Author: Grayson Neander

2021 League of Legends World Championship Series Knockout Stage Finalized

This year’s LoL WCS has been nothing short of absolutely riveting. Each group brought its own surprises and very unique results, with no one group sharing the same scoring. As a quick recap, Group A yielded the only flawless competitor, with DAMWON Gaming (DWG KIA) entering the knockout stage 6-0.At the same time, Group A is the only group with an NA team moving forward, with Cloud9 (2-4)–the 3rd seed for NA–moving on to the knockout stage after coming into the tournament through play-ins.Group B produced a shocking upset as Edward Gaming (4-2) lost two matches in a row on Day 5 of the tournament, still qualifying, but yielding their first place seeding in the group to T1 (5-1). Group C, similar to Group A, also produced a play-in-qualifying team moving on to the knockout stage in Hanwha Life Esports (4-2), who came in just behind the first-place seed Royal Never Give Up (4-2).Group D, and perhaps the most interesting group, produced a four-way tie after Day 7 of the group stages, with all four teams scoring 3-3. In perhaps the most surprising upset of the tournament, MAD Lions came back after starting 1-2 to secure the second place seed in their group by winning 3 matches in a row.2021 League of Legends World Championship Group Stage Wrap-UpThe teams moving forward into the knockout stage are as follows:Group ADAMWON Gaming (DWG KIA) (6-0) (LCK)Cloud 9 (2-4) (LCS)Group BT1 (5-1) (LCK)Edward Gaming (4-2) (LPL)Group CRoyal Never Give Up (4-2) (LPL)Hanwha Life Esports (4-2) (LCK)Group DGen.G Esports (3-3) (LCK)MAD Lions (3-3) (LEC)Knockout Stage Round 1 and FormattingThe knockout stage of the tournament will begin on October 22nd, continuing until the 25th, before picking back up on the 30th and 31st and ending on November 2nd. In this year’s knockout stage, all matches will be played in a best of five format. This means each team will need to secure 3 matches on the rift in order to avoid elimination.Each first-place team (DWG KIA, T1, Royal Never Give Up, and Gen.G Esports) will play against the second-place team from another group for the first leg of the playoffs.For the first match, the first-place team will be given Side Selection Privilege, meaning they can choose either blue or red side for the opener against the second-place team. However, the subsequent matches will yield Side Selection Privilege to the loser of the previous match.The #Worlds2021 Quarterfinals!— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 18, 2021After the first round of the playoffs, when only 4 teams are remaining (semi-finals), Side Selection Privilege will be determined via a coin flip for the first round, and subsequently by the loser for the following matches.The quarterfinals/first leg of the knockout stage is as follows:Match 1Royal Never Give Up vs Edward Gaming(Winner Plays Match 2 Winner)Match 2Gen.G Esports vs Cloud9(Winner Plays Match 1 Winner)Match 3T1 vs Hanwha Esports(Winner Plays Match 4 Winner)Match 4DAMWON Gaming vs MAD Lions(Winner Plays Match 3 Winner)

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Cloud9 Going to Quarterfinals, 100 Thieves Fall Short, Group Stage Day 4-5 Overview

After a horrific, winless start in the group stage, and one of the most difficult group stages in the bracket, all hopes for a Cloud9 2018 repeat were lost. With 2 more matches to play, no one was expecting Cloud9 to secure the second, and final, slot in Group A for the quarterfinals.With tough opponents in the 2019 League of Legends Worlds Champions FunPlus Phoenix (FPX), the 2020 League of Legends Worlds Champions DAMWON Gaming (DWG KIA), and 3rd place LEC Summer qualifier Rogue, Group A was aptly labeled the “group of death.”Expectations for Cloud9 were low, but their first match against Rogue gave NA fans some hope. With a definitive 17-9 kill tally, Cloud9 went in for their first of three matches. Fans were ecstatic, and the hype started on Twitter with #Cloud9Win trending after the first of 3 critical NA wins.Hope for C9 reached its peak after game 2 against FPX where C9 absolutely obliterated the 2019 WCS Champions. With an 18-4 kill tally, C9 demonstrated just how badly they wanted a repeat of their 2018 performance. After these crucial wins, and a Rogue win over FPX, C9 was now tied with FPX and Rogue in the bracket, meaning the three would have to go into a tiebreaker.Group A’s Three-Way TiebreakerWhile DAMWON Gaming continued their sweep to a 6-0 lead in the group, reminding everyone that they were not done after last year’s championship victory, the final slot in Group A for the quarterfinals was left to a tiebreaker between the remaining three teams. The first match, between Rogue and FPX spelled a serious blowout in favor of Rogue with a 22-8 kill tally, knocking FPX out of championship contention.Now, all that stood between C9 and a quarterfinals appearance was a final match against Rogue, whom they had already beaten earlier that morning. In one of the closest matches of the entire tournament, C9 edged out a critical victory over Rogue.With a kill tally of 17-15, and a nearly hour-long match timer, C9 narrowly scraped out the much-needed win to see themselves into the 2021 LoL WCS Championship Quarterfinals.T1 Dominate, Knocking 100 Thieves Out of Championship ContentionAfter losing to T1 a few days prior, hopes were low for a 100 Thieves quarterfinal appearance. With Edward Gaming (EDG) topping the bracket and T1 below them, a path was cut for 100 Thieves to win, but it was not going to be easy. 100 Thieves needed EDG to beat T1 and DemolitioN FocusMe, and then win all of their own matches. This was the only path to victory.100 Thieves’ quarterfinal dreams fell apart as they lost their first match to T1, making it mathematically impossible for 100T to reach the quarterfinals; with two matches left to play, 100T had needed three wins.Although now down for the count, 100T did show some resilience by beating the now second place team in the bracket EDG, after EDG’s loss to T1 earlier that morning.With NA favorites 100T out of Worlds 2021 and Cloud9 in, all eyes are on Team Liquid as Day 6 of the group stage will open on October 17th. In the most contested group in the series, there’s a 1 win gap between 1st and 4th position in the group, and TL is looking to take it. Although currently seeded 3rd, TL has the potential and opportunity to show C9 they are not the only NA team who wants to win it all.Stay tuned for more esports news over at!

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LoL WCS Group Stages Set and Underway

League of Legends 2021 World Championship Group Stages Set and Day 1 ReviewWith the Play-in stages of the 2021 LoL World Championship yielding the four remaining qualifiers for the group stages, and Day 1 of the Group Stages complete, there’s a lot to review.Both LNG Esports and DetonatioN FocusMe qualified in round one of the play-in stage, it comes to no one’s surprise that the teams immediately below them, Cloud9 and Hanwha Life Esports took the two remaining spots in the second round of play-ins.With the groups filled, day one of the group stage yielded a critical upset, but otherwise mostly predictable results.The finalized group stages are as follows:Group ADAMWON GamingFunPlus PhoenixRogueCloud9Group BEDward Gaming100 ThievesT1DetonatioN FocusMeGroup CPSG TalonFnaticRoyal Never Give UpHanwha Life EsportsGroup DMAD LionsGen.G EsportsTeam LiquidLNG EsportsDay 1 OverviewDWG KIA v FunPlus PhoenixDWG KIA win.The reigning champions of the 2020 LoL WCS championship in DWG KIA demolished FPX in one of the most one-sided matches of the day. With the final kill tally at 18-2, the defending champions surprised absolutely no one, demonstrating their intentions to secure a back-to-back championship win.Royal Never Give Up v PSG TalonRoyal Never Give Up win. RNG took a swift, early lead with a 2000 gold lead by the seven-minute mark. While PSG did not give in easily and put up a good fight, securing the only baron of the game, RNG secured Infernal Soul and was able to farm up enough gold with their advantage to make a successful assault on PSG’s nexus.Hanwha Life Esports v FnaticHLE Win. Although the early stages of the game were contested and it was either team’s game, Fnatic took an early lead that was quickly taken over by HLE. After HLE took the lead, the game was in their hands. With a final tally of 25-5 kills, HLE asserted dominance similar to that of DWG KIA over FPX, only allowing Fnatic to secure one objective to their five.LNG Esports v Gen.GGen.G win. One of the less active games of the match, both teams played very carefully to avoid snowballing from any lane. Nonetheless, Gen.G secured a pivotal first blood that allowed them to secure two drakes and a rift herald. With this sizeable objective lead, Gen.G was able to sweep the rest of the game, without deaths, leaving a final kill tally of 1-8 in favor of Gen.G.DetonatioN FocusMe v T1T1 win. Possibly the most decorated team in League of Legends history, T1 want the championship. Posting a kill tally reminiscent of the domination of their early WCS championships, T1 easily defeated the play-in qualifier DetonatioN FocusMe 2-22.Edward Gaming v 100 ThievesEdward Gaming win. One of the slower matches of the day, NA LCS champions 100T secured first blood after a silent first 10 minutes, but Edward Gaming’s focus on objective plays allowed them to secure pivotal ganks and the rest of the game. The final kill tally was 19-6, with total objective control belonging to Edward Gaming.Team Liquid v MAD LionsTeam Liquid win. In one of the more surprising upsets of day one, TL took an early lead with first blood, but MAD Lions responded resiliently trading even and positive. Looking good for MAD Lions, they overextended after TL secured the baron, got turned on and shut down. With this team wipe, TL rushed MAD Lions’ nexus and secured the game.Cloud9 v RogueRogue win. In a classic NA V EU rivalry match, the game was very close for almost its entirety. A late game baron play for Rogue followed by a triple kill, allowed the EU favorites to end the game through top with an 8-16 kill tally.

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100 Thieves Sign Reemerge in the Apex Legends Scene, Signing Former NA ALGS Champions

Although very new to the professional gaming scene, 100 Thieves have made a serious impact in the community. The aptly named “hoodie org” has long since been criticized for its investment in the “apparel” market, but the proceeds from this investment have been nothing short of lucrative.With their ridiculous cash inflow, 100 Thieves have made serious money moves, signing some of the top players across a wide array of games to land themselves in the apex tier of gaming organizations. After the acquisition of 4 new players, 100 Thieves became NA League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Champions and have consistently remained in the 2nd place spot in the NA VALORANT scene (behind the two-time international VCS champions, Sentinels).Following their previous successes, their eyes are now turned to the Apex Legends scene. After a horrific performance in the scene for the past two years, 100 Thieves have acquired all three reigning champs from the 2021 NA Apex Legends Global Championship winning team, Kungarna NA. 100 Thieves Apex Legends Record and ChangesAfter their final squad member Connor “Gigz” White retired from the Apex Legends professional scene in May of 2020, 100 Thieves had made very little progress or impact in the scene. With a total of $1,500 in prize money accumulated across 10 tournaments, it looked like 100 Thieves were done with professional Apex Legends.However, on October 8th, 100 Thieves announced, on Twitter, their acquisition of professional Apex Legends players Nicholas “Vein” Hobbs, Alex “scuwry” Scala, and Brendan “Omnuu” Pode.As the NA ALGS reigning champions, these three dominated in the 2021 NA Apex Legends competitive scene, bringing home 177 times more money in one event than 100 Thieves has seen in two years of competing: $265,591 in prize money.Contribution to the Apex Legends CommunityAlthough they are the top contenders for the upcoming 2022 NA ALGS series after signing the reigning champions, 100 Thieves are not only interested in the tournament scene. Turning their eyes to the content creators of Apex Legends, 100 Thieves also announced the acquisition of Apex Legends streamer Jack “NiceWigg” Martin in September of this year.As quite a decorated player himself, having played for both Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) and Team SHEEEEEESH, Martin has brought more than $57,000 in prize money as a former professional Apex Legends player.Now retired from the Apex Legends professional scene, Martin is a dedicated, full-time content creator. Having amassed over 440,000 followers on Twitch, Martin streams Apex Legends-related content to well over 5,000 viewers daily. He is a top streamer in the Apex Legends category and the second-largest full-time content creator in the category behind Timmy “iiTzTimmy” An.While it is unlikely that 100 Thieves will sign any more Apex Legends content creators, the sky is the limit for their newly-acquired Apex Legends team. Now the reigning champions of the NA ALGS, keep your eyes on 100 Thieves as the 2022 NA ALGS season begins.

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NICKMERCS Extends Twitch Exclusivity Contract Despite Speculation of YouTube Transition

After the unexpected transition of popular Warzone streamer TimTheTatman to YouTube Gaming after 9 years of streaming on Twitch, a move for NICKMERCS was up in the air. Nicholas “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff, a close friend of Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar, is a top FPS streamer on the global streaming and Esports platform Twitch.NICKMERCS Extends Twitch Exclusivity ContractFollowing YouTube’s entrance into the streaming market, many massive Twitch streamers have migrated platforms with seven-figure deals. Popular streamers such as Valkyrae, CouRageJD, and most recently TimTheTatman and Dr Lupo, have made the jump to YouTube Gaming.Kolcheff, a streamer of similar, if not larger, viewership recently went on a brief hiatus, leaving behind a tweet oddly reminiscent of TimTheTatman’s final message before announcing his move to YouTube Gaming.Teasing his audience, whom he calls the MFAM, Kolcheff tweeted “Alive & well familia. Miss ya too. Soon tho, real soon! Big announcement. Takin’ a lil time for myself before we get back to the grind.” This message left many speculating whether his “big announcement” was a platform shift.Emerging from his recess, Kolcheff tweeted out a video depicting a gladiator, his mascot, choosing between a YouTube play button and a Twitch gladius. The 35-second clip ends with the gladiator picking up the gladius, before segueing to his twitch handle.THE SHOW GOES ON!— FaZe Nickmercs (@NICKMERCS) October 5, 2021Accompanying the video was the message “THE SHOW GOES ON!” and a retweet of the official Twitch twitter account announcing his contract extension.Who is NICKMERCS?Nicholas “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff is a massive gaming influencer, with a significant presence on Twitch and in the gaming scene. Best known for his first-person shooter (FPS) gameplay, Kolcheff has amassed an astounding 6.2 million followers on Twitch and currently boasts the 16th highest subscriber count on the platform.Kolcheff has a similarly massive 4.1 million subscribers on YouTube, and various high-profile sponsorships including the likes of Under Armor and Cash App. In 2019, Kolcheff made the transition from prevalent gaming organization 100 Thieves to FaZe, one of the most well-known gaming organizations in the world.His transition was less than amicable, and involved heated public discourse with 100 Thieves CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag referencing a failure to uphold contractual promises.The Future of NICKMERCS on TwitchAlthough his career skyrocketed following his record-breaking performance in the hit game Fortnite, Kolcheff can be found live daily at his Twitch channel, streaming mainstream competitive shooters like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone.He was nominated for 2020 Twitch Streamer of the Year and 2020 Content Creator of the Year at the 11th Shorty Awards and The Game Awards 2020, respectively. Although he did not win, Kolcheff’s popularity and recognition continues to grow daily.With exciting FPS titles such as Battlefield: 2042 and Call of Duty: Vanguard on the horizon, Kolcheff’s future on Twitch is looking strong. With competitors such as TimTheTatman, Dr Disrespect, and Dr Lupo on YouTube Gaming, Kolcheff is on the rise to become the largest FPS streamer on the platform, behind former professional Counter-Strike player Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek.

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