So if you’re like me and you like to occasionally watch people much better than yourself play LoL, you will likely find that this weekend an event called IPL 5 is going down. Just knowing this and knowing where to find it (right here) is enough for most people. However, if you want to know a little extra information let me give you a quick run-down. I will try and keep it as brief as possible because, and let’s face it, if you wanted to do a lot of reading you would just go to IPL’s site.
What is IPL? It is IGN (a big all things to do with games company)’s ProLeague tournament series. IPL 5 is the fifth tournament and will feature participants who have won qualifying tournaments on European, North American, and Asian servers plus the winners of a wildcard tournament. Oh, and team Solomid was invited because they won IPL 4
How did the qualifiers work? Teams qualified from the following regional events: North American, European, Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, SEA, Thai, Korean, Wildcard. The wildcard was 4 teams voted on by fans like us. CLG NA beat Dignitas in the end to come through. Though the format differed a little bit depending on the region, each qualifier typically consisted of two groups of four teams. The top two teams from these groups (decided by a round robin) advanced to the playoffs where an eventual winner was determined.
What should I know about the teams? This post assumes you know a little bit about the big named teams and will try and tell you the story of the guys you might not know. You will be getting CLG NA and EU, Solo Mid, M5, your standard big names.
From Hong Kong you will be seeing team IceLand. IceLand were a group of unknowns that essentially had to play through a qualifier to get to the qualifier. Somehow, they managed to win all of their matches and even upset the more established teams to eventually make it to IPL 5. BlackBean is from Thailand and also had to qualify for the qualifiers, winning some 20 matches in a row to make it to IPL 5. Fnatic has been around, FEAR has aphromoo and Meat Playground are a bunch of guys you have probably seen sub for other teams or on the tops of the solo que charts, but they have never really won anything major.
How will IPL 5 work? Apparently they are trying out a new tournament format where all 16 teams are divided into four groups. Each team will play each other team in their group once in a one game match. The top two teams from each group will go through to the winners bracket and the bottom two will go to the losers bracket. In the winners bracket, you can lose your match and it just means you’ll go down to the losers bracket. In the losers bracket if you lose you’re done.
This format looks like it should lead to a lot of games which should be good for the fans and teams alike as hopefully it will allow all of the teams to find their rhythms. if the tournament falls behind schedule, it could also lead to a lot of player fatigue and horrible matches.
Who’s going to win, 2hp? My money is on Azubu Blaze. Coming out of the Korean qualifiers they have already beat 3 of the best teams in the world just to get here. Most of the NA teams are in flux, CLG EU is out of practice and I think Blaze will be good enough to beat M5 and anyone else from Asia.
So I hope you find this quick run-down useful. Let me know who you think is going to win or if there’s a team you are cheering for. Otherwise, happy watching!