1. Team SoloMid
Team SoloMid is the obvious choice for first place, mostly due to the lack of strength from the other teams attending. Although they did not get out of groups at Worlds, it cannot be forgotten that TSM was in a group containing Samsung and an on-form Royal Never Give Up; it is fair to say they were at least a top-eight team when it comes to raw performance at Worlds.
A big worry for TSM is their lack of experience with reportedly re-added AD Carry, Jason “WildTurtle” Tran. When looking at WildTurtle’s past duos, he has typically been paired with experienced supports, such as Alex “Xpecial” Chu, Ham “Lustboy” Jang-sik and Adrian “Adrian” Ma. All of these past supports would have been able to guide and shot-call for him. However, when paired with rookie support Vincent “Biofrost” Wang, it is very possible that TSM’s bot lane will play too aggressively at the wrong times, which could hinder TSM’s chances of a clean tournament.
2. The Flash Wolves
The Flash Wolves finished tied for last in their group with a somewhat lackluster 2-4 score at Worlds. However, there is a reasonable chance that the Flash Wolves win this tournament due to a combination of opposition strength and the ever strong jungle-mid duo of Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan and Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang.
Similarly to TSM, however, the Flash Wolves also have the roster changes of adding Lu “DoubleRed” Yu-Hung in the bottom lane and possibly Shen “Rins” Po-Ju in the top lane. However, unlike TSM, these players are replacing arguably the two previously weakest positions on the Flash Wolves, and will not likely have the same impact of replacing a player of Yillian “Doublelift” Peng’s caliber.
3. Longzhu Gaming
Although this team is Korean and has such a high level of raw talent, the in-game decision making of Longzhu will most likely hold them back on the big stage. While Longzhu has quite a strong early game, it is the mid-late game where their shot-calling falls apart.
An example of this is their rookie jungler Lee “Crash” Dong-woo’s performance in the KeSPA Cup, who was able to get some advantages in the early game through creative jungle invades, but ultimately threw it away in the mid game by getting caught out multiple times. Longzhu is a team that could sweep IEM Oakland or bomb out before the finals. Unfortunately for Longzhu, their history suggests the latter.
4. Unicorns of Love
The Unicorns of Love are a middle to above average EU LCS team, ending the summer group stage in sixth before finishing fourth in the regional qualifiers, narrowly missing out on a Worlds spot in a messy five game series against Splyce.
If UOL is likely to match up against the top-three teams in this tournament, it will likely be off their bottom lane of Kim “Veritas” Kyoung-min and Zdravets “Hylissang” lliev Galabov. Additionally, Ryze could be a must ban or a hotly contested pick against UOL due to mid laner Fabien “Exileh” Schubert’s demonstrated success with using the reworked ultimate.
5. INTZ e-Sports
INTZ has shown the ability to take games off of major region teams in the past and they have shown exactly how they do so. The formula involves star jungler Gabriel “Revolta” Henud snowballing their top laner Felipe “Yang” Zhao in the early game.
The relative lack of opposing teams could potentially complement this INTZ playstyle. If things go perfectly, INTZ could make it as far as the finals; they’ve shown before that they can especially win games against strong teams, such as EDward Gaming, who have low-economy top laners.
6. The Chiefs e-Sports Club
Representing the OPL, this will be the first time an Oceanic team will play at a major non-wild card international tournament.
Although the odds will be stacked against them, a similar performance by their jungler Samuel “Spookz” Broadley in the wild card qualifier on front line champions such as Zac could allow the Chiefs to steal away some wins. If the Chefs are to succeed, it will have to be through comfort picks, such as support Bryce “EGym” Paule on play making supports like his Thresh, or perhaps even a Rusty-inspired surprise Ivern pick in the jungle.
What do you think about these predictions and power rankings? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
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