With less than two weeks before the start of the Season Five World Championship, the top teams around the world are tuning up their games. Here are a few storylines for the teams in Group A, which would be of interest to old and new Esports fans alike.
1. Riding the Faith Train
If you have no faith, why are you guys even here?
CLG fans had been suffering in the past three years, constantly being ridiculed and memed by the majority of the reddit due to collapsing every season and never fulfilling their “potential” which was always hyped in the pre-season.
This split, everything changed. A new coaching staff, a new mid laner and a revamped training schedule was brought into the team, leading to CLG winning their first ever LCS split, and capturing their first title since MLG Raleigh in 2011, against the now defunct Epik Gamer.
Finally making it to Worlds, CLG will be looking to do the impossible and be the first NA team to win lift the Summoner’s Cup in the modern era of League of Legends. CLG had won a world title back in 2010 at the World Cyber Games, beating teams from China, Southeast Asia and Europe to clinch the mantle as the best team in the world. However, it is a whole different ball game right now. Will CLG be able to repeat their feat five years after their first world title?
2. Winning back the hearts of the Taiwanese fans
The Flash Wolves have always been in a unique situation in the hearts of the Taiwanese fans. Despite being one of the top teams in the LMS for an extended period of time, they have never been popular, usually lagging behind teams such as Taipei Assassins, AHQ and Hongkong Esports. In fact, it was just five months ago when the Flash Wolves forfeited their last LMS match as a protest against the negativity they were receiving online.
After a horrendous 2014, the Flash Wolves bounced back at the start of 2015, winning IEM Taipei and placing the highest a Taiwanese team ever did in modern League of Legends, bringing pride and excitement to the LMS region. The hope for an LMS champion has only risen since then, with AHQ’s performance in the Mid Season Invitational.
The Flash Wolves will be doing their best to upset the odds, and have a respectable performance in the knockout stages.Maybe then, they will finally get the support and love they deserve from the Taiwanese fans.
3. More than just a KaBuM!
paiN Gaming are currently in the best form of their lives. After sweeping the CBLOL Winter Playoffs and the International WildCard held in Chile, paiN are looking like the best team Brazil has ever produced, and the best IWC team in the history of the competition.
Despite winning 3-0 in the CBLOL finals, the match was plagued with several macro errors of paiN Gaming, showing their lacklustre strategical play, which has been covered up by their laning prowess and superior team fighting.
After a fortuitous group draw, paiN was placed in a group with the much maligned Flash Wolves, a CLG team who was lacking their main jungler and the KOO Tigers, who were likened to a paper tiger, not a team who would instill fear in their opponents like their Korean counterparts.
With such a talent stacked paiN roster, the Brazilians have a group draw which dreams are made off, with favourable matchups due to their high mechanical skills and obvious holes in their opponent’s armor. Brazil has grown exponentially as a region over the years, will this be the season where they prove themselves to be a true contender or are they here just to fill up the numbers?
4. brTT in his first ever major international event
brTT is undoubtedly the player to watch in Group A. Known for his great laning phase and his boisterous personality, brTT is one of the most recognizable faces in Brazilian Esports. Despite being in the top local teams for years, brTT has never made it to the big stage, falling at the last hurdle back in Season Three and losing to iNTZ in the recent qualifiers for the Mid Season Invitational. The Summer season was panned out differently, with paiN Gaming going on a roll and thus qualifying for the year end World Championships.
Placing in Group A, brTT will be facing 2 of the most long standing and renowned Marksmen in the North America and Korean region. Laning against Doublelift and Pray will be the toughest test yet for brTT, with no other marksmen in the CBLOL scene able to match up. brTT will be looking to prove his worth and show the world that he can hang with the top players in his role.
5.Redemption for KOO
After a decent Summer season with slight hiccups against SKT and KT, the KOO Tigers are back for another international tournament. Back in the spring season, KOO Tigers were dominating the LCK, winning all their matches in the first half of the season. By virtue of being first in the league, they were invited to the IEM World Championship held at Katowice. At that point of time, it would have been blasphemous to think that any other team could even come close to the KOO Tigers. They have shown to be able to outwit all the korean teams including SKT.
However, overconfidence crept into their play, Collapsing in the semi finals against World Elite. At that point of time, WE was dead last in the LPL and were no longer the powerhouse they used to be. What made things worse, was that WE fielded a roster with two new players, who could not even make it into any LSPL squads. After winning game 1 of the set convincingly, KOO Tigers took their foot off the pedal, picking flamboyant champions and playing recklessly. They were duly punished by a Spirit inspired World Elite, and crashed out of the tournament.
With their heads hung low, KOO Tigers flew back to Korea, amidst the thousands of death threats and insults hurled at them on Inven. Pray & Co proceeded to stutter in the second half of the split, and crashed in the finals, losing to an SKT squad which did not even need to field Faker.
This upcoming World Championship will be a chance at redemption for the KOO Tigers. Anything less than top 4 will be a failure and there will not be another chance.
Thanks for reading my feature! I will continue writing on more story lines if this article is well received.
Do follow me on Twitter!