Following their success in the China LPL Spring Championship, Royal Never Give Up confirmed themselves as genuine contenders for the 2018 League of Legends World Championships this weekend with a fine victory at the Mid-Season Invitational 2018.
The tournament took place in Berlin and Paris, as teams battled it out for an initial cash prize of $250,000. This increased to a total prize fund of $1,370,520 following the addition of 25 percent of total sales from Conqueror Varus and 2018 Conqueror ward skin.
The initial action
The game featured all the champions from the Spring Series. Four of the top teams from the EU LCS, NA LCS, LCK (Korea), and LPL (China) progressed directly into the Group Stage. Two other teams from the VCS Spring Champion and LMS Spring Champion earned seed positions in the Play-In Knockout.
That left eight teams seeded into the initial play-in stage. With just two places in the Play-In Knockout up for grabs, it was an intense series of games, which saw Gambit Esports and SuperMassive eSports make it through.
However, both teams progress was then cut short in the Play In Knockout round where they were defeated by EVOS Esports and Flash Wolves.
The next group stage
The second group stage then comprised these two qualifiers, plus the four teams seeded directly into this stage: King-Zone Dragon X, Fnatic, Team Liquid, and Royal Never Give Up.
After 10 hard-fought games, two tiebreakers decided which team would finish top of the group and which would finish in the fourth and final knockout stage qualifying position. In the latter tie-breaker, Fnatic edged out Team Liquid to claim the final qualifying spot. Then, Royal Never Give Up defeated Flash Wolves to claim top spot, with both teams finishing with 7-3 records.
The Knockout Stage contained two best-of-five semifinals. Royal Never Give Up won the first with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Fnatic. In the second, Korea’s King-Zone Dragon X turned in a fine display to beat Flash Wolves 3-1.
The LPL vs. LCK final was an unsurprising matchup of regions. The LPL came out on top as Royal Never Give Up produced another high-class display to earn a 3-1 victory. They also took home the top prize, which had swelled to over $500,000.
The winners will next be in action alongside seven other teams in the Demacia Cup 2018. It gets underway in Zhuhai, China, on May 31. Shortly after this, the crucial Summer 2018 qualifiers will run from June through to September.
Flipsid3 Tactics claim Ballistix Brawl title
With ESL One Birmingham and the MSI stealing most headlines right now, let’s turn our attention to some of the lesser-known esports events this week, namely the Ballistix Brawl finals for Rocket League.
Eight teams battled through a tough qualifying campaign to reach the final. At that point, there were plenty of famous names in among the contenders:
- compLexity Gaming
- Team Dignitas
- The Bricks
- PSG eSports
- FlipSid3 Tactics
- Renault Vitality
- Team Secret
All matches were best-of-seven encounters, apart from the quarterfinals, which were played over a best-of-five format.
Although still a minor esports event, the accessibility of Rocket League has ensured it remains popular with esports players of all abilities. So while this was a very small event (with just a $1,500 prize pool), Rocket League continues to gain traction within the esports industry.
FlipSid3’s road to victory
The quarterfinals produced no lack of excitement. Three of the four games required a deciding match. Parallax started brightly, winning the opening game 3-1 against Team Dignitas, but after that the games were much closer. PSG eSports was disappointed after losing 3-2 to FlipSid3 Tactics, while compLexity Gaming defeated Team Secret. Then, The Bricks humbled Renault Vitality by the same scoreline.
The first semi, however, didn’t follow that script. FlipSid3 hit top form to thump ParallaX 4-1 in what was a superb showing. The victors mustered 20 goals in their five games and conceded just 11.
The second semi was full of drama and a very close affair. The Bricks took a 2-0 lead before compLexity roared back to win three in a row and take the lead 3-2. Then, The Bricks bounced back to win the final two games 2-1 and 2-0, making it a superb 4-3 win and a spot in the final.
The final was a tight affair in general. FlipSid3 Tactics took the opening match 1-0 and then cemented that lead with a 4-2 follow-up win.
The Bricks briefly rallied in the third game, performing well to claim a 2-0 win to make it 2-1. Then, the fourth game proved vital. Neither team could score in standard time, but in overtime FlipSid3 grabbed the crucial goal to claim a 1-0 win and go up 3-1.
That defeat broke the spirits of The Bricks, and they succumbed 5-1 in the final game. FlipSid3 takes home the $900 prize for the victory, with The Bricks earning $300 for their efforts.