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Early S4 Worlds Hype (Seeding Predictions)

Discussion in 'Blog' started by Saff, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Saff

    Saff Level 2 Blood Dragon

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    [​IMG]
    With the World Finals in Seoul not too long off and a lot of competitive scenes I figured I'd try to do some early-ish predictions on who we will be seeing at the event from each region and the International Wild Card qualifier, I was partially inspired by the recent reddit thread that took in community opinions for the NA and EU representatives. I will most likely not write this all up at one time but add on as time dictates.

    NORTH AMERICA
    C9 / CLG / DIG (Most likely dark horse: CRS)

    Cloud 9 may not be the team that swept NA for two splits in a row, but that is more a testament to the regions newfound strength bringing the juggernaut team down to earth. C9 had yet to face adversity at home, and to survive it in stride (winning records against all top teams) speaks to their ability to adapt and overcome as they always have. Cloud 9 is as safe a bet as any to make the big stage.

    Counter Logic Gaming may be the long time old guard NA organization that has sat in Team Solomid's shadow, but with a mechanically sound roster, a continuously improving macro game, and the CLEARLY best bot lane in a region known for its bot lane firepower, CLG looks primed to make a deep playoff run and achieve what they could not last year, a berth into the World Championships. Sadly this means no analyst desk for Doublelift, but I don't think he'll mind.

    Dignitas is my leader to scratch and claw their way into the third seed out of NA. The roster, like CLG is very mechanically sound, but can be a tad streaky as DIG has always been. While the unit may be on a bit of a slump currently, they preform well against other top teams and are outright lethal against TSM. I feel like DIG/TSM have the highest ceilings of any NA lineups of the moment, but with two teams better primed in the here and now, and with DIG having proven they can handle the competition I have to favor them. LMQ and Curse are both threats, the former is mechanically dominant, but with a horrid macro game I don't see them wining three of five against many of the top teams, CRS however is interesting, they have good mechanical ability but are either ice cold or on fire, if a hot CRS shows up they could sneak into worlds off of Quas and Xpecial's front lining backs, but that would be unlikely.


    EUROPE
    ALL / FNC / MIL (Most likely dark horse: SHC)

    Alliance and Fnatic are Europe's guarantees, or as guaranteed as can be. Neither needs much explaining, led by Froggen, Tabzz, and Shook, Alliance has ripped through Europe this season and while they no longer look invincible from within the region, their lead and strength are undeniable. On the other end, Fnatic is the ageless hot/cold but always here for the playoffs team it has been. xPeke, sOAZ, and Rekkles are all players that define their roles in EU, and sooner or later we knew Fnatic would come back once more to challenge for their crown. Europe has never seen a team other than Fnatic finish off a split in first place, Alliance has the strength to remove them from that perch, but Fnatic is cerebral in do-or-die situations, and their experiences as a unit could overcome Alliance's raw power.

    The third seed has become an interesting development for Europe, SK Gaming has always been compared to Cloud 9 as far as macro-game centered teams are concerned, but C9's mechanics were never so bad that you could just outright exploit them, whereas SK has glaring flaws across the map outside of bot lane. CandyPanda is of no concern to SK fans, the "other" top tier ADC in the region (quietly preforming with Rekkles and Tabzz) will do his job game in and game out, Jesiz can choke out a mid laner with a strange passiveness but he lacks play making ability on a top level needed from his position, he stands to improve greatly with time. Top and Jungle are glaring issues for SK, Sven is very streaky and fredy122 is essentially a write off for any opposing top laner (how SK still wish they had Kevin). SK is now being exploited early by teams that aren't as smart but that are just outright better than they are, and that's why I cant see them surviving the best of 5s to reach the third seed. Even if SK were to make worlds I believe they would be throttled in the most boring way imaginable.

    My top two choices for Europe's third and final seed are the Supa Hot Crew and Millenium. Anchored by "The Thumb" Kerp, Kotten X, and Kevin in a resurgent season, not to write off ADC Creaton who, at his best, can game with any top ADC in his region, MIL is probably in the best position to succeed as all of their players are currently threats in their roles, and their macro game is consistently improving with mileage. They have the ability to, at their peak potential, off Alliance and Fnatic, though the likelihood of that happening is slim. Supa Hot Crew are a very intriguing team, SELFIE has been a magnificent find in the mid lane, and the LCS rookie has become a threat very early on in his career, I don't buy the hype surrounding Mr Rallez as he has yet to really show up over signifigant stretches, but at the very least he is solid. Impaler is a solid player from the jungle, he will rarely win you games on his own but is reliable at setting up his solo laners when need be. This brings me to Mimer, similarly to SKT T1 S top laner MaRin, he is a top laner known for roaming and solo Q dominance that just has yet to fully show up in the competitive game, partially due to all of the hamstringing the position has had to deal with as a whole, but he has had some flashes of brilliance of late, if he can catch that fire and harness it to take his play to the next level, I believe SHC crusies into worlds, but the team will need to bank on that happening or else they will struggle through a whole best of five where their macro game, while developing, is still behind.


    KOREA
    SSB / SKTK / KTA (Most likely "dark horse": SSW)

    A lot is riding on the playoffs for the Hot6ix Champions Summer that will shape how Korea's seeding will play out. With their current numbers in the points standings it will be hard to see Samsung Blue or SK Telecom T1 K not making Worlds, even with the latter not looking nearly as impressive as it did at the same time last year. If either of those two teams wins the bracket, then everything will come down to their qualification tournament for the third and final seed where everything is up in the air, but I am writing this with the assumption that KTA's defeat over Najin White Shield was no fluke. The Arrows have SKT 2014 edition written all over them, rampant with talent I could see them taking the Summer series, however despite this they could find themselves lacking the points even with a championship here to outright take a top two seed, however if they win the Summer I think the qualifications would be a breeze. It is hard to call Samsung White a dark horse, but I think if the Arrows don't make it then they would be as good a bet as any to join their sister team in moving forward. SK Telecom S appears to be on the rise as well but it may be too little to late for them unless they, in a KTA esque fashion ride their fire deep into the playoffs, which is why I think the KTA/SKTS series coming up will be more pivotal than any other when it comes to how Korea's seeds shake out.
    ................................

    SOUTHEAST ASIA
    TPA / AHQ (Dark Horse: SF5)
    Taipei Assassins / AHQ E-Sports / Saigon Fantastic Five

    ............


    INTERNATIONAL WILDCARD
    Team Legacy (Australia) / Kabum!* (Brazil) [revised]

    .........
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2014
    RookieTwentyOne likes this.
  2. Darigaz

    Darigaz Level 3 Elder Dragon Staff Member

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    Great post! Certainly blog worthy. Moving this to the blog forum so its promoted on home page/social outlets.

    My predictions: NA: C9 EU: SHC Korea: SKTK
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  3. RookieTwentyOne

    RookieTwentyOne Level 2 Blood Dragon

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    As much as I love Dign, especially Zion and Shiphtur, I don't know how well they would do at Worlds. They started off extremely well this split but seem to have faltered. Crumbzz(z) is amazing on Lee Sin, but I doubt he would ever get to play it at Worlds. I believe they could easily make it to worlds, but I am unsure as to how far they would get.
     
  4. b3a5t

    b3a5t Level 2 Dragon Staff Member

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    Korea is going to sweep again. I doubt we will see any western teams in the top 4 again unfortunately. Possibly see Fnatic back in the top 4. But the skillcap for korea vs western teams is so much higher. You can really see the difference if you watch all of the Korean games.
     
  5. Saff

    Saff Level 2 Blood Dragon

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    For all intents and purposes Fnatic is a western team since the "western world" is considered Europe and everything west of it.

    Fnatic definately kicks into gear when they need to but I'm not so sure that they're so far ahead of other NA/EU teams that they'd be the only team primed to look at least decent vs the Koreans and Chinese, Fnatic arguably isn't even the best team in their own region, while EU's strength as a region is strongly in question, I wonder if Alliance/Fnatic are equipped to preform without being properly battle tested as opposed to NA's CLG, C9, DIG, or LMQ who all have strong top to bottom rosters, even if the latter is really hit or miss in the strategy department, their raw ability is impressive. I think that NA has at least C9 and CLG who could keep pace with Korean teams for a little while with their solid balance of personal skill and teamwork.
     
  6. Saff

    Saff Level 2 Blood Dragon

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    I ran out of characters (10000 is the limit, pls) to continue my post in the original slot, so I am going to be continuing from down here, starting with my overview of the top four contenders from China.

    <moved>
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  7. Darigaz

    Darigaz Level 3 Elder Dragon Staff Member

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    Hey Saff,

    If you make the china part into a new thread, I can make it a new blog post which will actually help with traffic generation more :).
     
  8. Saff

    Saff Level 2 Blood Dragon

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    Sounds good, will make that change and change it here as well, maybe do some title revamps so the region(s) are included in it.
     
  9. Saff

    Saff Level 2 Blood Dragon

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    EU Eval: SK Gaming hit a stride I've yet to see them hit, combine that with Millenium and SHC both flopping hard and the third seed stays with the low potential but highly strategic team. I don't think SK is built to make noise at Worlds but at least they made it.
    2/3 Correct Picks - ALL / FNC / SK advance

    NA Eval: I don't want to say that I called the Curse win at least partially, awhile ago, but I kinda felt it coming, everything has fallen in place for Curse to make worlds, either by upsetting C9 (not as likely) or by taking out the loser of the LMQ/TSM set (much much more likely). It was upsetting watching Dignitas beat a TSM squad that had every pick they wanted in game 1, but they were thoroughly out drafted and while they outplayed that in game one, it was too much to overcome in consecutive games. TSM's win over DIG should cement LMQ's advance to the final round, but stranger things have happened and TSM could finally be coming into their own.
    Incomplete - DIG/CLG Eliminated 2/3 best possible outcome

    Wildcard 1 Eval: Team Legacy (Avant Garde) played well in their first round of games against Turkey's Dark Passage and Russia's Russian Force, but like Team Immunity a year ago, failed to sustain that success beyond that go round. Oceana will have to wait another year for a Wild Card world championship berth, as DP's HolyPheonix, a rookie at the competitive level, single handedly seemed to win the tournament, and should get looks from top LCS squads in need of ADC firepower.
    0/1 Correct Picks - Dark Passage advances

    Wildcard 2 Eval: Brazil's Kabum! and Latin America's PEX (Pineapple Express Gaming) will face off at PAX to determine the second Wild Card team. I don't know much about PEX but KABUM! is hot at the right time, overcoming at least two quality teams from within their region to qualify as the dark horse as KEYD Stars ended up coming down to earth in line with the ascension of this squad. I like their chances to win, and win convincingly.
    Incomplete

    Taiwan/SEA Eval: TPA is the loaded team from the region and qualified with ease, AHQ and Saigon Fantastic Five played a spirited final set in which AHQ prevailed, giving Westdoor (A famous mid laner in the scene) his first crack at worlds. More or less this region played out as I felt it would.
    2/2 Correct Picks - TPA / AHQ advance

    Korea Eval: Samsung Blue has already qualified for worlds while Samsung White and SKT1 K are currently playing their tiebreaker set to determine the second seed. My "dark horse yet not so dark horse" KT Rolster Arrows won Champions Summer and seem primed to go hard against whoever they face to make worlds, they have to be considered an odds on favorite to take the Championship in the fall.
    **UPDATE** SSW has just defeated SKT1K Sending them down to the top tournament seed where they will have to win a set (most likely against KTA) to qualify
    Incomplete - SSB/SSW Qualified - SKT1K / KTA still alive for spot 3

    China Eval: I still don't fully know how China's qualifying system works, but with three dominant splits EDWARD GAMING have already qualified for worlds. WE is eliminated on points already despite a strong final split which wasn't quite strong enough, barely missing the final slot due to average game time (weird). OMG and RYL are still alive to possibly fill out seeds 2 and 3 which seems likely since LGD does not appear to be on their level of play.
    Incomplete - EDG Qualified - WE Eliminated
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

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