After a week of practice, the teams in Group C came into the eighth day of the world championships looking much stronger. Almost every team came into the second round of the group stages with better macro play. In the previous week, the teams in Group C struggled with their mid-to-late game shot calling, resulting in games being thrown. This was a non-factor in almost every game played in the second week. While still not up to the level of some of the teams in the other groups, almost every team in Group C had a better idea on how to play out the mid-to-late game. This led to closer games and a very surprising final result for group C.
First Place: H2k-Gaming
Match Score: 5-2
After finishing the first week with only one win against INTZ, many had very low expectations that H2k would make it to the quarterfinals. The team had no idea how to play out the mid-to-late game, and after seeing the rest of Europe play, there was little hope for H2k. But as soon as H2k dominantly defeated AHQ, everyone learned that this was not the same team as last week. In just a week, H2k learned how to properly play out their gold leads to end the game, as well as fixing their team coordination. In every single game they played in the second week, H2k demonstrated that their team had a strong cohesion, which let them pull off difficult macro plays around the map. H2k ended their second week undefeated with four wins, beating tournament favourites EDG multiple times in one night. In those four games, both H2k’s mid laner Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook and AD carry Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou had outstanding performances. FORG1VEN ended the night with only one death, which was amazing considering that he played multiple games against EDG’s bot lane, who were considered the best in the world at the start of the tournament. Coming into the quarterfinals, H2k are now the shining beacon of hope for all European fans.
Second Place: EDward Gaming
Match Score: 4-3
Even though they weren’t able to secure the first seed, EDG showed improvement coming into the second week of the world championships. EDG’s top laner Chen “Mouse” Yu-Hao had a much better performance coming into the second week on champions such as Poppy. Instead of being a detriment to his team, Mouse was now making positive in game decisions. Coming off the bench, Heo “PawN” Won-seok played out of his mind, almost single handily carrying EDG in their win against AHQ. The major problem that EDG still has to overcome is that they are still not playing the same way they did in the LPL. EDG seem to have regressed a bit coming into this tournament, forgetting what they learned over the summer split. Not securing the first seed is going to almost guarantee that EDG meets one of the other tournament favourites in the quarterfinals. If EDG cannot regain their Summer Split form, then China’s number one seed might have another quarterfinal exit at worlds.
Third Place: ahq e-Sports Club
Match Score: 3-3
AHQ had a very lackluster performance at worlds this year. Unlike last year, AHQ’s team looked a bit disjointed when compared to the other teams in the tournament. Playing against H2k and EDG, AHQ constantly looked like they were lagging behind. AHQ’s jungler Xue “Mountain” Zhao-Hong seemed to always be slower to fights when compared to the enemy jungler. Liu “Westdoor” Shu-Wei also had a poor performance, often getting behind the enemy mid laner. One of the only real bright spots for AHQ was their top laner, Chen “Ziv” Yi. Ziv was the best top laner in this group and AHQ’s wins came mainly from Ziv playing carry top laners such as Jayce and Rumble. In the one game Wong “Chawy” Xing-Lei got to play, he had a decent performance. If AHQ could integrate both their mid laners into their team the same way EDG does, there is no doubt that AHQ could become a stronger team.
Fourth Place: INTZ e-Sports
Match Score: 1-5
After their upset win over EDG in the first week of the group stages, INTZ failed to secure a single win. Teams quickly figured out how to exploit INTZ’s very aggressive early game. While not as successful as the other wildcard team, INTZ’s top laner Felipe “Yang” Zhao and jungler Gabriel “Revolta” Henud made names for themselves in the international sphere. Everyone will always remember the Brazilian Lee Sin that decimated EDG. INTZ’s win over EDG, alongside ANX’s quarterfinal appearance was a statement to the world that the wild card teams deserve a spot at the world championships.
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Photos Courtesy of LoL Esports
Article by Malcolm Abbas. Follow him on twitter @SmashhLoL