It’s hard to avoid reading too much into the results of the first day of the League of Legends Season 2 Playoffs. As expected, the Asian teams from China, Taiwan, Korea, and Southeast Asia generally outperformed their Western rivals, with favored teams like Azubu Frost looking all but untouchable. Today, elite teams like SoloMid, Moscow Five, and CLG EU will be hard-pressed to stave off the challenge offered by the Asian powerhouses.
SK Gaming and Team Dignitas went 0-3 in their respective groups, leaving the tournament in the 11th and 12th positions and winning $25,000 apiece. It was sobering to watch them fare so poorly because, watching them compete, it was also evident how good they both were. Even in Dignitas’ last match, a fairly lopsided defeat at the hands of NaJin Sword, they came with a hair’s breadth of turning things around with a solid teamfight against an opponent that was nearly running away with the game.
Likewise, SK Gaming featured in the day’s best moment: an amazing finale against CLG NA where SK seized control of the game after a Baron kill and began storming toward CLG’s nexus while CLG’s Doublelift was doing the same thing back at SK’s nexus. It all led to a thrilling photo-finish for the day’s most exciting matchup. The VOD isn’t up yet, but Riot uploaded the finale to their Twitch channel.
To celebrate League of Legend’s Season 2 Championships, we have 250 IP boost codes to give away to European readers. Here’s how to win one.
CLG NAdidn’t fare much better, getting eliminated along with Saigon Jokers to finish in 9th and 10th and taking $50,000 in prize money. Again, CLG was a great team that simply could not keep up with China’s Invictus Gaming team and Korea’s undefeated Azubu Frost. Azubu Frost’s ability to build and hold leads was decisive on the first day of competition, steadily opening a gap in gold over their opponents and denying them opportunities to isolate and pick off any Frost players while streadily snowballing toward victory. Their hardest fight came against Invictus, where they fell behind and struggled to win team fights before coming back to take the victory.
CLG EU put on a masterful showing over in their group, particularly through the stellar efforts of Henrik “Froggen” Hansen who set the tournament record for being the fastest player to 300 creepscore (CS) in CLG’s match with Saigon Jokers while playing Karthus. Their sole defeat came from Korea’s fearsome NaJin Sword, who went 3-0 in group play.
The semifinal round begins today at 8 PM UK / 3 PM Eastern, with the action streamed via Riot’s Twitch channel. The action starts with CLG EU v. World Elite, then Team SoloMid will face Azubu Frost. After that, we’ll get Moscow Five v. Invictus Gaming and Taipei Assassins v. NaJin Sword. We’ll be tweeting updates from the matches throughout the day, and look for a recap on the site once the day’s action wraps up. Don’t forget that Riot have given us IP boost codes to give away as part of their Season 2 celebration.