With the Group Stage of the Playoffs ending on Saturday, the brackets for the Quarterfinals have been established.
With Fnatic, Gambit BENQ, OMG, and SK Telecom T1 dominating Groups A and B they move onto the teams that earned their byes into the Quarterfinal Brackets. The matches begin Monday with:
Match Set 1:
Fnatic dominated in Group B of the Group Stage over the past week with a commanding 7-1 record cinching their spot in the Quarterfinals with ease. So now they must go against the #1 said from NA and also NA’s last hope for a chance at the Summoner’s Cup, Cloud 9. Vulcun proved that NA strategies and playstyles can be used to beat foreign teams as they won their first game against Fnatic in the group stage, but fell short in the later games. Going by history of the Summer LCS and the fact that Cloud 9 has had an entire week to scout out their possible opponents from the group stage, will this give them a distinct advantage over Fnatic?
Players to watch: C9 Meteos and Fnatic xPeke
These 2 players are the core of their respective teams, Meteos and Cyanide have both been able to control the flow of the game for their teams as jungler, but Meteos was the NA Summer MVP for a reason.
xPeke is the foundation of many of Fnatic’s strategies so we will see if Cloud 9 target bans his main characters such as Kassadin and Ahri.
This is not me trying to hold a torch for North America’s last hope, but I just believe an entire week of scouting and preparing strategies for most of a teams compositions is an invaluable strategy.
Match Set 2:
From reading many different League of Legends pages, many believe that Samsung Ozone or SKT T1 should have been the Korean team with the quarterfinal bye due to Najin Black Sword only performing well near the end of season 3 by winning the NLB Summer and NLB Spring events gaining a major amount of circuit points.
Although Gambit went 5-3, they showed why they are still a dominant force, aside from some inconsistencies with performance with some games being hit or miss, GG is sure to do well against any of the teams that are left. By eliminating Ozone in the tie breaker and giving themselves a 2-1 record against them, they’ve shown that the Korean teams are NOT invulnerable.
Some believe that after Maknoon left Najin Black Sword, that they are not as good of a squad as before, but Expession has been filling the top lane role admirably and is one of their main power players.
Players to watch: NajBS Expession and Gambit Diamondprox
The Korean strategy typically has been for most games: Funnel gold to the top laner, so Expession will most likely be making many plays in the mid to late game for Najin. Whereas Diamondprox is the shotcaller of Gambit and makes many of the plays leading to Alex Ich or Genja getting fed to carry the late game.
Prediction: Gambit Gaming
Gambit Gaming has never placed below 4th at a major LAN event including Worlds, I do not believe them to stop this trend now. They are looking particularly strong and many believe them to go on to possibly win it all.
Match Set 3:
Many people are writing off Gamania Bears due to not seeing too many of their games, but this team is good, VERY good. With their track record in the Taiwanese league taking out teams such as Taipei Snipers, AHQ e-Sports Club, Taipei Assassins, and Wayi Spider, all very strong teams with dominant performances in their leagues leading up to the Regional Final. This is not a team to be taken lightly.
SKT T1 dominated Group A alongside Team OMG only dropping a loss to the latter team and vice versa. Many analysts worldwide believed that SKT T1 would be the Korean time that cinched the bye into the quarterfinals. We will have to see how they fare against a Taiwanese team considering that region gave us the World Champions of the previous season.
Players to watch: SKT Faker and Gamania Maple
The mid lane matchup will be what many people will be watching as SKT’s star player Faker will face off against Gamania Bears’ Maple.
Prediction: 50/50 chance for either team
This is a hard matchup to call, because there is such a small amount of Gamania Bears footage, but many people believe another Taipei Assassins moment is possible this year.
Match Set 4:
Now THIS is a grudge match set in the first round of quarterfinals and I LOVE it. Royal Club defeated OMG in a best of 5 grand final for the Chinese Regional Finals with a 3-1 record.
OMG has shown the other regions how successful being highly aggressive with calculated tower dives can snowball the game in their favor. This strategy worked on the likes of TSM, GamingGear.eu, and Lemondogs. Unfortunately, Royal Club has seen all of their techniques in the past, does OMG have something new up their sleeve?
Players to watch: Royal Club Uzi and OMG Bigpomelo
Uzi is the main player to go into hypercarry mode for Royal Club and the main focus will be to shut down the duo lane. OMG’s Bigpomelo’s unorthodox champion pool makes him fun to watch but also very dangerous as he has shown picks such as support Annie and Veigar are VERY potent when put in the right hands.
Prediction: Royal Club HZ
I believe that Royal Club will come out on top due to the fact that anything new or unorthodox they may have had up their sleeve was used against SKT T1 in their win against them and also against teams such as Lemondogs.
Well those are my predictions and some back info going into the quarterfinals this week. The action begins:
9/23/13 12:00pm PDT | 3:00pm EST | 9:00pm CEST | 4:00am KST