Articles:Road To Worlds - South East Asia Preview
|League of Legends Season 3 World Championship Preview: South East Asia|
With the reigning World Champions (Taipei Assassins), the South-East Asian region had arguably the most momentum going into Season 3. The departure of more than half of TPA’s Season 2 Champion roster, and the rise of teams such as Taipei Snipers and ahq e-Sports Club cast uncertainty at the top tier of competition. Leading up to Regionals, it was anyone’s guess as to which teams would represent SEA at the Season 3 World Championship.
Mineski and Gamania Bears may be largely unknown to many League of Legends fans, but they more than certainly earned their way to Los Angeles. Read on to learn more about the inner workings of SEA and its representatives at the Season 3 World Championships.
SEA: Competitive Structure Overview
Since there isn’t much Southeast Asia coverage in the West, it might be worthy to mention a bit about the way Season 3 works in the region. The two teams qualified out of different leagues.
The Gamania Bears come from the Taiwan eSports League (TeSL). As the TeSL is named, it is a league exclusive to Taiwan; it brings in local sponsors to create teams (such as Gamania Bears). The interesting thing with how this league works is that in the spring, they had what was called a “Draft League”; the Draft is where many of the players that now make up Bears came from.
In the beginning of the league, five high-rated Solo Queue players are put together in a team and play other such teams, as well as invited professional teams. At the culmination of the Spring Split, the players were then drafted into new teams. The summer split of TeSL used a similar format to other round robin leagues (such as the League Championship Series). This culmunated in a Taiwanese Regional that featured the best teams of Taiwan vying for a Quarterfinal seed in the Season 3 World Championship.
One on the other hand, the Garena Premier League (GPL) featured teams from all over SEA. The GPL has a more standard layout, similar to the LCS in NA or EU: They had a two-split season with 28 games a split. This included teams such as Singapore Sentinels, Saigon Jokers, and the aforementioned ahq eSports and TPA. Teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam (2 teams), Thailand and Philippines participated in the SEA Regional Final to earn a spot in the Season 3 World Championship.
Taiwan / Hong Kong / Macau Champion: Gamania Bears
The Taiwanese representatives at the Season 3 World Championship claimed their spot in the Quarterfinals after a series of impressive upsets through the Taiwan Regional Finals. Gamania Bears only formed about 5 months ago, at the conclusion of the TeSL Draft Season. Top laner Steak and Support SwordArt manned the jungle and mid positions for Defenders, while jungler Winds was drafted after playing AD for Submarines.
Despite the small amount of time the Bears had to synergize and practice together (relative to their well-established opponents), they were able to come away in a tie atop Group A and placed into the second round, where they fell to fellow TeSL Draft team Wayi Spider. Despite the loss, they were able to knock the Season 2 World Champions Taipei Assassins in the lower bracket on their way to face off against ahq e-Sports Club. As a surprise to most, the Bears defeated ahq 2-0, knocking one of the favorites out of the tournament in 4th place.
In the lower bracket finals, the Bears were able to get revenge for the earlier loss to Spiders: They eliminated their opponent with a 2-1 victory, and they marched towards the Finals against overwhelming favorite Taipei Snipers. Bears started with a one-game deficit due to coming out of the lower bracket, but they managed to win 3 out of 4 games to finish the upset and shock the world. Watch the World Championship berth clinching game here!
Look for the Bears to attempt strong Level 1 maneuvers, as well as compositions centered around strong engages and fluid teamwork. However, do not expect them to be overly intimidated, as they are more than familiar with challenging some of the best teams in the world. As the Taiwan Regional Champions, the Gamania Bears will be seeded directly into the Quarterfinals due to the Garena Team’s results at All-Star_Shanghai_2013.
SEA Regional Champion: Mineski
If the Gamania Bears had an unlikely path to the Season 3 World Championship, Mineski should have never been able to qualify. After placing second in the Philippines Qualifier to Exile, Mineski was able to represent the Philippines in the Southeast Asia Regional Finals against SEA powers such as Saigon Jokers and Singapore Sentinels because of Exile’s inability to fly to Vietnam.
With one qualifying spot for SEA teams, Mineski needed upset after upset to reach the finals. They proceeded to defeat Garena Pro League teams Bangkok Titans, Kuala Lumpur Hunters and Season 2 World Championship representatives Saigon Jokers. The finals matched Mineski against the overwhelming favorite Singapore Sentinels. The crowd (and even the announcers) were in support of SGS, but Mineski defied the odds nonetheless: They won both games to become the Southeast Asian Regional Champions.
Mineski heavily favored compositions including Ryze, Shen, Jarvan IV, and Sona in their run through the SEA Regional Finals. They opted for mid and late game teamfight dominance as their path to success. Placed into Group B, Mineski will once again need to pull off some unbelievable upsets: They will face Korea's Samsung Galaxy Ozone, EU LCS teams Fnatic and Gambit Gaming, as well as North American LCS team Team Vulcun. With Mineski struggling lately in the Dell Invitational Cup IV, it may be a success for Mineski to finish group stages with a victory.