League of Legends World Championship Group Stage Recap: Day 2
While the first day of the group stage was filled with upsets, the second day of the World Championships was instead filled with blow out games. Now that the teams in Group B have finally played in the tournament, the power levels of all the teams are starting to be revealed. It won’t be until tomorrow though that people will have enough knowledge of how teams are playing to make educated group stage predictions.
So until then, here is the recap of the second day of the World Championships:
Game One: SK Telecom T1 vs. Cloud9
Winner: SK Telecom T1
This first game of the day taught everyone a lesson they should have already known; never underestimate SKT and Faker. A number of people, including most of the analyst desk, believed C9 could win this game, but they were wrong. SKT utterly decimated C9.
With SKT’s legendary jungler Bae "Bengi" Seong-woong returning to the stage, SKT looked back in form. After a gank in the mid lane, which ended up killing Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok proceeded to take control of the lane, killing Jensen multiple times. Faker and company easily transitioned their advantages into a 6K gold lead by 18 minutes, with a kill score of 7-0. At this point, SKT was just massacring C9, taking their first inhibitor at 23 minutes, and winning the game at 34 minutes.
This game exposed C9’s subpar macro play. C9 was giving objectives left and right for virtually nothing in return. The biggest example of this was at 31 minutes, where C9 traded their top inhibitor for a kill on Lee "Duke" Ho-seong. This was a statement game for SKT. The team sent a message to the world that they are still major contenders to defend their championship title.
Game Two: Flash Wolves vs. I May
Winner: I May
This must have been an incredibly sad match to watch for any Flash Wolves fans. Through early team skirmishes and better map rotations, the Flash Wolves found themselves with an early game gold lead of 4K. Instead of pushing their lead through pressuring the map, the Flash Wolves chose to do nothing but play around the Baron for 20 minutes. To make matters worse for the Flash Wolves, when a team fight finally broke out at the Baron pit, it was I May who came out on top.
After the Baron fight, I May was now in the lead. Though, a few minutes later, the Flash Wolves were gifted a second chance. In a poor team fight for I May, the Flash Wolves were able to kill off the remaining I May members with Baron. Sadly, again the Flash Wolves chose to fight for another major objective, this time the Elder Dragon.
It seemed that the Flash Wolves did not learn their lesson from Baron, and this time, I May’s jungler Fan "Avoidless" Jun Wei stole the Elder Dragon, which propelled I May to finally win the 47 minute game. If the Flash Wolves cannot learn to translate their gold lead into turrets, and continue to rely on 50/50 Baron fights, there is a strong possibility they could come in last in their group.
Game Three: Team SoloMid vs. Samsung Galaxy
Winner: Team SoloMid
After a disappointing first game, TSM came into their match today against Samsung with something to prove. All three of TSM’s lanes were dominating, and Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen was facilitating all of his team’s kills through his spectacular performance yet again on Lee Sin. By 10 minutes, TSM had a 4K gold lead, the highest in the tournament so far. TSM closed out the game in what might be the cleanest game in the tournament.
Aside from not finding the wards Samsung placed at Baron, TSM played out their lead perfectly. Since Samsung picked a scaling comp, with Ezreal and Varus, there was virtually nothing they could do in this game but stall and hope TSM would make a mistake. Through this game, TSM has shown that they have learned from their mistakes yesterday, and will not take any more teams lightly. Future teams will definitely have to consider banning Lee Sin from Svenskeren, as his play over the past two days seems to indicate that he is the best Lee Sin in the tournament.
Game Four: Royal Never Give Up vs. Splyce
Winner: Royal Never Give Up
This game between Royal and Splyce could easily be described as “the UZI show.” RNG’s all-star ADC Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao had complete control over the game. As soon as the laning phase started, UZI began to decimate Splyce’s bot lane. Just a few minutes into the game, UZI had a 10 CS lead over Splyce’s Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup.
While all of RNG’s laners were outmatching their counterparts, it was UZI who translated his lead into their game win. UZI fearlessly arcane shifted into the front line of team fights, and instead of dying, UZI would ace the enemy team. Splyce simply could not do anything after the 15 minute mark against RNG. UZI’s quadra kill in Splyce’s base closed out one of the most dominating games from an ADC in Worlds' history. RNG’s next game against TSM is going to ultimately decide if TSM actually had first game jitters, or if RNG is truly a top-four team in the tournament.
Game Five: H2k-Gaming vs INTZ e-Sports
While it was one of the slowest games in the tournament so far, H2K seems to have somewhat fixed their macro play in their game against INTZ. H2K’s jungler, Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski, had a standout performance on Skarner. Up until Jankos secured first blood, the only real advantage for H2K was their bot lane, which was crushing the INTZ duo lane.
For a majority of this match, it seemed as if INTZ’s mid and support were somehow a Skarner ultimate magnet. Most of the team fights this game were started off Skarner ulting either of those laners. Aside from the very risky Baron attempt from H2K, which was almost stolen by Gabriel "Revolta" Henud, H2K slowly closed out the game. The upcoming game for INTZ is going to reveal how strong the Brazilian team really is, and if their win against EDG was a fluke or a true testament to their skill level.
Game Six: AHQ e-Sports Club vs. EDward Gaming
Winner: EDward Gaming
This was without a doubt the most exciting game of the night. From start to finish, this was an action-packed game between EDG and AHQ, two very close teams. The match started with a sporadic level one, where each team almost lost a member. After Heo "PawN" Won-seok picked up first blood on Wong "Chawy" Xing Lei with the help of a gank, both teams started to play very aggressive.
Roaming was a major part of this game, allowing EDG to gain their advantages. The most impressive play of the match occurred at 22 minutes, when EDG took down AHQ’s jungler, Xue "Mountain" Zhao-Hong. Without hesitation, EDG went straight for the Baron, and ended up taking the buff without even losing a member, even though the rest of AHQ was at the Baron pit.
Facing a Baron-enhanced EDG, AHQ did the impossible and won the next team fight. From this point onward, despite the gold difference, this game was really back and forth. It wasn’t until EDG snuck an Elder Dragon, that EDG gained enough momentum to win the next team fight at Baron, and close out the match. Both EDG and AHQ (with Chawy) look better than they did yesterday, making Group C much more interesting.
What was your favorite moment from the second day of action at Worlds? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
Photos Courtesy of LoL Esports