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The Set 5.5 ranked ladder snapshot ended on Wednesday, July 28 at 12 a.m. ET, and Cloud 9’s Michael “k3Soju” Zhang and TFT Fates World Championship bronze medal winner Kevin “RamKev” Hu were the final two players to qualify for NA Regional Finals.

Thanks to the rank reset brought in by the TFT Dawn of Heroes update, as well as new champions and traits, every player above Diamond in the Set 5.5 snapshot race saw their rank reset back to Diamond four. With 14 of the 16 spots at the NA Regionals decided, the final two spots would go to players with the highest rank on the ladder. Heading into the final day, k3Soju had a safe lead. But, while he was competing in a Twitch Rivals event, he had some rivals challenge his spot at the top. RamKev eventually took over k3Soju’s no. 1 rank and k3Soju came dangerously close to losing his spot altogether.

K3Soju and RamKev at the top of the global ranked leaderboard

After failing to qualify through the ladder snapshots and Mid-Set Finale, this was k3Soju’s last shot at securing a spot at regionals. K3Soju hammered in 160 games of TFT in about 150 hours, pulling multiple 16-hour plus streams to get to that mark. His efforts awarded him with 1,100 LP and the title of no. 1 ranked player in the world. He thought he was safe on the final day of the race; he spent much of the day leading his Twitch Rivals team in the Sentinels of Light event. But, with about six hours remaining, a couple of challengers started to get within striking distance.

RamKev joined “Rayditz” and “Ramblinnn” as k3Soju’s direct competition. RamKev, who has been vocal about his displeasure for the set and seemed to have quit until the next expansion, quickly approached the 1,000 LP threshold. In the final five games, RamKev climbed 129 LP to put him at 1,129; 10 more LP than k3Soju. With only a couple of hours to spare, RamKev’s place at the top of the ranked ladder was safe. He clinched the first of two final spots.

K3Soju, then sitting in second place, could only watch to see what was happening. Ramblinnn fell out of the race due to some heartbreaking games down the stretch. But, Rayditz emerged as a legitimate threat; so much so that TFT Lead Designer Stephen “Mortdog” Mortimer and caster Dan “Frodan” chou hopped on a Twitch stream to cast the final two hours of the competition. With enough time for about three games before the clock struck midnight, Rayditz came within 25 LP of k3Soju.

The final three games saw Rayditz finish fifth, fourth and eighth, respectively. K3Soju claimed the final but well deserved spot the the NA Regional Finals.

With the majority of qualifiers getting in through the lengthy Set 5 ladder snapshots, the Set 5.5 version was quick, exciting and, most importantly, it promoted playing the game. RamKev and k3Soju sit at first and second on the global ranked leaderboard. K3Soju and RamKev may be the early favorites to earn their trip to the TFT Reckoning World Championship.