Team Vitality, the EU LCS’ second seed heading into the 2018 League of Legends World Championship, is in a bit of a rough spot.
For most European fans, it feels as though Vitality sort of slipped into their spot at Worlds, and that Misfits, Splyce, or G2 Esports might do better in the second seed. This doubt stems from Vitality’s overall very volatile year. At some turns, they’d crush their competition, but it wasn’t consistent at all, and when they lost, they lost hard.
Due to that, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to compete against most teams in attendance at Worlds, especially the two teams in their Group Stage group. They’ve been dropped into this year’s “group of death,” which is the fan-given name for any group that appears the most difficult heading into the tournament. The two teams Vitality will have to face are RNG, who won this year’s MSI for the LPL, and Gen.G, the LCK team formerly known as Samsung Galaxy who won Worlds last year.
It’s stiff competition for sure, and expectations are low. Despite that, however, Vitality seems to think they’ll be just fine, according to their interview with esports media site InvenGlobal.
“Well, people think that we’re trapped in this group,” bot lane carry Amadeu “Atilla” Carvalho told Inven. “As a matter of fact, it’s the other way around; they’re trapped with us.”
This line seemed like more of a joke, as Attila followed it up by laughing, but the team’s other answers seemed pretty confident, too.
“Others have low expectations of us,” mid laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro said. “So, if we can survive in the group stage, it’ll be such an advantage for the team since winning the LPL champions and the Worlds champions aren’t easy. I’m willing to take this challenge.”
On the other hand, the players seem to be embracing the low expectations placed on them by the fans as sort of freeing. With low expectations comes low pressure, and if they can surprise people with some wins, that’ll make them much more memorable.
Either way, Vitality is going to have an extremely hard time going up against RNG and Gen.G, unless some drastic improvements are made in a very short window. They’re certainly correct, however, to point out that they’d be more memorable if they managed to beat either one of those giants. We’d certainly have a hard time forgetting that.