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European Regional Qualifiers Preview

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Aug 12, 2012 22:36


ImageThe European Regional Qualifiers will take place at the Gamescom exhibition in Cologne, Germany between 16 and 19 August. 8 teams will give their all pursuing the top 3 spots who will give them the opportunity to fight for the “Champions of Season 2” title.

1 year has passed since the European teams began accumulating circuit points at Gamescom 2011. All the offline tournaments since then, hosted by ESL, MLG and IPL, were leading to this moment – the Regionals, which will decide who gets to attend the Season 2 Championship. And while Season 1 and its finals were important as they marked the beginning of League of Legends eSports scene, now the stakes are at least 10 times higher. New teams were formed in the last year; some of them stormed the scene and took over the top spots at most tournaments. The competition and the prize pools are higher than ever before. Everything is set for a big show, so let’s have a look at the main participants in it.

The two giants – West vs East Europe

There is little doubt that EU Counter Logic Gaming EU and RU Moscow Five have been on top of the European scene since the beginning of the year. The rivalry between them escalated even more in the last two months, when we first saw CLG.eu win the Dreamhack final with a 2-0 score against M5 and then the Russian team returned the favour in the very same way at the Warsaw tournament. Both teams showed a very dominant performance against each other in these finals and there is no way to predict the outcome of their next match.

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Most people expect for these two teams to qualify for the Championship without too much trouble and it will really be a big surprise if they don’t, but it is not less important who will win if they meet each other once again. CLG.eu have been in Korea since Dreamhack, participating in the Azubu the Champions Summer 2012 and have been storming through the teams that stood in their way till now, the last one of which was the Chinese powerhouse World Elite . Unless the jet lag hits them hard in Cologne, they should be more than prepared to get to the finals. Moscow 5 on the other hand are bootcamping like they usually do before every offline tournament and most probably thinking about new strategies, which will help them defeat CLG.eu once again should they meet in the final.

Three strong contenders for the third spot – who will take it?

While in the eye of the public the first and second place are reserved for CLG.eu and Moscow 5, the battle for the third spot will be more than ferocious. EU SK Gaming , EU Fnatic and EU Team Curse EU are the other three big names in the tournament, but unfortunately Europe will send only 3 teams to the Championship. Curse are usually considered the third top team, but their throne was shaken by SK in Warsaw, when the latter took the bronze. SK showed some great progress in the matter of weeks after the not yet permanent addition of ES Alvar 'Araneae' Martin Alenar and FR Bora 'YellOwStaR' Kim and are definitely on the right track. Fnatic on the other hand are a team that you should never underestimate at LAN and additionally, with putting DE Christoph 'nRated' Seitz in the support role, their performance and aggression in games has definitely improved.

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Every one of the three teams is doing their best to get ready for the tough battle. Crs.eu have been living and practicing non-stop together for almost a month now, while SK are in the organization’s office in Cologne for a week-long bootcamp and Fnatic are doing the same since last night at DE Manuel 'Lamia' Mildenberger’s place. With Crs.eu and Fnatic meeting in the first round, one of them will have to leave the tournament pretty soon, while the other will most probably meet SK in the match for the third place, unless of course we see some major upset.

The “underdogs” – can they overthrow the big names?

This last group of teams consist of PL Team Acer pl, PL EloHell and DE Team ALTERNATE . Without taking anything away from them, they will just have to face stronger teams, especially the last two who will be up against Moscow 5 and CLG.eu respectively. In the recent SK Pro Trophy both Polish teams had matches against some of the other participants at Gamescom and while they showed they have the general skills, they still have to work on their teamfights and on the ability to wrap up games while they have the advantage. Additional problem for EloHell is the fact that their AD Carry PL Eryk 'Hosan' Wilczynski won’t be able to attend the tournament. Alternate on the other hand does pretty well in EPS Germany but doesn’t participate in other online tournaments that often. Anyway, it’s sure that these three teams will give their all and will show us their best performance at Gamescom. After all, even their participation there is a big success, considering a lot of strong European teams don’t have that chance.

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Tournament format and quarterfinal match-ups

The tournament will be in a single elimination, Best of 3 format with the losers from the semi-finals playing in the match for 3rd place. Here are the match-ups for the Round of 8:



The tournament promises to be a grand finale for the European teams after all their efforts in the pre-season and Season 2. Whether you watch it live at Gamescom or from the comfort of your home, you’ll be in for a treat you really don’t want to miss!

You can also check the interviews we made with some of the participating players and expect a few more in the next days:

- Road to Gamescom: Sleper
- Road to Gamescom: Alex Ich


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