Here’s part one of our preview of this week’s League of Legends Worlds play-ins action.
Four days of group play are behind us, and 4 teams have had their worlds dreams dashed. But there will be more tears to come before the tournament begins in earnest, as only 4 of the remaining 8 teams will actually see the group stage.
The remaining 8 have been split into a series of 1on1s, with the victor of each one making it through to the main event. There, they will join 12 of the best teams from around the world.
Here’s our rundown of Thursday’s fixtures:
Cloud 9 (NA LCS) vs Lyon Gaming ( LATAM North)
In a cruel twist of fate, two of the strongest teams coming out of play ins will have to play against each other.
Lyon Gaming put in an amazing performance against the Chinese WE, demonstrating their credentials as a huge threat on the world stage. Combined with 9 straight domestic title wins, they are one of the strongest teams from what were previously known as the wildcard regions.
Unfortunately for the hot Mexican team, Cloud9 look to be on putting on their most dominant performance during play-in in the history of the organisation. All of C9’s game saw the NA LCS team demolish their opponents in no uncertain manner, each time in under 30 minutes.
The true question comes from how will C9 react when faced with a team as equally skilled, and whether they can patiently and methodically seal a win. Lyon Gaming are likely not the ones to put up such a stalwart challenge, but neither should they underestimate their southern neighbour.
Fnatic (EU LCS) vs Hong Kong Attitude (HKA)
In a reverse of the first matchup of the day neither of these teams are looking too hot. Both teams were expected to dominate their group, and although Fnatic managed to scrape out a number one seed, it was a messy affair. In addition to this, their loss against Vietnam’s Young Generation really casts doubt on their ability to do well at Worlds.
HKA did not even manage as much, losing out in the tiebreaker to Fenerbahce, the admittedly hyped up team from Turkey, and therefore finished second in their group. Neither team has managed to properly execute on their gameplan, and produced scrappy games, which were won by clutch moments rather than methodical play.
The series could go either way, and if the same level of consistency is displayed as before, you won’t actually know the victor till the very last moment, as comebacks will always be a big possibility.