Schedule and Format
Photo Credit: LoL Esports
With two of the three representatives from North America decided for Worlds, the last remaining spot will be decided by the regional qualifiers taking place this weekend. The regional qualifiers will begin with the first best-of-five on Saturday, 9/3 and continue with a series each day until Monday, 9/5. The format of the qualifiers will feature the popular gauntlet style used by many other regions to determine their Worlds’ representatives also. Higher seeded teams are given more byes while lower seeded teams have to play more series to make it through. Simply put, the highest seeded team only has to play one best-of-five series to win the regional qualifiers, the next highest seeded team would have to play two, while the two lower ranked seeds would have to win three best-of-fives in a row to make it to Worlds.
A Look into History
Photo Credit: HNGN.com
The first time the gauntlet system was implemented was during last year’s Worlds’ qualification process. Similar to this year, TSM and CLG were the two teams that were automatically qualified for Worlds due to their circuit points. The team that made it out of the regional qualifiers, surprisingly, was Cloud9 who started on the very bottom of the gauntlet and had a very poor regular season to barely even scrape a spot in the regional qualifiers. They barely won against Gravity and Team Impulse, 3-2 each, to make it to the top of the gauntlet against Team Liquid. Their Cinderella run ended with Cloud9 taking down Liquid 3-1 to qualify for Worlds.
Predictions for This Year
Photo Credit: LoL Wallpapers
Immortals are the clear favorites to make it out of the gauntlet this year. They’ve had very dominating regular season performances, only losing 3 games total throughout the Spring and Summer regular seasons. They also sit at the very top of the gauntlet, only needing to win one best-of-five series to advance to Worlds whereas their other competitors will have to play more. The one silver lining for Cloud9 in this gauntlet is that they have already beaten Immortals in a best-of-five series in the playoffs a few days ago.
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