The 16-team invitational that brought together top Challenger [secondary league] teams from Asia for competition is well underway. Teams from LCK CL [KR], LDL [CN], LJL Academy [JP], PCS Academy [PCS] and VCS.B [Vietnam] played in a double round robin format during the group stages, and with the conclusion of matches on Sep 15, eight teams have made it to the knockout stages.
From group A, LDL’s FunPlus Phoenix Blaze and LCK CL’s T1 Challengers managed to qualify for the knockout stages. FPB got out of their group in first place with a 5-1 record, while T1 Challengers got out in second place, with a 4-2 record. LCK CL’s DWG KIA Challengers and LJL Academy’s V3 Esports Academy failed to qualify, with V3 failing to capture a single match victory. T1 Challengers end their group stage run with two losses from FPB, so it’ll be curious to see how they fare against other LDL teams still left in the tournament.
Both the LDL teams in group B, EDG Youth Team and MAX, have qualified into the knockout stages, while LCK CL’s 2022 Summer split champions, Nongshim RedForce Challengers and LJL Academy’s Crest Gaming Act Academy have both failed to qualify for the knockout stages. An interesting correlation between group A and B is that not only do the top two teams hold the same win record, the teams that were knocked out were also both from LCK CL and LJL Academy.
In group C, PCS Academy’s Beyond Gaming Academy and the streamer team from China, Huya Streamer, have made it out of their groups in first and second place respectively. MGN Box Esports from VCS.B and DetonatioN FocusMe from LJL Academy have been knocked out of group C. Beyond Gaming Academy got out of their group in first place with a perfect W/L record of 6-0, while Huya Streamer got out of their group in second place, with a 4-2 record.
Lastly, in group D, the streamer team from Korea, Korean Streamer, and VCS.B’s Team Flash have advanced into the knockout stages. Korean Streamer got out of their group in first place with a 5-1 record, while Team Flash got out in second place, with a 4-2 record.
It’s been clear that the LJL Academy teams have all shown to be the weakest teams of the tournament, as the region failed to pick up a single victory in the group stages. On the flip side, all three teams from the LDL have made it to the knockout stages, and while two Bo1s aren’t enough to fully showcase a team’s strength, the LDL has still shown dominance throughout the group stages.
One very interesting thing to note is that both the streamer teams made it to the knockout stages, with Huya Streamer in second place and Korean Streamer in first place out of their groups respectively. While players from both teams are all high-elo players in solo queue, most of them have little to zero experience in pro play, let alone any experience in playing in such a large tournament. In the quarterfinals, both Huya Streamer and Korean Streamer will face a team from the same respective region; HY will play EDG.Y on Sep 17, and KRS will face T1.C on Sep 19.
As for the rest of the quarterfinals matchup, LDL’s FPB will play against VCS.B’s TF on Sep 16, and the quarterfinals will conclude with PCS Academy’s BYG.A facing off against LDL’s MAX. The winners from each quarterfinal match will then move on to play in the semifinals on Sep 22-23, and the finals of the tournament will take place on Sep 25.
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