TSM, SK Gaming, GE Tigers, CJ Entus all hot entering IEM Katowice
This week, most of the world’s top League of Legends leagues will take a break for the Intel Extreme Master in Katowice, where the best team in each region will clash to decide this year’s first global champion.
If you’re wondering where teams like GE Tigers, CJ Entus, and World Elite stack up against their local competition, we’ve got you covered with this handy infographic detailing the last week of League:
In North America, Team Impulse jumped up the standings thanks to impressive play from Lee “Rush” Yoon-Jae and company, beating both Cloud9 and Team Liquid to seize fourth in the standings. At the bottom, Team Coast nearly clinched relegation, one loss away from a guaranteed dismissal from the League Championship Series (LCS). IEM participants Team SoloMid continued their stellar league-leading play, but fellow competitors Cloud9 couldn’t stop the Impulse wrecking ball.
In Europe, SK Gaming continues to lord over the standings. But they have a new challenger nipping at their heels: H2k Gaming. The H2k squad may lack superstars, but support player Raymond “KaSing” Tseng is undefeated since joining the team midway through the season. He posted an 11.15 KDA this week as H2k ended Gambit Gaming’s 7-game win streak with their own seventh win in a row. That may be Gambit Gaming’s first loss since week three, but the team is still entering IEM with momentum. Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov continues to look like the superstar jungler he used to be, posting a 10.5 KDA this week.
Korea’s IEM entrants GE Tigers and CJ Entus both went undefeated in the leadup, with GE Tigers increasing their dominant lead over the LoL Champions Korea league by winning two 2-0 sweeps this week. Their map win rate sits at a ridiculous 20-2 this season. They’re the prohibitive favorites entering IEM this weekend; no one is even close. One reason why is top lane carry Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, who added to his league-leading top lane KDA with a 5.33 KDA and 73.9 percent kill participation this week in wins over Samsung and Jin Air Green Wings. Fellow IEM competitors CJ Entus dominated their own match against NaJin, with Seon "Space" Ho-san continuing to build on his solid season with a 12.0 KDA.
The League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China finally saw challengers OMG, Snake, and LGD Gaming make some small progress in toppling league leaders Edward Gaming. Snake’s bottom lane of Kwok “Ella” Hoon-kwak and Yang “kRYST4L” Fan helped them trade games with Edward while also pulling out a 2-0 win against King.
But in a winnable game against Chinese IEM attendees World Elite, now ranked at the bottom of the LPL standings, Snake only traded games. World Elite enters IEM as the worst performing team in their local league by far, which is one reason why they’re trying a new lineup with Su “xiye” Han-Wei and Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun at the international event. When you’re 1-6-8 in your local league, you’ve got nothing left to lose.
The LPL will continue playing matches this week while World Elite is globetrotting, but the other major leagues, including Taiwan’s LMS, which has sent league-leading 16-1 legends yoe Flash Wolves to Katowice, are on a break for the week. After teams return from Poland, though, it’s a sprint to finish the season: Just two weeks remain in the LCS regular season, and the LPL and LCK only play a few more after that.
But for now, all eyes turn to Poland and the Intel Extreme Masters. This weekend we’ll get our first chance to see just how every region stacks up in the 2015 season of League of Legends.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr