The LoL India Champions Cup started last weekend and we saw all seeded teams in each group start off with a bang. Ruthless Gaming (Group A), Eximious eSports (Group B), Red Viperz Gaming (Group C), and Natkhat Launde/White Shadows (Group D) all secured 3-0 victories in their respective groups during Week 1 of the tournament. Here's a quick recap of how things went down in each group:
Group A: Ruthless Reigns Supreme
Group A started off with a David vs Goliath matchup. On one hand, you have the tournament favourites, Ruthless Gaming, and on the other, you have Meme Team, winners of the LoL India Semi-Pro Cup. Meme Team upgraded their jungle by picking up Sahil 'Incarnation' Kalekar who's participating in a League of Legends tournament after 3 years.
Meme Team started off strongly as they secured first blood in the bot lane followed by a great gank on Kaka (playing Taliyah) in the mid lane. However, this momentum was shortlived as CrankO and FufuQT started roaming together and making plays to snowball the game under their control. On the other hand, Epic Gamers (Bangladesh) and Meme Masters (Sri Lanka) had a very close Game 1 which was edged by Epic Gamers with great plays from their AD Carry Mohammad 'Uldread' Rifad on Jinx.
Meme Team then went on to play Epic Gamers and on the back of Akshay 'Ripcords' Navada's amazing plays, were able to get the win. Meanwhile, Ruthless Gaming went on to stomp both Meme Masters and Epic Gamers with impeccable performances by their jungle, mid and bot lane. Ruthless's new top laner Sanindhya 'Baazigar' ' Malik did face some struggles in Games 1 and 2 but came back with a good performance in game 3.
Week 1 Group A Standings:
- Ruthless Gaming (India): 3-0
- Meme Masters (Sri Lanka) : 1-2
- Meme Team (India): 1-2
- Epic Gamers (Bangladesh): 1-2
Group B: Eximious Live Up To Their Hype
After winning the South Asia Qualifiers for Asian Games 2018, Eximious eSports were definitely one of the most hyped teams coming into the Champions Cup. However, after the end of Week 1, it can safely be said that Eximious are living up to it. They secured a 3-0 win at the end of Week 1, with their most difficult matchup being against Ignite eSports who had a great start against them but eventually faltered.
The faker of South Asia, Hamza 'ToxicAndUgly' Haroon showed off his immaculate Yasuo outplays and was able to take the victory in game 1. Backed by good drafts with the help of their coach Hassan 'Flux' Abdullah, Eximious were able to take down Passive Aggression and Rise of CJ with relative ease.
Ignite eSports, however, did start off the tournament looking like a team to be reckoned with. With veterans Aditya 'Krow' Selvaraj and Dhruv 'Argus' Menon in their solo lanes, Ignite eSports was able to stake out a victory against Passive Aggression and sit at number 2 in the group. Passive Aggression (Pew Pew Lazers) were the runners-up of the LoL India Semi-Pro cup and they certainly faced their struggles against every other team in the Group. They'll need to perform a miraculous turnaround in the coming week to get a chance to qualify for the knockout stage.
Week 1 Group B Standings:
- Eximious eSports (Pakistan): 3-0
- Ignite eSports (India): 2-1
- Rise of CJ (Bangladesh): 1-2
- Passive Aggression (India): 0-3
Group C: Red Viperz Show Experience Matters
Group C was considered one of the tougher groups to be in as it contained an up and coming Indian team in Stormraiders paired with Infernal Gaming and Team Rampage Gaming from Bangladesh. As the matches progressed, however, it became clear that Red Viperz and Stormraiders had an edge over the other 2 teams as both of them secured comfortable victories against Infernal Gaming and Team Rampage Gaming.
The fight for top spot eventually boiled down to Red Viperz and Stormraiders who were the last to play on the day. Red Viperz drafted Nikhil 'Brutality' SK's signature Vayne pick with Siddharth 'Frostmourne' Ranjan locking in the Tahm Kench for safety. The experienced duo in the bot lane did very well, holding off the aggression from Stormraiders' bot lane. Combined with the experience of the rest of the team, Red Viperz were able to pull out a convincing win, leading the group 3-0.
Week 1 Group C Standings
- Red Viperz Gaming (Bangladesh): 3-0
- Stormraiders (India): 2-1
- Team Rampage Gaming (Bangladesh): 1-2
- Infernal Gaming (Bangladesh): 0-3
Group D: Natkhat Launde Have Their Day!
Group D had THOT Gaming and Lanka Lions paired up with Natkhat Launde (White Shadows) and this group definitely seemed the most exciting to watch on paper. Group D started off with the most hyped match of the week - Natkhat Launde vs THOT Gaming. THOT's best player, Hyunwook 'Shield' Lee moved from mid lane to top to match up against Vinayak 'Empire' Gupta who got his Tryndamere this game.
While THOT Shield was doing well in lane against Empire, the rest of THOT crumbled hard under the pressure given by every other lane of Natkhat Launde, and they secured a very convincing win with 26 kills to 3 in under 23 minutes.
Natkhat Launde then went on to win their next 2 games to sit comfortably at the top. Meanwhile, THOT Gaming came back well by securing a win against Lanka Lions. Frozen Matrix, unfortunately, had to bow out of the tournament due to certain technical issues. While THOT did get outclassed in their match against Natkhat Launde, I'm sure they're looking for revenge in their rematch scheduled on Saturday.
Week 1 Group D Standings:
- Natkhat Launde / White Shadows (India): 3-0
- THOT Gaming (Bangladesh): 2-1
- Lanka Lions (Sri Lanka): 1-2
- Frozen Matrix (Pakistan): 0-3
Week 2 will be an interesting one to watch - the battle for 2nd place in Group A is very tight, while Ignite eSports will look forward to their rematch against Eximious in Group B. Similarly, Stormraiders also are going to look to win their rematch against Red Viperz Gaming to try topping the group. And we will see if Natkhat Launde continue their dominance at the top in Group D.
Certainly a lot of different storylines.
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