Filipino League of Legends: Wild Rift powerhouse Rex Regum Qeon (RRQ) were crowned the champions of the 2022 Wild Circuit Asia Invitational after they defeated South Korea's Rolster Y, 3-2, in the grand finals.
The Wild Circuit 2022 was announced as the official offseason Wild Rift tournament for Brazil, China, Latin America, North America, Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan.
The Wild Circuit Asia Invitational featured eight teams directly invited from Leagues in Southeast Asia, Japan, and South Korea, competing for the title and the Lion’s share of US$40,000.
How RRQ secured the championship
In the Group Stage, teams were divided into two groups of four where each group competed in a round-robin best-of-three match, where the top two will move on to the playoffs.
In Group A, Kwangdong Freecs and Team Flash moved forward to the Playoffs, where Kwangdong Freecs took the top spot with a 3-0 standing while Team Flash ended up with a 2-1 record. In Group B, Rolster Y took the top spot with a 3-0 line while RRQ finished 2-1.
In the Playoffs, RRQ first faced Kwangdong Freecs in a best-of-five series, prevailing against their South Korean opponents in a 3-2 victory. Meanwhile, Rolster Y defeated Team Flash in another 3-2 slugfest. Both semifinals winners then moved on to the grand finals.
RRQ dominated the first game of the grand finals, with most of their players bringing out their signature picks, including Sean "Helios" Palisoc’s signature Zed pick. The Filipino team denied the South Koreans most of the map objectives and finished the game in 17 minutes with a 21-5 kill lead.
In game two, RRQ started off strong once again, taking down three turrets and a couple of other neutral objectives.
However, Rolster Y’s patience against their opponents' aggression paid off as they started to catch up toward the mid-to-late game. A crucial fight for the elder dragon went in favour of Rolster Y. And after a 22-minute encounter, Rolster Y destroyed RRQ’s base and won game two with a 10-8 kill lead.
In the pivotal third game of the series, both teams drafted a mix of their favourite champions with a couple of curveballs. On the side of RRQ, it was Orianna for ADC Marc "Marky" Ilagan and a Garen mid for Kim "XerO" Eun-soo.
The South Korean team secured early game dominance, but RRQ tried to fight back in the mid-game, successfully stealing a few kills and objectives.
However, the Filipino team’s scaling didn’t do as well against their opponents, allowing Rolster Y to snowball into the late game. And in 21 minutes, Rolster Y won the third game with a 14-5 kill lead, taking the team to match point.
The key games in the finals
In an intense fourth game, RRQ opted to secure the Senna-Nasus combo for their draft in the drafting phase and ban out Rolster Y’s signature picks for Jung "Ratel" Yoon-ho like Camille and Fiora.
Both teams started the game aggressively, going for team fights and punishing each other’s mistakes that resulted in a bloodbath with 16 kills in just 11 minutes. Rolster Y and RRQ kept an even score through most of the game.
However, in a fight for the Infernal Dragon, RRQ aced Rolster Y in the river, allowing them to take the Dragon and burst down their enemy turrets. And after 18 minutes, RRQ destroyed Rolster Y’s Nexus and won the fourth game with a 15-10 kill lead, forcing the series to a deciding game five.
In the do-or-die fifth game, both teams played a slower, more calculated pace, evenly trading objectives and kills across the map. Picking up the pace in the late game, RRQ zoned out Rolster Y from the river to secure the Elder Drake.
The Filipino team nearly finished off Rolster Y’s Nexus but were unable to finish it off as almost everyone from both teams died, with only Marky left alive but with very low health. Rolster Y were still able to push more fights, taking the Baron, while RRQ took the second Elder Drake. More team fights ensued, with Rolster Y even coming so close at RRQ’s base.
But the fight for the third Elder Drake gave RRQ the upper hand after picking off the South Korean team’s AD Carry, Choi "Luna" Woo-seok. With the minion wave pushing in favour of RRQ, and only a fourth of Rolster Y’s Nexus health remaining, RRQ pushed to destroy the enemy base to end the fifth game in 30 minutes with a 16-13 kill lead.
With their 3-2 victory over Rolster Y, RRQ claimed the 2022 Wild Circuit Asia Invitational championship and the US$12,000 grand prize. Meanwhile, Rolster Y settled for second place, taking home US$7,000 in consolation.
On the same day, Kwangdong Freecs defeated Team Flash to take third place and win US $6,000, while Team Flash of Vietnam settled for fourth, with US $5,000 in consolation.
The Wild Circuit Asia Invitational may be a very short tournament, but all teams invited were very skilled, with teams from across the East Asian and Southeast Asian regions showing much growth, especially the South Korean teams. Here's to more international tournaments for Wild Rift in the future!
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.