The WCA 2015 LAN playoffs are about to commence. Sixteen teams – Team Secret, Wings Gaming, Fnatic, Team Empire, LGD, Newbee, YouPorn, Leviathan, CDEC, TnC, IG, Execration, MVP.Phoenix, Team Liquid, Alliance, and Digital Chaos – have flown to Yinchuan, China to compete for the $650,000 prize pool, between December 17th-21st.
The WCA 2015 LAN playoffs will kick off with MVP.Phoenix vs. Alliance and Team Liquid vs. Digital Chaos, both occurring at 05:30 CET, tomorrow, on December 17th.
The 16 teams – Team Secret, Wings Gaming, Fnatic, Empire, LGD, Newbee, YouPorn, Leviathan, CDEC, TnC, IG, Execration, MVP.Phoenix, Team Liquid, Alliance, and Digital Chaos – have been divided into four groups for the WCA 2015 LAN playoffs and will be competing between December 17th-20th at the Ningxia International Hall, in Yinchuan, China.
Teams of high caliber and notoriety, such as Team Secret, CDEC, Virtus.Pro, will be competing alongside lesser known teams, such as YouPorn and Execration, for the $650,000 prize pool.
The WCA 2015 LAN playoffs for Dota 2 will constitute only one division competing for their share of the $1,900,000 prize pool across all titles. WarCraft III, CrossFire, Dota 2, Hearthstone, and Heroes of The Storm tournaments will be played at the hall.
However, fans may be disappointed to learn that not a single Dota 2 series – not even the Grand Finals, will be featured on the main stage during the WCA 2015 LAN playoffs, despite the fact that Dota 2 is pulling the largest portion of the almost $1.9 million total prize pool.
Not a single Dota 2 match will be featured on the main stage at WCA 2015. Not even the Grand Finals.
— Matthew Bailey (@Cyborgmatt) December 14, 2015
WCA 2015 LAN playoffs groups
The WCA 2015 Pro Qualifiers began in April, when LGD Gaming, CDEC and Invictus Gaming secured their places in the main event, following the Chinese Pro Qualifiers.
In May, Summer’s Rift and NoT Today qualified to participate in the event from the Americas Pro Qualifiers.
Team Secret and Virtus.Pro were the two European Pro teams to qualify, in September.
MVP.Phoenix and TnC Gaming took the two SEA Pro regional spots, in October.
Alliance qualified for the WCA 2015 LAN playoffs, after defeating Team Empire, 2:1, in November.
Over the course of the last few months, since the event began with the qualifiers in April, there have been several adjustments and changes to the teams’ lineup. Most recently, Cloud 9disbanded and Digital Chaos have stepped in to take over their slot with newly acquired captain Theeban “1437” Siva and Evil Geniuses’ Artour “Arteezy” Babaev standing in for Yawar “YawaR” Hassan.
*There are a few discrepancies between the qualifier results and the teams listed in the schedule. Summer’s Rift disbanded after The International 5 and will not be attending. Based on the schedule, NoT is not participating either. Fnatic, YouPorn, Newbee now appear on the official schedule.
WCA 2015 LAN playoffs preview
All matches are best-of-two. Top two teams from each group advance to the WCA 2015 LAN playoffs.
WCA 2015 LAN playoffs Group A
- Secret vs. Wings – December 18 – 03:00 CET
- Fnatic vs. Empire – December 18 – 03:30 CET
- Secret vs. Fnatic – December 18 – 05:00 CET
- Wings vs. Empire – December 18 – 05:00 CET
- Secret vs. Empire – December 18 – 06:30 CET
- Wings vs. Fnatic – December 18 – 06:30 CET
Team Secret is clearly the favorite from Group A, followed by a renewed Team Empire roster. Fnatic’s recent struggles and Wings Gaming’s inexperience puts them on the underdog status for this group.
After taking possession of two consecutive LAN championship titles and the runner up token for The Frankfurt Major, Team Secret should have little to no trouble reaching the playoffs.
Team Empire have taken their first championship crown in over seven months, at DreamHack Moscow. The addition of Alexander “XBOCT” Dashkevich and Gleb “Funn1k” Lipatnikov to the lineup has proven to have strengthened the CIS team so far, giving them a boost in their recent performances.
Fnatic will have a lot to prove, after replacing German carry player Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier with coach Ahmad Syazwan “ADTR” bin Anuar. Struggling to find their groove in LANS, the Malaysian based squad has had disappointing results lately.
The Wings Gaming lineup is not the same team that had won the TI5 Chinese open qualifiers and advanced to the playoffs in the TI5 Regional Chinese Qualifiers. They did however, show much promise when they participated in the Frankfurt Major Chinese Qualifiers.
WCA 2015 LAN playoffs Group B
- YP vs. Leviathan – December 18 – 08:00 CET
- LGD vs. Newbee – December 18 – 08:00 CET
- LGD vs. YP – December 18 – 09:30 CET
- Newbee vs. Leviathan – December 18 – 09:30 CET
- LGD vs. Leviathan – December 18 – 11:00 CET
- Newbee vs. YP – December 18 – 11:00 CET
In the group that pits two NA teams against two of the veteran Chinese teams, it seems that the results will be heavily one sided favoring the home teams.
LGD Gaming most recently defeated Newbee.Young, 2:1, to become one of twelve teams to compete in the StarLadder iLeague finals, in Minsk, Belarus, in January. The team came in third at The International 5, but was still subject to significant roster changes following the event, as EHOME’s captain, Fan “rOtk” Bai, and player Liang “DDC” Faming have both joined LGD Gaming, while Zhang “xiao8” Ning and Yao “Yao” Zhengzheng have stepped back from the active roster. They have had lackluster performances since, taking seventh at MLG World Finals and eighth at the Frankfurt Major. Within their group, they are expected to be able to advance, having more experience and a stronger roster than their opponents.
Newbee have struggled to find their foothold within LAN events recently. After placing 13th at TI5, Chen “Hao” Zhihao returned to the team, while Wang “Rabbit” Zhang and Lin “June” Shiyang departed. The roster change yielded minimal improvements as they took 15th place at the Frankfurt Major, placing just above their younger sister team Newbee.Young. In a very surprising move, Wong “ChuaN” Hock has transferred to Newbee. The event will be the lovable Malaysian’s LAN debut with the team, with high expectations that his presence will contribute to strengthening the team.
Maintaining a strong presence in the North American Dota scene, Leviathan has now welcomed Luis “ZyzzY” Perez from compLexity Gaming to their lineup.
This will be Team YouPorn‘s LAN debut. Relatively new, the team has yet to prove themselves or claim a title since signing with the organization.
WCA 2015 LAN playoffs Group C
- CDEC vs. TnC – December 17 – 10:00 CET
- CDEC vs. Invictus Gaming – December 17 – 11:30 CET
- TnC vs. XctN – December 17 – 11:30 CET
- CDEC vs. XctN – December 17 – 13:00 CET
- TNC vs. Invictus Gaming – December 17 – 13:00 CET
The two Chinese teams seem to be ahead of the two Filipino teams in the group.
A true Cinderella story in the making, CDEC have gone from rags to riches in a surprisingly short period of time. Without a single championship title under their belt, they have become the first Wild Card team that has ever advanced into The International Grand Finals. They did not lose a single match until the TI5 Grand Finals, taking down Cloud 9, LGD and even future champions Evil Geniuses along the way. They eventually lost to EG in the Grand Finals, 1:3, and walked away with $2,848,562.
Since then, the roster remained intact and, although they seem to have slipped a bit from their former heights, they placed third at ESL One New York, fourth at the MLG World Finals, sixth at the Nanyang Championships LAN and fifth at the Frankfurt Majors. All feats to be proud of, the team continues to display aggression, solid team cohesion and unyielding effort. There should be little to no problem for the Chinese sweethearts to advance into the playoffs.
Invictus Gaming have recently lost longtime team member Wong “ChuaN” Hock to Newbee. In his steed, Liu “XDD” Silong will take ChuaN’s place on the team. XDD has been playing since 2012 for various Chinese teams, including Wings Gaming and Hyper Glory Team. After IG’s sub-par performance at TI5, where they placed 12th, they were able to seize 4th place at ESL One New York. Unfortunately, they had to withdraw from the Frankfurt Major due to complications in obtaining the required travel documents for Su “super” Peng and not having a substitute registered. They also withdrew from the Game Show Global Esports Cup studio LAN finals, having cited reasons including regional instability. The team has yet to perform without ChuaN at a LAN and has not participated in one in two months.
Following TI5, TnC Pro Gaming underwent roster changes, as John “teehee” Linuel Abanto and Jhonel “Seven” Jay Maguddayao separated from the squad. Mark Louise “xLucky” Reyes and Marc Polo “Raven” Fausto were added to the active roster. The squad were unable to obtain their visas for the Game Show Global Esports and had to withdraw at the last moment.
Execration is another Filipino team with a strong regional presence looking to make their splash in the International scene. With very little experience in events of this caliber, the team will have to prepare and work hard to find their way through the group stage into the playoffs.
WCA 2015 LAN playoffs Group D
- Team Liquid vs. Digital Chaos – December 17 – 05:30 CET
- MVP.Phoenix vs. Team Liquid – December 17 – 07:00 CET
- Alliance vs. Digital Chaos – December 17 – 07:00 CET
- MVP.Phoenix vs. Digital Chaos – December 17 – 08:30 CET
- Alliance vs. Team Liquid – December 17 – 08:30 CET
Group D seems to be the toughest and closest matched of all.
After TI5, MVP.Hot6ix and MVP.Phoenix went through some changes. The two teams merged the main part of both rosters. However, with sub-par performances coming out from both newly revamped teams, an appearance at the Game Show Global Esports Cup Studio LAN in Lithuania saw a new MVP.Phoenix roster, with Heen and March being replaced by “Dubu” Dooyoung and Lee “FoREV” Sang-don. The Korean team did not advance to the finals at DreamHack Moscow, being one of the two teams left behind.
Alliance recreated the lineup which brought them the Aegis of Champions at The International 3, by bidding welcome to former teammate and longtime friend, Jerry “EGM” Lundkvist. Alliance recently had renewed success with their previous roster, qualifying for the Frankfurt Major where they placed 9th overall. They seized 4th place at DreamLeague Season 4, went undefeated in their StarLadder i-League group stage, and topped their group in The Defense 5, leading to a third place at the LAN finals. The team is looking for their former glory days of International fame and domination with the new roster and have a strong chance of advancing to the finals.
Team Liquid grabbed a commendable 4th place at the Nanyang Championships LAN and fifth place at The Summit 4. They seized the title in D2CL Season 6 and in The Defense 5, demonstrating their incredibly strong will and talent to thrive in the international scene.
With Dat Quoc “Biryu” Ha from Digital Chaos being released from Digital Chaos’ active roster, the team welcomed Theeban “1437” Siva to their roster, as their fifth player. The move prompted the dissolution of his departing team – Cloud 9, and gave Digital Chaos the spot in the event. They grabbed an eighth place finish at The Summit 4 and seventh place at the Nanyang Championships LAN. With the former coach for Team Secret at the helm, the team is looking to make their mark more visible.
Last year, in October, Newbee seized the WCA 2014 championship title. Cloud 9 and Alliance came in second and third, respectively. The total prize pool was approximately $472,000.
The World Cyber Arena (WCA)
The World Cyber Arena (WCA) is one of the premier organizers of global esports tournaments. This year, they have put together a comprehensive series featuring four separate titles with invite-only Pro Qualifiers and Open Qualifiers. Players compete for cash prizes and a trip to Yinchuan, China, to take part in the WCA 2015 LAN Finals, for their share of the $1,900,000 prize pool across all titles – WarCraft III, CrossFire, Dota 2, Hearthstone, and Heroes of The Storm.
Leave a Reply