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MLG Raleigh Preview

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Aug 23, 2012 21:27


ImageThe last Challenger Circuit event in North America is the MLG Summer Championship, which will take place in Raleigh, NC this weekend (24-26 August). Read on for information about the teams participating and what to expect from them.

12 North American teams have been invited by MLG to compete in their Summer Championship. As this is the last stop of the Challenger Circuit there’s a lot on the line – US Team SoloMid are invincible on the top of the ranking, but the other 7 spots for the NA Regionals can still be greatly affected by the results of the tournament. With Raleigh taking place only a few days before the Regionals themselves some of the “bigger” teams may save up their best tactics and strategies, but it is sure that the ones who have not yet secured 100% their place amongst the 8 best in NA will give their all and put on a great show for the viewers. Let’s have a look at the participating teams.

The usual suspects

Despite several changes in their rosters during Season 2 US Team Dignitas , US Team Curse and US Team SoloMid EVO have all been a core part in the offline events during the season and Raleigh is no exception. The difference this time is that they have pretty much secured their places at PAX and they will be fighting only for better seeding, which of course is not in any way less important.

After a rather weak performance in Azubu the Champions Summer, Dignitas changed their support player US Patrick 'L0cust' Miller with US Jordan 'Patoy' Blackburn. This will be their first offline event together and we will be able to see if they have built the required team synergy to remain a top team. If they take first place they will take the 2nd seed for PAX off US Counter Logic Gaming but keep in mind that they will probably keep their best strategies for the Regionals themselves, so winning MLG won’t be an easy task at all.

TSM.Evo are more or less in the same boat after they lost their AD carry US Zaqueri 'Aphromoo' Black and picked up CA Brandon 'DontMashme' Phan. The question of how well they have adapted to that change will be answered for their team as well and Raleigh will be a big test for their strengths, considering the rather rough patch they’ve hit recently.

Curse on the other hand has shown great improvement since they started living together about two months ago. Recently they finished 2nd at IPL Face Off and are probably eager to finally get a first place this time. They are definitely favourites to take the tournament alongside Dignitas, but at this level of play surprises are always possible.
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The Middle Earth – between the top teams and the newcomers

Besides the already mentioned teams, we have 4 more who are also in the current Challenger Circuit ranking at the moment. CA Dynamic , US Team Legion , mTw.NA, who as of yesterday are US Monomaniac eSports Ferus and US Orbit Gaming will be fighting with everything they’ve got for the precious Circuit points which will let them attend PAX. What’s more, if we assume that 5 of the teams have secured their places already and there are only 3 spots available this will be literally a battle for all or nothing.

Team Dynamic have just reunited with their former jungler US Joshua 'NintendudeX' Atkins after some disappointing results with US James 'Atlanta' Moreland at IPL Face Off. We’ll have to see if bringing back the old member will help them get to their old strong performance though. mMe.Ferus had a recent line-up change as well – they picked up Aphromoo, reuniting him with US Jake 'Muffinqt' Lowry, with whom they played together back in their v8 days. The team hasn’t achieved any major wins till now, but maybe now is the time they will do exactly that.
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For Orbit Gaming this will be their third offline event and maybe the most important one. They are currently holding the 9th spot in the Challenger Circuit ranking which doesn’t give you a place in the Regionals. They will have to take a lot of points out of Raleigh to get ahead of their rivals and considering their last attendance at IPL Face Off where their performance was rather disappointing, if they had not improve their gameplay a lot it will be rather hard to achieve that.

Quite the opposite, Team Legion had a fantastic performance at IPL, where they finished third and showed their great potential. In a recent interview for SK Gaming, their jungler US Tyler 'LauteMortis' Nicholls said that he’s confident they’ll be in top 5 at MLG and will qualify for PAX. Will that confidence help them or not, we will see very very soon.
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The new “kids” on the block

Some of the remaining teams that will participate at MLG Raleigh are well known, others are just coming into the scene, but what they have in common is that none of them has any circuit points. In order for them to secure themselves a place in the Regionals they need to finish first or second which will be, let’s say, hard.

In this group we have US Counter Logic Gaming Black, who have attended one offline event – GESL, and even took 2nd place there. If any of these teams have what it takes to get to the Regionals, it’s probably them. They will be playing with a sub but he would be no other than CA Jason 'WildTurtle' Tran, who showed some incredible plays subbing for Legion at IPL, so that probably won’t hinder them at all. Another known team is US Team4Not , who went through a lot of roster changes since they first came into the scene and they currently have only 3 members, but will play with the ex-Dignitas support L0CUST and the ex-TSM top laner US Christian 'TheRainMan' Kahmann. It will be pretty interesting to see what this players will be able to achieve at the tournament, considering their huge offline experience.

There’s another team with popular top NA players – US Meat Playground , featuring US Eugene 'Pobelter' Park and US Michael 'xHazzard' Kuhlman. Despote their skills though it’s unlikely that they will be able to achieve much at this tournament. The last two participants are US unRestricted eSports , who’ve had some online appearances, but haven’t yet attended a LAN event, and another MonoManiac team – US Monomaniac eSports Imperium, who participated at GESL as DirtNap Gaming.

The missing powerhouses

Both TSM and CLG.NA decided not to attend the event. TSM said that they don’t want to reveal their strategies before PAX and that they will just study their opponents by watching them play, while CLG have more or less the same reasons plus the financial side of things, as they are still in Korea and prefer to continue practicing there for a few more days.

Format
- Two double elimination brackets (6 teams each) with their own winners and losers bracket
- All matches will be Best of 3, except the final – Best of 5
- In the semi-finals of each bracket the team from the losers bracket has to win two sets in order to advance to the Grand Final, while the team from the winners bracket has to win only one set.

Prize Pool
1st - $20 000
2nd - $12 000
3rd - $4000
3rd - $4000


Schedule

24 August
Winners Round 1 – 11:30 PM CEST / 5:30 PM EST
Winners Round 2 – 02:30 AM CEST / 8:30 PM EST


25 August
Losers Round 1 – 04:00 PM CEST / 10:00 AM EST
Winners Round 3 A / Losers Round 2 – 07:00 PM CEST / 01:00 PM EST
Winners Round 3 B – 09:00 PM CEST / 03:00 PM EST
Losers Round 3 A / Losers Rounds 3 B – 10:00 PM CEST / 04:00 PM EST


26 August
Semi-finals - 04:00 PM CEST / 10:00 AM EST
Finals - 09:30 PM CEST / 03:30 PM EST


Even though that won’t be an event featuring all of the most powerful North American teams, it won’t be in any way boring as we will see full of aggression matches and enjoy the casting skills of Leigh “Deman” Smith”, Dan Dinh, Riot Jatt and Riot Jaws. Show starts quite late here in Europe – at 11:30 PM CEST on Fridat, but you better don’t miss it, if you enjoy high quality League of Legends production.


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