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The 4 Principles of Duck Hunting: Being the 1st Part of a Beginners Guide to Hunting for the SRA
This is not necessarily meant to be a step-by-step guide on how to start hunting waterfowl, but it generally applies and provides a foundation for beginning the journey by distilling the dizzying array of knowledge, facts, techniques, and skills into 4 major, overarching principles. I believe that this distillation, while dangerously hovering near oversimplification, will help new hunters to organize tips, thoughts, suggestions, and other things they learn from other sources into one of these 4 principles, hopefully solidifying seemingly independent ideas into a usable and relatable framework that is overall, helpful.
Skilled waterfowlers will no doubt have grievances with many details, but I think they will generally agree with the 4 principles and my presentation thereof as useful for new hunters in beginning the wonderful journey of waterfowl hunting. I’d love to discuss further refinement of this post in the comments.
In order of Importance:
You can’t kill ducks sitting on your couch. You can’t kill ducks in a city park (not legally, anyway), so location is pretty important to duck hunting. In fact, it’s the most important part! If ducks aren’t within shotgun range, you’re not gonna kill any, so you need to do everything you can to be where ducks are.
This simple truth is not easy to act on and takes a considerable amount of time and effort to accomplish with any consistent success. Learning waterfowl biology, life history, and habits, then applying that knowledge in your search for birds is the key to choosing the right hunting spots. Waterfowl in North America are migratory and follow 4 major routes of migration, called flyways, every winter (southward migration) and spring (northward migration). The first is along the Pacific Coast Flyway(British Columbia, WA, OR, CA), the Central Flyway (Great Plains states from ND, MT to central TX), the Mississippi Flyway (states from the Great Lakes southward along the MS River), and the Atlantic Coast Flyway (ME down to FL). Waterfowl species fly south seeking warmer weather, food sources, and unfrozen habitat during the winter, then fly back north as spring comes, back to their nesting grounds in the marshes of Canada and the northern US. The closer you are or can get to the middle of each of these flyways, the denser and more numerous waterfowl numbers tend to get. For example, hunting 10 miles from the MS River in southern Missouri is going to be a better place than in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Tennessee, even though they are roughly on the same latitude.
Once you’ve chosen your flyway, the details begin to matter. Waterfowl like water, so water sources like rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, and other wetlands are going to be the most likely places to find ducks. They absolutely also frequent dry fields, especially agricultural fields that have waste seed laying on the ground as a food source, but as a general rule, waterfowl prefer water for habitat. Begin by looking up common duck food plants native to your region, emphasizing aquatic or moist-soil plants. Learn to identify them. Examples of aquatic plants are smartweed, millet, wild celery, pondgrass, etc. Moist soil plants like bottomland hardwood trees that produce edible seeds like oaks, others are also good. Look at areas where this food is present and abundant. Use USGS water data and weather reports to follow trends on rain, flooding, and water levels in local lakes, rivers, and wetlands throughout the months of your season. Make notes on what water levels need to be in order to hunt specific areas. For example- you can hunt wetland A when its water level is 12-48 inches, but its to hard to get there if the water is higher, and too dry when below 12 inches. Or, a river floods over its banks into a stand of trees when its water depth is above 12 feet, creating a new area for ducks. Focus on when water levels rise, since rising water floats food and draws more birds. Falling water often washes food away and ducks will leave.
Watch the weather north of you and pay attention to the freeze line and snow line. When water north of you starts freezing, that's a good sign you'll get a southward push of birds. When it starts snowing north of you and the ground get 4-6+ inches snow cover and it doesn't melt, that's enough to cover food in fields and you'll likely get a southward push. To find birds, go to dams, overlooks, boat ramps, or spots over waterways, fields, or other likely habitat where you can see a long way and search for groups of birds with binoculars. In the afternoon, look for groups landing-that's likely a roost. Try to track those birds in the morning to see where they go to feed. That's likely the best spot to hunt. Its likely that for every hunt you go on, you'll spend 2-3 days scouting. It's a grind. Don't be discouraged- keep at it and mark spots on GPS or maps, checking old spots regularly. Your effort will pay off. The larger your “library” of known, likely hunt locations is, the more options you will have to hunt when birds migrate into your area.
Once you have found a spot that looks promising, decide on how to set up. You need to be as close as possible to where ducks are landing, dependent on available cover and concealment. Try your best to set up with the wind at your back- ducks prefer to land into the wind when possible. Also, setting up with the sun not in your eyes makes for more comfort when hunting. Some places will be accessible on foot, others by vehicle, others by boat. Plan accordingly for this and it’s a good idea to go to a location the day before a hunt and map out an acceptable route to get in, so you don’t get lost in the pre-dawn twilight. Once you have arrived in your spot, its time to set up and begin thinking about…
Concealment applies to the visibility of you, your hunting group, dog, boat, blind, and/or other unnatural features in your hunting spot. Ducks, like most birds, have excellent color vision and good depth perception. They see as well as people do or better. They see movement well and their survival depends on their ability to visually assess their surroundings for things that look wrong, like presence of predators, hazards, and other things that make a particular area undesirable. An area may have everything a duck needs to feel safe and secure, but a single negative element being present will likely dissuade birds from landing or utilizing that space.
The first and most obvious element of concealment is your person- wear appropriate colors and camo patterns for your surroundings. Do not wear bright colors, reflective or shiny elements, or high-contrast pieces of clothing. Cover your face- use a camo facemask or face paint, wear a hat, beanie, or other head covering.
Hide yourself amongst natural features- if vegetation is waist-high, try your best to not stick up significantly above it. Build blinds or hides using natural vegetation that occurs in the immediate vicinity of your location. If you’re hunting in a cattail marsh, use cattails not cornstalks. If you’re hunting in a cypress swamp, stand behind a cypress tree instead of building a grassy blind. I’ve used old refrigerator boxes to make blinds when hunting on barren mud flats and had success (same color brown as the mud!). When building blinds, cover your head in addition to front, sides, and back. Ducks fly in the air and they look down so your blind may be beautiful and invisible from the front, but if they fly over and see you sitting there surrounded by empty Cheeto bags and honey bun wrappers, they’re going to move on down the road.
Try to eliminate right angles, shadows, and heavy contrasts when building blinds. Use uneven spacing of elements to create natural-looking blobs that fit in with the features around you. On sunny days, utilize natural shadows to hide yourself (stand on the shaded side of a tree instead of the sunny side). If you hunt from a boat, make sure it is well-hidden, or at least stored a good distance from where you are hunting (at least 100 yards is a good rule of thumb). During the hunt, pick up your empty shotgun shells, make sure decoy cords are not conspicuously sticking out of the water. Often, when you have birds come in to look at your set up, they respond to calls, and work around you several times, but they do not commit, some element of concealment is likely your problem, and making the smallest details are properly taken care of can be the difference between getting skunked and shooting a limit. Now that you’ve achieved a level of invisibility that the Predator would envy, start setting up your decoys.
Ducks, being living critters, move around. They fly, swim, walk, splash, dive, jump, etc. Duck decoys do not do this because they are not alive. Find ways to create motion in your decoys and in the area of your decoys, be it water or dry ground. Motion helps to make your decoys visible from long distances, drawing in far birds who may not otherwise see them, and it also gives nearby birds more reason to be confident that your decoy spread is alive and that your spot appears safer and more secure. 1-2 dozen decoys is a good starting number for beginner hunters and buying cheap decoys or used decoys is a fine way to start. Make sure that your decoys are tethered in such a way that they will not float away. While scouting, hopefully you have observed how live ducks sit together on water or in fields- do your best to mimic this distribution. Its easy to overthink, try not to.
Creating artificial motion is most important on calm days, when wind isn’t there to do the job for you. A glassy water’s surface with deadstill decoys appears unnerving and the real birds will notice this. The same goes for hunting dry fields. The two simplest ways to do this are among the most effective AND cheapest.
One is to kick and splash the water using your feet, a boat paddle, a rocking boat, splashing a tree branch, etc, churning the water and creating ripples that propagate throughout your decoys, giving the appearance of ducks swimming and moving from a distance. This also kicks up sediment, a natural tell-tale sign that ducks are stirring up the bottom looking for food. Its best to do this when birds are not right on top of you, since it draws attention to your position, but its very effective when hunting over water.
The other excellent way to create motion in your decoys is to buy or preferably build a jerk string. This is a long piece of string with a bungee cord and anchor weight on one end, with several decoys attached, that you pull back and forth, imparting splashing ripples and swimming action to the decoys attached to the string. You can make 3-4 decoys seem like they are actively swimming, diving for food, and the result is very convincing.
There are all sorts of static and motion decoy designs available, DIY and storebought, cheap and very expensive. 2 of the most popular ones besides jerk strings are spinning wing decoys, which give the illusion if a duck flapping its wings to land, and silhouette decoys, which are 2D decoys (think duck shapes drawn on and painted on stiff boards or plastic sheets) arranged in a "Y" shape. When a real bird flies around it, only 2 of the 3 sides of the "Y" are visible at any given time, giving a twisting, shifting illusion that appears to be moving ducks. Almost all the fancier, electronic motion decoys for sale are relatively expensive, not necessarily legal to use everywhere, so I advise against them for beginners to buy. The jerk string is so effective and cheap that its perfect until you decide to make a sizable investment into waterfowl hunting.
The importance and value in calling ducks is somewhat overestimated by many people and duck hunters, much like the idea that you must have a retriever dog in order to hunt. You don’t need a dog, and while you should be able to call ducks or learn to do so, it is the least important of the essential elements of duck hunting. If you have scouted properly and are hunting where the ducks want to be, you are properly concealed, and you have some motion in your decoys, you can and likely will kill ducks without even bringing a call with you.
However, calling is still a powerful tool. At its highest level, it easily approaches high art in complexity and nuance. The best duck callers are not merely able to notify birds of their presence or able to attract ducks vocally, but are able to read duck behavior and actively communicate with live birds in a give and take 2-way relationship that is amazing to watch. It takes years to get to such a level and lots of practice and hunting. But, you can achieve good results with some pretty basic tools and techniques.
I recommend new hunters buy 3 duck calls- 2 standard mallard hen calls that have different tones and volume from each other (one soft and mellow, one loud, harsh, and/or raspy) and a 6-in-1 mallard drake whistle. Make or buy a call lanyard to keep your calls around your neck. There is no need to spend more than $100 on all 3 calls combined. The reason why you should get mallard duck calls is that they are the most common species of duck in North America and almost all other duck species will respond to mallard calls. It is as close a universal call as there is for ducks. There are tons of brands, but Duck Commander, Haydel’s, Primos, and Buck Gardner all offer usable, but cheap calls that will work well for beginners.
The mallard hen calls have 3 basic sounds you should learn to make- a quack, a hail/comeback call, and a chuckle/feed call. The quack is the easiest and most fundamental vocalization and serves as a “hey I’m content and everything here is chill” type vocalization. The quack is made by pursing the lips, tightening your cheeks and blowing from your diaphragm, making a “VUT” or “VOOT” sounds with your tongue. The hail call is simply a 3 or 5 note string of quacks descending in volume but ascending in tempo- QUACK—Quack-quackquackquack. This call functions as “hey, I’m over here, please come join me” vocalization and is the main way of calling distant birds to you. The chuckle/feed call is made by again pursing the lips, tightening the mouth/cheeks, and blowing a fast “DUKDUKDUK…” or “TUKTUKTUKTUK…” sound into the call. Its not as loud, but mimics the sound of ducks who are happily feeding on tasty food. The whistle can be used to mimic the sounds of some other duck species like teal, pintail ,etc, but is mainly used to make the sound of a male mallard duck. To make the drake whistle, hum and lightly blow into the whistle to make a soft, buzzy note. This call can be very effective and while is not a primary method of attracting birds, adds a depth and color to your duck calling that helps to mimic multiple birds calling and vocalizing at one time.
Once you are reasonably capable of making these calls, you will begin to develop a personal technique, tone, and sound that is all your own. The art of calling ducks comes in learning duck behavior and reading how ducks respond to your calls as they fly. This can get complicated and is difficult to describe, but generally, ducks headed in your direction don’t need to be called as hard or as often as those who are passing by. To pull ducks from afar, a few loud quacks combined with a hail call will tell them that you are there and interested. When they fly closer to investigate and begin circling (working is the proper term) your position, vary your calls- when they are flying in front and turning towards, you, hit them with a few softer, lazy-feeling quacks and as they fly above you, a string of chuckles and a drake whistle serve to add variety and realism. When they turn away from you, then hit them with the hail/comeback to signify that you want them to, you guessed it, come back. There is a ton of nuance in this process and really the best way to learn is experience.
Becoming an effective duck hunter requires that you learn and refine techniques related to all 4 of these areas, in concert with each other. Waterfowl hunting can be very demanding and very few hunters are able to truly master it. The journey of learning how to duck hunt is very rewarding and allows for some truly life-changing experiences in nature. While I do not believe waterfowl hunting is necessarily a great place for people new to hunting to start, because of the large amount of gear necessary to be successful relative to other types of hunting, it is definitely one of the most popular types of hunting for a good reason- its an absolute blast and provides a lifetime of enjoyment.
Some Useful Links:
US Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program
Realtree Waterfowl Hunting
HP Outdoors Waterfowl Podcast
Dr. Duck Podcast
Player/Analyst Tweets & Other Things - PLAYOFFS - TSM vs TL
Edit2: More TL Tweets!
GG TL! WOOOO
BJERGSEN PLAYER OF THE SERIESPOTS link
IWD & Bjergsen on MVP for that series:
- Think that giving the series MVP based on storyline is really disingenuous instead of giving it to the best player of the series. There is no realistic world where DL does not deserve MVP over Bjergsen based on the 5 games that were played today.
- Bjergsen: Agreed
- LS: Yes
- IT'S A BIG GAME DAY
- TSM Halifax: TSM TSM TSM
- All aboard the LCS finals hype train, first stop TL #TSMWIN (credit to Shoooootz from TSM subreddit) CHOO CHOO
- Every week has another awesome series to look forward to. TSM vs TL is surely going to be crazy. #TSMWIN
- TSM 3 - 1 TL. TSM has momentum and I was very unimpressed by TL in their series vs FLY which should've been a 3-1 loss.
- A group that can actually happen at Worlds: Damwon, JDG, G2, TSM
TL Draft Strategy:
- Secure CoreJJ Counterpick
- Utility bot lane champ
- Non-volatile early game
- Front to back teamfighting
- Secure top lane counterpick
- Blind mid lane champ for Bjergsen
- Speed pace of the game
- No dragon stacking
- Crumbz: TSM 3-1 | Pr0lly TSM 3-2 | Markz TSM 3-2
- Reminder of my win conditions for TSM vs. TL. Bjergsen needs to get out on the map, especially into top lane, while TL need a big series from CoreJJ and Tactical. #LCS
- The Riot Script wanted us to lose because @TSM will win #LCS. We tried our best to fight it but they really want us in the same #Worlds2020 group.
- Predictions: TL 3-2 TSM but tbh I would prefer to watch TSM vs FLY then TL vs FLY again
- TSM 3-1 is my call today! Would love a full 5 game series though :)
- We'll avenge you @Cloud9 Do it for Them Meme
DURING DRAFTLS w/ Shrimp & Crownie:
- LS: Doesn't like that TL pick Ashe into Senna.
- Crownie: Agrees. It's not good.
- LS: Vel'koz would've been a great pick for TL in place of Azir
- LS: TSM have a very cookie cutter comp.
- LS: AP Kog could've been good for TL too.
- All: TSM win draft.
- Teams don't care about Akali/Irelia from TSM anymore it seems.
- Take Senna for Ashe every time. Good for TSM
- All: TSM hard win draft based on the first 3 picks from each side.
- TSM should ban Cait/Kalista. Maybe throw in a jungle ban with those 2. Just copy what FLY did.
- Post-draft: TSMWIN
- TSM is probably more prepared to play Lucian/Eve than TL is.
- Here we go
- TSM lane kingdom draft against TL hard-smash 5v5 comp. Up to Impact to survive the top side pressure probably. #LCS
- TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM
- TL drafted fine (scaling per usual), they've been messy in the early game but as long as they reach their item points safely and follow the rules of their comp, they can win this game at 30+ mins #LCS
IWD w/ Caedrel and Febiven (don't 100% know their voices yet, correct me if im wrong)
- IWD: TL's bot lane is losing 2v2? Okay TL just lose. This is with counterpick support (~3:30)
- Caedrel: Leona hit box is crazy. That flew past my window and hit Ashe! (~5:20)
- Febiven: I never built team because... the game would be lost before it was even complete :(
- IWD: What am I watching (~9:30 Lee smite steals Harold and then doesn't kick to finish Spica, Spica then flashes in and neither die.)
- Caedrel: Agrees, thinks Broxah could've justt one shotted Spica and got out.
- IWD: Jensen making his presence known against Bjerg (~11:45 gets his flash). TSM have to do something with their comp. If they wait for 5v5 it might be hard.
- IWD: What was that arrow?? Watch out Caedrel is might hit you. Caedrel: Oh, I just dodged it (~12:35 Tactical with the wide arrow in the team fight)
- Caedrel: BB has to go in to stop the TP because he can't match it. Probably could've made it out though. (~12:35)
- Febiven: Yeah he could've just walked to blast cone and avoided another tower shot.
- Super clean kick flash from Broxah. TSM win anyways. Jensen died for free by saving his flash Q+E (~20)
- Upgraded Rabadon on Jensen now.. really huge. (~31)
- All: This fight is so bad from both sides. Especially from Impact (~32 Elder fight at mid)
- Great flash flank by BB. Kills Lee Sin (mid fight with Elder up)
- Caedrel: TSM's draft was crazy. GG (33min TSM win a fight at mid and get bot inhib and Baron/Elder)
- Febiven: Impossible to play for TL at this point. Look at both comps. Azir was so bad into TSM's comp. No real front line to stop TSM from flash engaging on him. (~35 game end)
- Febiven: They need to ban Syndra from Bjerg
- IWD: I don't think Syndra was the issue here man...
- LS: TSM for sure win. They have my Grandmother.
- LS: Look at Lee here... he's gonna walk up.... and leash the camp for Nidalee (Spica) lol (~6)
- Crownie/Max: Ornn gave up bot turret for free since he walked up for Herald when he didn't need to (~16)
- LS: Why is Tactical a null magic mantle?? Crownie: QSS? LS: QSS 2nd? He has cleanse...
- LS: TSM are just going to play slowly for Ocean soul (~18:30)
- Liandries for Nidalee is bad. Can't proc the enhanced passive consistently (~24:40)
- Jensen ran it down but TSM still lose the fight since Ornn won it for them. (~25:50)
- TSM get soul so it should be GG but TL has Ornn items. Baron shouldn't matter for TL (~26:30)
- Shrimp: Look at Lee... (~28 Broxah in the back while TL dies in red jungle)
- Max: Look at Lee Sin... look at him go... (replay of the fight in TSM red jungle)
- LS: TSM win another fight but TL still has one more chance. Jensen gets deathcap and that's a huge damage spike.
*Ocean soul is nice but that's not killing this Ornn and I don't see TSM doing it either (TSM get soul)
- Well I guess I saw how they kill Ornn LOL
- TSM has a 100% winrate with a lead of 3 dragons to 0 this split. Having a 3-0 lead forces your opponents to fight at every dragon whether they have no setup for it or not, whether they're behind on items or not & that's usually enough to close. Let's see if it holds true!
- TSM's setback at Herald 1 probably costs them this game.
- Empyre: Yeah it did. TSM needs to abuse their item spikes for the third drake if TL decide to force there (even though TL shouldn't and can wait till 4th drake)
POST GAMEPOST GAME STATS (Damage/Gold Graph
Spica Nidalee Stats
- Imagine calling Bjergsen overrated...
- Dunc: even @Ninja knows (Ninja liked the tweet)
- TSM Hazed: hellno.mp4
- haha how can u give bjergsen akali zoe syndra zilean irelia leblanc orianna XD
- TSM is really, really overhyped by the community. It's so insane to me. They're a good team, but they're not really as good as the reddit or twitter community thinks they are. (Quoting Jensen)
- Love r5 braum when you had side selection Upside-down face Sure BB isn't guaranteed counterpick, but you give up ADC pinch by needing to ban cait. What did red give TL that they couldn't have gotten on blue? Really hated that draft by TL.
- Azael: I understand not liking it but I also think this is about as TL of a draft as you can get. They pretty much always go for these type of heavy Frontline w/ scaling backline comps & just look to out team fight every game. Same thing they've done all split long! Seems expected.
- That's exactly my point. You can get literally all of that on blue, while forcing TSM to pick up the cait ban and FP your own ADC and pinch DL. BLue has 60% winrate and is favored unless you do something unique. You get literally nothing out of red side and you sack power picks.
- Azael: Yeah red side is useless for them because they do the same thing every game. Just go for power picks on blue since BB doesn't play tanks you won't get top lane counter w/ morde or GP which are the only top lane counters Impact really plays.
- TL: Leaves Syndra Open Bjergsen: Okay, get in.
- Scarra: same pic when bjerg picks zil tbh
- Same pic when Bjergsen plays league of legends this playoffs it feels like
- Next game, TL should pick blue side and prio Senna. They're not a team that can make use of counterpick imo. Also makes it harder for TSM to ban everything vs. TL.
- Alternatively, can ban Senna on blue like vs. FLY and prio Ashe. Either way blue fits them a lot better.
- IWD: What can Broxah even play if they ban Lee Sin?
- Caedrel: VolibeaGragas
- TSM WON GAME 1 OF A BO5. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL
- Azael: DAVID PHREAK TURLEY HAS TWEETED THAT TSM WON GAME 1 OF A BO5. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
- TSM improving this much over the course of playoffs makes me excited to see them at worlds - out of all the 3 NA teams I do think they have the highest ceiling, and I don't think they've even gotten close to fulfilling it
- Put Broxah on Sejuani and let him throw a few ults
DURING DRAFTLS w/ Crownie, Max, Sanchovies
- LS: Lucian ban makes sense since in order to pick it Broxah needs to play a mage and he can't play carry mages in the jungle.
- LS: Why is Ashe Thresh picked from TL? What does it do? Why not just pick a mage in the bot lane or even Varus.
- LS: If Jensen had Blitz.gg he would dodge because he'd see that Broxah can't play anymore champs after these bans.
- Crownie: Might be a Kha'zix angle for Broxah
- Max: TL would've won if they picked Hecarim in place of Lee Sin last game.
- LS: Top Kindred is really good as a last pick for TL.
- Meteos: Looking at the team comps. TL are putting all their eggs in the Broxah basket. Everything else is utility. It's on Broxah to carry but his Hecarim looks really sketchy
- Sneaky: Yeah it's weird to see this, Broxah isn't really the carry on the team. Doesn't really fit their playstyle. Maybe they refined it?
- TL picks TF and Thresh to have more agency in the early game to play toward topside ...And then pick Ornn top (while Sett showing)! Nice! TF wants to FF his life here. Good from TSM to flex Sett top and counter Hecarim.
- Kk nvm TSM 3-0 these drafts ain't it
Sneaky and Meteos:
- Sneaky: Broxah kind of just farms and is never really the primary carry, which Hecarim is.
- Surprised there wasn't a kill there at (~3:25 mid gank on Bjergsen)
- Meteos: Olaf level 5 is so much weaker than Olaf at 6. 5 seems like a key vulnerable spot for Olaf. (~5:30)
- Sneaky/Meteos: Working towards a TSM jungle kingdom with how Spica is playing so far (~6:30) but Olaf isn't really a late game carry like Hecarim is. Olaf is for pushing leads for other team members (early power + great at taking dragons)
- Meteos: 7:20 Cool early sightstone technique from CoreJJ. You use a charge to take a cannon bot, and then roam mid to take the cannon there.
- Meteos: If Thresh wasn't there, Olaf probably 2v1s there (~15:50)
- Sneaky: TL has Ornn items for scaling but Senna/Azir is really strong late game.
- Total disaster teamfight for TSM (~18)
- Going to be really rough for TSM from here on out with TL's lead. Seems kind of doomed. (20:30)
- Meteos: How can TSM even fight with this comp at this point? Olaf/BB want to go in but they're not tanky enough to survive being shredded. (~25) AziSenna can't really do anything.
- 32 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH (BB TP)
- Great gank from Broxah (~3:30) but he is sinning with the clear path he did.
- LS: TSM are on track to get infernal soul but there comp doesn't use it well. (~7)
- LS: (9:40) Why does TSM commit there? They have a ward on it? Now they're behind.
- Max: ~12 Hard for TSM to win that specific fight because TF arrives so quickly to fights.
- LS: ~12:20 DL sniped Broxah with ult! Actually huge! That could be drag for TSM
- Shrimp/Max: Evelynn might've been good here for TSM. Lilia too but Evelynn is better. (~22) Chat is saying that TF is good into Eve but Eve can just one shot TF.
- 32 OOOOOOOOOOHHHH
- That was the best facebreaker I've ever seen (32 BB TP). Would've been huge if they aced them there.
- Game is over, they take about trivia and the numbers in pi for the rest of the game.
- corejj and jensen gap (~19)
- Jensen is hard-carrying on Twisted Fate as a team fighter. Tells you a lot about his style of play! (He's ulting into fights, yes, but most of his influence has been from landing stuns and Qs.)
- Pastrytime: Classic Really Far Cardcannon continuing to put in work that game.
- i think spellbook tahm would be good in this game no? lane cant be that unlaneable without guardian no? having TP vs tf roams and cleanse vs ashe tf thresh is rlly big. #LCS @Biofrostlol
- I like seeing Jensen on something with the ability to affect the map. He's a fantastic side laner & has the ability to absolutely take over games. TL needs more players to step up and make things happen & Jensen playing TF gives him the ability to do it.
- Core J J
- Two games in a row TSM throws at Herald woo.
- they want to snowball, but they screwed it up. TL comp is better overall until maybe TSM reach 4 items.(~10min)
- 3-0 TSM?
- LMAO DL only Senna ults for cleanup.
POST GAMEPost Game Stats
Sneaky & Meteos
- Sneaky: Game was over... as soon as I realized TSM's comp was dog shit.
- Meteos/Sneaky: Herald fights are always super awkward from TSM these games.
- Anyone who was getting ready to use game 1 as evidence that Bjergsen > Jensen, make sure you weigh game 2 just as heavily. To be clear: neither player was bad in their losses; they just lacked opportunities to do anything really meaningful. Both hard-carried their wins
- We stumble in Game 2 and now look to bounce back in Game 3 as the series is even at 1-1
- We need your energy
- Random twitter comment: would you agree that peter carried you for 2 years?
- Fuck no
- TSM is really, really overhyped by the community. It's so insane to me. They're a good team, but they're not really as good as the reddit or twitter community thinks they are. (Quoting Jensen)
- (in response to his draft reaction): Not cool not being able to use TF to kill Sett on sidelane because you pick tank top :/
- Malaclypse: TF is more concerned with having the means to make a fight happen, Ornn's only mediocre with him because the 2 have relatively low damage but it's enough early on to get a kill on TF's 6
DURING DRAFTSneaky & Meteos
- Sneaky: Cait is really strong with Lux. Good draft so far.
- Sneaky: Voli top! It's actually pretty good.
- Meteos: Yeah Voli is pretty nice.
- Meteos: Sett into Voli.. that.. is kinda bad.
- Meteos: Seems like last game... 2 bruiser, no true tank comp from TSM.
- TSM are going for lane kingdom with this draft so far (first 3 picks both sideS)
- Max: What the fuck is this blind pick Voli top?
- LS: Just pick GP. Why blind Voli?
- Max: if you're going to pick Cait/Lux, don't pair it with Voli/Olaf.
- LS: Voli/Sylas is one of the worst things... BUT Volibear beats Sett.
- LS/Max: Actually would've been a decent Aatrox pick in place of Sett for TL. Jax would've been fine too.
- Might've picked Voli anticipating Impact's Shen.
- All: TSM win
- Really smart by TL to leave up Cait/TF and force a hard choice for TSM. Either you give TL the global to shutdown carry top, or give TL the strongest ADC and make it about bot. Never thought I'd see Brokenblade on Voli, but Cait FP and TF makes it hard to play to topside for TSM
LS w/ Crownie, Sanch and Max:
- Calls Woman to tell her to root for TL harder (her predictions work the opposite way) "Ra ra! TL!" There you go Women. TL is done for now.
- LS: Why do Volibears keep going Grasp??? (4:30)
- Max: Good for lane and top laners feel like they need to win the game through lane phase.
- Crownie: DL has BF Sword and Tactical has boots and long sword.
- LS: Sett has a better late game than Volibear. Volibear has an oppressive early/mid. Voli can beat Sett late but it depends on runes and builds.
- LS: TSM are just... dying randomly. what?(~10)
- Crownie/Max: TSM are pretty behind but Cait can hard carry this game (11:45) Cait up 30 cs with 3 plates.
- Meteos: Tactical is so fucked after TSM's gank (~4) Boots long sword vs BF sword.
- Meteos: Spica is going cinderhulk this game instead of warrior. Less of a bruiser route this game. (~7:30)
- Meteos/Sneaky: Cait can carry, she's 30 cs up. (~12)
- Meteos: Trinity probably not the best route for BB from behind.
- Sneaky: Yeah he's over 1k behind. (13min)
- Sneaky: Really risky fight from TSM at dragon. TSM's win condition is Cait and she's almost at a strong point. (~15) Also Cait didn't mean to hop the wall but it worked out and netted Jensen's flash.
- Sneaky: Was almost really bad for TL since they're giving drag while they're stronger but TSM troll by fighting. (3rd drag)
- Meteos: TSM's triple melee comps are pretty troll. You can't play front to back with it.
- Meteos: The Olaf/Trundle match is also sooo trash for Olaf. You have to be so ahead to be able to do anything. (23)
- Meteos: TL can just play slow and TSM is fucked. They can just choose not to play in chokes like TSM wants them to (~28min)
- Sneaky: TSM are attempting to funnel Cait to save the game (29min)
- TSM simply isn’t as good at mid-game team fighting as FlyQuest; if they try to replicate the FlyQuest formula of beating Team Liquid at bot side 5v5s, they’re unlikely to replicate FlyQuest’s results."
- Doublelift plays with no cleanse vs Ashe thresh tf? Is that normal
- tbh i think this trundle frozen heart buy is pretty sick, and super oppressive. I like that impact has pivoted into tank given the state/trajectory of the game too
- Cloud9: Fat L for Boris today
- Watching CoreJJ is honestly such a treat man (TL 2nd Baron)
- Azael: One of the world's best supports for sure
- How broken is Trundle guys? @BroxahLoL smurfing the entire game so far (~21min)
POST GAMEPost Game Stats
- Sweating Pepe.gif
- Dunc: we got this dw
- TL looks so much more comfortable on the map w/ TF. Broxah unlocking him to roam w/ multiple ganks early this game was such a difference maker & I think going into game 4 TSM will need to force Jensen to show them something different!
- How you knew it was over for TSM
- We didn't ask for this power, trust me
- I'm secretly a TSM hater and knew I could destroy TSM. Check my closet, no TSM merch. Lots of TL merch.
- There must be something behind the scenes that is making TSM think that these comps are good...
- TSM is really, really overhyped by the community. It's so insane to me. They're a good team, but they're not really as good as the reddit or twitter community thinks they are
- Free scouting report to Bjergsen and Spica for game 4: Broxah likes to gank mid at 3:00. Try not to let him burn a free Flash this time
- For real though, in game 3 Jensen pulled the wave so Bjergsen probably knew he could get gabled but he to decide whether it was worth losing XP from a few CS to stand back to avoid it. Good setup. But you'd like to have vision for that scenario.
- Jensen should not be allowed TF again. He'll control the entire game with it and the pick makes up for a general lack of early proactivity from TL.
- Empyre: it's a cheater pick for them to bypass their early game floundering. Now we'll see how the adapt that playstyle to another comp if they can.
- Okay let's stop picking Olaf and stop giving TF to Jensen, yeah? The pick is good at cheating timing and getting TL to be proactive in the early game along with the Thresh #LCS
- Please top laners of the world if you're in a draft and Volibear is being hovered and discussed to be played in top lane pull the power cord/modem ASAP I never want to see this useless sack of trash of a champ in top lane again please stop
- You can blind pick Riven, get a dog to sit in your chair and go for a snack while the dog plays and that dog playing Riven is less of a dog champ than Volibear top, please stop
- The Zilean pick from Jensen was something personal
- TSM reversing their strategy from previous games and are deciding to put a top laner in the jungle
- Meteos: It's a decent pick (Shen Jungle) Not bad clear. Slow champion though.
- Sneaky: TL won draft.
- Meteos: Not sure, TL is basically all AP.
- Lillia+Zilean has potentially OP synergy I think with extra speed on Lillia and sleep setting up for Zilean bombs.
- RIVER SHEN
- Jungle Shen is a lot of fun but it's clear is honestly so bad you're going to get completely outpaced by Lillia. If you don't fall behind early it's a great counter ganker & clear speed goes way up on cinderhulk so I'm excited to see how he does!
- Why is there a Shen in the Jungle
- For @Jensen and @Impact , let’s go Liquid!
- LILIA IS HYPE AND ALL BUT RIVER SHEN DEMANDS FIVE GAMES FOR THE PEOPLE.
- RIVER SHEN!!
- River shen.
- River Shen
- But how does TSM kill Ornn past 2 items
- Besides Ornn wintrading
- TSM need to go back to strong bot side. Been saying it for weeks now. If Broken Blade is losing lane to Impact, you're doomed. And don't let Broxah gank Bjergsen so easily. Bjergsen has to manage lane state better and Spica needs to cover him. TSM can def. bring this to 5.
- Hm. Broken Blade can be good, and gets lane prio. Might work. But as a general approach it's not what I want from TSM. Or... support Shen? :P
- Wait... that's not Support Shen. That's... jungle Shen?
DURING GAMESneaky & Meteos (LS went to bed):
- Meteos: Spica slightly ahead of Lilia in early farm (3:30)
- Sneaky: TSM bot lane use both summs and both die. It's not looking good for TSM (double kill bot) But Impact doesn't consider Shen ult and ults into BB to die.
- Meteos: The way they died was really troll. It's like they forgot they were playing against Ashe by backing where they did.
- Sneaky: Whoever goes for Herald in every game gets fucked.
- Bjerg doesn't flash the hook and barely dies to Zil bomb. TL's comp doesn't have any damage at this point though so they just lose the team fight and dragon.
- Sneaky/Meteos: BLOCK THE HOOK (25:40) Really troll from Spica
- Doublelift infinitely scales. TSM has a chance
- Jensen saving ult and face checking the bush means TSM can end the game.
- Doublelift hard carried those last couple of fights.
- TL just inted the game away for a random dragon when it was 4v5. Same mistakes over and over with the overcontest at objectives. (~15)
- ANOTHER ONE (The DJ Khaled gif)
- Go look at the huge wave they gave up to give up more kills to enemy at dragon (Ocean drag fight)
- Tactical with the big flash to dodge the Shen taunt and get the teamfight win. So clutch from him.
- DOUBLE KILL FOR DOUBLELIFT I NEVER DOUBTED THEM
- GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE GAME FIVE
- Hey, Jensen found his ultimate after three teammates died! What's with this man not using his ulti in time in bottom river? (~21)
- Biofrost Rakan doing some work. TL aren't respecting it and he's punishing them nicely, catching Tactical in so many fights. #LCS (~20)
- Core J J (Bjerg dies by getting hooked before drag)
- THAT WAS NOT A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF CC (Bjerg dying before drag)
- ah I guess bjergsen didn't 1v9 playoffs hard enough for his teammates to want to block an ability for him unlucky
- Shen + Rakan is the most busted combo in League of Legends.
- Oh shit Doublelift found Edge of Night in the shop it's over (~11min)
- These team fights are SOOO LONG with TSM just kiting & unable to punch through thr TL Frontline + Zilean ults. TL also struggling to reach backline means it takes them so long to finish off fights & they just keep extending! HYPE GAME 4! (~33)
POST GAME 4
- Cool series so far. Today we beat TL with a front to back team composition in game 4. Upside-down face Hope the next game is just as close. #TSM #KeepPlaying
- TL Steve: stfu
- note: (they're friends guys)
- Bangers only
- I might die today
- I wish ingame stats tracked Senna stacks because I'd love to know how that game compared to the most stacks ever gotten in a competitive game. The range Doublelift had was absolutely INSANE by the end of that game!
- So many narrow edges in game 4, mistakes and missed opportunities on both sides. And in the end, Bjergsen makes the clutch game-deciding pick on Jensen. Scripted. #LCS
- german national team and spidermen are going to game 5
- Damn bjerg is showing the world he shoulda been mvp and forces game 5 off these syndra stuns sheesh
- Also s/o Ming for the crazy baron steal under all that cc
- TSM is really really overhyped by the community. It's so insane to me. They're a good team, but they're not really as good as the reddit or twitter community thinks they are.
- Last game for all the marbles. Is TSM overhyped, or is "TsM oVErHyPEd"?
- Core item set from "TSM Jungling handbook - revised edition"
- Super carry doublelift
- Team Liquid continue to lose to Doublelift's Senna.
- Don't ever lock Zilean vs Bjersgen ever again.
- Is Senna balanced!!!!??????
- HYPE!!! (in response to Game 5)
- TL: 😡😡😡
- DL can now auto from cross map
- [email protected]_TO_RIVER_SHEN KEKW
- Who knew that River Shen was the future for NA
DURING DRAFTSneaky & Meteos
- AMMO SQUAD (TL picked Graves and Jhin)
- Sneaky: Braum! Good Braum Pick from TSM
- Meteos: They might go Skarner but then they'd be really low damage. Kindred/Lilia maybe.
- Sneaky: Shen/Zil. TSM going with the double save comp
- Meteos: TL with the strong scaling comp
- River shen part 2
- TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM TSM Steve sucks
DURING GAMESneaky & Meteos
- Meteos: TSM can play split really well with this comp.
- Level 2 gank bot for first blood but it's not that bad for TL. Shen uses a lot of time there
- Broxah hard trolls the gank top lane. Spent so long on that gank and GP had to flash. Becomes a 1 for and Bjerg gets the kill.
- Slightly bad for BB though since GP now has a sheen.
- TSM trade ocean for bio's life. Probably better for TSM. Got Jensen's TP too. Would've been worse for TSM if DL got zoned away from bot wave.
- Bio died for a ward that doesn't really do anything and BB didn't have any boots so he was too slow to collapse on TL after his TP (Infernal 1)
- Broxah completes Umbral (15) Goodbye to all your vision.
- Sneaky: Game is about even... except Jungle is ahead by 2k gold
- Meteos: Game is going to be really hard for TSM to win without Irelia being really strong.
- couldn't focus on rest of notes
INTERVIEW WITH SPICA
- It was really stressful but we're really mentally resilient.
- I just suck at Olaf so we just stopped picking it. (lol) Picked champs with agency that can dominate early.
- Shen is a really good early ganker. 2/3 is really strong and level 6 ult is the strongest ability in the game. Really good pick for me.
- First split of LCS (youngest player in the League too), teammates are really good and we're all trying our best to do our fair share.
- FLY/TL have similar playstyles. FLY is better than TL for sure cause they beat them.
POST GAME TWEETSPOST GAME 5 STATS
- Really happy we won the series, not happy about my performance today. I will step it up tomorrow my team carried me 💖
- Doublelift: ur a beast bro everyone has good and bad games, wouldn't wanna play with any other top all the way to finals
- Diovana (BB gf): You did it well, proud of you 💖🥺
- River Shen
- Game 5 is our comfort zone
- TSM Subroza: 🐐
- TSM Hazed: All hail.
- hey @TLCoreJJ enjoy playins
- Shakarez: This is good banter but I'm saving this to when somehow the pool 4 Team Liquid gets an easier group than TSM in pool 3/1 (Also, reminder NA #2 Seed is a pool 3 team)
- so happy everyone stepped up and played their hearts out. we've been improving so much since playoffs started and I hope we can have a great finals tomorrow vs FLY
- I knew it was over when we locked in zilean game 5
- Looks like TL need the practice from playins :) finals tomorrow ggwp #TSMWIN
- I'll do it for you @Jensen "Good game @Bjergsen " 🙂
- I love watching this team, good luck tomorrow guys! #TSMWIN
- Let’s goooo! #TSMWIN
- Bjerg is overrated amirite guys
- COVID has robbed us of some loud af TSM chants Be sure to supports the boys tomorrow and beyond! #TSMWIN
- #TSMWIN is trending 😎
- Lustboy: Zilean is trending
- 2020 #LCS SUMMER SPLIT GRAND FINALISTS.
- bJerGseN iS wASheD
- Halifax: How else could his play be that cleannnn. I'll show myself oat.
- In response to TL's "Haven't lost to TSM in 530 days tweet": 0
- @LSXYZ9 send our regards to Grandma
- GG WP @TeamLiquid #TSM
- TSM Halifax: Let's Go!
- nice I get to experience the same amount of games I missed in regular season for our lcs squad.
- Zilean Zilean Zilean my Zilean
- Watching TL vs TSM series feels watching your two sons battle for top. @Tactical you did well ,but your brother did better today.
- TSM IS GOING TO FINALS and @TSMDoublelift finally conquered his demons against TL!! What a dopamine rush 😊 #tsmwin
- LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOO #TSMWIN
- GOD @Spicalol #TSM
- reddit had me convinced TL was the best team in the world and we were going up against the best mid to ever exist, i got baited hard 😔
- LCS FINALS IS MY CHURCH AND TSM IS MY RELIGION.
- We've played 20 games in Playoffs so far. You play 18 in an entire season.
- Game 5 Zilean does it again 😍
- I get a finals episode too. #TSMWIN
- Season is over It is not a satisfactory result The 3th from 9rd place was not bad but it was not the result I wanted. But I'll accept it and trust the teammates and we can do better. thanks a lot of supporting us @TSMDoublelift good luck tmrw you got this👍
- I'm so heartbroken. I'm sorry.
- Treatz: You had some really good games Mads ❤️
- intense and fun games but we really need to step it up for worlds ggs tsm
- nothing yet
- Thanks for giving me more practice @TSMDoublelift 😖
- DL: ggs today it could've easily gone either way. hope to see the Honda MVP pop off at worlds for NA 🥺
- Well that sucks.
- GGWP @TSM . May the best team win tomorrow.
- GG to @TSM Disappointing end to summer split for us, with 3-2 losses to both FLY and TSM. Lots to improve on. Atleast we get more practice time in play-ins ;)
- gg TSM
OTHERSNelson Sng (LNG Esports Coach):
- I think Spica is insane and is gonna be the next best jungler in NA
- So cool that, since summer 2015, Peter has been to the finals of every LCS split he decided to participate in. : ^ )
- Welp LS and I agreed on TSM winning the series on Facecheck and it went completely according to planned. Was fairly obvious the Shen jungle was going to be the decider here when analyzing both teams tendencies under a microscope.
- Its kinda weird that when you correctly predict TSM winning a series you still just get spammed with "HAHAHA HOW SALTY ARE YOU THAT TSM IS IN FINALS." Yeah man I just hate when my predictions end up being correct
- Its actually weird how people's perception of the series went. Felt like it was mainly big over performance from bot lane from TSM. They were looking like the weakest link of the team going into the series and TL's bot was their strongest.
- that being said the TSM bot lane hard stepped up and really swung the series into their favor. I'd say mid was relatively even as well as jungle, with top going better for TL than expected.
- Ultimately I think it'll be good for TL to go through play-ins first to hopefully figure out the meta. They really got exposed in the last 2 bo5's
- I'm really happy with that as my last #LCS cast of Summer Split 2020! I remember back when I was brand new and trying to make it into the League scene, the #1 dude I wanted to work with was @esports_kobe and now we've got a whole collection of series together. GG buddy!
- Lastly, I hope we can celebrate both Bjergsen and Jensen for being great players and giving us a rivalry to enjoy in NA the past several seasons and hopefully several more.
- TSM hard snowballing and getting more confident with every series. You can see DL playing better and they are refining their drafts with more options (River Shen today). They still have flaws in the midgame (e.g. positional errors that better teams will punish more heavily).
- It's good for NA that TL's weaknesses got exposed in playoffs (partly due to meta shift). They would have been a bad champion representative. NA really wants a team like G2/Damwon/TOP/Old IG to motivate and inspire the region's teams/fans/players. It felt like TL tried to force out their scaling image in playoffs by being randomly/thoughtlessly aggressive around objectives, but it heavily backfired. They now have time and the play-in process to figure out these issues and I hope they do
- Special shout out to @Spicalol for accepting the Defense Against the Dark Arts position of JG at @TSM and smurfing in the #LCS playoffs as the youngest player here!
- Pastrytime: Spica to the LCS crowd was a forgettable Academy player who was put into his first LCS playoffs in a very difficult spot. Now he's looking stronger than ever on route to this first Finals and I'm very glad that his talent is slowly but surely getting recognized.
- A lot of review for @TeamLiquidLoL from both their playoff series but I have confidence they will work through it and make it through the play-in stages to meet us all in groups once again. Good luck and practice hard!
- At least we can say that we lost to the #LCS Champions now
- Danan (GG GM): agree.jpeg
- We have the finest analytical minds in the business on the desk & I never doubted their consistently flawless predictions even for a second.
- Dash: Only the best on the #LCS
- Scroll of Truth Meme
- Doublelift: HAHA
- TL: Doesn't unplug Bjergsens PC to stop him from double clicking the League of Legends icon on his Desktop Bjergsen: okay, get in. Spongebob Coffin Meme
- There is a certain quality in a player that when adversity hits they have an extra gear. They just refuse to get drawn into negative thoughts. Really seems like Bjergsen has this quality in spades. The current TSM look like they are more outgoing + self confident individually
- Why did jungle Shen win the series