Two teams have already qualified for the 2017 World Championships in China. Team SoloMid received an automatic qualification by winning the Summer 2017 playoffs. Immortals have qualified by receiving more championship points than the rest.
That leaves the NA regionals, or the Gauntlet as many teams call it. NA Regionals consist of 3 rounds. Each round has one series which is a best of 5. The remaining team with the highest amount of championship points will play in round 3. The team with the second highest will play in round 2, while the two lowest scoring teams will play against each other in round 1.
The Kick Off
The starting series will, therefore, be Team Dignitas vs FlyQuest. The round begins on Friday, September 8th, and the winners will play the very next day in another best of 5 against Counter Logic Gaming.
Despite an abysmal Summer Split, FlyQuest finished 4th in the Spring and this gave them their 30 championship points. Dignitas earned 40 points in the Summer, thanks mainly to a great second half of the split. They also earned 10 points in the Spring, bringing their total championship points to 50.
Dignitas find themselves in the unusual spot of being favourites to win the first round. FlyQuest will need to be at their very best to put up a fight, but Dignitas won’t make it easy. Despite Dignitas losing 6 of their last 7 games, it was against very good opponents. They still made it to the playoff semi finals.
The second round will be the winners of round 1 against Counter Logic Gaming. It takes place on Saturday, September 9th. Since CLG just finished a sweep over Dignitas, they will be optimistic no matter who they face. If FlyQuest do win round, 1 I think it’s next to impossible that they progress past CLG.
A Dignitas CLG match up is the more likely and I think it will be a fantastic series to watch. Both teams know each other really well and both want to be at Worlds. Victory for either team will propel them through to Round 3 where they go up against Cloud9
Cloud9 received a bye to round 3 primarily off the back of their great Spring Split. In Spring they finished second, behind the perennial giants TSM.
Round 3 takes place on Sunday, September 10th. If Dignitas make it to the final this will be their third series of 5 in three days. That’s a pretty grueling schedule and you have to fancy Cloud9’s chances.
Having said that, Dignitas beat Cloud9 handily just a couple of weeks ago. If CLG make it through, then I suspect they will make short work of Cloud9. If, on the other hand, FlyQuest somehow make it to the final (and in the NA LCS anything can happen), then I think Cloud9 will take the victory.
Final Step: Worlds
Whoever wins will find themselves as the third North American LCS seed in the World Championship. The eyes of the world will be upon them, and they will have the chance to forge a new destiny from amongst the worlds greatest teams.