Worlds 2016 NA vs. EU: NA Edition
With Worlds 2016 just around the corner, the great debate of NA or EU will once again arise amidst the community. I am here to breakdown why NA will undoubtedbly out perform the European teams.
First Seed: Team SoloMid
The best team in the west comes into a tough group, despite having Splyce in it. Samsung will take the top spot in this group as they are the Korean version of TSM, but TSM will beat out RNG for the 2nd spot. In the top lane, I rank TSM's Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell slightly keeping ahead of RNG's Jang "Looper" Hyeong-seok. In the mid lane, TSM's Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg simply outclasses RNG's Li "xiahou" Yuan-Hao. The bot lane is where it gets interesting because I see a couple different situations. As long as RNG's Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao does not play like he has in past Worlds, then I see this lane going even, which is all TSM will need. TSM jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen will be outmatched in terms of raw skill, but he has the better team around him which will even it out.
Second Seed: Counter Logic Gaming
CLG is the team I have the least hope for. They have always been a lane swap team and with the meta transitioning to a more standard lane style, I see them faltering. That being said, I can 100% see them sneaking out as a 2nd seed considering they are in a group with the wildcard team, Albus NoX Luna and the Europe's best in G2 Esports. Obviously, ROX has to be the 1st seed here, but in a match with G2 to determine the 2nd seed, they have about a 45% chance. CLG has always been a team that plays strongest as a unit, whereas G2 likes to rely on strong laning and small skirmishes. The matchup comes down to whether or not CLG can survive laning phase and transition into a strong team fighting phase.
Prediction: Quarterfinals/third seed
Third Seed: Cloud9
C9 is the second strongest team in NA and we have heard that they were very close in skill with TSM at least in scrims. The group they were drawn into suits them incredibly well. I see C9 being able to take both games from IMay and Flash Wolves, as well as a game from SKT. They have strong match ups in this group. If I had to rank each position in this group, C9 players would be at #2 in every role.
Evaluating the tournament, I see NA with much more potential to go deep into the tournament. All three teams have the potential to come out of the group stage, as well as both C9 and TSM having the chance to make Semis. This is the strongest NA has ever been as a region and I believe they will make it deep.
What are your thoughts on North American chances at Worlds? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @GAMURScom.