Group A from Thursday’s “League of Legends” World Championship playoffs put Korean team Azubu Frost into the quarter finals along with Invictus Gaming from China. The latter Group B bracket revealed the next two teams to make it into the quarter finals. If you don’t have time to watch the VOD’s Boulder Gaming Examiner will get you up to speed.
Game 7 was the unprecedented matchup between Team Dignitas and CLG.eu. CLG sought to defend the honor of their NA counterparts starting with a red buff steal. Dignitas thought they’d be clever and roam around the map with a Taric support that wouldn’t leave his AD carry’s side. The plan backfired and got Dignitas a bit under leveled and out CS’d yet they still managed to take the first tower thanks to their 3 man roams. CLG took the gold and kill advantage and held on to it. Keeping dragon control and taking Baron. Dignitas fought hard to hold their own and close the gap but it wasn’t enough ending the game in a surrender.
Game 8 introduced us to underdog team the Saigon Jokers as they battled against Korea’s Najin SWORD. The Jokers didn’t have high hopes going into this competition and weren’t much more than speed bumps on Najin’s way to the enemy Nexus. The Jokers still managed to take first blood from a careless face-check on Najin’s part and a dragon kill. Najin quickly caught up and kept their faces out of bushes. The Korean team cleaned up in team fights and turned those kills into towers taken down. Najin’s support Sona showed off some impressive crescendo’s not missing a single one and getting multiple champions stunned. Najin quickly took towers and gained map control. The game ended with an Ace before The Jokers surrendered.
Game 9 established Najin SWORD’s dominance in Group B as they quickly showed CLG.eu who’s the boss. The Korean team counter jungled the European team and got first blood down in bot lane. Najin hit level 6 first and took that experience advantage and rolled with it. They took Baron at 22 minutes and proceeded to win the game.
Game 10 was perhaps the most exciting game of group B and is worth watching. Dignitas and the Saigon Jokers squared off both with a 0-1 standing. Dignitas gambled with a Katarina third pick and choose a roaming strategy. Underdog Jokers were quick on their feet and took two champions mid to counter Scarra’s favorite Katarina. The South East Asian team earned first blood and followed it up with 3 more early kills. Dignitas fought back but just couldn’t seem to get back up on their feet. Saigon kept their advantage taking a 3 for 1 exchange out of a sloppy tower dive, securing dragon, and feeding off of Scarra’s Katarina like a roaming buffet. Dignitas definitely disappointed with their sloppy play as the Jokers established themselves as a team that well deserves to be in the World Championship taking the nexus at 27 minutes.
Game 11 was an interesting matchup as both of Dignitas’ victors, Saigon Jokers and CLG.eu, faced-off. The early game wasn’t very exiting with both teams having weak level 1 fights that discouraged invades. Yet CLG surprised the Jokers with a level 2 gank that earned them first blood. The Jokers played well trying to catch up and counter gank the enemy but the Europeans still had a gold advantage that they secured with a dragon. The Jokers tried to make a comeback taking 2 towers while CLG was baroning but they were caught at the river and lost the team fight. A highlight was CLG.eu’s Froggen beating Scarra’s farming record with Karthus getting unreal numbers of CS before the game was even over. CLG.eu secured their place in the quarter finals with this win and will be playing World Elite today.
Game 12 was expected to be a disappointing matchup to end the day’s games with 0-2 Dignitas set up against 2-0 Najin SWORD. Yet Dignitas managed to pull it together and gave fans an exciting last game worth watching. Dignitas took Blitzcrank support and Diana hoping to end this tournament on a high note. The game was actually neck in neck until Najin pulled ahead in gold and then in kills. Dignitas shifts gears to a split push but fails to follow up with wards and has very little vision over the map.
The play of the day occurred at mid-late game. Dignitas managed to catch a champion out of position and rolled it into a 4 for 1 exchange in their favor. With all but Najin’s Sona down they went to Baron. In a miracle of timing Najin’s Shen death timer ends just in time for him to ult onto Sona cautiously watching over the Baron fight unbeknownst to Dignitas. A pro- Blitz grab pulls Sona into the Baron pit but brings the teleporting Shen with her preventing Dignitas from taking Baron and losing the exchange. Dignitas got caught at Baron again by Najin where they lost 4 team members putting Dignitas on the defensive in their own base. Najin didn’t bother securing Baron for themselves and instead just won the game. Dignitas ended with a shameful 0-3 standing and Najin SWORD will be facing the Taipei Assassins today in the quarter finals.
Maybe it was the end of the day or the flashing colored lighting display but Group B just wasn’t as exciting as Group A. Saigon Jokers made for a great underdog story going 1-2 and Dignitas will need to redeem themselves in the next season and clean up their sloppy play. Najin SWORD is surely a scary team to play against making fans wonder if Shen and Sona are going to be the next big bans. These games have proved more versatile. No longer are the purple people banned and a plethora of strategies have become viable. Today’s quarter finals are sure to be some great games. Check back in with Boulder Games Examiner for more coverage of the World Championship as it continues.