The Big Saturday: Paths to 2016 Worlds
Here we are, fam, on the verge of the biggest day of 2016 (so far) - the day GankStars can clinch a spot at Worlds, or be forced to wait in trepidation until Sunday to find out its fate. Let's break it all down.
Between GankStars' two Vainglory teams, the path to Worlds is much easier for Cerberus. The team is going into week 3 as undisputed current king of the hill, having won the maximum possible points each week so far (8 x 2 = 16).
Alas, mousesports wants to go to Worlds just as badly and has a solid roster to fight for that dream. They have 10 points and can get 7 more by getting to the finals and winning at least one game there, thus beating Cerberus by 1 point.
Here's how GSC can qualify for Vainglory World Championship this weekend (updated 10:50am PDT Sat):
- If Cerberus wins their game vs SNOW Avalanche on Saturday, and then take at least 1 game off of mousesports in the semis, they qualify for Worlds. Even if mousesports win the whole weekend and tie GSC at 18 points, Cerberus wins the tie-breaker as the team will have a better head-to-head record against mousesports.
- If Cerberus loses on Saturday as 0-2, they will qualify if mousesports doesn't reach the finals. If mouse does reach finals and lose 0-2, they tie GSC in points, and also tie GSC on the head-to-head tie-breaker, and also tie GSC on the win % tiebreaker, but they defeat GSC on the strength of schedule tie-breaker.
- If Cerberus loses on Saturday as 1-2, they will qualify as long as mousesports does win the whole weekend.
Not Taking Chances
Judging by this season's performance, one may think that Cerberus' victory over Avalanche is likely. However, experience has told us to never underestimate our opponents. This is why earlier today IraqiZorro landed in Germany.
The choice to send Iraqi to EU for the final weekend wasn't easy - jet lag and exhaustion just may cost us the games. At the same time, to leave our destiny in the unreliable hands of cross-Atlantic Internet lag felt absolutely silly, having come this close to clinching a spot at Worlds. If Iraqi lags, L3oN may not be available to sub this weekend either, which would put us in a very problematic situation. We are betting that the benefit of improved latency will outweigh the downside of jet lag (hopefully Zorro grabbed plenty of GOCUBES for the trip!) But in the end, this is a bet and we'll only find out if we made the right call by tuning in to watch the games this weekend.
Speaking of crossing the Atlantic, let's switch our focus to North America. While Cerberus' path to qualification is straightforward and likely even if they lose on Saturday, the effort GSS needs to put in to qualify is a little more... sirius. Similarly to Cerberus, GSS can qualify even if they lose on Saturday to Hammers Velocity; however, the chances of them qualifying are very low in the case of such loss.
On the other hand, assuming GSS wins vs Velocity, it puts Sirius at 14 points and, the path to Worlds from there will depend on the outcome of the Cloud9 vs Kinetik match, also on Saturday. Let's take a closer look!
C9 beats Kinetik
- To guarantee qualification under this scenario, GSS must beat Cloud9 in the semis, putting themselves at 18+ points while C9 can only get 16 max.
- If GSS loses semis, no matter the score, they are eliminated. At best, GSS will tie score with C9 at 17 points (if C9 loses 0-2 in the finals, and GSS wins 3rd place and also scores 1 point during semis), but Cloud9 has tie-breaker advantage.
Kinetik beats C9
- To guarantee qualification under this scenario, GSS can lose to Kinetik in the semis as long as they get at least one point from that game or the third place match, which will net Sirius 15 total points. 15 is also the highest Kinetik can have, if they win the whole weekend. In this case, Kinetik loses to GSS by tie-breaker; GSS won vs Kinetik twice this split, while Kinetik would have beaten GSS just once under this scenario.
- If GSS loses semis 0-2, as well as loses third place 0-2, they can still qualify as long as Kinetik doesn't win the finals (a tie at 14 points, which GSS wins by tie-breaker)
- If GSS loses semis 0-2 and Kinetik wins the weekend, GSS is eliminated.
- Both of our teams are facing seasonal champions on the first day of week 3 - SNOW Avalanche and Hammers Velocity.
- Both of them had to face seasonal champions twice before: 2x Team Secret for Cerberus and 2x TSM for Sirius.
- By the end of Saturday, both GSC and GSS had to have beaten the champions of every 2016 season just to qualify for Worlds.
All considered, our path to Worlds couldn't have been harder: In a way, second split of Autumn feels like Worlds already.
That said, we don't plan on losing!