Riot Games announced early Tuesday morning that the first international tournament of the year has been pushed back two months, from May to July, due to fears about COVID-19. Typically, the mid-season invitational takes place near the beginning of May, following the conclusion of the Spring Split. According to an announcement made by Riot Games, “Shifting the tournament to the summer offers the best chance to see travel restrictions lifted, allowing teams from leagues around the world to travel and compete safely.”
This change means that the tournament, instead of being between the Spring and Summer Splits, will instead be about halfway through the Summer Split. Summer Splits have been moved up; the first league to restart will be the Oceanic Pro League, or OPL, and the Vietnam Championship Series, or VCS, on May 15.
The LPL is back
Chinese League of Legends is officially back, following a hiatus since the end of January due first to Chinese New Year and then to the coronavirus outbreaks. The rest of the Spring Split is being played online, and games finally started very early Monday morning. The league will play three best-of-three’s a day, except for Tuesdays for now, when there’ll be two.
G2 claims sole possession of first place
G2 esports have finally reclaimed sole possession of first place in the LEC. They sit at 11-3, just above the 10-4 Origins and Fnatic following a week in which they beat both of those teams. While neither game was a blowout, G2 won confidently, and they look to be in a good position heading into the last two weeks of the regular season. However, with four games still to play, Fnatic and Origen still have a chance to dethrone last year’s second-best team in the world.
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) March 10, 2020
Cloud9 finally falls
Cloud9’s undefeated season is no more. The North American squad lost a bloody game to TSM on Saturday after faltering early when faced with Bjergsen’s Zilean and Kobbe’s Xayah. The loss was the first serious blow to C9, which had looked like the undisputed best team in North America until that point, and is an exciting sign of things to come. However, on Monday night, C9 did dominate Golden Guardians in a game that ended with a 21-5 kill scoreline, so it’s probably not worth it to think that Cloud9 isn’t the top team in North America yet. This victory over Golden Guardians also secured first place in the split for Cloud9, so, all in all, it was a pretty good weekend for the roster even with their first loss.
Team Liquid’s worst-case scenario has happened
Going into Week 7, Team Liquid’s spirits were high. They had dominated both 100 Thieves and TSM in Week 6, and announced that due to a lack of motivation for star bot laner DoubleLift, academy player Tactical, who played ADC in that 2-0 week six, would be starting in Week 7. For the first time in 2020, it felt like the four-time consecutive LCS winners had a plan to recover from their abysmal start.
Rikara is being brought in to play Academy so both DL and Tactical can both focus on LCS. Tactical will start this weekend, but we’ll continue to evaluate week to week.
— Steve Arhancet (@LiQuiD112) March 4, 2020
And then, they played CLG. CLG, the No. 19 team in the league, had won just two games before they played. It seemed like an easy game for Team Liquid until they actually had to play it. Ex-TL player Pobelter dominated on Syndra, while jungler Wiggly nailed crucial smite after smite to secure objectives for his team. CLG struggled to close the game after nearly half a dozen major objectives, until Pobelter teleported behind Team Liquid and absolutely decimated three players solo to secure the win.
On Monday night, they tried Doublelift again, seemingly not appreciating Tactical’s struggles against the worst team in the league. On Monday they played against Immortals, whom they were tied with for No. 6. Immortals showed no mercy to the floundering squad, as the bot lane duo Apollo and Hakuho dominated Doublelift and CoreJJ, leading to an Apollo pentakill and a victory for Immortals. This loss dropped Team Liquid to No. 8, which means that next week is going to be absolutely crucial if they look to make playoffs.
Ashton Stansel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.