ESL dominates League of Legends with the Intel Extreme Masters
by Alan LaFleur June 28, 2012 @ 05:06pm
Despite the ESL/IEM history, League of Legends has only been on the circuit for one full season, the sixth season. The season 5 world championships featured a invitational tournament with 4 teams that was one by myRevenge or as they are known now, FnaticRaidCall.
In season 6, League of Legends became the powerhouse on the circuit that it is known as today. The first tournament for the circuit was in Cologne, Germany in conjunction with Gamescom. The tournament was narrowed down through qualifiers in Europe, North America, and Asia. In the end, the teams that qualified for Global Challenge Cologne were:
Counter Logic Gaming
Of course, none of these teams were the same back then as they are now and it is obvious that the myRevenge was the team they picked up after their other team left for Fnatic. Counter Logic Gaming still had Elementz and Salce. Millenium had Linak and sOAZ. The two North American teams took first and second place with CLG edging out TSM in the finals.
The next event for League of Legends in IEM was in Guangzhou, China where the Western scene got their first good look at the Asian scene since AEON wasn't able to attend Global Challenge Cologne. The Chinese team World Elite came out swinging and took first place against Counter Logic Gaming in the finals. Unfortunately, we had still yet to see AEON from Singapore in a IEM event after they had qualified for Cologne.
The next tournament was going to be on American soil at Comic Con in New York. The qualifications for the tournament had some surprising upsets on the North American side with Rock Solid knocking CLG down to the losers bracket where Curse (with Doublelift) would defeat them which meant that they didn't qualify for New York. However, the Asian team turning down their invite was CLG's saving grace as they got invited in their place. CLG being invited ended up being a relief for the North American scene as every other North American team got dominated in the group stage by the Europeans. The teams that made it out of the group were: Fnatic, CLG, SK Gaming, and Sypher. Fnatic ended up taking first place in the tournament that left a lot of North American teams scratching their heads.
The Dominance of Moscow Five
The next two tournaments, Global Challenge Kiev and The World Championships in Hanover can be summed up in the same two words: M5 domination.
Kiev was the first tournament that Moscow Five qualified for and the qualification was not easy. The team lost in the first round to Guru and was sent to the losers bracket where they battled out 5 straight wins to eventually qualify for Kiev along with Against All Authority and Absolute Legends (now CLG.eu). M5 was able to beat Sypher and SK Gaming in the losers bracket which should have meant they would not qualify for Kiev. However, SK got invited to replace Absolute Legends and Sypher was invited to replace the Asian qualifier, Invictus Gaming (iG) from China. Moscow Five ended up winning the tournament only dropping 1 game to TSM in the final.
The qualification for The World Championship in Hanover was the top 12 in points that were accumulated through the four global challenges. The Chinese teams populated a quarter of the top 12 but iG and World Elite had to decline which left room for Millenium and Against All Authority to get invited to the tournament based on their 13th and 14th ranking. The French team, Against All Authority, would go on to prove that they were a force to be reckoned with by coming out strong and getting a fourth place finish. However, Moscow Five showed yet again why they were the best team in the world. The Russian team didn't lose a game the whole tournament which turned out to be one of the most dominating performance the League of Legends scene has ever seen.
The Electronic Sports League has not announced their next Intel Extreme Masters season but there is a placeholder for it on their site and they have made an announcement the Counter Strike will not be part of it. So it is coming soon. In the meantime, be sure to take part in their online tournaments, whether that is playing or watching is up to you. The tournaments are the ESL Major Series, Pro Series, and Go4LoL for the North American, Europe-West, and Europe-Nordic/East. ESL is quickly breaking into the Asian markets with their Go4LoL with the Taipei Assassins winning their first Go4LoL Pro Asia.
The Electronic Sports League is sure to bring more exciting games through the 2012-2013 season and Mobafire will be here to bring you the coverage of this global organization.