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Only one favorite remains after day one of League of Legends at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice

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For months now we’ve been looking forward to the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship League of Legends in Katowice and today it’s finally that day! Split into two groups, eight teams battled things out on the rift in a double elimination group stage.

Group A consists of Cloud9, GE Tigers, SK Gaming and yoe Flash Wolves while group B has Gambit Gaming, CJ Entus, Team SoloMid and Team WE in it and all of these teams were responsible for some amazing League of Legends action during day 1, let’s have a look!

Group A

GAME ONE: Cloud9 vs. GE Tigers

BANS
  • GE Tigers: Zed, Nidalee, Vi
  • Cloud9: Viktor, Rek’Sai, Janna
PICKS
  • GE Tigers: Corki, Lee Sin, Lissandra, LeBlanc, Nami
  • Cloud9: Rumble, Morgana, Jarvan IV, Graves, Kennen

With GE Tigers being the absolute favorites to win this World Championship, it was very surprising to see Cloud9 pick up a level 1 first blood in the bottom lane. GE Tigers however, repaid Cloud9 with a kill on Hai’s Kennen in the midlane, which was the starts of GE Tigers snowballing to victory with an incredibly fed Lee Sin (6/0/4 by 17 minutes) and Lissandra.

GAME TWO: SK Gaming vs. yoe Flash Wolves

BANS
  • SK Gaming: Nidalee, Maokai, Ahri
  • yoe Flash Wolves: Graves, Zed, LeBlanc
PICKS
  • SK Gaming: Rek’Sai, Lucian, Hecarim, Diana, Lulu
  • yoe Flash Wolves: Caitlyn, Gnar, Xerath, Rengar, Janna

Using their early game strength and confidence, SK managed to get ahead of yoe Flash Wolves by moving onto their towers and securing multiple dragons. Forgiven’s Lucian also showed to be a strong pick, ending the game with a 10/0/5 score.

GAME THREE: Winner’s match

BANS
  • GE Tigers: Graves, Lucian, Lulu
  • SK Gaming: LeBlanc, Zed, Lissandra
PICKS
  • GE Tigers: Rek’Sai, Maokai, Janna, Corki, Viktor
  • SK Gaming: Caitlyn, Nidalee, Gnar, Annie, Diana

GE Tigers came out of picks and bans strong, picking up Corki and Viktor while SK went for a rather strange and unexpected Zed ban and an Annie pick for Nrated. SK then gave up the first blood at five minutes but managed to pick up a first dragon shortly after. The longer the game went on however, the more GE Tigers inched ahead in terms of gold and while SK showed way stronger and controlled than Cloud9 did in the first game they just didn't manage to hold on in the end and thus GE Tigers secured their semi finals spot!

GAME FOUR: Elimination match

BANS
  • Cloud9: Nidalee, Rengar, LeBlanc
  • yoe Flash Wolves: Rumble, Vi, Graves
PICKS
  • Cloud9: Rek’Sai, Corki, Morgana, Gnar, Lissandra
  • yoe Flash Wolves: Maokai, Zed, Janna, Jarvan IV, Caitlyn

After a somewhat rocky start for Cloud9 during which they let Steak escape with less than one auto attack of health remaining, Meteos managed to pick up a double kill for his team in the top lane. Cloud9 then gathered even more kills across the map, amassing a decent gold lead by playing particularly aggressive at times. It looked like Cloud9 would take the game but they let yoe Flash Wolves control the game instead, who eventually took down their nexus after 45 minutes.

Group B

GAME ONE: Gambit Gaming vs. CJ Entus

BANS
  • Gambit Gaming: Hecarim, Maokai, LeBlanc
  • CJ Entus: Kennen, Zed, Rek’Sai
PICKS
  • Gambit Gaming: Annie, Lee Sin, Corki, Twisted Fate, Jarvan IV
  • CJ Entus: Lulu, Nidalee, Ezreal, Nami, Kogmaw

Another fan favorite is Gambit and the matchup between Gambit and CJ Entus is a legacy one at Intel Extreme Masters! Gambit decided to go into the game with an early game oriented team composition, picking up Twisted Fate and Jarvan top. The comp worked out well for them and they managed to pick up several kills with the help of Twisted Fate’s ultimate. However, the longer the game went on, the stronger CJ Entus became and the small gold lead Gambit had accumulated, slowly disappeared and went to CJ Entus instead who managed to get a quadra kill on Space and closed out the game minutes later at the 45 minute mark.  

GAME TWO: Team SoloMid vs. Team WE

BANS
  • Team WE: Janna, Rumble, Lissandra
  • Team SoloMid: Rek’Sai; Nidalee, Maokai
PICKS
  • Team WE: Jarvan IV, Morgana, Diana, Graves, Sion
  • Team SoloMid: Corki, Zed, Lulu, Lee Sin, Kennen

TSM holds the number one spot in North America and they really brought their A-game to Katowice. We start the game with a solokill from Bjergsen’s Zed on Diana followed closely after by a double kill on support Lustboy in a 2 for 1 trade in the bottom lane. In the next 10 minutes TSM took control of the game and managed to win several teamfights. Kills on both Corki and Zed start stacking up and it’s obvious where the game was going. A baron bait by TSM results in another 4-0 teamfight and TSM close out the game with a 15k gold lead at 35 minutes.

GAME THREE: Winner’s match

BANS
  • CJ Entus: Lulu, LeBlanc, Thresh
  • Team SoloMid: Zed, Ahri, Lissandra
PICKS
  • CJ Entus: Maokai, Nidalee, Annie, Sivir, Viktor
  • Team SoloMid: Corki, Rek’Sai, Mundo, Leona, Xerath

For the first twenty minutes of this game things were pretty much even for both teams. TSM focused on turrets while CJ Entus picked up player kills. After the 20 minute mark TSM managed some quality crowd control chains which helped them take the advantage from CJ and set them on their way to take down the nexus. This game definitely showed how good Dyrus can do when he gets his hand on a tanky toplaner. TSM goes on to the semi finals!

GAME FOUR: Elimination match

BANS
  • Team WE: Kennen, Zed, Jarvan IV
  • Gambit Gaming: Ezreal, Maokai, Annie
PICKS
  • Team WE: Rek’Sai, Janna, Diana, Sivir, Hecarim
  • Gambit Gaming: Morgana, Nidalee, Twisted Fate, Graves, Thresh


Gambit started of strong picking up first blood on Nidalee but the final game of the day showed a stronger Team WE than earlier in the day and they managed to take full control of the game. A Baron steal by Diamond couldn’t help Gambit overcome their gold deficit and WE took down Gambit’s nexus in a 30 minute game.

This means we’ll kick things off with the following matches tomorrow, followed by the semi finals:
  • SK Gaming vs. yoe Flash Wolves (Decider match)
  • Team WE vs. CJ Entus (Decider match)

That’s all for day one of the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship here in Katowice! Make sure to tune into one of our many streams in different languages on Saturday starting at 1PM CET for day 2!