Starting on Friday, April 26, the NA LCS Spring Playoffs begin. For three days, six teams will compete for entry into the second half of the Split. The four teams who advance to the Semifinals will be safely through to the next season while the two losing teams from the Quarterfinals will have their last shot at the summer season via the Summer Promotion Qualifier.
Securing their Place in the Sun
Head-to-head record: DIG 3-1 GGU
The first matchup on Friday is between third seed Dignitas versus sixth seed Good Game University. For much of the regular season, Dignitas hovered safely around first and second place in rankings. It wasn’t until Week 10 where they posted a disappointing 1-4 result that the team fell to the third seed – a bad time to falter when TSM resurged with a perfect 5-0 that week. While some of DIG’s rustiness could be attributed to Crumbz’s absence during Week 9, DIG needs to prove that it’s overcome the disarray from Super Week and can return to form from the regular season.
Good Game University advanced to the Split Playoffs by the skin of its teeth. Ending the season with a record of 11-17, they finalized sixth seed by just one win over the seventh ranked Team MRN. Since the debut of its new Support in Week 8, DayDreamin, GGU rose from last place to net a 7-3 record in the last three weeks. GGU will want to show that the final weeks of the regular season were growing pains and the players still have much more to bring to the table.
With the Split 2 Playoffs already underway, it's important to remember there's much more on the line for the teams in contention than just an OPL Championship. The winner of this Postseason earns the right to represent Oceania in this year's International Wild Card Qualifier.
Of the teams in the OPL Playoff race, both the Chiefs eSports Club and Legacy eSports have had the benefit of international experience at prior Wild Card events. That experience -- and the improvement that we've seen from these two teams in the intervening months -- will certainly give them an edge as they head into their upcoming games.
Legacy took their shot at a Worlds appearance during last year’s International Wild Card Tournament at Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany.
The EU LCS Season 3 Playoffs will be many things: a chance at settling rivalries forged during the last 10 weeks, a final shot for glory before the Summer Split, and -- with a total of $100,000 on the line -- a chance to pocket a significant reward. For four of the six teams that have made it to this point, it is also a chance for redemption.
The LCS has been a wild hodgepodge of successes and setbacks, and not all of it from the expected quarters. The good, the bad, and the ugly were all on display. Nobody expected the Copenhagen Wolves, starting with a 0-9 record, to become the Cinderella story of European League of Legends and come within reach of knocking the Season 2 titans EG Raidcall down to fifth place. In contrast to the Wolves, both the Ozone GIANTS and the Dragonborns started the season with great promise and declarative victories over top teams, only to flounder in latter weeks and face the looming threat of relegation.
The last game between both teams was heavily one-sided in SK's favor, and demonstrated quite clearly that aAa will not be able to afford to ignore the consistency issues that have plagued them in recent weeks. If this was SK Gaming from back in Season 2, their constant identity crisis might have offered breathing room, but the team as they are today has become incredibly formidable. Against All Authority have their work cut out for them.