New faces at Worlds
New faces at Worlds
Worlds is almost upon us, and we’re going to be seeing a lot of new players in the coming weeks. There’s a lot to learn about these new faces, and each has a unique story to tell on their path to the World Finals. Here's a rundown of just a few teams that have not yet played on this international stage.
After rocky beginnings bouncing around as Orbit Gaming, Quantic Gaming, Team NomNom, and finally Cloud 9, this team burst onto the LCS scene with a dominant performance during the 2013 summer split. Despite limited live performance experience, the team continued its streak in the NA Regionals and took the NA Worlds Quarterfinal slot in decisive fashion.
The numbers speak for themselves -- an 83% win rate in the regular season combined with an undefeated run in Regionals tell of a team that is both skilled and confident. These stats come from a devastating strategy built around gaining and keeping a gold lead throughout the game. Often, Cloud 9 gets that lead early by winning their lanes and then steamrolling their opponents in the mid-game.
AlphaFerg's Player to Watch: Jungler Meteos caught the world’s attention with an impressive KDA through the regular season. He cemented his supremacy with an astounding 54.0 KDA in the final series of the playoffs. His ability to initiate a fight and get out alive is both unparalleled and critical for Cloud 9’s strategy to work. If allowed to play on a high-mobility jungler such as Zac, prepare to watch a world-class performance from North America’s MVP.
Royal Club Huang Zu
Royal HZ may not have the best ranking in 2013 LPL Summer, but their performance in the Season 3 Chinese Regionals begs to set the record straight. After losing to OMG in the semifinals, they defeated former regional champions Invictus Gaming, and came back to sweep OMG in a one-sided final series.
When you consider that the average game time of the final series was under 30 minutes, their 58/30/130 stat line against OMG is incredible. That’s a kill every 1 minute and 20 seconds. Almost without fear, Royal HZ play aggressive and don’t hesitate to pick fights. They apply constant pressure to their opponent that is felt from the start of the game to the end, and specialize on pouncing when their opponents try to take down objectives.
AlphaFerg's Player to Watch: Mid laner Wh1t3zz is the exemplar of aggressive gameplay. With final stats of 21/6/15 in the Chinese Regional finals, it’s also hard to deny his effectiveness. His use of champions like Fizz and Gragas highlights his ability to do damage and control teamfights, while avoiding damage himself.
Samsung Galaxy Ozone
Ozone was formed in May 2012 along with two other teams for the MVP organization. They became successful quickly with high placements throughout the rest of the year and into the 2013 season, including a first place finish at OGN Spring. With MVP’s recent acquisition by Samsung Electronics, the team looks poised for a strong run at Worlds.
High mobility and perfect execution are the keys to Ozone’s strategy. They utilize both long range teleports and short range dashes to control positioning before and during teamfights. It also helps that they invest in boots early to maximize their maneuverability. When making plays, they are precise and can take advantage of the smallest mistakes.
AlphaFerg's Player to Watch: For Ozone’s strategy to work, they need somebody with strong initiation that can keep opponents busy while the team sets up for the kill. Jungler Dandy is just the right fit. He excels in locking down and peeling opponents during teamfights, especially on Jarvan IV and Lee Sin. His flanks and dives in the OGN Summer playoffs were instrumental in a close victory against CJ Frost, including a critical baron steal in the final game.
A true underdog, Mineski had the least certain road to Worlds out of any other team in attendance. After finishing second in the Philippines Qualifier, they thought they were done for the season. But unexpected travel difficulties for first place Exile allowed them a second chance at the world stage. An early loss to Singapore Sentinels sent them to the lower bracket of the SEA Regionals, but they stayed tough and found victory in the rest of their matches, including an exciting rematch against the Sentinels in the finals.
Mineski is another team that capitalizes on any mistake, whether it happens during champion select, or 40 minutes into a game. If an opponent gets out of position, Mineski moves to take that player out with efficient plays. They have a late game style that works well with their individual skills, and often try to lengthen a game until they have a lead once again.
AlphaFerg's Player to Watch: Exo, Mineski’s Marksman, is a challenging opponent to face in lane. His use of Ezreal in the SEA Regionals was skillful. He even managed a 12/3/12 stat line vs. SEA All-Star Marksman, Chawy. Look for Exo to play mobile Marksmen such as Ezreal and Vayne in the coming weeks.