As Rampage 2016 draws closer, the Finals for the League of Legends Philippine Pro Gaming Series Summer Split is also heading our way.
Last weekend, Acclaim EmpireX (AEX) emerged victorious in the playoff rounds, taking down rising newcomers GHub Esports and defeating local powerhouse Mineski in Best of 3 games.
They will be going against Imperium Pro Team (IPT), a formidable team who have only lost in the split once.
Let's take a look at these teams and their recent performances so far.
Acclaim EmpireX fought hard for their spot at this Summer Split's Finals. After failing to come even close to the semi-finals at the Spring Split, many thought that the team would be down for the count. Surprising fans left and right with nail-biting battles and crazy comebacks, AEX has proven to everyone that you should never underestimate the hunger of a once beaten underdog.
Their defining trait is their unorthodox compositions, and bold teamfights. The team has never failed to spice things up at the Rift with picks like a Nami for midlane.
Ferocity and creativity like theirs has its risks and these have manifested several times during the split. At different points throughout the group stages EmpireX had to claw their way to the top. In fact the team almost lost their chance to qualify for playoffs after failing to pull off a risky move resulting to four members dying in the middle of a sudden-death match against Cerberus.
But high-risk strategies come with high-rewards. Their confidence in picking non-meta characters proves their ability to adapt and surprise. The Nami pick just mentioned was part of a series of bold decisions that led AEX to victory at their last game against Mineski.
In their defining match, AEX used Nami to score some early kills and provide extra support to main damage dealers Vayne and Graves at the late game. The double support and double carry threat allowed the team to sustain their damage, extend team fights, and march mercilessly towards the Nexus of Mineski.
Will AEX's tricks be the end to the strong and stable Imperium?
Imperium Pro Team
Imperium Pro Team has proven to be the ultimate powerhouse to defeat this split. At the group stages, the team has garnered a total of 19 points and are 7 points in the lead of the rest of the groups. The team has a wealth of experience especially after coming home from an impressive performance at the Garena Pro League Spring Split last April. The team reached the semi-finals where they lost to the Saigon Jokers, who were the eventual winners of the said split.
IPT has only ever dropped one game and that was against Ghub Esports. And all five main members have the highest numbers in terms of individual statistics. Based on the PGS stats page, their members have the highest KDA ratio, the highest average gold/min, the most season total kills, and the most season total assists.
Their rise to the top of the heap wasn’t always consistent though. There have been key points in some of their games that could have spelled defeat. One of which was during the early game in their first round against Cerberus for Week 7, the final week before playoffs. While they did win the match, they had to struggle during the early to mid-game as Cerberus’ methodically took down tower after tower, and used their early lead at the top and bottom lanes to their advantage.
But it’s also their match with Cerberus that showcased IPT’s ability to come from behind. With patience, prioritization, and a keen eye for spotting out mistakes and misplays, IPT was able to get back in the lead and prevent a second team from ruining their streak.
Will Imperium be able to prevent a surprise upset?
The crowned champions will not only enjoy the lion's share of a P260,000 prize pool, but will also get to showcase their skills abroad for the Garena Premiere League Summer Split.
The showdown will happen at Rampage 2016 in front of thousands of people including those watching the livestreams.
Who do you think will dominate the rift? – Rappler.com