans got their money’s worth: stretching each game out to roughly 40 minutes in pursuit of late-game victory.

“It was intentional,” says Origen’s mid-laner Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño-Martinez, “because we knew we made mistakes when we tried to play too fast. We’d struggled with what we had to do, the gameplans we had to make. From our practice we found we were better, at least for now, playing these slow games. So we decided to pick a scaling mid laner like Anivia or Orianna and just go for late game. We’re a lot stronger when we can get to the late game where everything is more predictable.”

Origen jumped out to an early lead in Game 1 off the back of a feisty Alistar engage from Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez, which Jesper "Niels" Svenningsen was able to follow up to secure First Blood. And later on at the 32-minute mark, Paul “SoaZ” Boyer might as well have mistaken the Flash Wolves for a minion wave as he mopped them up with ease beside the Baron pit for a toothsome Pentakill. Darius has become one of the most ferocious top-lane threats of Worlds 2015. SoaZ’ Penta this evening marked the second Darius Penta of the tournament, in addition to being the second-ever Penta in Worlds history to be secured by a top-lane champ. All hail the dunk tank.

Despite Yi-Tang “Maple” Huang’s LeBlanc getting numerous picks by leaping from the fog of war to assassinate Origen members, the team used its eventual four Dragon stacks to force an engage from Flash Wolves who were intent on preventing a fifth Dragon stack. At that moment, Niels slipped into the Flash Wolves’ base and cheekily ended the game before the Taiwan squad could react.

BIRD IS THE WORD

Origen’s Anivia pick allowed xPeke to punish the Flash Wolves’ periodic lapses in team coordination by using her ice-wall ability to section off out-of-position foes and cramp their team-fighting style. In fact, it worked so well that xPeke brought it out in Game 2 as well, leading to another win. He had even planned to go back to it in Game 3, but thought better of it when the Flash Wolves locked in the first Caitlyn pick of Worlds 2015.

“We felt like with Anivia, it might be hard to do anything against Caitlyn,” says xPeke. “She can E over the wall, I don’t have enough range to hit her with the ultimate or the stuns that much, and we felt like with Orianna maybe when I come to three or four items, I can [kill her]. I usually don’t fix what’s not broken but we tried Orianna and it didn’t work out.”

Wen-An “NL” Hsiung’s Caitlyn would prove Origen’s undoing in Game 3, securing beast-mode solo kills in addition to hijacking Baron with an immaculately timed Piltover Peacemaker.

“The Caitlyn was annoying,” says xPeke. “Our comp was fine, but it was this kind of comp that both of us want to kite. Neither one of us wants to commit because we don’t have an Anivia wall, we don’t have a stun to engage, and I don’t want to use my [Shockwave] to engage because it can go really wrong because if I use it, they Flash it and then they fight, we can lose. So I think that was a bit of our mistake because we were not sure how to play it. And at a certain point, Caitlyn had a freeze in bot lane. We tried to push mid turret but we couldn’t and we lost a lot of our advantage.”

Origen pulled things back in Game 4 to close out the series, uncaging the Anivia once again. xPeke mentions that Origen had some different comps and strats prepared in case they fell behind in the series, but since the situation never got too perilous, they were able to recycle the same basic comp and hold their secrets for the Semifinals in Brussels where they expect to meet SKTelecom T1. He’s relieved that Origen drew a less dominant opponent for the Quarterfinals so they have time to shore up some of their weaknesses in preparation for the later stages of the tournament.

“Last week we had many mistakes that showed up and things we have to improve so if we’d drawn SKT [in Quarters], we would probably have lost,” says xPeke. “But now we have a huge advantage that we have a lot of time to prepare on everything we have seen ourselves to do bad, and a lot of chances to see SKT doing something bad. We will see their gameplan. They might struggle against a particular comp, they might struggle when one of their players is behind. Now we have that advantage that during this whole week and a half that we have, we can practice to fix our mistakes and we can watch their games. Right now I cannot say but if after one week we have fixed most of our mistakes, maybe we can make an interesting series there.”

SCORE TO SETTLE

xPeke along with his teammate SoaZ are the first two players to reach the Semifinals in three separate World Championships, and the significance is not lost on the veteran superstar. He still remembers how it felt to make it to the Semis with Fnatic back in 2013.

“The feelings tonight are the same I had [back then],” he says. “I was happy we made it [to the Semis in 2013]. I remember at that time I was excited because I thought that we could make it to the Finals. We’d never faced SKT before at that time. We knew they were strong but we were not sure so we had a bit of hope that we could make it to the Finals and show up there. Probably not win because they looked strong, but I remember after losing [to Royal Club], at first I felt a bit disappointed, but then I looked back and I was like, damn, we made it so far. I was so happy with the success of that year. I feel like this time is the same but even better. We are here to prove that the success of this year wasn’t a coincidence.”

If he didn’t think he could realistically beat SKT back in 2013, does he think he can do it this year if the Koreans dispatch ahq tomorrow as expected and meet Origen in the Semis?

“Right now we’re practicing to beat them,” he says. “But being honest, I know with our current mistakes, we wouldn’t be able to beat them more than one game. Hopefully after practice I can be confident we can take a whole series!”

SKTelecom T1’s match against ahq e-Sports Club kicks off tomorrow, October 16th, at 17:00 British Time, 18:00 Central European Summer Time, or 9:00 AM Pacific Time.

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