League of Legends: we need to bring back Battle of the Atlantic

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Bjergsen of TSM. League of Legends. Battle of the Atlantic
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

League of Legends – The Battle of the Atlantic Format

Two things made this format perfect for the sort of tournament BotA was meant to represent. First, the teams were competing against their regional equals.

The tournament was set up so that the top-finishing Playoffs team in NA would face the top-finishing Playoffs team in EU in a best-of-3; same for the second place, third place and on down to fifth.  As a result, all the teams in the tournament would, presumably, end up playing a rival team that was comparatively ranked in power.

However, this didn’t guarantee that games would be close. On the contrary – as Battle of the Atlantic demonstrated – all the series saw teams take 2-0s over their opponents. However, the format did help map out the relative power levels of the different-ranked teams within each region, helping contrast Europe’s closer competition and power levels, while showcasing a strong NA top-end, with weaker lower-ranked teams.

But the real brilliance of the format, and the reason the tournament ultimately succeeded as a viewing experience, was the point system.

Through this, each match was “ranked” by importance.

The first-place match – between the winners of each respective regional trophy – counted for three points. The runners-up vied for two points, as did the third-placers and then each of the remaining two matches each counted for one point.

In so many words, you had to cement your place at the top of the region with a win over your rival, all while carrying your region to victory with your points. Thus, the higher-ranked teams held “captain” positions for the region, and had more responsibility on their shoulders when it came time to perform.

To recap: this event hosted more teams from these two regions than any region has since invited to an international competition. The broader range of competition – showcasing teams from the middle of the Playoffs pack – allowed us all to better appraise each region, while seeing teams in action who would not make the cut to Worlds or MSI.

Further, the points system helped ensure that the teams were competing to carry their region to victory, while allotting greater responsibility to the “carry” teams of EU and NA This led to a level of hype between certain matches (particularly C9/FNC and TSM/Lemondogs).

In the end, we were given interesting matchups between teams who would otherwise never play – as many of these teams habitually missed other, larger international tournaments – while still giving each team the potential to carry their region.

I’m still not certain why Riot messed with this format. In truth, I think only one adjustment could add to our enjoyment of this event – switching from best of three to best of five. A couple extra games, and we could truly keep the NA/EU rivalry alive, while offering a unique and memorable viewing experience.

But hey, what do I know? Let’s get some more 2v2 tournaments instead.

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Do you enjoy peering back through the mists of time? Think Riot really screwed the pooch on this one? Let me know below!