Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Dorm
The Epic 8 portion of the Heroes of the Dorm tournament took place this weekend, and it’s fair to say that the number of surprising results was kept to a minimum. Boston College, Arizona State and Cal Berkeley all continued their dominance with 2-0 victories, and are ready to put their skills to the test in the semifinals. There was one interesting wrinkle, as the day before the quarterfinals began, it was announced that University of Connecticut was disqualified due to one of their players not meeting student eligibility requirements. This allowed Illinois Urbana-Champaign to automatically advance to the Epic 8, and they didn’t waste the opportunity, taking down Indiana University in the only close set of the day. They’ll certainly have their work cut out for them, as they’ll soon be taking on the team most favored to win it all, Cal Berkeley. We have to be patient until the 26th to watch the top 4 teams and crown a champion, but the way things have gone so far, it should be well worth the wait.
League of Legends
EU LCS - 3rd Place Match
This has been one crazy ride for SK Gaming. After the additions of Fox and FORG1VENGRE before the split, they looked like one of the best teams in Europe, and they delivered on that potential by taking 1st place in the regular season. However, they were upset in the semifinals by the Unicorns of Love, and now had to battle for third place. It initially looked like they had it locked up, taking the first two games of the series fairly convincingly. It all came crashing down after that, as H2k battled back, finishing off the improbable reverse sweep in a ridiculously one-sided 27 minute victory in game 5. SK Gaming ends the split in 4th place, and while rumors were already swirling that FORG1VEN might want to leave the time, a 4th place finish might just add some fuel to that fire.
EU LCS - Finals
At first glance, the idea that Fnatic won the EU LCS split is not exactly a novel one. With the exception of last year’s Summer split, FNC has won every single split of the LCS, so nothing new here, right? Not exactly. With only YellOwStaR remaining from the team that went to Worlds last year, this is a completely new roster, comprised almost entirely of unproven players. However, this new squad battled Unicorns of Love back and forth in a full five game set, ultimately pulling out the win thanks to extremely strong performances from all five players. Credit must be given to UOL, who no one (including the team themselves), expected to be able to finish as high as 2nd place. In the end, though, you can completely overhaul the roster, but the result seems almost inevitable: Fnatic is the top team in Europe.
NA LCS - 3rd Place Match
This was a must-win series for Team Liquid, and not only because of the difference in Championship Points. This is their first split after being re-branded, and no one there could stand to continue to be haunted by the 4th place “Curse.” Things weren’t looking good after three games, when Team Impulse was up 2 games to 1. Twice now Liquid had been punished for putting Piglet on his signature Vayne, a champion with high carry potential, but at least as much risk as upside. Liquid changed course in game 4, using the more utility-based Sivir to enable a strong front line to do their job while FeniX put out damage with Ahri. Game 5 saw Piglet on Lucian, using a champion with early power to put his team in a strong position. FeniX’s full AP Corki was surprisingly effective, and a 25 minute Baron was what Liquid needed to take full control, and finish out the series to (finally) finish an LCS split above 4th place.
NA LCS - Finals
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Team SoloMid and Cloud9 walk into
a bar the LCS Finals…
It’s become abundantly clear which teams are at the forefront of North American competition. On one side is Cloud9, the team that has kept the same roster since they first entered the LCS back in the Summer of 2013, and had dominated the scene before losing in the playoffs for the first time last year. On the other side is Team SoloMid, the team that took down C9 last year, but has consistently needed roster swaps to find their groove. The additions of Locodoco as a coach and Santorin as the jungler appear to be just what TSM needed, as this might be the strongest they’ve ever been. Last year, they needed all 5 games to de-throne Cloud9. This time around, 4 games was all it took to keep the NA title. TSM has looked remarkably sharp all split long, and they kept that momentum going in the finals. Much like their other playoff series, they lost the first game, only to storm back to win the rest of the games. It may not be the prettiest strategy, but the tactic of feeling out their opponents in game 1 and accepting a loss has worked out perfectly. Cloud9 is clearly still a top team in NA, but with Hai’s physical ailments becoming more obvious and rumors of Incarnati0n flying about, we have to wonder if C9’s impressive run with the same roster might be coming to an end.
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