The ROX Tigers have secured the final quarterfinal spot from Group A at the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, defeating Counter Logic Gaming 23-14 in 37 minutes Friday. With the loss, North America’s CLG’s Wolrds is over.
Both teams entered the game 3-2, fighting for a spot alongside Russian darlings Albus NoX Luna in the quarterfinals. With the win, ROX now faces Albus NoX in the final match of the day, a tiebreaker to determine Group A’s No. 1 seed.
After an even early game, ROX took the lead heading into the middle game thanks to strong engages from Gorilla’s Alistar. CLG nearly mounted a comeback with a strong scaling composition led by Stixxay’s Caitlyn, but ROX proved too much to handle.
For ROX, it’s a result that comes with some relief. Many saw the team as the pre-tournament favorites, and for quarterfinal qualification to wait until the final game of the group stage is of concern, especially with losses to teams from North America and Russia. But all that matters about the group stage is getting out, and ROX will now have to beat another quarterfinalist in a best-of-five just like anyone else.
For CLG, hopes were high after a 2-1 Week 1 that included a win against ROX, especially considering the team’s strong Mid-Season Invitational performance. But even though the team failed to reach the quarterfinals, it’s hard to grade its tournament performance too poorly: with a 3-3 record and a win against Korea’s champions, it’s better than many expected of a team that had a relatively poor Summer Split.