Watching clown-fiestas so you don’t have to
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The promotion tournament is arguably more important than the playoffs of each split, since they determine which teams play in a league for half the year and have a pay-out of a million dollars. However, since they’re essentially a spotlight shining on some of the worst teams in each region’s league people typically don’t pay attention to them and just read the results elsewhere. If you want to know how each region’s games went and want to be slightly more informed than the average redditor, this is the article for you.
Echo Fox vs. Team Liquid Academy
3 – 2
Oh that’s right, Froggen is good at League of Legends.
With Echo Fox holding the tie for worst regular split record, and TLA holding Piglet’s family hostage to get him to play in the NA CS, this was anybody’s series. Echo Fox pretty consistently got early advantages, mostly on the back of FOX Froggen crushing TLA Goldenglue in lane. TLA stole away their two wins off of successful snowballing attempts, but those attempts were made more difficult by Echo Fox generally having more gold when they made the plays due to superior laning and rotations.
Echo Fox ultimately proved to be the superior team by virtue of having a jungler that could sometimes smite, Keith occasionally thinking he was playing in Korean Solo Queue, and Froggen getting convinced that farming champions was basically CSing. The series was closed out by Froggen’s unconventional Lux pick after having four champions taking away from him and still one-shotting Stunt’s Soraka from a screen away and after having built an Ardent freaking Censer. Echo Fox moves on to play Phoenix1.
Echo Fox vs. Phoenix1
0 – 3
Froggen has big Hard problems.
With Echo Fox’s narrow victory and Phoenix1 causing TSM’s only loss and putting up a good fight against Immortals, P1 was the clear favorites. P1 generally had superior team fighting and coordination, but Echo Fox had superior laning and managed to keep even in gold despite losing early skirmishes more often than not. Game 1 was the closest of the series, with P1 Zig getting caught out and FOX nearly pushing to win off of the resulting fight, but no one thinks to stop Inori’s retreat and he manages to stall the game long enough for P1 to rout and win.
Echo Fox occasionally had glimmers of hope across their first two games on the back of Froggen’s strong play, but during game two P1 bought four Quick Silver Sashes and essentially pried the “R” button off his keyboard. Echo Fox lost in the wake of Keith getting caught out constantly, Hard forcing poor engages and ganks, and Big forgetting that Rek’Sai’s ultimate could be interrupted by literally anything. P1 proves to be a generally superior team and is given back their spot in the LCS.
NRG Esports vs. Cloud9 Challenger
0 – 3
In which Hai finishes developing Challenger talent and retires with a million skrilla.
Despite some improved play by NRG towards the end of their split, C9C was still the heavy favorites to win with their team constructed by C9 Jack in the pits of Hell for the sheer purpose of crushing Challenger team’s dreams (especially Challenger team Dream Team). C9C had superior drafting, team fighting, laning, and LCS experience. C9C abused NRG’s poor coordination with a Twitch pick in game one and two before seeing it banned in game three. GBM was getting out laned and out team fought by Hai who spent his last two splits in the LCS playing jungle and support, Kiwikid and Ohq still weren’t on the same page, and Quas’ tiny champion pool continued to rear its tiny ugly head.
Santorin had a good game two and out-smote Contractz to secure a Baron in game three, but it wasn’t enough and C9C was simply the better team. C9C ascends to the LCS and brings a new crew of scrappy Challenger players into the fabled LCS for the first time, though their leader and fellow rookie Hai announced his retirement and walked off into the sunset, presumably towards a bank.
Echo Fox vs. NRG Esports
3 – 0
Rick Fox dunks on Shaq.
With both teams’ poor performances the day before, it was difficult to tell which team would make it back into the LCS. NRG were the favorites with a 4-0 record over Echo Fox, but Echo Fox played to their advantages (read: Froggen) and pulled through a surprisingly clean 3-0. NRG lacked proactive play and let Echo Fox gain a lead through superior laning and neutral objective control. NRG did manage to get a pick on to Froggen and Hard in the first game and turned on to Baron, but instead of turning and fighting a 5v3 as a team they let Keith run through them and get a quadra kill.
NRG lacked coordination, individual playmaking, and macro play and slowly rolled over as FOX took home three relatively easy wins. Perhaps most surprisingly was the performances by some of FOX’s lagging members, as everyone on the roster stepped up and turned in solid gameplay to help ensure the victory. The only member of the NRG squad who could say the same is Santorin, who performed appreciably and did manage to secure the Baron in NRG’s only power play of the series. Echo Fox returns to the LCS with a little extra vigor after a clean sweep series where everyone on the team looked decently good.
tl;dr of the tl;dw
- Phoenix1 rocks
- C9C successfully boosted
- Echo Fox did well enough
- NRG sucks
- TLA was Piglet’s feverish nightmare
If you want to read about the EU Promotion Tournament click here and prepare to be disappointed in the Origen vs. Misfits series and happy for the ROCCAT Reddit guy.
Photos courtesy of Riot Games.