This weekend held the first round of the Spring Promotion Qualifier series, with 2 spots up for grabs in the LCS promotional tournament. After the bracket was knocked down to 4, there was 2 sets of games this weekend to decide who would obtain the first two spots in the Promotional Tournament. While not all is lost for the people who failed to qualify this weekend, there was definitely no punches pulled this weekend with those LCS qualifier spots on the line.
Napkins in Disguise (NiD) vs. Curse Academy (CA)
Curse Academy attempted to play an Asian styled double bruiser team by sending Shyvana bottom lane this game against Tristana/Annie and sending Thresh mid with Brand against Gragas.. However, this gambit of theirs proved to be fairly ineffective as Tristana was allowed basically perfect CS with an avarice blade and there were no real teamfight victories in any sense for CRS Academy as well. Being down 14k gold at the end of a very short game, it was obvious that NiD did their homework when it comes to CRS Academy’s tendencies to run a double bruiser composition and played very solid against it, having an answer for every benefit that the double bruiser composition may have brought.
Winner: Napkins in Diguise
VoD Link: http://www.twitch.tv/wellplayed/c/3182245
NiD starts this game off on the right foot again with aggressive early play mid, shutting down both Jaximus and Brad allowing them to grab an almost Cloud9-esque dragon at 6 minutes into the game after a successful kill bottom. They continue to bully CA at every opportunity, completely outroaming on the map and just playing on a level that seemed to be above Curse Academy at every turn. After having a full item lead on their Tristana over the enemy Caitlyn at 20:00 minutes (2k gold), NiD grab Baron and then march down into CA’s base for a fairly painless victory.
Winner: Napkins in Disguise
VoD link: http://www.twitch.tv/wellplayed/c/3182249
Series Summary: NiD came to play, simply crushing Curse Academy in both games and securing their path into the Spring Promotional Tournament. With two very lackluster performances, Curse Academy needs to buckle down and study if they want to make it into the Spring Promotional Tournament, with another chance coming starting on November 13th with another Qualifier Series Tournament beginning on that date.
RESULTS: Napkins in Disguise over Curse Academy 2-0, Napkins advance to Spring Promotional Tournament.
Vision. Valor. Victory. (vVv) vs COGnitive Gaming (Cog)
A surprisingly aggressive start involved a level 1 teamfight with 6 flashes blown in total, but only 1 kill. However, the kill went onto vVv’s mid Orianna, which was a fairly effective placement of the kill allowing him an early advantage. However, this became the story of the game for Cog as well: getting the kills on the right people, with nothinghere’s Twitch become giant due to repeated ganks and kills given to him by their Jungle Vi played by Ziploc. vVv appears to have no answer for Cog’s solid team play including an effective Shyvana pick against Jax, being able to splitpush against him solo. A game that was close in gold but didn’t seem that way in terms of control and presence, Cog strikes first in their series against vVv.
Winner: COGnitive Gaming
VoD link: http://www.twitch.tv/wellplayed/c/3182263
Strong dragon control and farming carries vVv to victory in this game. Kha’zix making big plays early off a failed gank gave vVv the time the team needed to allow Trist to get huge, making the game alot harder for Cog, despite the game being very close in terms of gold for it’s duration and another solid game by iCloud on his toplane Shyvana. A very close game for much of the duration, the gold on vVv was just put to better use throughout the game and allowed them to hang onto the hopes of qualifying for the Promotional Tournament in this Series instead of a future one.
Winner: Vision Valor Victory
VoD link: http://www.twitch.tv/wellplayed/c/3182268
The game begins with the two duo lanes in mid, which was a play to hopefully put Kassadin in a bad situation that didn’t quite come to fruition. However, vVv falls behind early to Cog, being 1-4 and a dragon down at 10 minutes due to Cog’s superior map rotations and excellent play by Ziploc. The game continued down a similar path for the rest of the game, with game 3 being notably less contested than the other two games. Kassadin was never allowed to be a factor and Cog just simply dominated every part of the game, taking the win against vVv.
Winner: COGnitive Gaming
VoD link: http://www.twitch.tv/wellplayed/c/3182273
Series Summary: After a well played second game, vVv simply didn’t have any gas left in the tank and seemed exhausted by the third game against Cog, who clinched the 2-1 series victory and advance to the Spring Promotional Tournament. vVv, with Curse Academy, will return for another shot at the Promotional Tournament on November 13th with the second round of the Promotional series qualifier beginning on that date.
RESULTS: COGnitive gaming over Vision Valor Victory 2-1. COGnitive moves onto the Spring Promotional Tournament.
Notable occurrences from this weekend’s promotional qualifier:
1. Toplane Shyvana
The terror of Toplane Shyvana has finally reached NA tournament play in the last few weeks. With her buffs a few patches ago to her E, changing the debuff to %hp damage on hit, Shyvana has become a very powerful bruiser to tackle the popular trinity of bruisers right now in Shen, Renekton, and Jax. With the ability to chase any of them down over open terrain with her W and comparable sustained damage to Jax due to her E/Q combo, it’s no wonder that Shyvana top is finally starting to catch on in NA. Backed up with a powerful CC mid such as Orianna or Lissandra, Shyvana is allowed to shine as she did this weekend in the hands of the very capable iCloud.
2. Double Bruiser Composition
While it is definitely not the first time Curse Academy has ran a double bruiser composition, nor are they the inventor of it, this weekend proved to be the first chance many people will have to have a possible glimpse into the future of botlane: A support and a BRUISER in the lane instead of a “standard” Marksman/Support we’ve all become so accustomed to seeing. Despite it’s less than auspicious performance when played by Curse Academy this weekend, the double bruiser comp has been used to great effect in Asian scenes and will likely become stronger due to the looming Season 4 changes to support income. Don’t be too surprised if you see more and more of these styled teams with a Shyvana/Jax or other similar compositions coming out of teams in the near future.
3. Avarice Blade + Tristana
If it had happened only once, I would have written it off as situational, but more than once and there has to be something to it I figure. Tristana saw a lot more play this weekend than many people would have predicted, and more surprisingly she saw a lot of straight avarice blade rushes. Traditionally, Tristana is thought of having a decent early game, terrible mid lane and powerful lategame. However, having a terrible mid game is a fairly large flaw in the days of the BoRK all in carries such as Vayne/Twitch or the powerful Trinity force carries such as Ezreal/Corki (and Lucian but don’t tell anyone yet). By building up Avarice blade early, it can really accelerate the time that Tristana is considered weak and allow for a quicker “end game” status to be achieved.