At this year’s IEM Cologne in Germany, six teams competed to be crowned the IEM champions of 2015. Two of these teams, ESC Ever and Fnatic, immediately moved on to the semi finals, while the other four teams had to win a best of three match to get to the semi finals to face the remaining teams. After many fabulous plays and a thrilling 5 game final against Qiao Gu Reapers, ESC Ever came out on top and walked away with the IEM trophy.
LPL’s Qiao Gu Reapers’ first opponent was Team Dignitas from North America, who they had to face on day 1 of the event. Dignitas showed their dominance in the first two games, winning the first one. The good positioning and shot calling wore off in game two. Many of their Baron calls made them vulnerable in a way they lost control over the map, while Qiao Gu Reapers are known for their very strong team fights and used this advantage to eventually win game two. In the third game, Qiao Gu showed their confident side. Swift – their jungler – showed his amazing mechanics on Nidalee, making sure the team was ready for the upcoming team fights to win the last game, which eventually, led them to the semi-finals.
ESC Ever were automatically qualified for the semi finals and met their opponent, H2K from the EU LCS, who defeated Cloud 9 in the quarter finals. Ever was the more dominant team during this match, with some power spikes of H2K. The team from Korea took the first game after some incredible team fights, good communication and smart outplays. In the second game, H2K showed they were worthy of the IEM title. Jankos had his presence felt all over the map, giving the team a lead in objectives, kills and gold. ESC Ever could not catch up to the pace that H2K was playing on and lost the game. After a short break they found their way back on the map and closed the game in 31 minutes.
In the second semi finals at IEM Qiao Gu took out on Fnatic, who appeared at an international tournament with the new roster for the first time. Noxiak, Gamsu and Spirit took place on the stage to fight their first battle for Fnatic. A massive early game tower dive from Qiao Gu, on top lane, put a lot of pressure on Fnatic. They did manage to get a lead from there and expanded that lead further into the game. With many team fights in favour of Fnatic, they eventually won game number 1. The second game built up really slowly. Fnatic had many chances to expand their lead again, but failed doing so. Febiven and Rekkles were isolated by members of Qiao Gu in many of their team fights, which resulted into losing them.
Qiao Gu Reapers fought the South Korean’s Ever in the battle for the IEM title. With the Koreans as favourite, there was a big moment of pressure. The Chinese team managed to win the first game after a massive lead and great dominance. The kills were spread very well over the carries of the team, which made their team stronger in team fights. Something that was very noticeable at game number two, was that the QG’s jungler, Swift, had almost every kill on his name. This made the other members of the LPL’s region very weak compared to the opponent Ever. Team fights weren’t easy to win for QG when the jungler Swift died. They were vulnerable and couldn’t stop Ever from winning game two. Ever moved on playing a very even game against the Chinese team, both winning team fights. Twenty minutes into the game, ESC Ever managed to win an important team fight, which gained them access to the opponent’s base. The two AD Carries from middle (Athena) – and bottom lane (Loken) played an important role when they out manoeuvred QG, taking yet another game. Qiao Gu, now under pressure, were in need of a strategically good team composition. Swift went back to playing Nidalee and V (top lane) decided to take Nautilus with him. With Swift back to carrying, he worked his way to get V ahead in lane. Ever’s Crazy died many times early game, because of the Swift and V team work. This resulted into an incredible big lead for QG winning mid- aswell as late game.
Both teams had one more chance to prove themselves in the final game of that match and the opportunity to walk away with the IEM’s 2015 trophy and title. Qiao Gu took the lead in the early game, aft
er some marvellous tower dives from Swift, DoinB, V and their support TcT. He placed Trundle’s pillar on the precise place, which cut off the route of the opponent. Not very much later the Chinese team tried to fight Ever with their lead, but lacked coordination. Their position on the map started to work against them. ESC Ever noticed this and adapted to the new situation, picking off their opponent QG one by one. After many objectives in favour of the Korean team, they moved their fight to QG’s base. With a precise head butt from Ever’s support Key (Alistar) the final battle begun. The Reapers retreated and Ever took game number five, winning the Intel Extreme Masters in Cologne. They are the new champions and went home with their well deserved prize!
Post by: Valerie Hoste