No F's Given Vs Phoenix Rising

Tonight’s quarterfinal playoffs match between Team Phoenix Rising and No F’s Given will without a doubt make sparks fly. The teams teetering at 4th and 5th seed are looking to make one final clash this season and put a lot of rivalries to rest. I’m here once again to analyze the match and those playing to set the stage for our first quarterfinal clash.



Team Phoenix Rising (11-7)

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Build a bot lane, and wins will follow. CanadianChamp set out at the start of the GamesXP season to draft a team that would take the tournament scene by storm, the steadfast jungler bringing his unorthodox picks and looking to build a team around him that could play off of his precise, often erratic ganks. Kaze64 and Neutrinx joined in the mid lane and bot lane role respectively, and put on stunning performances in their first weeks of debut. Aleskander joined the team shortly after, the mid laner moving Kaze to an unfamiliar home in the top lane. Eventually, the catalyst was brought in, and Darquesse finished off the roster, joining Neutrinx as the support for bot lane and starting a chain reaction of destruction as the Phoenixes would fly through the rest of the first half of the season. Eyes were raised and cases were made for the TPR crew to rise up and take the league by storm, that their roster swaps had finally come to an end and CanadianChamp had assembled the powerful team he was looking for. Sailing through the second half of the season has found the team on the rougher end of several losses, but an equally high number of crushing victories. The famous 15 minute win [notably delivered to the No F’s Given team] still reigns supreme as the fastest game victory that occured in the league, and struck a chord as the level of dominant aggression that the Phoenix Rising crew looks to touch their games up with. Establishing their core of 5 players has proven to be effective in every aspect, as every player has had numerous performances to demonstrate that letting them run free can be as deadly as anyone else. The surging confidence coming from Neutrinx since his debut in week 2 has never burned out, with the ADC taking on any challenge head on, facilitated perfectly by Darquesse’s arsenal of supports that have enabled and, at times, outright handed him the victory coming out of the lane. Aleskander has an impressive top lane record, flexing a versatility to the team’s needs as he has comfortably played both tanky and carry oriented top laners, giving his team outlets and avenues to victory through him as well as a perfect tool to team play. Kaze64’s mid lane play has been explosive to say the least; on top of playing numerous champions in the interest of outplaying and popping off on opponents, his performances very often have a make or break performance on the team. A player of high highs and low lows is always worth looking out for. The second half of the season gave the Phoenixes more than a number of fair beatings, but going forward they’re looking to band together and show the rest of the league they’ve got the fire to rise up once more.





No F’s Given (10-8)

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Cast an anchor and your crew will come. Arrow exploded onto the GamesXP scene early on in the first half of the season, taking games for No F’s Given and absolutely slaughtering everyone in his path. The bot laner made a name for himself in everyone’s eyes, quickly ascending with an unmatched star power. It quickly became apparent that the team’s progress moving forward would be a task put squarely on the shoulders of the marksman. Laners came and went, a support was drafted through most of the regular season, and the team in large majority did their part to rally around Arrow and achieve victories near and far. Going forward into the playoffs, however, roster switches continue to chase the team all the way up to the end. Talking about the team’s consistency is near-impossible— aside from Arrow himself, only mid laner Big Brain Mid and jungler Hotty Williams are heading into playoffs with any games previously played under the NFG name. We’ve seen the Big Brain Williams duo make waves through various teams throughout the season; from Elyon Gaming to Furious Gentz, the duo has drifted to those in need, but the hour of duty has been called from No F’s Given for them to come together and put their synergy to the test. With the top lane role reprised from a fallen star by the name of Peji, the support-turned-tank looks to regain a good name after falling out from Impulse, a team disqualified from the league. Rounding out the No F’s Given crew, the support taking up the reigns in trying to reign in the fiery Arrow, we have Atlas e-Sports’ own Destiny. A notable player in several of the Atlas clashes that granted clear paths to victory for the team, Destiny stood out as a player that could perform alongside the best and take the role of playmaker by storm. Assembling this new crew right before playoffs is as risky of a move as we can see, but being bolstered by the veteran ADC we will see if a crew has come together befitting of the name No F’s Given, and if any F’s are left to give.




The Match

In the past, this has been a handy win for Team Phoenix Rising through and through. A pair of 2-0 victories in their favor have been the two clashes for these teams, with Neutrinx and Darquesse most notably smashing Arrow and the two supports he’s brought into the mix. Coming into this game, the roster for the side of NFG has changed and the camaraderie between the TPR crew has only grown as their roster stays solid. Whether or not this is a boon in the favor of NFG is up in the air; Big Brain Mid and Hotty Williams have had less than favorable matches on their previous teams, but we’ve yet to see the full potential for a team full of playmakers to really shine all in one setting. Keep an eye on the mid lane especially; Kaze64 and Big Brain Mid are both showmen of another class, and won’t be content with letting their bot lanes run with the game solo. Expect to see a clash. But of course, once again we’ll see a hyper-aggressive clash in the bot lane. Neutrinx and Darquesse hold the Ws over Arrow’s head, but we’ll see if Destiny has the smarts to bring the heat back up on the Phoenixes and swing a yet-claimed victory over the team’s head when it counts. The best of 5 series is looking to be a hot one.




Skyson LComment
Best of the week - Week 10

Top: Aleskander (TPR)

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Jungle: Left Hook Larry (FSG)

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Mid: Uñique (ROK)

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ADC: Aetherial (WL)

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Support: Darquesse (TPR)

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Ward master: xLoose Asa Goose (FSG)

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MVP: Left Hook Larry (FSG)

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SkylanceerComment
Best of the week - Week 9

Top: Synchogazer (PPC)

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Jungle: Ajjat JG (ROK)

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Mid: Uñique (ROK)

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ADC: Neutrinx (TPR)

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Support: Darquesse (TPR)

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Ward master: xLoose Asa Goose (FSG)

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MVP: Asaudeous (ROK)

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SkylanceerComment
Best of the week - Week 8

Top: Synchogazer (PPC)

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Jungle: Ajjat JG (ROK)

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Mid: sKz Stevenator (SKZ)

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Adc: Carmony (SKZ)

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Support: Darquesse (TPR)

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Ward master: JisforPenguin (NFG)

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MVP: Ajjat JG (ROK)

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SkylanceerComment
Week 7 Power Rankings

The wind keeps blowing onto week 7, causing small ripples here and there but moving things forward nonetheless. Check out who swung things in their favor and see if any surprises are over the bend. I’m here again to assess the current state of affairs, as well as look at the way things are headed going forward.



10. Furious Gentz (2-11) [-1]

Loss vs SKIZM e-sports (0-2)

Loss vs Purple Cobras (0-2)

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After weeks of rallying around their ADC Scommander, the Furious Gentz looked to steel their crew and move on with ADC Bruce Juice and previous sub Rebel Fox moving to the starting support role. The first set against SKIZM did the team no justice, scoring only 8 and 5 kills while being washed out in 23 and 19 minutes. The team shuffled up the roster going into their set with the Purple Cobras, moving Skylanceer down to support and Rebel Fox into the jungle, allowing new top laner Subjective Love to come in and tussle with the Purple Cobras’ star. Unfortunately, the team was denied bans this set, and handily met defeat against the Cobras’ favorite picks. Game 1 went by with the team only picking up 6 kills, and game 2, despite Songless taking Ahri away from Frission and finding some early plays, dragged on slightly longer with the same rough ending. The Gentz have a lot to shoulder going forward, with No F’s Given and Reign of Kings as their teams to play — with the former team potentially pitting the Gentz against their previous ADC.


9. Atlas e-Sports (2-11) [+1]

Win vs Red Dusk Esports (2-1)

Loss vs SKIZM e-sports (0-2)

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Atlas made an upswing this week, finding a win from Red Dusk Esports. Finally freed from the ban list, Fuzziiz got to pull out his Riven in the top lane starting with game 2. He flexed his favorite pick and slowly surmounted a lead over the RDE crew while TheMajesticKiwi had a dominating performance on Lucian, shutting down the bot lane with the help of Destiny’s Alistar to run a 13/3/3 game and 38% of the team’s damage to champions. But the Exiled Blade would show itself again and come up big to play spoiler, with Fuzziiz’s Riven coming out explosively, backed by the defensive core of Pax au Telemanus on a Sejuani that’s been consistent throughout and Chibiterasu running Zilean for the entirety of the match. Ending the game at 18/4/7, Fuzziiz stole the show and struck an early blow to the heart of Red Dusk. SKIZM e-sports looked to be next in their warpath, with a hard rally in game 1 that looked to set Atlas up for a win. Chibiterasu and Hibiscus came together on hard-hitting Ahri and Xayah picks to nearly deal a combined 80,000 damage to champions, and after pulling through on 7 of SKIZM’s towers they were eventually defeated. Game 2 saw SKIZM’s bot lane run wild and the game came to a much quicker screeching halt for the Atlas crew. They look to pick up and run going forward, showing strong signs of life and promising to still be out for blood. They face Purple Cobras and No F’s Given next week.


8. Reign of Kings (4-9)

Loss vs White Lotus (0-2)

Win vs Full Send Gaming (2-0)

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Reign of Kings began to pick up power this week. While an 0-2 loss to White Lotus normally looks like a cookie cutter tale, the Reign of Kings roster fought tooth and nail to give the top team more than a run for their money. Game 1 saw a breakout performance from Unique’s Orianna, finding several Shockwave ultimates into the heart of the Lotus crew to cause chaos. The team picked up momentum early but eventually were cut down, with crucial teamfights swaying out of their favor but still ending the game even in kills, 18 to 18. Game 2 was on the verge of heartbreak, with all the cards falling into the Kings’ hands. Asaudeous and Belthasar terrorized the entirety of the game, with the latter finding several clutch Thresh hooks and the former running a 17/4/21 scoreline through the game, dealing a colossal 50k damage to champions over the game’s course. Unfortunately, the team could not pull together for the final fight, and White Lotus took them down, with the Kings up 49 to 35 in kills. Their upswing began with a set over Full Send Gaming. Ajjat JG led the crew to a dominant first game 1 after a tooth and nail fight to the 42 minute mark, with the jungler flexing his aggressive Camille and leading from the jungle in damage dealt to champions along with an 11/5/11 KDA. He would go into next game with equal dominance, now on his prized Rek’Sai pick and tearing open the game with the help of Unique’s Lissandra. The pair would go 14/4/9 and 6/1/20 respectively, with Viater most notably going deathless across both games in the top lane on Garen. Team Phoenix Rising and Furious Gentz are next on their lineup, two victories the team will want to secure to attempt to make moves going forward.


7. Full Send Gaming (5-8) [-1]

Loss vs No F’s Given (1-2)

Loss vs Reign of Kings (0-2)

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Full Send Gaming has been on the decline with the departure of their mid and support, made worse by the fact that the team has been finding losses before those departures as their team comps are being picked apart on the ban phases without adequate adaptation. Their first set against No F’s Given would show what the reformed team had to offer. Despite Snypet coming out of the gates with guns blazing in game 1, his 12/6/10 scoreline and 37,000 damage dealt to champions could not come out on top of NFG’s picks. Game 2 went much more favorably, with Left Hook Larry pinching early plays with his signature Pantheon pick, bolstered by new support Loose Asa Goose holding an 88% kill participation on a Nami support that was crucial to helping pick off stray NFG members. Unfortunately, the team got buried in the third game, with their bot lane crushed from the get-go and unable to recover. Their loss to Reign of Kings came with no silver lining, with even the new team adapting their ban and pick phase to pick apart compositions the team had been dominating with through the first round. The team is still looking to pick up their first win of round two; a tall order with White Lotus and Team Phoenix Rising as their teams to beat in the coming week.


6. Red Dusk Esports (6-7) [+1]

Loss vs Atlas e-Sports (1-2)

Win vs White Lotus (2-1)

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Talk about an upswing. Red Dusk Esports was fighting for too long to find a win before this week. And even at the start, their match against Atlas e-Sports failed to deliver. New top lane pickup Virtual Trapp proved to be a boon; his aggressive Kennen pick in game 1 helped deliver a win alongside ISmellAPig’s trademark Kayn, the latter pulling ahead in damage to champs and ending 11/2/7. The following two games crumbled, unfortunately, under the weight of Atlas’ top laner on his trademark pick, freed from the banlist and running rampant on the RDE crew. Of course, after this game the team took on White Lotus. There are hardly enough praises to be sung about the crew to finally crack open the Lotus puzzle; game 1 was nearly systematic, with KTA MID on Cassiopeia and ISmellAPig bringing furious early aggression on Wukong jungle. Combined with C9 Cheesecake making a strong showing on Xayah, the team waltzed over a clean game 1 win. The solo laners would even continue to put out a startling amount of damage in game 2, showing they would not be turned and burned as easily as past competitors. The stage was open for C9 Cheesecake to return to his Xayah pick and bury the game with the highest damage dealt, most notably given clear openings to fight by Virtual Trapp finding explosive entries into teamfights on Kennen, backed up by KTA MID on a critically acclaimed Zed pick that occasionally wiped out threats in the blink of an eye. The win against White Lotus was beyond convincing for the revitalized RDE crew, and moving forward the team has finally put wind back in their sails. We will get to see if the team’s heavy blow will continue into an upward roll, as their roster next week includes SKIZM and Purple Cobras.


5. No F’s Given (7-6)

Win vs Full Send Gaming (2-1)

Loss vs Team Phoenix Rising (0-2)

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Ups and downs continue for No F’s Given this week. A set against a struggling Full Send Gaming should have looked like a clean 2-0 for the team re-stabilizing their roster. The star of the show coming into game 1 was the returned-yet-returned-once-more sub, Super Scyther, this time debuting in mid lane as he conjured up a new style and dominated on Lux, pulling ahead with 41,000 damage to champions in the 41 minute game. Catching the bad end of early fights led to a very quick game 2 loss, perplexing for the crew as they moved to game 3. Thankfully, the team came together and, led by Arrow’s flagship Varus pick, the team handily won the series, with a very strong showing from the sub jungler Cleansing going 10/2/9 on a hellbound-aggressive Olaf pick. On the other hand, their set against Team Phoenix Rising was very lackluster in comparison. Super Scyther returned to the mid lane and performed well on Lux in game 1, with a solid 4/2/6 scoreline and the most damage dealt to champions across everyone in the game, but leaving his enemy laner deathless spelled a Kassadin running rampant on the team. Game 2 saw the worst performance from the group to date, with Super Scyther attempting to flex his signature Teemo pick and finding himself much more gankable in the mid lane; the team lost with 1 kill to their name in almost under 15 minutes. A flip flop week for NFG, with most of their substitute players rolling in this week. The team has picked up SCommander to their roster for another shakeup, and we will see how the move pans out next week as the team takes on the Furious Gentz and Atlas e-Sports.


4. Team Phoenix Rising (8-5)

Loss vs Purple Cobras (1-2)

Win vs No F’s Given (2-0)

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Team Phoenix Rising looked to continue their climb, wanting to make their mark and strike Purple Cobras down from the second spot. Game 1 saw the team strategically shut down, with CanadianChamp unable to bring his Shyvana pick deep into a lategame fight and Kaze64 finding himself shut out of kills on his comfort Zed pick by Frission’s Malphite mid. Game 2 saw star power come from the TPR bot lane, with Neutrinx and Darquesse on a Tristana/Taric lane that led the team with 74% kill participation and only 3 deaths between the pair (11/1/6 and 3/2/14). Rocketing to a quick game 2 victory left the team in high spirits, but game 3 saw picks shift much farther away from the team. A 24 minute loss with only 6 kills going to the team saw them crushed under the Cobras’ boot, with several Blitzcrank hooks throwing the team into a tailspin. The team rebounded against No F’s Given, with Kaze64 stealing the show this time on his Kassadin pick, flexing a 10/0/11 scoreline and wreaking havoc on the NFG backline, with Neutrinx on Lucian bringing the heat as he scored an equal amount of damage to champs as the out of control mid laner. Game 2 kept the ball rolling as the team put Super Scyther’s Teemo out of its misery, rolling out one of the quickest wins in GamesXP’s history, destroying the nexus at 15:26. The team continues to show its fire, taking a back and forth set with a very strong team, but the following week’s will show if the fire can still blaze on. Reign of Kings and Full Send Gaming are in their sights next week.


3. SKIZM e-sports (9-4)

Win vs Furious Gentz (2-0)

Win vs Atlas e-Sports (2-0)

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SKIZM continues their warpath going forward. Round 2 has been a major upswing for the SKIZM crew, marking another pair of 2-0 victories to secure their high rise to a top playoff spot. Every game was carried out with ruthless precision as well. Their set against the Furious Gentz was in and done in the time that some others have taken for a single game. Bestrin showed up as the team’s jungler for the series, taking the forefront of aggression from his predecessor with a Jarvan and Skarner pick, facilitating mid laner Stevenator in game 1 to explode onto the scene with Galio, while game 2 saw rising star ADC Carmony run wild for a sub-20 minute win on Tristana, scoring more than a kill per minute with a ludicrous 20/2/7 scoreline. Carmony wasn’t done by any means as the team went into their set with Atlas e-Sports. Alongside Bacon Dolphin joining in the top lane this series and leading the charge on a Kled pick, Stevenator rolled in on Zilean both games, with only 6 deaths between both games and putting out tons of bomb-induced damage as the team rallied. In game 1 they rallied together as massive frontline to disrupt and clear a path for Carmony to go on a rampage with Varus, holding a 12/5/12 scoreline and nearly 39,000 damage to champions in the 35 minute game 1. Game 2 was incomprehensibly explosive, with Carmony wearing his trusty Soraka backpack to get into the heat of things on Jhin and deliver a 22/2/5 game, with 39,000 damage (52% of the team’s damage) to champions in only 28 minutes as Atlas was kept firmly under the gun to clench the series. Two very definitive wins mark SKIZM’s week and they show no signs of letting up. The team looks to carry their crazy momentum forward as they take on Red Dusk Esports next week — accompanied by a showdown at the summit with White Lotus.


2. Purple Cobras (10-3)

Win vs Team Phoenix Rising (2-1)

Win vs Furious Gentz (2-0)

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The Purple Cobras are certainly taking their second round in stride as their wins continue to roll in. Team Phoenix Rising was their first set of the week. The team looked to have TPR’s number on lock, countering them across the board as Frission sent a message to the Zed players of the league, calling on an AP Malphite pick in the mid lane to deny all of Kaze64’s aggression on the ninja and clear a path. Tomato Farmer very notably pulled Tristana away from Neutrinx’s hands and dominated on the gunner, pulling a 13/4/9 scoreline and jumping from spot to spot in several fights. Synchogazer continued to flex his dominance in the top lane on Sion, with an 8/2/13 to reflect Friction’s 6/3/12 on his comfort Jax pick in the jungle. The team looked robust in the way they picked apart TPR, but going into game 2 the team rallied hard, enabling a game of Pass The Trist that landed back into Neutrinx’s hands and blew the Cobras’ away from the get-go, and Frission on the bad end of Kaze64’s Kassadin coupled with continuous ganks from the enemy Amumu. Game 3 shifted the plan for the Cobras once again. Taking Amumu out of the equation gave the team some breathing room for Frission to once again take control on his Syndra pick, and Irelia was left off the banlist to give Synchogazer the reign to counter the top laner with an uncanny Garen pick. Pass The Trist continued with Tomato Farmer on the pick now, but the show was stolen by Desolate Earth in game 3, garnering the highest kill participation on the team as hook after hook found its way into the TPR line, leading the team to crush the Phoenix’s hope of rising up. The set against the Furious Gentz left them none the wiser, with their enemies using an emergency sub player and unable to ban. Synchogazer and Frission found their flagship Renekton and Ahri picks in game 1, with Tomato Farmer dropping shot after shot on Lucian to clean the game up in a 25 minute sweep and leaving the Gentz with 4 kills to their name. Game 2 was another explosive showing, with the team scoring 42 kills across 26 minutes, featuring Tomato Farmer on Caitlyn and Friction flexing a brutal early game showing on Lee Sin. A clean and done series for the Cobras moving forward, they look to move one step closer to securing a top spot. Atlas e-Sports and Red Dusk Esports are next on their lineup, two more names in line to take a crack at the ever-adapting roster of 5 that has taken on all challengers from the start looking as solid as ever.


1. White Lotus (12-1)

Win vs Reign of Kings (2-0)

Loss vs Red Dusk Esports (1-2)

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Week 7 will be defined as the moment that enough cracks in the armor will finally reveal a weakness for the White Lotus crew. The first set against the Reign of Kings began the trend — the Lotus crew took quite the time to find their footing in the early game of game 1, kept on the backline by the enemy’s Camille jungle finding early kills on both solo laners and a surmounting lead that the team had to immediately answer and shut down. Of course, they did bounce back, and both Fresh Burger and Fuji turned their lane deficits into teamfight prowess, with the former scoring the highest CS in the game and opening several team fights with crushing Sion ultimates. The latter saw early kills handed over to enemy Orianna, but Fuji weaved into fights on a lightning Diana that carved a path and ran distraction for Aetherial to clench the game and go untouched in several fights on Xayah. Game 2 stretched out much farther for the White Lotus crew, and to speak truly they were playing from behind most of, if not the entire, game. Several fights came down to the wire with Fuji either alive at the end of the day or being the key point to picking off a key player, pulling out a Malzahar pick that terrorized throughout the game and ended with a staggering 60,000 damage to champions across the 47 minute slugfest, with the team picking and choosing their fights to win a game that they were down in kills — 35 to ROK’s 49. The unease wouldn’t be settled as they went into their set with Red Dusk Esports — Fuji would be replaced with their substitute mid laner Novosis for the first time in this set. The team was left to dry from the get-go, as Red Dusk pulled no stops in abusing the new mid laner with a Wukong jungle, with bot lane finding an equal beating from a hit-and-go RDE team that picked them apart for a strong game 1 showing. White Lotus rallied together in turn going into game 2, with Fresh Burger committing strong to his Aatrox pick in the top lane from the previous game, shouldering into the forefront of fights and coming out on top, holding a 10/3/9 scoreline on the winged fighter. With Novosis supporting the crew on a bulky Galio pick and Daydreamz playing guardian on Tahm Kench, Aetherial stepped up once again and gave the game a run and gun treatment, putting out 42% of the team’s damage on a 16/5/9 that tore up the Red Dusk crew’s attempt to take an early game advantage. Game 3 pulled the rug out from under them once again, as RDE pulled the punches back into their laning and put Novosis up against KTA MID’s Zed, keeping him under heel while the team collapsed under a thunderous mid game brought in by a top lane Kennen that locked the team down for the enemy Xayah to tear them up without a response. Only finding 11 kills in the 32 minute series of skirmishes, White Lotus were finally handed their first loss of the league — to a team that many spoke of having no chance, and with resounding wins in every lane to show for it. Humbled but headstrong, White Lotus will press on, carrying on with their near-spotless record. Full Send Gaming and SKIZM are to follow, with the latter on a high rise and making a heavy contention for the Lotus throne.

Skyson LComment
Week 6 Power Rankings

Week 6, the beginning of round 2. Tons of rematches, tons of new rosters and new players looking to break into the scene and make their own stake at the claim as we head towards playoffs. How did it all break down and where are things headed? I’m here again to assess the current state of affairs and set the stage for an exciting next couple of weeks.


NOTE: Regardless of objective standings based on record, this article will attempt to rank the 10 teams based on their performance and potential taking the weeks into consideration and looking towards future weeks, based entirely around my (the writer's) personal opinion.




10. Atlas e-Sports (1-10)

Win vs Furious Gentz (2-1)

Loss vs White Lotus (0-2)

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Atlas e-Sports looked to burst onto the scene and make moves from the bottom up. The fresh new roster looked to clean up the blemish the former team owning the slot created, taking on the Furious Gentz. Their debut game saw the team come out in full form; Hibiscus ATL and Destiny pulled ahead of the pack as they pulled out the Xayah/Rakan combo and dominated the game, with a strong single showing from the team’s owner, Slushie, on a Kindred jungle pick that kept the Gentz hunted and picked off with no way to fight back. After a rocky game 2, the team regrouped and headed boldly into game 3, securing the lovers’ duo that had shown them success in game 1. But the breakout performance in game 3 came from the team’s mid laner, Chibiterasu, pulling out an explosive performance on Ryze, carrying 40% of the team’s damage to champions while the rest of the team rallied together an ironclad defense, only dropping 9 deaths across the whole game to the Gentz as their top laner Fuzziiz would go entirely deathless on Gnar, scoring the set win. They would immediately turn heel from this match and had to face White Lotus next. Game 1 was a short written story, with the incoming team on the bad end of the knife as Katarina fell into enemy mid laner Fuji’s hands, taking control and opening up a heavy game 1 win. Game 2 was a valiant spark of life, with Chibiterasu back on Ryze and looking to do more of the work he’d put in last set, and Slushie shaking things up with his own Gragas jungle pick. Despite their best efforts, they could not crack the Lotus, and found a quick loss. Even then, Atlas e-Sports has shown to be a team looking to compete, giving us all a glimpse of the fire that they’re able to bring to even the most dominant team in the league. The future carries forward for the new crew as Red Dusk esports and SKIZM e-sports are next on their hunt.



9. Furious Gentz (2-9)

Loss vs Atlas e-Sports (1-2)

Win vs Red Dusk Esports (2-0)

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The Gentz make slow moves towards progress, as Skylanceer and Hotty Williams hit the scene as the Gentz’ new top laner and jungler, respectively. The former brought a new kick into the top lane landscape, looking to bring strong damage dealers like Akali mixed into the standard Urgot and Mundo picks to shake up the competition. Hotty Williams came from his former team looking to bring his trademark early game pressure to a team that played off of the backs of headstrong players. Songless continues to diversify his mid lane pool while making sure to keep everyone wary of his kingpin champion pick. SCommander brought multiple strong performances in the first week of the second round before departing from the team, taking his talents elsewhere as his impressive showing looks to carry forward, while C9 5moothie brought the wind along the Commander’s sails until he also departed from the team. Rebel Fox has moved to the team’s support role, offering a much different enchanter-based pool of champions to the team rather than 5moothie’s frontline playmakers. Red Dusk being the win on their case is certainly impressive, and the win was more than convincing. Unfortunately, the team otherwise has been stagnating in their attempt to rally together, picking up Royal as their new ADC looking to stabilize a roster going forward. They take on SKIZM e-Sports and Purple Cobras next week, hoping to show that the Gentz’ roster can flexibly pose a challenge to whatever may come next.


8. Reign of Kings (3-8)

Loss vs Purple Cobras (0-2)

Loss vs No F’s Given (0-2)

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The second new team to emerge onto the scene was the Reign of Kings. A team of seasoned players looked to converge onto the rift, outplaying and outmaneuvering anyone they came across. The Purple Cobras were their first match, with the team looking to take a stab near the top to make their mark. Unfortunately, the first match saw the team’s unfortunate ban phase hand Renekton over to the Cobras’ top laner, Synchogazer. The Kings were introduced to the reason the croc stays locked, and despite Unique finding an early lead on Akali, he was unable to shut down the team’s heavy weapon. The team adjusted bans and rallied together for game 2, with Unique pulling out an Orianna and Asaudeous rolling through the enemy bot lane on Kai’Sa. The team folded near the mid game as team fights quickly began to fall out of their favor, the game over time shifting into the Cobras’ favor after a 40 minute struggle. Their next set was against No F’s Given. Ajjat JG returned to his spot in the jungle and was able to flex his favorite Rek’Sai pick, the champion seeing its first game played in the league. The game stayed favorably in the Kings’ court for the majority of the time, but eventually NFG’s composition converged on them and shut them out from reaching the team’s star AD, Arrow. Game 2 dragged deep into the 45 minute mark, with the Kings once again building a strong lead, Unique pulling ahead on a powerful Lissandra pick as Asaudeous once again scoring a high KDA on his Ezreal pick. Overall, the team as a whole contributed a heavy amount of damage to the overall game, but No F’s Given brought together the last teamfight of the game to take the series. Reign of Kings overall has shown several flashes of individual play that suggest the team has what it takes to come together and make moves. Patching up their team play will certainly see the team improve in coming weeks, with still enough time to attack a playoffs spot. White Lotus and Full Send Gaming are in their sights next, with no signs of slouching in their schedule.


7. Red Dusk Esports (5-6) [-2]

Loss vs Team Phoenix Rising (1-2)

Loss vs Furious Gentz (0-2)

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Red Dusk Esports continues on a downward spiral. C9 Cheesecake joins the team as the new ADC for their roster, but holes continue to get punched into the team set after set. The first match against Team Phoenix Rising saw a quick game 1 loss with the team unable to take a single objective. Game 2 saw the team bring a composition up together that stood on its feet, with yay yay 123 and ISmellAPig blowing up team fights from the get go with a combination of Zyra and Wukong, with KTA locking down fights on a Cassiopeia pick. Everyone on the team contributed a nearly equal amount of damage to champs, suggesting that the team was pulling together. Losing both of those picks going forward, the RDE bot lane regressed to a more defensive comp, with yay yay 123 pulling out Soraka for C9 Cheesecake’s Varus. The team quickly got overpowered by TPR’s bot lane, while not even KTA MID’s Akali could stop the surmounting powerhouse that came from the enemy top lane Irelia. The team looked to recoup their losses and took on the Furious Gentz, though notably under circumstances they would not have preferred. With multiple members not to be found and substitute players brought in last minute resulting in a loss of all of their bans, the shambles of the team could not put up a fight and quickly dropped the set. KTA MID and crew have stabilized out their roster going forward, but Atlas e-Sports and White Lotus are on the team’s radar next week; if the team is looking to get out of their slump, a turnaround has to begin now.


6. Full Send Gaming (5-6) [-2]

Loss vs SKIZM e-sports (0-2)

Loss vs Purple Cobras (1-2)

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Full Send Gaming similarly saw a decline this week, with back to back losses against the strong teams they were looking to make a statement against putting them back in a hole. Their set against SKIZM e-Sports saw the team’s coach AM Trick join the cast, stepping in for Snypet in the ADC role. Unfortunately, SKIZM came out of the gate with gusto, crushing the Full Send team handily in game 1 and leaving little to be desired of game 2. The rematch with Purple Cobras was on the horizon, and the roster was back together going forward. Unfortunately, the issues coming to the forefront with the once-dominant team were becoming apparent; a proper ban phase picked the team apart and left them attempting to create new compositions on the fly. The Cobras had Full Send’s number, tearing them apart in game 1 with the team unable to put more than 6 kills on the board. Game 2 saw Left Hook Larry subbed out of the jungle, once again putting the team’s coach into the mix as AM Trick joined in the jungle this time. Snypet once again found himself on his Miss Fortune, with Mement0 and ChrizMeister coming up to bat and stealing the show with two of their clutch picks, crushing game 2 with Gangplank and Taliyah. Most of those picks were banned away going forward to game 3, with Snypet leading the forefront on his Miss Fortune again. Trick couldn’t rally the team on a Kindred pick, and the team inevitably crumbled, leading to their second loss of the week. To make matters worse, internal conflicts split up the team as ChrizMeister and PheenixDC left the main roster, with coach AM Trick also parting ways. The remaining roster will be looking to pick up the pieces from here, hoping to come out of their rut and get back into Full Send form. No F’s Given and Reign of Kings are their next challengers along the way.


5. No F’s Given (6-5) [+2]

Loss vs White Lotus (1-2)

Win vs Reign of Kings (2-0)

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No F’s Given has been making a steady climb back upward in recent times. Arrow and crew shuffled up the roster once more, bringing in a new top laner in Harbinger1138, along with a new jungle pickup in EUROTAS SMASH. The roster would get put to the test immediately, as White Lotus was looming over the hill. Game 1 was an explosive start from the reshuffled team, with Harbinger making an explosive debut on Swain in the top lane, dealing 34% of the team’s damage and being an impenetrable frontline wall alongside EUROTAS SMASH on Trundle, clearing the way for Arrow to sweep the game with a 11/4/13 scoreline. With White Lotus on their back heel from a game 1 loss, NFG rallied forward, looking to take the behemoth down. Game 2 went much less favorably, with the team rallying to make an early game lead start up but finding themselves at the mercy of the Lotus’ bot lane, ending the game in a quick 27 minute finish. Game 3 saw another shift in picks, with Harbinger able to pick up his signature Urgot and JisforPenguin attempting to control the bot lane with a Brand pick. Both of them dealt a significant amount of damage in fights, but they lost to White Lotus’ avenues of engage, numerous fights starting off the death of an unprotected Arrow on Twitch, leaving him 1/7/6 as they dropped the set to the undefeated team. Their next game was against the new team Reign of Kings. Super Scyther returned from the FG roster to show up for the top lane this set, bringing a Shen pick that was clutch in keeping the team alive from ROK’s early aggro. At the same time, game 1 saw Arrow showing the Kings why his Varus is left on the ban list; he ended the game with 40% of the team’s damage dealt to champions and a 9/4/5 scoreline, clearing out a quick game 1 win. With bans adjusted to game 2, NFG came together and found a much more aggressive effort. Arrow took the stage on Lucian, running away with a 14/4/11 scoreline and the most damage dealt. Most notably this game was SlibberingDinus, though, coming up big in teamfights with several multi-man Yasuo ultimates to hold the enemy line down, dealing a colossal amount of damage when it counted, along with EUROTAS SMASH and JisforPenguin coming in with 85% kill participation scores, providing utility in every fight with Jarvan and Morgana. The NFG crew is most certainly strengthened going forward, and seeing them pick up the pace is a refreshing change from their initial slack in showing. Full Send Gaming and Team Phoenix Rising are next on their list, looking to solidify where the team stands — in the middle of the pack or at the top of their game.


4. Team Phoenix Rising (7-4) [-2]

Win vs Red Dusk Esports (2-1)

Loss vs SKIZM e-sports (0-2)

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Team Phoenix Rising looked to continue their ascent this week, still on a tear and looking near unstoppable. Their first set against Red Dusk Esports was a back and forth battle that brought everyone on the team into the limelight. Game 1 was a breakout win for the crew, as CanadianChamp locked down the solo lanes to get Aleskander and Kaze64 rolling through, with Aleskander in particular on a destructive performance with Ornn, dealing 34% of the team’s damage with several multi-man ultimates that rang through the RDE crew without much of a fight. The solo laners went 5/0/7 and 9/0/2, not stopping from the word go as they opened the path for a quick finish. They looked to play off of the Ornn pick even further going into game 2, with Kaze64 picking up Yasuo and Neutrinx challenging the new RDE ADC with a Vayne pick. The picks would not end up holding up, however, as Red Dusk came out with more frontloaded damage than the crew could control, disappearing under the threat of a Wukong jungle and Zyra support that opened the team up. Game 3 turned heel again, with Neutrinx on Ashe and Aleskander pulling away from the tanks and running Irelia this time around. Aleskander dominated this game in full, wreaking havoc on an RDE crew that actually looked to make moves early, choking them out with a 9/1/8 performance and drawing full threat to leave Neutrinx safe in the backline to go 8/0/6 and run them down, bolstered by Darquesse on an equally safe Nami pick, running 1/1/14 and keeping the team topped off to blast through the game 3 win. Looking to carry the momentum into the next game against SKIZM e-sports, the team unfortunately found two of its members mia at the time. The subs jumped to line in the jungle and ADC spot, but the SKIZM crew crushed them outright. Even in game 2, where ADC substitute rallied together with Darquesse to pull ahead on a Draven pick, the team couldn’t keep it together. Holding a 7-4 record as they go forward, the Phoenixes are looking to cut their losses going forward and take their next week’s matches — Purple Cobras and No F’s Given — a memorable second round.


3. SKIZM e-sports (7-4) [+3]

Win vs Full Send Gaming (2-0)

Win vs Team Phoenix Rising (2-0)

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SKIZM e-sports closed their draft on a great note, utilizing both a solid main roster and the power of very flexible substitute players. Carmony and backpack continue to be cemented as the bot lane to take on the world, as their performances remain in peak condition going into the set with Full Send Gaming. The team wiped the board clean in two back to back games, with the bot lane duo only dropping 6 deaths total between both games, showing off the duo’s constant give-and-take of Carmony’s fierce forward aggression and backpack’s protective, nearly savior-esque defensive supporting. Deelun held the mid lane all the same, proving to be a top threat with 2 deaths dropped total on his signature Ahri and an Orianna pickup. The set against Team Phoenix Rising was next, and Godyr turned up as the star to show this time around. Pulling his Graves jungle out both games, he topped in damage to champs and kill participation in both games, shutting down the Phoenixes in any early attempt to rally together, leaving them down the barrel of his gun and making a name for himself as the king of early beatdowns from the jungle. Maverick had an equally strong showing in the top lane, a pillar of consistency for the team as his Sion put up only 1 death and his Cho’Gath went deathless. The SKIZM hype is building, and the team is clearly putting their best foot forward now. The Furious Gentz and Atlas e-Sports are next in their warpath, but the stabilized roster of SKIZM is clearly showing it’s not to be messed with.


2. Purple Cobras (8-3) [+1]

Win vs Reign of Kings (2-0)

Win vs Full Send Gaming (2-1)

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The Purple Cobras continue to lead the pack looking to take a strike at the top, picking up another pair of wins this week as their fluidity as a team continues to shine through. Their first match against Reign of Kings was a definitive win, as Synchogazer was allowed for perhaps the last time to play Renekton in the top lane against the unprepared newcomers in game 1, an overwhelming 14/2/5 performance to decimate the crew while they failed to reach the rest of the crew, held off by Big Brain Mid playing spoiler in the bot lane on a slippery Vel’Koz pick. Likewise, game 2 saw Frission get to play his Ahri in the mid lane, accompanied by an unconventional (but undeniably effective) Master Yi pick from Friction in the jungle. The team waltzed through to a 2-0 sweep over the Kings, looking to take out Full Send Gaming next. Once again looking to hold the win over the Full Send crew, the solo laners made a strong showing next game, with Frission on Ahri and Synchogazer brandishing a strong Poppy pick that topped damage to champions in the game, with the whole team only dropping 6 deaths in game 1. The solo laners had the script flipped in game 2, with power picks falling into enemy laners’ hands and constant roaming from enemy mid laner ChrizMeister keeping the Cobras reigned in. Game 3 left Ahri in Frission’s hands to keep putting in the work the mid laner is known for, but the show was stolen by Tomato Farmer, keeping Full Send kited and overwhelmed on an Ezreal pick. With 43,000 damage dealt to champs, a 8/2/10 scoreline with the highest kill participation on the team, the ADC led the team to victory to clench the series and shut Full Send Gaming out from claiming a win on them. Team Phoenix Rising and the Furious Gentz come up next for the Cobras, but with their roster back in tact and everyone flexing their skills to take the spotlight, they’re making a bold claim to take a spot at the top going forward.



1. White Lotus (11-0)

Win vs No F’s Given (2-1)

Win vs Atlas e-Sports (2-0)

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Round 2 keeps a lot of things the same for the top team looking down. Going into their first set with No F’s Given, the team would adjust around new first round bans for the first time in a while. The heat was on Kairos to perform as his Sejuani pick was banned away, giving way to a Zac pick that looked to get the team running from the ground early, with Aetherial on Lucian and Fuji on Akali. They were shut down by NFG finding the aggressive openings, however, and on the back foot as the game progressed forward, dropping game 1. Heading into game 2, we saw Fuji need to depart from the set, bringing in the yet-unseen substitute mid laner, Novosis. On the back of this, game 2 turned things around, with Kairos shining hard on an Amumu pickup. Getting into the forefront of fights and setting up clutch ultimates for his team to follow through on, the team brought together a convincing game 2 win in only 26 minutes. Game 3 carried the Amumu forward, with Novosis bringing out an unorthodox Azir pick, bolstered by Fresh Burger delivering on Sion. The frontline bombs of the Lotus gave Aetherial free reign to let loose on Kai’Sa, taking the game and crushing NFG’s hope of breaking them down. Atlas e-Sports was next on their radar, with Fuji returning to the helm and the newcomer team uninformed on Fuji’s Katarina expertise. The mid laner obliged the pick, taking his too-often-banned Katarina and lacerating the Atlas crew up and down the map, stealing the show with 40% of the damage dealt to champions from the blade slinging assassin. Atlas looked to make a stand going into game 2, dragging the game out further and outmaneuvering the White Lotus members at some crucial points, but over time we learn that no one comes together quite like the Lotus crew, with team fights opening all around the map and heavy threats coming out from the solo laners; Fresh Burger flexing a Swain pick as Fuji found himself on a nimble Irelia to dart into the Atlas backline. With Kairos on Nunu to keep on flexing his newly-opened jungle roster, Aetherial and Daydreamz were free to close out fights on the Xayah/Rakan duo, closing game 2 after several full-scale teamfights in their favor. White Lotus looks as strong as ever moving forward, and their next matches against Reign of Kings and Red Dusk Esports look to continue to forge their victory streak.

Skyson LComment
Best of the week - Week 7

Top: Synchogazer (PPC)

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Jungle: ISmellAPig (RDE)

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Mid: KTA MID (RDE)

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Adc: Carmony (SKZ)

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Support: Desolate Earth (PPC)

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Ward master: Destiny ATL (ATL)

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MVP: Carmony (SKZ)

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SkylanceerComment
Best of the week - Week 6

Top: Synchogazer (PPC)

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Jungle: CanadianChamp (TPR)

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Mid: Deelun (SKZ)

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Adc: RW Arrow (NFG)

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Support: WL Daydreamz (WL)

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Ward master: Destiny ATL (ATL)

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MVP: Aleskander (TPR)

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SkylanceerComment
Week 4 & 5 Power Rankings

The end of round 1 starts to see the dust settle from the blowing winds of change across the GamesXP Championship stage. The first half of competition is coming to a close, before week 6 begins everyone’s second set of matches. These weeks saw several players step up to the plate when it counted — along with the crushing downfall of others, to the point of teams disbanding going forward. Some newcomers are also on their way into the league.. I’m here once again to take a look at the state of affairs and walk you through the preliminary steps towards closing the first half of first bloods, setting the stage for round 2.

 

NOTE: Regardless of objective standings based on record, this article will attempt to rank the 10 teams based on their performance and potential taking the weeks into consideration and looking towards future weeks, based entirely around my (the writer's) personal opinion.

 

10. Atlas e-Sports (0-9) [NEW!]

Elyon Gaming has come and gone, and in their place will rise a new challenger, Atlas e-Sports. Led by Slushie, the team has absorbed their 0-9 record and look to pave an entirely new path going into the second round of competition. Understanding the terms going in is either a sign of confidence or a fool’s gambit, but shuffling in an entirely new roster can certainly throw a kink in the works heading towards playoffs. They will have to prove themselves from the get go; their first week features a match against the Furious Gentz and White Lotus. A perfect check against the bottom and top of the spectrum — we’ll have to see how the new organization performs.

 

9. Furious Gentz (1-8) [+1]

The Furious Gentz remain furious, but the fire of their fury has dulled quite a bit. It looked to begin with a roar at the start, taking on the undefeated White Lotus and boasting a new roster that showed promise. Game 1 granted Songless his Morgana pick and saw him successfully keeping the Lotus’ mid laner Fuji on his heels, bolstered by Prophetikos opening a path to early game on a Gragas jungle. Super Scyther took a gamble in the top lane, bringing an Urgot pick with Ignite into Fresh Burger’s Sion, doing everything he could to try and secure an early kill to get ahead. Unfortunately, the gambit did not pay off, and Furious Gentz quickly saw defeat. A quicker game 2 loss was on the horizon, as SCommander first picked Lucian to pluck it away from Aetherial, but quickly finding defeat at the hands of his Jhin. Prophetikos still shined in this game, finding early kills on a Kindred pick and trying to quickly make moves to push the game forward, but the team found themselves soundly dominated.

 

The team had to lick their wounds and immediately move on, with their match against the Purple Cobras just hours later. The first game of this match saw a lot better moves made, with Songless giving way for Prophetikos to run rampant on a new Olaf pick, bullying down Frission in the mid lane to open up a lot of objectives while SCommander held his own on Ezreal, finding an early kill in lane and staying far from fights that looked to bring the team to life. Unfortunately, they were handled as the game went on, with the cohesive Cobras striking them down and outmaneuvering them in key teamfights. Game 2 saw a couple switch-ups. SCommander and 5moothie decided to take the bird duo out for a test flight, and SCommander saw a great performance on Xayah, with 5moothie looking at ease on the Rakan pick that engaged several key fights. Prophetikos dialed back his aggression on a Sejuani jungle this game, with Songless moving to Malzahar to add a bit of lockdown to their composition and let their commander fly free. The mistake, however, came back in the drafting phase. Swapping a ban from game 1, the team decided to leave Renekton open in the draft, giving top laner Synchogazer his prime champion pick. Super Scyther took the challenge head on, running a comfort pick of his own in Camille and once again bringing Ignite to try and challenge an early lead over the Cobras’ pillar of consistency. Once again, a gambit that came to fruition, as push came to shove and pushed him over. The Cobras took the second game and the series, leaving the Gentz in another 0-2 hole.

 

Week 5 turned out to be the glimmer of hope for the team, as their second wind and first win came in their previously 0-8 brother in Elyon Gaming. A swift 2-0 was what they delivered, with both games brought on the back of Songless flexing entirely new champion picks in Ziggs and Ahri, with game 2 putting the full destructive power of Super Scyther’s Teemo on display, shrooming through the enemy team and devastating the mid game before anything could come together. With this game, Super Scyther departs from the Gentz in lieu of new top laner Skylanceer, and moving forward the team is looking to start their shake up going into round 2. Keep eyes on captain Songless as he diversifies his mid lane champion picks to send a challenge to all teams above. Renewed with at least one win going forward, they have Elyon’s replacement Atlas e-Sports in their sight next week as well as Red Dusk esports.

 

8. Reign of Kings (3-6) [NEW!]

The second team coming into the scene follows in the footsteps of the previous team Impulse. The Reign of Kings absorb a 3-6 record going into the second round. Captains Belthasar and Ajjat have rounded up an aggressive crew that looks to take the tournament by storm — placed in a compromising position near the bottom of the standings, they look to make a quick climb upward. The league will prove to be no slouch; their first week will pit them against tough opponents in Purple Cobras and No F’s Given. We will see in just one week whether this team came to bring a new level of competition to the playing field. Will the Kings rise to their throne?

 

7. No F’s Given (5-4) [-4]

No F’s Given fell from grace over the course of these two weeks. With a win granted from the disbanded Impulse team, their two games were both crushing losses to Phoenix Rising and White Lotus. Their set against Phoenix Rising saw a substitute support and a new acquisition in the top lane — sprinkle m silly makes his third move from Phoenix Rising to Furious Gentz and now to No F’s Given. Tasked with coming to bat against a refreshed Phoenix Rising roster, they crumbled. CanadianChamp and zayfray met head-on with very similar team play styles, typically centered around their bot lane marksmen Neutrinx and RW Arrow. But Arrow and crew were burned in a pair of sub-30 minute losses, although game 2 saw an aggressive performance from sprinkle’s Pantheon in the top lane, putting out an incredible amount of damage in the game but overall crumbling to TPR’s airtight early game transition.

 

NFG was left no breathing room going into week 5, as their match for the week was White Lotus. To make matters worse, Arrow was unavailable for game 1, forcing a substitute to be used and finding the team picked apart by the super team. Game 2 saw Arrow’s return, bringing an Ashe pick into tow as he looked to put his team on the board for the week. The attempt was unsuccessful, the team falling under 25 minutes this time. A disappointing end of the round will carry into the future of No F’s Given, but the team has to lift their heads and look forward going into the second round. The playing field is still volatile, with the team sitting at the bottom of a 4-way tie among 5-4 record teams. But the team will hardly have time to recover as the start of round 2 pits them against White Lotus once again, along with newcomer team Reign of Kings, boasting yet another difficult week for the team scrambling together to gather around their AD Carry and score up a win.

 

6. SKIZM e-sports (5-4) [-1]

Oh, SKIZM.. No team experienced such a roller coaster of ups and downs as much as this team through these two weeks, and four games were on their lineup to be played, getting to show off quite a variety of play from this team and their shifting, shuffling roster. ImaSealeo returned to their match against Full Send Gaming, looking to set the tone of things as SKIZM was retaining their footing. The first game saw a strong showing from the SKIZM crew as Deelun rolled out his Draven pick, with bold moves across the map that ripped a huge hole in the top side of Full Send Gaming’s base, exposing an inhibitor early and looking to capitalize into an early win. Unfortunately, Full Send kept their game together and Deelun found himself under the boot of numerous Pantheon ultimates from Left Hook Larry, along with ImaSealeo being denied his aggressive Akali plays from the likes of Anivia zoning and numerous Thresh hooks. Pushing a slow grind into a defeat, SKIZM drafted up for game 2, putting Deelun on his comfortable Ahri pick in the mid lane, with ImaSealeo shifting down to bot lane on a Caitlyn pick. The game stayed at a chill pace for quite a while, with action finally exploding at the 20 minute mark to tip the scales heavily in Full Send Gaming’s favor, with a long skirmish in the bot lane that gave a chance for Mement0 to open mid lane with a Rift Herald — a move that SKIZM never truly recovered from. With their objectives burned down and fights swinging into FSG’s favor, SKZ saw a quick game 2 defeat.

 

Their next match was the twice rescheduled clash with the Purple Cobras, also ushering in the major retool of the SKIZM lineup. The bot lane was drafted out, and new ADC and support Carmony and backpack were brought in tow. Mávèríck returned to the scene, previously absent in week 3 and looking to make a strong showing with his return. Gødyr came to play in game 1, reminding the Cobras why his Evelynn pick is something to be feared, coupled with the new ADC taking flight with Xayah and putting the Cobras’ substitute ADC on his back heel for the entirety of the game, with the pair of them stealing the show and dominating game 1, with newcomer backpack sporting a nearly 100% kill participation on an unexpected Soraka pick. Game 2 shifted picks away from the norm, with Deelun looking to show up on a Talon pick and Gødyr flexing a Nidalee that had run circles around Elyon Gaming in a previous set. The early game picks and plays were shut down in full, and Mávèríck found his Sion pick turned on him by Synchogazer in the top lane with aggressive effect — the team was dealt a crippling loss with only 3 kills picked up in a span of 30 minutes. The Pass The Sion mini-game continued into Game 3, falling back into Mávèríck’s hands, with Deelun rotating his champion pool and pulling a Ryze pick to tackle the Cobras head on. Once again, the fresh bot lane duo of Carmony and backpack would take charge of the game, domineering an early lead on Tristana and once again taking Soraka to give the marksman a clear shot at decimating the enemy’s frontline, as the Cobras attempted to shut them down in full with a barrage of backline pick-offs such as Brand and Xerath. Mávèríck, Deelun, and Carmony all rode through to the end with only 1 death apiece, securing a victory on the long-awaited match.

 

Elyon Gaming was the next match to tackle, and more roster swaps were inbound for the crew. Gødyr saw himself out of the jungle in favor of newcomer Perona Obsession, and the support role door revolved back to laxin85, a member who hadn’t seen play since SKIZM’s second week in the tournament. Notorious for his Morgana play, it was respectfully banned away from him for the duration of the set. Their gameplay looked airtight as they took on Elyon Gaming, whose roster had been set in stone for some time and taking on their early gameplay head on. Laxin’s return proved valuable; the protection his Tahm Kench provided Carmony let him shine alongside Deelun flexing his Akali pick for the Elyon crew to get sent running to a quick defeat. Likewise, Mávèríck and Perona Obsession were able to flourish on Shen and Kayn, scoring the highest kill participations of the game, easily finding their way into teamfights and aggressively setting plays up for the rest of the team. Game 2 saw more of the same song and dance, with laxin switching to a more aggressive Brand support to keep the pressure up on Elyon for Carmony to tear through the early game transition, his Xayah proving deadly as he would end the game 12/0/5, plucking numerous kills through Perona Obsession’s hyper aggression on Jax — along with brutal ultimates from Mávèríck’s Ornn that rang through Elyon Gaming’s roster without much of a fight. They secured the win and looked to climb to the top of the standings, now sitting at 5-3.

 

Their week 5 match found them faced against Phoenix Rising, a team on a meteoric tear through the league since their roster changes, looking to match them blow for blow at the end of the day. IE Eurotas and Stevenator joined the roster for the jungle and mid laner for this match, rounding out what would be the starting roster for SKZ. Their first game looked promising, with Stevenator pulling a very strong showing on Galio in the mid lane, dealing a monstrous amount of damage and making his presence known all across the map. Unfortunately, the Phoenixes rallied together and surrounded their marksman Neutrinx to out-pressure and overpower SKZ into a slugfest win. Game 2 slid quickly out of SKIZM’s control as TPR continued to implement their game plan, their new permanent top laner Aleskander leaving Mávèríck on his back heel in tandem with mid laner Kaze64 to take an early lead and remove SKZ’s ability to play the game with a devastating engage comp from Kennen and Zed. The game 2 loss came quickly, and the team found itself sitting at 5-4 going into round 2. After an almost endless revolving door of roster changes and substitutions, SKIZM e-sports is looking to find its footing going into the second round. For a team of highs and lows, we will immediately get to see if they can bounce back to their highs — their rematches with Full Send Gaming and Team Phoenix Rising are first up on their plate. Expect much more than a scrap from one of the most volatile teams the league has to offer.

 

5. Red Dusk Esports (5-4) [-3]

Red Dusk Esports took a tumble downward this week as well, their only ‘win’ achieved being a markup win from the disbanded Impulse team. The week kicked off with a match against Full Send Gaming, looking to set the team up on their feet as they brought in new top laner jaanmj. The first game saw complications from the get-go, with support yay yay 123 on the bad end of some connection issues that strained the team’s early game, quickly being capitalized on by FSG along with constant jungle pressure that put both solo laners on their heel. KTA MID flexed a new Vel’Koz pick against ChrizMeister’s standard control mage style, but eventually the team found themselves defeated. Pops Fry Cook came in for game 2 to take over the support role, but the team was not able to make adaptations necessary to take on Full Send, as prepared as they were. Game 2 saw the team crushed with no towers and only 3 kills to speak of, terrorized by a Volibear jungle pick that overpowered the team in the early game and led to their near-immediate defeat. A hard loss to start off with, but Red Dusk has been known for their star moments.

 

Their next match of week 4 was against Team Phoenix Rising. Owner and substitute Random Sync stepped into the marksman role in place of Funeste at the start of the series, looking to fill a very large pair of shoes for the team who found him at the head of many of their victories. With KTA moving to the bot lane for game 1, the team found themselves at the mercy of the Phoenixes, putting their bot lane on display as RDE found themselves on a leash from a sudden Zyra pick. Game 2 returned KTA to his MID and put Random Sync in the ADC role again, returning with renewed fire as KTA brought Akali into the mix. The entire team would band together for an incredibly strong showing, though, but ISmellAPig stole the show with a Kayn pick that tore through the early game transition, opening up a path for everyone on the team to shine in teamfights that shoved TPR in and shut them down. KTA and Random Sync ended with 13/2/10 and 8/1/7 score lines, along with Pops Fry Cook bringing a massive 75% kill participation on his Alistar, bringing a strong second wind to the team as they delved into game 3. To add to matters, Funeste was returning for game 3, looking to ride the energy the team was bringing off of a very clean win. KTA flexed his Akali pick once again, bolstered by Funeste getting his signature Kai’Sa pickup. Unfortunately, it would be the Phoenixes that get the last laugh, as Funeste found himself on the heel of the Xayah/Rakan combo, and enemy jungler CanadianChamp turned up the heat to get TPR’s mid laner rolling on Yasuo. With one tower to their name, Red Dusk found the wind knocked out of their sails once again, a close set wrenched from their hands.

 

Moving forward, the road looks uncertain for the team of vagabonds. Funeste is leaving the team on account of ranking past the league’s cap, and his replacement in C9 Cheesecake enters the scene fresh into round 2. The new bot laner will be immediately put to the test, of course — their rematch with Team Phoenix Rising is immediately over the horizon, along with a clash with the Furious Gentz. Another team of ups and downs, look to see Red Dusk pick themselves up and carve their own path going forward.

 

4. Full Send Gaming (5-4) [+2]

Full Send Gaming came off of a strong week 3 and looked to continue their roll through the league, looking to make a statement with three matches that were all no slouches. SKIZM was first up, their roster not yet swapped up and looking to take on Full Send as a cohesive unit. The first game looked to start on shaky ground, with Full Send committing to a fight in the bot lane that opened up every one of their top lane turrets to the inhibitor by the 15 minute mark. This deficit wouldn’t hold for long, though, as midgame transitioned into several fights found by the loving hook of PheenixDC’s treasured Thresh pick, several catches that started fights on a moment’s notice, leading to more R-button-to-death moments from the familiar combo of Left Hook Larry’s Pantheon jungle and Snypet’s Miss Fortune. The two boasted the most damage dealt to champions by far, both over 22k with the next highest around 15k. The team wrestled back control of the game from their early losses, cutting them down and ending the game in convincing fashion, with ChrizMeister on his comfort Anivia pick going 7/0/5, both deathless and farming above 10 CS per minute in the process. Game 2 saw a much more calculated approach, with Mement0 delivering the bomb to SKIZM as they committed heavily to a teamfight in the bot lane that PheenixDC stole with death-defying kill pickups off of chaining Pyke ultimates, leaving the top laner on Gangplank to clear out tower after tower and blow a hole through SKIZM’s objectives that they could never recover from. A definitive 25 minute win came for FSG, starting them off well going into week 4.

 

Red Dusk Esports was the next team in their sights. A favorable drafting phase put more of the same locked and loaded comfort picks into Full Send’s hands, and they came full salvo at Red Dusk, ChrizMeister, Snypet, and PheenixDC sent a reminder to the team that their core of Anivia, Miss Fortune, and Thresh remained unbreakable as ever, with ChrizMeister dwarfing the game’s damage once again, alongside Mement0 flexing his favored Ornn pick, shutting down hopes for Red Dusk’s new top laner jaanmj to flourish. Red Dusk scrambled to ban away so many picks that made their life rough in the last game, but Full Send Gaming has proven time and time again to be a team with several adaptive picks that still compliment their playstyle just as well. With 3 of Left Hook Larry’s top champions sniped away from him, his next pick still showed more of his early game aggression in Volibear. ChrizMeister made the horizontal move to Orianna with his Anivia pinched away, and Snypet got to see his Miss Fortune through the draft phase once again. The bear came up big, with a quick game seeing 20 kills for the team and Left Hook Larry packing a 90% kill participation to snowball his team to a landslide victory, solidifying a second win for the team and sending a message that their ability to come together in the mid game and flex the strength of their tried and true team compositions was becoming something for every team to fear.

 

Week 5 saw a battle at the summit, with Full Send Gaming taking on the Purple Cobras. The Cobras were finally set with their full roster, and Full Send was on a tear that threatened to secure a clean sweep. The Cobras brought a beefy lineup to the first game to try and bolster their defenses for bot laner Tomato Farmer to shine on a Kai’Sa pick, but Full Send Gaming proved again that early game aggression was in the cards and stacking their deck would punch holes through the Cobras’ iron defense. Left Hook Larry found himself on Nocturne again, securing Ornn and Miss Fortune for the classic R-to-victory trigger finger compositions they’ve scorched teams with in the past 3 weeks. To boot, ChrizMeister brandished a Taliyah pick from his swiss army knife of control mages. This game would see a classic Full Send Gaming dismantling, with Left Hook Larry making aggressive plays to stifle the enemy jungler and leave laners second guessing every move. Mement0 shined like a beacon in this game, matching damage dealt to champions with Snypet despite several Bullet Times clearing through multiple members of the Cobras throughout the 37 minute climb. ChrizMeister ended with a 12/1/14 scoreline, moving around the map and securing plays to inevitably end the game in convincing fashion. Game 2 saw a shift in the Cobras’ draft, taking away Snypet’s prized Miss Fortune and pulling away Left Hook Larry’s Pantheon and Nocturne to boot, setting him back on Volibear as the Cobras drafted into much more comfortable champions on their own. The game took a sharp tone very early on, and even with PheenixDC on his Thresh, the entirety of the team was taken to Hook City, finding numerous engages off of their terms against Desolate Earth’s Blitzcrank. Drafting much less tankier than their standard with Mement0 on Gangplank, the team was caught entirely off guard and could hardly hold their base together before falling to the Cobras’ pick power. Game 3 put the team back on their proper footing, gunning into another R-you-to-death composition as Snypet’s Miss Fortune returned alongside Mement0’s Ornn, now with Left Hook Larry brandishing a Rengar pick to take the frontline and pose a hyper-aggressive threat in the middle of all the AoE chaos his team brought to the field. A Full Send Gaming draft that looked textbook in the eyes of anyone used to seeing their coordination come together and blow away enemy teams not as prepared. Unfortunately, the early game aggression got turned on them, with Leona and Xin Zhao coming from the side of the Cobras to make early plays and put Left Hook Larry at a deficit, with Mement0 locked in combat in the top lane once again with Synchogazer’s Sion. Full Send found the heat turned up, and couldn’t get their composition to click in time before they were overrun by the Cobras crew. The set fell out of Full Send Gaming’s hands after a strong game 1 showing, and they end the first round at 5-4.

 

Their last set has shown where the holes in the rising stars are being exposed. Seemingly unstoppable for weeks, Full Send Gaming now find themselves in analysis, but there’s no doubt that the numerous strong showings they’ve made will come to fruition in time, and prove that all holes are patchable. Look to see more of the same solid team fighting and laser point aggression from the team as they head into round 2, with an imminent rematch against Purple Cobras as well as SKIZM e-sports.

 

3. Purple Cobras (6-3) [+1]

The Cobras put venom back in their fangs this week. Four games were on their lineup between weeks 4 and 5, so they would be running the gauntlet to find their placement this week. Their first match pit them against Furious Gentz. The team found themselves taking steps backwards early on, with Frission weathering a storm in the mid lane from continuous ganks and dives from the Gentz’ jungler, Prophetikos. The team pressed through a short-lived early game backpedal, and every other member of the Cobras came through with only 1 death, the martyr mid laner still pulling ahead with top damage to champions as his Syndra pick would wreak havoc once more. Game 2 saw comfort picks falling into the team’s hands, as Synchogazer was gifted his Renekton top lane with enemy top laner Super Scyther challenging it with a Camille pick up, bringing Ignite for a head-to-head clash as he looked to bring down the star top laner. Likewise, Friction was granted his comfort Jax pick a second time in a row, bringing the staff down onto the Gentz with devastating success as the pair dove into fight after fight, making light work of the Gentz with Frission controlling the pace of the fight from afar on Veigar, once again escaping with the most damage dealt and a commanding 9/4/11 scoreline.

 

The twice-rescheduled match with SKIZM e-sports was next in line. Unfortunately, Tomato Farmer was nowhere to be found for the match. The team brought in their substitute ADC, Black Rósë, for the first time. Unfortunately, SKIZM’s new marksman in Carmony turned out to be an overwhelming force, flexing his Xayah pick and leaving the sub ADC dusted, with Frission’s Lux keeping up in damage dealt but unable to secure kills against the beefy SKIZM crew, leading to a very quick game 1 loss. Game 2 saw the Cobras pick up their pace, with Frission leading the pack on Syndra and the team as a whole looking for early aggression to be their guide — Desolate Earth controlled the bot lane with a Brand support pick while Friction took to his tried and true Kayn to make a shakeup of SKIZM’s defense. Synchogazer continued his turn of Pass The Sion with SKIZM’s top laner, making an equally impressive showing as the team only dropped 3 deaths to the SKIZM crew, finding the keys to success to enable their substitute marksman to find his footing in the team. Game 3 saw more of the same picks fall in tow, with Desolate Earth looking to put on another show with his Brand and Friction taking his Kayn for a runback. SKIZM took their turn in Pass the Sion, handed to Mávèríck as Synchogazer tried to answer with an Ornn. Unfortunately, shades of game 1 haunted the team again as Frission put out a colossal amount of damage on Xerath — 27,000, the most damage dealt to champions in game by either team. But the bot lane proved to be the lynchpin, as enemy ADC Carmony ran away with the game on Tristana this time, with the Cobras unable to recover and dropping the third game along with the set. Unfortunate circumstances aside, the Cobras pressed forward.

 

Elyon Gaming was their next match. Game 1 showed off a dominant performance, as Synchogazer and Frission were both granted access to their dominant Renekton and Ahri picks, with the rest of the team broadening their roster on slightly less conventional picks. The solo laners cleaned the game in typical fashion, brushing the lower end team out of game 1 and into a game 2 draft that saw more of the same. With Synchogazer comfortably on the croc again, Frission took a cheeky play from another’s book and ran an AP Malphite in the midlane, proving explosive as he detonated his way into Elyon’s backline and crushed their hopes of making their way into the game, ending the game 8/0/12 on the back of a dominant performance.

 

With two wins notched under their belt, their week 5 match found them pit against Full Send Gaming. All things considered, the two teams were matched up fairly even — both teams were 5-3 going into the game with relatively similar wins and losses to previous teams, both teams had a consistent gameplan that revolved around their roaming mid laner and playmaking jungler creating a lot of early game chaos, along with supports notorious for their hookers. In practice, it turned out to be the differences that would create a rift; Synchogazer and Tomato Farmer were very often heralded players for their solo prowess, opening up plays by themselves and creating strong early leads to be broad shoulders for their teammates to springboard off of — in contrast, Mement0 and Snypet were very often the catalyst to strong 5-on-5 teamfights that consistently saw the two at the forefront of coordinated engages and the overwhelming backline DPS, respectively. This disparity would lead to their game 1 loss; ChrizMeister’s Taliyah outmaneuvered Frission’s Lissandra to every fight and Mement0’s Ornn ults set up for clean Bullet Times from Snypet’s Miss Fortune, hardly giving the Cobras an inch to retaliate in most fights. Game 2 had to bring change, and it certainly did — the Hook City Showdown would be brought to light as Desolate Earth returned to his Blitzcrank pick, picked right into the face of PheenixDC’s signature Thresh. With Friction and Frission on Kayn and Syndra, and Synchogazer allowed to make another pass on Sion, the Cobras were looking for their playmakers to come in strong. Lo and behold, they did just that — Desolate Earth made a monstrous impact from start to finish, sending the hand of fate through fight after fight and yanking Full Send Gaming right out of position and into the grinder, ending on a horrifying 7/1/16 scoreline and 80% kill participation, seizing victory alongside Frission’s clean Syndra stun combos. Game 3 saw the Kayn taken away as an early catalyst to success, but the Cobras had a new plan in mind. With Synchogazer remaining on the Sion, it was the bot lane of Tomato Farmer and Desolate Earth that suddenly kicked up their lane aggression to 10. The pair locked in Lucian and Leona, looking to dominate and kick down the door of Full Send’s calculated Miss Fortune/Braum pair and shut them down before they could get their composition online — with the looming threat of Miss Fortune, Braum, Orianna, and Ornn ultimates and a lurking Rengar, the team put all of their chips in early domination as their key to success. Friction came up big on Xin Zhao, securing early kills that put Tomato Farmer far enough ahead to run and gun through fights and keep every Full Send damage dealer under his heel for the duration of the early to mid game transition. Desolate Earth went on an absolute rampage, finding several multi-man Leona ults from all angles, ending with a 3/1/15 scoreline to compliment his carry’s 8/0/5 KDA. The team’s laners shut down Full Send before they could come to fruition, and the set win went to the Cobras.

 

The Purple Cobras have broken the mold laid out by previous weeks moving forward; no longer do opposing teams only view Synchogazer as the sole threat, carrying deadly executions on Renekton. Every individual member of the Cobras has shown to break through into stellar performances, and picking them apart as a whole is difficult when so many players have dodged target bans into a continuously adaptive pool of champions. The Cobras have to prove themselves once again versus Full Send Gaming next week, as well as a clash with the all new team Reign of Kings to show that the resilience of a team making a strong showing for the top of the standings is not to be taken lightly.

 

2. Team Phoenix Rising (6-3) [+5]

It’s a good day to be a Phoenix. Since the roster acquisition of Darquesse in the support role and the stabilization of Aleskander and Kaze64 in the top and mid lanes respectively, Team Phoenix Rising has been on a warpath through the league. Previously a team struggling to meet ends with other teams scraping the bottom of ranks, the team has spread its wings and soared to a top 3 spot earned by multiple dominant performances. No F’s Given was the first team in their path in Week 4, with sprinkle m silly departed from the TPR roster and now facing the team down as NFG’s top laner. The Phoenixes answered in turn, with Kaze64 finding an explosive early lead on Ekko that let him spread chaos in skirmishes that NFG couldn’t recover from. Neutrinx, with Darquesse in tow, looked to send a message to RW Arrow that there was a clear challenger for the top ADC spot in the league, taking an early lead on Tristana and smashing through the game. They would cement that message into NFG’s mind with the second game, with Kaze64 stealing the show on a sneaky Zed pick that picked off targets left and right, with incredible focus on the bot lane for Neutrinx to explode onto the scene, taking his Tristana for a second ride and being accompanied by CanadianChamp on a Diana jungle pick that put on an unexpected amount of early pressure, diving into fights fearlessly that led the team to a convincing set win.

 

Red Dusk Esports was their next set. Game 1 moved at a quick pace, starting to become the team’s very normal identity of pure early domination to choke the other teams out of being able to fight back. CanadianChamp brought out a Warwick pick that has thus far only been seen by the likes of him, while Neutrinx looked to be finding comfort on the Tristana pick once again — but it was Darquesse the stole the show on a Zyra support pick, making an explosive entrance into several early fights that garnered her the highest damage dealt to champions on a one and a half item mage. The 21 minute victory looked to spell a quick 2-0 for the team, but Red Dusk adjusted going into game 1 and brought a new round of picks out for the TPR crew to manage. Most notably, ISmellAPig tore a path for the team on a Kayn pick that dominated the game in damage dealt, shutting down Kaze64’s bold Yasuo pick and preventing him from playing the game as KTA MID’s Akali maneuvered around his crewmates’ tanks and picked the team apart one by one. Red Dusk seemed to find the answer to the Phoenixes early strength by collapsing for early fights and out-muscling them — but like any birds of prey, TPR would once again rise to the challenge. Red Dusk looked fierce out of the gates, bringing a Rengar pick from ISmellAPig as he looked to double down on his early aggression that got his team ahead before, but CanadianChamp shut him down with an Amumu pick that made plays and set up moves for the powerhouse bot lane to come through on the devastating Xayah/Rakan combo. Kaze64 took another gamble on his Yasuo pick — paired with clutch engages from Darquesse’s Rakan, he found incredible success this time around, ending with a 11/2/12 scoreline and the most damage dealt to champions on the scrappy swordfighter, cleaning through Red Duck and securing their second win for that week.

 

The TPR roster looked stronger than ever as they went into their week 5 matchup with SKIZM e-sports, another team most recently rebuilt, leaving a lot of up in the air speculation about how they would match up with the up and coming stars of the Phoenixes. And yet, by now the team was ironclad in their setup. Game 1 saw the feathered duo fall into TPR’s hands once again, and bolstered by an Amumu and Ornn frontline, it was becoming more and more apparent what kind of teams that the team could draft up, with Neutrinx having a defensive core and Kaze64 running chaotic aggression on a Kassadin pick — the ADC dealt 35,000 damage over the course of the 31 minute game, over 40% of his team’s damage as they rallied around him to prove unbreakable. Game 2 saw the show stolen in an entirely new way; Aleskander finally burst onto the scene, breaking away from his sturdy tank picks in the top lane and running straight into enemy lines with a fresh Kennen pick. Neutrinx hardly found himself involved in the game as the top laner solidified his spot on the roster as more than just the impenetrable front door, surging lightning through the SKIZM crew and pushing to a dominant game 2 win with 32% of the team’s damage dealt to champions, CanadianChamp also once again keeping the enemy in check with his fierce Warwick pick, nigh-unkillable with an 8/2/9 scoreline.

 

Team Phoenix Rising is making a heavy challenge to be a top contender in this league, scoring win after win after win and not looking to let up at all going forward. In a contest of those still scratching and clawing for the top spot, look for the Phoenixes to make waves in the coming weeks. Red Dusk Esports and SKIZM e-sports will be looking for their rematches next week, and if time has shown its results appropriately, Team Phoenix Rising has been reborn from the ashes of a team that skirted the bottom and look to soar to the very top.

 

1. White Lotus (9-0)

The Lotus continues to bloom. On top of the standings once more, White Lotus only had two games to play out as their bye from the departed Impulse came in week 4. The first of their matches was against Furious Gentz — many will remember the renewed fire in the Gentz’ captain SCommander as he boldly made claims to hand the undefeated team their first defeat in this set. Just as many will remember the starting steps that appeared to deliver on this message; Songless’ Morgana put Fuji in a bind more than once in lane, keeping him dogged on his back heel while the Gentz took an early 5-0 kill lead. But White Lotus remained solid as stone in their gameplay, farming up and outplaying the Gentz in macro, one of their consistently strong points that teams have yet to be able to break through. Kairos refused to be outdone on his trademark Sejuani, however; through rotations and superior macro, they built an advantage over time and let teamfights dictate themselves, with accompanying bulky picks Sion and Alistar proving too massive of a frontline for the single-dealer comp of Gentz to be able to get through. Stabilizing through to game 2, Fuji got to flex his fingers on an Akali pick, with Aetherial back on Jhin as the two continued their carrying rampage, bolstered once again by a 3 man frontline of the same members. The Gentz could hardly reach the marksman as he popped kills one after the other — he would end the game 7/0/15 while Fuji pulled out hearts with a 12/2/3 scoreline. As it was, the team that boasted with words would not be able to punch through the iron wall.

 

Their second game against No F’s Given would be an equally quick bout; little is to be said of White Lotus breaking the mold on their tried and true team compositions — game 1 saw NFG fall under 25 minutes to the 3 tank frontline with Aetherial’s Lucian gunslinging up in front and Fuji assassinating on LeBlanc from afar. RW Arrow returned to the team for game 2 and brandished an Ashe pick at the crew, but Aetherial took the previously Piercing Arrow’s favored pick away, dominating the game on Varus as he set up initiates all his own for Fuji to run amok on Zoe while Fresh Burger kept sprinkle m silly —  the support-turned-toplaner — under lock and key with a fresh Irelia pick, clenching a swift series win.

 

The formula of White Lotus has been cracked only twice by teams in this league thus far. They stand at the top looking down, looking to make an equally domineering sweep through the second round, and only the teams that previously made a crack in their armor look to be any challenge. But as stated in previous articles: the playing field is still volatile underneath the throne. We’ve seen teams fall and rise between weeks, and every team looking up at the White Lotus majesty will have their own plan formulated to seize their crown. The start of round 2 will see No F’s Given pit against them once again, as well as the first of two new teams, Atlas e-sports, being given a warm welcome to the league by the ironclad crew.

Skyson LComment
Best of the week - Week 5

Top: WL Fresh Burger (WL)

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Jungle:  WL Kairos (WL)

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Mid: Songless (FG)

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Adc: Neutrinx (TPR)

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Support: Darquesse (TPR)

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Ward master:  Jerd (ELG)

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MVP:  Aetherial (WL)

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SkylanceerComment
Best of the week - Week 4

Top: Synchogazer (PPC)

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Jungle:  CanadianChamp (TPR)

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Mid: WL Fuji (WL)

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Adc: Neutrinx (TPR)

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Support: Darquesse (TPR)

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Ward master:  PheenixDC (FSG)

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MVP: Synchogazer (PPC)

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SkylanceerComment
Week 3 Power Rankings

Week 3 has come to a close. To say the least, this week has been chaotic. Several teams have undergone major roster changes, bringing in fresh new faces and ushering in the return of some players out for blood. A five-way tie has been broken and rebuilt as 3 new ties, but at the end of the week, who showed signs of life as we approach the conclusion of the first half of matches? I’m here again to offer a subjective look on the current state of affairs, and give a look into what’s to come as Week 4 looms just over the corner.

 

NOTE: Regardless of objective standings based on record, this article will attempt to rank the 10 teams based on their performance and potential taking the weeks into consideration and looking towards future weeks, based entirely around my (the writer's) personal opinion.


 

10. Furious Gentz (0-6) [-1]

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Eyes were on the Gentz going into the third week; new captain SCommander took the helm with newcomer Songless in tow, looking to take a crack at the upper tier of teams and make a name for the winless team as a fierce contender. To his dismay, his fire was put out very quickly by Red Dusk Esports, who took the team out in a convincing 2-0. Their second match was against SKIZM e-sports, who were on a backpedal of their own going into week 3, giving the Gentz an opportunity to slide into their first win. Game 1 saw the wind knocked out of their sails, their aggressive in-your-face comp outpaced and outplayed by the notoriously aggressive Gødyr and co. Game 2 drew back the aggression in favor of a team composition that put the two newcomers in the limelight, with impressive results. Songless shined through numerous fights on his tried and true Morgana mid lane, finding a plethora of multi-man ultimates that bolstered the defensive core built around SCommander’s Ashe pick to outlast and eventually run over SKIZM’s wild aggression. Game 3 saw nearly a similar composition brought together, now with SCommander on Tristana. The game was moving steadily in their favor, but a crack in their armor ended up bringing them crumbling down; Joestir had met his demise early at the hand of v19torn’s Gnar. A slow snowball out of control left the team scrambling out of fights to deal with him, and eventually led to their defeat. Rather than take their losses sitting down, SCommander quickly brought the hand of reform, shuffling the team once more as he looks to build an all-star roster from the ground up. The absolute test of this shuffle lies ahead; the Gentz’ week 4 pits them against Purple Cobras and White Lotus. Look to see big things from new starting jungle and support Prophetikos and C9 5moothie, and look to see a big :Wut: from the newly acquired top laner Super Scyther.

  :Wut:

:Wut:

 

9. Elyon Gaming (0-6) [+1]

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I write with a bit of my foot in my mouth as I move on to Elyon Gaming, who did make adjustments across their roster going into week 3, despite my anticipations. Jerd was moved to the support role, ushering in the addition of Big Brain Mid to the mid lane, as Wranor was brought into the top lane to round out the team with existing members Hotty Williams and C9 5neaky. Their first match pit them against No F’s Given, another partially restructured team looking to continue their climb. The first game out of the gates sent a message to everyone that Elyon Gaming had shown up to play; No F’s Given took the win after a 35 minute fight to the finish with both teams taking out 8 towers and being a kill behind at 29 to 30. Game 2 saw a handful of comfort picks fall into Elyon’s hands, as Big Brain Mid made sure to strike fear into his opponents on Zed. Hotty Williams was in equal form, taking to early aggression on Pantheon and leading the team to a crushing victory. They rode their high into game 3, drawing a Zed ban and keeping their Varus and Pantheon picks to stylize their early aggression. Aggressive they were, they dominated the early game and found an overwhelming 10,000 gold lead over NFG, putting them on the heels and threatening to end the game swiftly. Unfortunately, time took its course, and between immaculate play from their newcomer RW Arrow as well as the global taunt from Super Scyther’s Teemo, No F’s Given pulled out the win that day. Regardless, Elyon Gaming picked themselves up and solidified that their roster was ready to compete.Their next set was against Red Dusk esports, already on a tear and looking to add another tally to the wall. A double emergency sub situation left the game banless on both ends, and Elyon reminded Red Dusk what happens when a certain middle with a large brain has access to a knife hand ninja. Big Brain Mid’s Zed tore a hole through game 1, leaning their momentum for the first time this season. Unfortunately, Red Dusk’s mid laner in KTA MID took to the challenge, using their draft to take Zed away from Elyon both rounds and turn the tables on them, leading to one crushing win over the other. Regardless, going into week 4 Elyon has a better mindset to collect and move forward, taking a game from two of the top teams this week. The team will have to build some more coherency over the coming weeks, as their next stop puts them against SKIZM e-sports and Purple Cobras.

 

8. Impulse (3-3) [-1]

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Impulse showed quite the signs of life this week, starting off strong with a 2-0 over Full Send Gaming. u SawCon brought two incredibly strong performances from his trademark junglers, and the pejiMenos bot lane delivered yet again, both on the aggressive Kai’Sa/Nami lane and the silent farming Jinx/Janna lane. Taking a blow to the previously 3-1 team left them in high spirits, and going in against Team Phoenix Rising looked like the backdrop to a sweep for the week. Surprisingly, they were put in their place. The Phoenixes rose and washed away Impulse from the get-go, dominating a game 1 win that left them on the back pedal with most of their key champions banned away. Game 2 saw a major improvement on the side of Impulse, bringing in different picks for a much scrappier composition, with u SawCon on Kindred jungle and peji bringing a fierce Vel’Koz support to compliment Menoz on Swain in the bot lane. A 44 minute slog ended up with a victory for Team Phoenix Rising, though, with Impulse short only 2 kills. Despite the fall, Impulse has remained quiet throughout. Their roster appears finalized now, confident that they will work out the kinks with who they have and no more changes need to be made. I share this confidence — despite their placement sitting at 8th place — and expect to see Impulse making waves off of their strong showing this week. Their competition is no slouch, as they face off against White Lotus and No F’s Given. If anything, it’s been shown that the bottom of the barrel is doing much more than scraping by. Impulse will leave their mark in the coming weeks, for better or for worse.

 

7. Team Phoenix Rising (3-3) [+1]

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Team Phoenix Rising made an interesting rise this week. Their first set against White Lotus saw the debut of sub Aleskander along with CanadianChamp and Sprinkle m Silly swapping roles to jungle and support, respectively. The shake up fell flat on its face in game 1, receiving a sound thrashing from the top team that would have convinced anyone a quick 2-0 was on the way. Some internal adjustments were made, and the sub mid laner made an outstanding performance on Syndra, alongside Sprinkle m silly busting out an unconventional full AP Malphite support, absolutely breaking open the defensive core White Lotus built around their star ADC and taking the win in game 2 with several clutch pick offs. Both champions were banned away from the team going into game 3, forcing them into a new gameplan as they had shown an adaptation to White Lotus’ style and focus of play. Unfortunately, it was Fresh Burger in the top lane that proved overwhelming for the team, effectively countering Kaze64 in the top lane on Irelia and snowballing into an unstoppable force that the team couldn’t cleanly pick off in fights. Despite putting up a good showing in the first half of the game, they were eventually broken open and beaten in a 1-2 loss. Another team to take a game off of White Lotus, the Phoenixes joined the ranks of the few that showed signs of life to take a swing at the top contenders. Their next match put them against Impulse, a team fresh off of a win against Full Send Gaming, who had already handed TPR a loss in week 1. The statistics suggested that Impulse was looking to push ahead to 4-2, but they were given more than a run for their money. Aleskander and Kaze64 returned to top and mid lane respectively, picking apart the main champion picks from Impulse’s mid and bot laners to take game 1 in clean fashion, equipped with new starting support Darquesse as the classic Xayah/Rakan duo put on a show, running a combined KDA of 12/4/29 with Neutrinx. Conversely, game 2 saw incredible performances from the solo laners, with Kaze64 dominating on Zed and Aleskander barreling into teamfights on a very polished Ornn. With that win under their belt, TPR has shown their versatility across all lanes to take a game and run with it. The team looks to continue to adapt and rise above as they head into week 4, with No F’s Given and Red Dusk esports at the summit. Any team that can take a swing at White Lotus has shown to be volatile, and this team’s fire hasn’t been put out just yet.

 

6. Full Send Gaming (3-3) [-3]

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Full Send Gaming finds themselves in a compromising position this week; they and the previous two teams all share a very similar profile: a 3-3 record, a 1-2 loss to White Lotus or Purple Cobras, and their only 3 wins consisting of Elyon Gaming, Furious Gentz, and each other. Full Send finds themselves at the bottom of a dive, losing both games this week; Impulse and No F’s Given both found a win against the team sitting content at its top 3 standing. Acquisition of new support PheenixDC looked to bolster the team’s standard play at aggression, but their first set against Impulse found them on bad footing. ChrizMeister pulled an impressive performance in the first game on Orianna, a very comfortable pick for him that’s let him flex a lot of lane dominance in the past. After a 40 minute clash, Full Send lost the first game only 3 kills down. The second game was much less favorable, as Full Send’s aggressive playmaking was shut down by Menoz’ Jinx being accompanied by a double shield comp with a brutal frontline to keep him safe. They made quick work of FSG, leaving the team on a loss going into the week. The team would look for redemption against No F’s Given, both teams 3-2 going into the showdown and looking to clutch a 4-2 finish to the week. Left Hook Larry went for his trusted Pantheon jungle pickup, finding several early kills but unable to keep the tempo moving for his team as they fell in game 1. Game 2 found a major upswing for the team, dominating a victory with more of the same picks and immaculate play that Full Send Gaming has been attributed with. Mement0 on Ornn made colossal plays this game, finding ultimates through members and outright bullet training into fights. The team looked strong going into game 3, getting several of their desired picks and finding proper bans, but the game quickly fell out of their favor from the early game, placing several kills into the hands of the quickly rising ADC prodigy RW Arrow, now on Twitch as he converted those kills to devastating teamfight power, leading to a brutal game 3 loss. Full Send finds themselves in an undesirable place going into this week; their matches this week are against Red Dusk esports and SKIZM e-sports. Taking set wins against these teams will be crucial to re-establishing the team’s strength, and the long-standing pair of ChrizMeister and Left Hook Larry will be taking the forefront of that challenge.

 

5. SKIZM e-sports (3-2)

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SKIZM… there’s a lot to be said about this team while there’s little to be said about this week. For clarity, the match between SKIZM e-sports and Purple Cobras this week was agreed to be postponed to another date, leaving both teams at a 3-2 split. SKIZM has only one game to speak of this week, as a result, and it’s a thought provoking 2-1 win against Furious Gentz. Game 1 looked like a textbook performance from the team we’d seen flashes of early game dominance from, with Gødyr flexing a Nidalee jungle and keeping fresh mid laner Songless afraid to move from his tower, reigned in already by Deelun on his comfortable Ahri pick. Less comfortable picks came from the team in game 2, looking to put on a show for spectators and pull some fun picks for the team's sake. The Gentz came together with a well-rounded composition that pushed SKIZM back, fending off a debilitating loss and restoring some wind into the bottom team's sails. Game 3 saw SKIZM come back together, with Gødyr on Gragas looking to make moves on the bulky brawler.. but SKIZM found themselves backpedaling heavily for most of the game. Songless had an incredible performance on Morgana mid, pushing Deelun back and taking a couple kills of his own, looking to lead the team to decisive victory. Fortunately, v19torn ran away with the series, picking Gnar into Joestir's Trundle and carrying the team to a decisive game 3 victory, holding over 40% of the team's damage as he opened the base and took it solo after the crew lost a 4v4 teamfight. Three matches loom over the horizon to continue telling the tale of the aggressive crew, and at the end of week 4 we should get a clear vision of where SKIZM e-sports have their heads — in the game, or in the clouds.

 

4. Purple Cobras (3-2) [-2]

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As stated above, the Cobras sit on a 3-2 record at the end of the week, pending a rescheduled game with SKIZM e-sports and giving us a 3 game week 4. Their only game played this week is a loss, unfortunately, finding themselves soundly defeated at the hands of White Lotus. A double emergency sub situation broke out for the match, resulting in no bans for either team, and the Cobras found themselves under the heel of Fuji’s Katarina with relatively few answers. The team sparked back to life in game 2, with Tomato Farmer and sub top laner Smellfear boasting strong showings on Jhin and Renekton, but eventually fell in the 33 minute clash. With little other data brought on the team, the Cobras have been biding their time, looking to reclaim their top 3 spot going into week 4 as their gauntlet consists of SKIZM e-sports, as well as the rebuilt teams of Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming. The Cobras team remains the same, swapping out a substitute here and there for their top lane, but it stands to more than speculation that a star may soon return to his throne.

 

3. No F’s Given (4-2) [+3]

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No F’s Given made an explosive return to the scene this week. The acquisition of RW Arrow looked to be a superstar pick for the team, proving to be both more than a Varus one trick as the name implied and the ace player for every one of their victories this week. Their first match against Full Send Gaming saw the team’s composition come to light, with game 1 packing on an impenetrable wall of crowd control behind a Kennen/Sejuani/Braum comp that let Arrow’s arrows fly free on his favored Varus pick. Game 2 went for a different approach, offering a double shield support composition for Arrow’s Lucian, eventually being run over by a much similar enemy composition from FSG, tacked on by a Miss Fortune ultimate that cleared the field of litter. Game 3 came back to more of the same, with zayfray plucking the Pantheon jungle from Left Hook Larry’s hands and bolstering another frontline composition, with Super Scyther going deathless on Malphite top and Morgana/Orianna to keep Arrow running strong on Twitch. Their next set against Elyon Gaming saw similar results, with the first game bringing a crushing victory for NFG. The team has kept a consistent grip on their multiple sources of engage to leave Arrow demolishing teams from the backline, with an impenetrable frontline that left Tristana running the game through. Game 2, however, saw the debut of Big Brain Mid on his favored assassin, Zed. As it was, no defensive formation was enough to stop the infiltration onto Arrow’s Kog’Maw as he was torn apart in game 2, along with a Pantheon pick that turned up the aggression just hard enough to throw NFG out of their comfort zone. Game 3 continued the marksman’s revolving door of carries, bringing out Ezreal for the match point. Bolstered by both clutch ultimates from JisforPenguin’s Taric and Super Scyther’s consistent pressure on a wild Teemo pick, Arrow would once again take the game in style, turning around what looked like an assured victory for Elyon and ending the game with over 53% of the team’s damage dealt to champions. There’s certainly something to be said about NFG now; they have both acquired talent and quickly adapted to building around it. Zayfray’s early game dominance on aggressive tank picks in the jungle has been drawing bans from every team they’ve played, coupling perfectly with SlibberingDingus’ repertoire of diverse utility mid laners, and JisforPenguin has been consistently highlighted for vision dominance and clutching out defensive plays needed to keep the team together. Super Scyther has been dropped from the team in favor of new top laner Inversion, so it will be interesting to see if the team’s cohesion remains as airtight as it looked this week. Regardless, keep an eye out for Arrow’s explosive performances; the carry boasts a 69/15/22 total scoreline in the four games the team won this week. Look out for the arrow to continue piercing through; Team Phoenix Rising and Impulse are in NFG’s sights next week.

 

2. Red Dusk Esports (4-2) [+2]

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Red Dusk Esports continues their ascension to the top, securing the second place spot with a 4-2 record and favorable results from last week over both teams in the 3-2 spot. While their victories over Elyon Gaming and Furious Gentz were all but expected this week, they were not without putting in effort. Their first match with Furious Gentz came and went quietly, a quick 2-0 as KTA MID left Songless their favored Morgana pick and beat it outright, alongside sub top laner plx fix the game for crushing victories across the board. Moving swiftly to their set with Elyon Gaming, things took a turn downhill. Once again, a situation with emergency sub players on both teams left their match without bans, opening game 1 to Big Brain Mid making moves on Zed, ripping holes through the Red Dusk team and taking a destructive victory that saw KTA on his worst performance to date. The rebound came quickly, though, with RDE making the smart play to secure the Zed in both rotations and put KTA on the assassin to turn the tables on Elyon. Game 2 was an incredible success, with KTA running rampant on the pick and Funeste having an equally dominant performance on Kai’Sa, pushing Elyon back and leaving the team behind in single digit kills. Emergency sub Micháel G pulled a great performance out on Hecarim jungle in game 3, leading several dangerous charges to pull the team ahead early while the same picks controlled the pace of the game, with KTA on a breakthrough in his Zed play. They swiftly shut down the idea of Elyon taking their first game in a 25 minute win, adapting quickly to the situation and remaining headstrong. With this week over, Red Dusk has established that changing the playing field doesn’t change what they’ve built — a team of fundamentally strong players that all hold their own and come together as a unit when push comes to shove. Full Send Gaming and Team Phoenix Rising are looking to take a crack at the team next week, but Red Dusk Esports looks to be on the right track heading into the second half of the season.


1. White Lotus (6-0)

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Amidst the chaos of roster swaps and substitutions, one thing holds true: White Lotus remains at the top. Remaining a pillar of consistency continues through this week, with a victory over the at the time second place team Purple Cobras and knocking down another contender in Team Phoenix Rising. The set with Purple Cobras was unexpectedly short, with a banless draft due to emergency subs letting Fuji run wild on a Katarina pick that went unchecked and absolutely dominated the game from the get-go, stealing the show with 50% of the team’s damage dealt to champs and solidly adding another pick to the laundry list that is White Lotus’ bag of threats. Game 2 came with more reserve, as the Cobras came to play and saw strong showings from their bot and jungle. The star of the show, however, was the substitute top laner for White Lotus, as Phynn delivered an insane performance on Gangplank, running through the game with a 17/5/4 to lead the team to a wild victory, crushing the #2 team’s hopes of making their mark. To contrast, their set with Team Phoenix Rising brought a lot of the team’s strategies into the limelight. Game 1 came and went as anyone would have expected, with the entire team making light work of the rising team and only dropping 3 kills to them in a 22 minute stomp. Game 2 saw a shuffle among the TPR roster, and alongside some properly placed bans, White Lotus was cornered between a rock and a hard place — Aetherial was put in a position to solo carry, and nothing but a Zilean ult could save him from the long ranged onslaught of clutch Syndra stun combos and an unexpected AP Malphite support barreling into him threatening one shots from every angle. Even pulling ahead with a 14/11/7 KDA, Aetherial could not get past the team’s laser-point focus on him the entire game, and the team dropped their second game of the season. Both picks received proper respect in the ban phase, and Fresh Burger saw his tried and true Darius off of the banlist to quickly pick it up. This would prove fatal for the Phoenixes, as the top laner came back into form with aggressive dominance, keeping TPR’s Kaze64 under his boot with an Irelia pick that was paramount to their game 2 success with sudden explosive dive power, reduced to a flea under Burger’s axe. Fuji also had something to say about the matter, proving that utility mids were a luxury for the other team to see as he had a breakout performance on Zoe, clenching a game 3 win and taking the set to maintain their perfect record. Just as quickly as anyone could assume that Aetherial was the backbone of the team, the laners come to bat. White Lotus is a team that accurately adapts to the situations they’re given, and their success attributes heavily to the consistent core of Kairos and Daydreamz on caretaker duty —  protecting and enabling any of the three carries on the team to pop off for a breakout performance. Impulse and Furious Gentz are the next pair to make a claim at denting the seemingly invincible team of 5. While a victory for either team would appear to be a long shot in the eyes of most observers, the tight-knit White Lotus are still on guard to the ever-shifting roster changes and new talent rising to make a claim for their throne.

Skyson LComment
Best of the week - Week 3

Top - WL Fresh Burger (WL)

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Jungle - sKz Gødyr (SKZ)

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Mid - KTA MID (RDE)

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ADC - RW Arrow (NFG)

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Support - WL Daydreamz (WL)

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Ward Master - JisforPenguin (NFG)

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MVP - WL Fuji (WL)

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SkylanceerComment
Week 2 Power Rankings

The dust has settled on Week 2, and the standings alone don't do enough justice to the tales being told in these match scores. Tied scores across the board — including a five way tie in the middle — offers some room to speculate on the current state of our tournament's teams going into Week 3, as well as some expectations of what's to come for the GamesXP Championship.

 

Note: Regardless of objective standings based on record, this article will attempt to rank the 10 teams based on their performance and potential taking the 2 weeks into consideration and looking towards future weeks, based entirely around my (the writer's) personal opinion.

 

10. Elyon Gaming (0-4)

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 The first 0-4 team sitting in the standings is Elyon Gaming. Despite their shortcomings, the team has stayed together. To their credit, 2 of their matches were against the top 3 teams in the standings right now, and against the top team they managed to turn up the gas on the offensive before superior macro play turned out to be their downfall. Regardless, the Elyon Gaming crew has shown their ability to fight as a scrappy team. Their picks and comps lend themselves to an all-out aggression, and their coherency as a team shows when they make moves together. Their downfall thusfar, as evidenced by the teams they currently hold losses to, is in their individual play. The bot lane duo of C9 5moothie and 5neaky [as well as sub support paullyyy] have held their own respectably in 2v2 situations, and Jerd has flashes of brilliance when bringing in their quick-to-react jungler Hotty Williams into the mix. I'm very willing to say this team is down but not out, and as the old saying goes: the team that sticks together makes picks together. Contary to the other team at the bottom shaking up their roster, look to see Elyon Gaming stay five strong and make the proper adjustments to let their aggression run wild as they take on their own pair of 2-2 record teams this week: Red Dusk Esports and No F's Given.

 

9. Furious Gentz (0-4)

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 The Gentz have certainly seen better days. A string of 2-0 losses for the early part of the season to teams high and low in the standings leaves them in a questionable zone, but their most recent glimmer was a 1-2 loss to No F's Given. However, the potential coherency of the team is being shaken up before it can manifest, as the team is undergoing a roster change to 3/5 of its members. The two new recruits, Blutrünstigen and Songless, put a lot on their plate as they join the team in the bot lane and mid lane role respectively. Simultaneously, ImaSealeo is being moved to support. A roster shuffle and addition of new talent could be just the breath of fresh air this team needs to get themselves moving, but now is as good of a time as any for the rebuilt lanes to take on their week 3 opponents: Red Dusk Esports and SKIZM e-sports, both currently holding a 2-2 record. Keep an eye on this team making fresh moves from the bottom up.

 

8. Team Phoenix Rising (2-2)

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 The first team of the five way split for 8th to 4th place is Team Phoenix Rising. While their losses were both to the very strong 3-1 teams in Full Send Gaming and Purple Cobras, their only wins thus far are the pair of currently 0-4 teams, Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming, while dropping a game in their win against the latter. Still, the team has never suffered very destructive losses across the board, and after a rather sudden full roster swap, the team has rebounded nicely. Especially so, as there's something to be said about bot laner Neutrinx and his incredible consistency from game to game — win or lose. His bot lane duo with captain CanadianChamp has been remarkable in each series to pull clearly far ahead or keep an even pace in the worst of situations. Look for them to make waves as they head into week 3, as the gunslinger and his crew look to scrap when they take on their score rival in Impulse, as well as the monstrous White Lotus.

 

7. Impulse (2-2)

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 The next team on the 2-2 tightrope is Impulse. Much to the likeness of their name, their plays and roster swaps have been impulsive between weeks. After back to back crushing losses to SKIZM e-sports and Purple Cobras in Week 1, the team immediately looked to make adjustments to their roster and patch up their wounds. As the captain of his own frontline, bot laner Menoz has adjusted his team, including a move for eboy Wonder from the support role to the mid lane and bringing the fiery aggression of Diamondtooez to the jungle. We've yet to see the full fruition of their fire, though, as their only two wins thus far are to the two bottom teams, Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming. It is for this reason that they find themselves at only 7th on this list, but their dominant performances in both of those sets show the team's renewed fire for competition could see a sudden stake out for the top spot once again. We'll see this week for sure, as the 3-1 Full Send Gaming is on their hit list.

 

6. No F's Given (2-2)

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 No F's Given poses quite a polarizing picture in terms of their performance. Their very first game was a convincing 2-0 over Red Dusk Esports, a very strong team in their own right. Immediately after, they were soundly defeated by the likes of SKIZM e-sports. The team didn't rebound well, faced up against Purple Cobras and, despite holding their own in the first game until things fell out of their favor, they suffered an equally rough loss. They narrowly found their feet at the end of the week to clutch out a 2-1 win against bottom seed team Furious Gentz, making them the only team of the week to drop a game to the yet-to-be-remade roster. The head to head win over Red Dusk Esports is enough to merit their current placement, regardless of the situation, but the team has to rise above to exceed beyond middle of the pack. Their most recent roster movement has dropped their versatile bot laner Songless to free agency, and picked up Piercing Arrow in their place. Eyes will be on this team to perform as they play Elyon Gaming before a face-off with Full Send Gaming that will test if the first match against Red Dusk Esports was a fluke, or if this team still has an F left to give.

 

5. SKIZM e-sports (2-2)

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 No team started this tournament as explosively as SKIZM e-sports. Had I drafted a week 1 write-up, this team would have been at the top without a question. Four games played nearly under 25 minutes apiece with obscene kill disparities, winning across all lanes, against teams that would then later to stand at 2-2 in the week. SKIZM was on a warpath leading into week 2, but the wind got knocked out of their sails. Following a major under-the-hood roster swap up by the faltering Red Dusk Esports, SKIZM was looking to keep their streak running strong. After losing game 1 in an arms race to proper teamfight damage, captain Gødyr took matters into his own hands and switched off of the defensive jungler archetype to assassinate on Evelynn and bring a game 2 win for his team with a commanding 27 to 6 kill lead. Game 3 forced a shift in play after some target bans, and despite their best efforts, they were put to rest in a 37 minute fight to the finish, ending with 25 kills to Red Dusk's 26, more than speaking for itself to the closeness. To make matters worse, their chance at redemption to take down the top dog — a showdown with the then 3-0 White Lotus — was put to rest as the team ended up forfeiting the match due to unfortunate circumstances. Regardless of these setbacks, the crew that burst onto the scene is still looking to go strong into the rest of the tournament. Counting them out of the race would be short-sighted, as each of them is capable of explosive plays that set their team on a fast track to clean wins. A switch up in the bot lane and replacement of their top laner leave a few questions to be asked, but no one will doubt Gødyr and Deelun's drive to succeed.

 

4. Red Dusk Esports (2-2)

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 Red Dusk Esports defined its journey with a trial by fire to get to where they are. After being walked out of the rift by White Lotus, their first week ended with a disappointing 0-2 loss to No F's Given, featuring an absolute stomp in the first game. The second game featured an outstanding performance by at the time jungler Cleansing on Twitch that got stifled by a lack of coherent defense, sadly, to lead to their defeat. The organization responded swiftly, and one move after the other saw the top and support benched and later dropped, with the remaining members shuffled. Red Dusk would rebound with a vengeance going into week 2. Funeste is the only member that remained in his original spot at bot lane, joined by Cleansing at support now [and AstroDaAlcoholic for their next game], while Subjective Love slid up to the top lane. ISmellAPig and KTA MID joined as fresh faces to the organization, covering the jungle and mid lane roles respectively. And what a breath they were. Their match against SKIZM e-sports would have seen the newly rebuilt team — at the time 0-2 and struggling to find their footing for a win — demolished by the overly aggressive Deelun and crew. But the roster switch-up was exactly what the team needed; the newcomers performed with flying colors as their combined 11/5/22 carried the team past a demotivating game 2 loss and into the game 3 clutch win they sought to show that Red Dusk Esports was back on their feet. But just as quickly as they took the powerhouses out of their fast lane, they looked to take a one-two punch to their next opponent: Purple Cobras. Not just satisfied with rebuilding their team and taking one team off their quick path to a clean week, Red Dusk would see Cleansing back into the support role and hand the 3-0 Cobras their first loss of the season in a 2-1 clutch series. This is the team to look for when it comes to burning bridges after a sour loss, but their new roster looks solid, striking a solid blow to carve a path into the top 3 seed next week. Furious Gentz and Elyon Gaming are their opponents next week, suggesting a pair of 2-0s to relax on. But if one team's full roster switch up can pull such strong results, who's to say it can't happen elsewhere?

 

3. Full Send Gaming (3-1)

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 Full Send Gaming leads us into our upper echelon of teams, defining the Top 3 to break away from the 2-2 split, but most would assume them harmless. The outside observer would say that their record is carried by their schedule — a 2-0 sweep over the three current bottom teams: Furious Gentz, Elyon Gaming, and Team Phoenix Rising — but their wins were as definitive as any of the other teams competing for the top. The difference comes in their week 2 record, as they are the first team to draw blood and take a game from the currently undefeated White Lotus. A 0-2 loss and a 1-2 loss carry the same weight, of course, but it does not go without notice when a team at the very top is shown to falter. It opens the door of possibilities, and that's what this team is looking to carry itself on. Internally, the team has swapped its roster up a number of times, moving people here and there to ensure that all avenues are being explored and each piece of the organization is being used to their optimal potential. In particular, Left Hook Larry, the long-standing jungler for the team, has delivered consistent performances on a variety of aggressive and playmaking champions. The team that people may say has slid under the radar into third place will put prove their punches aren't being pulled this week, as their opponents are a struggling No F's Given and a renewed roster looking to add pegs to their wall in Impulse.

 

2. Purple Cobras (3-1)

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 The Purple Cobras made a tear through this league since their debut. Five members strong through their first three games, solid 2-0s and done. The 3-0 team went into their second game of week 2 against the seemingly harmless — and at the time 1-2 — Red Dusk Esports. Across the board they were the superior team. Tomato Farmer and Desolate Earth laid waste to every bot lane they'd crossed — all of them now 2-2 teams — and never held up their aggression no matter what bans were thrown their way. Frission and Friction controlled every aspect of their game together, Frission showing an incredible versatility in his champion pool, outright showing off that there's no tier of mid laner he didn't have a proficiency on. Friction had been playing aggressive, in-your-face damage junglers and outmaneuvering everyone he came across and picking off quick early kills to snowball a lead. Synchogazer had to be subbed out for the game due to other circumstances, but all in all the team came to play their standard game of League of Legends and catch up to White Lotus in the standings. But the buck stopped with Red Dusk. Game 1 saw an unfortunate debut for their sub player, WhiteBread Mr305, getting shut down early on Jinx. To boot, Friction found himself on the raw end of the relevance clock as his Pantheon pick was buried and forgotten. Game 2 saw a turnaround, with Desolate Earth finding the right Blitzcrank hooks to enable his team to run wild at all the right moments. Frission and Tomato Farmer each packed over 6.5 KDAs with over 43,000 damage to champs apiece. Game 3 had the momentum back in their favor, but Red Dusk brought all the right answers. An Alistar pick to counter the Blitzcrank and a hyper-aggression from Red Dusk's jungler, ISmellAPig, on Kayn kept the Cobras on back pedal throughout the game. A much closer 38 game, 28 to 32 in kills, but it ended with the team's first defeat of the season. Fresh with the taste of blood in their mouth, they didn't respond the way many others did after suffering a close loss; no roster members were changed. A sub was added for the future, but the organization that had dominated their previous 3 opponents and still found a crushing victory amidst their losing set was not shaken enough to bring change from the outside. Instead, they're looking forward. Perhaps with a newfound respect for their opponents in regards to outright aggression, but we will see this week if the lesson Red Dusk imprinted on them will stick. Their first matchup is with SKIZM e-sports, a team full of equal fire for aggression and early capitalization. Their second game is the showdown at the summit — a match with White Lotus. A single win separates them in record, but it's still anyone's game. Look out for the Cobras to strike again this week.

 

1. White Lotus (4-0)

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 Planting your flag at the top of the mountain inevitably involves a climb. White Lotus instead chose to trample their way to the top, leaving every one of their opponents in the dust. The single scrape in their armor came in their game against Full Send Gaming, suffering their only game loss of the season thus far, but in game 3 they immediately returned a dominant 24 to 7 kill 28 minute retaliation to send their point home — White Lotus is at the top. And despite the overwhelming disappointment of being denied the opportunity to see the quickly rising stars SKIZM e-sports take on the top seed due to an unfortunate forfeit, the team remains unfazed. The original 5 players haven't left the rift once despite having access to a full 8-man roster, showing that the team is confident that the cards they've laid on the table is all they need to take the whole pot. Naturally so, as we've seen various members of this team sweep players under the rug. Multiple players across the board are capable of playing champions that set one another up for success. So many games we've seen at least two or more of Kairos, Fuji and Fresh Burger — the jungler, mid laner, and top laner respectively — being the cornerstones of the team in their aggressive engages to give their prime bot laner Aetherial a clear opening to put out tons of uncontested damage across every single teamfight, bolstered even further by Daydreamz' reactive and turn-on-a-dime support awareness. Of course, 4 more weeks await the team looking down at their competition so declaring anything early would be foolish, but the groundwork has been laid for a championship plan. Week 3 will truly put the elites to the test; the Purple Cobras are waiting to take them out and dethrone the undefeated organization. A 2-0 this week will keep the flag of the White Lotus planted at the top of the mountain, and send a message for the rest of the season.

Skyson LComment
Best of the week - Week 1

Top - Mávèríck (SKZ)

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Jungle - sKz Gødyr (SKZ)

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Mid - Frission (PPC)

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ADC - Aetherial (WL)

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Support - laxin85 (SKZ)

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Ward master - Xylork (FSG)

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MVP - Synchogazer (PPC)

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SkylanceerComment
Welcome to the new website!

Welcome to the new GamesXP Championship website, some stuff may not work fully just yet as we are currently still undergoing construction so please bare with us in our attempt to bring you a up to date site for the competition.

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Nick SComment