HotShotGG gets away with baron thievery; steals Curse’s thunder as well

*I’ve written a wrap-up over at lolmetagame.com as well if you didn’t catch the whole tournament

Close games at the tournament level are often decided around dragons and barons. If a game is decided within the first 20 minutes it’s often a decisive slaying of a dragon. If a game is decided after that it’s usually around Baron Nashor.

For the first 25 minutes it seemed as if either Curse or Counter Logic Gaming could take the game. Doublelift was playing Vayne like a true carry, even coming out of a 2v1 with two kills and living. Shaco was trying to assassinate her every fight though and Swain and Rumble were a bursty tanky combo that was putting lots of damage across the CLG team.

In the mid-late game, after picking off a couple of CLG’s players, Curse goes for baron and does 95 percent of the damage before HotshotGG teleports in and steals it with Nidalee. Not even with a spear shot; he just ran in and hit the thing.

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Uncertainty and excitement and other stray notes from the Premier League tournament day one

– At the IEM Kiev qualifiers, Dignitas beat Goose, Goose beat v8, and Crs beat CLG. Today the opposite of all those things happened.

I find uncertainty is great in sports. When there’s actual risk for my favorite teams because the outcome isn’t set in stone as success or failure, well that’s when there’s an actual sense of tension. If anybody can win on any given day, well, that’s a pretty exciting thing.

– Toveri is one of the remaining seven teams left in the tournament and I would forgive you if you’ve never heard of them, because I also knew next to nothing about them. In the first round they lost to Leaguecraft Gaming, like I expected a team I knew very little about would do.

Then they beat a team I had never heard of. I could accept that too, because both teams couldn’t lose in that situation. It’s just the basic tournament structure prevents that sort of thing.

But then something strange happened. They beat Complexity and then immediately in the next round beat A Picture of a Goose (the same team that had just beaten Dignitas). Anybody can win on any day.

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Chicks Dig Elo…and winning international competitions

Here is your prize: an American flag. You get the $25,000 later

You think the Super Bowl would have the most exciting production values and most excitement per minute of any game of the year. But the truth is a lot of the time is spent occupying people who are only half-interested in the sport by distracting them with mediocre halftime shows, commercials (which vary from trying too hard to not trying hard enough to actually great), and surface-level football analysis. You have to tread through a lot to get to the actual football.

The World Cyber Games has its own sense of grandiose production and poor stream quality that has muddled its purpose and weakened what should be a great event. In its attempts to be all-inclusive its created channels that no one really wants to stick around in. Who sticks around for the Carom games (an online billiards simulator)?

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Stray Notes on WCG day three

– CDE and Gameburg Team have made it through their brackets and are playing in the grand finals tomorrow. CLG and Jerome_NEGGRET are playing in the bronze match.

– CDE! USA! CDE! USA! CDE! USA!

– There’s been this whole looming specter of the CDE disaster and how that was handled haunting this tournament, at least for most of the North American viewers (I don’t know how much the European audience cares, maybe they do, but I hate to assume stuff). You can try and apply that narrative to the games between CDE and Dignitas, and act like this whole thing expunges it. It doesn’t really, it’s just another game. But at the same time for the two teams to actually meet and for CDE to win out after losing the first game feels great, cathartic even.

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Stray Notes on WCG day two

– The two North American teams, CDE and CLG Canada make it out of Group C, while Epic Dive Gaming and Jerome_NEGGRET make it out of Group D.

CDE and Dignitas will be playing each other in the first round of the quarterfinals. The WCG Only-LoL channel was streaming today, with actually good quality, so hopefully they show the quarterfinals match between CDE and Dignitas there. Because if the most anticipated match for North American audiences isn’t streamed then I’m just going to have to complain more on the internet. And no one wants that.

Also in the first round is Flash against Jerome_NEGGRET, Invictus against Counter-Logic, and Epic Dive Gaming against Gameburg.

– The last match of the day was Malaysia (Orange Esports) and France (Millenium). Malaysia had nothing to gain or lose. They were 0-3 and even though it looked like they might be a spoiler, the tiebreaker rules would put France ahead even if they lost the game. But Malaysia came out swingin anyway. They took a 12k+ gold lead and then miserably everything starts going wrong.

They have baron and dive too hard against towers. France kites around too much and they end up losing four and killing only one. They have another bad teamfight mid-lane and in the next fight get a baron stolen. They have LeBlanc on their team, which is the go to morale booster for a losing team: “hey look, they have LeBlanc guys, we just have to wait them out and they’ll suck later!”

And at this point it would’ve been easy to just give up. Their lead had diminished to a mere 4-5k gold lead. France’s Cassiopeia and Ezreal seemed unreachable past the protection of Rammus and Wukong. But Malaysia begins split-pushing into a enemy full of baron buff. First with bot and mid, but then they switch to top and mid, and all the time France is too scared to fight back. Malaysia’s Graves finally breaks through their line when France is caught out of position and Malaysia starts winning again.

This victory came with no rewards or additional prizes, but congratulations to Malaysia for pulling one game off against a very strong team.

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Stray Notes on WCG day one

– Flash and Gameburg Team are moving on from Group A, while Invictus Gaming and Dignitas are moving on from Group B. Meet Your Makers and Team ACER were two of the stronger European teams so its a little surprising to see them both get knocked out so early.

– “This is running smoother than last year.” –Elementz. Did a tornado sweep in last year or something?

1. First match was 23 minutes late
2. Graphics said SiOL and ACER were Group B when they were Group A
3. Announcers in the first match were displayed as the Korean announcers even though Elementz and Deman were talking
4. Half an hour in and the Korean announcers were still there
5. The second match was also over half an hour late
6. imaqtpie had a random x in his name in the graphics
7. Didn’t have a picture of Fizz for their graphic of the picks
8. Commentator sounds suddenly malfunction during important Dignitas vs. Smart People fight

The poor quality is disappointing, but let’s not blow this out of proportion. It’s not like the WCG people had the option of giving a great presentation or giving a poor one and purposefully chose to give a poor one. They thought they could give a good show, and then proceeded to make mistakes. Their inability to give good presentations is annoying but I’m still glad they’re putting on events this big for eSports.

Although, please get better equipment and more competent people in the future WCG people.

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