IEM Oakland is right around the corner! While it’s not looking too promising based off the teams that will be attending, more international events are always fun! With that said, let’s take a quick look at the teams attending:
Sadly for Longzhu, they will be coming to the event off of a loss. Being one of the teams to attend the KeSPA Cup, Longzhu was eliminated in the Round of 12, losing 1-2 to Jin Air Green Wings. Not to mention they didn’t have a great Summer Split, finishing 8th at the bottom of the standings. While the team has a good roster, they were never able to get it together and climb the rankings. That is not to say they haven’t shown any good play. While at their worst they look awful, at their best they look like a solid and decisive team. Considering that they are coming from the dominant Korean region, they should be considered contenders for the title but they aren’t a clear favorite by any means.
INTZ eSports and The Chiefs eSports
Both of these teams will be the underdogs of the tournament. INTZ is coming off of a 1-5 record at Worlds, managing to upset the LPL champion Edward Gaming in a thrilling game. While it’s clear they shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s hard to imagine they will be able to win the tournament. The Chiefs finally qualified for an international event after lots of struggles. Sadly for them, it doesn’t seem like they will be able to match the competition.
Unicorns of Love
Surprisingly, Unicorns of Love are looking like one of the tournament favorites. But this is only if they are using their roster from the 2016 Summer Split for this event. Unicorns were able to shape up in the Regional Qualifiers and performed really well, taking Splyce to a five game series. The most impressive thing about UoL is how they are always able to make playoffs no matter what roster changes they make. It’s only a matter of time until they achieve what has been eluding them, a 1st place finish in a major event.
Technically the Flash Wolves should be considered a favorite as well. But after their poor Worlds performance, failing to make it past groups as a first seed, it’s not looking so great for the Flash Wolves. However, LMS teams have a track record of showing up when everyone expect them to do poorly, and while they didn’t do that at this World Championship, the LMS champions get a second chance to do it at this event.
TSM, much like Flash Wolves, are coming off of a poor Worlds performance. Not making it out of groups in surprising fashion, the NA champion has just lost one of its main shotcallers. Doublelift has decided to take a break until the Summer Split of next year while still remaining with the team as a substitute and streamer. It is more than likely that TSM will attend IEM with a new ADC. How well he synergizes with the team and how much the loss of Doublelift’s voice impacts them will be the main factors that determine their performance. If the new ADC fits well and Bjergsen shares some of the shotcalling with another player, TSM can definitely win the event. But if none of that happens, we might just see another IEM where Unicorns of Love shocks the world by taking out TSM.
Based off seasonal performance Team SoloMid and Flash Wolves should be considered the favorites of the tournament, but Longzhu and Unicorns are contenders as well. INTZ and The Chiefs will be the underdogs, and while it’s unlikely either of them will win, they can upset any team at the tournament. IEM Oakland is shaping up to be a good event despite the level of the teams going there not being the highest we can get.