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MLG International Exhibition Preview: Gambit vs Dignitas
Major League Gaming has been around for just over a decade now, and has brought the realm of eSports into the mainstream in North America by broadcasting tournaments of the best players competing in the most popular games. In 2011, League of Legends joined MLG’s ranks, and the game’s popularity has since exploded with a furious influx of players that has led to League of Legends being the most played game in the world. This Friday through Sunday, March 15-17, the journey continues as the MLG will be having its first League of Legends event of 2013 in Dallas, Texas – the MLG Pro Circuit Winter Championship. This massive event will feature three distinct tournaments: the continuation of the Spring LCS, a four-team international exhibition with a $10,000 first place prize, and a four-team promotional qualifier tournament for a spot in the LCS May Promotion Tournament and $20,000. Leaguepedia’s NA LCS previewer, Josh Pelletier, and EU LCS previewer, Keith Roland, join forces to discuss their differing perspectives on the buzzworthy MLG international exhibition:
Josh: Outside of the LCS, the most anticipated matchup this weekend has to be the clash of the titans -- the leader of the NA LCS, Team Dignitas, and the leader of the EU LCS, Gambit Gaming, will meet in the first round of the international exhibition. Curse Gaming and KT Rolster B both have legitimate chances to win the short playoff, but the brunt of the fan anticipation has been for the two teams that have distinguished themselves by defeating the best of the best each LCS lineup had to offer during the first four weeks of the tournament. Now both will be playing for the bragging rights of their region, and will no doubt give everything they have in the Rift this Friday.
Keith: Gambit Gaming has seen almost every placement on the score board over the past few weeks of tournaments. However, they have constantly been on the rise in the LCS, and Gambit is currently top ranked team in the European LCS with an overall record of 9W-2L. Through their creativity and perseverance, the Russian giants have not lost a single match since Week 1. GG's members proved that evolving the meta is an excellent tactic with their innovative picks such as jungle Volibear, jungle Nasus, and a nearly-carry Thresh. To choose these avant-garde champions and to use them effectively is an amazing feat.
Josh: Where GG may have gotten their victories through a wide variety of champions and unexpected strategies, Dignitas have brought home their wins through each player choosing and using a select few champions at high levels. scarra’s Diana and TheRealKiWiKiD’s Elise have often wreaked havoc for Dignitas. scarra’s renowned talent for team coordination grants Dignitas the ability to adapt to and counter their opponent’s strategies on the fly. Gambit may find that their unusual tactics unable to give them an edge in this game.
Keith: Alex Ich, one of the top money-makers in EU LCS at 387 Gold Per Minute, will force scarra to worry less about his team's coordination and more about how he'll keep from being nickel and dimed at every step with a lesser GPM of 378. One notable NA Jungler has reportedly claimed that jungle Volibear is trash, but GG's Diamondprox could prove any naysayers wrong in their rejection of this non-standard jungle champion. Diamond's most-played champions in the EU LCS as of now are Volibear (at four uses) and Nasus (at three), have both been scoffed at across the pond. However, Diamond has used these champions to great effect in the Rift.
Josh: Alex Ich’s GPM is impressive, but it is shadowed by Dignitas’ AD Carry Imaqtpie’s average of 391. In addition, Dignitas are in an odd position: they have the second lowest average in minions killed per game in the NA LCS, and they have the highest overall average in terms of gold per match. This means that Dignitas excel at dragon and Baron control and outscore their opponents in towers and kills. What this boils down to is that Dignitas does not rely on just one player, as showcased by Patoy, Imaqtpie, and scarra filling out three of the top five Kill/Death/Assist ratios in the NA LCS. If any part of their game gets shut down by Gambit’s unusual tactics, then they will simply shift their strategy in another direction to counter it.
Keith: Gambit Gaming has extensive knowledge and experience with all styles of play in the League of Legends tournament world, and as such, they would not simply focus down one player while ignoring the rest. They find ways to damage each individual opponent's gameplay -- from the banning phase through the end game. Regardless of Dignitas' strengths, Gambit will pinpoint their weaknesses, and explore them fully.
Josh: If that happens, Dignitas will rush to adjust. In any case, the adaption abilities of both teams will be sorely tested in the best of three matches. Their confrontation will be like a game of chess; whichever team can out-maneuver the other will come out of the rift with the win and bragging rights.
Tune in to Twitch.tv on March 15 at 9:30 EDT for an electrifying showdown between the number one LCS teams on both sides of the Atlantic: Gambit Gaming vs Team Dignitas.
- Written by Joshua Pelletier & Keith Roland
- Edited by Marissa Moody Kuo.
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