The second CS_Summit took place over the weekend. Eight teams competed for a share of the $150,000 prize fund. Last time, SK Gaming on the then-inaugural event, and the Brazilian/German team was back to try and defend the title.
Held at Summit House in Los Angeles once again, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, Torqued, Vega Squadron, and Heroic constituted the field.
The tournament featured a double-elimination bracket, with one team winning its way through to the Grand Final by winning the quarterfinal, semifinal and final in the winners bracket. The losing teams had to navigate the trickier losers bracket to arrive at the mountaintop.
The losers finalist was also up against it in the Grand Final. The winners bracket team started with a one-map advantage, meaning they would need just two more maps to win the best-of-five Grand Final.
Until the final, each match played out over a best-of-three format.
Winners bracket – Cloud9’s great form continues
Fresh from winning the ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018, Cloud9 made short work of their quarterfinal. They defeated Heroic 16-4 and 16-10 to claim a 2-0 victory and a spot in the semifinals.
They then dispatched Team Liquid to the cellar bracket 16-4 and 16-11 in another 2-0 victory. Then, it was on to SK Gaming. Cloud9 proved too strong for the champs, winning both maps by a 16-9 scoreline to claim the first spot in the Grand Final.
Losers bracket – Team Liquid surprise SK
Prior to their loss to Cloud9 in the semifinals, Team Liquid defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas in a thrilling 2-1 quarterfinals match (3-16, 16-8, 16-14). After their 2-0 loss to Cloud9, they then dropped into the Losers Round 2, where they comfortably defeated Torqued 2-0 (16-14, 16-9) and then followed that up with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Heroic in the Losers Round 3 (16-9, 16-1).
That set up a Losers Final with SK Gaming. Team Liquid came through this fantastic matchup 2-0. The first map between the team went into overtime with Team Liquid coming out 19-17 winners. They then secured the place in the final with a 16-11 victory on the second map.
Grand Final – Team Liquid produce a golden performance
As per the rules of the tournament, Cloud9 started this game with a 1-0 lead. What followed was a fantastic and pivotal game on Train. Both teams matched each other well during the game and overtime before Team Liquid came out on top 19-17.
That tied the Grand Final up, and even better things followed for Liquid. They took the second map, Mirage, 16-8. Cache came next, and Cloud9 produced their best performance of the final to win that map 16-11, leaving the final all square heading into the final map, Overpass.
Here, Team Liquid took an early lead and held on to record a fantastic 16-10 win and claim the CS_Summit 2 title. Both finalists, plus several other teams, will now head into the start of the ESL Pro League Season 7 in both Europe and North America. That gets underway on Feb. 13.
LCK spring update – SK Telecom T1’s struggles now over?
At the last League of Legends World Championships, Korean legends and three-time World Champions SK Telecom T1 didn’t show the dominant form many expected. They did reach the final, but their performances were unconvincing at times. In that final, the team went down 3-0 to Samsung Galaxy. Many wondered if SK Telecom T1’s period of dominance was at an end.
After the first three weeks of LCK Spring Season matches, that certainly appeared to be the case.
We should note quickly that Longzhu Gaming’s roster became KING-ZONE Dragon X in the off-season. Then, Samsung Galaxy became KSV. The names may have changed, but the players remain the same.
KING-ZONE Dragon X have won seven of their eight games to sit at the top of the table, a position Longzhu occupied last season. Afreeca Freecs and KT Rolster sit tied in second spot with 6-2 records followed by KSV (formerly Samsung Galaxy) with 5-3. Rox Tigers at 4-4 occupy the fifth and final playoff spot.
SK Telecom T1 sit one place below them in sixth with a 3-5 record. The feeling in Korea was that SK may well miss out on the playoffs this year. Then came an unexpected but much-improved showing in Week 4 of the tournament. Wins over BBQ and, more impressively, KSV, mark some real progress and a bit of revenge against the champs. Still, they are by no means certain to qualify for the playoffs.
Long-established star players like Faker, Wolf, and Bang witnessed several new faces arrive recently. Untara, Thal, Blossom, and Effort don’t appear to have completely gelled with the team. Over the next five weeks, SK Telecom T1 could resurrect their season, but they will need more performances like they showed in Week 4.