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ECC Poland Preview

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Jul 25, 2012 21:38


ImageThe last Season 2 Challenger Circuit event for European teams will take place this weekend in Warsaw, Poland. 8 teams will participate in it - some of them being the best in Europe, others just being formed recently and looking to prove themselves.

Riot Games in cooperation with ESL are having their first offline event in Poland and with the $40 000 prize pool + Circuit points the competition will be harsh. What’s more, Riot recently announced that the top 8 teams from the Circuit points chart will advance to the Regionals, so the stakes for the teams will little or no points at all will be even higher. But what have the teams been up to recently and what to expect of them? In case you didn’t follow closely the rapidly changing European scene or just want to read another opinion, here are the answers:

1. EU Team Curse EU

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Team Curse.EU, thought by many to be one of the top 3 teams in Europe, gathered a lot of offline experience in June and with each consecutive event they improved their performance, which was shown by their 3rd place at Dreamhack. Now, after a lot more practice with their old-new top laner Angush they will definitely try to get the first place and a big chunk of Circuit points in order to improve their current 5th place in the chart. The team has recently moved to Berlin, Germany, where they will be living in a gaming house, and has started practicing even harder for Warsaw and the upcoming Regionals. The hard work paid off last week when they won the “Elite of Europe” tournament after beating EU Fnatic , US Team SoloMid and EU mousesports in a row, but surprisingly, they lost the final match in the MLG Arena qualifier two days ago.

2. PL MeetYourMakers

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For MYM this will be their first participation in a big offline event from the Challenger Circuit and they will certainly go for it with the “we have to show our best to our homeland public” mindset. They’ve recently lost their top laner PL Jakub 'Kubon' Turewicz as he joined the newly formed team of PL EloHell . Of course that meant they had to fill in their roster and they did so by adding Cinkowski . In the past few weeks they had some mixed results with him as they’ve managed to get a win against FR against All authority before losing to Curse.eu in the aAa Pro Challenge. The tournament will be a big challenge for them but it’s not impossible for them to surprise the other teams and the audience.

3. EU SK Gaming

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SK are coming into the tournament after quite the turbulent month – DE Adrian 'Candy Panda' Wübbelmann and PL Filip 'Dedrayon' Romejko left the team, Kev1n started playing AD Carry, a couple of other players were tried out for top and jungle until at the end Kev1n decided he’ll go back to the top lane. Currently the three remaining players are practicing with Yellowstar and Araneae and they’ll be the ones filling up the roster for Warsaw. It’s questionable if in a week they were able to build the synergy needed in order to be successful at an important offline event, so things can go either way for them, but maybe if they exceed the expectations that will seal up the new full SK line-up.

4. PL Team Acer pl

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Three of the members of Acer.PL were playing for EU Absolute Legends and qualified for Warsaw at that time, but after changing their organization the won spot was transferred to the new one. These three players did attend DreamHack Summer with their old team and got a bit of offline experience. They didn’t have a stellar performance there though, so it will be interesting to see how they will do at Warsaw in front of the Polish public. Acer’s recent participation in online tournaments includes a second place at the last “League of Champions” where they won against Curse.eu and Fnatic but lost the final against RU Moscow Five , and a lost semi-final of the Cdiscount Cup #4 against Fnatic.rom

5. EU Counter Logic Gaming EU

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After one month of nonstop practice in Korea and a 3-0 score in the group stage today, achieved with some awesome plays and clear dominance over the enemy teams, CLG.eu will travel to Warsaw full of confidence and new tactics. They are definitely the team that most people will expect to win and it would be not much of a surprise if they do so. They are currently holding the second place in the Challenger Circuit chart and can’t take the place of Moscow 5 as a rank 1, but if they want to keep their spot 100% they have to win in Warsaw. The rematch between them and the Russians will be as far back as the group stage and will be the most anticipated game on Saturday as it will show which team has the upper hand in the tournament.
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6. PL EloHell

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The newly formed team of EloHell will attend the event after winning the Polish-only qualifier for it. One of its players is the former star player of Fnatic – Shushei, who will certainly want to prove to his old team and everyone else that he’s only gotten better after they released him and he started playing his favourite AP Carry again. Another “kicked” player is also a part of the team – ex-AL Veggie, whose former teammates now play for Acer.PL. Will the grudge feelings and the row talent of the players be enough though to get them out of such a hard group when some of them are totally new to the major offline events? They are the third Polish team that is attending the tournament and that will probably motivate them even further, but we’ll have to wait and see what they’ll be able to accomplish.

7. RU Moscow Five

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Moscow 5 will surely come into this tournament with the intention of regaining their offline king crown, which CLG.eu managed to take away from them at DreamHack after a not very convincing performance from the Russians. Even if their first place in the Challenger Circuit chart can’t possibly be threatened no matter what place they earn in Warsaw, there’s no doubt that they have spent plenty of time practicing and theorycrafting about how they can win against their nemesis – was the only problem not banning Anivia or was there much more to it? The two teams will meet early in the tournament – in the group stage, and all we can wish for is an even more exciting match than the one at DreamHack. As far as their recent online performance is concerned, they got the third place at the “Elite of Europe” against their favourite victim from the past, TSM, and won the last “League of Champions” without dropping a map.
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8. ES oceloteWorld

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Some of the x6tence players were at WCG 2011, but for the team as a whole this will be their first major offline event and their first and last chance to qualify for the European Regionals. They showed pretty strong games at the qualifiers for Warsaw, twice denying Fnatic from further participation in them. Even before that they won the ESL Major Series Season IX with a 2-0 against Moscow 5 in the finals, so the Spaniards are definitely players you need to look out for. Their group is quite hard but if they manage to get out of it, they would definitely have done something extraordinary and gain a lot of respect in the European scene.

Predicting the outcome of this tournament shouldn’t be very difficult, at least when the top 3 teams are concerned. CLG.eu, Moscow 5 and Curse.eu have been on the top of the European scene for months now and it’s to be expected that they will be the ones fighting for the big checks. Who will take the exact positions though is not an easy question. Each of the three teams wants the first place badly, but of course, only one can take it and it will probably be the team who had the hardest practice, came up with the best strategies and will be blessed with the most luck.

When you add the casters line-up for the event, namely Joe Miller, Leigh “Deman” Smith, Daniel “Zenon” Klein, RiotJatt and RiotJaws, to all these good teams one thing is sure - the show will be worth watching, so don’t miss it by any chance. The start is on Saturday, 28 July at 11 AM CET, but in the mean time, if you want to check out the groups and schedule, here is the place to do that, and if you want to share your predictions, the comment section below is all yours!

Pictures courtesy of Azubu, Riot Games and Acersport.


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