Gamescom League of Legends tournament showcases joy and despair
Today Riot Games and League of Legends descended on Gamescom for a couple of matches of grave importance. One team punched their ticket to the $2.2 million World Championship hosted by Riot Games later this year. Another team left with their spot in the League Championship Series, and perhaps their professional careers, in jeopardy.
Supa Hot Crew stomped Millenium in the match to decide fifth place in the League Championship Series, securing a berth in the LCS next season and leaving Millenium looking for answers. The match wasn’t particularly close as Supa Hot Crew seemed prepared for Millenium at every turn, using lane swaps to stymie the usual aggression of Millenium. Over three maps, Supa Hot Crew scored 56 kills while the usually potent Millenium, who found success during the season using pick compositions and played off their strong skirmishing ability and mechanical skill, only mustered 18.
Millenium now finds themselves in the dubious position of fighting for their LCS lives for the second straight split.
Millenium placed last in the Spring Split of the LCS, but narrowly survived relegation with a surprising come-from-behind 3-2 series win against Ninjas in Pyjamas. They carried that momentum into the Summer season, where they were ranked in third place with a 13-10 record as late as week nine. But they closed the split with an 0-4 Super Week and carried that losing streak through the playoffs, first falling to SK Gaming in the quarterfinals before failing to win a map in their series against Supa Hot Crew.
That puts Millenium at a whopping 11 straight map losses to finish the season. While it’s unclear how Riot Games will handle the relegation process with the possibility of adding two more teams to the LCS in the cards, one thing is clear: Millenium needs to get their act together if they want to stay in the LCS.
But while one Gamescom match showed us despair, another brought excitement.
Turkish team Dark Passage earned one of two wild card spots in the World Championships by besting Australian challengers Legacy eSports in the International Wild Card Tournament. The top team from Turkey, Oceania, and CIS met in Cologne to decide one qualifier.
Dark Passage swept Legacy in a convincing 3-0 series led by top laner Asim “fabFabulous” Cihat Karakaya, who put up a 17/3/13 KDA line in two games as Nidalee. Mid laner Koray “Naru” Biçak also had a big day, posting a 22/5/11 KDA line over three games including a 10/1/2 romp as Zed.
"They made a mistake by not banning my Nidalee," Karakaya said, after the match. "I practiced it a lot. Like, a lot."
The Turkish team will be a heavy underdog at the World Championships. They failed to qualify for even the challenger series in Europe this year, but managed to win every competition Turkey could throw at them, and they’ve turned it into the biggest opportunity of their League careers. The team will likely struggle against world class talent gathering in Asia for the World Championships later this year, but once you’re on the Summoner’s Rift, anything can happen.
"It's awesome for us. A Turkish team in the worlds. We're so happy," team captain Anıl "Holyphoenix" Işık said.
Karakaya believes the team might muster one or two wins at worlds. Işık said the team will do everything in their power to make that happen. "We want to win not just the wild card. We want to win something at worlds too."
Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube