We’re back with the second circuit of the Wild Rift: Summoner Series, with the first Open Qualifier finishing earlier this week. With over twenty teams all fighting for just two spots in this second Major, we were in for some action!
And the action kicked off in the first game of the first day, as Brawl Stars Pros and Farewell Boba didn’t hold back. Good vision led to early aggression, and a fight over Dragon gave Farewell Boba the lead they needed to start Game 1 in the Best of Three series with a bang. While Brawl Stars Pros put up a fight, with Mali trying to get the Katarina carry going, the Diana and Jarvan IV combo was working too well for their opponent. Or so it seemed.
A Baron throw spelt disaster for Farewell Boba, and they watched their lead disappaear as mali picked up a Pentakill. Being Baron empowered, and able to find one more fight, Brawl Stars Pros came back to take the first Nexus of the Top 16 bracket.
It seems that these teams love Baron Nashor, as Game 2’s ending seemed to revolve around the objective and macro. A split decision for TSuki to push through the Middle lane, as Brawl Stars Pros tried to force Baron, led to Farewell Boba to take the second game of the series. Another commanding performance by the team, this time without faltering at Baron.
With the Losers’ Bracket threatening them, Brawl Stars Pros didn’t hold anything back as they went into the final game of the series. Starting the game with a lead, an 8-minute Dragon just gave BSP an opportunity to fight and grow their lead further.
With the loss, Farewell Boba dropped to the Losers’ Bracket, where they won the series to advance to a rematch against Brawl Stars Pros who had lost their second series. However, while those second series were going off, we jumped over to Sentinels vs Apex is Cute in their Winner’s Match; which delivered another three game series.
The first 10 minutes felt very close between these teams, skirmishes across the map meant back and forth trading, and the scoreline was only 4-4 at 13 minutes. While Apex is Cute was able to disengage, utilising their mobility, Sentinels were able to chase and get a lead in the game; quickly turning the scoreline to 9-5 in their favour as they looked for Baron.
As Sentinels slowly dug APC’s grave, they couldn’t quite put the nail in the coffin. Sentinels used their lead to control the map and objectives, but APC didn’t back down and fought back through their macro play. Even after a dominant early game, Sentinels fell to Apex is Cute after 25 minutes.
Making great use of a Galio + Wukong combo, Sentinels were more decisive in Game 2; closing the game out within 15 minutes to set up for a Game 3.
It looked like Sentinels had found their groove, running a similar composition once more but trading the Wukong for a Jarvan IV, and had a similarly dominant performance for Game 3.
This gave Sentinels 1st Seed coming out of Group A, but due to forfeits, Apex is Cute joined them as the 2nd Seed with no issues.
To round out the day, we watched the Brawl Stars Pros vs Farewell Boba rematch, which went heavily in the former’s favour as they took a swift 2-0 to take Group C’s 2nd Seed.
Off-stream, the bracket was filled with 2-0’s.
Yawn stomped their way through Group B without losing a game, with Haters joining as 2nd Seed. We saw all the action in Group C in regards to Brawl Stars Pros, but we missed Grilled Cheese who also went undefeated with two swift 2-0’s to take 1st Seed. Meanwhile Group D saw Free Agents 2-0 Midnight, before 2-0’ing Chilly Mountain who had 2-0’d their opponent in Round 1. Chilly Mountain then faced Midnight in the Losers’ Bracket, who 2-0’d them to take the 2nd Seed of the Group and the final place in the 8-team bracket! So many 2-0's.
We then went into Day 2 of the 2nd Circuit, as the 8 teams were fighting for the 2 spots to qualify for Major 2. The rest can look to try again next week in the second Open Qualifier of this Circuit.
Grilled Cheese vs Haters
Game 1 of the day brought us a slightly different draft, with Orianna being locked in for Haters. This takes over from the previously prioritised Katarina and Diana we saw in Day 1, and we looked to see if the Shockwave could make an impact.
The game started as we’d hope, with action. An ARAM as the teams fought for priority in the Middle lane, and near deaths coming through within 20 seconds. Even with this aggression, it remained close until a 5-minute fight around the Rift Herald, where Grilled Cheese found a 4 for 1 trade that left them 6-3 in the lead.
While Haters tried to utilise their engage tools, namely Jarvan IV’s Cataclysm and Camille’s Hextech Ultimatum, Grilled Cheese’s mobility kept fights in their favour. You just can’t lock a good Lucian down. An explosive fight around the 9-minute Dragon proved that.
An Ace, Rift Herald, and later a Baron spelt the end for Haters; Grilled Cheese took the first game of the series at 14:20, with 12-5 on the scoreboard and a near 20k Gold lead. Dominance.
Game 2 came with new twists to the draft, this time an Irelia Jungle for Haters. While the concept seemed exciting, with strong ganks due to her E’s stun, her first gank was countered; Osu barely surviving the gank while Blazze’s Irelia did fall for First Blood.
The foot never came off the pedal, and the Xin Zhao then visited the Baron lane for a second kill. By 10 minutes, Grilled Cheese were 8-1 ahead and looking for more. With Baron Buff on, all hope looked lost for Haters, and Grilled Cheese slowly closed in and ended the series in the thirteenth minute.
Sentinels vs Brawl Stars Pros
We saw these teams in Day 1, and both found victory in their respective games, but now we could see them clash against each other.
In what would turn out to be a nail biter 3-game series, the teams came with their Day 1 identity intact. Brawl Stars Pros took Xin Zhao and Diana, with Katarina banned away from them, while Sentinels came with more heavy engage with Camille and Galio; and a Gragas in the Baron lane.
As you’d expect, Game 1 started with action. A 2v2 fight around the Middle lane as the Junglers clashed left Sheesh and MichaelUdall limping away. This then lead to a skirmish around the Dragon-side Scuttle Crab, but the coverage was interrupted by a solokill in the Baron lane for First Blood. The Scuttle skirmish ended with two kills going to Brawl Stars Pros as the players dispersed.
It felt like a game of bad luck for the side of the Sentinels. Not quite finishing Towers here, barely missing out on kills there. Meanwhile, Brawl Stars Pros just kept pushing their advantage. Finding fight after fight, and eventually a Quadrakill for Mali on Diana. BSP didn’t need Baron, they didn’t need Dragon. They finished the game within 15-minutes, 13-5 on the scoreboard.
Game 2 saw Sentinels run it back, only trading out Kai’Sa for Xayah to complete their lovers duo. They clearly recognised a lot of the loss came down more to luck and play rather than draft.
This time it went more in Sentinels favour. A slow start to the game saw the first fight around Dragon at 5 minutes. Sentinels were able to successfully disengage, but Brawl Stars Pros just kept running at them; essentially handing over four kills as Sentinels nearly Aced them.
With a lead and enough engage tools, Sentinels were able to push their advantage and get further ahead of their opponent this time. By the 15 minute mark, Sentinels were 13-3 ahead on Kills, but only 2k ahead on Gold. This gave Brawl Stars Pros the ability to continue fighting, and a Baron fight allowed them to equalise the Gold.
It all culminated when Sentinels found a huge engage though, able to combine their Jarvan IV, Rakan, and Galio Ultimates to decimate BSP in a three for one trade; this allowed Sentinels to grab the Infernal Elder Dragon and Baron, before pushing to finish the game. 25-8 on Kills, 20 minutes on the clock.
We then went to Game 3, the winner of which would go on to the Finals and qualify for Major 2.
The Brawl Stars Pros came in with a slightly different comp, while Sentinels again ran it back; this time being forced to swap Jarvan IV for Wukong.
Again, a slow start but the speed got ramped up at the first Dragon spawn; and a 4v3 fight went the way of Sentinels as they found First Blood. Even so, Brawl Stars Pros were able to regroup and contest Dragon, thanking Sentinels for the leash, before going to claim Rift Herald too.
BSP put up a fight and the teams constantly traded blows, both having the engage tools required to force fights where they saw fit; and even if Sentinels were leading in Gold and Kills, Brawl Stars Pros controlled the objectives.
It took until 21 minutes for Sentinels to claim a Dragon, and this one was the Elder Ocean Drake. The buff and the ensuing fight gave Sentinels the opportunity to Ace their opponents, closing the game, and booking their ticket for Major 2.
Grilled Cheese vs APC
We then switched to the other side of the bracket, with Grilled Cheese taking on Apex is Cute. While APC drafted mobility, with Akali and Ezreal, Grilled Cheese countered with Singed and Vi; two Champions who can very easily lock them down. In true League of Legends SoloQ fashion, an invade at Level 1 saw First Blood, the Singed Flip helping to secure the Kill just 10 seconds into Game 1.
This First Blood seemed to extend into a sizeable lead, and Grilled Cheese gained a 1k Gold lead in the first few minutes, but it was short lived as Jotu danced with death to claim a Doublekill; almost equalising the Gold and giving his Akali the boost she needed.
Even with a Vi and Singed to counter and hold the Akali down, the snowball came and Jotu quickly found themselves 9/3/3 as Apex is Cute looked to end the game; albeit dying as they closed it out.
The Akali was obviously banned for Game 2.
As is standard, the game opened with a skirmish around Scuttle Crab in the first couple of minutes; this time nobody died, and Apex is Cute was able to Double Scuttle.
While the opening minutes of the game felt rather quiet, with Braum, Tristana, and Ziggs offering a lot of safety for Apex is Cute, it soon became apparent how good Grilled Cheese’s comp was at chasing down and locking down opponents. The Singed helping to secure the first couple of kills with flips.
Being able to force picks allowed Grilled Cheese to take over the game, being 10-2 at 10 minutes, and 5.5k Gold up.
Grilled Cheese were then able to use an 11-minute Baron to slowly push in and press the advantage, but it took until Baron respawned at 15 minutes for them to finally put the final nail in the coffin; taking the series to match point as both teams fought for the Finals spot.
Game 3 saw Akali banned once more against Apex is Cute, in return they banned Orianna and Olaf against Grilled Cheese. This did mean Singed was still up, and we saw Twisted Fate locked in for Grilled Cheese.
We joined the game at 25 seconds, to find the players already setup for laning phase and a kill on Grilled Cheese’s side of the board. Do we know what happened? No. But it involved Singed, again.
The second kill didn’t come until 6 minutes into the game. Twisted Fate has used the Ultimate earlier, but wasn’t able to translate it into anything. It instead came to the first Dragon, which was secured by Apex is Cute but Grilled Cheese cut them down as they fled.
The action soon cut to the Dragon lane at 8 minutes, with Apex is Cute finally able to get a pick, but Grilled Cheese were very quick to respond. Nami’s tidal wave gave APC their first kill, but the opposing Twisted Fate was able to react as Apex is Cute piled into the lane for a fight. As they arrived, Grilled Cheese picked up two Kills. It turned into a dance under APC's Tower, the Singed possibly going too deep and falling, while Malphite and Nami’s crowd control proved troublesome for Grilled Cheese, and it ended up being a 4 for 3 trade in Grilled Cheese’s favour.
Being able to force picks with Varus, Singed, Jarvan IV and Twisted Fate worked wonders for Grilled Cheese as they grew their lead, soon finding themselves 11-5 on Kills by 15 minutes, and 7.5k ahead on Gold. With a Baron under their belts, and a Twisted Fate able to split-push, it was easy for Grilled Cheese to push their advantage, and push in for the win; claiming not only a Finals spot, but also qualifying for Major 2.
Sentinels vs Grilled Cheese
The Finals, and it was between the two teams we’d seen the most of over the Qualifier. Sentinels drafted what seems a standard comp for them, while Grilled Cheese deviated from what seemed their norm with very little engage options.
It was a quiet early game, especially with rather safe options drafted by both compositions. First Blood came when Steezy was caught near Dragon, pincered by Sentinels. The Corki was then caught out again, scouting out Dragon while his team was on Rift Herald.
The teams clashed many times in the early game, but it never seemed to amount to anything until they met in the eighth minute as Dragon was respawning. It was a Sentinels engage, however it was Grilled Cheese’s fight, as they took the 2-0 trade and the Outer Tower with Rift Herald; albeit with Tekshi going a little deep with his Garen, gifting a kill back to Sentinels.
With Dragon respawned, the teams healed or respawned and clashed once more. Sentinels claimed the objective as Grilled Cheese arrived, and both Jungler’s gave their lives in the start of the exchange. As Grilled Cheese chased more, their pathing put them in place for an incredible Shockwave, MichaelUdall’s Orianna Ulted all four surviving members of Grilled Cheese. They didn’t survive for long.
When the game state settled a bit more, Grilled Cheese were able to find a pick onto Sheesh which opened up Baron for the taking. Again, a huge Shockwave won the fight for Sentinels as Grilled Cheese tried to turn on them. Another Ace, a free Baron.
From there it was Sentinels’ game, Grilled Cheese attempted to find fights to turn it but a Gragas cask was the perfect counter for all their engages. Even with a 10k Gold lead, it felt like it took a while for Sentinels to close the game out; it took until 22:35 for the Nexus to finally fall.
Game 2 saw a reactive draft, Senna finally banned but more importantly Orianna was taken away from Sentinels’ hands. Likewise, Singed banned out for Grilled Cheese too. The draft started the usual, with a Gragas and the lovers duo locked in for Grilled Cheese, while Sentinels picked up Jarvan IV and Corki, as well as being able to get their hands on Akali. Deviation came in the second half of picks. We saw Twisted Fate once more, and Sentinels responded with Galio who can match the global presence as well as add to the engage. However, Grilled Cheese picked the first Lee Sin we had seen this Qualifier; Sentinels responding with Alistar.
As seems to become a norm, Grilled Cheese was able to use their dashes and crowd control to secure First Blood on an engage; slaying MichaelUdall’s Galio within 10 seconds of the game starting.
The teams continued to butt heads over the first few minutes, only trading one kill each in a Middle lane skirmish. It was a Rift Herald in the fourth minute that finally got the action started. Sheesh had started the objective, but Grilled Cheese walked in and thanked them for the leash. While the Lee Sin was able to stop a Jarvan IV engage with a Dragon’s Rage, they couldn’t stop the Alistar from flying in; which was combined with Galio’s Heroic Entrance for a huge impact in the middle of Grilled Cheese’s lines.
The ensuing fight allowed Sentinels to equalise on Kills, taking it to 3-3, but they still sat 2k Gold behind at 5 minutes.
Grilled Cheese continued to use the pick potential of Twisted Fate, Gragas, and Lee Sin to great effect; picking up two more kills since the Rift Herald fight and growing to a 5k Gold lead.
The nail in the coffin came at 10 minutes. A Dragon fight seemed to start in Sentinels’ favour, a good Jarvan IV Cataclysm into a Galio Ultimate should have spelt doom for their opponent. But Grilled Cheese was able to survive, Kenshin was able to kite, and the team was able to turn the fight into a three for nothing trade; picking up the Baron as their prize.
Grilled Cheese was then able to push in for the win, finding fights as they did to help cement their lead. Sentinels’ Nexus fell at 12:40, 14-4 on the scoreboard, and we went to Game 3.
Yet again, a slight variation in draft came through for Game 3. The sentiments stayed the same, but Sentinels picked up Lucian and Braum for their Dragon lane this time. Grilled Cheese took Annie in return.
The first fight, once more, came at Scuttle Crab within the second minute. Both teams had a good amount of crowd control, but they couldn’t stop the Lee Sin from flying to Braum for First Blood. Sentinels wanted to continue the fight, however, unwilling to let the Scuttle Crab go. They were able to take down Jarvan IV to equalise the trade, before losing their Lucian as they took down the opposing Rakan. Grilled Cheese then also took out the Corki for a 3-2 trade. Sentinels did get Scuttle Crab though.
By 5 minutes, Grilled Cheese were 2k Gold up and 6-2 on Kills, looking strong as they claimed Rift Herald too. Even when Sentinels looked for fights, like the 6-minute Dragon, they were met with an Annie dropping Tibbers on their face; which could then be followed by a Rakan for a huge engage,
Sentinels, of course, didn’t go down without a fight; able to use Jarvan IV, Gragas, and Braum’s engage potential to find picks. But Steezy was a fed Annie, and able to literally 2v4 alongside their Jungler. Being 7/0/2 at 10 minutes means it hurts a lot when she throws a Tibbers at you.
With such a strong presence in teamfights, Grilled Cheese were able to run away with the game. Even though Sentinels tried to find ways back into the game, they were just too far behind; Grilled Cheese just looked to tick their boxes and close the game cleanly, not willing to risk the 1st Seed spot.
With Grilled Cheese's eyes on a 15 minute Baron to help close out the game, Sentinels found their way to turn the heat up as Rest found kills to help put Sentinels back in the game as they contesteed the objective. MTS was then able to clean up the fight, and it turned into a 4 for 4 trade, perfect for Sentinels who were so far behind, especially as they were able to stop Baron. As they were able to get back onto the map first, Sentinels then looked for Baron themselves; possibly a way for them to get back into the game, possibly to just deny it from their opponent. Grilled Cheese came to contest, but even a 10k Gold lead couldn’t win them the fight, and Sentinels found themselves with yet another favourable trade.
It felt like the game came to a stalemate, almost like Grilled Cheese realised their lead meant nothing and were unwilling to throw the game on another attempt. However, 19:24 saw Rakan dive into the team in a split-second decision, backed up by a Tibbers, and Grilled Cheese finally found the pick they needed. A four for nothing trade is all they needed, and they quickly pushed through to end the game before the 20th minute. Blink and you'd missed it.
We saw Sentinels fall in a similar manner to Immortals in Major 1. They regularly tried to make plays, always looking for a way back into the game, but sometimes it just quite isn’t enough.
While both teams are now qualified for Major 2, Grilled Cheese go in as the 1st Seed from this Qualifier, where they’ll both be joining the Top 4 from Major 1. The rest of the teams still have a chance, however, as the second Qualifier for the Second Circuit is next week. It’ll follow the same format, with the Top 2 joining Sentinels and Grilled Cheese in Major 2 at the end of the month!
Keep an eye out on Nerd Street as we have Qualifier 2 on August 23rd-24th, both at 5pm EST!