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The most prestigious event of the League of Legends calendar is a spectacle to watch. This year’s World Championship is taking place in China, where the competition will tour over the course of a month until a single team is crowned the new World Champions.
The group stage sees sixteen teams split into four groups of four, within each a double round-robin of best-of-one matches is played. After the first week of competition, the first round-robin has been completed. The teams are half-way towards securing a coveted playoff spot or being eliminated from contention.
In group A, as expected, SK Telecom T1 has won the first three matches of the Worlds to be the leader. They are followed by Cloud9 with a record of two wins and a defeat.
In group B, the leader is another LCK team, Longzhu Gaming. The team has won all of its games and is being chased by, Immortals in second place. Finally, the first European representative, Fnatic, is shipwrecked after failing to win in any of the first three matches.
The C group is led by another Asian team, this time it comes from China. Royal Never Give Up is undefeated and leading the way with Samsung Galaxy following them with a record of 2-1. G2 Esports is in the third place of this group with a victory and two defeats.
Finally, we find group D being led for the first time by a non-Asian team, Team SoloMid. The team continues its campaign with two victories and a defeat. TSM is tied in “points” with Team WE and Misfits, the best European team to date.
So now let’s have a look at some of the matches from group A.
SK Telecom T1 unsurprisingly sits on top of Group A with a perfect record of 3-0. Although they nearly slipped up against EDward Gaming, they are back on their track.
SKT struggled in the early game yet again, and it’s a weakness that the team has shown throughout the tournament. Even more troubling for the Korean juggernaut was the fact that top laner Seung-Hoon “Huni” Heo, whose very presence at Worlds is a controversy in itself, struggled to have a larger impact than the EDG top laner. That raises questions about whether he’ll be able to stand against some of the more consistent top lane talents later on in the tournament.
EDG is the only team who has tested SKT so far in this tournament. They should have won with a 9.1k gold lead at 25 minutes. However, a sensational engage from Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan helped SKT set up an incredible wombo combo that turned the game around.
Other than that, EDG has looked very disappointing without winning a single game. They are the top seeds from China and they still have the crowd behind them. They will need to push SKT to the limit again if they want to stand a chance of escaping.
A close 53-minute game against AHQ (1-2), throwing a 10K gold lead against SKT, and getting smashed by C9 (2-1). That is where it all went wrong. The #1 seed from China is winless going into Week 2. It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is going wrong with EDG. They’ve lost all three of their games in three completely different ways. Nevertheless, they definitely have to improve their late-game decision-making and positioning. Had those parts of their game been up to par, they could’ve finished Week 1 with at least two wins.
This time around SKT will be more than ready to take on the struggling side of EDG. The reigning champions will look to end their group stage on a high with a victory in their last game.
SK Telecom T1 @1.29
Cloud9 secured its second victory of the 2017 League of Legends World Championship on Saturday morning. They dispatched Group A counterparts EDward Gaming in a brutally one-sided affair. That handed the Chinese team its third straight loss of the tournament in Wuhan, China.
The greatest surprise of the series was the performance of jungler Juan “Contractz” Garcia. The player brought out a pick that had yet to be seen on the World stage, Graves, and thrived with it. His pressure around the mid lane was immense. He started out the game by enabling a pair of kills on Lee “Scout” Ya-chan’s Lucian. That was enough to all but remove the EDG mid laner from the game.
With this victory, Cloud9 (2-1) has clawed its way to sole possession of second place in Group A.
Before facing this domination, they will have to go up against SKT so their fate looks sealed at 3rd place. However, recently AHQ has proved that vs SKT they can’t be taken for granted. This last game of the group might very well take the winner to the playoffs.
AHQ and Cloud9 are reasonably intertwined. But when we look at Cloud9’s games, they make the better impression of the two. We may very well see a crazy pick from Cloud 9.
Cloud 9 @1.57
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