Worlds 2016 NA and EU Regional Qualifiers Predictions

This Saturday, September 3rd, is the beginning of the dreaded gauntlet where teams fight for a berth in the 2016 League of Legends World Championship. Two teams from Europe, as well as two teams from North America, have already qualified which leaves one spot left from each region. That spot belongs to the last team standing from each region’s respective regional qualifier. That qualifier is known as the gauntlet. For those that are unaware of how the gauntlet works, here’s a quick breakdown.


Gauntlet Format

image from lolesports.com

image from lolesports.com

In each region, teams accumulate championship points for their performances in the spring split and summer split. The team that wins the summer split automatically qualifies as the regions #1 seeded team. The team that accumulates the most championship points earns the #2 seed from their region. The 3rd seed from EU and NA is earned by the team that wins the regional qualifier. The teams that accumulated the 4th and 5th most championship points face off in a best-of-five series. Then the winner of that series will face off against the team that accumulated the 3rd most championship points. Then the winner of that series battles the team that accumulated the 2nd most championship points for the right to represent their region at the World Championship. The bracket above also showcases how this format. So let’s take a look at how the gauntlet for Europe is set up.


European Regional Qualifier

EU Gauntlet bracket 2016

In Europe, Unicorns of Love and Giants Gaming will do battle in the opening round this Saturday to determine who will move on to face Fnatic on Sunday. The final boss will be Splyce who will wait for their opponent and play on Monday to determine who will earn the #3 seed from Europe. G2 Esports won the summer split and are the #1 seed in Europe while H2k earned the #2 seed in Europe by accumulating the most championship points for the year.

Predictions:

The opening round is a rematch from the opening round of the summer split playoffs that took place a couple of weeks ago. Unicorns of Love defeated Giants 3-1 in that series and should come out on top once again. The Unicorns will win 3-2 this time and will move on to face Fnatic in the second round. Fnatic looked abysmal in the playoff series against H2k earlier this month, but they can regroup and defeat the Unicorns in the gauntlet. Fnatic should be able to cruise into the final round with a 3-1 series win over Unicorns of Love. Splyce, who lost the summer split finals 3-1, are the heavy favorites heading into this gauntlet and they will deliver. Splyce should be the final European team to qualify for the World Championship after they defeat Fnatic 3-1. The European gauntlet seems pretty clear to me, but Fnatic could pull off some of their late season magic and continue their season. Splyce will have to be ready to go or their off-season will start much sooner than they expected.


North American Regional Qualifier

NA gauntlet bracket 2016

In North America, Team Liquid and EnVyUs face off in the opening matchup this Saturday. The winner will then face off against the summer split runner-ups, Cloud 9. The final test will be Immortals on Monday to determine which team will earn the #3 seed from North America. TSM earned the #1 seed in North America by winning the summer split championship and CLG earned the #2 seed in North America by accumulating the most championship points in 2016.

Predictions:

The opening round of the gauntlet is probably the most unpredictable round after the recent announcements from Team Liquid. Team Liquid let go of their star jungler, Dardoch, as well as their ADC Fabbbyyy. Team Liquid will start Jynthe at ADC and Arcsecond in the jungle. Jynthe finished the summer split playoff series against CLG, but still remains as an inexperienced player. The more concerning issue is Arcsecond, who is a high challenger mid lane player and has no competitive experience at the jungle position. The roster changes will be too much for Liquid to overcome and EnVyUs will emerge victorious with a 3-1 series win. EnVyUs will then have to battle Cloud 9 just like they did in the opening round of the summer split playoffs. To repeat their playoff performance, Cloud 9 will take the second round of the gauntlet with a 3-1 series win over EnVyUs. That will set North America up with a massive battle between Immortals and Cloud 9. Immortals choked in the playoffs the past two splits and could very well repeat that in the gauntlet. Immortals have more talent on their roster and can team fight on the same level as Cloud 9, but Cloud 9 has the experience, the macro advantage, and the coaching advantage. Cloud 9 is one of the better teams at making adjustments in a best of five series while Immortals, on the other hand, has proven that they are not very good at making adjustments. Cloud 9 will defeat Immortals 3-2 in the series on Monday and earn themselves a berth in the World Championship once again.

The only way for everyone to what happens next is to tune into the action on September 3-5 as the gauntlet in Europe and North America gets underway. Teams will lay everything on the line for a spot in the greatest Esports event in the world. Are you ready?

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy