2.) SK Telecom T1 7-1
3.) LemonDogs 3-5
4.) Team SoloMid 2-6
5.) GamingGear.EU 1-7
*Teams in bold qualify for the playoffs.
Group A, despite being fairly predictable, did offer a bit in terms of surprises. Ever since All Stars took place, Koreans were considered as sure winners of every international tournament that was yet to come. Their godly status was cemented by the tremendous quality of The Champions tournament and the devastating win (jungle Gragas, courtesy of inSec) against China.
What was shown in both groups thus far is that gods can indeed bleed. What is more, OMG emerged as a contender for top three as impeccable performances by mid-laner Cool and former support, now super jungler LoveLin put them in first place. The Chinese cruised through the competition with their early game dominance and only lost the last game of the group stage to SK Telecom T1 who sought revenge for their defeat earlier in the groups to the Chinese. Unfortunately, OMG had the unluckiest draw and will have to face their brethren, Royal Club, for a place in the semi-finals.
"Is that the best these guys can do???
The other top finisher of the group - SK Telecom T1 had a relatively easy time with no one besides their Chinese opponents giving them a run for their money. The much anticipated matches with LemonDogs and Team SoloMid were decisive victories with the star of Faker shining bright, justifying the unstoppable hype train. Now that the group stage is out of the way, SK Telecom T1 had probably the luckiest draw with Gamania Bears. The Taiwanese eliminated Taipei Snipers in the SEA regional finals and are now looking to continue the legacy of the Taipei Assassins.
The rest will have to leave the race. Both Team SoloMid and LemonDogs carried a lot of expectations from their fans, but lack of international experience and probably of quality practise was where it all went wrong. As for GamingGear.EU, we should thank them for not living up to the walkover expectations of many and going more than the distance with every team in the respective group.
2.) Gambit Gaming 5-3
3.) Samsung Galaxy Ozone 5-3
4.) Team Vulcun 3-5
5.) Mineski 0-8
*Teams in bold qualify for the playoffs.
Group B was a lot more close than people were predicting. Both European Lions started and finished on different terms. First place finisher Fnatic lost their opening match versus Vulcun, but proceeded to win every single other game afterwards. Aside from the A-level play from xPeke, Cyanide and sOAZ, a "job well done" should definitely go to their bottom lane combo - puszu and YellowStar. Both have impressed a lot with their execution and overall progress despite having a relatively tough group, filled with better experienced duos. The fanatics will have to defend Europe's honor against NA LCS Summer winners Cloud9 who patiently await in the quarter-finals.
The second European representative, Gambit Gaming, started their journey to the bracket stage with a clear 3-0. After their first defeat to Fnatic however, things took a turn for the worse. The Russians and Voidle then lost once again to xPeke's crew and put themselves in a tie-breaker scenario by falling to Samsung Galaxy Ozone. At that point it was all or nothing for the latter who entered the gauntlet match with Gambit in a confident state, pushing tower after tower. One engagement, however was enough for Genja's Kog'Maw to start wrecking havoc among the Korean line-up. In the end, the Korean myth of unstoppable teams was no more as Ozone were sent home packing by the Europeans. As the second place finishers of Group B, Gambit Gaming will face another Korean giant - Najin Black Sword.
Talking about Koreans, I think the only team in the Group stage that have legitimate rights to be mad are Ozone. Replacing Homme with Looper was a questionable decision, despite the latter putting on a good show with Singed. The immense pressure they put on the Russians in the final game needed to be calculated as every over-extension would be and was punished by the enemy. Given the young line-up and their lack of international exposure I think we can let this one slide. I am not so sure the netizens of Inven would be as kind though...
Last, but not least, we have Vulcun and Mineski who did not progress. The Americans did better than their Baylife mates, but their constant mistakes and misplays (which allowed Doublelift to name them Vulcun ThrowBargains) cost them a lot. Bad positioning prior and during teamfights, poor decisions while near the baron pit and overall lack of communication was behind their unsuccessful (from a quarter-finalist standpoint) group stage affair. As for Mineski, we can wish them good luck and I definitely hope to see more of them in the SEA region and hopefully, at Worlds again in Season 4.
*All images are copyright of their respective owners.
Former lead editor and interviewer for SK Gaming
Follow me on twitter - @Adddler or LINK
iNNERFiRE - multi-game journalist and Editor-in-Chief: 2012
onGamers - League of Legends Feature Producer: 01.2014 - 02.2015
SK-Gaming - League of Legends Lead Editor: 11.2012 - 08.2015
My journey into eSports started in 2004 when I accidentally caught a small video on TV from the WarCraft 3 WCG 2004 final. I opened up the SK Gaming website from my father's laptop and never stopped reading to this day. In early 2010 I started writing at a Bulgarian news website simply because I disliked how the current editor was handling his job and with time, I got to be Editor-In-Chief. My main writing interests back then were StarCraft 2, QuakeLive and League of Legends.
Fast-forward to 2012, after a small hiatus and moving to England to attend university, I decided to start writing news posts again, inspired by a couple of industry figures who have taken their turns taking eSports writing to a new level. With the beginning of IPL5, I was given a trial with SK Gaming which was successful and I never looked back.
In early 2014, onGamers presented me with an incredible opportunity to join their ranks which I took. Although I believe my 2014 was rather poor (in terms of work ethic and results), I have made changes during the winter break to ensure that sufficient effort will be made to repair that. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the team, the project was at a stand still which marked the end of my stint with the oG crew.
I continued producing 1 on 1 interviews with SK members until July 2015. After that, other commitments arose and I figured I could not provide the flow of content I promised my superiors and took a step back, leaving SK.
If you are an eSports fan who is looking to get into writing or simply want to chat about eSports across the years, you can always find me on my twitter - @Adddler . Below you can find some trivia about me.
BroodWar / StarCraft 2
BW pro: sAvi0r and Flash (for different reasons)
BW race: Terran
BW series: Hana Daetoo MSL
SC2 pro: Creator and Stephano (different reasons)
SC2 race: Terran
SC2 series: ThorZain vs Polt at DreamHack Open 2012 and any big final played by King MvP
StarCraft related article: God of the Battlefield
Pro: Alexey 'Cypher' Yanushevski
Map: Aerowalk, BloodRun (100% Eastern European choices)
Series: Cooller vs Cypher. Especially the brilliant defensive Cypher game on Aero (game 4).
Rivalry: Rapha vs Cypher
Quake related articled: The Quadra Interview and the one and only Cypher PoV
League of Legends
Pro(s): FORG1VEN, Faker, WeiXiao, NaMei and Mata.
Position: AD Carry
Series: All the World Elite games at IPL5, KT Bullets versus SK Telecom T1 K OGN Summer 2013 Final and LPL Summer Final between StarHorn Royal Club and EDG (The perfect Jinx game by Namei).
League related article: Most of TeamLiquid.net's takes on the 2012 and 2013 OGN tournaments.
Team: Fnatic (2008-2009)
Series: AGAiN vs Fnatic at WCG 2009. Literally broke a cup after the game. One of the most emotional series for me as a spectator.
Gfinity League of Legends - August 2013 (SK Gaming)
EU LCS Week 5 London - June 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
GamesCom 2014 Cologne - August 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
EU LCS 2015 Week 7 Spring Split - March 2015 (SK Gaming)
Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Katowice - March 2015 (SK-Gaming)
Team Curse announce new roster
Behold your Season 3 World Champions!
Season 3 World Finals: Semifinals recap
Season 3 World Finals: Quarter-finals recap
Countdown to the Finals: Korea
THE NEW JERSEY