RLCS Season 2 Qualifier - NA
Oh, have you not heard? I was under the impression that everyone had heard. Well-a RLCS, RLCS...
Nope, giving up. Clearly too early in the morning as I write this. What a day we had on Saturday. No one could have predicted the final 8 teams that went through to the group stages in NA. RIP my predictions, that's for sure. Thankfully, EU is today so at least I know for sure that these predictions will hold up... I generally refuse to use emojis when long form writing but I can't think of anything more appropriate than :S to react to what we see in these brackets.
What did we see then? G2 (iBP Cosmic or Kronovi and Co.) got everyone a little worried when Take 2 knocked them down into the lower bracket. My first reaction was "Oh, Take 2 really showed up today." My second reaction was, "Hey, Rizzo's nae bad, eh?" Channelled my Scottish high schooling for that one. Third reaction? "OverZero HAS to drive the bat-mobile." Good thing he did when they knocked Classic Stanley out and went through to groups in the lower bracket. Whoops, spoiler. Take 2 is essentially MockIt NA of old with Rizzo, Insolences and Zanejackey. When you point out the fact that line-up came within a hairs breadth of making LAN, this result shouldn't surprise anyone. Except it did. Shout out to Fickle Platypus for calling this one.
Selfless. As a moderator and caster at Shift Pro League, Selfless, formerly known as Momentum, will probably be the team that always throws my objectivity out of the window. However, Kings of Urban looked to be on great form, taking a decisive series with a 3-1 result. Mijo, Dappur and JKnaps had moments of sheer brilliance but KoU contained them very effectively. KoU's early advantage provided them with momentum all the way through the series (I just can't help myself). Fireburner did get used in one of the more spectacular goals of the day... by Selfless. Jacob, Sadjunior and Fireburner looked good online once again. Then, Selfless ended up in the match that no one thought they would see. The suspense builds.
Now, a tale of mice and men. The tale of Genocop, Hot Wheel Sid and Chrome storming the bracket as Revival. They did have a somewhat easier ride than expected. Thanks go to Iniquitous for that. Stay tuned for further details. That's Pretty Neat did their best taking them to Game 5 but Revival won decisively in that last game securing the game with a 5-1 scoreline. So Satthew, Sub'N and sQuillis dropped down to face off with Genesis. (For those that didn't get it, Genocop is one of very few people using keyboard and mouse at this level).
Exodus need a name change to Entrance as they fly through against Deception. We'll come back to Deception later on as they are important to this story. Against Exodus they looked on fine form but Exodus are so solid it made no difference at all. Moses, Garrett and Turtle just came out and did their thing. Out of all the NA "Lanbois", only Exodus and Kings of Urban performed exactly as expected coming into this Season 2 Qualifier.
That's the upper bracket taken care of but this was Double Elimination, meaning every losing team had a second shot at a league play position! Let's get into that then...
We have G2 dropped down where they faced off against Classic Stanley. Sir Timbers, who you might recognise from some pretty decent tutorial videos on YouTube, teamed up with Byrd Man and King Wizard. They made a pretty good run to get to this match, going through four close series in the Losers bracket. It wouldn't be enough against the Mountain and his crew. OverZero, as noted earlier, back in the bat-mobile, Lachinio doing his mid-field interrupt magic and Kronovi being Kronovi. Classic Stanley did their best, particularly in the second game of the series but still a sweep from G2. One of only two sweeps seen in the deciding league spot matches.
Excuse me a minute. Okay, I have wiped away the tear. Selfless vs Vendetta. Oh, how in the unmentionables did we get here? Story time kids. Vendetta consists of, well Lucky Bounce. Except not really. Torment and DarkFire were eventually joined by Lethamyr when they left Lucky Bounce after a little flirtation with Squishy Muffinz (who went on to be a sub for G2). They were looking very strong with great form coming into the tournament, right up until they lost to Deception. That's how we ended up with Deception in a deciding match up top. It's also how Vendetta came through to face Selfless, a hot favourite who have come out of nowhere during the last couple of months and generally stomped about sweeping iBP (now known as G2) and other notables in various competitions. It was a definitely a close match at 3-2 but we saw Vendetta shutting down Selfless time after time and well... #RIPDappur, #RIPMijo, #RIPJKnaps.
Genesis. Oh, Genesis. In the round of 128, a little known team called Iniquitous came out and took Genesis out of the Winners bracket. Leaving Genesis to fight all the way through the lower end to their final league entry match against That's Pretty Neat. That's Pretty Neat did okay but against a much more experienced team, they weren't able to keep up. A valiant effort from them and definitely a team to watch for in the future. Genesis being in this position, in this match, is exactly the kind of thing that causes the people who seed brackets to wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night. Iniquitous, by the way, lost to That's Pretty Neat in the upper bracket adding another layer of irony to this match up. In the end, we saw Genesis secure their spot with a 3-1 series.
Now we come to one of the more interesting matches of the day. Deception going up against Wild Card. Wild Card were definitely a team to watch on my end but really this match never should have happened. Now, Deception consists of Fireworks, CorruptedG and Vince. They managed to drop Vendetta with two clean sheets and 2-1 game clearing out that series 3-1. Deception play pretty far back so their defence can be pretty solid. Good soak at the back came through for them in the match against Wild Card with a solid 3-0 win in the series. Again, one of only two sweeps in these league qualification matches. Wild Card had DudeWithTheNose, Laz and Skyzz on pretty good form so well done to them for running the lower bracket gauntlet. I was lucky to cast them recently and at the time I said to look out for them in the RLCS. Well done me for knowing stuff, well done them for showing up, congratulations to Deception and all the other teams for making the league.
I am exhausted now. Over a thousand words and so many I haven't said. Come back on Thursday for the EU write-up!
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