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IPL 5 Preview: Asian stars and newcomers

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Nov 28, 2012 18:47

ImageWith IPL 5 starting tomorrow, on the 29th of November, it’s time to turn our attention towards the Asian participants, some of whom are among the very best in the world and others are regarded as massive underdogs.

In order to give as many teams possible a chance to qualify for their event, IPL ran six separate qualifiers in Asia – one for China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and South East Asia (Singapore and Malaysia). A representative of each of these countries (and regions) has been granted an invite to IPL 5 and now they will battle for their national pride and to prove once again that the Asian region is the strongest at the moment.

1. CN World Elite

CN Jingxi 'Misaya' Yu – AP Carry
CN Xuecheng 'WeiXiao' Gao – AD Carry
CN Mao 'Fzzf' Juan - Support
CN Handong 'Caomei' Wei – Solo Top
CN Ming 'Troll' Kai – Jungler

After their participation in the Season 2 World Championship, where World Elite a big chunck of bad luck with dropping internet connections, the Chinese team didn’t dwell on the past and continuedto show their dominance in their homeland. Since then they have taken part in one online and four offline tournaments, which mainly featured Chinese and Korean teams, and won every single one of them. This clearly shows that they are ready to face any competition from Asia, but the issue with European squads most probably still remains. If World Elite wants to have a higher chance of claiming one of the top spots this time, they should have used their scrims against RU Moscow Five wisely and gathered as much information as they could from them, considering their first match will be against EU Fnatic .
2. KR Azubu Blaze


This is the third trip to the USA for Azubu Blaze and they have won both of the tournaments they previously came to participate in – MLG Summer Arena and MLG Dallas, so the big question is: "Will they continue this trend?". It would certainly be much harder to get their hands on the trophy this time with all the star teams attending the event, but Blaze have proved that they are not just any team and are ready to take on any challenge.

After their win at MLG Dallas, the Korean team participated in the third season of OnGameNet’s The Champions, where they won two of their sets (one of them being against KR NaJin Black Sword) and lost one. This proves they are not invincible, but you have to know them well and strike where they are vulnerable. One of the two opening matches of IPL 5 will be Blaze vs US Dynamic so we will quickly find out if the North American youngsters have done their homework or the Korean powerhouse will start their march towards the trophy right then and there.
3. HK IceLanD

HK 'Mario810' - AP Carry
HK 'Gemini' - AD Carry
HK 'TkSing' - Support
HK 'Tommy228' - Jungler
HK 'KurenIJai' - Solo Top

Iceland are the Hong Kong representatives and one of the two completely unknown teams coming to IPL 5. These newcomers took part in the Hong Kong qualifier thanks to a fans’ vote which determined eight of the 24 participants. They definitely justified the trust of the people that voted for them, winning all of the eleven matches in group stage and playoffs and not dropping a single map against the established and sponsored teams.

Iceland are placed in group B, which may not be the toughest of them all, but getting out of it will be a serious challenge for them especially with their first match against EU Counter Logic Gaming EU. They have one advantage, however: the fact that no one knows their playstyle, their picks, etc.. If they can use this to surprise their opponents maybe they might have a chance of winning a game or two.
4. SG Singapore Sentinels


After SGS failed to qualify for the Season 2 World Championship despite the common belief that they would not have any trouble in their South East Asian Regionals, they tried to improve their team by switching roles. They were also forced to bench one of their members because of his upcoming leave for national service. These changes didn't help them a lot as they couldn't even win one game at the World e-Sports Masters in China. This led to another internal change which allowed them to take one game off TW Azubu Taipei Assassins in the Garena Premier League Final, but it still wasn't enough for a victory and SGS ended up in second place. Now the team is coming to IPL 5, their last event of the year, with hope that they can finally show what they are really capable off and make Singapore proud.
5. TW Azubu Taipei Assassins


Wearing the crown of Season 2 World Champions, TPA are coming back to the USA as a major contender for a tournament that can rival Riot's season finale in most ways. Since they won the Summoners Cup and the check for $1 000 000 the members of the Taiwanese powerhouse haven’t been slacking. They continued their participation in the Garena Premier League, finishing its first season with an amazing score of 38-2, and won the playoffs final against SGS, gaining yet another cup. This probably made them even hungrier for success and they are coming into IPL 5 with the determination to prove that they are indeed the best team in the world and their win a month ago wasn't just a one time thing.
6. TH Blackbean

TH 'Xllyra' - AP Carry
TH 'NLgnz' - AD Carry
TH 'Eliade' - Support
TH 'Insta' - Jungler
TH 'Porsch' - Solo Top

The other newcomer to the international competitive scene, Blackbean, is the representative of Thailand. In the country's qualifiers the team built up a 20+ winning streak and only dropped one game to the Garena sponsored Bangkok Titans, taking them by surprise with a 3-1 score in the grand final and thus securing their spot at IPL 5. The team has previously participated in the South East Asian Regionals, but failed to make a strong impression. Now Blackbean is in one of the toughest groups at IPL 5 and what's even worse, their first game is against the World champions - TPA. If they keep their cool even after a loss to the Taiwanese powerhouse, they might be able to surprise some teams in their group and/or in the loser's bracket.

If you missed the first two parts of our IPL 5 preview, check them out:
European contenders
The North American conglomerate



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