GE Tigers vs. Cloud 9 - A Guide to the Pick/Ban phase

GE Tigers vs. Cloud 9 - A Guide to the Pick/Ban phase

Edit: You can find my post-match pick/ban analysis here

With the GE Tigers vs. Cloud 9 match being first up at IEM Katowice in a few hours, I decided I'd try my hand at predicting the pick/ban phase. It's just meant as a little guide for viewers while watching, to see the different decisions they have to make throughout the game.

This is mostly looking at their recent performance in their respective leagues. However, I did look to solo queue for some of the C9 players, and have very limited knowledge of the GE Tigers. I also understand anything can happen in scrims and many new champions could've been practiced lately.

I used a bit of Rapidstar's analysis to help me understand the GE Tigers a little more, as well as researching their pick/ban phase myself. You should definitely give Rapidstar's IEM preview a read.

This pick/ban phase guide is assuming GE Tigers are blue side and the game is played on patch 5.4


GE C9 Zed Janna Nidalee Rumble Maokai Flex Ban

GE Tigers

Hai has a 5-1 record on Zed, and Meteos has a 4-0 record on Nidalee. These champs should be prioritized for GE’s ban phase. GE should look to force a Rumble ban from C9, and ban out Balls’ second best champion Maokai. GE seem to be fine playing against Lissandra in recent matches. Be on the lookout for a surprise Kennen ban as well.

Cloud 9

Gorilla has a 6-0 record on Janna, and LemonNation is 1-3 on Janna. It’s better to ban this champion instead of try and take it away. Also, Cloud 9 may be looking to pick dive champions like Zed, Maokai, and Vi, so banning out Janna would stop the potential disengage. Rumble is the number one priority pick for both teams, so Cloud 9 should look to ban it since GE Tigers have the first pick. The last ban will depend on GE’s ban phase but good candidates are Viktor, Corki, Lulu, Jarvan, and Rek’Sai.

Contested Picks

Top: Rumble, Maokai

Rumble is both Top laners' best champion. Maokai will be the second best option for both teams, especially if Cloud 9 run a dive comp.

Jungle: Rek’Sai

Rek’Sai is a highly-contested, strong pick, and it’s the only pick these two junglers share in season 5 play.

Mid: Viktor, LeBlanc, Lissandra

Kuro has been performing well in the LCK with Viktor, and LeBlanc can be a strong counter since Viktor struggles with assassin play. Hai only has one win with LeBlanc competitively, against Team Coast at that, but it’s his most played champion in Solo Queue. He’s also been spamming Viktor recently. Expect a Lissandra pick from either side if Viktor is banned and LeBlanc is picked (also possibly in the top lane.)

ADC: Corki, Lucian, Kalista

In my own opinion, Corki is a terrible pick, and this shows in his competitive win rate across the regions. However, Pray and Sneaky are two ADCs that have made him work. Pray has a 100% win rate over 9 games and Sneaky has a 4-2 record on Corki. However, Pray has been picking Lucian as his personal “Corki Killer” when the enemy team picks away Corki. Lucian is Sneaky’s second most played champ in Solo Queue, so if C9 end up banning Corki, Sneaky may look to steal away Lucian.

Edit: I also think Kalista will be a potential wildcard for both carries depending on the rest of their team comps.

Support: Morgana, Annie

Morgana will be an important pick if Cloud 9 want to go for a dive comp, or pick champs like Vi, Maokai, LeBlanc, or even Lissandra. It will also be a good pick against Annie, the other champ both teams’ supports have in common.

GE Tigers

The Tigers should look to force standard lanes. Lee should ward for mid and try to shut down Balls, with Kuro being careful in the midlane. The bot lane should look to pick a strong lane and bully out C9.


Many of Smeb’s champion picks come with an asterisk. He hasn’t played his 4-0 Gnar since before the nerfs to the ult. Three of his Lulu games were paired with Pray’s Kog’Maw, and one was against Samsung Galaxy’s Hecarim (with Samsung Galaxy being the worst team in the LCK). His one Hecarim game was also against Samsung Galaxy, which make it hard to judge how good he really is on the champ. So Smeb should look to prioritize Rumble or Maokai. If both end up banned, maybe he has been practicing other power picks in scrims, like Hecarim, Sion, Lissandra, or Kennen.

Edit: I've been informed by commenters that Smeb's Lulu is a highly-likely pick if it isn't picked by C9 or banned away. In the LCK games weeks 5-8, Lulu was picked against or banned away against the Tigers every single game (except one where Smeb picked it and won). If Lulu is picked by Smeb, Pray is likely to pick Kog'Maw. Juggermaw hype.


Lee also has a large champion pool. His Jarvan, Rek’Sai, Lee Sin, and Rengar all have impressive win rates. He’s been playing more Jarvan and Rek’Sai in the latest patches, so he should look to prioritize these champs first. As long as he plays a ganking jungler, he will be fine.

Edit: People have pointed out Lee's Rengar being lukewarm, and this is true. Despite being 2-0, he has a combined KDA of 1/9/15 on the champ.


With Kassadin being dead in recent patches, Kuro will look to prioritize Viktor, LeBlanc, and potentially Lissandra/Ezreal as a response to a Viktor ban and LeBlanc being stolen from him.


Pray manages to have a 100% win over 9 games of Corki, and that in itself is a miracle considering the champ has a <40% win rate in NA/EU/China (according to Leaguepedia). Lucian has been his second go-to champ when Corki has been picked away from him and he has a 100%win rate over 4 games with the champion. All of his Kog’Maw games were a protect-the-Kog comp, so I doubt we’ll be seeing that. Ezreal may be chosen as a flex pick for either him or Kuro. Kalista is a potential pick as well. However, he has yet to play Graves in the LCK.

Edit: If Lulu is picked by Smeb, Pray is likely to pick Kog'Maw. Juggermaw hype.


With Gorilla being 6-0 on Janna, that looks to be the obvious choice for the player. However, if he can’t get this champ he should look to Morgana to counter what I assume will be C9’s dive strategy. Gorilla is also strong on Thresh/Leona/Annie so look for him to lead his team to victory.

Cloud 9

C9 should look to force a lane swap, and Meteos should be on a counter jungler who can camp mid and put pressure on Lee’s jungle. Their bot lane should look to play something safe that scales well into late game. In their last game, C9 tried something interesting with a Lissandra top, Kennen mid, and Sejuani jungle, so we can hope they have a few surprise picks for the Tigers. I assume they'll leave open a few contested power picks and force GE tigers to choose one so they can steal away the other two.

Edit: In the case that Tigers get the Lulu-Kogmaw comp, C9 will look for a strong 2v2 lane to try and shut down Kog'Maw asap. Expect a Graves, Kalista, or even a Jinx in this case. A dive comp is still to be expected against the Juggermaw.


Balls is also strong on Rumble and Maokai, with a deeper champion pool than many top laners. If both his main priorities are banned out, expect flex picks in the form of Kennen and Lissandra. Also expect previously named dive champions such as Sion, Hecarim, and Irelia.


Meteos has an interesting champion pool, and he will probably prioritize Nidalee, Vi, or Rek’Sai. However, don’t be surprised if he comes out with the Sejuani pick up.


Hai’s Zed can put an immense amount of pressure on the map and can be a good counter to Kuro’s Viktor, but in the chance he doesn’t get this, look previously mentioned flex picks and contested picks. His main role should be to put pressure on the enemy’s backline.


Sneaky has a 3-0 record on Graves, and Graves is a good counter to Corki as well, especially if paired with a Morgana. If they can’t force the lane swap, this will be the best choice. Besides the contested picks, a surprise Jinx could work fantastically, and it’s his third most played champion in Solo Queue (with his first being Kalista).


LemonNation should look for a good counter engage champion. Morgana may fit best, but Lemon is also known for his Braum play, which can be great for protecting Sneaky.

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