In just over a week, the Spodek arena in Katowice will be the site of the League of Legends Intel Extreme Masters World Championship. Eight top teams from all over the world will be travelling to Poland in order to pursue the championship crown, but only one of them can emerge triumphant - do either Royal Never Give Up or the Qiao Gu Reapers have what it takes?
Royal Never Give Up
As their name suggests, Royal Never Give Up were founded by a former Royal Club team member - Xiao “Godlike” Wang. However, although Godlike has since retired, the team continues to go from strength to strength.
The LPL counterpart of the Star Horn Royal Club, a number of players past and present have played with either SHRC, Team King or both. Following a first place finish at NESO 2015, the team finalized a ten-player roster with the addition of SHRC and Team King alumni inSec and NaMei as well as Sask and two starters from Samsung Galaxy White’s Season 4 World Champion crop - Vici Gaming support Mata and Masters3 top laner Looper.
The team wasted no time in impressing during the LPL, boasting consecutive series wins against the likes of Vici Gaming and group top seed Edward Gaming, but can they make a similar stand against their opponents in Katowice?
Qiao Gu Reapers
The Qiao Gu Reapers were formed in January 2015 as the sister team of Stand Point Gaming. Now just over a year has passed, and the team have continued to make their presence known throughout.
Their first premier tournament was the 2015 Demacia Cup Spring Season, where they took third place. However, they clearly learned from their mistakes in time for the 2015 LSPL Spring Playoffs, picking up first place 3-1 versus Unlimited Potential. Despite a disappointing ninth to sixteenth placing in the 2015 Demacia Cup Summer Season, the Qiao Gu Reapers bounced back towards the end of the year to take three second place finishes in a row in the 2015 LPL Summer Split, the 2015 LPL Summer Playoffs as well as our very own Intel Extreme Masters Cologne, where they ultimately lost to ESC Ever.
Will the Qiao Gu Reapers end up facing the opponent who thwarted them at the final hurdle in Cologne? Can they finally take another first place finish? All will become clear in Katowice.
Who has what it takes to seize the crown?
Make sure to tune in from Friday the 4th of March - or come to Katowice and watch in person for free - to find out whether either of these teams have what it takes to come out on top in the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship!