Counter Logic Gaming vs. Curse Gaming
For the opening match of the North American Regionals, Curse Gaming faced off against CLG in an epic grudge match with everything on the line. With the winner securing their position in the Season Two World Playoffs in addition to a guaranteed salary for their entire team in the upcoming Championship Series in Season Three, both teams brought everything they had to win the most important games of their lives.
As if the stakes weren’t high enough, the teams have a famous rivalry that’s been a year in the making. Both Crs Elementz and Crs Saintvicious used to play for CLG, the latter clashing with CLG's captain HotshotGG so badly he was kicked from the team. Now in a best of three showdown that decided the fate of their team's careers, both junglers held nothing back in their attempt to prove their dominance.
Two seconds before the game began, CLG switched their Summoner spells to an unprecedented triple Teleport, single Promote combination. What followed was a team unlike anything we've seen before, with ganks materializing all over the map and constant pressure on all Curse's towers.
The back and forth teamfights eventually swung in CLG's favor, as previous Teleport backdooring left Curse spread out across the map and unable to respond to lightning fast CLG baron attempts.
Both teams knew that game two was an absolute must-win, so the game reverted to a classic battle. SaintVicious picked his famous jungle Shyvana as his rival HotShotGG took his equally world-class Alistar. Having won game one with a daring metagame gamble, CLG chose to revert to theplaystyle that made them famous even before their journey to Korea. But Curse amped up their own aggression, both teams perpetually on the edge of slaughtering each other in every skirmish.
When both teams finally clashed, CLG's superior farming skills gave them a slight advantage that tipped excruciatingly close fights in their favor. Even when a quick baron by Curse evened up the gold 45 minutes in, a tactical mistake by Curse resulted in a remorseless CLG counterattack, driving all the way to the Nexus to secure their 3rd place finish at the North American Regionals.
Final Match: Team Solo Mid vs. Team Dignitas
By making it to the North American Regional Finals yesterday, both teams secured a pro-player salary and their spots in the World Championships. But what remained at stake was a $40,000 and all-important World Championship seeding that could spare them a Group Stage showing in October.
Going into the match, Dignitas was vocally confident in their ability to beat fan-favorite TSM, but 20 minutes into the game, it was clear that today Dignitas was outmatched by TSM's top-tier coordination.
TSM survived fight after fight with slivers of health, Dignitas unable to finish off their targets despite fantastic initiations and clever strategic maneuvering. TSM's crushed both mid and top, which transitioned smoothly to mid-game teamfight wins and combined to result in the tournament’s earliest Baron kill at 22 minutes. Despite a heroic defense of their nexus, Dignitas was eventually overwhelmed as teamfights resulted in tower after tower falling, all leading to a Nexus kill at 39 minutes.
Game 2 was a do-or-die match for Dignitas, who reverted to the secret poke comp strategy that brought them victory in the Semi-Finals. But TSM had already changed gears, pushing down the Dignitas turrets early and forcing teamfights with predatory Morgana and Skarner ultimates from Reginald and TheOddOne.
Unable to implement their team strategy without being utterly overrun in teamfights and with TSM systematically taking objectives, it was only a matter of time before before an incredibly fed TSM rolled their way to the enemy Nexus and the North American Regionals first place title.
North American Regionals MVP: ChaoX
Though incredible performances from players across all teams received roars of approval from the packed auditorium, Team Solo Mid's AD carry ChaoX stands out as not only the most consistently outstanding player, but one who exhibits some of the world's best intuitive positioning. Repeatedly being in the right place at the right time not only allowed his own teammates to set him up for devastating kills, but forced TSM's opponents to adjust or abandon their strategies in the face of his crushing DPS.
In addition, ChaoX continued his legacy as one of the most consistently dominant laners in the game, repeatedly matching his opponents CS when his team was losing, and dominating his lane when the match advantage went to TSM. Ending the North American Regionals with an incredible 7.4/1.8/5.8 KDA, his excellent Graves play and awe-inspiring Corki earn TSM ChaoX the Most Valuable Player award for the North American Regionals.
From Seattle to Los Angeles
The thrilling conclusion of the North American Regionals sees Team Solo Mid, Team Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming earn their spots at the World Championship. In addition, these three teams guarantee their chance to compete for the Season Three North American Championship title. With TSM's dominant performance once again declaring their world-class talent, their $40,000 first-place prize will tide them over until October, when they will once again take to the stage to face the top teams from Europe and Asia to compete for their share of a $2 million prize pool in the largest League of Legends championship of all time.