Worlds are under way, and what exciting games we’ve seen. Group A, coined as the group of death before the tournament, had so much drama and huge upsets. Eventually a team from NA got out of the group, upsetting Europe and China’s favorites for the entire tournament. Group D, in a historic moment, we witnessed a 4-way tie, where Europe battled it out to qualify for playoffs. Lets go a bit in depth into the now finished group stage.
An easy group for DWG KIA. Not a single game dropped, the only team in Worlds undefeated still. A defending champion from last year and a huge favorite to win again. DWG KIA is a threat no one seems to know how to beat.
Rogue, although looking very weak in the LEC playoffs, played reasonably well at Worlds. Sadly their efforts were not enough. They beat FPX in a tiebreaker and then lost to C9 to qualify for the last spot out of the group.
FunPlus Phoenix, though, coming into this tournament were considered one of the strongest teams in the world. Crashed and burned and did not qualify out of the group stage.
T1 is back, Faker is back. With some weaknesses still showing in their play, they cruised through the group stage with ease. Only losing one game to EDG, they have all the time to fix up the issues and maybe contest the title itself. After all, T1 and Faker never placed lower than 4th place at worlds. And furthermore they actually won Worlds three times already. You can check our infographic on Faker here.
EDward Gaming seemed okay, but less dominant than most people expected. They dropped a game to T1 and to 100Thieves, who did not qualify, just barely.
And DetonatioN FocusMe, did not win a single game, as was expected by most, they had a few really close games though, so not entirely bad.
Another group, another tiebreaker, this time between RNG and HLE, in which RNG came out on top and actually prevented Korea from taking all four first places in every group.
Both teams struggled a bit against PSG and Fnatic. They will have to shape up to contest the likes of DWG later on in the tournament.
PSG Talon showed up and played a really good tournament. Sadly they did not qualify with a 3-3 score, but this is a good result for the organization.
Fnatic on the other hand, riddled with issues, had to play with an ADC substitute, because their main roster ADC player had family issues he had to attend. So from the very start, Fnatic were handicapped. Although the young substitute player BEAN played pretty good, it was not enough for Fnatic to really put up a fight against anyone.
4-way tiebreaker. No other way to put it, a historic moment. We went into the last day of group stage, with 6% calculated odds of every possible outcome, that would result in a four-way tie. And it happened, of course. In an epic battle all day, MAD Lions won one of the most stressful games to play and watch, close up until the very last second.
Gen.G then won the match for first place. Team Liquid could not escape the 3-3 curse and they did not qualify out of the group stage, even though they showed up and played their hearts out. Every team in this group did.
Korea is doing really well, they definitely took the “strongest region” award, now only time will tell if they will have the very strongest team in the World too. Also, first year in a pretty long while, since NA outperformed EU in win rate.
Immediately after the group stage, the knockout stage draw took place and we now know every matchup for the remainder of the tournament.
Royal Never Give Up vs EDward Gaming
Gen.G vs Cloud9
T1 vs Hanwha Life Esports
DWG KIA vs MAD Lions
No point in predicting anything here. Scenarios are shared of every possible outcome. I can see Cloud9 getting to the grand final if Perkz is activated fully. I can also see both western teams die in a horrible death against the Korean juggernauts. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, Korea is dominating, DWG KIA looking unbeatable and the top8 is absolutely stacked.