Battle of the Atlantic and Spring Promotion kicks off

Battle of the Atlantic and Spring Promotion kicks off

Welcome back to Cologne, Germany.

While IEM Cologne lies behind us, the League of Legends action isn't stopping there. Beginning December 13, the EU LCS Spring Promotion Tournament qualifying round begins. A day later on December 14, the Battle of the Atlantic will begin, pitting the North American and European LCS teams against each other to find out who is the best of the West.

Now, the Invitational doesn’t hold much in the way of repercussions for 2014, as all of the teams involved have already qualified for the next split, but it will be the first opportunity to see the top teams from the two regions go at it on Summoner’s Rift since the World Championship.

Teams will be matched up based on last season’s rankings in their respective regions, so expect some highly contested matches, including a Worlds quarterfinal rematch between Fnatic and Cloud 9.

December 14: Dignitas vs. Alliance

Dignitas Alliance
Top Cruzerthebruzer Wickd Top
Jungler Crumbzz Shook Jungler
Mid Scarra Froggen Mid
AD Imaqtpie Tabzz AD
Support KiWiKiD Kazmitch Support

The Battle starts off with two of the most storied squads in esports history: Dignitas and Alliance (formerly Evil Geniuses). The two teams are coming off fourth place finishes in their regions, and are looking to show off the new acquisitions to their comps.

Cruzerthebruzer is Dig’s new top laner, and he’ll likely be one of the lynchpins of the team, especially due to the fact that some of his favorite champions have come into favor with the 3.14 changes, specifically Vladimir and Yorick. If he manages to mesh well with mid laner Scarra’s style of play, the pair could turn into one of the most dangerous roving killers in the LCS. Toss in Crumbzz, and be prepared for the three to dominate just about anyone in their path.

They’ll have their hands full with Alliance’s mid laner Froggen, however. The famously great Anivia player is notoriously hard to gank, and jungler Shook will be watching his back. The matchup will likely be decided by which way the mid lane swings, so keep an eye on both junglers looking to punish any mistakes in the middle of the map.

December 15: TSM Snapdragon vs. Lemondogs

TSM Snapdragon Lemondogs
Top Dyrus Myw Top
Jungler TheOddOne ImSoFresh Jungler
Mid Bjergsen ShLaYa Mid
AD WildTurtle TFS Crazycaps AD
Support Xpecial TFS Zeriouz Support

With the acquisition of mid laner Bjergsen from Ninjas in Pyjamas over the break, TSM reasserted their status as one of the most feared teams in the LCS. With the strength of mages in mid lane in the current metagame, Bjergsen's famous Syndra play only be even more difficult for his opponents to handle. If his recent solo queue success and past LCS experience are any indication, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Lemondogs is a bit of a mystery. The team is unrecognizable from what they were last season, with an entirely new roster filled with members of amateur teams TFS and Millenium. The squad is so new, that it’s hard to say how well they’ll come together in the highly competitive environment of the LCS. No matter what, it’ll be exciting to watch.

The Promotion Series

After the Battle between LCS teams wraps up, the fight to join the LCS will heat up. Ninjas in Pyjamas, SK Gaming and MeetYourMakers - the bottom three teams from the summer split of the EU LCS - will take on Challenger teams Kiedyś Miałem Team, SUPA HOT CREW XD, and Copenhagen Wolves. Whoever wins their matchups will qualify for 2014 LCS spring split.

December 13: MeetYourMakers v Copenhagen Wolves

MeetYourMakers Copenhagen Wolves
Top Kubon Youngbuck Top
Jungler Mokatte Amazing Jungler
Mid Czaru cowTard Mid
AD Makler Forg1ven AD
Support Libik Unlimited Support

The biggest matchup in Europe will undoubtedly be MeetYourMakers against Copenhagen Wolves. The Wolves have done this dance before, getting dropped out of the LCS after the Season 3 spring split. However, they’re on a tear right now, going 5-0 in the promotion series group stage. MYM, on the other hand, is a team that managed to qualify last season when CW got knocked out and struggled through the summer split. Watch the bottom lane here, as the success of ADCs Makler and Forg1ven will be deciding factors in the matchup.

December 14: SK Gaming v SUPA HOT CREW

SK Gaming SUPA HOT CREW
Top fredy122 Mimer Top
Jungler Svenskeren Impaler Jungler
Mid Jesiz Moopz Mid
AD CandyPanda Haydal AD
Support Nyph Migxa Support

SK Gaming versus SUPA HOT CREW XD is a battle of the old timers against the youngest of young upstarts. SUPA was only created in October with their eyes on the promo series prize, while SK has been around since the early days of competitive League of Legends. To make matters more interesting, SK’s top laner and jungler fredy122 and Svenskeren were on SUPA as recently as November. If SK can hold off the victory hungry SUPA’s hyper aggressive early game, the veterans will pull off the victory, even without the legendary Ocelote in the mid lane.

December 15: Ninjas in Pyjamas v Kiedyś Miałem Team

Ninjas in Pyjamas Kiedyś Miałem Team
Top Zorozero Xaxus Top
Jungler hyrqBot Jankos Jungler
Mid Nukeduck Overpow Mid
AD Freeze Celaver AD
Support Mithy VandeR Support

Finally, Ninjas in Pyjamas are taking on Kiedyś Miałem Team. KMT are a bit of a wild card here, as they’ve spent most of their time competing in their home country, however, they managed to squeeze out a 3-2 record in the group stage. This one will be a rumble in the jungle, with KMT’s buff-stealing style going head-to-head with hyrqBot’s love of the early gank.

Taylor Cocke is a Bay Area-based freelance writer who spends too much time talking about bands no one else cares about. Follow him @taylorcocke on Twitter.

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