The first major international tournament of the year takes place in Katowice, Poland this weekend with eight teams from five regions looking to prove their League of Legend supremacy. The Intel Extreme Masters League of Legends World Championships offers fans their first real glimpse at regional metas and strategies competing against one another on a global stage.
Despite looking nothing like the powerhouse team of last year, SKTelecom T1 are the +175 favorites to win the championships according to [custom:bodog-link]. SKT has some real deficiencies in the jungle with both Benhi and Blank looking far from world class this season. However, laners Duke, Faker and Bang will hold a distinct advantage over most competition at the tournament.
Closely behind SK are Royal Never Giveup and the Qiao Gu Reapers, who are both listed at +225. RNG’s ever-aggressive playstyle has had them constantly pushing their LPL counterparts back. The team will aggressively push to get deep wards early, which aids greatly in their aggressive play later in the game.
Qiao Gu is an exciting team to watch as they have been deemed the “Kings of Teamfighting.” There have been countless times this season when the Reapers throw caution, and their lead, aside to confidently start 5v5 skirmishes. The playstyle is entertaining and has provided problems to many opponents, but the somewhat careless behaviour may cost them on a world stage.
The IEM Katowice is a double elimination tournament with Group A (ESC Ever, Origen, Royal Never Giveup, Team SoloMid) starting the tournament on March 4. Group B (SK Telecom T1, Fnatic, Qiao Gu Reapers, Counter Logic Gaming) will take to the stage Saturday, with the tournament culminating with the semifinals and finals on Sunday.
|SK Telecom T1||+175|
|Royal Never Giveup||+225|
|Qiao Gu Reapers||+225|
|Counter Logic Gaming||+1400|
Odds as of March 3 at [custom:bodog-link]
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