The action doesn’t get underway in North America until June 3 and the European qualifiers get underway on June 2. We’ll bring you more on these matches next week (though you can read our NA LCS Summer Split preview as well as its brother, the EU LCS Summer Split preview).
However, in the other two big qualifying sections, the action gets going this week and the top Chinese and Korean League of Legends teams will be gearing up for this new phase of the 2016 season.
Korea LCK Summer
After the Spring Series, there are now ten teams in the LCK Summer Season event. This season is the usual Double Round Robin League stage with all matches played as a best of three contest.
The top five teams in the league then qualify for the playoffs, while the bottom two teams will face a battle to hang onto their place in the top group in the 2017 Spring Promotion.
The ten teams that have will contest the Korean section are:
- Afreeca Freecs
- CJ Entus
- Jin Air Green Wings
- KT Rolster
- Longzhu Gaming
- ROX Tigers
- Samsung Galaxy
- SK Telecom T1
The action got started on the May 25 with two matches on the opening day of action. Afreeca Freecs got off to a solid start with a 2-0 win over Longzhu Gaming, while Ever equally started well with a 2-0 win over CJ Entus.
- ROX Tigers (1/6) v Samsung Galaxy (7/2)
- MVP (3/1) v KT Rolster (2/9)
- Jin Air Green Wings (4/9) v Longzhu Gaming (13/8)
- Afreeca Freecs (2/5) v Samsung Galaxy (7/4)
- Ever (11/4) v Jin Air Green Wings (1/4)
The competition is then played out over 11 consecutive weeks of action from the end of May through to the start of August, although not all teams will be playing games in each week of action.
China LPL Summer
Once again the Chinese qualification system for the LPL will be contested in two groups with the first games taking place over Week One from the May 26 – 29 inclusive. There are ten weeks of fixtures running from May through to August.
Each of the two groups has been carefully selected based on teams performances in the Spring Season, with each group consisting of one team each from Tier 1 and Tier 4, plus two teams apiece from Tier 2 and 3 to give the group a fairer balance.
Each team plays 16 matches, they play the teams in their own group twice (10 matches) plus they also play each of the teams in the other group once (six matches) in total.
The two groups have been drawn as thus:
- EDward Gaming
- Game Talents
- Invictus Gaming
- Saint Gaming
- Snake eSports
- I May
- LGD Gaming
- Oh My God
- Royal Never Give Up
- Team WE
- Vici Gaming
Bet365 are offering a number of betting markets on the Chinese qualifying section including the usual Match betting options but also a chance to back which team will win each of the two groups. EDward Gaming are the 8/11 favourites in Group A, with Newbee 3/1 and Snake 5/1, the outsiders are Game Talents at 33/1.
Group B sees Royal Never Give Up as the odds on 8/15 favourites, with LGD Gaming 10/3 and World Elite 8/1. The outsiders are Oh My God at 25/1.
The good news for esports betting fans is that over the coming weeks, there will be plenty of League of Legends betting action across all geographic qualifying sections, including America and Europe from next week, as the Summer Season begins.
Dota 2 Professional League Season 1 now in progress in China
One of the most interesting aspects about esports is that with it being a still-emerging industry around the globe, there are always new tournaments being organised and contested and since the May 18, the best Chinese Dota 2 teams have been competing against each other in the very first season of the Dota 2 Professional League.
A total of 22 teams will compete across many weeks in a single league format, with a total prize pool of $1,000,000 up for grabs over Season 1 (this season) and Season 2 (when the league will split into the Senior and Minor Leagues).
Each game between the teams is a best of two match up and teams will play each other once over the course of the competition to decide where they finish in the table.
Where you finish is crucial as depending on your final position, you can qualify for one of two other key events. The top 10 teams in qualifying will progress to the Senior League in Season 2, with the teams ranked eleventh to twentieth progressing into the Minor League for Season 2.
However, only the top eight and bottom eight teams will automatically enter these leagues, the teams ranked ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth will enter a special playoff event where the two winners will play in the Senior League and the two losers will enter the Minor League.
The 22 teams competing in the event are as follows:
- Avalon Club
- Brave Heart
- CDEC Gaming
- CDEC Avenger
- CDEC Youth
- FTD Club A
- FTD Club C
- Invictus Gaming
- iG Vitality
- LGD Gaming
- Newbee Young
- Thunderobot Gaming
- Vici Gaming
- Vici Gaming Reborn
- We Are Young
- Wings Gaming
Along with matches in the Nanyang Qualifiers, the ProData Cup and the SL I-League Qualifiers, Bet365 Sports, via their esports betting tab, are offering a number of bets on matches in this competition including Match winner betting (including the draw option), plus the ability to bet on the winner of Map 1 and Map 2 in each game.