The ggLA Challenger Arena tournament kicks off this Saturday, July 20th featuring four of the best teams in the North American Challenger Circuit. At stake is $1000 in prize money and two spots for ggLA’s next Challenger Circuit event.
Be sure to catch the stream on Twitch at ggLATV.
Schedule (All Matches Are Best Of 3 / Times are in PDT):
Saturday, July 20th
1:00 PM – FXO v. ggLA
3:00 PM – coL v. Denial
5:00 PM – Winners Final
7:00 PM – Losers Semi
Sunday, July 21st
12:00 PM – Losers Final
2:00 PM – Grand Final
4:00 PM – Extended Grand Final Series (If Needed)
Here at Cloth5, we’ll help you get acquainted with these teams to see who has the best chance at winning the tournament and taking home the title as one of the Challenger Circuit’s brightest names in North America.
Last event: 1st Place at 2013 MLG Anaheim Spring Championship Qualifier
Roster: Westrice (Top), heavenTime (Jungle), Arthelon (Mid), ROBERTxLEE (AD), NydusHerMain (Support)
After winning the last Challenger Circuit event at MLG Anaheim, FXOpen e-Sports has the most forward momentum entering this weekend’s games. Going up against North American LCS veterans compLexity Gaming in the finals, they were able to hold their heads up high after losing their first match and took the next two games in a dominating fashion.
In their matches against Curse Academy and compLexity, they showed that they weren’t a one-trick pony in relying on ROBERTxLEE to carry their games. Westrice got the chance to shine bright by being able to pick assassins that cater to his play style and proved that he could hang with top laners from the LCS such as MRN’s MegaZero. During game 3, Westrice’s Rengar soloed MegaZero’s Kha’Zix in lane despite having a CS and gold deficit and rendered FrostedCupcake’s Twitch useless in teamfights since he popped the rat even before he had a chance to Spray and Pray. He’s propelled himself into the Challenger Circuit’s elite and will force teams to consider picking immobile carries or otherwise be subject to FXO’s chaotic teamfights that punish positioning to the utmost extent.
And thus far in the MobaFire Challenger Series (MCS), FXO has wins under their belt against both compLexity and Gold Gaming LA adding to their overall match record of 4-0. Teams will have to find a way to punish their aggressive dive-heavy playstyle and extend laning phase to their favor.
Last event: 2nd Place at 2013 MLG Anaheim Spring Championship Qualifier
Roster: MegaZero (top), Lautemortis (Jungle), Pr0lly (Mid), Chuuper (AD), MeyeA (Support)
As the only team playing in the tournament with experience from the North American LCS, compLexity are most at home in LAN play than any other team in the Challenger Arena. With that experience, they’re the team that should have the most synergy and have the best ability to adapt on command when facing their less seasoned opponents.
After swapping in MegaZero for NickWu, the dynamics of compLexity have more or less remained the same as MegaZero typically opts for heavy aggression picks such as Riven and Kha’Zix. However, as shown in the LCS last Spring Split, if teams can focus on counter-jungling Lautemortis and shutting him down, compLexity loses much presence in teamfights as he often plays their initiator and is their primary playmaker.
However, if compLexity ever had a trump card to use, it would be their mid laner Pr0lly. A player well-known for using unconventional champions in league play, he’s cannot be banned out and that effectively acts a double edged sword for the team. Although Kennen and Rumble are some of his preferred champions, other picks such as Annie can either steamroll the game or set his team behind. Also, since he chooses to sometimes ignore the meta’s preferred “overpowered” picks, this can lead to opposing teams picking them up themselves and making life more difficult for the rest of compLexity.
Against this tournament’s competing teams in the MCS, compLexity has 1 loss against FXO and 1 win against Denial eSports. Considering this, they’re a favorite in the first round in the tournament to advance to the Winner’s Finals stage where statistically they’ll probably play FXO for a rematch of MLG Anaheim. Playing with a vengeance to display their pride as a former LCS team, they’ll be better prepared for that matchup and plan accordingly to respect Westrice’s leniency towards assassins. If they proceed into the loser’s bracket, they’ll most likely be matched up against ggLA and have a harder time facing them as they’re a relatively new face in the Challenger Circuit.
Currently 2-2 in the MobaFire Challenger Series
Roster: Umashi (Top), Wappa Chang (Jungle), easy (Mid), uulum (AD), BunnyFuFuu (Support)
As the team host for this event, ggLA has the most pressure on their shoulders to impress viewers and gain some recognition to help bolster their growing fanbase. After being officially created in April of 2013, ggLA is still very much a new team and still on their way to developing synergy between themselves.
In their games so far in the Challenger Circuit, ggLA’s biggest strength lies in their bottom lane duo of uulum and BunnyFuFuu. In their MCS games, uulum has been prone to picking lategame carries and was the shining spot in their loss against FXO. In their four games, there has only been one time where uulum had less than 10 kills under his belt playing Caitlyn and Vayne. Coupled along with him is BunnyFufuu who plays the best Nami in the Challenger Circuit. Time from time again, he’s been able to win teamfights using her powerful zoning potential and was a major factor in their win against compLexity Academy.
In their loss against FXO, their inexperience as a team showed as they impatiently engaged on a Baron buff team resulting in a loss teamfight and ultimately the game. However, despite that decision, the game seemed lost at the drafting stage as they put all their eggs onto one basket with having a Lissandra be their primary initiator.
Their first matchup pits them against FXO and they’re certainly the underdog in the matchup since FXO has been on such a hot streak lately. If ggLA is looking to take the Challenger Arena, they’ll have to prepare better for drafting and make sure their AD and Support duo is ready to carry.
Last event: Ro16 at MLG Anaheim Spring Championship Qualifier, 1st place WellPlayed Cup
Roster: InnoX (Top), ScubaChris (Jungle), nubbypoohbear (Mid), Flappy Bearfish (AD), Gleebglarbu (Support)
Although their performance was lacking at MLG Anaheim, the WellPlayed Cup showed just how resilient Denial is as a team. After dropping in the second round to Curse Academy, they trudged through the loser’s bracket to face Curse once again in the loser’s final in their path to the grand finals. Out of all the teams in the ggLA tournament, Denial has shown the ability to play from behind and turn standings on their head.
Out of all the teams in the Challenger Arena prepared to take on FXO, Denial seems to be in the running as they’ve showed in their MCS game against Exertus Zeal that they’re able to buckle down during the mid game and force teams into the late game. Aside from Flappy Bearfish proving that he can carry on any AD that he picks, Innox’s inclusion of Rengar in his champion pool could force a draft in their favor. Also with a reemergence of Lee Sin back into competitive play with the help of Insec and DanDy in OGN Champions, look for ScubaChris to apply heavy pressure early game to help subset aggression while Flappy Bearfish farms to lategame.
However, before even considering matching up against FXO, Denial will play compLexity for their first set. Even with a sub, compLexity was able to dominate all stages of the game and eventually ended with a 22k gold lead to close it out. This time around, Denial will have to respect MegaZero’s top lane prowess and either have ScubaChris camp top or force a 2v1 lane to help negate his aggression early game. If Denial can plug up these leaks, they could be the first team to win bragging rights as the Challenger Arena’s first champions.