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The MLG Summer Championship is the last chance for League of Legends eSports teams to collect Circuit Points and crack the top eight in order to secure a position at the Season Two North American Regional Finals at PAX in Seattle. With Team SoloMid and CLG Prime both opting not to attend, the field has been blown wide open for the smaller teams. While TSM, CLG Prime, Dignitas, Curse NA, and TSM Evo are all locked for Seattle, seeds six through eight remain up for grabs by rising North American talent. With no clear-cut difference in talent in the NA region, MLG’s tournament in Raleigh should prove exciting and can certainly generate a few big upsets.
Schedule and Information
The MLG Summer Championship will take place from August 24-26, 2012 at the Raleigh Convention Center in North Carolina.
Casters for the event are Deman, Dan Dinh, Optimus Tom, MonteCristo, Jatt and Jaws.
The official schedule has been released by Major League Gaming, and you can catch both League of Legends streams for free in standard definition at majorleaguegaming.com. A high definition pass can be purchased for $14.99 and will also remove all advertisements from the stream.
The schedule includes all times in EDT:
|RED STREAM||BLUE STREAM|
|5:30PM||Winners Round 1||5:30PM||Winners Round 1|
|8:30PM||Winners Round 2||8:30PM||Winners Round 2|
|RED STREAM||BLUE STREAM|
|10AM||Losers Round 1||10AM||Losers Round 1|
|1:30PM||Winners Round 3 A||1:00PM||Losers Round 2|
|3PM||Winners Round 3 B|
|4:30PM||Losers Round 3 B||4PM||Losers Round 3 A|
|RED STREAM||BLUE STREAM|
|10AM||Top Bracket Semifinal||10AM||Bottom Bracket Semifinal|
TSM Evo looks a little rough around the edges at the moment, after losing star AD Carry Aphromoo to mTw.NA. The pick-up of experienced professional DontMashMe has helped some, but the lingering question remains whether their line-up can live up to the hype. Practice problems have plagued the team, and Salce has looked uncharacteristically weak in the past few online tournaments that TSM Evo has attended. Though they are guaranteed a slot at the Season Two North American Finals, they need to hold or improve their seed to avoid going against the big boys of NA early in the tournament.
A fourth place finish at IPL Face Off earned mTw.NA enough Circuit Points to remain competitive in Raleigh. The addition of star AD Carry Aphromoo, and his reunion with MuffinQT in the bottom lane, strengthened an already potent line-up. The notable results posted online by mTw.NA hint that they can overcome top teams, but they will have to prove it at MLG in order to win a slot at the North American Finals. They could be easily knocked out of the Circuit Point standings by upstart squads like CLG Black or 4Not.
Team Legion won fans in San Francisco by virtue of their underdog performance at IPL Face Off, which ushered them onto the podium in third place. However, it remains to be seen whether or not substitute AP Carry WildTurtle led Legion to victory single-handedly. Pr0lly must fill the big shoes in middle lane after IPL, but he is a skilled player accustomed to the stable Legion line-up. Competitors cannot underestimate the skill of AD Carry Demunlul, who frequently leads his teammates to victory with the dedicated peeling protection of Lautemortis. In spite of their recent top finish, Legion remains their own worst enemy with inconsistent performances, including their most recent disappointment in the SoloMid NA Invitational 7.
Over the past few months, 4Not has been a revolving door of rising talent, but always seems to attract recruits to refresh its dwindling ranks. Recently, 4Not grabbed some veterans from dissolving teams, such as AP Carry TakashiX from the wreckage of V8 eSports and Jungler OneBadBrad from Just Your Average Joes. The recent announcement of two high profile substitutes, The Rain Man and L0CUST, makes 4Not instantly relevant. The team looks to make an end run for first or second place in Raleigh and secure a surprise slot at the NA Regionals. If they can develop their teamwork and coordination quickly, 4Not might have the talent to upset the field.
Dignitas, undoubtedly, has the least to lose of any team attending the MLG Summer Championship. While rumors persist of big D’s intent to troll their way through the event, they can’t ignore the fact that a first place finish would allow them to leap-frog CLG Prime in the Circuit Point rankings. A number two seed at the NA Regionals might improve their odds at victory in Seattle, but it cannot come at the cost of revealing secret strategies. Dignitas can almost always be counted on to pull out a surprising team composition in the middle of a tournament, but it’s safe to say that will not occur in Raleigh. Standard play will dominate as Scarra & Co. attempt to carry themselves on the strength of their fundamentals while getting a feel for their competitors in the coming weeks.
Orbit Gaming finds itself in a do or die situation at the bottom of the Circuit Point rankings, facing down the very real threat of elimination from Season Two. Fortunately, Orbit possesses an incredible edge with AD Carry Nientonsoh on the roster, not to mention a coordinated and stable line-up. Orbit first turned heads in Anaheim at the MLG Spring Championship when they upset TSM Evo, and has since notched a few solid wins in online tournaments. Many fans expected more from the team than two quick defeats at IPL Face Off, even though they faced top teams TSM and Curse NA. They have a lot on the line in Raleigh, and they will be desperate to punch their ticket to PAX.
Dynamic just welcomed their old Jungler NintendudeX back after a brief stint with Atlanta failed to bring the team their traditional top four finish at IPL Face Off. Team Dynamic could only get knocked out of Season Two in extreme circumstances, so look for them to coast with safe picks and strategies to finish at least in the top eight in Raleigh. Fortunately for TD, their standard play is some of the best in North America and it should be sufficient to get them by for the moment.
Undoubtedly one of the favorites to win the MLG Summer Championship, Curse NA experienced a renaissance after moving into their gaming apartment in San Francisco and, more recently, their mansion in LA. While Curse continues to invent ways to lose through sloppy teamwork and silly mistakes, their theorycrafting and team compositions reveal an uncommon brilliance. They stand alone as the only Western team to win a game against the terrifying Azubu Blaze, and they had a legitimate opportunity to take a 2-1 victory over the Koreans at the MLG Summer Arena. If they can couple their clever strategies with more effective in-game play, they could quickly burst into the top ranks of the scene.
CLG Black managed to take second place at their one and only off-line competition to date, the GIGABYTE eSports LAN, against a field that included CLG Prime and TSM. Their online track record is generally strong, though they have a penchant for falling early in qualifiers for LAN events. Hoodstomp and Bloodwater, generally known as “Bloodstomp,” anchor the team in bottom lane and bring tight coordination to the table. If CLG Black can finish in the top two, they can squeeze into the top eight teams for the Season Two NA Regionals. Expect them to pull out all the stops and field surprising team compositions in an all-in bid for victory.
The Rest of the Field
While it remains unclear whether a twelfth team will receive an invite to fill the hole left by TSM, the last two competitors are relative unknowns in the LAN circuit.
unRestricted has a few Go4LoL wins and SoloMid Invitational appearances to their name, but probably won’t be able to compete against the better-known teams in Raleigh.