Immortals aren’t winning themselves any friends of late. After a ‘groundhog day’ performance in the playoffs semi-final, Immortals’ fans were left in a familiar state of disappointment – staring down the ominous prospect of the Gauntlet. Apparently desperate to reach the World Championship, Immortals have been accused of refusing scrims with their opponents. Are the NA LCS new boys becoming the most hated team in the league?
The Immortals coaching staff have placed all their eggs in one basket and ended up with yolk streaming into their eyes. As Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng left the stage as the first LCS champion to be crowned victorious with two different teams, he actively hunted down any available mouthpiece to call out Immortals for their shady tactics.
Speaking in a press conference after the match, Doublelift revealed exactly why he had a bone to pick with the Immortals backroom staff:
“Well, now that this is over, I can say that I really hope Immortals loses because they really really wanted us to lose and they wouldn’t scrim us, so we had a pretty low practice coming into the finals.
“I mean like, it does make sense. Like they want us to lose because they didn’t want to face C9 in the gauntlet.
“I still thought that was a pretty scummy thing to do which was just to intentionally blockade us from scrimming. So I really hope they lose, and I also think Cloud 9 are pretty good so they should be able to be Immortals again.
“So, yeah, I reckon that the three top teams from NA is going to be us, CLG, and Cloud9.”
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
The gamble has backfired on Immortals. If Cloud9 had emerged victorious in the finals, C9 would be first seed for Worlds while TSM would be second on points, Counter Logic Gaming would’ve been demoted to the gauntlet where they would likely have met IMT in the finals.
It’s understandable for IMT to hope for a C9 victory – facing CLG is a far easier prospect than a rematch with C9 – but to actively interfere with a teams normal course of preparation, in order to sneak to Worlds through the backdoor, certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
The tactic may well come back to haunt Immortals, dependant on how merciful TSM choose to be. If TSM refuse to scrim on principle of Immortals’ previous deceit, Cloud9 will likely turn down the opportunity as they’re set to clash with IMT in the final, leaving only Counter Logic Gaming who are set to bootcamp in Korea imminently. There aren’t any top tier teams left…
In response to Doublelift’s allegations, Immortals CEO Noah Whinston took to twitter to plead his sides’ innocence:
Doublelift: Hopes C9 wins gauntlet because IMT didn’t want to play C9 again and refused to scrim TSM, which was “a scummy thing to do.”
— Tim Sevenhuysen (@TimSevenhuysen) 29 August 2016
— Noah Whinston (@NWhinston) 29 August 2016
Whinston’s comment fails to deny Team SoloMid’s claims however. Doublelift accused Immortals of refusing scrims, importantly not the same as never scrimming. Doublelift agreed that the two sides had played each other once on Thursday, but that in the lead up to the game, IMT denied all the scrims TSM requested, opting to give practice time to C9 instead.
There is no value for Doublelift to lie about this, particularly after such an emphatic playoffs victory. Whilst the decision was a perfectly valid one to make, the manner in which Immortals went about their business however may serve to alienate them from the other top tier sides. Immortals are quickly developing a reputation as one of the most dislikable teams in the league – letting their fans down again by failing to reach Worlds would only see their popularity plummet even further.