Since the conclusion of Season One in June, a number of Challenger Circuit events have occurred during the Season Two Pre-Season. In order to catch everyone up on Season Two’s progress, we wanted to give you all a recap of the Challenger Circuit events of the past few months.
- When: August 17-21, 2011
- Where: Gamescom in Cologne, Germany
- Who: Eight teams, six European, two North American
- Standings: #1 Counter Logic Gaming; #2 Team SoloMid; #3 FnaticMSI
- Coverage: http://iemgamescom.leagueoflegends.com
- Official Event Site: http://www.esl-world.net/masters/season6/cologne/
IEM Cologne was the first inter-continental tournament since the Season One Championships, and with Europe taking 1st and 2nd there, the North American teams Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid had something to prove. Right off the bat, both North American teams took first place in their respective groups, each going 3-0.
The playoffs told a similar story, as Millenium and Fnatic each took a game out of the best-of-three match from their respective opponents, but it was CLG winning over TSM in the finals with Fnatic taking third place over Millenium.
- When: August 26-28, 2011
- Where: Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
- Who: Four invited teams: Counter Logic Gaming, Epik Gaming, Team SoloMid, Curse Gaming
- Standings: #1 Counter Logic Gaming; #2 Epik Gaming; #3 Team SoloMid
- Official Event Site: http://s3.majorleaguegaming.com/2011-raleigh-leagueoflegends-champ.html#
MLG Raleigh saw four top North American teams in an interesting tournament format: All four faced off in a group stage, playing a best-of-three games in each match. The top two teams out of the group would face head-to-head in the finals, which saw CLG winning the group against the second place team, Epik.
The finals played out no differently than the group stage, as CLG triumphed over Epik with a total score of 4-2. Team SoloMid took third place in the group above Curse Gaming.
- When: October 1-5, 2011
- Where: Ani-Com & Games in Guangzhou, China
- Who: Six teams, three Asian, two European, one North American
- Standings: #1 World Elite, #2 Counter Logic Gaming, #3 SK Gaming
- Coverage: http://iemchina.leagueoflegends.com/
- Official Event Site: http://www.esl-world.net/masters/season6/guangzhou/
IEM Guangzhou was the first time since the Season One Championship to feature three continents in a live tournament. The Chinese teams came out strong, as World Elite won their group without dropping a game. Group A was full of intrigue, as SK Gaming, EHOME, and Invictus Gaming all tied for first place. Tiebreaker rules gave SK Gaming first place in the group, with iG being sent home early. The playoffs saw the two Western teams, CLG and SK, facing for one spot in the finals, while the Chinese teams WE and EHOME fought for the second. While SK did secure third place against EHOME, it was World Elite taking home the gold in a hard-fought three-game set against CLG.
IGN Pro League 3: Origins
- When: October 8-9, 2011
- Where: Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
- Who: Eight invited North American teams
- Standings: #1 Dignitas; #2 Epik Gaming; #3 Counter Logic Gaming
Once again, North American teams went head to head at IPL3 with a number of twists: This tournament marked the first LAN appearance for a number of these teams, while Dignitas and Epik both saw portions of their roster substituted due to the tournament requiring all players to be at least 18 years old.
The surprise story of the tournament was both Dignitas and Epik taking down Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid in the semifinals. Both series saw the losing team make questionable decisions, as CLG allowed almost the same successful champion line-up twice in a row and Team SoloMid refused to ban Epik’s Heimerdinger. While CLG defeated TSM for third place, Dignitas stole the show by winning their first major LAN tournament.
IEM New York
- When: October 13-16, 2011
- Where: New York Comic Con in New York City, New York, USA
- Who: Eight teams, five North American, three European
- Standings: #1 FnaticMSI; #2 SK Gaming; #3 Sypher
- Coverage: http://iemnewyork.leagueoflegends.com/
- Official Event Site: http://www.esl-world.net/masters/season6/newyork/
IEM New York was an action-packed tournament filled with close calls and exciting matches. It seems that home turf advantage has little meaning in eSports: Both Fnatic and SK Gaming performed superbly, winning their respective groups 3-0. Additionally, the relatively unknown French team, Sypher, defeated the two American teams (Curse Gaming and v8eSports) in their group, going 2-1 underneath SK.
The tournament continued along this path as Fnatic and SK won their semifinal games over Sypher and Counter Logic Gaming to face in the finals. The third place match between Sypher and CLG was a nail-biter as the first game lasted over an hour, with CLG clawing out game 1. Sypher rallied to take the final two games and secure a third-place victory. The European teams took the top three slots in the tournament as Fnatic continued their domination, winning every single game they played, defeating SK 2-0 for the gold.
- When: November 18-20, 2011
- Where: Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- Who: Team SoloMid, Dignitas, EPIK Gaming, RFLX
- Standings: #1 Team SoloMid, #2 EPIK Gaming, #3 Dignitas
- Official Event Site: http://mlgprovidence.leagueoflegends.com
The two-day, four-team epic in Providence, Rhode Island, concluded with American powerhouse Team SoloMid taking home top billing. After losing to EPIK Gaming the day before, TSM rallied to go 5-0 in the tournament’s final day, sweeping both matches they played. TheOddOne was a terror from the jungle all Sunday, playing as Maokai for each game, and commanding attention with killer ganks and initiation in each of TSM’s victories.
Stay tuned to the League of Legends Competitive Site for information on future tournaments and the upcoming Season Two Championship, all part of the $5,000,000 Season Two.