Europe vs. North America is a very anticipated encounter for Western League of Legends fans. This year teams from these two regions had a limited opportunity to face each other. In the first quarter of 2013, Curse attended IEM Katowice and didn't make it out of groups, Dignitas failed to challenge Gambit Gaming at MLG Dallas. Later in May, North America overcame Europe in Shanghai and claimed the last bye to the quarterfinal at Season Three World Championship, but Europe struck back at the main event of the year and displayed better results overall by claiming top 4 and top 8 placements, while North America claimed just a top 8 placement.
But the rivalry continues as Riot Games announced the Battle of the Atlantic, another opportunity for the best ten teams from our two regions to face each other and put an end to our collision in 2013. The format is pretty simple - five teams from North America and fives team from Europe, who have guaranteed themselves a spot in Season Four LCS, will face each other in December. First two encounters will take place in Cologne, whereas the remaining three, including Gambit Gaming vs XDG, will happen in Los Angeles. All matches are BO3 and pairs are formed based on the standings gained at Summer playoffs. Moreover, every match has a different weight - each region can earn from one to three points in a particular match up.
The Battle of the Atlantic features a $50,000 prize pool which is going to be distributed in the following way:
1) Team that wins its match up earns $5,000;
2) Region that will gain five or more points will win earn $25,000 that will be distributed evenly among all five teams representing this region.
Our AD Carry, Evgeny "Genja" Andryushin, made a prediction for all five encounters.
Evil Geniuses [2:0] Dignitas - 1 point for Europe
December 14th, Cologne
EG is a decently strong team that often causes trouble for us, therefore I bet on them winning this match. We haven't faced Dignitas for a while (ed. note: last encounter was at MLG Dallas), but based on their games they seem weaker.
Lemondogs [1:2] TSM - 2 points for NA
December 15th, Cologne
It's hard to predict an outcome of the game that involved teams that were subject to big roster changes, but I think TSM will win this bo3. TSM is a more unified and experienced team and with a new mid laner they will become even stronger. We scrimmed against them as well and I can say that they were too predictable. I would suggest them to alter their strategy instead of constantly invading the opposing team's Red.
Alternate [2:1] CLG - 1 point for Europe
December 20th, Los Angeles
I bet on Europe winning again. CLG is a famous team, but they haven't achieved good results for a while. Alternate is a younger, but a more ambitious team. If Araneae will remain in their roster, his presence will make this match interesting!
Gambit Gaming [2:0] XDG - 2 points for Europe
December 21st, Los Angeles
I cannot make any other prediction, otherwise groove will eat me alive, jk ) To be honest, I think that we are a stronger team right now and we will win this match. We, obviously, make mistakes, but our opponent is not the strongest out there. I would recommend watching this game - you can cheer for GAMBIT after all!
Fnatic [1:2] Cloud 9 - 3 points for NA
December 22nd, Los Angeles
We scrimmed a lot against C9, therefore I can say that they are not a piece of cake. Even though Fnatic won over C9 at S3WC, the games weren't one-sided - C9 had a good chance to win. This match is going to be interesting, but I think that C9 will be more collected after the break and will manage to win. Fnatic's play style is riskier, sometimes they struggle not to overextend, and C9 can capitalize on it. Apart from that, C9 utilize a strong strategy based on Double AP composition and split pushing. This strategy allows them to farm extensively and prevents opponents from grouping, but if team fights occur, C9 can win them thanks to heavy AOE - it all comes down to choosing the right moment to fight. For Fnatic to succeed, they have to win the laning phase, since they surpass C9 in this aspect of the game, therefore Fnatic have to gain a crucial lead before C9 obtain necessary items and group together.
Even though Genja expects European teams to win three out of five encounters, due to the point distribution for the given match ups, North America will overcome Europe with the score of 5:4. Let us know, what are your predictions for the Battle of the Atlantic!