PEACE debut Amumu, Zed picks at Worlds 2021 but fall to LNG Esports on day one of play-in stage

The LPL's fourth seed dispatched PEACE with ease.

Image via Riot Games

After opening the 2021 League of Legends World Championship with a win against Hanwha Life Esports earlier today, LNG Esports, the fourth seed out of China’s LPL, capped off their first day in the Worlds play-in stage with a convincing victory over PEACE of Oceania.

The match played host to a return to the professional stage for PEACE top laner Vizicsacsi. The 28-year-old veteran hadn’t played in a professional game since Worlds 2019, where he and Splyce reached the quarterfinals before falling at the hands of SK Telecom T1. 

Vizicsacsi spent time on the coaching staff of fellow Worlds representative MAD Lions earlier this year. But when PEACE’s regularly scheduled top laner Apii wasn’t able to make the tournament due to COVID-related travel restrictions, the door opened up for Vizicsacsi to join the Oceanic champions as a temporary substitute.

In his return to the professional stage, the former LEC MVP was focused intently by LNG. Fifteen minutes into the game, Vizicsacsi found himself facing a 3,000 gold in-lane deficit with a 0/2/0 scoreline. By the time the game came to a close, Vizicsacsi rounded out the contest with a middling score of 2/3/1. 

His opponent, LNG top laner Ale, found immense success in the laning phase of the game on Fiora and eventually used that momentum to rout PEACE in the game’s later stages. With a final scoreline of 8/1/2 against PEACE, Ale improved his KDA at Worlds through two games to a striking mark of 23.0. 

The third game of the Worlds play-in stage continued to feature champions from the ever-developing tournament meta. Beyond previously established picks like Miss Fortune and Qiyana—the latter of which made her Worlds debut at the jungle position—PEACE’s composition featured champions such as Zed in the jungle and Amumu in the support role. Amumu hadn’t been picked as a support in a major region or international contest since 2014 when then-Dignitas support Kiwikid selected the Sad Mummy in an LCS game against CLG. 

In 2021, though, champions like Amumu and others have made their way to the forefront of the professional League meta. Throughout Worlds, expect previously off-meta picks to play a vital role in the game’s landscape. 

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