Posts Tagged ‘group stage’


Welcome to “Chasing Glory,” a recurring feature where I will discuss the top narratives and key moments from each day of the 2015 League of Legends World Championship. After nearly a year of competition in leagues across the globe, 16 teams have emerged at the top of their respective regions. Now, they travel to Europe where they will battle through the finest international competition for a shot at taking home the Summoner’s Cup  at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on October 31st.

Opening day featured plenty of interesting matches from groups A, B, and C of the tournament, with some teams going about business as usual and others stumbling to find ground on the tournament’s newly implemented patch 5.18. I’ll be recapping the matches in order starting with the ever so consistent Fnatic facing off against the hit or miss Invictus Gaming.

Maintaining The Status Quo

Coming off a perfect Season and a 5-2 run to win the split, Fnatic was riding a wave of both confidence and hype heading into this World Championship. Led by veteran support player and 5 time worlds attendee Yellowstar, reunited with Rekkles in the botlane, Fnatic would be among the many Western Teams to bootcamp in Korea in hopes of redeeming their lackluster Season 4 worlds performance, and seeks to continue their dominance into the World Championship.

iG, or Invictus Gaming, is a different story. Known for their inconsistency, the third place LP team comes into this event on a positive note, with a 3-1 upset over serious title contenders EDG in the third place match of the LPL Summer Playoffs and then a perfect 3-0 set against Qiao Gu for the Korean region’s final ticket to Paris.

With the recent changes in patch 5.18, carry style top laners have fallen more into favor than ever, giving a boost to both Zzitai and Huni. Locking in Riven, iG top laner Zzitai looked to snowball his lane early, prompting a Hecarim pick in reply from Huni. Leading the game by a tower and securing First Blood in the top lane, Reignover took advantage of a passive KaKAO and the duo completely negated the impact of Zzitai’s Riven.

Surrendering at 30 minutes after Fnatic ravaged through their base, iG will look to redeem themselves in their day 3 match against Cloud 9. With a rematch against Fnatic looming down the line, iG needs to pick up as many wins as they can to ensure their top 2 placing in the group. As for Fnatic, their pick and ban phase showed that they can adapt on the fly, completely shutting down iG’s composition with their own picks. Reliant on a farming Skarner that never took off iG crumbled to the European kings, and Fnatic and showed us there is something to the hype.

Cool, Calm, And Collected

After squeaking their way into a Worlds qualification with a cinderella run from 7th place to winning the Regional Qualifiers in North America, Cloud 9 was supposed to come in, lose six games, and get out. Facing off against LMS champions AHQ, who took a game from Fnatic at the Mid-Season Invitational and are known for their aggressive early play, the third seeded North American’s fate was all but sealed as Mountain’s Rengar handed First Blood over to Westdoor on Fizz.

Going back to his roots and a champion he was originally known for, Cloud 9 mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen headed into his first ever appearance in international play with the recently buffed Veigar. AHQ seemed lost against the tiny master of evil, constantly finding themselves locked up in Veigar’s Event Horizon in teamfights. Stacking his way to over 500 AP at the 22 minute mark, Incarnati0n’s 100% kill participation Veigar thwarted the early aggression of AHQ. Doing what he does best, C9 team captain and newly transitioned Jungler Hai stepped up big time, orchestrating a 23 minute victory in convincing fashion and showing us once again that his shotcalling is nothing less than world class.

Grand Challenge

Aside from the anticipated rematch of Ryu vs. Faker, expectations were low for H2K heading into this game. After SKT picked up a few early kills, H2K kept the game relatively close until a 23 minute fight in the river sent SKT barrelling ahead off the back of a Marin Triple Kill. In control of the map and a 3k gold lead, SKT would go on to close out the game systematically in a 31 minute win over Europe’s second seed.

No Mercy

For the better part of the year, EDG has been cited as one of the top teams in the world, and a contender for the title of World Champions. With the Bangkok Titans coming from one of the weaker competitive regions, it was apparent from the beginning that there was a huge mismatch in skill. Getting three kills in the first four minutes, Deft set the pace of the game with a double kill less than three minutes in. EDG quickly dispatched the Bangkok titans in a surrender at the 20:20 mark, never slowing their pace from the early First Blood.


In Doublelift We Trust

Before this match, most would agree that Zionspartan is a cut above his Top Lane counterpart on Flash Wolves, Steak. Despite this, Steak impressed holding his own and having a hand in 100% of his teams kills as CLG’s Zionspartan fell to his fourth death without an answer. With a 7k gold lead and 3 towers over North America’s first seed, the Taiwanese Flash Wolves were poised for victory. Until they overstayed in the bottom lane, netting CLG their first in a series of teamfight wins peppered with Flash Wolves misplays. Clawing their way back on the shoulders of Doublelift’s Jinx, CLG managed to walk away with a win they probably shouldn’t have.

Taking advantage of an enemy’s mistakes is the mark of a superior team, but CLG has a lot to work on if they want get any farther than the group stage, let alone win the tournament. Their next match against Brazil’s PaiN Gaming will be a good indicator of if they can bounce back after a loss and pull off what should be a fairly easy victory.

Wild Style

The Koo Tigers are in a funny spot in terms of how they are perceived. On one hand, they pulled off 1st and 3rd place finishes in one of the toughest regions of play. On the other, the innovation they showed in the first half of the season hasn’t been as apparent. That said, the Koo tigers sport a talented roster backed by solid strategy, especially when playing with a lead.

Viewed as the weakest team in the group, PaiN Gaming enters worlds on a high note, being 15-0 since the CBLoL playoffs. With star Mid Laner Kami at the forefront of their play, the Brazilian squad needs to capture the same macro play they showed in the Wildcard Qualifiers if they want to stay alive in the tournament.

When PaiN managed to slowly pull ahead, Koo’s Gorilla started to pull himself ahead, along with the rest of his team mates. Setting up plays across the map, Gorilla showed why he is often in the conversation of best support player in the world. With their newly found lead, Koo Tigers made quick work of PaiN in a 30 minute finish, playing a very clean second half of the game and showing why they are one of the best teams at worlds once the late game hits.

Day 1 MVP: Hai



In choosing the MVP, I looked at a lot of factors. Individual performance, impact on game, role in team, and so forth. While there were definitely cases to be made for the fantastic playmaking of Koo’s Gorilla or the endlessly entertaining Deft Show against the Bangkok Titans. However, as great as those players were, it’s Hai who stood out as the truly most valuable player of the day.

Coming into the tournament as the last seed from North America, Cloud 9 was written out of the event before they left California. With an underperforming top laner, a rookie mid, and a returning player transitioning into a new role, there were a lot of reasons to not think much of the NA squad. Hai quickly silenced any critics with a Lee Sin performance any jungler could be proud of. Putting his signature shotcalling into action, Cloud 9 maneuvered the map, taking objectives as AHQ trailed behind. Hai also put up an impressive display of mechanics, setting up enemies and kicking them to their certain death.

The success of Cloud 9 since Hai’s return can be attributed to a lot of things. Improved shotcalling, a more comfortable mid laner, a better team environment, but above all, there is one constant: Hai.

images via Riot Games/lolesports

Tim Kimbirk is a journalist at TSM. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

Worlds Collide: Group Stage

September 30th, 2015


With the 2015 World Championship kicking off in Paris tomorrow, October 1st, Riot has released a hype video showcasing the 16 teams attending the tournament. The video goes by the same name of the recently released song by Nicki Taylor, who previously worked with Riot on the song “Here Comes Vi!

For event details, stop by the Worlds page on lolesports


image via lolesports

Comments off


Greetings LoL-eSports fans.  This week’s Round-Up isn’t going to be as deep or in-depth as the previous two weeks.  After Wednesday’s matches, the other games had less impact on the grand scheme of things as far as the playoffs are concerned, so teams did not have to bring out their best. Rather than a near play-by-play, I’m just going to run through the picks, winner/loser, and how close the games were.  If you want more than that, I highly recommend subscribing to the OGN Twitch channel to view the VoDs of the group stage.  There have been some truly outstanding games.


MVP Blue versus KT Rolster A

This series was the key series for Group A’s playoff picture. As MVP Blue only trailed NaJin Sword and MVP Ozone by 1 point, a 2-0 of KT Rolster A (who had only 1 game win going into this series) would force both NaJin Sword and Ozone to also 2-0 their opponents of the week in order to advance to the playoffs.

Game 1:

Blue – MVP Blue – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Diana/Varus/Sona

Purple – KT Rolster A – Elise/Zac/Zed/Caitlyn/Thresh


Result: 42 minute victory for KT Rolster A. Gold lead of 69,200 to 55,800 with a kill score of 30-18.  No inner turrets for KT Rolster A fell.


MVP: Personal: Vitamin. Despite struggling all season long and often being the cause of a negative snowball against KT Rolster A, Vitamin played Elise to near-perfection, ending with a 9 kill score and only one death.

Sonokong IB MVP Award (voted by Korean fans/media): Kakao (3/2/21 as Jungle)


Game 2:

Blue – KT Rolster A – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Diana/Varus/Twisted Fate

Purple – MVP Blue – Kennen/Elise/Ryze/Kog’Maw/Thresh


Result: 28:19 victory for KT Rolster A. Gold Lead of 52,100 to 34,300 with a kill score of 21-7 and only losing 1 tower.


Interesting notes: Yes, that is a support TF. Both he and Varus opened with Red Pot start and went 2v2 top lane against Thresh/Kog’Maw. They got first blood thanks to the Red Pot’s extra HP.


MVP: Personal: Vitamin. Finished 9/1/5 as Rumble.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Vitamin.



NaJin Shield versus SK Telecom T1 #1

This series had greater implications for NaJin Shield than for SKT, but both teams were looking for any points they could get out of the series. An 0-2 for Shield would mean a really good shot for ahq.Korea to qualify for the playoffs.

Game 1:

Blue – NaJin Shield – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Kha’Zix/Varus/Leona

Purple – SK Telecom T1 #1 – Riven/Hecarim/Diana/Miss Fortune/Sona


Result: 38:21 victory for NaJin Shield. Gold lead of 58.5k to 53.4k. Despite trailing early, took kill lead of 23-13 and only lost 2 towers.


MVP: Personal: Save. He selected Kha’Zix and proceeded to be Kha’Zix late game.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Save.  8/2/10, 289 cs.


Game 2:

Blue – SK Telecom T1 #1 – Kha’Zix/Hecarim/Karthus/Vayne/Sona

Purple – NaJin Shield – Jayce/Nasus/Diana/Varus/Thresh


Result: 43 minute victory for SK Telecom T1 #1. Gold Lead of 65.2k to 57.3k. 9-3 on towers, 20-12 on kills.


MVP: Personal: Reapered. For the same reason Save got my personal MVP last game. He selected Kha’Zix. High burst champions late game are just useful tools to have on your team.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Reapered.  8/2/4, 314 cs.

NJShd SKTelecomT1



MVP Ozone versus SK Telecom T1 #2

With Group A’s playoff picture already locked up, thanks to KT Rolster A’s 2-0 upset of MVP Blue, this match only held seeding implications for MVP Ozone. SK Telecom T1 #2 already had 10 points (3 ahead of CJ Entus Blaze) and the head-to-head advantage over Blaze to ensure the #1 seed. Ozone’s results would affect where they fell after the Blaze/Sword match the following night.

Game 1:

Blue – MVP Ozone – Shen/Elise/Ryze/Varus/Zyra

Purple – SK Telecom T1 #2 – Jayce/Jarvan IV/Nidalee/Vayne/Thresh

Result: 38:18 victory for MVP Ozone. 58.6k to 41.4k on Gold, 19-7 on kills, and 9-1 on towers.


MVP: Personal: imp. Completely crushed Piglet/ManDu in lane and came out of laning phase 5-1, ending the game as 9-1-6 and second in CS only to Shen.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Homme. 1/1/10 as Shen, 295cs.


Game 2:

Blue – SK Telecom T1 #2 – Jayce/Lee Sin/Syndra/Ezreal/Elise

Purple – MVP Ozone – Jarvan IV/Udyr/Diana/Tristana/Anivia

Interesting notes: Piglet, the usual ADC for SKT2, was Lee Sin in the Jungle. Bengi, the jungler, was the Elise. PoohManDu selected Ezreal. And yes, that is a Support Anivia for MVP Ozone. Elise and Lee Sin both started with Machetes, and Bengi played as a roaming jungler.

Result: 20 minute surrender for SK Telecom T1 #2. MVP Ozone Victory with 36.1k to 23.0k gold lead, 26-6 kill score, and 5-0 turret score.


MVP: Personal: DanDy. A counter-gank on top lane completely shut down SKT’s gambit and Dandy emerged 3-0 from it. With the cheese stopped, MVP Ozone snowballed hard.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: DanDy.  9/1/11 on Udyr, 57 cs.



LG-IM versus ahq.Korea

A 2-0 from either team would grant them enough points to jump NaJin Shield and qualify for the playoffs.  If the teams were to trade 1-1, however, ahq.Korea would have to have a higher KDA per Minute than NaJin Sword in order to advance.

Game 1:

Blue – LG-IM – Diana/Nasus/Jayce/Tristana/Lulu

Purple – ahq.Korea – Rengar/Jarvan IV/Twisted Fate/Miss Fortune/Thresh

Result: 28:54 victory for ahq.Korea. 55.9k to 32.7k gold lead, 13-3 on kills, and a flawless 11-0 on towers.


MVP: Personal: HooN.  Showing what happens when Twisted Fate manages to slip through the cracks unbanned.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: TrAce. 3/2/3 as Rengar, 243 cs.


Game 2:

Blue – ahq.Korea – Jayce/Kayle/Vladimir/Caitlyn/Thresh

Purple – LG-IM – Irelia/Zac/Zed/Kog’Maw/Zyra

Result: 24:55 surrender from ahq.Korea, 19-10 kill score in favor of LG-IM, 41.1k to 34.4k gold lead, and 4-3 tower advantage. ahq surrendered as LG-IM killed Baron, shortly after an ace.

Interesting note: Unfortunately, the surrender vote was too late for ahq.Korea — it was later revealed that had they surrendered BEFORE getting aced, their KDA Per Minute (the final tiebreaker metric for playoff qualifications) would’ve been higher than NaJin Shield’s. However, they DID get aced, and they had just enough deaths to fall beneath Shield’s KDA/min and miss out on the playoffs.


MVP: Personal: Paragon. Hard to give an MVP award to anyone but the player with the 12/1/4 kill score when the next highest kills in the game is 3.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Paragon.  12/1/4, 178 cs.

ahq LGIM

CJ Entus Blaze versus NaJin Sword

With this match only affecting 2/3/4 seeding for Group A rather than the playoff picture, the teams were ultimately free to experiment with team compositions if they wished. The stage was set for some exciting games or epic twists and turns.

Game 1:

Blue – CJ Entus Blaze – Diana/Lee Sin/Jayce/Varus/Lulu

Purple – NaJin Sword – Kennen/Hecarim/Karthus/Vayne/Thresh

Result: 42:08 victory for CJ Entus Blaze. Gold lead of 66.5k to 58.3k. Down 22-23 on kills, but up 8-4 on towers.


MVP: Personal: Flame. Despite a really poor K/D ratio this game, his presence was really felt in team fights, putting himself in the perfect position for a Wild Growth from Lustboy to disrupt the entirety of Sword’s team comp.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Lustboy.  3/6/14, 38 cs.


Game 2:

Blue – NaJin Sword – Rumble/Jarvan IV/Kha’Zix/Miss Fortune/Leona

Purple – CJ Entus Blaze – Kennen/Lee Sin/Jayce/Vayne/Lulu

Result: 43 minute victory for CJ Entus Blaze. Gold Lead of 63.8k to 62.0k. Even 7-7 on towers.  Down 20-23 on kills. They trailed most of the game, but good team fights turned the game on its head and two more good team fights won them the game.


MVP: Personal: Fan Cosplaying as Gragas. Clearly the morale boost Blaze needed to win the game.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Flame. 8/3/10, 357cs. (The CC from his Kennen ults were a major turning point in the game for Blaze.)



CJ Entus Frost versus KT Rolster B

With both teams tied at 8 points, this match was for the 1st place seed in Group B. CJ Entus Frost once again brought in their ADC and Support substitutes for this series, Space and Muse, in place of the MadLife/Hermes duo.

Game 1:

Blue – CJ Entus Frost – Rumble/Rammus/Twisted Fate/Twitch/Sona

Purple – KT Rolster B – Olaf/Jarvan IV/Karthus/Vayne/Zyra

Result: 37 minute victory for CJ Entus Frost, up 35-20 on kills. 62.7k to 56.1k gold advantage, and 7-3 turret lead.


MVP: Personal: RapidSTAR. A really aggressive Destiny/Gate mid-game helped mop up a bad team fight for Frost. As the game progressed, his positioning got better, and to end the game he gave an ultimate final sacrifice.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: Shy.  9/3/17, 214 cs.


Game 2:

Blue – KT Rolster B – Kha’Zix/Shen/Nidalee/Ezreal/Zyra

Purple – CJ Entus Frost – Zed/Nautilus/Nasus/Vayne/Nunu

Result: 46:04 victory for CJ Entus Frost. 83.7k gold to 73.1k gold. 45-34 on kills, 10-3 on towers.


MVP: Personal: Space. I wanted to give it to CloudTemplar because at one point he was 10-1 as Nautilus. However, the game was still too close and KT Rolster B showed promise to come back. Space’s late game team fighting as Vayne triumphed.

Sonokong IB MVP Award: CloudTemplar. 11/6/13, 181 cs.




And with that, Group Stage of OGN’s Olympus Champions Spring ended.


Group A rankings, in order, were as follows: SK Telecom T1 #2, CJ Entus Blaze, MVP Ozone, NaJin Sword, KT Rolster A, MVP Blue.

Group B rankings, in order: CJ Entus Frost, KT Rolster B, SK Telecom T1 #1, NaJin Shield, ahq.Korea, LG-IM.


This week starts the playoffs, a Best of 5 Bracket Stage. SK Telecom T1 #2 faces off against NaJin Shield and KT Rolster B faces off against MVP Ozone in the first week of Quarterfinals Play, with CJ Entus Blaze and CJ Entus Frost facing off against SK Telecom T1 #1 and NaJin Sword respectively in week 2. If you haven’t already been watching, action is about to escalate even further, with any game 5 being Blind Pick, with potential for mirror matches (if you’ve ever wondered about the “2 Shens” joke, this is where it comes from.)


That’s all for this week’s recap.  I hope you all tune in to the upcoming matches!  As always, follow me @TiberiusAudley on Twitter.