League of Legends
League of Legends

League Of Legends: Day One Of IEM Katowice

League Of Legends: Day One Of IEM Katowice
IEM Katowice is one of the biggest multi-game events of the year, but it all kicks off with League Of Legends as some of the world's best teams take each other on for a share of $150,000. It all started yesterday with the first five matches, three in Group A and two in Group B. It was ROX Tigers who were the talk of day one, however, as they charge through to a guaranteed qualification in the semi-finals.

Group A matches

ROX Tigers vs M19, H2K Gaming vs Hong Kong Esports

ROX Tigers were up first against M19, once known as last year's hype in a teacup Albus Nox Luna, and the match largely went as predicted. Despite the dominance that the roster of M19 had shown last year, it was unable to match the strength of one of South Korea's best - if not the best - in ROX Tigers. It was a slow start for both sides, but M19 couldn't find any pace at all throughout the match. ROX Tigers had control at every point of the match, quickly finding its footing before using its advantage to lock down every opportunity that M19 tried to make, ending in a rather sharpish 28-minute game. The second Group A saw Europe's strong competitor H2K Gaming take on Hong Kong Esports, H2K Gaming had a strong lead by the first third of the game, leading with a considerable gold advantage but found themselves unable to control much of the objectives. This gave Hong Kong Esports their own control over the game, a matter that H2K Gaming - having competed at the highest echelons last year - should have been able to contest. The result was a drawn out match ending well over the 40-minute mark, with H2K Gaming claiming victory after wresting back dominance to finally power through to the Nexus. Hong Kong Gaming will now face M19 in the Losers Bracket in a match that really could go either way. If M19 regain some of that shock and awe thunder they had from last year, they could well be in with a chance at the finals.

ROX Tigers vs H2K Gaming

After the two had won their initial first-round games, it was ROX Tigers and H2K Gaming that promised a match to tune in for. From the beginning of the first game of the best-of-three series, H2K Gaming looked like the stronger side with a number of kills and a decent gold advantage to work with. It wasn't to be, however, as ROX Tigers continued its objective-control game that it does so well that ultimately led to the South Korean side claiming a first easy win of the series. H2K Gaming bounced back in the second game, once again claiming an early advantage but this time leveraging it well enough to barrel on to a 38-minute victory making the series a 1-1 tie. With the third and final game up for grabs, ROX Tigers proved its strength as a side once more and barely gave H2K Gaming any wiggle room to make it further into the Winners Bracket. It was a crushing defeat for the European side, in fact, with ROX utilising an early advantageous team fight around the dragon to close the game for the series win at a mere 23-minutes. With ROX Tigers taking this series it has now automatically qualified for the semi-finals with H2K has been relegated to the Losers Bracket where it will play the winner of the match between M19 and Hong Kong Gaming.

Group B Matches

Kongdoo Monster vs Unicorns Of Love, G2 Esports vs Flash Wolves

In the first of the Group B matches it was South Korean Kongdoo Monster up against German side Unicorns Of Love, with a game that would've been very hard to expect. As one of the strongest teams in Europe, many would have expected Unicorns Of Love to crush Kongdoo Monster who is comparably a much weaker side. KM managed to claim many of the early objectives, giving the side an advantage that, embarrassingly, Unicorns Of Love never really recovered from. With UOL playing from behind, it was Kongdoo's inability to capitalise on that early lead that ultimately led to the latter's loss. It wasn't until the 30-minute mark that Unicorns Of Love managed to capture a Baron that give the team a much needed respite. It utilised this strength to push on and balance the odds a little more, all the same taking another 25 minutes to finally stumble through to the Nexus. Similarly the second game of Group B was something of a surprise, too. G2 Esports is provably the best team in the EU LCS, and has dominated the scene for some time now, but none of the spark was present in its game against Flash Wolves. Flash Wolves was on the warpath, and none of the composure we've come to expect from G2 Esports was there. Flash Wolves destroyed G2 Esports, and though the game would nearly reach the 40-minute mark it was clear who was going to win the game throughout the match. G2 Esports failed to claim any dragon or Baron, with only a handful of towers claimed. It was a surprisingly disappointing display for G2 Esports, and one it may well suffer from as it now must battle Kongdoo Monster in the Losers Bracket if it's to make it to the semi-finals.

IEM Katowice's League Of Legends tournament continues 23 February 2017.