League of Legends World Championship Group Stage Recap: Day 3
The third day of worlds, unlike the previous two, had many different types of games. There were upsets, stomps, comebacks, and of course, clown fiestas. The results from today have very interesting implications in terms of group seeding. Especially for Group D, after the games today, every match next week will be extremely important.
With not much more to say, I present the recap of the third day of the League of Legends World Championships.
Game One: Counter Logic Gaming vs. Albus NoX Luna
Winner: Albus NoX Luna
What’s an international event without Counter Logic Gaming losing to a wildcard team? First it was Pain Gaming, then SuperMassive, and now Albus NoX Luna join the list of wild card teams who have beaten CLG. All jokes aside, ANX had a very impressive performance yesterday against CLG.
After a rough level one invade, which caused ANX’s jungler Alexander "Stejos" Glazkov to get his first CS a minute and a half late, ANX managed to turn the game around. ANX managed to trade a few kills with CLG, gaining ANX a 1K gold lead. Then, surprisingly, ANX’s bot lane solo killed CLG’s duo in the top lane. After sneaking a Baron at 26 minutes, ANX managed to take three of CLG’s turrets.
CLG was than able to turn the game around by picking off two of ANX’s members, which secured them a mid-inhibitor. The problem CLG faced after that was they overstayed while trying to get a tower. In a very sloppy team fight, ANX was able to almost ace CLG. Trying to regain their footing, CLG went for a horribly timed Baron, allowing ANX to collapse and win yet another team fight. From this team fight, ANX took Baron, and won the game.
The standout player of this game was definitely ANX’s support Kirill "Likkrit" Malofeyev. Likkrit had an amazing performance on Tahm Kench, which he played extremely aggressively. While ANX’s support had an outstanding game, CLG’s Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black had one of his worst games yet. Aphromoo missed almost all of his skill shots on Bard, a champion he was known for. If not for Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes playing his heart out on Ezreal, this game would have ended much sooner.
Game Two: ROX Tigers vs. G2 Esports
Winner: ROX Tigers
The ROX Tigers had an amazing comeback in this game. The game started with G2 ahead of the ROX Tigers. G2 got a huge lead in the early game off the back of Kim "Trick" Gang-yun’s amazing ganks on Olaf. These ganks put both of the ROX Tigers’ side lanes behind. G2 then used their advantage to win the next team fight.
At 20 minutes, G2 amassed a 5K gold lead, and was looking to close out the game. After winning a team fight at Baron, with only the ROX Tigers’ jungler and ADC alive, G2 attempted Baron again. This is where the ROX Tigers’ jungler Han "Peanut" Wang-ho saved the game for his team. Peanut stole the Baron in the face of all five members of G2, and then he and Kim "PraY" Jong-in proceeded to almost ace G2.
Even though this play brought the ROX Tigers back into the game, it wasn’t until 33 minutes that their win was basically guaranteed. In a team fight mid lane, Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho made the play of the tournament, landing a perfect Kennen ultimate onto G2. The ROX Tigers used this team fight to grab Baron and the Elder Dragon.
At this point, G2 could do nothing, and the ROX Tigers cleanly closed out the game. Even though they lost this game, G2 still looked good in the early to mid-game, which should be a good sign heading into their last match in the first week of the group stage.
After sitting through this 70 minute game, I don’t even want to write about it. This was one of the worst games of League of Legends I have ever seen at the World Championships. Both of these teams, but especially the Flash Wolves, had no idea how to end this game.
The start of the game looked extremely bleak for C9. William "Meteos" Hartman was having a horrible early game on Lee Sin. Meteos was always late to fights, causing his teammates to die, and all of his ganks were unsuccessful. The only positive part of Meteos’s play was that he had strong dragon control.
The Flash Wolves, on the other hand, had many successful ganks, as well as cross map plays. The Flash Wolves used their lead to grab Baron and take almost all of C9’s turrets. The only problem was that no matter how ahead the Flash Wolves were, they could not close the game.
The Flash Wolves, at one point, had Baron, Elder Dragon, and had even taken all of C9’s inhibitors, but they still couldn’t win the game. After that, the Flash Wolves deserved to lose. Even though C9 played horribly up until the end of the game, Meteos finally got a pick that allowed C9 to win the game. If there was ever a game not to watch, this was it.
Game Four: I May vs. SK Telecom T1
Winner: SK Telecom T1
This was the perfect game to follow the abomination that was FW vs. C9. SKT played almost perfectly against I May. All of SKT won their lanes, and cleanly transitioned their leads into cross map plays. At 20 minutes, SKT had a 5K lead. SKT used their lead to pressure the map until they could find an opening.
At the 27 minute mark, SKT found their opening in an uncontestable Baron. Once they took down Baron, SKT had an 11K gold lead. SKT used their Baron buff to take down I May, ending the game off a 7K Baron power play. With all the other top teams in the tournament having trouble in at least one game, it would not be a stretch to call SKT the best team in the tournament. In both games they have played, SKT made little to no mistakes. After seeing the other teams in their group play, SKT will most likely not be challenged until the quarterfinals.
Game Five: Splyce vs. Team SoloMid
Winner: Team SoloMid
Splyce should have won this game. Splyce was catching out TSM all over the map. Chres "Sencux" Laursen, Splyce’s mid laner, had an amazing performance in the early to mid-game. At one point in this game, Sencux had a score of 9/0/1, and had solo killed Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng twice.
At 29 minutes, Splyce claimed the Baron, and looked to start closing the game by taking down the inhibitor turrets. Instead of backing after taking a turret, Splyce’s members started to split up around the map. TSM took advantage of this and picked off Splyce’s support and top laner. These kills brough TSM back into the game.
At the 35 minute mark, a team fight broke out, which TSM emerged victorious from. TSM used this lead to take Baron, and with the Baron buff, TSM did what Splyce could not; close out the game. While it looks almost impossible for Splyce to make it out of groups after a 0-3 start, if they are able fix their late game, Splyce could play spoiler for the rest of the group.
Game Six: Royal Never Give Up vs. Samsung Galaxy
Winner: Samsung Galaxy
The start of this game was the exact opposite of RNG’s game yesterday. Instead of getting first blood and snowballing the game from it, Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao was the one to give up first blood. In the first few minutes of this game, Kang "Ambition" Chan-yong ganked bot lane, where he secured two kills. This lead propelled Ambition to take over this game.
In a team fight at the 23 minute mark, Ambition soaked up all of RNG’s damage, allowing for his team to pick off RNG’s members for free. This team fight led Samsung to a free Baron. Samsung used the Baron buff to pressure the map, which in turn furthered their lead. It wasn’t until 30 minutes that Ambition found a pick in RNG’s blue side jungle. This pick turned into an extended team fight, where Samsung took out four members of RNG. With only RNG’s support remaining, Samsung easily stormed through the base to end the game.
Samsung’s win creates a three way tie for first place in Group D. This means that dropping even one game throughout the rest of the group stage can cause one of these teams to not make it out of groups. Additionally, winning against Splyce next week will be crucial for the rest of the teams in Group D.
What was your favorite moment from the third day of action at Worlds? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
Photos courtesy of LoL Esports