Yesterday’s “League of Legends” quarter finals brought us some exciting best of 3 matches. With 3 match-ups yesterday and another today some great teams are quickly being eliminated from the running for best LOL team in the world. The games from yesterday knocked North America completely out of the running leaving many NA fans to pick a new team to cheer for into the semi-finals. If you missed the quarter finals read on for an overview of yesterday’s action.
M5 vs. IG: The first matchup of the day pitted Russian team Moscow5 BenQ against the Chinese team Invictus Gaming. M5 has been a popular team due to their innovative play and they showed nothing less in these games. Their first game brought in mid-lane Evelynn and support Zyra for the first time in the tournament. Both teams kept up some early vigilance by placing wards before minions even spawned preventing any invades. IG got first blood top lane in a 3 v. 2 gank. Yet Cassiopeia countered Evelynn well mid early game. Bot lane was able to push aggressively with a support Zyra. Once Evelynn hit level 6 she was able to roam making M5 a whole lot more frightening. The whole game was a slew of close calls with champions barely escaping fights. While M5 dragoned mid game IG was able to secure 3 kills and a tower which seemed to put them in the lead yet M5 came back to Ace IG and secure a dragon for themselves at 22 minutes. IG fought back and scored themselves an ACE at 25 minutes. In the end M5 had the better initiate, took map control, a gold lead and pushed down mid to win the first game of the day.
In the second matchup both teams learned their lesson and IG respect banned Evelynn as M5 got rid of Yorick. IG had a promising start landing first blood at only a minute into the game and followed it up with the first turret. M5 ganked aggressively but IG were on their toes and counter ganked to keep their lead. The game saw more close back and forth exchanges between these highly technical teams. M5 kept dragon control for themselves and diligently CS’d and warded. IG however held onto their lead into mid-game working as a team and tower diving like bosses. Mid-late game saw both teams dancing around mid-lane. M5 won the mid-lane exchange and took the lead from IG. The Chinese team didn’t seem to know what to do with Alex Itch’s mid Zillean and couldn’t contend with their hard pushes and good focusing in team fights. M5 closed out the game with an Ace before IG surrendered securing the Russians a place in the semi-finals.
TPA vs. NJS: The first matchup between the mysterious Tapei Assasins vs. the undefeated Najin SWORD from South Korea proved TPA is a very strong team. This matchup was highly anticipated with both teams harboring who have been considered the best top laners in the world. The picks and bans quickly showed both teams had done their homework and Sona was finally banned away from Najin. The early game saw lots of nervous cautiousness. The map was lit up with wards and both teams danced around an invade before deciding better of it. TPA got the lead with first blood at 5 minutes. The entire game saw a good deal of aggression in which the crowd would intake breath and casters raise the octaves of their voices only to be left wondering what to do with all the excess air in their lungs and highness of their voices when their indeed was nothing to ‘go wild’ about. Both teams were playing so well that they had a hard time getting the jump on one another. Najin tried their best to catch up but TPA started stealing their jungle creeps and after a mid-game dragon had come out definitively ahead. They snowballed to victory at 26 minutes after tower diving into their base for an Ace before the Nexus exploded.
The second matchup between these Asian powerhouses gave NJS a chance to stay in the tournament and it was an extremely close game. TPA invaded blue a bit late at the beginning of the game which set NJS on the defensive preventing further counter jungling. NJS tried for an early tower bot lane and established an early lead. TPA earned first blood by ganking bot lane but NJS counter ganked and cleaned up 2 kills. As the game transitioned into the middle stages NJS did an excellent job countering TPA’s hook team of Blitzcrank and Skarner. Although TPA was clever and made up the gold difference with gold per ten items and were able to take the lead. The game was neck and neck most of the time but TPA pushed ahead and pressured the enemy base. TPA caught NJS at Baron for an exciting fight and TPA showed off their pro skill shots by stealing the enemy blue buff with an Ezreal ultimate. TPA forced NJS out of the tournament winning the second game in a row after Aceing the other team before they surrendered. TPA will be playing M5 today in the semi-finals.
TSM vs. AF: The last matchup of the day was perhaps the most highly anticipated between South Korean regional winners Azubu Frost and North American favorites Team Solo Mid. The anticipation was drawn out even longer as TSM stalled the match due to sunlight obstructing their screens. Azubu finally started off the game strong securing first blood in top lane, stealing red buff and getting the first dragon of the game for a clear early lead. TSM made a come-back in the mid-late game getting a triple kill and secured a Baron. AF took advantage of TSM’s Baron distraction and took their inhibitor forcing TSM to go on the defensive. Azubu proceeded to take all the objectives including a Baron of their own and winning the game.
This last game was not only TSM’s last chance to continue on to the semi-finals but all of North America’s. With so much riding on this game it was only fitting it be a close one. Early game saw the avoidance of level one team fights and some good warding. TSM stole AF’s red and a level 2 fight went down at TSM’s blue in which TSM secured the buff for themselves. TSM began to roam preventing AF from catching up. TSM took a turret at 6 minutes securing a clear early lead. Azubu turned things around in the mid-game. They scored a double kill and rolled it into a tower, dragon, and then a Baron. The game was still neck and neck up to the end but Azubu Frost proved the stronger team destroying TSM with an ACE and winning the game. They’ll be playing either CLG.eu or World Elite today in the semi-finals.
Friday’s quarter-final games were all shut outs with the winning teams winning two in a row. North America has a ways to go to becoming world class LOL players but TSM did play well. Today we’ll see what teams will finish up the semi-final bracket as well as what teams will make it into the finals going down in the Galen Center next Saturday. The question now is if Europe can stand up to the Asian dominance we’ve seen so far. Check back in with Examiner for highlights from the League of Legends World Championship and watch the games streaming live.