Day 2 of the WNS Championship brought even more incredible series, it was a day of bangers. Six teams remained, and by the end of the day, we’d have our top three, and one of them would have guaranteed their Icon Global Championship ticket. Can’t be at the Mall of America to see for yourself? I got you covered in this little recap. Don’t forget, you can watch the action live from noon CDT over on twitch.tv/wildriftesports too!
Tribe vs Ailish
Ailish has been making waves over the Championship, gaining much support from fans and other teams. Their upset over Cloud9 in Day 1 elevated them to a new status, but here they faced Tribe Gaming. Tribe are titans, and while they might not quite be at their full power, there is no denying that Tribe would be a different beast for Ailish to face.
And Tribe wasted no time in showing their power in Game 1, catching Dolph out of position, they were quick to punish. Ttigers’ Olaf found a Doublekill, and Tribe was 3-0 as we hit two minutes. Ailish fought to keep things even, Zenith finding a solo kill onto Chuck, but the power of Olaf and Lulu helped Tribe find picks and press advantages. As we approached the 9-minute Dragon, Tribe was nearly 4k Gold ahead and 9-5 up. This is where it all fell apart for Ailish, as they faced a Lulu-buffed Olaf running at them, and Starting’s Diana found its way onto the backline. With an Ace, Tribe was firmly in the lead and used the Rift Herald to start closing out the game. As it charged the Inhibitor Tower, Starting charged in for a four-man Moonfall. Ttigers picked up a Triplekill, and Tribe took the Nexus for a sub-13 minute win.
With the threat of going home with one more loss, Ailish swung things around to start Game 2. MaxGreen overstepped as he looked to get vision, only to be punished as Ailish claimed First Blood within the first 30 seconds of the game. Tribe wasn’t perturbed and looked to dive Ailish’s Dragon lane. The 4v4 went Ailish’s way and they found themselves 4-1 within the first couple of minutes, as the Support Alistar claimed a Doublekill. Ailish continued to snowball, and a clash over Rift Herald took them to 6-1. But then it was Ailish’s turn to overstep as they continued chasing. Starting went untouched on the backline, and Tribe pulled it back to claim the Gold lead. Unlike the last game, Ailish kept it close. Even though Tribe held the lead, Ailish stayed hot on their heels, constantly keeping the pressure on. It all came to an end over the Elder Dragon, however, where a chaotic fight went Tribe’s way with a four-for-nothing trade. Tribe ended the game with a 10k Gold lead, as they closed the series 2-0 at 20 minutes.
SuzakuGG vs No More Ego
We then came to the closest of the Lower Bracket series. No More Ego had been an old guard, sitting close to Tribe in Season 0, but they’ve struggled through the WNS and it took until the Last Chance Qualifier for them to get here. SuzakuGG, however, was the 4th seed, qualifying after Tribe. While I was hoping for an NME win, it seems I had overlooked Suzaku’s power.
Game 1 became a statement from Suzaku, all centered around Jotu’s Katarina. Being famed for his assassins, the Katarina was something he could take over the game with. Early skirmishes went NME’s way, and they soon sat with a 4-1 lead, but TSuki was taking over the sidelanes as the Garen looked strong with a Hullbreaker. But soon Demon King went hunting, with Stove’s Lulu there to support, and Suzaku slowly started bringing themselves back into the game. NME looked to get a pick on a lonely Stove at 15 minutes, but Suzaku was quick to collapse and we saw our first major teamfight, and it would be our last. Isjerbo and Jotu tore through No More Ego, claiming a four-for-one trade, and, with pushing waves, they were able to close the game there and then.
We saw some newer picks come out for Game 2, with Gum taking Xayah as Stove picked up Sona. It was a quieter early game too, and NME looked to cleanly take control of the game and rotate for objectives. The teams clashed over the 5-minute Rift Herald, as Tibe looked for a steal after claiming the Dragon, but Suzaku had the AoE damage to take the fight in their favor. Later, another Rift Herald fight meant Suzaku was able to snowball further, TSuki even claiming a Triplekill, and they were 10-3 and 6k Gold over NME by 10 minutes. NME could do nothing and were forced to stand and watch as Suzaku sieged and started chipping away at Towers. It all came to a close as Demon King found a good angle, and Jotu dropped an incredible Corki Package, to decimate No More Ego and take a four-for-one trade. With only LuanDj left, Suzaku pushed for the 14-minute win, taking the Nexus with a 12k Gold lead and a 15-4 scoreline.
With this, we bid farewell to Ailish and No More Ego. Ailish has been incredible and took on some of the best we have to offer, so we can’t wait to see more of them in the future. We hope to see No More Ego make a comeback too, and we expect to see them make further appearances at future events. While they may have fallen short of their target, the 5th-6th place is an achievement for both teams, and they should be proud of their performance to get this far.
Immortals vs Sentinels
We then moved on to the Upper Finals, a Best of 5 between two of the best teams we’ve had at the WNS this season. The winner of this game would move on to the Grand Finals and be guaranteed a ticket to the Icon Global Championship. Going into this series, the teams were 5-5 in matches. This was a tiebreaker.
Sentinels looked to take control of Game 1 from the start as they attacked the Dragon lane for an early lead, but Immortals were only biding their time. At 5 minutes, we saw an Ashe arrow from Rest weave between Immortals, failing to find a target, and this was the ‘go’ sign Immortals needed. A huge taunt from Charm’s Galio set them up for success, Gume taking a Doublekill as Hoon cleaned up, and Immortals took a four-for-nothing trade to hand them the lead. Sentinels may have had plenty of pick tools, but Immortals had the likes of Shen and Galio to respond quickly around the map. Able to turn so many fights around, Immortals were 10-4 ahead by 10 minutes. Meanwhile, IraqiZorro was putting on a clinic with the Shen, playing the map and macro perfectly as he constantly pressured the sidelanes. The guy even had secret tech, using Hullbreaker to beef up his minions before using Redemption to keep them healthy. The game slowed as Immortals waited for objectives, but they soon found a pick as they danced around Baron. With such long death times after a four-for-two trade, Immortals claimed their 18-minute win.
Sentinels again looked to control the early game for Game 2, attacking IraqiZorro this time as they killed him twice over the first few minutes. But Hoon’s Ahri and Charm’s Galio struck again, finding picks around the 5-minute Rift Herald to equalize the score and hand Immortals the Gold lead. Sentinels kept trying to find flights, but Immortals had the tools to pick apart engages and single out targets, every fight felt like one kill at a time, and Immortals held a comfortable lead by 10 minutes. Immortals had complete control over the map, and Sentinels couldn’t approach objectives without risking being killed, and this allowed Immortals to continue taking Towers and Dragons. Hoon was putting on a show with the Ahri, looking untouchable while also finding pick after pick and ending 8/0/9, as Immortals found themselves 23-4 with a 20k Gold lead as they destroyed the Nexus at 16 minutes.
We’d had two quick games, two dominant wins from Immortals, and they looked to make it a third with Game 3. Yet again, Sentinels looked for an early lead as they claimed First Blood in the Dragon lane. Hoon finally had his Ahri banned away, and it was replaced with a Gragas, which Hoon used to continue getting picks for Immortals. By 5 minutes, Immortals were 3-1 up, but Sentinels kept the Gold dead even. Even as Immortals started getting ahead, Sentinels made it feel close. This was easily the closest game of the series. But, once again, Immortals found their mark. In an extended trade as we approached 12 minutes, they found kill after kill. The dominoes fell, and Immortals looked untouchable. A 15-minute fight went Immortals way once more, giving Lebmont’s Jayce a Triplekill before they turned for Baron, and that sealed the deal. Sentinels couldn’t defend against Baron Buff, and Hoon went Legendary as they destroyed the Nexus with a 14k Gold lead, 19-8.
Immortals took their place in the Grand Finals and guaranteed a spot in Icons Global Championship, either in the Group Stage or Play-Ins, as Sentinels dropped to the Losers Bracket with one more chance. However, that waits for today. Instead, we finished with Tribe Gaming and SuzakuGG to see who would face Sentinels.
Tribe Gaming vs SuzakuGG
Suzaku clearly wasn’t lacking in confidence going into Game 1, taking bold picks like Kha’Zix and Irelia, alongside TSuki’s Camille. Despite this, it was a quiet early game and the teams sat an even 2-2 as we approached 6 minutes, but this is where we saw an explosive fight. As Suzaku took the Dragon, Chuck found a big Apprehend as Ttigers’ Jax followed with a stun. This led to a clean fight for Tribe, claiming a four-for-nothing trade to start their series. Tribe Gaming looked untouchable, always able to collapse onto Suzaku whenever they tried to do anything, and Tribe slowly snowballed their lead to be 10k Gold ahead and able to claim an uncontested Baron at 13 minutes. This was a clean showing from Tribe, and they closed the game out with a nearly 20k Gold lead at 15 minutes.
The Mall of America could feel the tension in the air, Tribe knew they were close to the Lower Finals, and we went into Game 2. Tribe looked controlled, putting pressure on the bottom side of the map, but holding back their punches lest they go too far and be punished. While Suzaku was able to claim First Blood as they took the first Dragon of the game, Tribe was able to steal the objective away and later claim the Rift Herald. The game was slow, the teams were patient, and by 10 minutes it was only 2-1 in terms of kills, but 3k Gold separated the teams. It took until 14 minutes for anything meaningful to happen, as Tribe found a pick onto Jotu in Suzaku’s Jungle. Yet again, the dominoes started falling as Tribe pushed forward for pick after pick, and over the space of a minute, they found four free picks before turning for the Baron. This was the lead they needed, and it took less than two minutes for Tribe to find five more kills and destroy the Nexus. It felt like a close game, slow and steady, but ended with an 11k Gold lead for Tribe as they sat with a dominant 12-4 scoreline.
And so we bid farewell to yet another team. SuzakuGG has been a team full of talent, every player has shown up at the WNS this weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get signed as Wild Rift esports grows. But our attention must move to today, with three teams left fighting over the WNS Championship crown.
“We only got elite teams left, we only got elite Wild Rift players left, these last two matches, these last two series, are going to be electric”
Tribe Gaming and Sentinels will be the first match of the day and will be a rematch of one of the best series of the weekend so far. Tribe has looked clean and controlled, but will it be enough to overcome Sentinels? Tribe Gaming has had a strong run so far this tournament, their only dropped games being those in their 1-2 series against Sentinels. They’ve got momentum on their side, but we can’t ignore that Sentinels have looked to be the better team. This should prove to be an incredible series.
Whoever wins then moves on to the Grand Finals. A Best of 7 against the dominant force that has been Immortals awaits Tribe or Sentinels. If Tribe makes it, then we’ll have a poetic finale as the old kings of NA face the new kings of NA. The teams haven’t played against each other in the WNS so far, but there is so much narrative behind the matchup already. Meanwhile, Sentinels would be looking for revenge. They’ve found series wins against Immortals before, but Immortals have come back when it's mattered. With Sentinels having fallen 0-3 this weekend against them, the Grand Finals will offer a chance for redemption.
The question is, can either Tribe or Sentinels defeat Immortals? As far back as Major 1, I was asking if any team could rise to challenge Immortals. Today will give us an answer. Make sure to catch the action from noon CDT over on twitch.tv/wildriftesports.