This League of Legends World Championship is probably going to go down in history as The Worlds of Upsets. Why? Team SoloMid defeated Samsung Galaxy, Counter Logic Gaming took down ROX Tigers, the number 1 seed from South Korea, while Flash Wolves also busted God’s SK Telecom T1, while the Wildcard INTZ won against EDG. If that wasn’t enough, the Wildcard team from the CIS region made history by getting into the Playoffs after winning against every other team in their group, including ROX Tigers, at least once, when experts agreed that their destiny is an 0-6 score. With some kind of craziness going on almost every day, it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen in the final three days of the competition; however, it’s sure fun to try.
Week Two Day Two
Six matches between Group C teams are going to be played. In the end, all four teams in the group, EDG, ahq, H2K, and INTZ will have faced each other. The results will decide which two squads are going to keep fighting for the title of World Champion.
Looking at standings coming into Week Two, the group is actually quite close if you expect that a score of 4-2 will be enough to make it into the Playoffs. Prior to the day of play, two teams, EDG and ahq are sharing 1-2nd place with a score of 2-1, while the other two have a 1-2 score.
Just as it was before the tournament, there is no conceivable reason why EDG would NOT win the group. The worst that could happen to EDG if League followed the laws of Logic, was that they would have to play a tiebreaker match to figure out who is the first seed. This is most likely to happen if EDG lost against ahq or H2K and won everything else, while ahq also lost one, winning the other three matches. How likely is that to happen? EDG won against both ahq and H2K in Week One, only losing to INTZ during the first day of the tournament. Call me short-sighted, but they probably just underestimated their opponents. That won’t happen again, not with playoffs in sight. When Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu and company took themselves seriously, they clobbered the other two competitors and got to the top of the standings. I seriously doubt that they will let that spot go.
The other prospective Playoffs participant is obviously ahq. The team won against both H2K and INTZ already. They should be able to repeat the feat, especially when you keep in mind how badly European teams are doing in this tournament. Yes, H2K is definitely the best contender for the second spot in the group aside from ahq, however, that would require a great leap in performance. I don’t believe that H2K can deliver. I would certainly like them to, if only to have at least someone representing European LCS.
So, EDG first, ahq or H2K if a miracle happens, second.
Week Two Day Three
Now THAT is a broadcast you should NOT miss. Ignoring the 0-3 Splyce, this group features three teams of very similar strength. It’s almost like rock, paper scissors of League of Legends. In Week One, RNG defeated TSM, which defeated Samsung, which defeated RNG. And all three spanked Splyce, TSM even did it with Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg hardly even being able to speak due to sickness. Do you see what I’m talking about? Exciting.
Call me a fanboy, but I will be rooting for TSM to win the group. It’s not wishful thinking, though. At least this once. Yes, TSM got ran over by Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong’s Alistar, however, it was their first game of the tournament with a rookie Support against one of the best ones in the world. They will probably not repeat their mistakes when playing against RNG again. TSM has a very good chance of winning. When they faced Samsung in Week One, TSM got a small advantage early and carefully nurtured it, methodically annihilating the Koreans. The outcome of this match will depend on whether they can do it again or at least successfully play from behind to get back into the game. This match should be more difficult than the RNG one for the Americans, I think. Splyce… is just unlucky. In some other group, they might have stood a chance. In the Group of Death? No. Unless the Albus NoX Luna factor kicks in, of course, all bets are off then.
This group is amazing. Every game will matter. If the rock, paper, scissors scenario repeats once again, which is actually quite possible, we will have a three way tie, assuming everyone defeats Splyce. If the Europeans actually pick up a win, the team which losses to them is probably out of the tournament, simple as that. This makes even the matches against Splyce exciting.
All in all, it’s extremely hard to tell how the whole thing is going to go down. I WANT TSM to win, but they could just as easily go out in third place if they derp. I wouldn’t mind if Samsung got to the Playoffs, however, they could easily cork out of the Group if they lose more than one game. The same goes for RNG. If you had to choose which Worlds Group Stage broadcast to watch, THIS IS THE ONE, without a doubt.
Week Two Day Four
Compared to the previous day’s emotional roller coaster, the last day of the Group Stage, where Group B’s SK Telecom, Cloud9, Flash Wolves, and I May will face off for two spots in the Playoffs, should be much more calm. While it’s not completely the same to the situation in Group C, if only because Flash Wolves are probably stronger contenders than H2K, the idea still stands. The God’s Telecom T1 should be able to at least beat Flash Wolves after the lesson learnt last week, not even saying anything about I May. On the other hand, Cloud9 showed themselves to be able to beat both Flash Wolves and I May, as well as being stronger than ever, which is weird. NA rarely has two good teams in an International tournament. Yes, there’s always the possibility of Flash Wolves throwing a curve ball a la Albus NoX, however, I think that the Playoffs would be better with SKT and C9.