LoL’s World Championship QuickFix: Group Stage…so far

Hey guys and girls! For those of you that are not in the Pacific timezone, the Worlds group stages have probably been difficult to watch live, and watching hours of games – while incredibly fun – might not fit into your schedule. Thus, I present to you the TGN QuickFix for the League of Legends World Championships – just a brief summary of the competition thus far, spattered some of my musings.

Needless to say, you should be aware that these posts will  have spoilers due to their very nature.

Not being one to want to reinvent the wheel, if you HAVEN’T checked out some of the great games I mention here, head on over to the /r/LoLEventVoDs Worlds thread – it is fantastic!

So let’s take a look at the competition’s groups:

“OMG has a notorious reputation for

their aggressive play…”

Group A

The first group is comprised of 2 Asian teams (OMG from China and SK Telecom T1 from Korea), 2 European teams (Lemondogs and GamingGear.EU), and the North American Team SoloMid.

Right now, OMG has delivered commanding performances in their games, and they are the only team in the competition that is undefeated.

OMG has a notorious reputation for their aggressive play (indeed, most of China – so watch for the Royal Club’s plays in the Quarterfinals!) and showed it prominently in their games vs TSM and their, in a lot of people’s minds, only competiton – SK T T1. Their early game strategy lead to multiple 3v1 tower dives within the first five minutes, with a commanding performance on jungle Lee Sin by LoveLin in the SK T T1 game and an impressive Ahri performance by Cool in the game vs TSM.

TSM has an even 2-2 record, losing to both OMG and SK T1. This is pretty much what I anticipated from them, and they will have to beat both LD and GG.EU again and add a victory vs either OMG or SKT1 in order to advance. Their best shot at this is their 2nd game vs SK T T1 which will be Friday, 9pm PST or midnight EST.

Lemondogs are 1-3 in the first games in Group A – I have them taking a game off of TSM in the next round, but they’ll really have to step up their game in order to take down SK T1 or OMG.

SK T T1 has had a bit of a rocky start that their 3-1 record doesn’t accurately show. This gives teams like Lemondogs and TSM hope. If you didn’t catch this instant classic, check out T1’s midlaner – the legendary Faker – as he embraces a worthy opponent….

The performance by Lithuanian team GamingGear.EU is sadly not surprising – they start off the second half of the group stage with a record of 0-4. However, another round is coming up, and if you have nothing to lose…

Games to watch in Group A:

  • TSM vs Lemondogs – both teams must win in order to stand a chance into making the top 2, and any good sports team will tell you – beating an opponent twice in a row is difficult.  Saturday at 5PM PST.
  • TSM vs SK Telecom T1 – this will be the deciding factor on who goes to the Quarterfinals. TSM kept pace with SK T1 in their first game, losing in the second half of the game to mistakes and being outpaced by the Korean juggernaut. Friday at 9pm PST.

“I don’t think anyone fully expected those results…”

Group B

The second group of teams include 2 European teams (Fnatic and Gambit Benq), 1 North American team (Vulcun Techbargains), and 2 Asian teams (Samsung Ozone and Team Mineski).

This has been quite the ride for group B! Both Fnatic and Gambit are tied 3-1, with Vulcun and Ozone behind at 2-2, Mineski trails 0-4.

I don’t think anyone fully expected those results from the first half of group stages!

Gambit Gaming was the talk of the Analyst’s Desk for quite a large portion of the evening on Day 1 and 2, talks of their ‘bootcamp’ getting many compliments – clearly ‘playing LCS on hardmode’ (they do not live in the same house, traveling back and forth every week to Cologne, etc.) took it’s toll on them towards the end of the Summer Split of the EU LCS, but they brought their A-game to Worlds. Their only loss was to Fnatic. The most prevalent game was against Samsung Ozone – pulling a surrender in 32 minutes. Oddly enough, before Group stage started, they were picked as the ‘dark horse’ by the Analysts…I have to wonder if they all just forgot about Gambit’s LAN history….

Fnatic smashed through after their first loss to Vulcun (who then lost to Gambit, but was beaten by Fnatic…unpredictability FTW!) and took impressive wins off of Samsung Ozone and Gambit Gaming. Interestingly enough, they also pulled a surrender from Ozone at 32 minutes, much like Gambit.

Samsung Ozone had an extremely rough start to the group stage, falling to what many thought to be easy prey to the Koreans – Gambit and Fnatic. I can only assume that they were caught off guard by their competition, and will come back with a vengeance in the second round.

Team Mineski unfortunately had the same start as GamingGear.EU at 0-4, but there is always time for them to catch up!

“Let’s take a look at some champions you might see come out…”

Games to watch in Group B:

  • Gambit vs Ozone – first time around Gambit pulled a surrender, can they do it again from Ozone? Thursday 7PM PST.
  • Fnatic vs Vulcun – Vulcun won the first game, resulting in Fnatic’s only loss. If they can do it again, they have a strong chance of being top two in Group B.  Thursday 8pm PST.

Trends thus far for the World Championship

Ahri and Corki are the two champions you will see a great deal of in this championship set – but let’s take a look at some champions you might see come out to counter them.

Kassadin vs Ahri

I cannot tell you how much I want to see Kassadin come out to play. If he isn’t banned, expect him to make some appearances.

Varus vs Corki

What happened to Varus? He disapppeared! But let’s not forget, he was a huge pick in EU for a long while, and if Corki is picked up I expect to see at least one Varus to show up. This match up is all about what support gets to babysit which ADC. Do I hear a Zyra/Varus lane in the distance….?

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