Reposted from Riot’s lolesports.com
The League Championship Series Summer Split begins Wednesday and the stakes are higher than ever as the top teams from NA and EU will earn a trip to the World Championship later this year. Take a look back at the standout teams and players from the Spring Split, Spring Playoff, Summer Promotion and All-Star event.
The GGU and Vulcun breakout
From beginning to end in the NA Spring Split, the standings stayed stratified between the longstanding pro teams and the new kids on the block. Despite their best efforts, Good Game University, Team MRN, compLexity, and Vulcun TechBargains couldn’t crack the glass ceiling that Curse, Dignitas, TSM Snapdragon, and CLG erected over them. Despite this, Good Game University and Vulcun TechBargains squeaked their way into the Spring Playoffs, leaving both teams with one last shot to assert themselves over the incumbents.
Vulcun and GGU were never favored to win the playoff, so their first round victories over CLG and Dignitas respectively shocked the community and forced the two heavyweight teams to fight for their livelihood in the Summer Promotion Tournament. Vulcun went on to snatch third place from Curse while GGU snagged second after falling to TSM in a taut five game series. Though a bottom four team didn’t climb to the tip-top of the mountain this past spring, it’s clear these teams are shaking up the standings.
The mid-season jolt from Bjergsen and WildTurtle
Bjergsen, Mid Lane for the Ninjas in Pyjamas (then named the Copenhagen Wolves), found himself disqualified for the first two weeks of the season because of age restrictions. One week after his return (and birthday), his Syndra picked up the first Pentakill of the EU LCS and led the Ninjas to their first victory. Though the Ninjas disappointed in the EU Spring Playoff and dropped into relegation, they fought their way back into the LCS and are now prepping for the Summer Split and a renewed shot at the World Championship.
WildTurtle made an equally immediate impact when he subbed in as TSM’s AD Carry in Week 6. He joined as a replacement, but a Pentakill in his first LCS game went a long way to making him a permanent fixture on the TSM roster. Previously, TSM had been unable to pass Dignitas and Curse and make their way to the top of the standings, but with WildTurtle, TSM transformed into the team to beat. Teammates reported to the press that WildTurtle’s hard-driving yet playful attitude contributed to team cohesion and successfully steered TSM towards more aggressive tactics. WildTurtle’s contribution speaks for itself and went a long way to TSM’s NA Spring Split title.
The Summer Promotion trans-Atlantic bloodbath
Following the Spring Split, the four weakest pro teams from each region dropped into relegation to fight for their professional lives against their region’s best amateur teams. When the curtain fell on the promotion tournament, only three of those eight professional teams remained, proving that the amateur scene wasn’t so amateur after all.
In NA, Cloud 9 trounced LCS veterans compLexity, while Velocity eSports won a five game slugfest against Team MRN to go pro. CLG and Dignitas both breezed past their opponents to rejoin the LCS. On the other side of the pond the LCS underwent a purge. Three of the four pro teams in the tournament failed to hold their place in the LCS. Team Alternate beat down the Ozone GIANTS to claim their spot, Against All Authority was taken out of the game by Sinners Never Sleep and the Dragonborns met their end squaring off against MeetYourMakers. Only Bjergsen’s Ninjas in Pyjamas made it through the EU relegation wringer.
Wickd-sOAZ 1:1 duel decides EU’s Top Lane All-Star
Fans across the globe voted their favorite players onto their respective region’s All-Star team. In most cases the winner was clear cut, but with the vote count between Fnatic’s sOAZ and EG’s Wickd split by one tenth of one percent, the battle for EU’s Top Lane couldn’t be settled so easily. Rather than have a split jury determine the outcome, Wickd took matters into his own hands and called sOAZ out on Twitter for a best-of-five 1:1 matchup to decide who would represent EU in Top Lane. Nearly 150,000 tuned into the stream as sOAZ clenched a trip to Shanghai by beating Wickd in five epic matchups.
sOAZ’s fairytale story continued in Shanghai. In the individual skills competition he beat out top lane heavyweights like NA’s Dyrus, China’s PDD and Korea’s Shy to prove himself the best top lane player in the world. It proved to be the one sweet spot in the EU All-Star team’s performance.
NA and EU burn out in Shanghai
It’s no secret that the Asian teams were expected to outperform their counterparts from NA and EU during the All-Star event. The prophecy proved true when, in both of their initial matchups, the western teams ended up quickly dispatched 0-2. NA fell to China and EU faltered against Korea.
This led to the matchup that many western fans were intrigued by: a head-on collision between NA and EU. The games proved as one-sided as the battles of the previous day. NA dominated the EU team, taking them to task 2-0 and leaving EU without a single victory in the All-Star event. NA’s win meant they moved forward in the tournament only to be efficiently dispensed by the Korean team the next day. The result leaves the European and North American teams racing against the clock to tune up and prep for renewed worldwide competition this fall. It goes without saying that the Asian teams won’t wait up for them.
Their journey to the World Championship begins on June 12 with the Summer Split. You can watch all the games right here on lolesports.com.