Can anyone challenge TSM? Top bans at MLG. M5 lurking in the shadows. What to expect from Dreamhack. All this and more in this week's Tournament Showcase!
Hello fellow summoners and welcome to the first ever Tournament Showcase. In this weekly segment we will be reviewing what happened at recent tournaments, updating you on what’s coming up, and keeping you up to date with games played by your favorite teams that you may have missed. But that’s not all, we will also showcase all the tournaments we can find and show you where you and your friends could take a shot at entering the competitive scene.
MLG was a huge event this year with 20 teams from around the world competing for a $40,000 prize pool. We saw a few unknown teams going out in the first round, but what does that really mean to you? It means that players like you and your friends have a real chance at competing with the pros on the big stage. Don’t be afraid to get together and get out there. You could be the next Moscow 5 or Team Dynamic.
Speaking of Moscow 5 they were not at MLG this year, leaving us down one top team. In addition, many other teams are still recovering from all the trading and lane shuffling between the players. Second place team CLG.NA could not even get their new dominant top lane player Voyboy to show up! It was easy to see that these teams were struggling with their coordination. Teams that have been together longer, such as TSM and CLG.EU, saw this weakness and used it to their advantage in rather dominant performances through the tournament.
While the big names stayed on top, there were surprisingly strong performances from some newer teams on the scene. Team Dynamic has a nice sponsorship and showed that they are indeed worthy of being considered a real threat, at least if you don’t know what to ban. Curse.EU showed up after a series of fallout in the European scene. Though they didn’t manage to take home any prize money, they had a real presence, keeping other teams on their guard. But who could forget Dignitas? The team that came from no where and rose to the top instantly still showed their tournament winning level of play. Without Voyboy, however, and with more teams knowing their strategy, they had a difficult time at MLG.
\/ Click “Read More” below!
But enough about the teams. How about the champions? First, I would like thank riot for the graphics update, it was quite nice for us spectators. What has 4 legs and was picked or banned in every single game? That’s right – Urgot had 100% presence in this tournament. That monstrosity may not have won every game, but if you’re an AD carry player, there’s a champion you may need to spend some time with. Graves also had a big showing using his high burst and mobility to set the standard for ADs who do not walk on 4 legs. Janna was a very popular pick having a strong win rate at this event, and even got a few trips to the mid lane.
More games broke down into long team fights and ganks involving both mid and the jungler, making Janna a safe pick with her CC, life saving shield, and the ever underestimated 3% move speed buff. Coming from the jungle, we saw a lot of the man from the depths himself, Nautilus. The heavy CC, incredible bulk, and quick jungle clear showed us what the meta demands from our junglers. Aside from the good diver, we saw mostly Nocturne, Dr. Mundo, Shen, Maokai, and the ever banned Alistar filling those jungle positions, taking second to support in least champions played in that role.
In the mid lane we had the particularly unpopular Karthus having a great showing and performance in many games. His safe farming and global presence fit quite well into the early game strategies of many team and then his late game zombie mode tactic gave many teams a hard time coming out ahead in team fights. We won’t forget that 3% ult, Froggen! Kog’maw still has his strong poke and disengage potential, but more teams are braving the task of ganking him mid and shutting him down early. The players were always looking for strong AoE and global presence from their mids, when not betting it all on an assassin snowballing for them.
And last, but not least, the top lane – oh, oh, the top lane. It was safe to expect a lot of Jax and Vlad coming into MLG but we saw more than we could have ever expected. Jax took the most picked top position, but did not secure a very high win rate. Shen may be losing his place as top ban soon, as some strong counters were displayed. Malphite had a big showing – almost as big as Jax – while managing a much better win rate. And who could forget Dyrus bringing out the Kayle? He showed that when played right, and used against the right champion, even what is thought to be an underpowered champion can win it big. Bulk, sustain, and CC are what we can expect from our top lanes in the future.
MLG was massive this year, but that doesn’t mean that’s all that happened in e-sports. The 4PL and the IPL5 qualifiers continue to show us fierce competition as well as many other tournaments. M5 showed that they are in top form, even when borrowing members from other teams and challenging the language barrier. Fnatic continues to work their skills into the new meta, though with having two new members it’s more a fresh start than a trip to boot camp. SK has been struggling ever since losing some members to CLG.EU as they continue to shuffle their lanes and go back to being a top competitor. There has been a grace period in tournaments in the past months giving teams a break from competition. This summer we can expect big things and meta changes coming from these teams.
Finally, this weekend there is a big one. Dreamhack is coming in with a bang giving the European teams the home turf advantage. Season 1 finals were held at this event, and though this year it’s just another stop on the way, the competition will be no less fierce. Moscow 5 is going to be the team to fear with no one knowing what they might pull out at this event, while TSM is the team to beat with their victory at MLG, if they show up in top form. CLG.EU will be a team no one wants to play against as they have displayed very little weakness in their team play. Fnatic will be trying to recapture their former glory from winning the season 1 championship at this very stage, but do they have what it takes?
That’s it for this Tournament Showcase, thank you for reading, and hat’s off to ya.