Four incredible matches were seen here at the Intel Extreme Masters Cologne on the first day. The amateur tournament, putting to show the new lineups of some of Europes most established teams, surprised with some unconventional strategies and unexpected outcomes.
The day was kicked off by a very close match between TCM and Ninjas in Pyjamas. While the Ninjas looked very dominant in the first map of the series, they couldn't quite pull off the strategy they had planned in the second one. Although they sure surprised everyone with their Sion pick and won the hearts of one or the other fan, they went on to lose that second map to TCM, evening out the series. A very long and just as close third map followed, in which the Ninjas finally pulled ahead to secure themselves a spot in the Grand Final of the amateur tournament.
Most likely the biggest favourites in the amateur tournament were SK Gaming, who put their new lineup to the test after a dominating performance in the qualifiers. And a test it was, as Copenhagen Wolves turned out to be too much for them to handle. The Wolves pulled through with a two to nill and will move on to meet Ninjas in Pyjamas in the Grand Final tomorrow.
The first matchup of the tournament was a Russian showdown, as newcomers The RED - who beat the former roster of GamingGear - one of the Season 3 World Championship participants - in the qualifiers, clashed with the veterans of Gambit Gaming, who had just reacquired their support player and fan favourite Edward. Though defeating a team that managed to qualify for the biggest League of Legends event of the year is quite the feat, they were unable to defeat the multiple time Intel Extreme Masters champions. Gambit Gaming will move on to face Cloud 9 in the semifinals tomorrow.
In the other bracket of the tournament, the relatively unknown Turkish team Turquality took on fan favourites Counter Logic Gaming. Much like The RED, they did not manage to overcome the much more experienced team they had to face. Repeating Gambit's earlier success, they Counter Logic Gaming will move on to the semifinals where they will meet the team that holds the European crown: Fnatic.
You can find all information on the tournament on our dedicated tournament page.
Event Photos: Flickr
Interviews & VoDs: YouTube