Road to Worlds: Southeast Asia

Road to Worlds: Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asia Regional finals are approaching with the ferocity of a tropical storm, bringing with it the best teams that the region has to offer. The double elimination tournament will be played live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on August 17 and will determine the regional representative for the Season 3 World Championship.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

The Garena Premier League teams are the big name tournament favorites, comprising a solid four out of six slots in the Southeast Asia Regionals. Each team fought through their home nation's local circuits to ensure placement. Last year's representatives, the Saigon Jokers, had to fight with the rest -- though their success in Season 2 opened up a sixth slot for another Vietnamese team, the Jokers' place in the SEA Regionals was solely from their overwhelming success, going 14-0 over the course of Vietnam's Glorious Arena Season 3 circuit.

Not all GPL teams made it through to the finals. The Saigon Five and the Manila Eagles were victims of their region's growing competitiveness, while GPL leader ahq e-Sports Club was recently knocked out of the Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau circuit by Gamania Bears. Though the SEA region is rarely considered at the same skill level as their Korean and Chinese counterparts, they surprised the world last year, and seek an encore performance for Season 3.

Saigon Jokers

  • AD Carry – Archie
  • Support – Junie
  • Jungler – Safety
  • Mid Lane – NIXWATER
  • Top Lane – QTV

The Season 2 SEA regional representatives's roster has remained largely unchanged since 2012, only swapping the departed Violet for Safety.

The Joker's strategy remains identical to last year; banking everything on Archie's incredible AD carry performance. Though they flagged in the GPL, ending the season six points behind No. 3 Taipei Assassins, Archie proved himself as one of the region's premier carries, statistically only behind Singapore Sentinels' Chawy in individual statistics. Furthermore, the global metagame has shifted in their favor, as their emphasis on mid game objective pressure last year has now become the dominant strategy.

Singapore Sentinels

  • AD Carry – Chawy
  • Support – d4rkness
  • Jungler – HarleLuYaR
  • Mid Lane – hyhy
  • Top Lane – ToFuBoi

The Sentinels have been near the top of the Garena Premier League for two years running, consistently holding the No. 2 position in the rankings. They've historically struggled against Taiwanese teams. Though the Sentinels finally beat the Taipei Assassins in the standings, Taiwan's ahq e-Sports Club holds the No. 1 position -- but everybody else in the circuit has fared even worse against the Sentinels.

The Sentinels hold the advantage over other SEA teams of having experience against international competition this year. Jungler HarleLuYaR and AD carry Chawy represented the team back during All-Star Shanghai 2013, picking up first-hand experience against the Chinese LPL representatives. Though they both had low finishes in the main event and skill competitions, the Sentinels now know better than any other team how far they need to climb to reach the world's summit.

Kuala Lumpur Hunters

  • AD Carry – wAhzleNs
  • Support – RedHotRayz
  • Jungler – TaintedOnes
  • Mid Lane – GoldeNz
  • Top Lane – MoNk3yz

Bangkok Titans

  • AD Carry – JaeYoong
  • Support – SKLz
  • Jungler – NdD
  • Mid Lane – Sek
  • Top Lane – InTreso

The Kuala Lumpur Hunters and Bangkok Titans have similar stories: local success translating poorly to larger regional play. The Hunters are especially dominant in Malaysian circuits, as their flawless record at the Malaysian 2013 Regionals attests, but the gap between them and the Sentinels, Jokers and Assassins has persisted for two years running. Team captain and mid laner GoldeNz holds the highest Elo on their local server, but individual talent only goes so far against international competition. There's no denying that they remain underdogs against the GPL's top teams.

The Bangkok Titans have it even worse, going on an ignoble 30-game losing streak in Season 2 and ending 2012 with a painful 4-36 record in the GPL. Their dismal performance persisted into the next season, going 4-24 during the spring split, and 9-19 at the end of the summer session. Though infamous for their numerous roster changes over the last two years, the current Titans lineup appears to have finally gelled into a cohesive team. Mid laner Sek and AD carry JaeYoong anchored the team and guided a clear course to success.

THE MAVERICKS

Team Mineski

  • AD Carry – Exo
  • Support – Tgee
  • Jungler – Kaigu
  • Mid Lane – Yume
  • Top Lane – Snoy

XGame

  • AD Carry – Minas
  • Support – Vigoss
  • Jungler – Crynch
  • Mid Lane – JustA701
  • Top Lane – Nero

Mineski are veterans of the Philippines circuit. They have maintained a rivalry with GPL team Manila Eagles for local prestige since their days as Nirvana.DK and Pacific.LoL respectively. This surfaced once again in the Philippines qualifiers as the Eagles knocked Mineski into the loser's bracket, only for Mineski to take revenge later, knocking the Eagles out of the tournament entirely to secure placement in the grand finals.

But as storied as the Mineski and Eagles rivalry is, Mineski was technically ineligible. Both teams faced and fell to team Exile, who swept through the Philippines qualifier with a flawless record. But trouble with travel arrangements prevented Exile's international debut, enabling Mineski to take their place.
No such problem exists for rookie team XGame. Their triumph at the Vietnam Qualifier, slaying the Hanoi Dragons 2-0 in the grand finals, proves without a doubt that they know how to play a good game of League of Legends, with the brother duo of Minas and Vigoss providing a powerfully aggressive backbone to XGame's early game aggression. But while that aggression has certainly been the signature trademark of Season 3 play around the world, they are known to flounder in a prolonged game -- a key weakness to overcome in their international debut.

Related Articles