The 2018 League of Legends World Championship play-in stage kicked off today, signaling the start of the most important League esports event of the year.
There are many noteworthy teams competing in play-ins, including Cloud9, G2 Esports, Gambit, G-Rex, and EDG. But they’ll all have to grind their way up the play-ins ladder to make it into groups and prove that they truly belong at this tournament. Last year, Cloud9 had to fight their way through play-ins, too, and they actually crushed the stage altogether, but EU’s G2 are used to competing directly in the group stage.
As these teams compete to advance to the real contest of skill, we’ll update this page with standings, as well as the results of each game.
Advancing to the group stage
- EDG: 3-1
- Infinity: 2-2
- Dire Wolves: 1-3
- G2: 4-1
- SuperMassive: 3-2
- Ascension: 0-4
- Cloud9: 4-0
- DetonatioN: 2-3
- KaBuM: 1-4
- G-Rex: 4-0
- Gambit: 2-2
- KLG: 0-4
Cloud9 vs. KaBuM! e-Sports
Cloud9 made some mistakes with drafting and vision early in the game, but they learned from those missteps and took control over KaBuM by the mid-game. The top lane Aatrox turned into a pure lane-pressuring monster, forcing KaBuM to answer him with two or more players. KaBuM made so many misplays that C9 didn’t even need to capitalize on that map pressure to steam ahead and win the game.
Gambit vs. G-Rex
G-Rex missed out on playing super aggressive early on with their hyper-engage team comp, but they brought it together by the late game to redeem themselves and win. Gambit’s comp was all about scaling, with a Gragas, Ornn, and Thresh to peel for Tristana. But they missed out on crucial map control and warding that were necessary to allow themselves to stall the game, and eventually G-Rex’s stranglehold on vision in the jungle completely zoned Gambit away until it was too late.
KaBuM! vs. DetonatioN
KaBuM are off to a pretty horrid start on the first day of the play-in stage after dropping another game to DetonatioN. While it was anything but a clean game, since both teams tripped over themselves at almost every turn, it was certainly the most entertaining. Both teams attempted full-team ganks and heavy-aggro plays whenever they could, but unfortunately, the winner of most of those fights seemed to be determined by sheer dumb luck—until the end, that is, when DetonatioN were knocking on KaBuM’s doorstep.
G-Rex vs. KLG
G-Rex vs. KLG started off as the cleanest game of the day—both teams danced around one another to get their own kills and objectives and practiced decent vision control. Unfortunately, that didn’t last, because after G-Rex landed a massive Yasuo and Gragas ultimate wombo near the top lane, KLG just started tilting. They made mistake after mistake, including poor positioning around Baron, and eventually gave G-Rex their second win of the day.
DetonatioN vs. Cloud9
DetonatioN had this match by the throat, and played a nearly-perfect mid game. Cloud9 played overwhelmingly poorly, all the way from the draft to the end. It seemed in the draft that they were trying to trick DetonatioN into taking Ziggs mid, but ultimately failed to capitalize on the Irelia-Ziggs counter matchup at all, on top of many more issues. Eventually, C9’s only win condition was relying on DetonatioN to mess up—and after one colossal screw up, that’s exactly what happened. DetonatioN threw, C9 won, and we’re left wondering which team will be the first to not let C9 get away with this anymore.
Gambit vs. KLG
Gambit’s second game of the day was a much different story than their opener against G-Rex. In the first game, their wards and vision control were almost non-existent, but this game was a much tighter showing, albeit with some problems with warding still. It just wasn’t as terrible, which may have been simply because KLG still look like the worst team of the day. Gambit’s draft was definitely superior and filled with counter picks, and ultimately, KLG didn’t stand a chance.
EDG vs. Infinity
It’s hard to watch that clip and not know why EDG won their game against Infinity on day two. LeBlanc earned herself an obscene lead before any sort of team comp came into play, and by the time Infinity would have been able to protect Varus with the Shen-Lulu combo in the mid game, the LeBlanc was already one-shotting him. Infinity was out-drafted, out-warded, and out-ganked. EDG was in another league, and the fact that they won the game with a 20,000 gold lead is just proof of that.
G2 vs. SuperMassive
The first major upset of the tournament went to Turkey’s SuperMassive after a completely devastating and demoralizing win over EU’s G2 Esports. G2’s Olaf ran the map early on and forced SUP into a highly reactive and slow style, but G2’s mid and bot lane failed to capitalize on it at all. G2’s Akali pick needed to shove and roam during this time that G2 had control of the map, but when 15 minutes rolled around and Luka Perković had a 0-0-0 record, it was clear he missed his window. By the time he started to try to make things happen, SUP’s mid-game caught up with G2’s early dominance, and it was too late.
Infinity vs. Dire Wolves
Dire Wolves have their player of the game to thank for their victory over Infinity today. The Azir mid lane was the long-range damage that they needed to make big picks around the mid-game despite being at a significant gold deficit. Dire Wolves were mostly the underdog in this match-up, as they’re missing their star jungler, but Infinity’s tendency to tilt when not dominating under pressure got the better of them.
Ascension vs. SuperMassive
The game between Ascension and SuperMassive wasn’t as exciting as some of the other games today, but it’s what SuperMassive needed to lock in their second win and turn some heads. Some red flags rose for SuperMassive when they had a sizeable mid-game lead on a mostly mid-game team and still couldn’t push any aggressive plays. But then Ascension made one crucial mistake, and SuperMassive punished them like any good team would and used that one play to power through and end the game very quickly.
EDG vs. Dire Wolves
Dire Wolves managed to put up a bit of a fight against EDG for both teams’ last game of the day, but in the end, EDG proved that they were still the best team. This was still a great sign for Dire Wolves who were largely just written off as being the clear worst team in this match-up. For most of the game, both teams traded blows and the score remained largely even. After a forced fight and a secured Baron, though, EDG easily closed out the game using the first Darius of the tournament)
G2 vs. Ascension
G2 were once again the favorites in their second game of the day. Luckily for EU fans, they won this one, but it was anything but a clean game. Misstep after misstep gave Ascension some significant momentum around the mid-game, but G2 managed to turn the tides back in their favor and prep a victory through an incredible Baron steal.
G-Rex vs. Gambit
Gambit started off well with some early vision that looked like they were improving from their day one faults, but it was pretty short lived. G-Rex’s midlane Syndra completely obliterated the opposition to take over the game single handedly and Gambit had no way to answer against it, constantly making a series of mistakes that pushed G-Rex further ahead until they eventually won the game.
KaBuM! e-Sports vs. DetonatioN
DetonatioN could have secured a spot in the Play-In Knockout stage with a win over KaBuM, but they slipped up. Their draft was poor, and they gave away too much about their team comp’s strategy by taking Soraka first. KaBuM’s Aatrox and bot lane Vel’koz then proved to be too montrous as KaBuM took complete control of the game, suffocating DetonatioN’s map control with great vision and objective management to take their first win of the event.
KLG vs. Gambit
The game between KLG and Gambit was extremely close for the majority of play with both teams pulling off their fair share of mistakes. The difference between both teams, however, was Gambit’s jungler Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov who single-handedly pulled his team to victory. Diamondprox had 100 percent kill participation in the game and proved the difference maker.
KaBuM vs. Cloud9
C9 were lucky to win this game after a really poor start. C9 started well but a five man dive bot lane opened up a chance for KaBuM to take three towers in quick succession which gave them a strong early lead. Cloud9 ultimately won the game though through a great aggressive use of Nocturne’s ult onto a surprise Galio ult to stun and taunt KaBuM into submission over and over again. C9 won, KaBuM will feel like they let the game slip through their fingers, and C9 are guaranteed first seed in Group C.
KLG vs. G-Rex
KLG may be out of Worlds but they weren’t going down without a fight. Both sides were staking a claim for the win throughout the game and had nothing to lose, which led to both teams being incredibly aggressive and constantly going for fights in what could arguably be one of the bloodiest games of the Play-In stage. G-Rex proved to be too powerful though as they took down KLG in a close matchup to seal a perfect 4-0 scoreline in Group D.
Cloud9 vs. DetonatioN
Cloud9 repaid their four year debt to KaBuM by beating DetonatioN Gaming to force a tiebreaker for second place. Cloud9 drafted a very aggressive composition that relied on the team constantly fighting. DetonatioN, however, suffocated Cloud9 for most of the game before finally falling apart in the late game, losing to a match defining 35 minute team fight.
SuperMassive vs. G2
G2 needed to win this game to have any hopes of finishing first in the group. SuperMassive started off strong, trading objectives and kills with G2 to remain even until SuperMassive attempted to get a Dragon at the 27 minute mark, giving G2 time to sneak a Baron and use the buff to break the deadlock. G2 closed out the game moments later after a second Baron.
Infinity vs. EDG
EDG obliterated Infinity in their last meeting with nearly a 20,000 gold lead, but this game didn’t happen on day one. In the second biggest upset of the tournament, Infinity came from behind to beat EDG and keep their Worlds hopes alive. EDG demolished Infinity early on and never really took their foot off of the accelerator but Infinity held on, taking fight after fight to come back from a massive gold deficit to pull off a coup and take their first win of the tournament.
SuperMassive vs. Ascension
The first time that Ascension and SuperMassive went up against each other, it wasn’t exactly the best match. This one was a bit better, if not still not the cleanest of games from both sides but a win that SuperMassive will surely be happy with. SuperMassive were always trying to be on the offensive and use their tanky front-line to soak up damage for the Varus to deal damage from afar, but Ascension were stubborn and made SuperMassive work for their victory.
Infinity vs. Dire Wolves
Infinity, coming off of their shock victory against EDG earlier in the day, had the chance to create a potential tiebreaker situation if they won the match. In a nail-biting exchange, Infinity completed the turn around, using the Leblanc to assassinate the squishy members on the side of Dire Wolves while Kai’sa shredded through the tanks, and looked like a different team today after both of their deserved victories.
G2 vs. Ascension
Unable to find a single win in the play-in stage thus far, Ascension had the ability to play spoiler in their final game of the tournament. If Ascension beat G2, SuperMassive would be solidified as group B’s first seed. Ascension started their final play-in match strong, finding an early lead onto their mid lane Kassadin. Ascension though struggled to translate their laning leads into objectives, falling more and more behind as the game progressed. Unable to counter G2’s rotations, Ascension found themselves in a 14,000 gold deficit before having their nexus destroyed one last time at Worlds this year.
EDG vs. Dire Wolves
One loss away from Worlds elimination, Dire Wolves were in a unique situation heading into their match against EDG. If Dire Wolves beat EDG, not only would they remain in the tournament, but force a three-way tie in group A. In order to keep their Worlds hopes alive, Dire Wolves tried to surprise EDG with a level one invade. Unfortunately for Dire Wolves, EDG were prepared for this invade and were able to find first blood. Dire Wolves were never able to recover from their failed invade, and instead fell massively behind EDG. EDG won all their lanes, which they easily translated to team fight success. It didn’t take long before EDG destroyed Dire Wolves nexus, cementing themselves as group A’s first seed.