With the closing of the RLCS X Winter Split Major for the SAM (South American) region yesterday, we now have two regions that have completed the Winter Split, the other of course being the Oceanic region.
So both of their RLCS X Winter Splits are over now, but who came out on top and what are the standings looking like for worlds for both of these regions? This time, let’s take a look at Oceania.
RLCS X Winter Split
Unlike NA and EU, the OCE and SAM regions run different formats for the RLCS X Winter Split, so we’ll break that down first. While EU and NA both run a double elimination, 24 team bracket, featuring three regional events before their major (and a B tournament called ‘The Grid’), OCE used a mixture of systems, three regional events, all starting with a four league, 32 team round robin.
All matches played are best of five. The top four teams in each group (16 in total) advance to stage 2. Then, stage 2 is a 16 team swiss format, the same format EU and NA had for their Fall Split.
Teams play each other based on seeding. Once you win three matches, you’re qualified for the playoff. Again, each game is a best of five. This time, however, the top eight teams qualify for the playoff.
Following so far? Great, me neither. Let’s look at it another way. The playoff is the final stage of the regional event, teams are seeded based on their position in stage 2, (1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5). They play a single-elimination bracket, best of seven, tournament, all the while earning points towards major qualification and world championship qualification.
The major used the standard double-elimination bracket EU and NA fans will be used to seeing, all matches up to and including the winners’ quarter-finals and lower bracket round 2 are all best of five, beyond that, best of seven.
The major featured the top 12 teams for the split, who would all be hoping to get a good points haul as, unlike EU and NA, only the top two teams qualify for worlds from OCE. So how did it go?
Well, the favorites, Ground Zero Gaming, ran away with things, which was to be expected, until they almost didn’t. They had a little bit of a sticky start against Team Fenrir in what ended up being a closer 3-2 series.
That was closer than they’d have hoped for, but they followed this up by taking down R!OT (now known as 1NE eSports after R!OT released the roster prior to the major) 4-0!
This set up a series against Cringe Society who are currently occupying the second world championship qualification slot. Again, in a somewhat comfortable series, they won 4-1 and moved on to the grand final.
So, who occupied the other slot grand final place? You may be surprised here but it wasn’t Cringe Society. Nope, even though the bookies had Cringe Society as the second favorite to win the major, after dropping to the lower bracket, R!OT put together back to back 4-0 victories over Team Process and Mindfreak, setting up their shot at making the grand final.
R!OT was hopeful they’d get revenge on Ground Zero, but first, they had to play Cringe Society. They went 2-0 down before rallying back to make it 2-2, with two 2-1 wins in a row. They lost game 5 without scoring but won the last two games in OT to take them to the grand final. Crazy stuff!
Now I know what you’re thinking, GZ won 4-0 again in the final, didn’t they? Well, let me tell you, they actually had a much harder time than expected. They won the first game 3-2 and looked to build on that, but ended up losing the following four games by a total score of 11-4 to allow R!OT back into the series.
For those who don’t know, double elimination means every team essentially has two lives. If you make it to the grand final in the upper bracket, your extra life is used then. So for a team to win a tournament from the lower bracket, they need to win back-to-back best of seven against, theoretically, the most in-form team in the tournament.
R!OT won the first series which put them in a phenomenal position to actually win this thing. But Ground Zero wasn’t going to take that. Back at their best, they pulled out all the stops and went on to win the second series 4-0 by a total score of 12-3. No problems, right?
After that major win, these guys are sitting on a 500 point lead going into the Spring Split, which might not guarantee them worlds at this point but, given that the team in third, Mindfreak, is on 2,192 points, they’re in a pretty comfortable position.
As mentioned, the other team currently occupying a world championship qualification spot is Cringe Society. They’re sitting on 2,551 points, with a fair amount of points still left to play for in the Spring Split.
Cringe Society will definitely be looking to get off to a flying start if they’re wanting to keep hold of that spot for the world championship, which we’re all hoping can be back on LAN. Otherwise, it could be a rough showing for these teams in Australia and South America.
Next time, we’ll break down the South American RLCS X Winter Split and take a look at how the standings are currently poised for them, spoiler alert, it’s a little more surprising how things are over there right now!
In the meantime, we can all get excited as the first of the big majors starts with the EU major on February 20! My money is on Team BDS but, if like me you want your money to go as far as possible, you would do well keeping your eyes on sites like SportsBookReview, especially if you bet while traveling.
On SportsBookReview you’ll be able to check a wide range of sites for where you can best spend your money or spot the best bets for today. It’s well worth it in this financial climate as your regular bookie may not be giving you the best odds. Shop around, folks!
And keep your eyes peeled for my, Stubat’s, rundown of the RLCS X Winter Split for the South American Major, coming soon! Take care!