Jun 21 2014 - 1:32 pm

It was a decidedly even week in the NA LCS

The schedule wasn’t the only thing that seemed European this week in the North America segment of the League Championship Series
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

The schedule wasn’t the only thing that seemed European this week in the North America segment of the League Championship Series. With EU heading to London for the weekend, the American matches were played during the week for the first time this season. And the results were decidedly European—unpredictable, with teams trading games left and right.

Every single team in the region went 1-1 this week, leaving us exactly where we started: Five teams are one game away from first place, and three teams are one game away from last.

That means every team had their time to shine. Counter Logic Gaming beat LMQ, but then lost to Curse Gaming. LMQ salvaged the week, ending a losing streak, by beating Cloud9. Dignitas dinged Team SoloMid before underestimating Complexity, who were obliterated by Evil Geniuses on the first day of play.

That leave us no closer to figuring out just who are the best teams in the regions.

The Bowl Cut Bowl: Dignitas (8-4) vs. Team SoloMid (7-5)

The Dignitas and Team SoloMid match on Thursday took a page out of the WWF when the coaches of each team, Dignitas’ William “Scarra” Li and SoloMid’s Yoonsup “Locodoco” Choi, bet on the result. The loser would have to suffer a fate worse than death - a bowl cut, joining fellow bet loser Alan “KiWiKiD” Nguyen with the worst haircut in the LCS.

Choi had made comments regarding the aesthetic nature of Nguyen’s haircut on his last appearance on talk show Summoning Insight, so you know he really wanted to win. But his team let him down.

Danny “Shiphtur” Le continued his superstar play in the mid lane with a 6/0/5 KDA on Orianna, and the team needed his shields, too. His ability to protect marksman Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana’s Jinx was critical in the team fight at Baron that decided the game, allowing Santana to clean up SoloMid and post an impressive KDA line of 5/0/7.

For SoloMid’s part, the game was incredibly close a definite improvement over their unorganized efforts early in the season. If they keep playing like this, they are a definite contender.

Evil Geniuses’ (3-9) new hope, Shin “HeliosDong-Jin

Last week the team went 0-2 with their new Korean jungler, but he seemed to bring a dimension the team lacked in the early game. This week they made a statement against Complexity, emphatically showing that they don’t want to stay at the bottom of the standings by blowing them out while only dropping one death. But their second game wouldn’t go as smoothly, as Team SoloMid shut down both Shin and Evil Geniuses’ budding new superstar, marksman Johnny “Altec” Ru. Ru managed to escape without a death, but the man ranked second overall in kills so far this split failed to post a single one against SoloMid.

Inconsistency: Counter Logic Gaming (8-4) and Dignitas (8-4)

Both teams won tough matches that secured their spot atop the league in the first match of the week. Counter Logic Gaming put LMQ into a losing streak by obliterating them with a standout 10/2/8 performance from Yiliang “DoubleLift” Peng. Dignitas took home the grudge match against a surging Team SoloMid. But then both teams dropped the ball on the second day, seemingly overlooking their foes in games that could have put them in sole position of first place.

Counter Logic Gaming dropped their match against the 4-8 Curse Gaming, letting a few early misplays snowball into an insurmountable advantage for Curse. Dignitas were blown out by the last ranked team, 3-9 Complexity, in a game where Complexity did what Dignitas usually seems to do to their opponents. Complexity was one step ahead of Dignitas in every lane and map rotation, winning a game that was almost embarrassing for Dignitas.

It seems like Counter Logic Gaming and Dignitas underestimated their day two foes, and that’s deadly in an LCS where every team is dangerous.

Cloud9 (8-4) can’t catch LMQ (7-5)

It was the perfect opportunity for last season’s champions to return to the top of the standings. LMQ looked like they were in a slump, mucking through a 1-1 week against two bottom tier teams last week before losing on Thursday to Counter Logic Gaming. Cloud9 slowly seem to be coming around to the current metagame.

But LMQ managed to take the win, despite Cloud9 jumping out to a lead. A quadra kill by Hai Lam on Kassadin gave Cloud9 the baron and a big lead, but they quickly squandered it by engaging in a bad position at the dragon river. A perfect Orianna ultimate trapped the team into Jarvan’s cataclysm, and LMQ wiped Cloud9 to take control of the match.

LMQ’s star player Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian’s poor performances in the team’s past two games were a large reason why the team lost, but he was perfection with Orianna against Cloud9, putting up a 4/0/6 KDA line while throwing in a couple absolutely game-changing ultimates.

The Chinese team seems like they will live and die based off Yu’s performances, but that’s hardly a bad position to take. Yu has emerged as one of the superstar carries in the league.

...

We didn’t learn too much in Week 5, except that no team can be underestimated. The standings look the same as they did a week earlier, and that’s just a reflection of how competitive the NA LCS really is this season.

Next week we should expect a bloodbath at the top of the standings.

Team SoloMid will put their new coach to the test with games against Counter Logic Gaming and LMQ. Wins could vault them to the top of the table. Dignitas will also face the same schedule, meaning that each of the three top ranked teams will play each other.

Cloud9 is the only top team left out, so they’ll have a chance to gain ground in the standings if they don’t fall to the same trap many others did this week. Complexity and Evil Geniuses should be wins for Cloud9, but this week showed that anything can happen.

 

Jan 20 2017 - 5:28 pm

Combo Breaker announcement may imply the end of auto-qualifiers for Capcom Pro Tour

Capcom may be trying to simplify its 2017 Pro Tour.
Steve Jurek
Dot Esports
Image via Capcom

A big change is coming to the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour, but yesterday's announcement may have hinted at an even larger change—a possible end to players winning automatic qualification into the Capcom Cup through Premier events.

The Street Fighter V tournament at Combo Breaker is being upgraded to a Premier event for the 2017 Pro Tour, Capcom announced via Twitter. The event, which will take place in the Chicago area over Memorial Day weekend, served as a Ranking event in 2015 and 2016. Its spiritual predecessor, the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament, filled the same role in 2014.

Premier events award more Capcom Pro Tour points to top performers compared to Ranking events. A yet-to-be-announced number of the season's top points earners will earn a spot in the Capcom Cup, the season's championship event. Premier events also offer a Capcom-provided pot bonus. The figure has not yet been confirmed by Capcom, but it is believed to be $15,000.

In previous years, a player who won a Premier event received an automatic berth in that season's Capcom Cup. Thursday's announcement, however, may have implied that this is no longer the case.

An update on Combo Breaker's website stated that placing well at the event "will earn you valuable ranking points that put you well on your way to qualifying for the Capcom Cup!"

Notably, the statement makes no mention of an automatic berth into the Capcom Cup, something that every Premier event winner has been awarded since the Pro Tour's founding in 2014.

The statement does not necessarily confirm that auto-qualification into the Capcom Cup has been eliminated. It does, however, fall in line with statements made by Capcom esports director Neidel Crisan. In conversations with both Yahoo! Esports and EventHubs late last year, Crisan mentioned the possibility of eliminating auto-qualification berths in order to simplify the qualifying process.

A player had three ways to qualify for the Capcom Cup in 2016; winning a Premier event, placing high in the global Pro Tour points standings, or placing high in each region's Pro Tour points standings. The system confused fans, commentators, and players alike.

We may not know how qualification for the Capcom Cup will work in 2017, but we do know that the tour itself will look a bit different than it has in previous years.

Combo Breaker will presumably fill a gap left by Stunfest, a French gaming convention that that served as a Premier event on the Pro Tour in each of the last two years. Organizers of that event announced a "pause" for the convention late last year with plans to return in 2018.

The tour will also be without Cannes Winter Clash, the other French event that was part of the 2016 tour. Organizers of that event, which will take place during the last weekend in February, announced the change last week in a Reddit post. The event had served as the Pro Tour's season opener in both 2015 and 2016.

"Obviously with Cannes and Stunfest out there will need to be at least one French replacement event," Samad "Damascus" Abdessadki, a competitor and commentator who is involved in the organization of the Cannes Winter Clash, told Dot Esports. "[Capcom] can't leave France out of [the Capcom Pro Tour] when it's arguably the biggest community in Europe - and maybe [the] strongest."

France is the only European country that has sent two players to the Capcom Cup in each of the last two years. It is also home to Olivier "Luffy" Hay, the only player from outside of Asia to win a Street Fighter IV Evo title.

One event that will return is Final Round. On Wednesday, Capcom announced that Final Round will serve as the first Premier event of the season for the fourth straight year. That event, now in its 20th year, will take place in Atlanta during the second weekend of March.

Capcom will announce full details of the 2017 Pro Tour in late February.

Disclaimer: The author of this article has worked as part of the volunteer staff at Combo Breaker/Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament since 2014.

Today - 6:44 pm

Riot Games to stage new international League of Legends event

The new event is set to take place this summer.
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.
Photo via Riot Games

Apart from the annual World Championships, Riot Games have staged just one international League of Legends event per year in recent years. Now that is set to change with a new event this summer.

According to a report from Yahoo Esports Ye Qiang, who works for Riot Games in China, spilled some details on the new event at a press conference to mark the start of the new LPL season.

The new event will take place in July of this year, but will not affect the schedule or timetable of the existing domestic league spring seasons.

The event will also take a different form from Worlds or the Mid-Season Invitational, though no concrete details were discussed. Qiang did muse on the idea of a "World Cup-type tournament".

We hope LoL events can be more diversified, can satisfy our audience, and can give everyone a better player experience," Qiang said according to Yahoo Esports' translation. "so this is what we will target for the event this year in July. Wait and see.”

Riot Games are keen to expand the brand of League of Legends in China and widen the audience for the esports events. According to the report, Riot is also considering expanding the collegiate circuit in China and taking LPL league matches on the road around the country.

Though allowing fans to experience regular season matches in person is a priority, the LPL will remain in Shanghai at least through the current season.