Welcome to our North American Worlds Previews – The first preview belongs to NA’s Third Seed and powerhouse, LMQ.
Having arrived in North America only eight months ago, they have worked their way through the amateur scene for a spot in the LCS and a chance to represent North America at this year’s World Championship.
When they first stepped into the LCS after defeating Vulcun 3-0, it was too soon to tell just how much success the LMQ team would have — But they persevered and rose all the way to the top of the standings in their first split of LCS action.
LMQ hails all the way from China and came to North America in January of 2014 — Their hearts and hopes set on competing in the NA LCS Summer Split. But their trip to North America has not been without its fair share of controversy. Many people questioned the decision to allow a full team of foreign players to compete in the NA LCS, fearing it would devolve into a situation like Blizzard’s WCS by having the West invaded by stronger foreign teams.
Despite the harsh initial reaction, many people warmed to the team and grew to like them, not only for their skills are players, but also for their personalities as people. They paid their time in the Coke Zero Challenger Series and qualified with the top spot to take on Vulcun, whom they swiftly defeated. After some controversy with team ownership and management issues, the team pushed through and earned a spot in the Summer Split playoffs.
How Did They Qualify?
LMQ held the top spot in the regular season entering the final Super Week of play. However, they saw Cloud 9 finish with a 3-1 record, earning them back first place from LMQ, based on their head-to-head record. LMQ’s first split ended with them in second place and set to play the winner of Team Solo Mid vs. Team Dignitas.
TSM’s victory set up an absolute slugfest with Bjergsen and XiaoWeiXiao taking turns putting their respective teams in a backpack and hauling them to victory. In the end, it was Bjergsen’s 6/1/7 performance on Xerath that took home the victory and forced LMQ to play for their World Championship lives against the #ElephantOnFire Curse Gaming.
The start of their series against Curse looked very bleak as they opened with back-to-back losses, the second of which only lasted 26 minutes! Proving they still weren’t to be taken lightly, LMQ came storming back with three straight wins to claim their World Championship seed.
Each game was progressively faster than the previous, and featured some godlike performances from LMQ jungler NoName as he put on a clinic about how to play Kha’Zix. LMQ claims the Third Place spot from North America and will play in Group C with OMG, Fnatic, and Samsung Blue.
Top Lane – Xiao “ackerman” Wang (肖旺)
For ackerman, this will be the second time in two years he will be playing on the World Championship stage. He progressed all the way to the Grand Finals last year with Royal Club under the moniker GoDlike.
His play this season was often key to LMQ’s success. His most successful picks were Gragas, Lulu and Shyvana, and he has transitioned well to the arrival of Maokai in the top lane.
If LMQ wants to make it out of a highly competitive Group Stage, ackerman will have to be GoDlike once more.
Jungle – Zhou “NoName” Qi-Lin (周祺琳)
NoName is often found doing well in tandem with ackerman. As with many junglers this Season, he heavily favoured Lee Sin and Elise, boasting a +70% win rate on both. However, throughout the playoffs he seemed to be heavily favouring Kha’Zix.
With no patch changes between playoffs and the World stage, I expect Kha’Zix to be a heavily contested pick for LMQ. Look for it to always go in the first rotation of picks.
Mid Lane – Yu “XioaWeiXiao” Xian (余显)
XiaoWeiXiao has the deepest champion pool of any member on LMQ. He played games on 15 different champions in 28 games over the course of the Summer Split, and had a negative record with only 4.
His most touted champion is Yasuo, which people seem to be forgetting, and he was allowed to pick it in 6 of the 10 games LMQ played at PAX. To back that up, he has likewise been performing well on another mid-lane staple, Orianna.
XiaoWeiXiao is always critical to team success; he boasts a 16-3 on champions where his average KDA is greater than 4.0.
AD Carry – Li “Vasilii” Wei-Jun (李威俊)
Vasilii is about as aggressive an AD Carry as you could ever hope to find.
He tends to pick ADC’s that are very adept at duelling in lane, favoring champions like Twitch, Corki and Lucian. Since the AD item changes, Vasilii has found success on Tristana with a perfect 6-0 record in LCS play.
If the LMQ bottom lane can successfully duke it out with other world-class bottom lanes in Group C, they may be able to punch their ticket to the Quarterfinals.
Support – Zhang “Mor” Hong-Wei (张洪伟)
In contrast to to XiaoWeiXiao, Mor may have the most limited champion pool on LMQ.
He heavily favours both Thresh and Braum, and held a record of 12-3 on the pair during the regular season.
However, when he is not playing those two champions, his win rate falls to an unimpressive 46%. Securing a comfort pick for Mor may be key to LMQ victories during the World Championship.
With hands down the most competitive group in the 2014 League of Legends World Championships, it would be foolish to say that LMQ has a good chance to advance to the knockout round.
Having to play Fnatic, OMG, and Samsung Blue, there will be no easy wins for the North American representative. September the 25th will be the day that tests LMQ the most, as they play both OMG and Fnatic, the teams that they are theoretically fighting with for the second seed in Group C.
TheCasualGamer’s Group C Prediction:
1) Samsung Blue
Widely regarded to be the hardest group at Worlds this year, LMQ has the potential to be the dark horse that upsets the status quo
Individual player images courtesy of eSportspedia