Looks like it’s that time again as we take another stop on the Road to the Seasonal Playoffs. 1,024 players competed in 9 swiss rounds fighting for their chance to Ascend to the Top 32 and the $20,300 prize pool.
Giant Slayer covered the action “redzone” style on Saturday and we’ll be breaking down some of what you missed here in this article. If you want to catch every moment, you can find the VOD on our Youtube channel. But without further ado, let's launch into it!
We start off the tournament by watching the most accomplished player in seasonal tournaments, none other than Majiinbae. With a 100% top 32 rate, and a win to cap it off, Majiin was an obvious choice to watch. Majiinbae was paired with Koyce for Round One.
Both players were playing the “standard lineup” of Thresh Nasus, Trundle Lissandra Control, and a third deck; Majiin bringing his classic Lee Sin / Zoe, and Koyce bringing Sejuani / Ezreal.
Due to Trundle Lissandra Control being favored into Nasus / Thresh, the Nasus + Trundle Lissandra Control + X lineup was mostly thought to be banning Trundle Lissandra Control in mirrors, and the standard lineups would end up playing Nasus / Thresh + X vs Nasus / Thresh + X, and the players in this round agreed, both banning Trundle Lissandra Control.
The first game is Lee Sin / Zoe vs Nasus / Thresh.
Koyce has a lacking early game, against an early Mountain Goat and Zoe from Majiin. The Matchup is generally decided by how much early aggression can be presented by Nasus / Thresh, as the late game heavily favors Lee. Koyce does manage to recover some in the midgame, having Thresh and Baccai Sandspinner to stabilize the resource flow from Majiin
Majiin, lacking Lee, commits to leveling Zoe, having a 5 unit board with Lifesteal and Elusive thanks to Sparklefly, which closes out the game the next round.
Majiin moves to Nasus Thresh for the second game.
The MU generally is decided by someone getting a ton of early damage, or champion dominance in the midgame.
Neither player has a very aggressive start, and Majiin looks set up for the champion stage of the game with 3 champions in hand by turn 4.
Both players Thresh on 5, but thanks to an attack from Koyce, Majiin is able to attack immediately on turn 6 pulling a Nasus. Majiin should be comfortably ahead, however he ends up losing his Nasus to a Thresh’s The Box, and a mana crystal to a Rite of Negation on Black Spear.
Koyce then has a much stronger turn, leveling Nasus and putting Majiin to 3.
Majiin looks far from stabilizing, but a second Thresh pulling a second Nasus is enough to close out the game for Koyce.
The final game is Majiin with Thresh / Nasus vs Koyce on Sejuani / Ezreal. These Ezreal decks are known to have terrible aggro matchups, but are extremely strong against decks weak to Frostbite effect. This informs that Majiin is looking to play to the aggressive starts of Nasus / Thresh, not the late game.
Majiin’s hand includes Cursed Keeper and Ravenous Butcher, the classic Shadow Isles aggro start, but is unfortunately attacking on odd turns. Still can’t complain with attacking for 7 on turn 3.
Majiin has a second keeper into Spirit Leech to keep up the aggression, and a Thresh to start generating a late game plan while dealing with blockers.
Koyce is dancing around wanting to develop Sejuani, but not wanting to die to Atrocity. On turn 7 Majiin manages to close out the game with an Atrocity on Thresh for the final points of damage.
MajiinBae would end the tournament 4-2 dropping after round 6, and Koyce would end the tournament 7-2.
In round 4 we are following Rattlingbones and Fundough. Bones is one of the strongest tournament players in Legends of Runeterra but is primarily a streamer now. Bones is playing vs Fundough, a player who’s played in a few grassroots tournaments prior in addition to seasonal tournaments.
Here we see the first deviation from the standard lineup, with Fundough bringing Thresh Nasus Lee Sin Zoe, and Draven Jinx vs Bones’ Trundle Lissandra Control Thresh / Nasus and Draven / Ezreal. Bones bans Lee Sin, and Fundough bans Trundle Lissandra Control, resulting in the usual Thresh / Nasus + X mirror.
The players start off with Draven / Ezreal vs Thresh / Nasus
Draven / Ezreal has a strong ability to interact with most of Thresh / Nasus’ cards, with the exception of late game Nasus + Atrocity combos.
The game begins with a double Baccai Reaper draw from Fundough, but no tools to start stacking slays on them which gives Bones time to develop some large blockers. Bones even leaves turn 5 even on board and with more life.
Two Baccai Sandspinners from Fundough really starts to contest the midgame, but Bones is already pivoting to the finishing out the game with burn and a leveled Ezreal.
A black spear cleaning up the Ezreal, and a Nasus with a siphoning strike from Fundough pulls them out of direct danger, but Bones has lethal burn in hand and starts trying to convert it all. Fundough only manages to have one Rite of Negation for one of the burn spells and no atrocity to fight back with lethal of their own and simply is burned out.
The second game is Thresh Nasus vs Discard aggro.
Fundough has an aggressive start with Zaunite Urchin on Jury Rig, but unfortunately for Fundough a turn 3 Blighted Caretaker simply destroys Fundough’s board. Fundough does have Draven and a turn 5 Jinx to remain in the game, despite pushing almost no damage prior.
A timely Survival Skills also manages to keep Fundough’s board alive through a disastrous combat, but a topdecked Siphoning Strike from Bones closes off any Jinx rocket lines, removing Fundough’s only paths to victory.
Rattling Bones 2-0
Fundough would end the tournament 5-2 dropping in round 7, and Rattling bones ended the tournament 6-3.
For round five the broadcast finds a very exciting Matchup, with Seku being a streamer and member of the grassroots competitive scene. Seku is playing against Sapoplayer, a competitive Argentinian player who previously made the top cut in the Cosmic Creation Seasonal Tournament.
For round five we see a deviation from the standard lineup, with Seku bringing a triple aggro lineup of Nasus / Thresh, Nightfall Aggro, and Discard Aggro, playing against Trundle Lissandra Control, Nightfall Aggro and Zoe / Twisted fate.
With triple aggro being exposed to Trundle Lissandra Control, Seku bans it, and Sapoplayer bans Thresh Nasus.
The first Game is Seku on Discard aggro, and Sapo on Nightfall.
An aggressive curve out from Seku with both champions available is about as strong of a start as you could ask for with Discard aggro. Sapo ends up with a clunky turn four trying to remove Draven having to Fading Memories a Crescent Guardian, and Seku capitalizes.
Sapo has a powerful nightfall turn on turn 6, killing both Seku’s Jinx and Draven, and despite having an incredibly awkward first 4 turns, Nightfall’s ability to have incredibly powerful, combo style turns pushes through lethal on turn 8 with a leveled Nocturne preventing almost any units from blocking.
The second game is Zoe / Twisted Fate vs Discard Aggro
Seku has a decently aggressive start, but a Serpent off Spacy Sketcher blunts a lot of the early game, Seku goes wide with Zaunite Urchins, Spiderlings and Jury Rigs directly into a Twisted Fate Red card from SapoPlayer. Seku manages to refuel with a midsized Crowd Favorite for the board, and an augmented experimenter gets him cards.
Sapo manages to flip Twisted fate through the nerf to both Twisted Fate and Pick a card, and needs any fast or burst spell to get a red card and survive. Sapo does not have it, and Seku wins an incredibly tight game.
The final game is Nightfall vs Twisted Fate Zoe.
Seku comes out swinging with triple stygian onlooker thanks to Fading Memories, Sapo manages to stabilize using goat and Zoe to block but goes to 12 in the process.
Sapo looks to have stabilized, thanks to Fangs and a Mountain Scryer to block with Seku’s units, but an Unto Dusk on a pre-leveled Nocturne drops them below three attack. Seku then attacks leveling Nocturne and pushing through exactly 12 points of damage for lethal.
Seku would end the tournament 6-3, and SapoPlayer would end the tournament 3-2 dropping after losing this round.
For round six, Nolagold a long time member of the community and streamer faced off against Comodinplayer, a strong ladder player going back to the beta test.
NolaGold brought Trundle Lissandra Control, Braum Vladamir Scargrounds and Tahm Kench Soraka, facing off against triple aggro with Thresh Nasus, Spider Burn and Pirates. Both players banned the most polarized option, with Nolagold banning the most aggressive Spider Burn, and ComodinPlayer banning the most controlling in Trundle Lissandra.
The first game is Thresh Nasus vs Tahm Raka.
Nolagold is missing multiple crucial cards for the deck, he does have Tahm Kench but without Soraka or Star Spring the game could be hard. Luckily both cards show up immediately. Comodin does not have a particularly aggressive start, which is the best path to victory in this matchup.
Nolagold with all three critical cards in play puts comodin in a situation where it is impossible to make progress, he can't attack because star spring will just kill you faster if you do that, but he can’t not attack because Tahm Kench will just eat your board and Soraka is providing constant resources.
Comodin puts up an attempt to kill Tahm kench, but is stopped by multiple protection spells, and is buried under the pressure after failing to kill Tahm.
Nolagold moves to Scargrounds for the second game.
Nola has a near perfect hand, the namesake of the deck, a few ways to gain an advantage from pings. A Timely Death lotus blunts all early aggression from Comodin, and Scargrounds starts buffing up NolaGold’s units. Despite Nolagold’s units getting huge, Nasus is bigger and nola is forced to trade away multiple units and a braum to get it off the board.
Nola starts flooding out on Scargrounds, but a Basilisk Bbloodseeker on Scarmother Vryanna threatens lethal until a Rite of Negation shows up. We end up with a showdown of a Gigantic Vladamir vs a Equally Gigantic Nasus, but Comodin has Atrocity and just throws Nasus at NolaGold.
The final matchup is Pirate aggro vs Scargrounds.
Nolagold has a fairly slow hand with no plays available before turn three, and is ran over by a triple 1 drop hand from the aggressive crew. NolaGold manages some strong catchup turns, with Braum, sweepers and a Crimson Curator to contest the board, but Comodin simply has more one drops.
Nolagold still has one final chance to win, to ice shard the board of Comodin and have Comodin never draw a burn spell, but a timely Demolitionist puts NolaGold to 1 and unable to cast ice shard.
Both players would end the event 6-3
In round 7 we have a break from the top 2 decks with both players not having either Trundle Lissandra Control or Nasus Thresh. RealPrismSword an american player, streamer and writer brings Lee Sin Zoe, Azir Lucian, and Ashe Leblanc, against Jamon with Scargrounds, Nightfall, and Deep.
The Players Ban Ashe Leblanc and Nightfall, and we’re into game one with Lee Sin vs Scargrounds.
A turn 1 Zoe gets the cards and spells rolling for RealPrismSword
Jamon has a solid curve for Scargrounds, with the namesake card, Braum and a few interactive pieces.
Realprismsword manages to level Zoe and develop Lee Sin, and the continued value from Zoe, and the extremely quick clock from lee leaves jamon few paths to a victory. Jamon threatens a few scary attacks with Scarmother Vryanna, but triple Hush drawn from Realprismsword shuts the door on any potential lethal, and with a Zenith Blade for Lee, two Lee Sin kicks later the game is over.
RealPrism moves to Azir Lucian for the next game
RealPrism has an early Lucian, and a few scout units to apply pressure, but no Azir or Dias to quickly level Lucian, Jamon has an Ice Shard to kill the scouts, but Prism is happy to convert them to experience for Lucian, and simply allows them to die. RealPrism Eventually draws Emperor’s Dias and uses it to level and rally off of Lucian.
Despite Jasmon developing a Scarmother Vryanna and a Tarkoz the Tribeless which should be good to stabilize, RealPrismSword simply buffs up his units and attacks 6 times in a row to clear out blockers and eventually push through lethal.
Jamon would end the tournament 5-4, and RealPrismSword would be featured again on the broadcast in round 9.
In round 8 the broadcast features an incredibly high stakes game, The winner will advance to top 32 outright. The two players are both new to the competitive scene. The first is Sqweeby a streamer who recently won fight night losing the first round then winning six straight matches to take the crown. Damian1917 is a Mexican player new to the competitive scene, but with a 7-0 locked up will certainly be known after this.
Sqweeby has the standard lineup with Trundle Lissandra control, Thresh Nasus, and Asol Zoe as the third deck. Minor deviation from Damian from the standard lineup with Thresh Nasus, Draven Ezreal, and Ashe Leblanc.
The first game is a classic in terms of general style, but the decks have changed since they were top of the meta, Shadow Isles Freljord Control (Trundle Lissandra) from Sqweeby vs Draven Ezreal from Damian.
The game starts off very slow, with a turn 3 Whispered Words for Damian, and Sqweeby doing nothing for the first three turns. Damian develops Draven and Sqweeby simply continues passing. Sqweeby plays three Trundles in a row, and all three die, after doing their job of creating ice pillars.
A Flash freeze and a Harsh Winds, keeps Sqweeby healthy despite having no board, and the triple ice pillar allows Sqweeby to combo on Turn 9 without a single 8 cost unit prior. Damian however has a second draven to survive a turn by shuffling back in and manages to burn Sqweeby out the very next turn with help from a leveled ezreal and additional Mystic Shots.
We move on to Trundle Lissandra Control vs Thresh Nasus
Sqweeby again declines to play cards early, and Damian also does quite little early, playing Dunekeeper on one into Spirit Leech on 4.
Sqweeby has no Trudles in this game, and despite having Spectral Matron and Lissandra he has no other 8 cost units to make progress on The Watcher.
Damian capitalizes on this weakness and avoids playing into the sweepers common to Trundle Lissandra Control, and simply threatens Thresh pulling Nasus instead, using his smaller units as pure exp for Thresh.
Sqweeby delays the inevitable for a short time, but without a real way to close out the game, he simply falls to the repeated attacks from Damian.
Sqweeby Would end the tournament 7-2, and Damian 8-1. Both players would qualify for top 32, as Sqweeby’s high ladder placement offered one loss forgiveness.
Round 9 is another match where either player winning advances them to top 32, and we have a repeat player, with RealPrismSword having been featured in round 7. KevinLoR, is a Brazilian Tournament player with multiple grassroots tournament successes in the Brazilian and wider scene, bringing Shurima Overwhelm Ashe Leblanc and Old style Miss Fortune Quinn Scouts.
The players start with an old school Matchup with some new cards added from new expansions and novel innovations.
Ashe Noxus vs Lee Sin.
Kevin starts with an incredible amount of aggression, curving Trifarian Gloryseeker into LeBlanc forcing a Mentor of the Stones to simply trade from RealPrism. RealPrism uses the serpent to try to clear the leblanc, but a Troll Chant keeps the powerful champion in play.The amount of pressure Kevin is applying to RealPrism causes him to develop units to contest the board, going under deny mana. One Reckoning later, and the game is all but lost.
KevinLoR moves to Overwhem, while RealPrism Says on Lee Sin.
RealPrism has an early Eye of the Dragon, but Kevin has a Ruthless Raider to contest it, and start the aggression. RealPrism uses Gifts from Beyond to gain access to a second Eye, and begins spamming dragonlings to block. Battlefury on a Ruin Runner starts pushing enormous chunks of damage through the dragonlings thanks to overwhelm.
Realprism commits to leveling zoe to have lifesteal from a dragonling being summoned to try and stabilize, and manages to survive the threatened open attack, However, KevinLoR played Sejuani on the penultimate turn, allowing for the second sejuani to be cast as a fury of the north to push through the last point of damage for lethal.
With this win KevinLoR advances to 8-1 Qualifying for the top 32, and RealPrism falls to 7-2 and is eliminated from top cut contention.
We got to witness two player’s games that cinched advancing to the Finals with Damian1917 and KevinLoR, but also saw Sqweeby before knowing he would make it in on ladder rank. 29 other player also advanced in the Americas shard for the Empires of Ascended Seasonal Tournament. You can find a full list of players that advanced to the Finals portion of the Cosmic Creation Seasonal here.
We look forward to seeing you at the live broadcast of the top 32 this Saturday! Check out the broadcast here.