As North America falls Europe, China and Korea rise.
Where to start? If you’re an E-sports spectator you know that the League of Legends world championship is currently happening in Europe, even if you’re not an E-sports spectator you’ve probably heard about it with the BBC planning on streaming the finals. With the group stages being finished today we head towards the knockout stages, which will be played in a best of five series so teams will have a little more of a better chance to defeat their opponents but that’s still a week away. Today I will be recapping the end week two group stage.
Counter Logic Gaming (CLG)
Heading into worlds as the number one seed out of North America after defeating their rivals TSM with a thumping 3-0 win to take the North American LCS championship, everyone wondered if this is the year of CLG. Will this be the year that the faithful fans of CLG would be rewarded? Unfortunately the answer is no, in true CLG fashion they tilted and couldn’t recover after that, with the lost to the KOO Tigers out of Korea it started the downward spiral of CLG. After that lost CLG lost to the wildcard team Pain Gaming out of Brazil which should’ve never happen taking nothing away from Pain gaming, they played exceptional against the number one seed from N.A. CLG said they wanted to show their fans that they could do well on the international stage and well it started off that way but towards the end of the group stage it was the same old CLG, different setting same song.
Team Solo Mid (TSM)
That name held true in the entire group stage relying on their mid laner Bjergsen to carry the entire team. One of the caster referred to the team as just Bjergsen and 4 other guys and it looked that during all of their games from the kings of North America to a 1 win 5 loss record at worlds. Everyone expected TSM to at least put up a fight at worlds and well the TSM of old is nowhere to be found this year, whether it’s their ADC being caught out in the wrong place at the wrong time or their top laner being camped by the opposing team with no help from his Jungler. They have a lot of things they need to fix with the team whether it has to do with the coaching staff or individual play, they can’t keep relying on their mid laner to carry all the games all the time. It’s sad to say that their Top Laner Marcus “Dyrus” Hill has played his last professional league of legends game, he announced his retirement from professional play after TSM final games at worlds. He will always be a big part of E-sports and will help the sport grow. We will miss you Dyrus.
Cloud 9 (C9)
Coming off the Cinderella story of the gauntlet from 7th place in the regular season to the world stage but a last the clock struck 12 on Cloud 9 ball. Starting off with the 3-0 streak which no one expected to happen everyone had them pegged at 2-4 or 0-6 but Cloud 9 came to play. Their mid laner Incarnation showed up massively in the matches going up against some of the best mid laners from around the world and with Hai in the jungle, he’s not the best jungler in the world but he’s decent. All C9 need was a win on the final say to secure their spot in the knockout stage and continue their incredible from 7th place to world championship but that win was not in the cards. Starting off the day playing against the European LCS champions did not prove very fruitful for C9 and it just continued downward from there. There goes North America last hope to lift the cup at end of the month at least now they can get more sight seeing in while they’re in Paris.
From challenger to worlds. No one and I mean no one expected this team to perform this well at worlds. Starting off their first week with a 3-0 streak and continuing with that momentum towards the end of the groups stage only needing one win to progress through to the knockout stage which they got when they defeated TSM. Experience is nothing short on the team with three very experienced pros on the team in the form of Soaz, Xpeke and Mithy, the team looked to prove something and pull some upsets while their at worlds. Neils their ADC being the rookie in the lineup and with this being his first trip to worlds, he remained cold as ice and proved he can go head to head with the best of them. Towards the end of groups OG did give up two losses but by they had already cemented their spot in the knockout stage . This team looks to prove something while they’re at worlds to take down the best of the best. Good luck to them.
Being the third seed out of Europe no pressure was put on them to do well but with this being their first trip to worlds they had the expectation for themselves to do well. They might have been able able to accomplished that if they were in a different group, being drawn into the same group with the Korean powerhouse SKT T1 and the Chinese beast that is EDG. We did, however, get to see the rematch between Faker and Ryu which ended in SKT taking the win which everyone expected to happen. H2k is still a young team but they do have potential, they had a great run in the regular LCS season but they require more practice on international stage and how to adapt to different play styles and different champion pick that may show up in certain games. If they happen to make it to the world championship next year they will definitely do a lot better.
The European champions with the longest winning streak in LCS history. Heading into worlds they were expected to do amazing and go 6-0 and not drop a single game but that was not the case, yes they started out the tournament with a win coming the form of a surrender from their opponents Invictus Gaming. Was this the start of Fnatic 6-0 run through groups?, the answer is no; after that win they were handed two losses by C9 and AHQ-ESPORTS Club. Those two losses blew that entire group wide open and no one knew who was going to take the number one seed heading into the knockout stages. This was not the Fnatic everyone saw during the regular season, Huni was being caught out in bad situations and Reginover was nowhere to be found in those two losses. Come to this week and the end of groups, the Fnatic that we saw during the regular season showed up they fixed what the problem was and handed C9 a thumping defeat (scumbag YellowStar stealing a penta kill from Rekkles in that game) and they weren’t finished there they moved on to AHQ and got the win there as well granting them the first seed heading into the knockout stage now they just have to keep the momentum going towards quarterfinals.
The first seed out of China which is one of /if not the most aggressive region in the world, after defeating EDG in the LPL playoffs final the pressure were on them to perform well at worlds; after all they had the returning champion IMP who was apart of the winning team at last year’s worlds. Worlds started off extremely horrible for LGD going 0-3 where were the champions of China because this was not a team that won the championship nor a player that won the world championship. I believe the pressure to perform got to some of the players and they just couldn’t focus at the task at hand. Coming towards the end of the group the stage they did pull back two wins and looked like a team that could’ve made it far in the tournament but it was a little too late for them.
Invictus Gaming (IG)
Coming in as the third seed out of China, they wanted to prove that they belonged there. After missing out on the past two world championship this was the year for them to show what they have, their first match of the tournament was against Fnatic. Fnatic ran through them causing them to surrender and handing Fnatic their first win and IG their first last of the tournament, after that they tried to pull it back and could’ve caused a 4 way tie for their group if they had defeated Fnatic but it just want it the cards for them. Their a very unbalanced team when their high and keep winning but they lose they lose hard and don’t know how to recover, they did however pick up a win at the end against Cloud 9.
Edward Gaming (EDG)
The Mid Season Invitational (MSI) champions and the best team in China even though they dropped a few games of the regular season and lost the championship final to LGD. After defeating SKT T1 at MSI they soundly took control of China’s LPL causing a lot of people to take notice and consider them as top contenders for world champions. EDG were drawn into the same group as SKT T1 so that got everyone excited for the rematch of MSI, will SKT lose to them again or will SKT hand them a defeat? spoiler, SKT won but that didn’t stop EDG from getting out of groups and into the knockout stage. So will it a SKT and EDG finals? Or will the other teams have something to say about that?. Given EDG hyper aggressive style of play other will have some to adapt quickly to it otherwise they will be defeated.
ahq-eSports Club (AHQ)
The champions out of Taiwan and well known name in all of E-sports, with their exceptional showing at MSI and incredible run in the LMS; they looked to prove that they are a team to not taken lightly and won’t be a pushover at the tournament. They caused the biggest upset of the tournament thus far when they defeated Fnatic, showing the world that they were here to play and go far in the tournament. Westdoor in mid lane has been a force to be reckon with so far we will have to how he stacks up against the rest of the mid laners in the knockout stage i.e Faker and PawN.
Yoe Flash Wolves
Where to start with this team, they have been been a roller-coaster of a ride throughout the entire tournament. After defeating Hong Kong E-sports (HKE) and booking their ticket to the world championship no one expected them to do well considering how they started of their tournament run but they surprised everyone with win after win with a 4-2 record. It shouldn’t shouldn’t be a surprise considering they adopted nearly all of the Gamania Bears roster. SwordArt has been a rock for the in the support role whilst NL has proven to be a great ADC getting a penta kill against CLG, only time will tell how how far they will go.
International Wild Card (IWC)
Not much is expected of from the teams who won the IWC Championship but Pain looked to priced everyone wrong. They did for the most part after losing the opening game they went one to defeat the Flash Wolves and also CLG causing both CLG and Pain to be eliminated from the tournament. Their best player is by far Kami in the mid lane but his time on the international stage has proven to be distratous. When it’s all said and done Pain did well for their first showing at worlds, here’s to seeing them again next year and congratulations to BRTT and his girlfriend on their engagement.
Bangkok Titans (BKT)
Poor, poor, poor BKT; they had the toughest group to get out from with the likes of SKT, EDG and H2k in the same group as them. No one expected them to well and for the most part they did not but they did come close to defeating EDG. Better luck next year guys.
Coming as the third seed out of the Korea which everyone unanimously agrees is the strongest region in the world will all of that change this year at worlds. The Flash Wolves handed the KOO Tigers their only defeat of the tournament thus far, the tigers look incredibly shaky starting off the tournament but came into their own leading up to the ending of the group stages. Now all that remains is for them to defeat they’re knockout stage opponents which will be no easy task.
KT came out of Korea as the second seed and string team at that only dropping one game during the group stages and ending the group stages atop the group with at 5-1 record. They look to prove that it’s just not SKT T1 that are strong and if they keep playing the way they have they will give SKT a really good run for their money but don’t hold your breath for them to defeat SKT. They will put up a fight and go toe to toe with SKT, which will make for an incredible match to view.
SK Telecom T1 (SKT T1)
So here we are SKT some regard them as the best team in the world and they’ve proven to live up to that title for as long as they’ve been around. After losing to EDG at MSI it seemed that the team is mortal and can be defeated, with that lost at a major international tournament SKT looked vulnerable but all of that changed with the start of the Korean regular season. They dominated that season and went on to win it and become the first seed out of Korea, during the group stages of the tournament SKT proved why they’re the best becoming the in my team with a 6-0 record to end the group stages with. Now on the knockout stages and the best of fives where teams will look to take down Faker and SKT, after beating EDG twice during group stages they look to be firmly in the driver’s seat and ready time become two time world champions.
Who do you think will take the championship this year and the best team in world? Will SKT reclaim their crown or will another capture the glory for themselves?