Spanish professional League of Legends team KIYF Logitech caught the online community's attention a few weeks with a pair of innovative early game strategies not often seen at the professional level. KIYF's mapped-out level one plays caught enemy players from G2 Vodafone and Giants for First Blood in both games, and helped set the team up for a win in the LVP Honor Division.
Against G2, KIYF used Bard's Magical Journey to quickly get all five team members in the opponents' bottom tri-bush before G2 could properly react, catching the enemy marskman out of position for First Blood.
Watch what happens: the casters can't believe it either ("Mira mira mira mira!" "What the f***!").
KIYF rolled to an easy win in that game.
The second level one strat did not involved Bard -- instead, KIYF perfectly positioned Alistar and Ahri near its bottom inner tower, expecting one of Giants' players to ward down there at the beginning of the game. Once Morgana showed up, Alistar flashes over the wall and headbutts her into Ahri's charm under the turret, securing the easy kill.
The Rift Herald caught up with KIYF head coach Pau Prada "PochiPoom" de Genover about the team's early game strategies. PochiPoom comes up with the plays (he says his players call them "PochiPoom strategies") after the team studies the opposition to find patterns.
"The process to create those type of plays is understanding the way the other team plays," he said. "And search for similarities in all of their replays in order to get advantage from them. The proper idea of making such plays were mine, but of course without the players and analysts it wouldn´t be possible to make them."
KIYF uses plays like this pretty often -- PochiPoom says "If the draft enables us to do so, we do it."
"We never do the same level 1, so enemies can't expect anything about us," he said. "Sometimes we go as 5 on top for a lane swap, and we saw that GIANTS always go to ward there if they saw enemy team on top, so therefore that's why we used it against them."
PochiPoom acknowledges such strategies come with risk, but it can be worth it, especially for teams with lower profiles.
"I´m completely sure they will work in a higher level, for example the play that we used with Bard was seen before in the LCK in Korea," he said. "The problem with these strategies are that they are quite complicated to do, and if they don't work as they should in a higher level, maybe consequences will be greater, so it is quite risky. But at our level, we think that teams should be willing to risk it, because in our case, it made us famous."
Make sure to tune in for future KIYF games: the team has more plans up its sleeve.
"Be ready [for more]," he said. "Maybe it will be on level 2, or 3, we can't assure when they are going to be used."