After the excitement that was the European promotion/relegation tournament, which included 3 new teams qualifying for the summer split of the LCS, coming up this weekend we have the North American tournament! The drama of this event is all over the place, as established teams such as Dignitas and CLG will have to battle with the new challenger teams for their spot in the summer split of LCS.
Game 1 – Quantic vs Team Astral Poke (TAP)
Quantic - Balls, Meteos, Hai, LemonNation, SneakyCastro
Team Astral Poke - AnxietyLoL, Remstars, Newbert, Nydus, BobbyHankHill
While Quantic might be a familiar name for those who aren’t even heavily involved in the challenger circuit, TAP are almost completely unknown. TAP qualified for the tournament by take the very last spot, coming 4th in the online ranked 5′s qualifier under the name ‘ Nydus is Diamond 1 ‘, notably defeating Falafel Gaming, but losing to No Team Name Necessary.
The roster of TAP has a limited experience of high level gaming. A few players on the roster have subbed for teams including Epik Gamer and 4Not, while Nydus himself is a former Grand-Master Starcraft 2 player.
Quantic on the other hand have a roster full of experience. Top laner ‘Balls’ has played for MonoManiac ( now Vulcun ) and Meat Playground, while Hai and LemonNation have been with Quantic from the start, ever since they were oRbit Gaming in season 2. Jungler Meteos is the official sub for Complexity while new addition SneakyCastro was a member of the Dignitas academy before they disbanded.
On paper, and in reality, Quantic should win this game with relative ease. The experience on the roster of Quantic should prove to be too much TAP. Not only this, but many LCS teams have stepped forward to say that Quantic are by far the best challenger team, including TSM who have reportedly been scrimming with Quantic occasionally throughout the season.
My official prediction for this match is 2-0 to Quantic. Upsets are fun to see but I don’t think TAP have enough in them to take a BO3 off of the best challenger team. It’s possible that TAP could take 1 game, but not the whole thing.
Game 2 – Velocity (VEC) vs The Salad Bar (TSB)
Velocity - Cris, NK Inc, VileRoze, Evaniskus, FromMapleStreet
The Salad Bar – Hirishina, GhoztZero, EHomda, ArcZslash, DkBnet
Going into this match, Velocity are the favourites. OddBro and crew are expected to take this series fairly easily. The Salad Bar however are not a team people should underestimate. The roster is fairly unknown, but the team have taken 1st place in every recent Go4LoL they have entered. On top of this they currently hold a 1-2 record in the North American EPS. For most of the roster of TSB, this is their first proper team, and this will be their 2nd attempt at going professional, after the team failed the first time around. TSB qualified as 3rd place from the online ranked qualifiers after falling to Azure cats, but defeating Team Astral Poke.
Velocity will be heading into this just weeks after losing their outlandish mid laner Pr0lly. He will be replaced by VileRoze, a player who has been around the high elo for quite some time. Despite this recent change, the roster still looks strong for VEC. Cris, the top lane has played for a few amateur teams and is rather well known in high elo play. NK Inc is a former member of Meat Playground and DirtNap Gaming. Evaniskus was recently a member of Dignitas academy, and of course, FromMapleStreet is the younger brother of TSM jungler, TheOddone.
Velocity come into the promotion tournament as the 2nd highest seed after coming 2nd in the MLG Dallas amateur tournament. In my opinion I think Velocity will take the series 2-1. TSB will put up a fight and probably take a game, but Velocitys experience will be enough to take them over the line and into the match against Marn.
Game 3 – Team Summon (TS) vs Fidelis (Fid)
Summon - Niko44, SickoScott, Captain Korea, L0cust, Virus
Fidelis - Grim Samurai, Tsunamiie, Arthelon, Prophet, Otter
Admittedly, this is the matchup I know the least about. Both of these teams were formed solely for the purpose of qualifying for the Summer split of the LCS. for 4/5 members of TS, this will be their first real team, and first attempt at going pro in League of Legends, however some older fans may remember L0cust as the former support play for Dignitas. He is back with his new team, and if TS do manage to defeat Fidelis, they will face L0custs former team, Dignitas. Team Summon qualified by finishing 2nd in the IPL qualifier.
Fidelis, much like TS, were formed only to attempt to qualify for the Summer split of the LCS. Almost every member of Fid has been on an amateur team before this, so they will take the experience with them into this match. Fidelis qualified via the ranked 5′s online tournament, where they placed 2nd place after losing to Azure Cats in the final.
It’s hard to choose because as I said my knowledge of these 2 teams is extremely limited. I am going to go with a 2-1 victory for Fidelis. Their roster has slightly more experience, along with the fact that Team Summon recently had a poor performance in the NA EPS.
Game 4 – DoubleBuff (DB) vs Azure Cats (AC)
DoubleBuff - Innox, ScubaChris, Nubbypoohbear, Unstoppable, Flappy Bearfish
Azure Cats - Cruzerthebruzer, xDragunerX, BigFatlp, Obituarist, Demonlul
You may disagree with me, but in my opinion this is going to be the best match of the quarter finals of this promotion tournament. Both teams are full to the brim of experience of high level League. Before I start, I refer you to an article I wrote about DoubleBuff - http://midorafk.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/why-doublebuff-1-trick-ponies-shouldnt-be-ignored/
As explained in the above article, DoubleBuff may be better known as the team 1 Trick Ponies, a team that attempted to qualify for the Spring season of the LCS but fell in the group stages. After that failure, they replaced almost everyone, keeping only jungler ScubaChris and swapping Substitute player Innox to the top lane.
The lineup of DB is packed with talent. ScubaChris is the current sub jungler for Vulcun TechBargains, Nubbypoohbear is the former mid laner for oRbit gaming ( now Quantic ), Unstoppable is the former jungler player for TSM Evo, and Flappy Bearfish has been described as the DoubleLift of the challenger circuit by many players. DB qualified for this event by taking the final spot in the IPL qualifier
Azure Cats are identifiable right now as ‘ BigFatlps team’. The former CLG mid laner formed his own amateur team after transitioning to the substitute position for CLG. It is no secret that BigFat is considered the key player for AC, however the rest of their lineup should not be ignored. Cruzerthebruzer is the former top laner for Team Legion and the current sub for MRN. While Demonlul is also a former Legion member. AC qualified as the winners of the online ranked 5′s qualifier, which included beating FXO and The Salad Bar.
My prediction for this game is a 2-1 victory for DoubleBuff. My reason are explained much more thoroughly in the article I linked above, but generally I feel that they simply have a better lineup and the element of somewhat surprise, as it is clear that they are community underdogs for this match
2nd Round matches Vs LCS teams
I won’t go into great detail about these matches as they are simply my predictions for who will reach the 2nd round from the Quarter Finals.
Game 1 – Quantic vs Complexity
This game promises to be a great one. Both teams are at an LCS standard in my opinion but only 1 of them can progress. I’m going to go with a close victory for Quantic Gaming, maybe 3-1 or more likely 3-2. I believe they are similarly skilled, but Quantic just about have the edge, and after failing once before, they will be desperate to get into the LCS at the 2nd attempt.
Game 2 – velocity vs Marn
If this is indeed the matchup that will occur, I think Marn have the talent to defeat Velocity. Marn have stabilised after a disappointing start to the LCS. After initially being a huge surprise in qualifying for the Spring season, they have proved to everyone that they can defeat the best teams. I think their experience in the LCS will be enough to take them over the line vs Velocity.
Game 3 – TS/Fid vs Dignitas
The picture above is the logo for Fidelis, but I included both teams from the quarter final as either of them could go through depending on their performances on the day. I do however firmly believe that Dignitas will have no problem dispatching these teams. No matter who gets through, I predict a swift 3-0 for Team Dignitas.
Game 4 – DoubleBuff vs CLG
Perhaps controversially I am predicting DoubleBuff to knock CLG out of the LCS. You may think I’m crazy…maybe I am. Once again I encourage you to read the article linked earlier on as that will explain my thought process in more detail.
On a basic level, I believe that DoubleBuff match CLG in skill level individually. I feel like every lane of CLG is matched by the mirror lane of DB, and yes, that does include the bottom lane. It is also to my knowledge that CLG have extremely limited scouting material to use against DB, while DB have 10 weeks of LCS to use.
The 1 thing CLG does have for them, is the experience in a BO5, and the ability to pull though under immense pressure. It will be a tight affair, but it is of my opinion that by next Sunday evening, CLG will no longer be members of the LCS.
Thanks for reading guys! If you agree/disagree let me know! Comment below or tweet at me – @howspiffing