The End of the Season 3 Summer Split and the start of the Season 3 Worlds.

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So, with the season being over I figured it was time for me to talk about how I felt throughout the season and my expectations towards Worlds.

We ended the split being 25-3, which is a fantastic record. I feel like that record will stay the best for a long time as each team gets better and better. I don’t believe we’ll see such a dominant streak in the future. We lost twice to Vulcun and once to CLG. Although all of our losses were avoidable, we learned something valuable from each loss. The main lesson we learned was that dying at level 1 (double/triple kills) will lose you the game or at the very least make the game much, much harder. A majority of the community expects teams to make comebacks, but when you really think about it… what are comebacks? Aren’t they just “throws” by the winning team?

This game is snowbally, and it’s suppose to be that way. If one team is extremely ahead and they are a good team, the game should be over. League doesn’t really allow for a comeback without a throw. You can say people can try and camp a brush or pick someone off but for that to happen the enemy player needs to be in the wrong position or lack proper wards. It’s not necessarily fun to see a game snowball but in games between high level teams, it’s inevitable if one team gets an advantage. It’s much more respectable to lose by getting snowballed on rather than throwing the game you were supposed to win.

1234328_10151884412521241_505777127_nSo let’s talk about PAX! The event was REALLLLLLY big, there was a ton of people and so much to do. I didn’t really have any free time to roam around and try out the other games or explore because I was busy running from booth to booth to do signings or I would get stopped to take a picture and sign stuff for people I met in between. It’s not a big deal but I didn’t really have any free time to have “fun” but I mean, I just took 1st place at PAX so that was sweet. Let’s talk a little about taking 1st!

So Dignitas beat Curse and they were our first match of the tournament on Saturday. I was reallllly nervous going into it because I knew I would be playing Fizz. It was a champion I’ve never played before in LCS and I wasn’t comfortable with every match up (Diana). We were getting really pressured early game in the 1st game and it was looking grim but we decided that we should group fight and stop the laning phase as we had strong team fight champions and we were losing lanes. We did a good dive mid and got the game snowballing from that dive, which gave us the momentum we needed to snowball the rest of the game and into the next game. Beating Dignitas was such a huge relief for me because we made it into worlds, and it was more important to make it to worlds than it was to take 1st. With that pressure off of my shoulders I was finally able to relax, though I still didn’t have an appetite. :p.

Sunday was the Finals vs TSM, who ended up beating Vulcun and meeting us in the finals. Although we’re good friends with them, we wanted 1st place so we could skip groups at worlds. I wasn’t as nervous for this game as I was for the first one because we already made it to worlds. However there was still a lot on the line, and we had to end the TSM streak of winning every NA tournament for the past 2 years. I won’t talk too much about the games as there are VODs of it and my memory is a bit foggy about each game. I just know I wanted to get in there and start fighting which is why I picked Kennen twice in a row. I wanted to have fun those games and I definitely did since I love Kennen and we won too.

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Taking 1st at PAX was amazing, Riot let us throw goodies to the crowd and it was a surreal experience. All of these people watching us play and supporting us throughout the entire thing is just something you don’t understand until it happens to you. At first I just wanted to go home and celebrate with my GF: just relax in bed and watch a movie or something but then I got over that and I wanted to interact with people and just hang out! Which lead me to the Riot hosted dinner at Games Works where all the LCS teams that were at PAX  were hanging out, including the amateur teams. We ate food, talked and played the arcade games which was a lot of fun. I found out Balls is better at racing on a motorcycle than I am but he sucks at every other game. After that we went to the Generation Gaming Cafe where half of the people from Games Works went to hang out, I played an Aram with the staff and just talked with everyone.

The Unofficial Underground Training Center for LCS players of PAX
The Unofficial Underground Training Center for LCS players of PAX

Moving on from the Season and looking towards Worlds, we have a lot to prepare for. We need to keep our mechanics in top shape, improve our existing strategies and possibly create new ones, diversify champion pools/get used to more unorthodox champions played in other regions, keep our mental and physical health in top shape so we aren’t fatigued, and not let our emotions get to our heads or anything. You have to lay everything on the line here at worlds for a shot at first place and there isn’t time for drama and other shenanigans (always times for relaxing though). I think the main thing we will be doing different from other teams is how much practice we will require, most teams will scrim 6-10 hours a day I imagine but for us we will be scrimming 4~ hours everyday, with research and analysis of other teams in the other time along with a bunch of Solo Queue and relaxing so we don’t get burned out/stay in good moods.

I don’t really watch the other regions play so I’m not sure which region I’d prefer to face, but obviously I would want the weakest team possible so that we may get an easier match and make it to semi-finals. I’m hoping for the best and trying to improve myself and the team as much as possible so that we may aim to take 1st place at worlds even if its an unrealistic goal, but you bet we’re going to damn try and reach that goal.

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by Hai Lam, on September 6, 2013