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World Championship Preview: Dark Passage – Laying It All On The Line (Group A)


World Championship Preview - Dark Passage

The name Dark Passage can be traced back to a Turkish Counter-Strike team formed in 2003. DP has since grown into a world-class eSports organization with competitive teams in League of Legends, Counter-Strike, FIFA, Starcraft, and more.

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Dark Passage won the 2013 Turkish Championship and has been dominating the Turkish scene for quite some time now, having won the Winter, Spring, and Summer Seasons of the Turkish Champions League with very few losses conceded.

They also qualified for Dreamhack Summer 2013 and the 2013 World Cyber Games, where they represented Turkey. At the latter tournament, Dark Passage managed to win all of their group-stage matches except one against OMG. This placed them second in their group and earned them a place in the Quarterfinals, where they were defeated 2-0 by CJ Entus Blaze. It is safe to say, then, that DP is certainly not devoid of international experience as a team.

Kings of The Hill – Once More

Dark Passage was decisively favoured to win the Season Four Turkish Championship, and they did not disappoint. After defeating 1603 and Big Plays Incorporated, they gave the much-loved Team Turquality a master class in closing out games.

In a Final Series that was reminiscent of last year’s Turkish Championship, Dark Passage defeated Turquality 3-1, and reaffirmed their position as Turkey’s number one League of Legends team.

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Top Lane – Asim Cihat “fabFabulous” Karakaya


Fabulous is a meticulous top laner. He hates to see CS go to waste and tries to make the most of every trade, gank and rotation. Patience and judgment define his play, and he seems to coordinate well with Crystal.


Jungle – Atakan “Crystal” Aydin


A relatively new addition to the team, Crystal is a formidable jungler who is known for leveraging early game control to create breathing room for his solo lanes. He approaches every competitive match he plays with solemnity and aggression, and the execution of his early ganks, invades and rotations will be a decisive factor in Dark Passage’s performance.


Mid Lane – Koray “Naru” Bicak


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Naru is the only member of the original Dark Passage line-up still on the team. He is highly respected by the Turkish community and has demonstrated extremely impressive mechanics on a number of occasions. He is one of the younger members of the team, and will undoubtedly be looking to show the world what he is capable of.


AD Carry – Anil “HolyPhoenix” Isis


HolyPhoenix was the first Turkish player to reach Challenger on EU West and is broadly considered to be the best AD Carry in the region.

He has not been able to play with Dark Passage in official Riot tournaments due to his age until quite recently, however, he has still spent a great deal of time training with them. He is an aggressive, yet calculating player, and if he is able to perform to his full potential on stage at Worlds, DP’s bottom lane will certainly be a problem for their opponents.


Support – Omid “Touch” Rosander


Touch is another new addition to the team, having been bought in to replace TrieLBaenRe at the 2014 International Wildcard Qualifier. He seemed to fit right in, and worked well with HolyPhoenix to exact dominant victories at the Wildcard Tournament. He is a versatile and astute player who will make his presence felt across the map.

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Dark Passage’s performance at the 2013 World Cyber Games is a good indicator of their current standings. They are not mere amateurs, and have little trouble dispatching disorganized teams, though they are still comparatively inexperienced alongside the big names in international eSports. Dark Passage was placed at #15 in Riot’s most recent power rankings, ahead of the Brazilian wildcard KaBuM eSports, but behind the rest of the teams that have qualified for the 2014 World Championships. 14901743626_5a4e461078_o


Dark Passage is a cohesive unit, and each of its members has a significant number of in-game hours under their belt

Dark Passage struggled somewhat against the rest of the competition at the Season 3 Wildcard Tournament. Pain Gaming, GamingGear.eu, and Team Immunity all bested the Turks in the Round Robin, but DP still managed to scrape into the Quarterfinals, where they were defeated 2-1 by Pain Gaming – Who went on to win the Wildcard seed. HolyPhoenix, DP’s highly revered AD Carry, was precluded from competing at the Season 3 Wildcard Tournament due to Riot’s age restriction policy. Dark Passage has become an unstoppable force in Turkish domestic fixtures now that he is able to compete in official tournaments — However, it remains to be seen how much of an impact his presence will have against the rest of Group A.

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Some commentators have suggested that Riot’s decision to open a Turkish server should ultimately prove detrimental to Dark Passage and other professional eSports teams in the region that would otherwise practice on EU West

Dark Passage is still able to scrim on the EU West servers, and indeed, all of the team’s members may feel at home thereon. Group A, has placed them firmly in the middle of Asia. The difference is far more nuanced than choice of server; there is a sense of nationalistic gusto that Dark Passage share with their Wildcard counterparts in Group D, KaBuM eSports. They will be representing the Turkish eSports community and Riot’s investment in the region as a discrete competitive constituency when they take the stage at Worlds this year.

Dark Passage is a cohesive unit, and each of its members has a significant number of in-game hours under their belt. They are, just like Group A compatriots EDward Gaming, extremely successful at home. However, Dark Passage is not exactly a household name outside of Turkey.


Dark Passage has a fantastic opportunity to change that at the 2014 World Championships; an unknown quantity with strong team synergy is the perfect recipe for an upset


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PineappleSmoothie

PineappleSmoothie is a law student with a love for sport - eSports included. He has played League of Legends since season two and is Platinum in OCE solo queue. He currently covers the rapidly growing Oceania scene for Cloth5.

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