ggChronicle’s End of the Year Awards highlight the finest professional League of Legends players and teams in 2012. Be sure to visit our 2012 Awards hub to access all of the articles, including Team of the Year, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and our All-World Teams. Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the lastest news and articles in LoL eSports!
Deadlock! The ggChronicle staff simply couldn’t make up its mind as to who deserved Team of the Year for 2012. Though there were a few clear standouts, we found ourselves pulled between two axes: sheer impact, and long-term accomplishment.
But who said we couldn’t celebrate both? The two teams on our list each deserved recognition as the year’s clear standouts, even as the reasons for it differed. Both represent the very best that 2012 had to offer.
Given that they are the Season 2 World Championship title-holders, it would have been appallingly remiss of us to not recognize the achievements of the five from Formosa. They started the year humbly as Team For The Win, coming out of the 2011 World Cyber Games with dismal showings, but proving enough promise to be picked up by Riot Game’s South-East Asian partners in Garena. They then proceeded to cast a long and growing shadow, stretching across the Pacific.
Early reports from CLG.NA about the Taipei Assassins’ now legendary skills were overshadowed by CLG’s own poor performance in Korea and TSM’s hot streak in the North American scene. A poor, lag-hindered performance at the second ggClassic certainly didn’t help matters. But, now, those accolades seem prophetic: not only did the Assassins sweep clear their home court in the Garena Premier League, but their true debut upon the world stage was an explosive finale to a year’s worth of build-up.
Mistake, Lilballz, Stanley, Bebeisadog, and Toyz. What fan of this game isn’t familiar with their aliases now? Who wasn’t impressed with their play upon the world stage, both at the Season 2 Championship and IPL5? It took a resurgent Team Fnatic to stop them in Las Vegas, during a tournament where even the Loser’s Bracket was jammed full with some of the world’s best tournament finalists. To make it clear, the only team to beat the Season 2 World Champions on the international stage was Season 1’s winners.
When next they meet, it’ll be raining sparks.
2011 was the year the Empire struck back. The Empire play shook the world and it laid the groundwork for all that was to come. Empire’s LoL players were signed by Moscow Five in December of 2011 and made their presence known in IEM Kiev, the first premier tournament of 2012. Once they hit the ground, they were like a freight train on a mission. It seemed like nothing could slow them down.
They were slowed down eventually, being derailed by Assassins from Taipei. The one mark against Moscow Five being the Team of the 2012 is that they did not win it all. They did not win all of their tournaments, and they did not win the biggest tournament, but they came damn close to doing both while putting together the most impressive season from any team League of Legends has seen thus far.
Following their grand debut, Moscow Five went on to record four first-place finishes in their first five major LAN Tournaments. Along with capturing gold at IEM Season VI – Global Challenge Kiev, Moscow Five recorded victories at the IEM Season VI – World Championship, European Challenger Circuit: Poland, and at the Season Two European Regional Finals, securing their title as the number one competitor to come out of the European scene.
Throughout the course of the year, Moscow Five’s synergy and strategy have been in the limelight. However, their superb team fighting presence and obvious thought they put into gameplans cannot overshadow the individual talent on their team. No other team could have made the argument that they had the best players from their region in each of their positions. These days, it is more arguable: Alex Ich and Darien have some pretty stiff competition. But every other team has a perceived weak link, and no other team is so solid in its entirety. They are stacked from top to bottom, and from mid to jungle.
Moscow Five remains a force to be reckoned with, and they will be immortalized in our memory as the most dominant team of 2012.
Category: End of the Year Awards
About the Author (Author Profile)James "Obscurica" Chen is stuck in the tropics, oozing out as much sweat as words as he covers the Asiatic sphere of League of Legends play.
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