NA LCS Promotion/Relegation preview

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         Team Astral Poke

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 The Salad bar

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)

Team Summonfidelis

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)

DoubleBuffAzure_Cats

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 – https://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

QuanticComplexity

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

VelocityMRN

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

fidelisDignitas

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

DoubleBuffCLG logo

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

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LCS promotion/Relegation Team profile – TCM Gaming

Hey everyone! My article about DoubleBuff ( 1 Trick Ponies ) went down extremely well and ended up hitting 1.5K views in 1 day! for this I am extremely grateful to everyone who read, commented, upvoted or shared. It may not sound that big, but it’s a huge achievement for me. I still remember the days where i’d be happy with 50 views over a few days…

Anyway, I decided to continue and attempt to do a couple more of these style articles before the relegation matches start. I was kind of stuck for a team to choose, so in the end I decided to go with another team I interact with occasionally. The profile today, is TCM gaming.

TCM Gaming is a European team, owned by 2 UK gentlemen, however the team itself is almost completely french, even the manager! The history of TCM is pretty small as the organizations involvement in LoL is only a year old ( They celebrated their 1 year in February 2013 ). They originally had a Swedish team for a few months in 2012, not a huge amount of achievements out of this team led to multiple roster changes before they eventually dropped the team entirely.

The important stuff started in January of this year when TCM Gaming picked up the roster of Heyijustmetyou after they qualified for the LCS promotion tournament in Warsaw. In a harsh group, TCM were able to defeat TheMightyMidgets, but would falter against Copenhagen Wolves and Against All Authority, causing them to drop out at the group stages after finishing 1-2. Since then, only 1 change has been made. Narkuss the former jungler departed the team, while it was planned that former DragonBorns jungler Brokenshard would step inf or the LCS relegation matches, however after his health prevented playing, TCM picked up ImSoFresh, the former jungler for Millenium.

So that’s a brief history of the team itself, let’s take a look at the roster!

Top lane – Andy ‘Zoller’ Zoller

Zoller began his LoL playing career GSU Gaming. After a few wins in several French LANs, he joined TCM with the new roster. He’s known as a pretty solid top laner, similar in a way to Dyrus, in which he is very proficient at not losing his lane.

karim ‘ImSoFresh’ Bahla

Possibly the most recognizable name on the roster, the latest addition to the roster has had a pretty good career in League of Legends before joining. Starting at Sypher, he then moved onto Eclypsia, before finally settling at Millenium. After some decent results at various IEMs and only just missing out on promotion last time around, ImSoFresh joined TCM after Millenium disbanded. They key in having ImSoFresh on the roster is that he has key experience in important matches, that could be vital for TCM.

Mid lane – geoffrey ‘GeoGeo’ Durand.

Geo actually started his career at aAa, at the time he was teammates with the now well known SK Kev1n. After leaving aAa he kind of faded into nothing, playing mainly soloQ. He is now a member of TCM Gaming and hopes to contribute to their chances of promotion to the LCS with his aggressive play style in the mid lane.

Ad Carry – Charles ‘Nanouk’ Le Mero

Nanouk actually started his Esports career as a top Starcraft 2 player in france. After switching to League of Legends mid way through season 1, he has been a part of a few partially known french teams, and has played in a couple of French LANs. He is now a part of TCM and will be looking to show off his impressive micro skills in the upcoming tournament.

Support – Maxime ‘migxa’ poinssot

Migxa started playing League just as season 1 finished, and within a year had hit top 10 on the soloQ ladder in EUW. TCM is his first proper team, and the LCS tournament a few months back in Warsaw was his first ever LAN event.

So you know the history, you know the roster, let’s take a look at the path TCM have to take to reach LCS glory.

Quarter Final vs Sinners Never Sleep (SNS)

This is going to be a pretty good match in all honesty. TCM have more experience together than SNS do, however the roster of SNS is very strong. Boasting former mMe players, and even the current substitute jungler for SK gaming, Noonia. The main battle here though will be between ImSoFresh and Tabzz who will meet for the first time since Millenium disbanded.

personally, I think the experience that TCM have on their roster will be enough to drag them across the line and get themselves into the BO5 promotion match vs aAa, but it will certainly be very difficult for TCM.

Promotion match vs aAa.

If TCM are able to overcome the challenge of SNS, the promotion match will be a 8/10 Frech affair! ( Poor Fredy122 and ImSoFresh ). This again promises to be a great game if it happens, aAa were dropped down to this tournament via DQ after Dioud was unable to attend the playoffs. A few people even said that aAa would’ve beaten SK Gaming had they been able to play. People can speculate, all I know is that both teams are good, but aAa will have the advantage in my eyes due to weeks of LCS practice they just had.

Thanks for reading everyone! I will hopefully be able to release another 1 or MAYBE 2 of these so if you have a request for a team, comment it here, on reddit, or tweet me! @Howspiffing . Also go follow the TCM Gaming manager @Ruliooz

Had I known these were going to be popular I would’ve started last week and got 1 for each team done!

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EU LCS promotion preview!

Hey guys ( and girls ) as a European myself, I thought i’d throw in my opinion on the upcoming LCS promotion playoffs, i’ll go into a little bit of detail on each matchup and hope to provide you, the fans, with a little more of an insight into the European amateur scene.

Game 1 – Meet Your Makers (MYM) vs Dexter Is Actually Evil. (DEX)

MYM are by far the best team in the European amateur scene. They were favourites to qualify last time round, however they met Fnatic in the quarterfinals and well, being knocked to the losers bracket by the future European champions isn’t that bad. After that they lost to Dragonborns quite surprisingly in the final. Since then, MYM have been pretty unstoppable. As a former manager of an amateur European team ( Myrevenge ) I can tell you from 1st hand experience just how good they are, that along with very creditable  performances at various IEM events makes MYM an extremely dangerous team.

I don’t know a great deal about Dex, other than that they qualified as the 4th team, and the lowest seed from the online ladder tournament. The roster is pretty good, and the manager is the former manager of Millenium, who sadly disbanded not too long ago. Here is a quote from the Dex manager, Flyy.

“We are going into to the qualifier as underdogs, not many people are considering us as a contender for an LCS Spot but we are going there with the goal to win and qualify. We are praccticing hard right now and we won’t go out without a fight!”

My money is on MYM for this one. I have seen Dex play some good games and make some decent results, but MYM are on another level, and are, in my opinion, on the level of challenging the top 4 of Europe.

Game 2 – Alternate (ATN)  vs Wizards 

Most of my readers will probably already recognize the name Alternate. An extremely strong amateur team, home of the Elo king himself, Forellenlord. Not just him though, Jree ( Former sub for CLG EU/EG ), Creaton ( Former ADC for Millenium ), Kerp ( the Elo prince ), and ofcourse, Araneae, former jungler for SK and participant in the season 2 world finals. This is a pretty experienced roster, and if I was Araneae, i’d be desperate to get back into the top tiers after being there once already. ATN qualified as the 2nd seed from the Lille promotion tournament after losing 0-2 to MYM in the final.

Their opponents, Wizards…I would love to add some information here but I have almost nothing. Wizards qualified for the offline event by placing 3rd in the ranked 5’s promotion tournament after a fairly easy bracket and a loss to TCM gaming.

Alternate to take this one, the wealth of experience that ATN have is going to be too much for the Wizards here.

Game 3 – Sinners Never Sleep (SNS) vs TCM Gaming (TCM)

now this should be a close and exciting game. You may remember TCM from the last LCS qualifiers, where they participated as Heyijustmetyou. After a string of decent results in scrims and amateur tournaments, I believe TCM are ready to cause somewhat of an upset if they are to beat SNS AND aAa. It is to be noted that TCM are going to be using ImSoFresh ( Formerly jungler for Millenium ) for the qualification tournament.

SNS are a team that are pretty recently formed, including players from mMe, Tabzz from Millenium, and SK sub and one of my former players, Noonia!. The roster for this team is pretty decent, and coupled with some good amateur tournament results, SNS vs TCM should prove to be a great game.

For this game, I have ties to both teams, Noonia, one of my former players is now on SNS, whilst i’m pretty good friends with the manager of TCM. It’s a hard one to call but i’m going to put my money on TCM.

Game 4 – Esports4Life vs Anexis Esports.

Another game that promises to be a fairly close one. Anexis Esports are another team you may remember from the last LCS qualifiers, or maybe even from their recent 2nd place at IEM Sao Paulo, or 5/6th at IEM worlds. Theres no doubt about it, Anexis are a dangerous team that could pose a threat to Copenhagen Wolves existence as an LCS team, if they are to beat Esport4Life that is…

Esport4Life is pretty much the former MouseSports. The team may ring a bell if I just refer to them as ‘ YoungBucks team ‘. Anyway, recently they have been on a pretty good run, taking 1st place in the Solomid EU Invitational 4, winning against AT Gaming. This team has some pretty decent experience within the roster, and this could be a pretty close game.

After asking captain YoungBuck what he thought of his teams chances in the promotion tournament, he simply replied with ” We will come on top without losing a single map ”

It’s hard to call a winner here, but i’m going to go with Anexis, but to be honest it could easily go either way, this quarter final should be a great game. The experience in the recent IEMs would’ve helped Anexis a lot, and I feel that if they get to face Copenhagen Wolves, their meeting will produce an epic encounter.

On the topic of Copenhagen Wolves, I decided to reach out to Deficio of the Wolves to ask how he thought his team would do, the result? – Skype screenshot

Of the current LCS teams that have been thrown into the promotion mix, I feel that all of them are at a high risk of losing their spots. DragonBorns will likely have to face MYM, which is a rematch of the last LCS qualifiers. However this time around, I feel like MYM will have the edge.

Giants will most probably have to face Alternate, who are also a really good amateur team, although this game may be closer, I still feel that Alternate will have the upper hand.

aAa will face either TCM or SNS, both of which are very good teams. I feel like these will be the closest of the matches, as all 3 teams are on a similar skill level.

Copenhagen Wolves will have to face either Anexis or Esport4Live. I’m calling Anexis vs Wolves but it could be the other. I think it will be a pretty close game, but I think Wolves will be able to take it and retain their place in the LCS

Thanks for reading guys! please feel free to comment you opinions, and throw me a follow on twitter! @howspiffing 🙂

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