Gambit Esports will once again represent the LCL at the forthcoming League of Legends World Championships. It’s the second year in a row that the team has earned a place at the event by winning the LCL Summer tournament.
Formerly Gambit Gaming, who qualified as an EU LCS team back in 2013 before their spot in the qualifiers was sold in 2015, the reformed Gambit Gaming joined the less fashionable LCL shortly thereafter. That decision has been vindicated following their second straight qualification.
Gambit is in
In the opening phase of the tournament, Gambit qualified for the Playoff stages with an impressive 9-5 record from their 14 games. That record earned Gambit second seed status just behind the 10-4 M19.
In the Playoffs last week, though, M19 found their top seed spot didn’t ensure their success. No. 4 seeds Dragon Army upset the form book to claim a 3-1 win in the first semifinal.
The second semifinal between Gambit Esports and Team Just Alpha was a very close contest. Alpha took a 2-0 lead before Gambit hit top gear to win the final three. It was a remarkable comeback.
Buoyed by that success, Gambit went on to claim the win with a solid victory over Dragon Army in the final by a 3-1 scoreline. This ensured they would once again represent the LCL at the Worlds.
Looking ahead to Worlds
As the LCL Summer champs, Gambit will earn a No. 2 seed spot in the Play-In Stage. They are the first No. 2 seed to be confirmed in the tournament thus far. Two No. 3 seeds, Ascension Gaming from the SEA Tour and the OPL Split 2 Champion Dire Wolves, have also claimed places.
Gambit will look to improve on their 2017 performance. That’s when they lost all four of their opening Group games. They were eliminated at the first hurdle, when both Team WE and Lyon Gaming defeated them twice.
Over the next few weeks, the Summer 2018 qualifiers across the world will come to a close, adding further names to the Worlds roster. After these Summer 2018 tournaments finish, the Regional Finals to decide the final spots at Worlds take off. These begin Oct. 1 and run until Nov. 3 across four different venues in South Korea.
Keep your eyes peeled on these pages over the forthcoming weeks for all the latest on the teams that earn their place at the biggest League of Legends tournament of the year.
FaZe Clan’s $1,000,000 hopes dashed
Last week’s DreamHack Masters 2018 in Stockholm carried more than just a title. For FaZe Clan, this tournament represented their final chance to win a fourth Intel Grand Slam event and with it a $1 million bonus.
Drawn into Group C of this 16-team event, FaZe Clan began brightly in the tournament. They produced a fine display to earn a 19-16 win over Heroic in their opening game before a comprehensive 2-0 victory (16-6, 16-4) over OpTic Gaming confirmed them as the top seeds from Group C. (Heroic came in as No. 2.)
They were joined in the Playoffs by six other teams: North and Astralis from Group A, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Natus Vincere from Group B, and the resurgent MiBR and mousesports from Group D.
The quarterfinals would prove to be decisive on many levels. Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated Heroic in the opening match. Then, Astralis took a fine 2-0 win over the MiBR team that won the ZOTAC Cup Masters just the week before.
FaZe Clan were then expected to defeat mousesports in the third game of the quarters. That looked very likely when they took the opening map by a massive 16-1 scoreline. However, after that mousesports found their rhythm and stunned FaZe Clan and those watching on Twitch by securing both the next two maps by a 16-11 scoreline to progress into the semis.
That loss meant FaZe Clan missed out on that $1 million bonus. But mousesports would not land the spoilers prize of $100,000 as they didn’t manage to claim the win in the Grand Final.
In the semifinals, Astralis and North prevailed. Astralis saw off Ninjas in Pyjamas in style with a solid 2-0 victory, while North came back from a whitewash 16-0 loss in the opening map against mousesports to win the the next two games 16-14 and 16-12 to claim a sport in the final.
Astralis, who could claim their third win of the Intel Grand Slam were the strong favourites in the final, but they found North in superb form in the opening game, losing 16-1. Then, Astralis bounced back to level the final with a 16-6 win in the second map. The third and deciding game was played on Overpass, and it was underdogs North who claimed the win with a memorable 16-11 victory.
North’s victory was their first Grand Slam win. They now have nine more chances to claim the three more victories they need to land the prize themselves.