League of Legends IPL5:
So I figured if SCS was going to start doing other nerdculture stuff, I've been following IPL5 for the most part. (I've been distracted by doing a few LoL games.) So a couple of thoughts about this tournament: I absolutely love it. The layout is fantastic, and it allows you to root for many of your favorite teams since even after the group stages there is still potential for you to make it to the Grand Finals.
There are 20 group stage matches, 14 losers bracket matches, 7 winners bracket matches--where bracket matches are a best of three--and a Grand Final match which is a best of seven (the champion of the winner bracket comes into the Grand Finals with a 2 game advantage). The layout surely make it so the best team will prevail, even if you drop a couple of matches.
I made a prediction prior to the event, at least for the group stages, that were as follows:
Group A: Blaze 3-0, WE 2-1, fnatic 1-2, Dynamic 0-3
Group B: CLG EU 3-0, CLG NA 2-1, FeaR 1-2, iceland 0-3
Group C: TSM 2-1, Singapore Sentinels 2-1, Meat playground for an upset 2-1, Curse 0-3
Group D: Moscow 5 3-0, TPA 2-1, Curse 1-2, Black Bean 0-3
in order, obv--group C is the group stage to watch for a 3-way tie
So first, I didn't know that first and last place were going to only play two matches--which makes perfect sense in the sense that they would not bother with them playing eachother if it wouldn't effect the seeding whatsoever. So all 3-0's and 0-3's are respectively 2-0's and 0-2's.
My predictions were somewhat off--in Group A my predictions pretty off. I had placed Azubu Blaze too high. Instead of going 2-0 they actually had gone 1-2, dropping two seeds from my original prediction. Part of this is probably due to them not playing as much--at least it has been a while since they have shown up in a tournament. I had my hopes up for them.
World Elite has always been a solid team, and the returning Season 1 champion: fnatic have been performing really well lately, winning DreamHack. Dynamic I predicted to be in last place because they have always been the "Rugrats" of Professional play. All of their team members are in High School and was originally made by a bunch of top Solo Queue players getting together.
Actualy results: World Elite 2-1, fnatic 2-1, Azubu Blaze 1-2, Dynamic 0-2.
In Group B, I had my prediction become perfect. I found it somewhat humorous that both CLG teams had to face eachother, but the competition in group B was somewhat weak. Their competition was FeaR (aka Aphromoo's team) and iCeland, a team that no one has really heard of that managed to qualify. A real underdog team really put up some good matches, gave CLG a run for their money, but ended up losing to more experienced teams.
The strongest group is group A, group B seemed like a blowout, but group C I predicted to be the group to watch as the teams there are the closest in skill level to each other. I predicted a 3-way tie and a tie breaker to be made, but once again, the way that the tournament was organized this was not possible.
While I had predicted there be an upset in my prediction of the bracket (due to the closeness in skill level) I had put my money on Meat Playground to be able to show that underdogs could make it. I was really wrong. The team I had predicted to be in last place in the group stages, Curse EU, had actually made it to the first place in group C, giving the popular Team Solo Mid a loss early in the day. And Meat Playground had lost all of their matches in the group stage, after barely qualifying.
Team Solo Mid, a venerable and experienced team still managed to make it in the top 2 of the group to advance to the winners bracket.
Actualy results: Curse EU 2-0, TSM 2-1, Singapore Sentinels 1-2, Meat Playground 0-2
Group D for the most part was correct. I had the top 2 advancing to the winners and bottom two dropping to the losers bracket correct, but I had expected Moscow 5 to beat out Taipei Assassins in a revenge rematch from the Season 2 World Championship Finals. Black Bean, the third team that came into IPL5 that nobody heard of places in last place of the group stage, just like the others. Curse NA is just not up to par with how skilled the top 2 of group D was.
Actual results: TPA 2-0, M5 2-1, Curse 1-2, Black Bean 0-2
I'm sure I could spend an hour and a half explaining the "meta" and the top 30 champions that are re-used since they are tried and true good picks. But for the purposes of time conservation I will assume that my audience knows at least a little bit about it.
Rengar (toplane) - Despite that many people considered him "trash" now--he has made many, many appearances in picks. He is a very good initiator though his damage is lacking. While in my personal Solo Queue adventures I had built him as a tank with some penetrate due to his high damage abilities and have had success with it, I was correct but wrong in the items being built. Popular items being built were Brutalizer, Warmog's Armor, and Spirit Visage. Essentially HP stacking to make best use of his Armor/MR steroid on his W in addition to his 15% HP heal when at full ferocity.
Lux (mid) - A common uncommon pick if that makes any sense. Everyone "knew" she was good but it was definitely refreshing to see a professional team pick her up, play her, and win.
Draven (adc)- Aphromoo and his "legendary" Draven. Although he had made a debut with him in other tournaments, this time it did not prevail. Maybe in the losers bracket it may prove to be different.
Evelynn (mid) - Despite recent nerfs especially to Deathfire Grasp--an item considered core on her--Moscow 5 still used her and managed to do exceptionally well. Proving that she is still indeed a decent champion that should not be considered "nerfed into the ground"
Zilean (mid) - Tried again by Moscow 5 but unfortunately lost.
Master Yi (mid) - Played by Moscow 5 proving their very unorthodox, yet effective picks are still effective if even in closer cases or specific match ups.
Riven (mid) - A very peculiar pick that throws the team composition for a loop. Tried out by underdog Meat Playground and proved unsuccessful. Unique and uneffective.
Note worthy: In group stages, Blue side won 14/20 matches for a 70% win rate. In the few winners brackets stages that were played, it was 50%.
Well that's all I'm going to spoil for today. Please continue watching throughout the rest of the weekend at http://www.ign.com/ipl/league-of-legends
Thanks for reading!