Blumigan

Robbing the Crown: An interview with Royal Bandits Head Coach Marcus “Blumigan” Blom

Teams rise and fall all the time in League of Legends, but it’s rare a new team makes much impact in the scene. Royal Bandits of the TCL is seeking to break this mold with their standout performance this split. The team currently sits second with an 8-4 record. While we know of the standout talent on the roster (HolyPhoenix, Cepted, etc.), it’s the man behind the scenes who is driving this insane performance: head coach Marcus “Blumigan” Blom.

A former support sub and analyst for Fnatic, Marcus has shaken up the traditional state of the league with his strong drafts and focus on coordinated team play. We sat down with him to get his take on the TCL, his thoughts on imports and what led him to this point.

Recently you were an analyst on Fnatic. How did your work for them help prepare you for coaching Royal Bandits?

Blumigan

“I became a much better coach/person during that short time” (image courtesy of Marcus’ Twitter)

Marcus: It gave me a lot of good experience to see how an organisation that’s known worldwide works. Their playstyle was pretty unique back then (the infamous “animal style”) with way less macro than other teams but it was a really interesting split overall. It didn’t really help me to improve my knowledge in particular but I was really amazed how much authority their Academy Team coach (Kubz) had, and I’m really surprised he hasn’t found a home in NA yet.

If there was anything that prepared me for this split, it was being Head Coach (HC) for Dark Passage during the Summer Split. I went there for Worlds and came home ashamed of our performance. There was a lot of ups and downs during Summer Split, but I don’t regret going to DP a single moment. I became a much better coach/person during that short time.

You went from player to a Head Coaching position fairly quickly in your career. What attracted you to coaching, and what was that transition like?

Marcus: I was never really attracted to playing the game itself. I enjoyed trolling people in SoloQ and I never had good mechanics. The only reason I even hit master in SoloQ was because of pure macro/game knowledge and that interested me way more than going for outplays. I never planned to work with esports at all, it just happens that a friend of mine knew I had really good game knowledge and asked me to come help coach his team.

Coaching was a pretty new concept back then in 2015. There were coaches, but the infrastructure was no where near where it is today.

When I played in teams before I always thought coaches were a meme and that I could do it 1000 times better myself. There was not really a transition because I can assure you I am probably one of the worst players to have ever played in TCL and I never considered myself a pro/semi pro player in the EU Scene either even when I got paid – just saw it as a hobby back then.

 

We saw a large number of Korean imports coming into the league this year, with some very high profile signings such as KaKAO, Chaser, and CoCo among others, including your own Cepted and Malrang. How do you feel this has impacted the competitiveness of the region moving forward?

Marcus: Their work ethic is completely different to western players and they have a lot of game knowledge that they’re bringing to the region. Before this year, Turkey was a lot of “clown fiestas” and people fighting for nothing. This year with improved coaching staffs, players and overall infrastructure with organisations investing more to mimic FB last year success it’s way more macro based which helps the Turkish players improve a lot as well.

Blumigan

“I’m sure Turkey is the best wildcard region by far right now” (image courtesy of Marcus’ Twitter)

What do you think is the strength of the region in comparison to others internationally?

Marcus: Fast phased games. We scrim a lot of LCS teams and they are all really impressed at how fast we are able to snowball games and want to continue to scrim us. Turkey have a really low game average compared to other regions. We happen to have the shortest average times of all teams in the world – obviously for better or worse. We win really quick and lose really quick. I’m sure Turkey is the best wildcard region by far right now, but MSI will tell.

 

Turkey is almost a world away from Korea, how has it been for Cepted and Malrang adjusting to living there, and how do they get along with the team? Have there been any struggles (linguistic, culture, etc.) in helping them ease into it?

Marcus: I would say that Royal Bandits have done everything to make them feel comfortable. I know for a fact Malrang loves Turkey and wants to stay here for a long time. We instantly hired a translator who gives them a lot of English lessons. From the very start they have been included with team activities and participate in conversations just like any other player. I know they miss the food sometimes, but there are Korean restaurants in Istanbul too. I know this has been a problem for other teams, but for our part the transition to another region been really smooth.

With its quadruple round-robin format this year, the TCL has the longest regular season of any of the leagues, playing 27 games in a split. How has it been adjusting to three games a week, both for yourself and the players?

Marcus: I don’t think it matters too much. I prefer Bo2/Bo3s, but it’s understandable from a viewers perspective. I really don’t think we would lose to any team in a Bo2/Bo3/Bo5, but time will tell when playoffs comes around. Only problem is lack of scrims at times, because we are already +2 GMT and we almost always have played first game off the day so we can’t get warm up scrims all the time.

Blumigan

“If any team can beat SuperMassive its us” (image courtesy of Marcus’ Twitter)

What do you think it will take for Royal Bandits to win the split and make MSI?

Hard-work and dedication to our goal. If any team can beat SuperMassive its us. We know our problems and we know how to fix them. We’ve still got five more weeks to go of the regular split, and we’ll make sure we come into playoffs prepared to take them down.

As a closing thought, what would you tell to League of Legends fans across the world that are new or unfamiliar with the Turkish scene?

Tired of seeing SPY, SKT or TSM playing their 65 minute games? Want to see insane flex-picks and unique champions? Check out TCL.

 

You can keep up with Marcus and the team on his Twitter, and on the Royal Bandits Twitter as well.

The TCL 2018 Winter Split continues this Saturday, February 24th. Be sure to stay tuned here for all the exciting coverage, and check out The Game Haus on Twitter and Facebook for more esports news. Don’t forget to also follow myself on Twitter for more news on the TCL.

~Isaac “Raptearer’ Chandler

Featured image courtesy of Marcus’ Twitter

Pre-Season Power Rankings

TCL Winter 2018 Pre-Season Power Rankings

The Winter Split starts this weekend for the TCL, and the question on everyone’s mind clear; where do the team stand going into the season? Fortunately, we at The Game Haus are here to help. Here are our pre-season power rankings for Turkey!

Rankings

1. 1907 Fenerbahçe

Roster :

Top: Thaldrin
Jungle: Chaser
Mid: Frozen
ADC: Padden
Support: Zergsting

Pre-Season Power Rankings

1907 Fenerbahce’s mid-laner Frozen (Image courtesy of 1907 Fenerbahce Facebook page)

They dominated the TCL last split, and its looking to be no different this time around. The addition of Chaser is a strong improvement for the team in the jungle, and if he and Frozen can establish strong synergy, they will devastate the competition. What’s more, the return of damage orientated junglers should help Chaser. They’ve also picked up former Team AUORORA Support Zergsting, whose large champion pool should be an upgrade on Japone. The only thing to be concerned about is if Chaser can pick up English (the teams comm language) fast enough. The team’s goals for this season should be to improve their laning and synergy, especially in the bot lane, and try to pick up some wins against the B5 regions at MSI and Worlds, along with the expected two domestic titles.

 

2. Royal Bandits

Roster :

Top: Broken Blade
Jungle: Malrang
Mid: Cepted
ADC: HolyPhoenix
Support: Dumbledoge

Pre-Season Rankings

Royal Bandits look to make a name for themselves this year (image courtesy of leaguepedia)

After a disappointing finish to their TPL run in the Summer, Royal Bandits decided to take a new approach to qualifying: buying out newly promoted side Oyun Hizmetleri. The team seems to have learned from its failings in the lower league and decided to go with the new strategy: buy a good team. The team has put together a monster botside with famed ADC HolyPhoenix and legendary Faker killer Dumbledoge on Support. Former Galakticos top laner Broken Blade has switched to the Bandits top lane, while Malrang and Cepted bring strong synergy from their time on Ever8 last year. There is concern after their poor performances in the LCK last year, the duo should be strong enough to be top 3 in their respective roles here. Be on the lookout for this team to make a splash this season.

 

3. YouthCrew

Roster :

Top: Elwind
Jungle: Mojito
Mid: Coco
ADC: Madness
Support: Zzus

Pre-Season Power Rankings

Coco looks to bring his strong play to YouthCrew and bring the team a title (Image courtesy of Inven Global)

Crew took the offseason to rebrand itself as YouthCrew, looking for a fresh start going into 2018. The addition of Coco to this roster is massive, especially as he looked fairly strong last year in the LPL on NewBee, and likely will compete with Frozen for best mid in Turkey. Not much is known about the other import for the team, Zzus. He played four games for Longzhu in LCK Spring 2016, before getting moved to the sub roster, and hasn’t been seen since. The four games weren’t much to write home about either, going 2-2, with the two wins coming against Kongdoo on an average statline. If he pans out here, YouthCrew could look to fight for one of the top spots this year.

 

4. Dark Passage

Roster :

Top: Marshall
Jungle: KaKAO
Mid: Lucete
ADC: Ruvelius
Support: Japon

Pre-Season Rankings

Dark Passage (image courtesy of leaguepedia)

2017 was a rough year for Dark Passage. After their strong 2016 performance, the team stared down the barrel of relegations in the Winter, and barely avoided it again in Summer Split. Dark Passage is looking to bring a return to form and reclaim its throne atop the TCL. Most of the roster has changed out, with Korean jungler KaKAO coming over from Europe to form a cornerstone in the jungle. Bringing former Crew ADC Ruvelius and Fenerbahçe Support Japone should provide them a good bot side. The big question mark is Lucete: the man hasn’t played a competitive game yet, having been a sub for Korean Challenger team APK Prince. He’ll need to really step up if the team looks to challenge the top three, and rise Dark Passage above the middle of the pack.

 

5. BAUSuperMassive

Roster :

Top: fabFabulous
Jungle: Stomaged
Mid: GBM
ADC: Zeitnot
Support: SnowFlower

Pre-Season Power Rankings

New support SnowFlower could make the difference this year (image courtesy of Inven Global)

BAUSuperMassive’s offseason changes are interesting to say the least. On the one hand, they picked up what is likely to be the strongest support in the region in former Jin-AIr support SnowFlower. On the other hand, they made a complete downgrade in the mid lane with GBM, who struggled against Challenger players in the NACS last year. Coming to Turkey, he’ll have to again face the likes of Frozen and Coco, who are set to run circles around him. The team is going to have to hope the rest of the team can pick up his slack if they hope to have a chance of reclaiming their title this year. Unfortunately for them, the rosters above just look so dominating, I don’t see them above middle of the pack


6. Team AURORA

Roster :

Top: Panky
Jungle: Wisdom
Mid: Naru
ADC: Rain
Support: Rogu

Pre-Season Power Rankings

Can Naru keep up with the Korean mid imports? (image courtesy of leaguepedia)

The Team Liquid of the TCL, Team AURORA is looking to break its curse this year with some bottom half of the map roster changes. Former BAUSuperMassive midlaner Naru and support Rogu have joined the team, alongside former Invictus Gaming ADC Rain. While Naru and Rogu are definite upgrades in their roles, Rain is a question mark. He had a very average year, and it remains to be seen if he has what it takes to really be the strong carry his team needs. The team is going to have to rely on the synergy between Wisdom, Naru, and Rogu to carry them through games. With the strong rosters forming throughout the region, there’s a good chance this team will struggle to even make playoffs.

 

7. HWA Gaming

Roster :

Top: Armut
Jungle: Trix
Mid: Ninja
ADC: Achuu
Support: Revanche

Pre-Season Power Rankings

HWA makes their comeback to the TCL (image courtesy of leaguepedia)

After dominating the TPL (Turkey’s Challenger scene), and auto-promoting back to the TCL, HWA Gaming looks to be making only one change to their roster, moving former Dark Passage mid-laner Ninja to the team to replace Xico. While the roster looks decent in most positions, the addition of Ninja to the team isn’t likely to really give them the edge they need to make push up the ladder. After the disappointing time he had on DP last year, and the strengthening of the mid position in the region, he’s likely to struggle allyear. While this roster would’ve likely been fine last year, the vast increase in talented imports looks set to leave the team starting down the barrel of relegations again.

 

8. Galakticos

Roster :

Top: Rare
Jungle: Viking
Mid: Backlund
ADC: j1mmy
Support:Veux

Pre-Season Rankings

Galakticos (courtesy of Galakticos Twitter)

Galakticos went through A LOT of players in 2017, and really seemed to struggle to build a solid and stable roster. Even the roster that 3-0’d them out of relegations couldn’t last the off-season, with everyone but Veux leaving. The new roster looks highly disappointing, using their two import slots for unknowns Viking and Backlund from Europe. While Rare has played on the roster before, disappearing in the middle of last year, he’s average at best, and will need to make up for the rookies making up the rest of the carry positions. J1mmy is a rookie who I’ve heard rumors of some hype, but nothing else. They have what is by far the weakest and most untested roster. Based on their history, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them getting auto-relegated at the end of Winter. I’d love to be proven wrong, but i just don’t see it happening.

 

 

 

 

The TCL 2018 WInter Split begins tomorrow, January 20th. Be sure to stay tuned here for all the exciting coverage, and check out The Game Haus on Twitter and Facebook for more esports news. Don’t forget to also follow myself on Twitter for more news on the TCL.

~Isaac “Raptearer’ Chandler

Turkish League Logo

Turkish Champions League of Legends

Images Courtesy of Riot Games TR

The new year is finally upon us, and that means we are only a few weeks away from the start of the 2018 season of League of Legends. While the community is going crazy over the franchising of the North American and Chinese leagues, interest in the minor regions has grown after the success of Southeast Asian (GPL) team Gigabyte Marines last year. With the attention focused on them, as well as Russia and Brazil, many have overlooked the other minor region that succeeded internationally this year: Turkey.

The region, represented at Worlds by 1907 Fenerbahçe, upset Taiwanese third-seed Hong-Kong Attitude and the Brazilian representative to make the Group Stage at the tournament. Beyond this though, not much is known about the region to the West, soo let’s take a look at the eight teams and format of the Turkish Champions League.

 

 

The League

 

First started back in 2014, the Turkish Champions League (TCL) is the top-flight League of Legends league in Turkey. Consisting of eight teams, the league runs two splits, Winter and Summer, annually, and its playoff winner qualifies to MSI (for Winter) and Worlds (Summer) play-ins. The league has seen four teams take the domestic title since it’s inception: Dark Passage, BAUSuperMassive, 1907 Fenerbahçe, and Beşiktaş Esports Club.

It’s rival league, according to Riot Games, is the northern CIS region (Russia).

The current format sees the teams play a double-round robin, each match being a Best of One. The league has a six-team playoff in which the top two teams from the regular season automatically seed into the semi-finals.There is no third-fourth place match.

The losers of the third-sixth and fourth-fifth place matches play an extra match to determine who gets sixth place, and thus sent to the relegation tournament with the seventh place team. The eight place team at the end of the regular season is automatically relegated to the Turkish Challenger League (TPL), and the winner of that split of the TPL auto-qualifies to the TCL.

Teams

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

1907 Fenerbahçe

1907 Fenerbahçe

Coming off their first year in the TCL, 1907 Fenerbahçe has taken the region by storm and proving to be one of the most popular teams come out of the TCL. Created by the supporter group for the famous Fenerbahçe soccer club (and not officially owned by the organization yet), the team took a joint third-fourth place finish in the Winter split, before storming the league in Summer, losing just one series the entire split.

The team, led by Korean mid-laner Frozen, and commanded by regional  star-shot caller Thaldrin, looks poised to reach new heights in 2018, having replaced jungler Move and support Japone with newly arrived import Chaser, and Team Aurora’s former support Zergsting. Be on the look-out this year for Worlds pentakill earner Padden to make a stand-out name for himself this year.

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

Dark Passage

Dark Passage

The oldest team in the region to not be relegated, Dark Passage is a storied franchise, with multiple TCL titles under their belt. Consistently in the top half of the league, and more often than not top two, Dark Passage has been a powerful core for the region. Having hosted players from HolyPhoenix to Wikd, the team has shown strong resilience even in the face of a constantly evolving roster. Unfortunately, 2017 was not a kind year for the White Tigers. They missed playoffs for the first time in Winter, placing seventh and forcing them into the promotion tournament, and just avoiding the same fate in the Summer Split, achieving fifth.

The team used the off-season to make huge changes, removing everyone but top laner Marshall, and bringing in Korean jungler and mid laners, respectively, KaKAO and Lucete, along with native bot lane Ruvelius and Japone. Will they finally reclaim their thrown at the top this year? They’re sponsored by Domino’s Pizza.

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

YouthCrew Esports

YouthCrew Esports

Formerly Crew Esports Club, the team decided to take the offseason to rebrand themselves as YouthCrew Esports. Having been around since 2015, Youthcrew started as a bottom tier team, getting relegated their first split, returning to the top flight the following summer. Since then, the team has steadily improving, averaging third place over the last four splits, as is looking to capitalize on its rebranding to make a run at the league title.

The team has brought in two imports during the off-season: Zzus from Korea, and most shockingly former NewBee mid-laner Coco, and has opted to keep the core line-up of Elwind (top), Mojito (jungle), and Madness (ADC). Will this finally be Youthcrews year to take it all?

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

Team AURORA

Team AURORA

The Team Liquid of the TCL, Team AURORA has made third-fourth place every playoffs they’ve been in since promoting from the Challenger Scene (TPL) at the end of 2015, no matter their regular season performance. A gatekeeper to success in the league, AURORA is looking to finally overcome the wall of semi’s to take their first domestic title this year. To help this along, they’ve brought in former SuperMassive players Rogu (Support, formerly known as hbiki), and Naru (mid). Will this be AURORA’s year to finally break the memes?

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

BAUSuperMassive Esports

BAUSuperMassive Esports

A relatively new organization, having joined at the start of the 2016 season after buying recently promoted Challenger secondary team of Beşiktaş, BAUSuperMassive (known locally as just SuperMassive) has won three of the last four splits, only failing this last Summer split after falling the finals to Fenerbahçe. The team elected to use the off-season making some small changes to the team, bringing in Korean players GBM (mid) and SnowFlower (support) to aid returning members Zeitnot (adc), Stomaged (jungle), and fabFabulous (top), and bring them back to the top. The team’s main sponsors are Bahçeşehir University and Carl’s Jr.

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

Royal Bandits

Royal Bandits

The newest team to the TCL, Royal Bandits qualified after buying out the recently promoted team Oyun Hizmetleri. Having spent the previous split at the bottom of the TPL, Royal Bandits is looking to alleviate worries about its ability to run a team with some major signings in the off-season. From Korea they’ve brought in the former Ever8 jungle-mid duo of Malrang and Cepted, along with the star-studded domestic bot-lane of HolyPhoenix and Faker-killer Dumbledoge. Can the new boys on the block run the gauntlet and take a domestic title in their first season, or will they repeat their failings from the TPL?

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

HWA Gaming

HWA Gaming

An original member of the first Turkish Champions League, HWA Gaming has seen its fortunes rise and fall over the years. 2017 was no exception, seeing the team burn out of playoffs and fall to the TPL until the end of the year. Looking  to make 2018 an up-year for the team, HWA has gone and replaced its Challenger Scene mid laner Xico with Korean import Ninja in the off-season, while keeping the rest of it’s promotion line-up. The team is anchored by long time jungler Trix, who has started for the team since Winter 2016. The team will be looking to push its way back to the upper half of the league this season

 

Turkish Champion League of Legends

Galakticos

Galakticos

The most mysterious team in the TCL, Galakticos is the last team in the TCL. Joining at the start of 2017, Galakticos has spent much time in the cellar of the league. Spending much of the last year rotating through players for almost every position, they never seemed to find a composition that worked. According to the TCL home page, the team will consist of, from top of the map to bottom: Rare, Viking, Backlund, J1mmy, and Veux. Having the only fully domestic squad in the league, Galakticos will be looking to make a name for itself in this strengthening region as a builder of local talent.

 

 

 

 

Be sure to stay-tuned to The Game Haus for all your English coverage of the Turkish Champions League, including weekly power-rankings, English castings, and more, when the league kicks off it’s 2018 Winter Split on January 20th, alnog with coverage of your other favorites leagues. If you have scoops you’d like to share with us, feel free to drop us a line at isaac.chandler.tgh@gmail.com.

As always, don’t forget to follow The Game Haus and myself on social media below:

 

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Isaac Twitter

MSI 2017 Karma Support

Karma at MSI: Who Played It Best?

Karma was played a total of nine games between rounds two and three of the Play-In stage at Mid-Season Invitational. She was played eight times as a support in the bottom lane and once in the mid lane. Seeing as Karma has become a contested support champion, and support players are often overlooked, it is important to see which pros are contributing most with The Enlightened One.

1. SwordArt (Flash Wolves)

Judging Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Jie off of one game seems unfair, but against Supermassive he played much better than any other support Karma listed below. He ended with a 19.0 KDA, 76% kill participation, and 326 damage per minute – far ahead of everyone else.

What truly sets SwordArt apart, though, is his positioning. SwordArt positions himself in ways that enable his teammates to play aggressively, engage, and escape. He was one of few Karma supports to choose Exhaust as a summoner spell, which he utilized beautifully against Lee Sin and Fizz to reduce damage and speed. Finally, Redemption placement allowed Flash Wolves to consistently turn fights back in their favor.

2. Biofrost (TSM)

TSM’s support played Karma in their three wins to reverse sweep Gigabyte Marines. Vincent “Biofrost” Wang plays teamfights exceptionally with Karma. He consistently damages, roots, and shields the correct champions to make the best of situations. Biofrost gets into Ignite range several times to finish off low-health enemies. He outplays several of GAM’s players throughout the series. However, GAM baits and outplays Biofrost a couple of times, too.

There were a handful of times during the series that WildTurtle and Biofrost seemed to be out of sync. WildTurtle mispositions, gets caught out, which forces Biofrost to run or die. A 4.4 KDA, 67.4% kill participation, and 266 gold ahead at 10 minutes are solid statistics. However, Biofrost averaged 22.6% of TSM’s death share on Karma.

3. Dumbledoge (Supermassive)

As a veteran of international competition, it is not surprising that Mustafa Kemal “Dumbledoge” Gökseloğlu plays over-aggressively. One of Karma’s strengths as a champion is her acceleration and shielding, which tend to give support players a false sense of security for roaming, face-checking, and engaging fights. Gigabyte Marines punished Dumbledoge’s tendency to overextend less frequently, but it was blatantly obvious against Flash Wolves. Watching the highlights, notice the moments where he gets chunked and survives against GAM, but locked down and deleted against FW.

There are several moments where Dumbledoge decides to shield himself rather than primary carries. His average numbers on Karma are middling to low: 2.6 KDA, 60.5% kill participation, 22% death share, and 106 experience ahead at 10 minutes. Flash Wolves’ routing of Supermassive skews the statistics, which is not entirely Dumbledoge’s fault, but his gameplay overall was not great on Karma.

4. Archie (Gigabyte Marines)

Gigabyte Marines had firm showings against TSM and Supermassive last weekend. However, Minh “Archie” Nhựt Trần did not play very well on Karma. His positioning and decision-making were not the best. And even though he was present during key fights, he did not contribute much with the champion. Flashing directly into high damage, overstaying fights instead of fleeing, hesitating to peel, and other misplays are in the highlights.

While Archie maintained a decent KDA on Karma throughout the tournament, 5.0, he averaged a 25% share of Gigabyte Marines’ deaths. Archie also averaged 62.5% kill participation, 164 damage per minute, and 7.6% of his team’s damage – all very low for support Karma. Finally, Archie started out 206 experience behind at 10 minutes, which is significantly worse than the other supports listed above.

MSI Player-Champion Statisticshttp://oracleselixir.com/statistics/champions/2017-spring-players-by-champion/

Conqueror Karma Splash Imagehttp://www.surrenderat20.net/2017/04/411-pbe-update.html


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MSI

MSI: Group A Preview

The first stage of the Mid Season Invitational is just a few days away, and there’s a lot to be excited about. For the first time ever, MSI will have a play-in stage where wildcard regions will play for a chance at a best of five series with either TSM or Flash Wolves. Group A may be nicknamed “group of death” in terms of the talent in this group. Many of these regions have been known for stellar play in Wildcard tournaments.

Red Canids

Courtesy: Riot Esports

Red Canids will have the home field advantage playing in Brazil. They handily swept Keyd Stars 3-0 in the CBLOL en route to qualifying for MSI. On that Keyd Stars team were fan favorites from last worlds, jungler Gabriel “Revolta” Henud, and top laner Felipe “Yang” Zhao, who shocked EDG at last worlds.

They made a key addition to the head coach position, adding on longtime League personality/coach Ram “Brokenshard” Djemal. His latest stint ended with his North American Challenger team, EUnited, falling to Team Liquid in the LCS qualifier.

They come in with one of the strongest bot lanes in Brazil.  At ADC they sport one of the most famous Brazilian superstars in Felipe “brTT” Goncalves. They have the French support, Hugo “Dioud” Padioleau. Dioud who has shown much success in the region.

Mid laner Gabriel “tockers” Claumann also got to strut his ability on the World stage last year. He was a great addition to this roster, allowing them to finally find success in the region.  Their second mid laner is infamous twitch streamer, Felipe “Yoda” Noronha. Yoda is a master of playing assassins. He’s most infamous for his Katarina which has drawn bans in competitive play.

Brazil has been known to have some of the best international success among Wildcard regions. With the home field advantage, everyone in Brazil will be rooting for them to advance to represent their region well.

Super Massive eSports

Courtesy:Riot Esports

Super Massive Esports return to MSI, where they took a game off of NA’s CLG the last time they were here. Statistically, Super Massive has the best players at every role. Each player is a top player in the region. They qualified for MSI after taking a 3-1 series over Crew esports.

Much of their roster from last MSI are returning. Many will remember their star support, Mustafa Kemal “Dumbledoge” Gökseloğlu. In their first match vs. SKT, they did a clever roam to the mid lane to first blood Faker. Jungler Furkan “Stomaged” Güngör and mid laner Koray “Naru” Bıçak also return to the MSI stage.

Top laner Asım “fabFabulous” Cihat Karakaya had one of his best splits earning the TCL MVP award. He had a perfect win rate on Camille so look for it to draw bans possibly.

Turkey has had a very good record in Wildcard play. They’ve had some of the best success in Wildcard tournaments, so they’ll definitely be favorites to get out of group A.

Rampage

Courtesy: lolesports

Rampage is one of the newest Wildcard regions in Japan, qualifying for MSI after barely beating Unsold Stuff Gaming 3-2, en route to sweeping a 3-0 final against Detonation gaming.

At the support and jungle positions, they have Korean imports Jeon “Dara” Jeong-Hoon and Moonyong “Tussel” Lee. Dara has quickly risen to stardom in Japan, being voted to represent the region for the International Wildcard Qualifier two years in a row. He’s been known for playing tanky bruiser supports, but has shown great skill on Lulu as of late.

Dara has shown skill on very high pressure junglers, such as Lee Sin and Nidalee. He’ll look to pressure the map early for them to see success in this group A. The pro scene is definitely growing in Japan, and Rampage will look to prove how much they’re growing as a region.

LG Dire Wolves

Courtesy: OPL lolesports

Last, but not least, we have LG Dire Wolves out of the OPL region of Australia.They qualified for MSI after taking a 3-1 series over Legacy eSports. After a few splits of barely missing success, the Dire Wolves were able to take the OPL championship.

The Dire Wolves are led by star ADC Calivin “k1ng” Truong, who showed great play on some of the early lethality champions, such as Jhin and Varus. He’ll be vital in their team’s success in this group. Mid laner Richard “Phanatiks” Su is an aggressive player, known to play assassin champions when he can, such as Zed, Fizz, or Kassadin.

For the past few IWQ events, the OPL have fallen just short of qualifying for international events. The Dire Wolves will want to come in and prove that they can be the first team to do so. Their first step will be qualifying out of group A.

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