Versus: This Week in eSports – WCS Regionals

This week saw the biggest eSports tourney of the year...

The roster for the biggest eSports tournament of the year is finally set. The League of Legends WCS regional finals for China and Korea took place over the last week and the matches for the world championship’s group play round starting September 15th are now scheduled. Here’s what happened in the past week and what to expect for the start of group play.

WCS Korea

The WCS Korea Regionals took place September 4th through the 7th in Seoul. MVP Ozone and Najin Black Sword already qualified for the world championship earlier this year. This means the four teams in the regionals were competing for the one remaining spot in the world finals.

The four teams slated to do battle going into the regionals were SK Telecom T1, CJ Entus Blaze, CJ Entus Frost and KT Rolster Bullets. Each series of games was a best of five elimination round until there was only one team left standing. The tournament starts with the lowest seeded teams playing each other with the winner advancing to play the higher seed. In short, it meant the 4th seeded team would have to run through a gauntlet while the top teams wouldn’t have to engage in battle until the last days of the tourney.

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But first, Day 1 saw CJ Entus Frost face off against KT Rolster Bullets in a best out of 3 tiebreaking match. The Bullets took the first game in dominating fashion but Frost would win the next two, including the final blind pick match, to clinch the better seeding.

So going into the actual tournament, SK Telecom T1 was ranked first and would not have to play until the last day for the right to go to the WCS. CJ Entus Frost was bumped up to 2nd seeding by virtue of the points gained with their tiebreaking victory, CJ Entus Blaze was ranked 3rd and KT Rolster Bullets would have to run the table out of the 4th seed to qualify for the world championship.

Day 2, the first of the actual tournament, saw the Bullets square off against Blaze. The Bullets went into the day feeling steamed about letting their early advantage in the tiebreaker against Frost slip away. The Bullets never trailed and quickly swept their way to a 3-0 victory, ending Blaze’s season. The Bullets top player, InSec, had sat out the tie breaking round, citing “emotional difficulty” but he was ready to go for the elimination rounds. InSec’s return was critical in leading his team to victory.

Day 3 was the rematch everyone was waiting for. KT Rolster Bullets now went up against the team that had beaten them in the tie breaking round, CJ Entus Frost.

Unlike Day 2’s games, each game in this series was competitive with the teams trading kills, but the end result was the same. KT Rolster Bullets responded to its loss in the tiebreaker by winning the next six games against both CJ Entus squads to sweep their way into the final round.

Day 4 saw the battle-tested Bullets go up against number one seed SKT T1, the champions from the summer circuit and the team that had beaten the Bullets by only small margin at their last battle.

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The Bullets were able to ride their momentum going into the final round to a first game victory. The Bullets had now won seven games in a row and seemed poised for a trip to California. SKT T1 had other ideas and the slumbering giant woke up and simply crushed the Bullets over the next three games.

The Bullets had an admirable run but in the end it was SK Telecom T1 that took the final Korean spot in the WCS.

WCS China

The China Regional took place this past weekend at Fengyun eSports Avenue as part of China’s 2nd anniversary League of Legends event. Four teams competed for the final two spots for the world championship in Los Angeles. The four teams: Royal Club, OMG, Invictus Gaming and Positive Energy.

Teams were randomly put into groups and then seeded into a winner’s and loser’s bracket. All matches were best of threes, except the finals which were best of five… with the winner’s bracket entry starting out 1-0. Confusing? A bit, but here’s the run down:

Day one started with OMG taking on Invictus Gaming. OMG took out iG 2-0, sending OMG to the winner’s bracket and iG to the loser’s bracket.

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Royal Club also made quick work of Positive Energy with a dominating 2-0 win, setting up a loser’s bracket match between Invictus Gaming and Positive Energy. Invictus Gaming won 2-0 quite easily, allowing Invictus to advance to day two and eliminating Positive Energy from the tournament without winning a game.

Royal Club and OMG faced off in the winner’s bracket to start day two. Royal Club took the first game but OMG won the next two to advance to the championship round and clinch the first world championship berth, 2-1. Royal Club then fell to the loser’s bracket to face Invictus.

Invictus Gaming took the first game but Royal Club took the next two, to knock Invictus out of the tournament and guarantee Royal Club a spot in Los Angeles.

The final match was a best out of five between OMG out of the winner’s bracket and Royal Club out of the loser’s bracket. Because they came out of the winner’s bracket, OMG technically started this round up one game to none. This meant that Royal Club would have to win three out of four games in order to take the title and the coveted bye to the quarterfinals at the WCS. Royal Club was not fazed at all though and quickly won all three games it played to take the last round 3 to 1. Royal Club is now seeded in the quarterfinals at WCS and OMG will begin play at the group stage next week.

Group Play

The WCS Group Stage begins Sept. 15. The teams are seeded into two different groups. Each team will play the other four teams in their own group twice. The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals.

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Group A: OMGLemondogsSK Telecom T1TSM SnapdragonGamingGear.EU

Group B: MVP OzoneTeam MineskiGambit Benq, FnaticVulcun Techibargains

The four teams receiving automatic byes to the quarterfinals are Royal ClubCloud 9 HyperXGamania Bears and Najin Black Sword.

Gamers can check out the match schedule online and of course all games will be streamed online on Twitch and other sites. Check back next Monday for a recap of day one of WCS group play as we march closer to the League of Legends Season 3 WCS Finals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 4.

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