League of Legends at IPL 5: Day 1 recap
After 24 games, 2 pentakills, and not enough K-pop, here are some of the main storylines from day one of IPL 5.
Azubu Blaze’s downfall
Despite being one of the favorites to win the whole tournament, Blaze came in third in the group matches and found itself in the loser’s bracket.
After an easy victory against Team Dynamic, Blaze lost almost as handedly to Team WE against Weixiao’s Vayne and Caomei’s Rengar. Then in a surprising upset for the second spot in Group A, Fnatic completely stomped Azubu Blaze into the ground.
Fnatic used Diana, Ezreal and Lee Sin who got kill after kill from non stop ganks and aggression, and ended the game with 11 towers to none and 22 kills to 3.
Curse has no fun, Master Yi on the run
Due to IPL 5’s unique format, Curse Gaming found itself facing Moscow Five twice during the group stage. Game one started very surprisingly, going even for a good portion of the game. But Darien’s Rengar got too tanky for Curse to handle, and Moscow Five rode his back to victory. In game two Alex Ich tried to confuse Curse with a highly unusual AP Master Yi pick, and Curse was surely not ready for what happened next. Alex Ich stacked up kills all game long and brought his team ahead.
Finally toward the end Curse managed to catch Darien on Shen out of position, but Darien stalled long enough for the rest of his team to clean up resulting in a pentakill for Alex Ich (the other pentakill of the day was on TPA Bebe against BlackBean). This sent Curse Gaming into the loser’s bracket to face Team Dynamic and sent Moscow Five to face Team WE.
North America holds onto a shred of hope
North American teams have not had the best showing at international tournaments in recent months. However, CLG.Prime made it into the winner’s bracket after the completion of the group stage with some particularly impressive AD carry mechanics coming from Doublelift, who played Caitlyn and then Vayne in his two games against Team FeaR.
TSM also made it into the winner’s bracket but was swiftly sent to the loser’s by CLG.EU in their best of three, smashed by Froggen’s Anivia in game one and Yellowpete’s Ezreal in game two. TSM still has a chance to keep representing North America, but they will have to play through many more sets to make it out of the loser’s bracket. Meanwhile CLG.Prime will have the chance to keep North America in the winner’s bracket in the best of three on day two against Curse EU, the winners of Group C.
Team WE displays its dominance
Team WE had a very impressive showing during the group stage. First they won against Fnatic’s unconventional AD-heavy team composition by building a lot of armor and gaining map control. Then out of nowhere, WE made Azubu Blaze look easy as pie in their second group stage match, going 11 to 2 in kills and forcing a very early surrender.
Onto the winner’s bracket WE faced Moscow Five. Game 1 started very slowly, but then Team WE pulled out a delayed ace during a dragon fight and snowballed the advantage into its first victory.
Game two on the other hand was action-packed from the very beginning with Misaya on Diana and Weixiao on Vayne getting tons of kills. One thing is for sure, Team WE is setting itself up to win IPL 5 after sending two of the favorites into the loser’s bracket.
What to watch for tomorrow
TPA came out on top in Group D but they will still have to face Fnatic, who were very intimidating against Azubu Blaze. After coming out on top of their group, CLG.EU will have to face the suddenly dominant Team WE on Saturday, so they will have to keep their minds sharp through a day of not competing. In addition, IceLanD had a very impressive performance for their first competitive event, giving CLG.EU a run for their money during the group stage. Perhaps this unproven team will cause some upsets in the loser’s bracket.