League of Legends: IEM Cologne Recap

The third Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge was held this past weekend in Cologne. This is a League of Legends event hosted by the ESL following IEM Guangzhou and IEM Singapore.
The teams
Group A
Group B
Millenium CLG.EU
FnaticRC MeetYourMakers
SK telecom T1 Team Alternate
Mousesports CJ Entus

Eight teams qualified for Intel Extreme Masters Cologne. The winner earns a direct qualification to the Season VII finals at CeBIT. The eight teams are split into two groups of four. Group stage consists of a round robin, best of 1 format. The top 2 teams of each group move on. In the event of a tie, game time will be used to determine the tie break. The bracket stage is single elimination consisting of a best of 3. Despite Season 3 rules and changes being in effect on the live servers, this tournament is using the season 2 Zed Patch.

Day 1

Team Fnatic was one of the favorites heading into the tournament after top placings in both Dreamhack and IPL 5 back in November. Their first match of the day was against Millenium. A level 1 team fight went in favor of Fnatic with Rekkles obtaining the first blood. Some unfortunate plays by Millenium eventually led to Fnatic taking their first win of the day. Their second match was against SK Telecom T1. This is a team out of Korea which featured ex-Azubu Blaze player Reapered. Again, Rekkles had a strong game along with his teammate Xpeke leading to another win and winning the group stage undefeated.

SKT1  is one of the newer teams that to join the competitive scene. They had only two weeks to practice and train before IEM. They played against Mousesports in their first game prior to their match against Fnatic. Despite being slightly outmatched in the early part of the game, they were able to come back with a victorious second half with their Jax and Diana leading the way. In order to get to the semifinals, they had to go through Millenium. Some early kills for SKT1 set the tone for the rest of the match. Despite Millenium taking some kills off of SKT1, they were unable to overcome the Koreans.

Both Fnatic and SK Telecom T1 advance to the semi finals where they will play against their group B counterparts while Mousesports and Millenium were sent home.

Day 2

Meet Your Makers entered group B after their recent win from IEM Singapore. CLG.EU had a hard time playing against the MYM threats of Katarina and Corki and ultimately lost. MYM finished off their day against CJ Entus to determine their semi-finals seeding.

The Korean team of CJ Entus squared off against Team Alternate and breached their defences easily by reaching the Nexus a little over 20 minutes into the match. CLG.EU was heavily favored to move on but ultimately could not match CJ Entus. Wicked’s Rumble continued to get overwhelmed with routine ganks by the Korean team. CJ Entus continued to siege CLG.EU’s base and scored an ace against the team resulting in a win.

MYM shuts out their group going 3-0 and is joined by CJ Entus in the semi finals. Heavy favourite CLG.EU is out of the tournament along with Team Alternate.

Day 3

Fnatic manages to take down CJ Entus in the semi finals 2-1 while SKT1 brushes by MeetYourMakers 2-0. This sets up a Europe vs Korea match for the finals.

The AoE synergy of the ultimate abilities between Amumu, Zyra, and Miss Fortune were enough to dismember Fnatic in game 1. Game 2 saw Fnatic roar back playing as they did in the recent tournaments and winning in a convincing fashion to equalize the series. Game 3 defined by Reapered’s Olaf who outright crushed Fnatic’s Lee Sin. He literally waded through four members of the opposing team to knock out their carry. SKT1′s victory secures them a cool $15000 price along with entry into the IEM Season 7 Championships next year.

The next event will be at IEM Katowice (Poland) followed by IEM Sao Paulo (Brazil).

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