Mike “MikeP” Plant became the sixth player to qualify for the Liquid Galaxy Qualifier Finals last weekend. However his road to triumph was bumpy, MikeP very well could of been eliminated in round two.
“I had a lot of fun but there was a long delay waiting on tiebreakers after round two,” MikeP said. “They had to go check how many rounds I have survived.”
After placing fourth in his first round of the day, MikeP, followed that up with a third place in the second round. With half of the field shrinking every round, a fourth and a third put him at risk of elimination. In fact, some players with the same exact placing did get eliminated after round two. After looking at the tiebreakers, which were decided to be total in-game rounds survived, MikeP advanced on tiebreakers. After receiving a second chance, MikeP ran all the way to the top with it. The week six LGQ was far from ordinary and not only from the champs perspective.
Master tier player MikeP came into the event thinking he was just going to play flexible. MikeP focused in on only playing the top compositions. In round one he decided to pilot the popular Jinx Brawlers composition. Struggling to find more than one Jinx, MikeP narrowly escaped elimination with a fourth place finish. Not wanting a repeat of the frustrating round one, MikeP switched from Jinx Brawlers to Cybernetics for rest of the event. After the scare round two, MikeP knew he had to start winning games. To do that, MikeP needed to change up his game plan.
“I knew I needed to start getting firsts and seconds the rest of the way so I started playing really greedy.” MikeP said. “I sacrificed HP for carousel priority and hoarded gold to roll down on stage 4-3.”
His adjustments worked as the greedy play style pairs well with the Cybernetic composition. MikeP said that when playing greedy, having a reliable comp to roll into helps make the risk worth it.
“I think hitting Cybers is more consistent, especially because you can flex your items between Vayne and Irelia if needed.” MikeP said. “I think that was shown in the finals too when Octagonal and I finished first and thrid in the finals after forcing Cybers all three games.”
Micheal “Octogonal” Zhou, like MikeP played Cybers throughout the entire event. Unlike MikeP, Octogonal is currently Challenger rank. Also unlike MikeP, this was Octagonals first LGQ. He said one reason why it took six weeks for him to enter a LGQ was because he was doing things on the weekends.
“I was always busy on a Saturday,” Octogonal said. “I signed up twice in the past but missed it because I either forgot about it or was busy.”
There is however another reason why he signed up now. To qualify for the OCENA regional finals, players have two options. The first option is to be in the top 16 when it comes to ladder points. The second option is to place top two in the LGQ finals or the Cloud 9 Invitational. One theory floating around is that Challenger players outside of the top sixteen may be starting to realize that they will not make it through the ranked ladder. That leaves option two as the only chance for players to qualify for the OCENA regional finals. Octogonal admitted that this was on his mind when signing up.
“Yes thats my reasoning for participating this week too, I think the theory is pretty accurate.” Octogonal said.
In his first LGQ, Octogonal marched into a stacked final lobby that was more competitive than usual. This is because in previous weeks, the final lobby consisted of mostly Master tier players. Week six however, featured more Challenger players than any other rank. Octogonal thinks this trend will continue in the final two weeks as more Challenger players sign up. He is also confident that he can take one of the two final spots in the LGQ finals even through tougher competition.
“Im confident Im able to win one of the last LGQ’s because I proved it to myself this week.” Octogonal said. “I was only two points off of winning the whole event.”
But its not only Challenger players Octogonal is preparing for. He said that anyone ranked Master or above could win tournaments. After all, even in a stacked lobby it was the Master ranked MikeP who won the week six LGQ.
“The skill gap between Master and Challenger is not too far apart,” Octogonal said. “Many Master players are seen in Challenger lobbies and they perform better than we expect them to.”
Week seven of the LGQ kicks off on Saturday. Check liquidtactics.gg for more details.
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