This Saturday in New York City, four of the top “League of Legends” teams will compete in a sold out Madison Square Garden. That’s just shy of 20,000 people in one of — if not
the — most recognisable stadiums in the world, all there to watch a video game tournament. Really!
These teams aren’t just competing for glory.
The winning team automatically gets a shot at the world championships, simply called “Worlds” by “League of Legends” players, and the other three teams compete for a second open spot at the world championships. It’s a bit more complex than that, but that’s the overall gist of this weekend’s big tournament.
So, who are these four teams? And what should you expect from the big weekend tournament? Head below with us and dive in.
The 2015 North American 'League of Legends' Championship tournament is held at world famous stadium Madison Square Garden (MSG). MSG has a capacity of 18,200, and tickets for both days of the weekend are sold out!
In case you didn't already know MSG is a big deal, it takes up several city blocks in the center of the largest city in America. When 'League of Legends' developer (and tournament organiser) Riot Games wanted to legitimise eSports, it held the 2013 world championship at the Los Angeles equivalent of MSG: the Staples Center, which holds 18,118 people.
One of the major players at LCS Worlds 2013 was Chae 'Piglet' Gwang-jin. His team won the 2013 championship, and he's returning this year on a new team: Team Liquid. His new team is the focus of Tech Insider's ongoing 'League of Legends' series, 'League of Millions!'
Want even more on Piglet? Here's a ton more information on one of the most well-known 'League of Legends' players. And here's an incredible play he pulled off earlier this season:RAW Embed
The North American LCS tournament is really just two games: one on Saturday, one on Sunday. The first two teams facing off on Saturday are Team Impulse and Team Liquid. They're vying for the third place spot. The second two teams facing off on Sunday are Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming. They're vying for first and second place.
As the image says, both games are 'Best of Five' sets. With games lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, two games could last as much as five hours each. Each team gets a momentary reprieve between games (thankfully for their bladders' sakes).
A similar tournament is taking place in Europe this weekend, all leading up to the 2015 Worlds tournament. The 2015 Worlds competition is taking place across four gorgeous European cities -- London, Brussels, Paris and Berlin -- throughout October.
Team SoloMid -- 'TSM' -- is the favourite to win. Their track record this season is pretty solid: six wins, two losses. The team is a fan favourite. Can they pull off a first place win this on Sunday? That remains to be seen. But even if TSM loses, the team earned enough 'Championship Points' in the last split to guarantee them a spot at Worlds regardless of their performance this Sunday.
TSM's competition comes from Counter Logic Gaming, or CLG for short. Their record is slightly less impressive: two wins, zero losses. CLG is the oldest 'LoL' team in existence on a pro level, but they have had a hard time turning into a powerhouse against emerging competition.
This is the team's less-than-flattering official description, care of their team page on the official 'League of Legends' tournament website:
The original 'League of Legends' powerhouse, Counter Logic Gaming crushed all competition during the infancy of 'LoL' eSports. However, CLG failed to build on their foundation of success. While each season heralds their 'potential,' CLG has not yet surpassed TSM and Cloud9. However, eSports champions are decided in the present, not the past. One good season from CLG will silence all the disbelievers.
Team Liquid is another fan favourite. The team is a relatively recent creation, combining the former Curse Gaming team with Team Liquid and hiring on former world champion player Piglet. They have had a lot of ups and downs this season. Check out the first episode of 'League of Millions' below for a taste of that tumult.
Team Impulse, having already been defeated by CLG recently (thus losing a prime spot in this weekend's big tournament), is the underdog of the North American finals. Even if they beat out Team Liquid, Team Impulse would still need to do well at upcoming the LCS Region als to stand a chance at competing at the 2015 LCS Worlds tournament later this year. They have got little to lose, and everything to gain.
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