The Play-In, the last Qualifier before the real League of Legends World Championship starts, is drawing to a close. Today, two Western giants played best of 5 series against less famous teams with the winner getting the chance to represent their region in the World Championship Group Stage. While some people might say that the Play-In is part of the World Championship, the games played today serve to show that this isn’t really the case.
Cloud9 vs. Lyon Gaming
After a dominating 4-0 run in the Play-In Group Stage, there was no way people would have honestly expected Lyon Gaming to win this best of 5 series.
In the first game of the series, Cloud9 showed why they were thought to be the overwhelming favorites in this match, winning in less than 25 minutes. Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi on Kalista was the one to carry C9 to victory on the Rift, though the rest of the team also had some great contributions towards the common goal.
If the first game was more or less a stomp, the second one was completely different. Even though Cloud9 managed to win, it took them over a hour of play time to do it, which wasn’t expected after the easy Game 1. Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen and Sneaky were again at the forefront of their team’s strongest contributors, however, this time, Lyon’s AD Carry Matías “WhiteLotus” Musso also had something to say, going 7/2/7 on Varus, a stark difference from his 0/0/0 record in Game 1.
The final game of the series was once again back to Cloud9’s strong performance. The whole team showed up in spades, dying only two times. Both Sneaky and Jensen brought some nice KDAs and the series ended just like it began, with a sub-30 minutes stomp performed by C9.
Fnatic vs. HK Attitude
As one of the best teams in EU LCS, Fnatic was supposed to rip through their Play-In opponents like a bullet through wet tissue, however, the team stumbled, almost losing against Team oNe and then actually giving up their second game against that opponent. This gave HK Attitude a bit of a chance in their Play-In Round 2 best of 5 series.
It seems like we worried needlessly because Fnatic managed to gather themselves up in time. In Game 1, both Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Rasmus “Caps” Winther showed up on Xayah and Cassiopeia respectively, leading their team to a 34-minute victory.
In Game 2, Rekkles and Caps performed even better on the same champions, leading to an even faster conclusion of the game. This time, it ended at the 29-minute mark.
With their backs against the wall, HK Attitude tried to take steps to salvage the series by bringing in their sub Jungler, Huang “Gemini” Chu Xuan in place of Cheung “GodKwai” Wo Kwai, as well as finally banning the Cassiopeia Fnatic used so successfully in the previous matches, while also picking away Xayah away from Rekkles.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. Rekkles picked Sivir and did very well, finishing with a 6/1/11 score, however, it was Caps who took advantage of Cassiopeia being taken away from him. He got himself Taliyah and went on an amazing killing spree, getting 12 kills and 8 assists for only 2 deaths. Needless to say, Fnatic won the game and series 3-0, making their way to the Group Stage of the 2017 League of Legends World Championship.
What’s happening tomorrow?
Tomorrow, the two remaining best of 5 series of the Play-In Round 2 will be played. 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports will face off against Team oNe eSports and Team WE will face off against Young Generation after that.
We expect 1907 Fenerbahçe to win against Team oNe, though it might take more than three games. Team WE is almost certain to win against Young Generation 3-0.
After the matches are over, the four qualifying teams will be seeded into the World Championship Groups.