2017 World Championship – Remaining Qualifiers
The first half of September is packed and stacked with exciting series. Once everything’s set and done, we’re going to have a clear picture of League of Legends 2017 World Championship.
17 teams have qualified so far. 7 left to go. Here is a brief overview of all the teams in contention for those last empty spots.
Obviously, the main attraction will surely be the finals between Immortals and Team Solo Mid. They have a score to settle – 1:1 in group phase – and what better stage to do it than Boston finals?
However, next weekend will be equally important for the other 4 playoffs teams.
NA LCS #3 seed for 2017 World Championship will be determined through the Regional Qualifiers. The gauntlet will consist of Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Team Dignitas and FlyQuest. It takes place over the period of three consecutive days, starting with Round 1 on September 8th, followed by Round 2 on September 9th and then Finals on September 10th.
All series will be Bo5. Based on their championship points, FlyQuest (30 points) will be seeded in Round 1 against the loser of third place series between Counter Logic Gaming and Team Dignitas tomorrow.
Obviously, the third place team will be seeded in Round 2. Cloud9 will be waiting for one of these three teams to emerge as their opponent in the finals for #3 worlds seed.
Realistically, FlyQuest has the lowest chances of going to worlds here. On the other hand, Team Dignitas, and Counter Logic Gaming are more or less evenly matched up against each other.
Cloud9 are seeded in the gauntlet finals largely due to their spring split second place. They haven’t been nearly as effective this summer, just scraping by into playoffs, and then getting eliminated straight away in the quarterfinals by Team Dignitas.
The outcome of EU LCS third place and finals series this weekend won’t be as important as their NA LCS counterparts. All 4 gauntlet seeds are already known based on their championships points, so the only thing left this weekend is to determine EU’s 1-4 placements.
However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that we’ll have some very interesting gauntlet series next weekend. Fnatic, H2K, Unicorns of Love and Splyce will be seeded in 3 rounds, with the finals winner advancing to the worlds play-in stage as EU LCS #3 seed.
Round 1 will take place on September 8th. H2K and Splyce, the two teams probably closest to each other when it comes to skill levels, will fight in a Bo5 series to advance into Round 2 the next day. There, the winner will have a tough job of punching through Unicorns of Love.
Now, Unicorns’ form has been all over the place this summer. They lost some absolutely weird games. On the other hand, they displayed championship level proficiency in tough matchups. After all, they represented EU in the Rift Rivals finals, however one sided it looked in the end.
Now, whoever wins Round 2 will have an even more challenging task ahead. The EU gauntlet finals will take place on September 10th. Fnatic, the team that looked amazing in group stage, but then strangely lost to Misfits in the semifinals, will look to right the wrongs of the season.
Realistically, Fnatic and Unicorns of Love are the two most likely candidates to go through the worlds play-in stage as #3 EU seed. Will Unicorns of Love manage to channel their mystic magical mojos, or will it be Fnatic’s Caps-ivating Rekkles-ness to trump everything again?
We’ll find out next weekend, and we can’t wait!
Tomorrow, September 2nd, Samsung GALAXY will meet kt Rolster. The 4th and 3rd placed will fight once again in the gauntlet finals.
Compared to LCS, the stakes are much higher here. Korea is the only region with all 3 of their seeds placed directly into the group stage, so LCK regionals are almost as important as playoffs.
Samsung GALAXY have stopped Afreeca Freecs in Round 2, which was rather expected. Tomorrow, however, they will have a much tougher opponent to dispatch.
kt Rolster has a sort of an unofficial status of No.2 Korean team. They’ve been a step ahead of Samsung GALAXY this whole year. When stakes are this high, it’s very unlikely Samsung GALAXY will pull off an upset here.
However, these are not regular series. The players are all professionals with tons of experience, but it only takes one of them to buckle under the immense pressure, and things will go south for the entire team for sure.
With EDG edging out a win over RNG in the LPL Summer Finals as undisputed LPL champions and worlds #1 seed, we’re immediately turning our eyes on September 2nd and 3rd. That’s when the LPL regional qualifiers will take place.
3 teams are in contention for the #3 worlds seed. Invictus Gaming, OMG and Team WE.
Invictus Gaming and OMG will clash in a Bo5 to advance into the finals against Team WE. They’ve already met a week and a half ago in Round 2 of the playoffs. Invictus Gaming convincingly defeated OMG 3 to 1, so it’s unlikely the end result will be much different this time around.
Based on their results, Team WE realistically have the best odds of qualifying for worlds play-in stage as #3 LPL seed, but Invictus Gaming looked amazing this summer, and are definitely ready to stage an upset here.
The resolution of Brazil playoffs will take place tomorrow as well. pain Gaming will face Team oNe eSports in the playoffs finals. The winner, obviously, goes to worlds as a play-in stage seed.
The unlikely pair finished 4th and 3rd respectively in the group stage, but overpowered their higher placed competition in the playoffs.
paiN Gaming has a longer history in the league, regularly finishing somewhere in the upper half of the team standings.
Team oNe eSports was formed in place of INTZ Genesis CBLoL spot, with majority of the core roster remaining unchanged. It worked out perfectly for them. Can they make one final step and qualify for worlds? It will surely be exciting to watch.
September 2nd is the finals day for Oceania region too. LG Dire Wolves as OPL group stage winners have qualified straight for the finals, while Chiefs eSports Club, as a 3rd placed team in the group had to go through Bo5 round 2 and 3 to reach the finals.
Not only did Chiefs eSports Club win both rounds, they swept both of their opponents in the process – Sin Gaming and Legacy eSports.
In an impressive show of skill, they will look to repeat this feat for the third and final time against LG Dire Wolves. That will be a much harder challenge, but who knows, Brazilians are passionate and thrive in the excitement and hype.
The Russians will have their champions a day later, on September 3rd.
Gambit.CIS, a team that arrived in the LCL last summer, have showcased a marked improvement compared to their previous 2 splits, finishing first in the group phase.
On the other side, there’s third placed M19, a team formed out of Albux NoX Luna’s lineup in January 2017. Albux NoX Luna qualified for 2016 World Championship playoffs, but got eliminated in the quarterfinals. Albux NoX Luna was formed from another team called Hard Random, with a rich history dating back to 2014.
Obviously, M19 have experience on their side. Gambit.CIS are counting on an upward momentum. The stakes are high for both of them.
Only one goes to worlds.
The play-in stage will take place in Wuhan, China, at the Wuhan Sports Centre Gymnasium, from September 23rd to September 29th. The tickets for the play-in stage will be priced as follows: in-field only, $14.99 USD on non weekends, $22.49 USD on weekends.
The ticketing procedure will require in-game authentication and will be limited to two per day for each League of Legends account. We still don’t know how this will be affected by the fact that Chinese internet access is… well, weird, to say the least. Hopefully, Riot sorted these issues out by now, they had enough time for sure.
After all the gauntlets and finals are over, we’ll have about 2 weeks of pause in between the regional seasons and the official beginning of 2017 World Championship.
During that time, the teams will be furiously studying footage of their opponents and scrimming like madmen.
8 champion teams from “wildcard” regions and 4 #3 seeds from LPL, EU, NA and LMS will randomly enter into 4 groups of 3 teams. They’ll fight each other in Bo1 Double Round Robin format.
Out of those 12, 8 best teams will advance into Round 2, consisting of 4 Bo5 series, with #1 teams randomly paired with #2.
Finally, the winners of those 4 series qualify for the 4 remaining group phase slots. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see teams from China, EU and NA, as well as Honk Kong Attitude from LMS completely dominate this stage and advance into the group phase.
The group phase begins in early October. More on that later.