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After three days of non-stop competition, the first tournament of the Teamfight Tactics Rising Legends Golden Spatula Cup Circuit has come to a close. One hundred and twenty eight of the best players from across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region came together to fight against each other for a shot at a near $7,000 prize pool, Circuit Points and a chance at a guaranteed seat at the Rising Legends Gizmos & Gadgets Finals next year. Here are the lessons we learned from the crazy event.

Open Qualifiers are important

The build-up to the 128 player EMEA tournament showcased a round of open qualifiers. The qualifiers allowed 32 players who were not at the top of the ladder to qualify for the main event. Out of the 32 players that qualified, some were names that are well known in the community. Former international competitors “Lev D Trotskij” and “Scripeaus” were among the not-so-high-ranked players from the open qualifier section.

But it was some of the other players that made the most of the opportunity. Out of the 32 players, seven of them placed into the top 32 overall. Their placements earned them precious qualifier points to use going forward into the season. Three of those players made it into the final day of the competition. And one player in particular, “Briks,” even made it onto the podium in third place.

The Open Qualifiers are proof that even if players are not a ladder warrior, but are good in-game and in tournament play, they can make a name for themselves in TFT.

The old guard hold strong, but new faces squeeze through

Many of EMEA’s historically best players participated in the Golden Spatula Cup. Even TFT Galaxies World Champion “Double61” was in attendance along with many other top-level players. “Salvyyy,” “Deis1k,” “Ging” and more also played. High-level streamers like France’s own “Shaunz” qualified as well. While the old guard certainly showed up and had a big event for themselves, many of the unsung — but rising — stars  showed up even bigger.

The winner of the event, a player who goes by the tag “Mamène” qualified through the ladder, but was on no one’s radar going into this event. Looking at their ranked account, they are barely even Challenger rank at the time of this article’s publishing and are just outside the top 150 of ranked players. But, they were able to showcase extreme mastery of the meta. On their way to victory, they took out many of the game’s best which landed them the first spot at the Rising LegendsGolden Spatula Cup #1 finals.

In just the first event of the season, the podium was stacked with a combination of hidden ladder warriors like Mamène, a former worlds competitor in “Voltariux,” and an open qualifier hero in “Briks.” Fans may need to buckle up, because the rest of the season is going to be wild.

New meta developments even in the final days

The meta for Patch 11.23 has been a hot topic in the competitive community. Compositions like Challenger Yone and Assassin Katarina have been dominant since the patch came out. Of course, those comps showed up big time in the Golden Spatula Cup. But even when everyone thought the meta was figured out, new compositions showed up even bigger in a literal sense.

Before the last game of the finals, there were rumblings that a new Cho’Gath composition was making the rounds in the ladder. Even in the first game of the finals a Cho’Gath did win a lobby, but that was a tank-based Cho’Gath build which was a standard. But Briks brought out a Cho’Gath build that focused on damage, attack damage.

Fielding a Cho’Gath three-star with a Bloodthirster and Infinity Edge, Briks marched into a victory in the final game with style and as a result, got himself on the podium. With a slew of changes coming in Patch 11.24, Briks just put himself on the map. But he might have also put AD Cho’Gath on the map as well.

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