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Here we are, reaching the 6th stage of the League of Legends tournament produced by Digital Crusade. We were expecting some great matches. Why? Because it was the second to last stage, and six teams were playing for almost their last chance to qualify for the LAN. There were only three spots left, with Racquestai qualified, Cyber MD eliminated, and the squid game in between. The loser dies.

Nexus KTRL vs. Urban Esports. The battle of the Romanians and the teams with 3-2 overall. Winner gets qualified. The teams preferred to go back to what has worked for them in the past and the champions they feel comfortable with. Urban played around 2Axes again and, why not, the man proved again and again that he can carry the match. Nexus KTRL went back to Corki, to Jarvan for Morcovel(probably their third match in a row), Septico with a potential carry & split push champion. The match started in KTRL’s favor, who took advantage of a mistake on the botlane, where mrcvl got a kill just a few minutes later. The minutes went by and both teams decided botlane was suitable for a short ARAM, where Urban reversed the disadvantage they were in and started sto snowball, as they do. They then took 3 kills and a thousand gold advantage. This happened in the 10th minute – the match was over in 27 minutes. It was like watching last stage’s match all over again, except in those 16 minutes they only gave up one kill. Only one, and three in the entirety of the match. They’ve become my favorite team because they play a comp that they’ve mastered very well, they’re decisive, they don’t hesitate at all, and they’re good at League of Legends. Do they have a slight advantage in a match? Its game over. Another mediocre match from Nexus KTRL. In the early game, Morcovel tried to make an impact, but it wasn’t enough. I don’t think any player made big mistakes, I think the team needs to find a direction, a better one than the one they have now.

Random 5 vs. OneTap Gaming. The Bulgarian team was hurting, hurting in the sense that they were on the tracks when the Urban train came, and now OneTap were coming off their best game. Moreover, if the Romanians had lost, they would have been eliminated for sure. The match started a bit slow, the first kill coming in just past the 10th minute mark. Random 5 showed us why they started as tournament favorites, as they took the first dragon before the herald appeared on the map, which they also took thanks to wave management on the bot and a perfectly done rotation. From there they took smart kills, pushed well, took towers, and the gold advantage kept growing. By the 21st minute, they had already taken the baron. What a difficult position the Romanians were in, and other than that their enemies were heading for the fourth dragon and that was after failing in a fight in the opposing jungle where they had wasted many spells and ultimates. They did indeed win the dragon, but four died. They had a very early baron that they didn’t take advantage of at all. OneTap had hope, casters and everyone at home had hope, but they were still way behind. The minutes went by, and they were catching up. More minutes went by, and the Random 5 guys looked more lost with every situation they had to act on. They lost the dragon soul and then forced the baron, which was stolen from them. OneTap had the advantage now. Teams chased each other through the jungle and down the lanes, while the tension was growing. Whoever made the next mistake lost.. R5 played its chance, played its comp, but it was too late. OneTap couldn’t be killed, and the match was over. A match the size of a tournament. What a beautiful game they played and how hard they worked. I experienced the excitement with them and enjoyed it. I hope you did too.

Lenovo Legion Honved vs. Infinite Gaming. Another elimination match was on the table, and once again the Romanian team had to show what they were capable of. Infinite started well and showed a solid game, only something went wrong, and every match became decisive. LLH was also coming off a loss to OneTap. We saw new champions for some players, Syndra for Royal, Yone for Gaaloul, an atypical duel on top between Gragas for the Hungarians and Aatrox for the Romanians. It was a tough start of the match, with no kills in the early game, but they were trying different plays, dives on both sides, without any success. There was a lot of tension there, but Lenovo got the rewards: the first dragon and the herald. The tension was increasing and eventually exploded in the fight for the second dragon where Infinite took the objective and the first kill. However, the gold difference did not exceed a thousand gold. That changed five minutes later when Infinite once again fought for the third dragon and won, but this time they all died, and the difference became four thousand gold in their opponents favor. The battles continued around the objectives, and it seemed to me that Infinite pushed when they shouldn’t and felt duty-bound to challenge every objective, though the timing was often off. On top of that, they lacked the items, but also lacked the cohesion needed to make their way through the battles. Moreover, it seemed to me that they didn’t respect the Miss Fortune pick enough either, as they swallowed wave after wave of bullets. In the previous two matches, MF was almost useless, but here her ultimates were noticeable, very noticeable. In the end, the match was surrendered without many answers and Infinite’s journey ends here, with Lenovo reaching the next stage on the back of a good performance.

Racquestai vs. Cyber MD. First place team vs. last-place team. If ever there was a time for a burst of pride from Cyber, this would be it, but the task was tough. The Ukrainians showed them the respect they deserved with a draft with champions comfortable for them and with which they proved they are among the best in the league. The Moldovans showed us new things, like Zed jungle, and Aatrox top blind pick, but a very active bot lane with Lucian and Nami. The match was a kill fest, and Cyber was not slaughtered. Moreover, the 20th minute caught them with almost a three thousand gold lead and a dragon advantage. I’d seen this movie before, I’d seen Cyber throw away an even bigger advantage. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. The match reversed in the 20th minute when Racquestai won a battle at the top of the map that resulted in an easy baron take and the gap exploded to over five thousand gold. The good news for the Moldovans is that they can very easily identify the problem, and that is the bronze man on top. Aatrox picked first, died numerous times for sitting too far forward on the lane, trolled in the build. Just kidding, but only half-joking. His performance was something horrible to watch and I can’t imagine how hard it must have been during the match for his teammates. An unfortunate situation, but it topped off an unfortunate run by Cyber MD. Racquestai just continued their march to LAN, unfazed by their weak early game. But who pays attention to the details when you’re finally dominant?

That’s pretty much been the squid’s game at this stage. Some died, and some lived to fight another day for qualification. Fun games with stakes and no-stakes games played with a lot of passion. At the end, we also had interviews where we learned some interesting things. For example, if Forward, the support of Urban, has ever been to Romania. Just kidding, he actually talked about comparisons to leagues like NLC and the Digital Crusade tournament. Then BMJ, the mid laner from Racquestai did an interesting and rational analysis for Aatrox’s build. I still believe that a Black Cleaver would have worked best, for ability haste and passive, but maybe I’m wrong. What do you guys think? It was a good evening and I had fun. I hope everyone did.P.S. The casters were up to it this time as well, and you can see for yourself if you click here.

Written by LolRN