IEM San Jose: League of Legends Preview

IEM San Jose will be kicking off tomorrow and six of the most popular League of Legends teams in the world will be doing battle. Each team was voted into this event by the fans and will be looking to make their fans happy by taking home the trophy. I will have a breakdown for each team at the event, talk about the broadcasting team that will be bringing the action to the fans, and go over the schedule for this weekend which includes an ARAM show match with some big names in it. Let’s get into it.


 

TSM

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Top: Hauntzer

Jungle: Svenskeren

Mid: Bjergsen

ADC: Doublelift

Support: KaSing

The last IEM event was won by TSM, but this is a completely different team. Bjergsen is the only player on the roster that played at Worlds for TSM. This event will be vital for TSM to establish there new roster and gain experience playing together. The biggest acquisition for TSM was Doublelift, so watch out for his performance at this event. KaSing was a very strong pick up for the support position and seeing their duo lane in a 2v2 would be great. The biggest questions I have for TSM is at the top side of the map. Hauntzer has some giant shoes to fill and Svenskeren will look to be the EU jungler TSM has been looking for the past couple years. Keep an eye on how this team plays together as a whole, I know i will.


 

CLG

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Top: ZionSpartan

Jungle: Xmithie

Mid: Huhi

ADC: Stixxay

Support: Aphromoo

For the first time in an extremely long time, their is no Doublelift on CLG. There is also a change in the mid lane for this team. The team decided to let Pobelter go and promote Huhi to starting mid laner. Fans of CLG need to watch Stixxay to see if he has what it takes to be an ADC on the international level. He has not been in the LCS before and this is his big shot to impress. If Stixxay fails to perform, CLG may be looking for a new ADC before 2016. Zionspartan and Aphromoo will have to carry this team if they are to make it out of the quarterfinals matchup.


Origen

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Top: Soaz

Jungle: Amazing

Mid: PowerOfEvil / xPeke

ADC: Niels

Support: Mithy

The favorites coming into the tournament in my opinion have also made a lineup change. Origen are fresh off their semifinal run in the World Championship and have implemented a 6 man roster with rotating mid laners like SKT T1 runs. PowerOfEvil comes over from Unicorns of Love and will look to be the main man in the middle for a top EU powerhouse. I’m excited to see what he can bring to a stacked Origen lineup and if his play-making ability in the mid lane can put this team over the top. Be on the look out for the mid lane in each Origen game. They are my favorites to take home this tournament.


Unicorns Of Love

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Top: Vizicsacsi

Jungle: Gilius

Mid: Fox

ADC: Steeelback

Support: Hylissang

Unicorns of Love have 3 new starters on thier roster. Vizicsacsi and Hylissang are the only returning members from the Summer Split. Gilius has spent time with UoL as a sub, but now has the starting job in the jungle. The former Fnatic ADC Steelback finds himself back on an LCS squad and will look to prove his doubters wrong this weekend by performing well. The player to watch on this team for me this weekend is Fox, the former SK Gaming mid laner. He had a very underwhelming season this year, but may turn his career around with a new team. I want to see if he can compete with some of the world’s top mid laners and if he will be the right man to replace PowerOfEvil in the middle for UoL.


LGD

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Top: Acorn / Flame

Jungle: TBQ / Xiaoxi

Mid: GODV

ADC: Imp

Support: Pyl

I was on the LGD hype train before Worlds started, then LGD derailed in such an abrupt manner, it was hard to watch. LGD were easily the most disappointing team at Worlds as they failed to make it out of the group stage. This organization will be looking to rebound in a big way and win this tournament. They certainly have the talent for that. GODV and Imp are some of the best players in the world at thier position, but the top side of the map will definitely need to step their game up. The biggest thing to watch for from LGD is who will be playing. We saw Flame outperform Acorn at Worlds, does this mean he will be the starter now? TBQ was the weak link of the team all season, so will he find himself on the bench now? This weekend will be a telling one for LGD.


Jin Air Green Wings

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Top: Sohwan

Jungle: Winged

Mid: Kuzan

ADC:  Pilot

Support: Chei

No more GBM, no TrAce, no Cpt Jack, no Chaser, this Jin Air team is young and talented though. Pilot is a hard carry ADC that can 1v5 late game if he needs to. Him and Chei in the bot lane are the only players on this team that have much experience for this team. Jin Air decided to try new things in the other positions and see how well these three players can perform. Watch out for Kuzan in the mid lane. He has big shoes to fill after GBM left the team for North America. This may be the hardest team to scout at IEM, but you have to watch out for the talent level of this Korean squad. They may be able to finally win something for the Jin Air organization.


 

IEM Broadcast Team

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A star studded broadcasting team is on hand for this weekend to bring all the action to you. The big names we are used to seeing are DoA and Montecristo from the LCK, Krepo from the EU LCS, Phreak from the NA LCS, and Deman who worked the EU LCS for so long. Former NA LCS player SaintVicious will provide insight from the analyst desk which will be led by Chobra, another big name. Tsepha is an Oceanic caster that will get a chance to finally cast with some of the game’s best. Having Kristine Leahy as a field reporter for this event is really exciting as well. She is the co-host of “The Herd” along side Colin “eSports hater” Cowherd. She continuously stands up for the eSports scene on national TV and on the radio and will finally get a chance to participate as part of the broadcast team for the biggest eSport in the world currently. It’s a star studded event that will surely be exciting to watch all weekend.


 

IEM San Jose League of Legends Schedule

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Tomorrow, November 21st, TSM will take on LGD in the first game followed by Unicorns of Love against CLG. The semifinals will then be played Sunday followed by the event finals. There will also be a ARAM show match on Saturday between the two quarterfinal matchups. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be best-of-threes and the finals will be a best-of-five. This event will be played on patch 5.21, not 5.22 which is the major preseason patch. The show match on Saturday is for the Cybersmile Foundation and will be a 5v5 ARAM match. Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, will be the captain of one team and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, will captain the other side. The remaining members of each team will be former pros in the League of Legends scene. Only confirmed player I have seen so far has been Voyboy. The show match for charity should be a very entertaining event. The action each day will be kicking off around 1:30 EST time according to the IEM website. You can catch every game live on Twitch.tv or other streaming sites. Tune in for the first Leauge of Legends event since Worlds concluded. See you there.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin