The Regional Gauntlet Is Set – Who Will Secure North America’s Last Slot At Worlds?
With the LCS Finals in the books, the bracket for the Regional Gauntlet is set. For the first time in what feels like an eternity, Cloud9 wont have to run the gauntlet to qualify for Worlds. This year, both C9 and Team Liquid have already earned their spot on points. So let’s take a look at who is left, and who has a good chance to make it.
Team Solo Mid
Team Solo mid wasn’t competing over the weekend in Detroit, but you wouldn’t know it if you listened to the audience. TSM jerseys were plentiful, and a TSM chant even broke out during the pivotal game 5 between C9 and Team Liquid. It’s been a strange year for TSM, who have failed to live up the lofty expectations their legacy carries. A reverse sweep at the hands of Team Liquid in the finals of the spring split, and an early ejection from Clutch Gaming have earned them the coveted number 1 slot in the Gauntlet. They’ll need to win only one match to punch their ticket to Worlds.
Counter Logic Gaming
On the surface, the 3rd place match at the LCS Summer Split finals may not have meant a lot. But in actuality, it had major implications for who would be going to Worlds. Counter Logic Gaming had an abysmal spring split, but really came alive in the second half of the year. They finished the Summer Split in 3rd place after a tie-breaker loss to Cloud9. Given their point total and victory over Clutch last weekend, they’ll earn the 2nd slot in the Gauntlet. To go to Worlds, they’ll need to win two matches.
Clutch Gaming and FlyQuest
Which leaves the teams in the not-so-coveted 3rd and 4th slot. Both Clutch Gaming and FlyQuest will need to run the gauntlet if they want to punch their ticket to Worlds. Clutch Gaming has had an up and down year, finishing the summer split in the middle of the pack. A strong showing over TSM in the quarter finals sent them to meet Liquid in the semis. They played incredibly well, pushing Liquid the distance before finally losing in the fifth game.
FlyQuest earned their points in the spring split with a 4th place finish. Despite a lackluster summer split, they still had enough points to qualify for the Gauntlet. They’ll play in the first round against Clutch Gaming. The winner of that match will advance to meet Counter Logic Gaming, and the winner of that match will meet Team Solo Mid in the finals. The over-all winner will advance to the play-in stage of the World Championship.
Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games