The Winter Season of OGN came to an end a month ago with undefeated Season 3 World Champion SKT T1 K smashing Samsung Ozone to clutch the title and become the first team to win two seasons of OGN back to back. Then it went into hiatus, leaving us OGN fans drooling and craving for more high quality League of Legends. LoL Masters was introduced to appease the appetite of hardcore fans in the form of weekly cage matches between organizations, where players from both sides play their all in an attempt to bring pride and glory to their respective organizations. Now, with the Spring Season of OGN coming up in the near future, the qualifiers are here to determine which teams are worthy to face up against the juggernauts and rank amongst the best teams in Korea.
Teams: SKT T1 S, Midas FIO, Xenics Storm,Mook Comet
SKT T1 S came in strong as heavy favorites to leave this group and join their sister team SKT T1 K in the OGN. It was no surprise when they defeated Midas FIO in the first round, then Xenics Storm in round two to qualify. They looked extremely impressive, with the entire team playing solidly against Midas FIO even after losing first blood. They played an even more controlled game against Xenics Storm, showing strength in precise rotations and acute shotcalling. Their dominance was no surprise as they have been playing insanely well as a team, so not much more can be said about them.
Xenics Storm, being the other team in this group to formerly be in the OGN, looked to re-qualify with a new roster. They came in strong, defeating Mook Comet but losing to SKT T1 S in the winners bracket and then falling to Midas FIO, who defeated Mook Comet in the first round of the losers bracket and eventually qualifying to be the second and last team to go to the OGN from Group A. The last game between Midas and Storm showed that kills don’t mean everything – even after being over 10 kills down, Midas FIO maintained a substantial gold lead and managed to turn a teamfight around on its head for the win.
Qualified Teams: SKT T1 S, Midas FIO
Teams: NaJin Black Sword, God-sin, Incredible Miracle, Team OLYMPUS
Najin Black Sword has fallen far from their original glory when MakNoon and Ssong lead the team to clutch the title as champions of OGN Winter 2012~2013. Yet the new squad is beginning to show potential with a very positive showing in the S3 World Championships. Although they had a disappointing season in the OGN Winter, they looked to re-qualify and reclaim their glory. They convincingly swept through the competition, defeating God-sin and Incredible Miracle to secure their place in the spring season.
Incredible Miracle looked to find their way back into the OGN after failing to qualify for the Winter Season. With Midking, Lilac and Smeb, three extremely talented players and an inexperienced but solid botlane, they clutched an extremely close game against Team OLYMPUS and HooN’s impressive Gragas and Midking on Lulu leading the way with 13 kills, boosting them into the second round. Here they put up a fight but in the end were outclassed by NaJin Black Sword, which dropped them down to the second round of the losers bracket. In their deciding game against God-sin, they effectively stomp them with smooth rotations to become the second team to qualify from group B.
Qualified Teams: NaJin Black Sword, Incredible Miracle
Teams: AW Arena, Prime OPTIMUS, KT Arrows, Mook Secret
Alienware Arena was considered a fan favorite despite their relatively poor performance due to their entertaining all-in playstyle. Unfortunately, with their new roster they were dismantled by Prime OPTIMUS in, quote Doa, “one of the strangest games [he] has casted”. KT Arrows defeats Mook Secret to proceed to the second round, but Prime.O continues their streak with the KT Arrows in the second round in a very close game, where they win one last teamfight after almost throwing the game because of an excellent baron steal by Kakao. This solidifies their spot in the OGN after defeating the two favorites in the group.
In the losers bracket, AW Arena took out Mook Secret in the first round with a 20K gold lead to keep their qualification hopes alive. In the second round, they faced off against KT Arrows, who were as desperate as they were to qualify after failing to do so for the last two seasons. In a rather quick match and with an impressive performance by RooKie in the midlane, KT Arrows control the map and take down AW Arena, finally securing their spot in the OGN.
Qualified Teams: Prime OPTIMUS, KT Arrows
Teams: Alienware TOP, Incredible Miracle #2, JinAir Falcons, Bigfile AMOR
After a disappointing season, IM#2 looked impressive in OGN Masters along with their sister team. Full of hope, they entered their first match against AW TOP, who were looking for vengeance for their fallen sister team. Fighting from behind, IM#2 found the win after a 3 for 0 dragon fight 24 minutes into the game, propelling them into the second round to face off against JinAir Falcons, who just came off their win against new challenger Bigfile AMOR in a rather one-sided win. While the Falcons trailed in kills for the majority of the game, they kept up in gold and eventually clawed their way into the OGN.
The losers bracket started out with Alienware TOP taking down Bigfile Amor, constantly staying ahead during the entirety of the game. In the second round of the losers bracket they faced off against a desperate IM#2 who wanted to join their sister team in the OGN. While both teams stayed tit for tat in gold in the early game, with some amazing plays by BetKyo on Vayne, IM#2 pulled ahead and secured the last spot in group D.
Qualified Teams: JinAir Falcons, Incredible Miracle #2
Teams: Xenics Storm, God-sin, AW Arena, AW TOP
The wildcard group served as a last stand for the four teams who almost qualified, but was defeated in the second round of the losers bracket. The group started out with Storm vs God-sin, and AW TOP vs AW Arena in the semifinals. Xenics Storm faltered as they gave up the large early game lead they acquired, but showed their experience in the late game to pull through and advance to the finals. The two Alienware sister teams duked it out on the other side of the semifinal brackets in an intense game that ended with one last baron going in favor of AW Arena, who moved on to the finals to fight for the last spot in the OGN.
In the last game of the OGN qualifiers, Xenics Storm and Alienware Arena locked horns in the finals of the Wildcard Group to contend for a chance to play in the midst of the best teams in Korea. While both teams entered with nervousness, Xenics Storm took control of the game by the neck, strangling Alienware Arena in a 36 minute tragedy for Alienware Arena.
Qualified Team: Xenics Storm
This concludes the OGN qualifiers. 16 teams entered the fray, and after 23 games, 9 teams moved on to the OGN in glory, while the other 7 teams wiped their tears away to practice once more in hopes of winning the NLB and coming back next split to compete once again. And for the teams that made it, after defeating their foes, now face a new challenge; the OGN, a hyper-competitive league where the best teams in Korea are constantly looking for ways to crush you, exploit your weaknesses, and eliminate you so they can move on to clinch the Champion title. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this brief recap of the Spring Qualifiers and are excited for the Spring Split of OGN as I am.