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North American LCS Summer Promotion Qualifier - Wrap-up

In the wake of intense playoff matches, the battered and beaten survivors of the Spring LCS gathered their strength to battle four up-and-comers for the right to fight in the Summer LCS. As the waters withdrew, Team Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming found their way back to the shores of the LCS. However, compLexity Gaming and Team MRN crashed and sank, leaving Velocity eSports and Quantic Gaming prepared to take the summer season by storm.

Bent, but not broken:

Dignitaslogo std.pngDignitas

Dignitas saw the highest highs and the lowest lows during the spring season. The early successes were tarnished by the upset Good Game University delivered in the playoffs. With their job security uncertain for the first time in years, the team needed a positive performance at the risk of a quick descent. They put on their game face and hammered Team Summon back in just four games.

The common thread across each game was the amount of respect TS showed scarra in the champion selection process. They copied GGU’s playoff strategy by forcing scarra out of his comfort champions
for all but one of the matches. scarra silenced his critics this time as he brought out an amazing
that carried Dignitas through their first win. Notable
play in two other matches displayed the growth of scarra’s champion pool and the threats it contains within its depths.

The one victory TS secured would follow on the heels of a single mistake by Dignitas. In game two TS managed a solid gold advantage by the fifteen minute mark but could not take advantage of its strength due to Dignitas’ superior play and ward coverage. At the thirty minute mark, Dignitas was triple pushing the lanes when their ward at Baron timed out, providing the opportune moment for TS. Ten seconds later TS plowed down the mid lane with Baron buff and two members of Dignitas dead. The veterans did not recover.

Needless to say, Dignitas supplied ample wards across the map for the last two games while playing aggressive early. Following games began with no clear advantage but finalized with domination over the rookies. Round two arrives soon, and Dignitas rose from the ashes to fight again.

Counter Logic Gaminglogo std.pngCounter Logic Gaming

After they failed to take down Team Vulcun in the Spring Playoffs, Counter Logic Gaming faced a deluge of criticism. It seemed that the storied franchise was on the brink of collapse. In the weeks leading up to the promotion series, HotshotGG came out and said that if CLG lost to either DoubleBuff or Azure Cats, he would disband the team. The pro gaming community waited in a mix of anxiety and curiosity when AC swept DBB and stood ready to abolish League’s longest running team.

CLG came into the rift on fire and stomped their way through three games. Sweeping the upstart Cats, they wowed fans and rivals alike. Chauster, receiver of the harshest criticism, played with skill unseen since season two with a classic split-push
strategy in the first game, and he downright dominated the last two in stunning

CLG played all three matches with the intent of owning the entire map. Efficient warding and positioning allowed them to execute this strategy in each game, and the team kept constant aggressive pressure on AC. The Cats played as David against Goliath, but they could not find opportunities to advance against a flawless CLG.

The focus and poise showcased by CLG throughout the three games proved to the world that the spring was merely a setback. Under Chauster’s leadership, both HotshotGG and Doublelift reminded everyone why they are forces to be reckoned with alongside the likes of Dyrus and Aphromoo. After the series, Doublelift came out with a message that boiled down to two words: “We’re back.”

Here come the new challengers:

Quantic std.pngQuantic Gaming

If there was a single team expected to upset one of the spring LCS veterans, it was Quantic Gaming. Back in the MLG Winter Championship in March, Quantic beat Dignitas’ B team and Velocity eSports to earn the opportunity to play in the Summer LCS Promotion Series. With the financial backing from the win, Quantic was able to mimic the lifestyle of the longer running pro teams and primed themselves for an impressive showing.

And impress they did. In three speedy matches, Quantic hit compLexity Gaming with a hook, cross, and uppercut to knock them out of the LCS. No game reached the thirty minute mark, and at no point could compLexity turn the matches around.

In match one, both teams poked and prodded each other for the first few minutes to discover the other’s play style. compLexity made the first move as Lautemortis attempted to gank mid lane in a 2v1 with
Jarvan IV's
ultimate, but was counter ganked and hoisted by his own petard. Quantic scored a double kill, and lifted off like a rocket for the rest of the game. Both the mid laner Hai and the AD carry SnEaKyCaStRoO carried Quantic to the nexus with four kills and no deaths apiece.

Hai was the biggest hitter in the second game as well, with his
putting out Tons of Damage™ from start to finish. Top laner Balls joined the party this game and was the epitome of a Junkyard Titan with
. He sniped kills with fantastic Equalizer casts and became a constant source of damage during team fights that set up Hai to pick off the members of compLexity one by one. Quantic had full control of the map, and they forced compLexity to remain on the defensive until the end.

At the start of the third match it was clear that compLexity was feeling the pressure of potential elimination. They made aggressive moves early, but Quantic played a calm and cool game in response. Balls, once again commanding Rumble, was able to earn a few quick kills that painted him as target for compLexity’s focus. In focusing him, both the jungler, Meteos, and Hai were left to pick off the four remaining members that survived the rampage of Quantic’s toplane. The lead provided by Balls allowed his team to score a Baron pickup before going on to win the game.

Quantic is primed and poised to explode on the LCS scene and remain a strong presence until the very end.

Velocity eSportsLogo std.pngVelocity eSports

Formed from the remnants of Dirtnap Gaming, Velocity eSports’ roster consists of players with a modest amount of pro League experience. Between the MLG Winter Championship and the Summer Promotion, their Mid Laner PR0LLY left to join compLexity Gaming. This left some doubt as to whether or not Velocity could have continued success with Vileroze plugged in, mere weeks separating them from the biggest series of their careers.

It took five matches to do it, but Velocity managed to strike down Team MRN in the closest of the four series. The teams stood even, playing a back and forth game with VES carrying the smallest edge through four of the matches. Of the two they lost, credit goes to Nientonsoh for putting MRN on his back to snatch victory away from Velocity.

In game one, it was Nientonsoh’s positioning and damage as
that forced Velocity to lose the final team fight, which lead to MRN’s push to win. As for game three, Velocity had it won after taking out most of MRN deep within Velocity’s jungle, but Nientonsoh avoided pursuit and stayed out of vision while the entirety of VES raced down the mid lane to win. As
, he took out Velocity’s last Nexus tower and the Nexus itself before VES could respond.

Velocity’s wins came on the tail of some unusual and intriguing team compositions. In game two, Velocity shattered the meta with a push composition featuring Vileroze on
in the mid lane and Nk Inc entering the jungle with
. With strong pushers
in the outer lanes, VES kept MRN pushed back the entire game. The pressure broke once VES snagged a Baron buff and took down all three inhibitors in a single play.

Games four and five fell into Velocity’s favor despite the meta’s boundaries, but Vileroze’s mid
was the star of the show. The little yordle is normally seen in the top lane, but Vileroze switched up the build and faced down ecco in both matches with tremendous success. Combined with maplestreet's
cleaning up the kills in both matches, VES eked out the wins they needed.

Considering how close Velocity's matches with MRN were, as well as how MRN did in the Spring LCS, Velocity still needs to prove they can keep up with the bigger players the pro scene has to offer. Still, with the ingenuity they showed under Vileroze’s leadership, they may just make a name for themselves yet.

Coming this Summer to a Twitch Stream Near You:

After three months of ups, downs, and all arounds, the League of Legends pro circuit has been irreversibly changed. Even as CLG and Dignitas fell and suffered the possibility of disbanding, teams like Good Game University and Team Vulcun rose above to cement a place among the elite. TSM struggled but found new life with the addition of WildTurtle. Curse was dominant until the drama with Elementz. compLexity faces an uncertain future now that they have been eliminated, and it is possible they, like MRN, will disband as a result of the loss. With the NA meta game changing at an accelerated pace to keep up with the international competition and the addition of new blood to the fray, the Summer Split promises even more exciting experiences.

Can Dignitas change up their style of play enough to avoid being “figured out” by the competition this time around? How will CLG fare should they stumble even once? Will they crumble as they did during the spring, or will the newfound determination carry them through the summer? Can TSM keep the momentum rolling, or will the other teams figure out a way to slow down WildTurtle? Can Curse recover from the late season drama and put together a potent performance as they did throughout most of the Spring Split?

Will Good Game University make use of their new sponsorships and popularity to continue a surge toward elite status, or was it all just a fluke? The same could be asked of Team Vulcun after a mediocre season preceding their win to topple Curse. How will Velocity do against the top dogs of the LCS if they could only sneak past MRN? Is Quantic as strong as their unveiling suggests? Could they be the summer’s GGU?

All this and more weighs heavy on the minds of League fans everywhere in the NA region as we approach June and the kickoff of the Summer Split. The only thing that can be known for sure is that we are in for a slew of thrilling matchups, stunning upsets, a morphing meta game, and plays that will leave players and fans alike screaming at their screens.

Written by Joshua Pelletier
Edited by Derek Pronovost

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