The seventh day of the 2018 League of Legends World Championship group stage kicked off today with NA’s favored roster, Team Liquid, taking on the LCK’s top seed, KT Rolster.
This portion of Worlds is regarded by Riot as the main event of the tournament, and many fans don’t seem to qualify a team as world-class unless they make it this far. That means that there’s a lot of pressure on rosters from the major regions to make it through the play-in stage to arrive here. Fortunately for them, they all succeeded this year, making the group stage very competitive.
The best teams, those that didn’t have to bother with the play-in stage at all, are the most noteworthy. There’s RNG, the LPL’s crown jewel and this year’s MSI champions, as well as Gen.G, last year’s Worlds victors. With the group stage officially under way, they’ll have to once again race to the knockout stage for a shot at the Summoner’s Cup.
As these teams compete to advance to playoffs, we’ll update this page with standings, as well as the results of each game.
- Afreeca Freecs: 4-2
- G2 Esports: 4-3
- Flash Wolves: 3-4
- Phong V ũ Buffalo: 2-4
- RNG: 5-2
- Cloud9: 4-3
- Vitality: 3-3
- Gen.G: 1-5
- KT Rolster: 4-1
- EDG: 4-2
- Team Liquid: 3-3
- MAD Team: 0-5
- Fnatic: 6-1
- Invictus: 5-2
- 100 Thieves: 2-4
- G-Rex: 0-6
Fnatic vs. Invictus
For the final game of the group stage, Fnatic and Invictus squared off for a tiebreaker to decide the first seed of the group. The game started off fairly even, with Invictus and Fnatic trading blows. Fnatic would win a battle in the mid-game, and then Invictus would win one in the mid lane. The game carried on like this until the early mid-game where Fnatic’s Lee Sin was able to make key outplays to get Fnatic a hefty lead. From their, Fnatic began to rack up their lead, netting three infernal dragons, a 10,000 gold lead, and seven towers. They attempted to siege IG’s base a couple of times to no avail, but a swift Baron kill helped them to finally crack an inhibitor and end the game.
Fnatic vs. Invictus
The featured game of the day was between Invictus and Fnatic, the two best teams in the group. After some smart map movements between the top and mid lanes, Fnatic racked up a pretty hefty lead. This made sense, because most of their team comp’s strengths were rooted in the early and mid game, but Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s Tristana also got wildly ahead. That means their late-game was strong, too, and IG couldn’t find any opening to claw back into it. With that win, Fnatic tied Invictus for first in the group, forcing a tiebreaker match at the end of the day.
100 Thieves vs. G-Rex
Both G-Rex and 100 Thieves have been through the ringer in their group at Worlds, being beaten and battered by either Fnatic or Invictus on any given game. For this match, it was time for one of these teams to take on the role of the winner, and the only chance they’d have at burying another team as they had been buried so many times by the group frontrunners. It was 100T’s lucky day in that regard, because even though they were wildly outclassed by Fnatic and IG, they were able to at least prove that they’re better than G-Rex. They crushed the LMS squad with a pretty massive gold and objective lead and left the world stage with a bang.
Invictus vs. 100 Thieves
Invictus remains undefeated in their journey to the last game of the day against Fnatic as they once again dominate and stamp out the NA LCS’ 100 Thieves. For once, 100 Thieves actually had some solid answers to IG’s dives in the early game, but the confidence and awareness didn’t last even in the slightest. Soon, IG were repeating history by running circles around the North American underdogs, and by the time the game ended, IG’s lead was insurmountably large.
Fnatic vs. G-Rex
Fnatic’s game against G-Rex was very similar to the game G-Rex had just played against Invictus. That is, G-Rex was dismantled yet again. Fnatic ended G-Rex in under 25 minutes with decisive team plays and monster outplays in the side lanes. There isn’t much else to say here. Fnatic and Invictus continue to bully the lower two teams of the groups.
Invictus vs. G-Rex
Utter and total annihilation was all G-Rex was greeted with in their rematch against group favorites Invictus Gaming today. G-Rex managed to take a couple of kills off of IG during the early game, but as soon as IG started to pump the gas on G-Rex’s turrets, IG couldn’t keep up. It started with a mid lane dive to secure G-Rex’s outer tower, then IG dove the bot tower while simultaneously securing a dragon. After that, they dropped the Rift Herald bot lane to distract G-Rex from the Baron that IG was sneaking. It was just one thing after the other. G-Rex were forced onto the defensive, and they didn’t show a single sign of rallying throughout the entire game.
Fnatic vs. 100 Thieves
The opening game of the last day of groups was a rematch between NA LCS second seed 100 Thieves and EU LCS first seed Fnatic. The first time these teams met, 100T were outsmarted and outplayed at every turn, and Fnatic ended the game swiftly and decidedly. This time, however, the game ended slightly slower. But, unfortunately, it was still rough to watch if you’re an NA fan. Fnatic proved that they’re definitely the better team by winning three-on-five fights in 100T’s favor, diving towers left and right, and racking up a massive gold lead. From the looks of it, 100T didn’t stand a chance.
MAD Team vs. KT Rolster
EDG may have caught KT Rolster off-guard to knock out Team Liquid, but KT weren’t going to let it happen again. This time against MAD, where they were yet again the favorites by a wide mile, they laid down the pain on the least successful team in the group. Sure, MAD is a lot less threatening than EDG in general, but KT running them up and down the map throughout the entire game is a good way to head off into the knockout stage.
EDG vs. Team Liquid
To face KT Rolster in a tiebreaker for the first seed of the group, EDG had to beat Liquid, the team they had just knocked out of the tournament by beating KT the game prior. Liquid, however, wanted revenge, and that’s exactly what they got. Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng stepped up to carry his team to one last win of Worlds, and although EDG looked phenomenal in their game against KT, they just couldn’t keep up with Liquid in this game. After Liquid’s win, they exited the stage with smiles. At least they went down fighting, similar to their four-game win streak at the end of their MSI run.
EDG vs. KT Rolster
Rolster were the obvious favorites heading into this game as the only undefeated team left in the group stage. And after EDG failed to beat the Korean giants the first time they met in the main event, it was easy to see why. EDG’s playoff spot was on the line though, and they stepped up to play better than they have so far during groups. Led by a monstrous top lane Urgot, EDG was able to eventually overcome KT, knock Liquid out of the running, and secure their own spot in the playoffs.
Liquid vs. MAD Team
Liquid finally pulled away another win against MAD today, which barely keeps their chances at making knockouts alive. MAD took advantage of Liquid’s lacking mid-game confidence, which has been a rampant issue for the NA champions throughout the group stage, and staged a bit of a comeback. Unfortunately for them, Liquid were able to dash their comeback and close out the game. Liquid will have to win against EDG to stay in the race, but if EDG wins their game against KT Rolster, Liquid’s out.
EDG vs. MAD Team
EDG reminded us why they’re one of the best teams of their group in their game against MAD Team today. The game was a complete and utter demoralizing blow-out in the Chinese reps’ favor, with the final kill score reaching 24 to seven kills. MAD just looked outclassed as EDG ran them around the map forcing big plays and tower dives that MAD just sort of let happen. After such a display of dominance, NA fans might start to get worried, because this is the team that Liquid will have to beat to make it out.
Liquid vs. KT Rolster
Liquid’s first game against KT Rolster in the second half of the group stage went almost exactly like their first game of the stage overall. They started the game making some solid aggressive plays, but after KT routed them a couple of times, Liquid’s confidence slipped away. KT had total control by the time the late-game arrived, and Liquid were snuffed out. Unfortunately for North America, this loss will make Liquid’s chances at making the knockout stage slimmer.
G2 Esports vs. Flash Wolves
There isn’t much to say about this game that hasn’t already been said, and you probably already know all about it. This game was historic, because G2 finally made it through to the quarterfinals after so many splits of being EU’s best team. There’s definitely irony in it, though, since this happens to be the first year in a long time that G2 didn’t win a split and therefore weren’t EU’s best team. It’s possible that the alleviated pressure of all of Europe not being on their shoulders is what finally pushed them forward, but who knows. Flash Wolves gave them a great fight, but ultimately, G2’s steady and consistent lead, as well as a bot lane Heimerdinger, were all G2 needed.
Afreeca Freecs vs. G2 Esports
To decide the first quarterfinals contender from Group A, G2 Esports and Afreeca first needed to do battle in order to break the tie for first place. G2’s team comp was solid and filled with comfort picks like Jhin, Cassiopeia, and Aatrox in the bot, mid, and top lanes. The only wild card, however, was their Camille in the jungle, and that choice ended up being their undoing. In teamfights, the Camille proved ineffective against the Afreeca Gragas, a champion who can land impactful plays with more ease. After some questionable fights in the mid-game, Afreeca took the lead and ended the game as Group A’s first seed and first knockouts qualifier.
Flash Wolves vs. Buffalo
The Flash Wolves only needed one win to let them fight in a tiebreaker for first place, but PVB weren’t going to let them have it. This was one of the bloodiest games of the day, because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that PVB loves to fight. This was their curse and blessing, though, as a few thrown fights during the mid-game were enough to give Flash Wolves the comeback they needed. But for the Flash Wolves, the throws giveth, and the throws taketh away. Late in the game, it was the LMS reps’ turns to throw, giving over a Baron and Elder Dragon simultaneously to PVB and sealing their fate.
Afreeca Freecs vs. Buffalo
The game between PVB and Afreeca Freecs today was one of the closest games of the group so far. Gold, turrets, and kills were close to even for a majority of the game, and even when Afreeca were knocking on PVB’s base, the fights were extremely close. At the end of the day, though, Afreeca’s momentum couldn’t be stopped. They put PVB down for their third straight win of the day, creating a three-way tie for first place in the group.
G2 Esports vs. Flash Wolves
Despite G2 having momentum on their side with a key win over Buffalo and Flash Wolves having just lost to Afreeca, the Flash Wolves proved they weren’t out yet in this game. Speaking of this game, it was one of the most confusing and high-octane games of the tournament so far. Neither team seemed to care about macro play, and all-out fights started at nearly every turn. G2 managed to come up with a pretty large gold lead, but it still never seemed like they were ahead of Flash Wolves as every fight ended in G2 retreating or Flash Wolves just winning. This was likely due to G2’s team composition of a Lissandra mid lane and Brand bot lane, which gave them very little tools for getting through FW’s front-line and MR.
G2 Esports vs. Buffalo
G2 appeared unprepared to deal with a newly-invigorated PVB as the Vietnamese team ran the show all through the early game. Unfortunately for them, G2’s shock didn’t last, as outstanding plays by both Luka “Perkz” Perković and Martin “Wunder” Hansen put them right back on track. PVB had difficulties closing out the game despite a sizeable lead with gold and very valuable dragons (two fire and two earth), and G2 continued to pull them to all sides of the map and make picks until they had enough power to win an all-out fight. After they reached equal footing with PVB, it came down to which team could best the other in a game-ending teamfight, to which end G2 proved the better.
Afreeca vs. Flash Wolves
If you’re a fan of the LCK, you’d know that Afreeca isn’t exactly known for their patient, meticulous sieging and planning. And yet, today, that’s exactly what they did. It was a slow, methodical game, and Afreeca, if you can believe it, avoided fighting until it was absolutely necessary. They rotated to take down towers that Flash Wolves couldn’t stop, used masterful vision control to keep a hold on other objectives, and the game only reached a total of six kills. Afreeca just slowly snuffed Flash Wolves out, which is a very welcome change for the team that was initially expected to be the best in the group.
RNG vs. Cloud9
The final match of group B, whoever won between Cloud9 and RNG would exit the group stage in first. Unlike the last time these two teams earlier in the day, this match was extremely close. Although there was constant skirmishing, almost every teamfight ended with major casualties on both sides, meaning that neither team could safely go for a major objective like the Baron. This created a very close game, where the gold difference stayed around 1000 right until the end. RNG support Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming fInally ended this stalemate at 38 minutes with a wonderful Rakan ultimate, catching out two members of C9. From this catch came a massive late game teamfight where RNG aced C9. And with late game death timers, RNG could simply end the game.
RNG vs. Gen.G
Bringing in substitute jungler Liu “Mlxg” Shi-Yu, RNG ramped up their aggression for their second last match of the group stage. Bringing jungler Kang “Haru” Min-seung back onto the starting lineup, Gen.G had one last shot to find a win on the day before their World Championship run concluded. In order to find that win, Gen.G tried to play aggressive themselves. But any attempt to engage on a play by Gen.G was uncoordinated, allowing RNG to easily counter-engage and win the ensuing teamfight. These poorly executed fights by Gen.G gave RNG enough of a lead to easily close out the game, thus forcing a first place tie-breaker in group B with Cloud9.
Cloud9 vs. Vitality
A win for either Cloud9 or Team Vitality here meant a spot the World Championship quarterfinals. Having such a high reward up for grabs, both teams reverted to comfort picks with Vitality drafting Ekko and Draven, while C9 took Zilean and Singed. What ensued was a total slugfest, with kills being traded on both sides. Having the Zilean, C9 took a more reactive approach to fights, waiting for Ekko to engage so that Jensen could instantly revive whoever was attacked. As the match progressed it became clear that C9 had the edge in teamfights. By the time late game hit, C9 had the tools needed to find that game winning teamfight, and claim their ticket to the quarterfinals.
Cloud9 vs. RNG
Cloud9 were in charge throughout this game’s entirety. Able to find first blood during an attempt to take an early elemental Drake, Cloud9 continued to find more and more kills across the map. These kills quickly added up to a sizeable gold lead, which Royal Never Give Up had difficulty contesting, especially since their AD carry Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao’s Kai’Sa needed time to scale. Sadly for Uzi and RNG, time was not something they had. Cloud9 pushed their advantage, unafraid to dive turrets. C9’s fearless play eventually led to a pick onto Uzi, allowing C9 to take the Baron, and subsequently end the game.
Gen.G vs. Vitality
One loss away from World Championship elimination, Gen.G placed their tournament hopes on team captain Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong. Returning Ambition to the starting lineup, Gen.G drafted a nostalgic composition with Malzahar for mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho.Unfortunately for Gen.G, such comfort picks weren’t enough to quell the Team Vitality’s aggression. Unable to scale in time, Gen.G were ill-prepared to face Vitality in teamfights. It didn’t take long for Vitality to force Gen.G to take a disadvantageous teamfight, which ultimately cost last year’s world champions the game.
Cloud9 vs. Gen.G
Gen.G mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho did not have fun time this game. Getting solo killed by Cloud9′ Nicolaj Jensen early into the match, Crown was never able to recover. While not getting solo killed themselves, Gen.G’s bot lane was also put behind thanks in part to the pressure exerted by C9 jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen. The only person on Gen.G ahead of their North American counterpart was Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin, who found a solo kill himself onto Eric “Licorice” Ritchie. CuVee did his best to keep Gen.G in the game, but eventually Cloud9’s lead was too large to overcome by himself.
RNG vs. Vitality
Team Vitality have done what seemed to be near impossible—defeat Royal Never Give Up. In order to beat the World Championship favorites, Vitality made their focus the top lane. Beating RNG top laner Yan “Letme” Jun-Ze into submission, Vitality entered the mid game on even footing with RNG despite dropping a few kills bot side. Led by their support Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński’s Thresh hooks, Vitality found a crucial mid lane teamfight win which earned them a major gold lead. From there, Vitality were relentless in pushing their advantage. RNG star AD carry AD carry Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao did his best to carry fights as Kai’Sa, but had no frontline to protect him as Vitality instantly slaughtered his tanky teammates.
KT Rolster vs. EDG
Like the many other teams who participated in the World Championship today, KT also found their initial lead against Edward Gaming through the bot lane. KT took advantage of EDG over extending in a teamfight, and found a kill in the process. With this kill, and the map pressure which came with it, KT had fostered decent gold lead over EDG. Behind in both kills and gold, EDG tried to bide their time and hope KT makes a mistake, defending their turrets as much as they could. Unfortunately for EDG, KT made no such mistake. Instead KT continued to extend their lead until it was insurmountable.
Team Liquid vs. MAD Team
Team Liquid are finally on the board. After falling to both KT Rolster and Edward Gaming, North America’s first seed have found their first win of the World Championship against Mad Team. Able to find yet another early lead this tournament, Team Liquid once again began to stall out in the mid game. Playing extremely cautious despite having a lead, Team Liquid were not willing to start the Baron unless they knew it was theirs. A strategy that could backfire since it allows the enemy team to farm and try and make a comeback, Team Liquid were lucky and found the pick needed to take the Baron. Now with the purple buff, Team Liquid finally had enough courage to make their way into Mad Team’s base to end the game.
Fnatic vs. G-Rex
This match was simply the Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen show. On the aggressive Lee Sin pick, Fnatic’s jungler Broxah held the entirety of G-Rex in a tight stranglehold. Following an early bot lane teamfight where Fnatic secured four kills, Broxah became seemingly unstoppable. With his Fnatic teammates ready to back him up and collapse on a play at a moment’s notice, Broxah was free to indulge his “Lee Sin-drome,” starting fights whenever he could. By the time Fnatic found their 26 minute win, Broxah was one kill away from have 100 percent kill participation.
100 Thieves vs. Invictus
This match couldn’t have started much worse for Invictus Gaming. A botched level one for IG allowed 100 Thieves to get two kills. Though it didn’t take long for IG to overcome this very early deficit. Through well executed ganks bot lane, and smart deep wards, IG had recouped their losses and then some with multiple kills onto 100 Thieves. By 16 minutes IG had broken into 100 Thieves base after acing their North American opponents, who were under their turrets. It would only take one more push from IG to once again ace 100 Thieves, and thus claim their third consecutive win of the World Championship.
G2 vs. Flash Wolves
Although Flash Wolves were the ones to find first blood, it was G2 Esports who ended the game’s laning phase with a major lead. Ahead in CS across the board, G2 found their early kills bot lane. With a focus on shutting down Flash Wolves’ AD carry and support duo, G2 sent their forces bot lane, a move which earned them kills, Elemental Drakes, and turrets. Once Flash Wolves’ bot lane turret was destroyed, G2 top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen began his bot lane split push as Camille. Wunder’s relentless split push quickly payed off huge as the European top laner won G2 the game after Flash Wolves tried to start the Baron in retaliation.
Afreeca Freecs vs. Buffalo
Returning to the World Championship stage after a single day off, Afreeca Freecs found their first win of the tournament in a crushing victory over Vietnam’s Phong Vũ Buffalo. Starting substitute jungler Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha, Afreeca drafted a composition full of confort picks like Irelia, Swain, and Varus. But the star in Afreeca’s first win was Mowgli’s Olaf. Beginning the game by taking a four minute Ocean Drake unnoticed by flashing into the pit, Mowgli found major leads for his laner through his ganks. Afreeca continued to push their early lead, taking more and more objectives until they broke the PVB base, and destroyed their opponent’s Nexus.
Cloud9 vs. Gen.G
Gen.G came into the day at 0-2, which was disappointing for the team that won the World Championship last year. Cloud9 was kind enough to gift them their first win today, you know, out of pity. In all seriousness, Cloud9 did put up a decent fight, but Gen.G ran the show for almost the entire game. They won 11 kills to two, eight towers to two, and with an 11,000 gold lead. In other words, it was a thrashing.
RNG vs. Vitality
Most of the games today were extremely one-sided, apart from only a couple. We were surprised to see that one of the games that weren’t was between RNG, who are one of the tournament favorites, and Vitality, who are the exact opposite. Sure, RNG still won, and sure, they had a gold lead of 5,000 at 24 minutes, but a lot of the games today saw differences of around 10,000 at 20 minutes. The fact that Vitality held on and even made some decent plays of their own is a good sign for Europe, but RNG are still clear favorites.
100 Thieves vs. G-Rex
The NA saviors of the day were 100 Thieves. They are regarded to be the underdogs of the group, which makes their win against G-Rex today all the more satisfying. G-Rex didn’t play especially bad. In fact, they looked pretty solid all throughout and even pushed the game to over 35 minutes. There’s no denying that 100T stepped up to the plate, though, and if NA is going to have a shot this year, they’re going to need a lot more of that.
Fnatic vs. Invictus
Fnatic lost their game against Invictus today, giving the LPL their sixth straight win. The game, however, wasn’t all bad for Fnatic. Despite being set behind by a large margin fairly early in the game, they managed to keep making picks and miracle plays to stay in the game. It was a graceful loss, but it still proves that Invictus really is the best team in this group.
Liquid vs. EDG
NA’s best hope just picked up their second loss in a row against the team they’ll need to beat to make the cut for knockouts. The loss to kt wasn’t as pressing, because kt were the clear favorites, but EDG is the team that’s in their direct path to second place in the group and a playoffs qualification. In this game, Liquid were almost never on the same page, they forced objectives with little reason, and refused to use important tools to prevent losses in fights. They lost by over 10,000 gold, and the game only breached 20 minutes by a little bit.
KT Rolster vs. MAD
Most people probably expected MAD to lose their opening game on day three to the tournament-favored kt Rolster, but we didn’t expect they’d lose this bad. Kt were up around 10,000 gold at only 20 minutes, and they were passing inner turrets to knock on MAD’s base by 18 minutes. There isn’t much to say about this game that can’t be said by that info alone. MAD lost the lanes, the jungle, and what little mid-game there was. It was a very disappointing showing from them.
RNG vs. Gen.G
The match of the day was undoubtedly the showdown between Gen.G, who are the defending world champions, and RNG, the LPL’s best team and winners of this year’s Mid-Season Invitational. It was an impossibly close game, with each team taking a decent lead one after the other until eventually one fight blew up the entire map and RNG pushed through to a victory. With that, the LPL ends their day 4-0 collectively.
Cloud9 vs. Vitality
Cloud9’s win over Vitality was unimpressive, to say the least, as it was the most unrefined and violent game of the stage so far. Fortunately for C9, every win counts, but Vitality had them by the throat for a majority of this game. That being said, C9 is going to have to work to improve rapidly to stand a chance at making knockouts, but at least they have a win under their belt now.
Invictus vs. G-Rex
The second game of the day for Group D was much more competitive than the Fnatic vs. 100T smash in the game prior. Although Invictus, the favorite, won, G-Rex still put up a hearty fight, which is a very good sign for them. The game was extremely close all the way up until one big teamfight that Invictus won and then simply snowballed into a victory. Unfortunately for NA LCS fans, this game puts 100T at the very bottom of their group as the worst team so far.
Fnatic vs. 100 Thieves
100 Thieves have a lot to prove at Worlds this year, as many fans and analysts, us included, don’t feel they really belong at the tournament. The general consensus is that they’re wildly outclassed, and even if they can pull out a win or two in their group, we’d be impressed. That being said, they’re in a tough group, because the only team that anyone considered within reach was Fnatic as a non-China and non-Korea team. Well, Fnatic, as it turns out, it one of the stronger teams in attendance, and they made 100T look like chew toys.
Buffalo vs. G2
G2 kicked off their Worlds track by taking down Korea’s second seed on the first day, successfully ramping themselves up a good bit of momentum to ride forward on. Unfortunately, though, they lost it all today against Buffalo, one of the teams predicted to falter the most in this group. Yesterday, G2’s side lanes popped off to control objectives and slaughter Afreeca, but today, they all slumped simultaneously. If they want to climb back on the horse, they’ll need to find some consistency.
Flash Wolves vs. Afreeca Freecs
Afreeca’s bad luck streak continued today as Flash Wolves struck them down for the opening game of the second day. Heading into the tournament, Afreeca Freecs were considered by many to be the best of the group, but after struggling so hard against G2 and now FW, the scales have tipped. Flash Wolves have proved that, at least right now, they’re the team to be reckoned with.
Gen.G vs. Team Vitality
This was hands-down one of the most exciting games in Worlds history. Vitality are considered massive underdogs at this event, coming in regarded as the worst European team in attendance. And yet, they were able to take down Gen.G, last year’s world champions. Seeing is believing, so we won’t give away how it ends. Just watch the clip above.
RNG vs. Cloud9
No one really expected Cloud9 would be able to take on RNG, so there wasn’t much disappointment for NA’s golden boys when they fell so drastically. C9’s top lane gained a pretty hefty lead individually, but they let RNG take total control of the bot lane and get the carry super fed. When the bot lane gets ahead on RNG, you’re not going to be able to kill them, because the rest of the team will dive in front of everything you throw. And if you can’t kill Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, you lose the game. And, predictably, that’s exactly what happened.
G2 Esports vs. Afreeca Freecs
The first big upset of the day came when the EU LCS’ third seed G2 took down the LCK’s second seed Afreeca Freecs. The early stages of the game were sort of close, but Afreeca’s fate was sealed when they allowed the Heimerdinger through picks and bans. Whether it was a power move or just a really terrible lapse in judgment, it stomped all over them. G2 looked better in this game than they’ve looked all year.
Buffalo vs. Flash Wolves
As much as fans were hoping Buffalo would be just as spontaneous and hilariously entertaining as GIGABYTE were at last year’s Worlds, Buffalo just didn’t play with the same flair. They picked a mostly typical comp, and they weren’t nearly as aggressive. For the most part, Flash Wolves walked all over them and controlled the map for a majority of the game. If Buffalo want to be taken seriously, they’ll have to shake off those nerves and play with more confidence.
EDG vs. MAD Team
The game between EDG and MAD was one of the bloodiest of the tournament so far, and definitely the bloodiest of the group stage so far. The kills didn’t climb too high, but the fighting just never stopped. For a while, it was hard to tell who was actually coming away from all the skirmishes with a lead, but EDG’s prowess and discipline allowed them to prep waves and towers before the action started. Through that, the rapid-fire fights allowed them to whittle away at MAD’s base to win the game.
KT Rolster vs. Team Liquid
Liquid kicked off the group stage with a loss, and losses in the group stage for NA’s first seed aren’t rare by any means. Unlike past NA first seeds, however, Liquid played very aggressive and with confidence. KT Rolster routed them with vision traps in the jungle and river, but as Liquid works out some nerves and jitters, that may not remain much of an issue for them.