16 teams began the second day still in contention for the IPL 5 crown, but only 10 of those teams will move onto the third day. Predictions about how the brackets would play out have been shattered with Fnatic pulling off a monumental upset of Taipei Assassins 2-0 in the winner's bracket, and fan favorite TSM being shown the door already. The day started with a number of 2-0 sets but progressed into closer and closer matches and the table has been set for a wild weekend to find out just who will capture the IPL 5 championship in Las Vegas. For the complete bracket, schedule, and VoD's head over to Leaguepedia. Let's take a look back at how Day 2 unfolded.
Don't let the door hit you...
Unfortunately 6 of the 16 teams that started the event have been eliminated. Newcomers to the world stage Blackbean and Iceland failed to win a game in Las Vegas, falling in their loser's bracket matches to Azubu Blaze and Singapore Sentinels respectively. The world scene is certainly growing, but these two teams were just outclassed and outmatched in this tournament but have certainly gained valuable experience going forward.
Team Dynamic also failed to win a game in Las Vegas after falling to Curse and the team can't manage to gain any traction on LAN since some promising showings earlier in the year. Fellow North American team Fear also fell in their first loser's bracket match against Meat Playground both losing 2-0 series. Neither Fear nor Dynamic seem to be able to make any sort of serious run in a tournament with the top teams from around the world and it just comes down to the fact that they don't quite measure up to the top tier out there right now.
Meat Playground bounced back from a disappointing group performance on day 1 where they failed to win a game to knock out fear in convincing fashion. Pobelter's play improved vastly into the second day and helped carry his team to a match up against Moscow 5. Though they weren't much of a factor in game 1, MP took a massive lead in the second game against Moscow 5 because of Pobelter's Katarina. They couldn't close the game out though, and lost a 15k gold advantage to the Russians and were eliminated. The team shows promise, and it is unfortunate that two of their players are 16 and thus unable to compete in Riot's Season 3 salaried league so Meat Playground's future remains uncertain.
6 North American teams started the day still in the tournament and only 2 remain. The last team that was eliminated from IPL 5 just happened to be the IPL 4 champions, Team SoloMid. TSM has been floundering ever since their poor World Championship performance where they failed to win a game and today didn't prove to be much better. They found themselves against Azubu Blaze in the loser's bracket, a team they had yet to beat in 5 tries. In fact TSM has never beaten a Korean team on LAN and today didn't prove any different. In both games, they jumped out to early leads but couldn't get their entire team playing well at the same time. Reginald made plays and kept TSM in game 1 before eventually being hooked to his death and his team's demise, and in game 2 a fed Dyrus couldn't lead his team to victory on Olaf. TSM will have to take a serious look at their team compositions and strategies and work on playing better as a single unit if they want to get back to their winning ways.
Azubu Blaze took care of business in their series, but didn't look like the dominant force they can be when everything is clicking for them. They are the Korean mirror image of Moscow 5, who won their loser's bracket matches, but didn't look supremely dominant doing so despite the perceived skill difference. The third day was when they truly shined in MLG, and they will need to recapture some of that magic if they want to get past M5 tomorrow. Alex Ich is certainly on top of his game and would have had his second pentakill of the tournament on AP Yi had the last kill not been sniped away by a teammate and his Evelynn play was the sole reason they won Game 2 against Meat Playground. The rest of the team is struggling to get back to Alex's dominant level, this team could certainly knockout all comers.
Winner's bracket: Upset alert!
Most people, including me, brushed Fnatic's recent excellent showings off as the rest of the world playing poorly. However, they made a huge statement on Day 2 of IPL 5 with their matches against the reigning world champion Taipei Assassins. The Season 1 champs took it to TPA and just simply outplayed them in a 2-0 series. TPA took leads in both games during the lane phase, but once the team fights rolled around Fnatic was clearly the superior team and positioned and fought over objectives much better. Fnatic's ADC Rekkles is getting some much deserved love after today, and he played the team fights as well as he could be expected but the player that jumped off the screen for me was xPeke. His play has improved tremendously and he neutralized Toyz in both games and set the table for his team to clean up fights in both games. Fnatic will play CLG.Prime tomorrow in a winner's semifinal no one predicted coming into the tournament.
So what about TPA? World Elite has seemed like the cream of the crop at this tournament, but TPA never had a bad day one. Bebe's play impressed especially on Day 1 and he continued that into Day 2. However, Toyz and Stanley haven't been the same disruptive and dominant forces they were when TPA was winning it all in LA just a few weeks ago. The good news for TPA fans, they have the much easier side of the loser's bracket to contend with tomorrow playing a team in SGS they typically dominate in the GPL, and then the winner of Curse.EU vs Curse.NA. TPA certainly isn't out of it yet, but if they want to come back and win it all, they will need better play out of their solo lanes.
Fnatic's opponent in the winner's semifinals in none other than CLG.Prime. It might be time to officially hand the reigns of best team in North America back to the team that originally dominated the North American and worldwide scene for so long. They fought a tough 3 game series out against a Curse.EU that has been playing very well in this tournament and Prime is certainly hoping to have an all CLG finals against CLG.EU. Doublelift has stormed into this tournament and is playing just spectacularly and grabbed a pentakill in the decisive game against Curse.EU today and his play along with Chauster's increasingly effective jungle performances have set up CLG.Prime as serious contenders on the world stage again. Fnatic vs CLG.Prime is a throwback match all the way to the original Dreamhack where Fnatic would go on to win the Season 1 championship, but both teams are much different this time around and CLG.Prime will be looking for a different result.
That leaves us with Curse.EU. They came into the tournament playing with a substitute support in Patoy, but it hasn't slowed them down in the least. Patoy and Creaton ran into trouble in the bottom lane against Doublelift today, but Patoy has filled in admirably and had a strong tournament. They fell just short against CLG.Prime, but are by no means out of it yet. Curse.EU will play their North American counterparts tomorrow in the loser's bracket and should be slightly favored to win judging by both teams recent performances. The big match up to watch in that one will be the mid lanes of Extinkt versus Nyjacky and if Extinkt can come out on top against Curse.NA's strongest player, they should get a shot to knock the champion Taipei Assassins out of the tournament for good.
This tournament has proven that you can expect the unexpected. TSM is gone before Curse and CLG.Prime from North America. Taipei Assassins, Moscow 5, and Azubu Blaze all found themselves in the loser's bracket on just the second day of the tournament fighting for their tournament lives. We've seen AP Yi out of Alex Ich and his ability to absolutely snowball fights and games for his team with snowball assassin mids. Twitch and Caitlyn have been back in full force as prominent AD Carry picks. It's been a wild ride, and as the field continues to narrow until only the best teams remain the quality of the games can only go up.
World Elite returns to the field tomorrow to play CLG.EU in a rematch from the World Championships that was one of the closest series of all time. From the way World Elite has been playing this tournament though, it would be shocking to not see them move onto the winner's finals to await the winner of CLG.Prime and Fnatic. Either Azubu Blaze or Moscow 5 will be out early tomorrow, and those are just a few of the many great series in store for Day 3 of IPL 5. The tournament field narrows from 10 teams to 4 on Day 3, and viewers from around the world will be treated to the most exciting games of the tournament yet. Be sure to watch tomorrow's games and stay tuned to Reign of Gaming for more updates on IPL 5 and all your other LoL related news and theorycrafting!
Follow Reign of Gaming on twitter and like us on Facebook
Follow me on twitter here!