MLG Raleigh: League of Legends preview

Posted by Michael "Zechs_" Radford 2 years, 34 weeks ago
GosuGamers editor-in-chief Michael "Zechs" Radford takes a look at the upcoming MLG Raleigh League of Legends competition. Top teams Dignitas, Curse, Monomaniacs and Dynamic get placed under the microscope as favourites to place in the money.

Writing about North American LoL can be a pretty difficult task. Usually it’s difficult to come up with something that doesn’t just say “TSM will win,” while trying to spend several hundred words explaining how the other teams do have a chance. At this weekend’s MLG Raleigh, it’s difficult for exactly the opposite reason: TSM aren’t there and we need a new angle. Suddenly, all those teams that normally have a chance of beating TSM don’t need to any more. Oh, and MLG still hasn’t released the bracket even though the tournament starts today – that really doesn’t help.

Still, we do have a team list, so lets dive in and see who the favourites are to win a TSM-less event and take home their share of this prize pool:

1st. $20,000
2nd. $12,000
3/4th. $4,000
3/4th. $4,000

The eight teams will face-off in a double elimination bracket, meaning that you have to lose twice before you go home. All matches will be best-of-three, except for the all-important final, which is best-of-five.

- Scarra, Crumbzz, IWillDominate, Patoy, TBD
- Predicted finish: 2nd

Might as well start with one of the more likely candidates. That said, Dignitas’ AD Carry is still not confirmed as attending, which could obviously cause them some problems. But on their day, Dignitas is a team that can beat anyone. At least, in the past they have been a team like that, but in recent months they have very much “there about” rather than “there.” In July they finished second in NESL, and on LAN they managed third at the Spring Arena in June, but with or without TSM, Dignitas haven’t won an offline tournament in 2012. With TSM and CLG out of the picture, this is Dignitas’ best opportunity this year, but there are still teams capable of beating them. Anything but top two will be a disappointment for this team, but I get the feeling they might just be disappointed.

Team Curse
- Saintvicious, Cop, Nyjacky, Westrice, Elementz
- Predicted finish: 1st

Curse is a strange team. They’re almost famous for being famous, thanks to the celebrity status of Saintvicious. While they do have a strong team with some success, their tournament history isn’t particularly remarkable. Second place at IPL Face Off earlier this month was impressive, but the 200 Circuit Points earned there account for almost half of their season two total. The only time Curse has made top four of an offline tournament in 2012 was the previous MLG… where there were only four teams total. That’s not to say Curse isn’t a good team, but they might benefit more than anyone from the absence of CLG and TSM. For Curse, this tournament should be about building on the foundations they laid at Face Off. If they can match or even improve on that second place finish – and I think they can – perhaps they can become a genuine top team rather than just a popular one.

- Mandatorycloud, Aphromoo, Xmithie, Balls, Muffinqt
- Predicted finish: 3rd

The artists formerly known as mTw and Goose are a team that are criminally underrated in the North American scene. Granted, they don’t have much offline experience but as NESL season three champions they have to be taken seriously. A month after that success, they went to IP Face Off and finished fourth – a clear improvement on their last LAN run-out, where they came 9-12th at MLG Spring Championship. Alright, so their offline results are fairly mediocre, but, much like Curse, they set foundations at Face Off that they will hope to build on this weekend. Under the new banner of Monomaniacs, this is a perfect opportunity for them to make a positive start to a new chapter.

Team Dynamic
- Paradoxial, Zig, ZionSpartan, Pixel, NintendudeX
- Predicted finish: 4th

After all this talk of teams looking to continue an upward trend, here is a team looking to get back on the right track. A team with undoubted talent, TD had a poor showing at IPL Face Off, going out in the first round of the losers’ bracket. Dynamic will be looking to show that they had a bad day and that they can still hang with the big boys. History shows that they are capable of doing just that: 4th place finishes at Spring Arena and IPL 4 are solid results. With NintedudeX in the jungle you always have a chance but few others would consider TD as contenders right now and they need a strong performance this weekend. With Legion being America’s new sweethearts, this is probably my bravest pick for top four, but I like Dynamic as the dark horse of the tournament.
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