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MLG Summer Arena Preview

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Aug 2, 2012 19:58

ImageThe first MLG League of Legends Arena is taking place from Friday to Sunday this week in MLG’s New York studio and will feature 4 teams fighting for the $ 10 000 prize.

2 invited teams and 2 that went through the North American and the European qualifiers respectively are participating in the first of its kind MLG League of Legends Summer Arena. With the establishment of this event MLG are clearly showing that the game has become just as important for their circuit as Starcraft 2. They even provided the teams with paid flights and accommodation. Who exactly are the lucky teams though? Let’s have a look at the participants and their recent endeavors.

1. KR Azubu Blaze


The winners of Azubu The Champions Spring 2012 are leaving their homeland to participate in a foreign tournament for the first time. It will definitely be a good practice for them if they are aiming at securing themselves a spot in the Season 2 Championship or even winning it as they would be facing a lot of foreign teams there. The Korean team is currently participating in the summer edition of the big Azubu tournament and they topped their group with a 3-0 score, even beating the mighty Chinese team World Elite . After their continuous strong performance in Korea it will be quiet interesting to see their capabilities against teams that they haven’t played against before, even though we can be sure that they have studied them thoroughly as we’ve heard all Korean teams do.

2. EU Bacon Lovers Are Crazy Kool


If you don’t follow the League of Legends scene and tournaments very closely, you probably don’t have any idea who is Team BLACK. Frankly speaking, I had not heard of them either until the qualifiers for ECC Poland, where they won a spot for the second cross-realm qualifier but didn’t manage to overcome the better known teams participating in it. Since then the team was invited to a lot of online tournaments, organized by Absolute Legends, Fnatic and IPL but most importantly they participated in the MLG Arena qualifiers and after winning convincingly with a 2-0 score against EU Team Curse EU in the final, they are now the sole representative of Europe in the tournament. Unfortunately for them, two of their players - BG Plamen 'napraen' Stoyanov (Jungle) and SI Dejan 'i Diqozoy' Komocar (AD Carry), weren’t able to get visas in such a short notice and will be replaced by Rekkles and Svenskeren. This will surely hinder their chances of a strong performance against the big names in the game, but anyway it’s a big start for the team and we can expect more from them in the near future.

3. US Team Curse


Team Curse’s players have been living together in their CEO’s apartment in San Francisco for more than a month now and it’s time to see how much they managed to improve their teamplay during that time. They didn’t do too well in online tournaments recently but they did win the North American qualifier for the Arena going through a tough bracket, which included US Counter Logic Gaming Black, US Dynamic and US Orbit Gaming in the final game. Their top laner US Jon 'Westrice' Nguyen won’t be able to attend the event in New York and they will be playing with their ex one Pobelter, so in case they haven’t completely lost their synergy with him it shouldn’t be that much of a problem.

4. US Team SoloMid


After some of the TSM players stated a couple of times that they don’t think the Korean teams are the best at the moment, they will finally have the chance to play against one of them and find out for themselves how strong exactly they are. The match between them and Azubu Blaze will definitely be the highlight of the round-robin stage. TSM are not coming into the tournament in their best shape if you consider some recent loses online, f.e. in the TSM NA Invitational #5, but they were in the same situation before sweeping the competition at IPL 4 and MLG Anaheim earlier this year, so there should be no doubt that they have prepared themselves in the best way they could.

The teams will play in a Best of 3, round-robin format with the two top teams going to the final match. Here’s the schedule:

3rd August
Curse vs BLACK – 11 PM CET / 5 PM EDT
TSM vs Azubu Blaze – 2 AM CET / 8 PM EDT

4th August
BLACK vs Azubu Blaze – 8 PM CET / 2 PM EDT
TSM vs Curse – 11 PM CET / 5 PM EDT

5th August
Azubu Blaze vs Curse – 4 PM CET / 10 AM EDT
Finals – 10 PM CET / 4PM EDT

All of the matches will be streamed in free 480p and will be casted by Leigh “Deman” Smith, Trevor “qu1ksh0t” Henry and Dan Dinh. There will be two additional streams, also free, which will broadcast the teams’ voice-chat, so you can choose which one you want to watch.

As for the predictions, TSM and Azubu Blaze will most probably make it to the final but who of them is the stronger team? No way to know that until we see them play it out. If you do have a favourite though, don’t hesitate to share it in the comment section below. Show starts tomorrow evening and you better don’t miss it out, Summoners!



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