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Kira Knows How the LoL Wild Card Teams Can Improve

League of Legends’ International Wild Card teams are getting better. They had an impressive showing at Worlds 2015, where paiN Gaming became the first IWC team to win two games on LoL’s biggest stage - and even came close to taking a couple more. This past weekend at the All-Star tournament, they showed that their mechanics aren’t too far behind the rest of the world, with the CIS All-Stars finding success in the opening stages of the 1v1 tournament.

At the head of CIS’s 1v1 tournament attempt was the IWC All-Stars champion was Kira, mid laner for Hard Random. Thanks to him earning Team CIS qualification by way of his dueling prowess, he was finally able to play against the best players in the world and test his might.

Proving grounds

“I think we aren’t so far behind in skill,” says Kira of the Wild Card players’ mechanics. And it showed during the 1v1 tournament, with three of the five CIS players advancing into the second round, bringing down the likes of Westdoor and Dyrus along the way. Carpe Diem AD carry LeX even beat notoriously skilled duelist Rookie in the round of 8.

But once they get onto the Rift for a 5v5 matchup, things start to fall apart against the more experienced squads. “[The major] regions communicate really well, but I think our region does it really poorly,” Kira says. “I’ve learned at this tournament that, mechanically, we’re almost the same. We can win in lane. But after that, with teamwork and team communication, we’re not so great. That’s why I think M5/Gambit first crossed over so well. Their team communication was really good.”

Lessons learned

For Hard Random and the rest of the Wild Card teams to succeed on the international stage, they’ll have to take some of the lessons that they learn from the few times they face off against the major regions back home.

As for Kira, those lessons are pretty simple. “I’ve now played the best players that I could face, because I’ve never gone to the World Championship. I’ve learned from them that I need to not just do damage, I need to work with the team to win,” he laughs.

Indeed, Kira now knows that he’ll never be able to succeed against the major regions if he relies purely on his 1v1 skills. “If I’m in lane, I don’t need to go for kills, I just need to farm,” says the mid laner. “And if I have a jungler, it’s like, ‘Let’s do this!’ Teamwork, communication is the most important.”

Wild Card teams have begun to prove that they can compete on the international stage. Now, they’ll just have to use every scrap of international experience they can find to get to the point where they can start taking down major region squads. Until then, they’ll be training at home.

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