Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Style – Lenovo Style!

What’s up everyone, hope you’re all doing great! Hime-senpai here with a slightly different kind of blog entry compared to what you’ve all been accustomed to.

Wait, a different type of content? Well, for one, this would be a Hime-senpai post that is neither TCG-related, nor is a review of a PS Vita game. For once, I’ll be doing event coverage, and what a way to start it off with the event showcasing the opening qualifiers for the 2017 LCL (League of Legends Collegiate League).

For those of you who still don’t know, the LCL is a local tournament circuit for the game League of Legends featuring college teams all across the country. Just as its name suggests, you can think of it as literally an  e-sports league. The LCL has been going on for quite some time already and has been a fixture of the local LoL gaming scene for a while. Now, they’re stepping up their game and hitting new milestones, one at a time.

The event, for the very first time ever, was held inside SM North Edsa’s Annex Building. Indeed, there’s no better place to kickstart your gaming event than the north’s premiere technology hub.

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A bigger stage fitting for a bigger battle; the the league now boasts a record number of participants at 185 teams, all vying for that ever-elusive spot in the actual circuit that’s reserved only for the 48 mightiest teams in collegiate League of Legends.

Last but not the least, LoL Collegiate League would be partnering with none other than Lenovo for this year’s Spring Term.

The event

I attended the Lenovo Legion Launch with P3rcY, a fellow writer in this NOHK gaming blog (cheers for his efforts with the pictures and videos). We met up at noon and dropped by the multiple booths, checking out Lenovo’s offerings to the gaming world one device at a time.

We’ve all always known the brand Lenovo for its ever-reliable line of desktop and laptop products, but this event also meant the start of another big step forward. If hosting an event centered around one of the most popular online games in the world today did not really tip you off, the Legion Launch also signifies the Lenovo brand’s first step with its gaming sub-brand, Legion.

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This right here is the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube gaming desktop. Boasting impressive specs of 16 Gigabytes of Ram, a 1 Terabyte Hard Drive, and an 8 Gigabyte NVIDIA video card, it is a beast of a machine built to fully tend to everyone’s gaming needs.

The icing on the cake is the impressive design of the rig itself. Resembling something like a futuristic device you’d most likely find in newer sci-fi movies, gaming has never been this stylish before!

P3rcY himself played a few rounds of Modern Warfare with this computer. From our perspectives, playing the game on this is such a different experience with its graphic quality, frame rate, and response time to command prompts. Everything runs so fluidly and seamlessly. The future of gaming has never been brighter, and the future is now.

The best news? They’re not done yet. The Legion brand (fittingly named after the Roman army unit) is the name of not only the gaming devices that Lenovo has built and will build in the future but also the brand’s own gaming community. Yes, you heard that right, despite everything being this impressive already, this is only the beginning.

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Besides the obvious main attraction, people who dropped by the event were also given opportunities to try out demo games with other computers such as the Ideapad Y910 and Legion Y520 laptops.

Oh, and did we mention that Lenovo also gave out free tickets to the advanced screening of the latest Resident Evil movie? You have to purchase one of their gaming rigs to obtain the tickets, so consider it as more of a deal sweetener more than anything else.

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Just as a few friends of mine have jokingly said, it’s never a geek event without cosplayers. Cosplayers who portrayed characters from League of Legends gladly took time to pose in front of both the fans and the cameras.

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I guess we should slowly stop treating that mentioned joke as one with each passing event tending to our interests.

LCL Qualifiers Round 1

The first qualifiers for the LCL started at around 2:30 in the afternoon. The matches pitted Oblation eSports, representing UP Diliman against Hydra eSports of AMA-QC. It was a battle that put the experience of the LCL veterans against a wild card that was looking to shock the world.

The stage is set, and here we go!

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Game 1: 

darius_0

The first game of a multi-game series is always one that’s shrouded in suspense and mystery. There’s always that mysterious aura of unpredictability when you see two teams face off  in the first game of a competitive series, since you’ll never know when to expect an upset. Trust me, as sports fans, the two of us have seen that happen in more ways and instances than one.

While having a bit of a shakeup in terms of lineup, Oblation fielded Ferzerk and Veree, veterans to the competitive League scene who participated in the LCL last year, once again. Coming into this game, Oblation eSports was considered the favorite given their big experience advantage in tournament situations.

The game got underway and Hydra showed no signs of backing down. Early game lanes were pretty even, and to some surprise their top lane Fiora even had a huge CS lead on Oblation’s Darius. Even as a lot of action went on, the game did not swing to either team’s favor.

However, all it took was one huge teamfight for Oblation to get a grip and control the game. A little over 10 minutes in, Hydra, led by a flanking Skarner, attempted a gank on the bottom lane Cassiopeia and Zyra. What transpired was a series of responses with dueling teleports that spilled into four-on-four teamfight at the bottom lane, resulting in an Oblation ace. [Snippet of video here thanks to P3rcY]

What’s interesting about this teamfight is that the Oblation botlane duo were the ones on the receiving end of the gank, but a far superior team coordination during the battle allowed them to win the fight. Of course, the fact that their Viktor managed an isolation kill on Ryze did help matters.

From then on, it was all Oblation. Showing one of the benchmarks of a well-prepared team, once they got the slightest grip on the game, they pushed the tempo and pressed the lead. Coordinated attacks by Viktor and the Rek’sai (who has been making his presence felt throughout the game) continued picking off Ryze, which soon allowed the team to push two mid towers in one go, and the lead just widened from that point on.

During the last few minutes of the game, Darius was out pushing top alone. Ryze and Fiora went on a two-on-one gank on him, and League players could kinda tell what happened next.

Darius double kill.

We’ve seen it a lot of times before, and it happened again. I guess we don’t need more proof that the game is over at that point.

Result: Oblation eSports win (1-0)

Game 2:

rengar_0

 Facing a first game where things snowballed out of control, Hydra decided on a roster shakeup this time around. Substitutions were made, and we’re in for game 2. One more Oblation eSports win and they punch their ticket into the LCL. Things were not looking good for Hydra, but they’re not ones to back down without a fight. Here comes round 2 of the series.

The second game was the Oblation show right off the bat. During the laning phase, Oblation assumed control some few minutes early on and held on to a lead. The team chose a team of Zyra and Ziggs as botlane which proved to be really effective against their opponents, Ezreal and Malzahar. Malzahar, in particular, had a rough time this game. It’s just what happens when a pick that relies on early snowball failed to establish dominance early. With such a big gap between team strength, once you fall behind in this situation, you stay down.

All that time, Oblation’s Rengar was busy making life miserable for his jungle opponent. Just like Rek’sai a game before, jungle presence in this game was never lacking. Aggressively pursuing kills and getting picks, Rengar showed why he’s a true terror of the jungle in patch 7.1. The commentators were acting surprised that the Rengar got through the ban phase, and Oblation made Hydra pay for leaving the big cat open for their lineup.

In what may be the highlight play of the series, a damaged Oblation team got caught in a gank from Hydra. Rengar in particular was brought down to low HP, but with the combination of his ultimate ability and some clever juking, he managed to come up with a triple kill. He nearly escaped alive, too!

Turning ganks around was an instrumental part in both games, and these displays were more of a testament to Oblation’s level-headedness and coordination in these pinches.

Oblation assumed complete control of the game and never seemed to be in a position which threatened their comfortable lead. Hydra did manage a couple of kills resulting from ganks, but in the end, those kills and pick-off plays never went anywhere considering the bigger picture.

It was just a matter of time before Oblation took this game and the series.

Result: Oblation eSports win and qualify for the LCL (2-0)

The featured games finished, and so did my time at the Lenovo Legion Launch. P3rcY stayed behind for the casual showmatch featuring bloggers. I did not get to see it, but according to him, it was a more easygoing match, featuring not so competitive yet fun picks such as Teemo and Yasuo, champions that those of us are more accustomed to seeing in the lower brackets of solo queue League.

All in all, it’s a day well-spent. I’m admittedly not much of a techie, but seeing these innovations in computer hardware and the level of tournaments made me feel that the future of eSports has never been brighter. We’re getting there, just hold on for a little longer, guys.

Let’s all start by supporting and tuning in to the LCL Spring Term, which begins this February and will be brought to you by the LCL-Lenovo duo.

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