The NA Regional Championship has capped off the Summoner Series, sending an incredible team to the Horizon Cup to represent North America at the first international Wild Rift tournament. While it all went according to plan with the expected top three teams, there were some definite twists and turns to give us an exhilarating weekend!
Three days of action. 20 hours of games broadcasted. Buckle yourself in; this was a fun one.
Sentinels vs Cloud9
We started with an exciting clash when Sentinels took on Cloud9 in the first round of the Upper Bracket. In our Power Rankings, we discussed how Sentinels has improved over time. Sentinels took the fourth seed from the struggling Cloud9, and with the teams being the fourth and fifth seed, we were expecting a close match.
Sentinels started Game 1 with smart plays and utilized a pick composition to great effect, but Cloud9 held on and slowly grew their gold lead. Things looked great for Sentinels as they found a 13-minute pick in the middle lane. Sentinels found themselves in a 5v4 situation with a kill lead, but Meals' Corki arrived with The Package and quickly turned the fight around. Even though Sentinels fought back, the damage was done; Cloud9 had a gold lead and controlled the map. The first win came in at 20 minutes.
(Cloud9 vs Sentinels Game 1 Gold Graph)
Cloud9 was clearly warmed up and came into Game 2 looking much cleaner. First Blood came in for Tarzaned before the second minute, and by 10 minutes Cloud9 was up 7-1 with a near 10k gold lead as they dominated the map and objectives. A 15-minute Baron led to an unstoppable push from Cloud9, and Sentinels’ nexus fell before the 17th-minute mark for a clean 2-0 sweep.
With Du Du Du Du Du, Choncc Chortle, and Grilled Cheese falling to the Lower Bracket in round 1, we had our Semifinals matchups locked in; Tribe Gaming vs Cloud9, and NME vs Immortals.
NME vs Immortals
With NME and Immortals fighting for second place, both teams expected to take on Tribe Gaming for the crown. We knew a matchup between them would be exciting. A blood bath is what we got.
Game 1 started with a level 1 play, and Selmaw’s Rakan helped to set NME up with a 2-1 scoreline within the first 20 seconds of the game. This continued with a gank on the Baron lane, and NME were up 4-1 at 2 minutes. The early game snowballed, and even though Immortals were able to break the lead, there was no stopping Aluy’s fed Darius. A 15-minute win came through for NME; a 10k gold lead and a 10/2/7 Darius led to their 23-10 scoreline.
Immortals came back with a vengeance. NME started Game 2 with leads in the solo lanes that wracked up the kill count. However, an 11-minute Baron throw cost them greatly. Not only did Immortals close the gold gap, but they also stole the objective that put them into the driver’s seat. With that killing blow, NME couldn’t come back, and it only took Immortals until 18 minutes to find the game-winning fight.
Game 3 summarised the matchup of the series. A fumbled dive gave Immortals an early lead in the Baron lane, but NME equalized soon after. The game went on, and neither team had a clear advantage. A sub-1k gold lead separated the teams as we approached the 19 minute Elder Dragon spawn. The teams pushed their champions to the limit, but it was Immortals who came out on top of the drawn out fight. Playing it safe, they reset before looking to claim the Elder Dragon. The teams had a final clash, and Immortals solidified their victory; 22-10 on kills, 12k gold lead.
This 23-minute victory sent Immortals to the Upper Finals, but the question remained; who would join them?
Tribe Gaming NA vs Cloud9
We said Cloud9 had something to prove at the NA Regional Championship, and they started their case well with a win over Sentinels. The real challenge was still ahead; Tribe Gaming wasn't going to hold back against the #5 seed. They punished early mistakes and gained advantages in the side lane. Tribe Gaming was up 5-1 before we hit the 4-minute mark of Game 1. It was clean domination from Tribe as they closed the game out at 17 minutes with 25 kills to Cloud9's three.
Tribe didn’t slow down for Game 2 either and were again up 3-1 by 4-minutes. With Nami, Ashe, and Twisted Fate to provide pick tools, Tribe Gaming secured a 7-1 lead within 6 minutes as they created plays to snowball. Tribe had a commanding 17-1 lead as they went for an 11-minute Baron play. This was the first time we’d seen Tribe Gaming on stream over the weekend, and they were sending a message; this was their crown. Tribe secured a dominating 11:32 victory with a 21-1 scoreline.
This sent Tribe on to the Upper Finals against Immortals.
Tribe Gaming NA vs Immortals
The Upper Finals not only gave us the first best of five but also a taste of the Grand Finals. Spoiler alert!
Game 1 started a lot slower compared to the previous series in the NA Regional Championship. Hoon’s Ahri took over the early game, and Immortals were ahead on kills and gold at 10 minutes. Unfortunately for Immortals, this wasn’t enough of a lead. A fight over dragon led to Tribe equalizing the game just a minute later. Once Tribe found the team fight they needed, everything started going right for them. It wasn’t clear sailing, but Tribe managed to get a fairly convincing win to start the series.
Game 2 consistently went the way Tribe wanted it to. Immortals tried to make plays, but they just didn’t work out. Tribe’s composition allowed them to easily respond. The teams stayed even, trading kills across the map constantly, but one trade opened up Baron for Tribe, and it all fell apart for Immortals. Within minutes, Tribe was 10k gold up and taking us to the end of the game. A final Baron fight allowed them to push for a 16-minute, 19 kill win.
Game 3 saw a much more confident Tribe Gaming. The team achieved a 4-1 lead by four minutes. After such a slow start to the series, this felt like a warmed-up Tribe. They were quickly commanding the game; a push in Dragon lane opened up the map while a definite lead allowed them to press their advantages. An 11-minute ace gave Tribe Baron, and in the following two minutes, a cracked open Immortals’ base. Both mid and Dragon lane saw their inhibitor towers fall. With their foot on the pedal, Tribe secured their victory at 15:00 minutes with a huge 16k gold and 21 kill lead.
Domination was the name of Tribe's game, and they were off to the Grand Finals. The question arose; who would rise up to face them, and how could they defeat the intimidating team?
Sentinels vs Du Du Du Du Du
We had discussed Sentinels' upward trajectory and the expectations that came along with it, but their opponent was relatively unknown. Not seen before, Du Du Du Du Du came into the Last Chance Qualifier and put on a show. Coming into the NA Regional Championship as the #8 seed, competing teams lacked intel on the roster's playstyle. Even though Du Du Du Du Du came in as the lowest seed, they managed to bring down the Sentinels in a dominant fashion.
Game 1 started well for Sentinels. They won various trades across the map, but Du Du Du Du Du was somehow growing a gold lead. When we saw a 5-minute fight over the Rift Herald, Du Du Du Du Du was one kill down but nearly 2k gold ahead; the Rift Herald allowed them to grow it even further. Sentinels were proactive in looking for plays and picks, and by 10 minutes they were 6-2 up and looking healthy. Du Du Du Du Du was able to sneak a Baron, stall it out, hold a gold lead, and stack Dragons. With an Elder Infernal Dragon to their name, Du Du Du Du Du ended the game at 22 minutes.
Game 2 felt like a repeat. Sentinels started with an initial lead, and this time even had a slight Gold lead, but Du Du Du Du Du simply held on, collected Dragons, and didn’t let themselves fall too far behind. It seemed that the teams were evenly matched, and this was showcased at a 15-minute Dragon fight that left only two Du Du Du Du Du members alive on slivers of health and only a few hundred gold ahead. With eyes set on the Elder Dragon once more, Du Du Du Du Du yet again drew the game out. While sheesh was able to steal the dragon away for Sentinels, it ended up costing them the game.
This was an incredible series, and neither team seemed to have a huge lead in terms of gold and scorelines. It may have felt otherwise in-game, but in the end, Du Du Du Du Du managed to control the pace that would reward them with a series win.
Grilled Cheese vs Choncc Chortle
These teams were coming in as pseudo wildcards as two unsigned teams. They had impressed us throughout the Summoner Series, but only one could advance through the Lower Bracket.
Grilled Cheese opened up strong; previously falling to Immortals, they were clearly looking to make up for their loss. A six-minute, 6-2 lead opened up Game 1 with Grilled Cheese securing first blood. Choncc Chortle were taking fights they probably shouldn’t have, but they learned from their mistakes and turned the game around. Taking quite a decisive lead by 10 minutes, Choncc Chortle simply played the fights right, and after a 15-minute fight they finally took the kill lead. Closing the game out with a 6k gold lead, Choncc Chortle took the first game of the series.
This was repeated in Game 2, with Grilled Cheese finding an early lead which was then lost as the teams started to group. A 7-minute 5v5 fight saw a near ace go the way of Choncc Chortle. The teams reset and went at it again, leading to a clean 9-minute ace from Choncc Chortle to solidify their lead. A valiant defense from Grilled Cheese stopped their nexus from falling at 12-minutes, but one more ace opened it up for destruction at the 14-minute mark. A 13k gold lead and a 30-11 scoreline made this one a bloodbath.
With Choncc Chortle facing Cloud9 next in the Lower Bracket, we jumped to NME and Du Du Du Du Du.
NME vs Du Du Du Du Du
NME wasn’t holding back in this series. They fought to find that match against Tribe that we were all longing for. Game 1 saw NME reach 7-0 by 3 minutes and, with such a large early lead, there was no way for Du Du Du Du Du to match them. NME easily snowballed their way to an 18-minute win; there was no hope for Du Du Du Du Du against a 20k gold lead and Truth’s AP Kai’Sa.
Game 2 was looking like it would be a lot better for Du Du Du Du Du; at least at the beginning. No huge lead was found by NME in the opening minutes, and LightningT on Akshan gave Du Du Du Du Du fans some much-needed hope. Sadly, it was all thrown away at a grouped up Dragon fight, and NME tore their way through Du Du Du Du Du’s defensive line. It was a slower snowball, and only a 13k gold lead, but NME closed the series in a decisive fashion at 15:40.
Choncc Chortle vs Cloud9
This left Choncc Chortle and Cloud9 to fight over who would face NME in the next round. The latter probably didn't enjoy the former taking the spot with a 2-0 victory.
Both teams were ready for blood. A 4v4 skirmish over the scuttle crab gave Choncc Chortle a 4-2 lead 2 minutes into Game 1. With three of the kills going to Mali’s Ziggs, Choncc Chortle was already set up for success with a Luden's purchase for their mid laner on their first back. This hypercharged their early AoE damage and allowed them to snowball their lead in further fights. By 10 minutes, Choncc Chortle was ahead 12-4 on kills, and Mali was leading the charge with a 6/0/4 scoreline. A fed Ziggs not only aided Choncc Chortle in winning fights but also pushing and controlling the map; it only took a Baron to aid the siege, and Choncc Chortle took their 15-minute win in stride.
Game 2 echoed Game 1, with Choncc Chortle forcing an invade onto Tarzaned’s Red Buff. This not only set the Cloud9 jungler behind, but also put Choncc Chortle ahead in the early game yet again. A 4-2 start pre 2 minutes meant Cloud9 had a tough road ahead of them. Cloud9 refused to let Choncc Chortle run away with the game, but Mali was putting on a performance; they achieved 100% kill participation at 10 minutes with a 5/2/3 Corki. Zelo kept the pressure on. Choncc Chortle claimed Baron, Fiora pushed in the Dragon lane and cracked open the base. As Choncc Chortle brought the fight to Cloud9 in the Baron lane, Fiora crashed waves into the base and went straight for the nexus. Cloud9 played this split push composition perfectly, but they had to leave their minions behind and go all-in on an Elder Dragon fight which ultimately lost them the game. Choncc Chortle ended the series at 19 minutes, up 22-13 on kills, and with a 7k gold lead.
NME vs Choncc Chortle
With our remaining teams guaranteed a top-four finish, the fight was now on for who would get the chance to challenge Immortals and continue their battle for the crown at the NA Regional Championship. As would be expected, NME was hungry to go on.
NME started Game 1 with an invade to gain first blood. Despite 나 영 landing a huge four-man bubble, Nori’s Lucian was greeted with a "You have been slain!" just 10 seconds into the game. With endless skirmishing and back-and-forth fights all over the map, the teams managed to stay relatively even with Choncc Chortle just etching out a small gold lead. NME eventually found picks in the Baron lane that allowed them to make Choncc Chortle dance around Baron and gather even more kills that further increased their gold lead. After a 12 minute back and forth, the game quickly came to an end at 17:36; NME held a 9k gold lead as they destroyed the nexus.
Game 2 saw NME drafted a strong team fight oriented composition, and they utilised it to great effect. After a quiet early game, NME dove the Dragon lane to secure an initial lead before grouping for a fight at rift herald. This set them up with a 4k gold lead after Shelly knocked down the first tower at five minutes. NME's strong fighting composition could not be stopped. Even when Choncc Chortle thought they’d found a fight with a teleport flank, NME welcomed the engage and were 12-5 at 10 minutes. Eventually, with Tibe feeling it, the Camille flew in for a pick that descended into a fight that had NME as the clear victor. The Choncc Chortle nexus fell at 13:10 with a 19-6 NME ready to take on Immortals.
Immortals vs NME
We were treated to a five-game series for the Lower Bracket Finals! Both teams were closely matched, being the #2 and #3 Seeds respectively. Both were primed to take on Tribe Gaming in the Grand Finals, but only one of them would get that chance.
NME had a nice start with Aluy's Game 1 solo kills onto IraqiZorro. NME slowly started accruing a comfortable lead and were soon sitting at 4k gold ahead of Immortals. However, this just meant there was more gold up for the taking, and as the shutdowns came through, the gold difference diminished. Starting with an outplay from Hoon to turn a 1v2 fight, the 4k gold lead disappeared and Immortals brought it back to neutral. With so much damage and crowd control in their composition, Immortals just needed a kill onto Tibe to open up a Baron play, and the siege that followed ended the game.
Game 2 went the exact opposite way. Immortals came out with the initial lead, however NME was taking structures. Even when 2-5 down, NME found themselves with a 3k gold lead. This advantage was further cemented for NME at a 9-minute Dragon fight that decimated Immortals and grew the lead to a whopping 8k. With a display of incredible macro decisions, NME cracked open Immortals’ base. The nexus fell at 16:10; we now had a series on our hands.
NME had the momentum, and they used it to kick Game 3 off with a bang. The team found themselves with a 9-3 lead at the ten-minute mark. They soon got overaggressive and started to see their lead slip away right into Immortals’ hands. NME had a small edge, but could never find the fight they needed to put the nail in the coffin. Immortals played around NME perfectly and punished mistakes until they finally took the gold lead at 20 minutes and claimed the Elder Cloud Dragon. It was only a matter of time until Immortals took their second win of the series; 14-16 on kills with a 7k gold lead.
With their backs against the wall, NME knew that one more loss was the end of their run, so Game 4 started off a lot slower. We saw a fair amount of action on the top side of the map, but it took until a 4-minute 4v4 for first blood to finally arrive and go NME’s way. Having taken the first tower and using the Rift Herald to take a second, NME found themselves with a near 7k gold lead by nine minutes. It was hard for Immortals to come back from such a deficit; NME’s composition excelled at forcing fights and finding picks. Immortals made sure to pick up some kills in the mid-game to make it hard for NME, but they couldn’t stop the nexus from falling at 15:50; a 10k gold lead and an 11-3 scoreline awaited NME.
Now, both teams had their tournament lives on the line. With one game left to decide this incredible series, neither team found themselves holding back. Immortals kicked things off with a dive in the Dragon lane, claiming first blood between the towers before we hit the 2-minute mark. Immortals took everything. Whether it was towers, Rift Herald, or Dragons, it didn't matter to Immortals; they wanted it all. The grave was slowly being dug for NME. While they tried desperately to climb their way out and partially succeeded by bringing the gold lead back to even, a 17 -minute fight spelled out the end for NME. It looked bad for Immortals; Hoon was caught and NME capitalised, but Gume’s Xayah turned it around right at the end to take the game-winning ace. In an instant, the series was done; Immortals took the nexus at 18 minutes, up 13-7 on kills, and with a 4k gold differential.
Tribe Gaming vs Immortals
This meant our Grand Finals was between Tribe Gaming NA and Immortals. While Tribe Gaming was seen by all to be a cut above the rest, Immortals had shown growth and had taken down NME to get here; if anyone was going to take Tribe down, it would be the Immortals squad.
Game 1 started off close. The teams were butting heads constantly, and with a Riven vs Lee Sin matchup in the jungle, there was plenty of burst damage on the rift. Even with that damage ever-present, we were only 3-3 on kills at 10 minutes. What Immortals couldn’t stop, however, was Tribe’s growing gold lead and the stacking of Dragon buffs. Even though the Elder Dragon was on the table as a win condition, Tribe decided to team fight. Even though two of their members were finishing Dragon, Tribe went ahead and ran through the Immortals jungle, taking an eventual three-for-nothing trade that opened up Baron for them. Now they could set up a siege that Immortals couldn't stop. A 15-minute win started Tribe’s finals.
Immortals seemingly came into Game 2 refreshed and undeterred by the previous loss. Immortals opened the game with an initial lead, But Tribe continued their objective focussed game, using it to create a fight that put them ahead and allowed them to stack Dragons once again. By 15 minutes, the teams were dead even at 6-6, and less than 4k gold separated them, but Tribe had claimed all three dragons. With a focus on objectives over kills, Tribe used the Baron to force a fight with Immortals that they won, and used the advantage to claim the Elder Cloud Dragon, before returning to the Baron once more. While Tribe managed to burst the objective down, Immortals still fought and fell. Tribe simply walked their Baron-empowered minions into the nexus and claimed a win in 19:15.
After two relatively action-packed early games, Game 3 took over 5 minutes for a first blood to arrive. Immortals managed to keep things close, even taking an early kill lead. Tribe stuck to the tried and true plan of the series: stacking Dragons. The game started looking very good for Immortals, but Tribe and their objective focus were always going to be an issue. Immortals won fights, but they fumbled when it mattered most. A 20-minute Baron for Tribe turned into a roaring team fight that saw three of Immortals’ members go to a grey screen. Immortals were putting up a valiant fight, but Tribe’s objective control got them the win at 21:35.
Immortals struck back in Game 4, once again claiming first blood to start their campaign. Immortals found themselves 3-1 up as the game entered its third minute. Immortals felt alive in this game, taking their first Dragon of the series before moving over to punish Tribe at the Rift Herald. It got tense; you can’t keep Tribe down after all. Immortals had enough engage options to constantly push their advantage. A rush for the nexus ended the game at 18:30, with a happy Immortals at 22-10 and nearly 9k gold up. The dream was still alive.
Would their dream be crushed in Game 5? Immortals were seemingly refreshed after finding their win, but Tribe was ready to close out the series. In true Tribe fashion, we saw a focus on a slower-paced objective game once more. There were constant trades back and forth, but Tribe started with a firm hold on the game and wasn’t willing to let go. By 10 minutes we were looking at a 5-3 scoreline with only 2k gold difference between the teams, but Tribe had once again stuck to their guns and claimed Rift Herald and a second Dragon. Immortals tried to use this to their advantage; The team looked for a fight as Tribe split up, but it cost them dearly. ttigers was putting on a Lee Sin clinic, and they were accepting new patients left and right. That relatively even game tipped into Tribe’s favor very quickly, and at 15 minutes they had Baron, a 6k gold lead, and were up 10-4 on kills. Not even a minute after claiming Baron, Tribe found a fight that had them taking a four-for-one trade, and the team started the victory parade of minions as they pushed for the end. A 14-6 score finished it out, and a 10k gold lead cemented Tribe as the victor.
“Tribe has stood at the top of the tables for so long, Immortals thought they could challenge them, but no one can challenge the kings!"
With that, Tribe Gaming NA took the crown of the NA Regional Championship! Not only did they take the largest portion of the $70,000 prize pool, but the team will go on to represent North America at the Horizon Cup in November.
A huge congratulations to the most dominant team in North America, and good luck at the Horizon Cup! Bring it home for NA!
Of course, big praise should go to all the teams that participated in the championship and Summoner Series. Every team showed so much talent. The best in the region tested Tribe, so we know the best of the best is going to the first international Wild Rift Tournament!
As always, a big thank you to all the people who made it happen! We had incredible talent cast the games throughout the course of the Summoner Series. We also want to send a thanks to those behind the scenes who we don't get to see; broadcast crews, observers, and admins!