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North American Regional Qualifiers Preview

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Aug 29, 2012 19:08


ImageArguably the best 8 teams from North America. Only 3 spots for the Season 2 Championship. Some of the most important matches in these players’ careers. All of that from 30 August till 2 September at PAX Prime in Seattle.

The Chinese and European representatives for Season 2 Championship have already been chosen and now it’s time for the North American teams to fight to the death for the chance to join them in the epic conclusion of the season. The stakes for these teams have never been so high considering the fact that the top 3 spots will also receive an invitation for the Season 3 Championship Series which means being a salaried team for a year and participating in the making of eSports history itself, so let’s have a more detailed look on them.

The North American arch rivals

Being two of the oldest NA teams and usually being considered the most successful ones on top of that, US Team SoloMid and US Counter Logic Gaming have always been the equivalent of the El CLassico in the NA League of Legends scene. Their fans have always been on edge with each other, the banter between both the players and their fan base never seem to end.

Coming into this tournament though there are obvious differences between the two teams. TSM have been on top of the NA scene since IPL 4 in April and the only offline event they lost since then was the MLG Summer Arena, where KR Azubu Blaze took them by surprise with superior strategies and teamplay. On the other hand CLG have spent most of that time in South Korea, competing in the Azubu The Champions tournaments and scrimming against their fellow European team and all the strong Korean teams. While that probably helped them learn a lot of new strategies and the NA teams don’t know exactly what to expect from CLG, it also didn’t allow them to play against those teams that they will face at PAX and they can be taken by surprise as well.

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Most people expect both TSM and CLG to qualify for the Championship without much trouble but upsets can always happen. They’ll have to bring their A game and make no mistakes as the single elimination format is highly unforgiving. And if they both get to the final game… well, we’ll be in for a treat for sure.

The battle for 3rd place

Just like in the European Regionals we have yet again 3 very good teams and if we assume that TSM and CLG are as strong as expected, only 1 of these 3 will be able to qualify for the Season 2 Championship. US Team Dignitas and CA Dynamic will meet each other in the first round and one of them will have to leave the tournament immediately after that match. The youngsters gave a lot of trouble to Dignitas at MLG Raleigh but it should also be noted that they may have hided their best strategies who would have given them an edge in the series. One thing is for sure - it will be a very interesting match that can go either way. US Team Curse on the other hand seems stronger than ever. If the disqualification from Raleigh didn’t affect their mindset, they are probably the favourites for that 3rd spot, but I have to repeat myself – anything can happen in single elimination.

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The “underdogs” – a battle for honour and at least $10 000

Considering the tough battles for better seeding that we witnessed at Raleigh, some of the remaining teams are lucky to even be in the Regionals. US Team SoloMid EVO are clearly not showing their best performance recently and if it wasn’t for the points they have gathered early in the season when they were still Epik Gamer, they probably wouldn’t have qualified at all. Their chances of overcoming Curse in their first match at PAX are, let’s say it this way, not very big.

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The last two participants are US Team Legion and US Monomaniac eSports Ferus (former mTw.NA). Legion showed a dominant performance at IPL Face Off but didn’t manage to impress at MLG Raleigh. Their first match is against CLG and while there is a chance that their typical “do or die” strategy may work, the huge amount of offline experience that the latter has will probably turn out to be crucial. mMe Ferus have probably the toughest luck of all teams – they meet TSM in the first round and it’s very likely that it will be their only match there. Nevertheless they even went through a tie-breaker with US Orbit Gaming in order to be at PAX, so the sole participation there is already a success for the team.

Just like at the European Regionals the format is single elimination, all matches will be Best of 3 and the losers from the semi-finals will play for the 3rd place.

Prize Pool
1st - $40 000
2nd - $30 000
3rd - $25 000
4th - $15 000
5th-8th - $10 000


Schedule

30 August
US Team Curse vs US Team SoloMid EVO – 8 PM CEST / 11 AM PST
US Team SoloMid vs US Monomaniac eSports Ferus – 11 PM CEST / 2 PM PST

31 August
US Team Dignitas vs CA Dynamic – 8 PM CEST / 11 AM PST
US Counter Logic Gaming vs US Team Legion – 11 PM CEST / 2 PM PST

1 September
Semi-final #1 – 8 PM CEST / 11 AM PST
Semi-final #2 – 11 PM CEST / 2 PM PST

2 September
3rd place match – 8 PM CEST / 11 AM PST
Grand Final – 11 PM CEST / 2 PM PST


If you want to enjoy some of the finest League of Legends matches, tune in here where Riot’s very best Phreak, Rivington the 3rd, Jatt and Jaws will provide you with their vast in-game knowledge and play-by play commentary. Show starts Thursday night (for Europe), don’t miss it!


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