October 1, 2019

League of Legends Worlds Play-In Stage predictions

2019’s League of Legends World Championship is just around the corner. Twenty-four teams from across the globe battle it out to lift the summoners cup in Paris. The World Championship once again starts in the play-in stage, a successful stage packed with excitement and upsets. Here are the team profiles for the major regions participating in the 2019 Worlds Play-Ins.

Clutch Gaming

Clutch Gaming won the hearts of many as they qualified for worlds. A surprising entrance into the 2019 World Championship considering how desperately they clung for life standing at the bottom of the standings in the Spring Split. Clutch banked on an extremely volatile roster that ultimately did not work.

Despite being one of the better bottom laners in North America, Sun “Cody Sun” Li-Yu was put into their academy team he signed at the start of the 2019 season. After their Piglet roster went bust, Cody Sun, along with the acquisition from Dignitas, turned Clutch Gaming’s fortune around.

Clutch Gaming embraced who they are. Like Cloud9, they are not afraid to play their style and run with it. Despite being a shade of his former self since returning to North America, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon displayed why he is still a force to be reckoned with. His Korean partner in Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo made Clutch gaming a scary opposition. As their unpredictability threw teams off guard.

Clutch is expected to progress out of the play-ins and into the main group stage of the World Championship. Their unpredictability makes them a dangerous opponent. But at the same time, their wild playstyle comes at the risk of dropping games to teams much worse than them.

Splyce

Slow and steady wins the race. Unlike their unorthodox counterparts in G2 and Fnatic, Splyce enters the World Championships as the most controlled of the three European representatives. Whilst Splyce is not on the same level as G2 and Fnatic, they are an impressive third seed coming out of Europe.

Splyce excels in the mid-to-late game with clean macro play and team fighting. These traits definitely show good use in the play-ins. Splyce has DetonatioN FocusMe and Isurus Gaming in its group and will need to pay attention specifically to the early game as both teams will focus on punishing Splyce in the early game.

Whilst they are prolific in the late game, Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir and the rest of Splyce know how to pinpoint a team’s mistakes and blow the game open. Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss finally made it to worlds after failing in every attempt since his debut in 2014. Fans also expect Splyce to make it out of the play in stages. Their solid macro will be too much for any wildcard team to handle and should have no problem making it through.

Damwon Gaming

Damwon Gaming or coin flip gaming? That is the general perception when it comes to this team. On their best day, Damwon can be the best team in the world and a favorite to lift the summoners cup. On any day waking up on the wrong side of the bed, they can crash out of groups.

They are the first Korean team to participate in the play-in stages after the LCK failed to secure a single team past the quarter-finals stage last year. Damwon has a ceiling that far excels their opponents. But the question is whether they can live up to that expectation. A talented roster is on their side but they lack any form of experience. It is why Damwon could collapse at any moment and crack under the pressure.

Top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon pushes to become one of the best players in the world. His aggressive style is second to none and shows no fear even against the best players in the world. Fans expect Nuguri to make an ever-lasting mark in the 2019 World Championship.

The Korean squad is expected to make a deep run in the tournament, let alone getting out of the play-in stage. Damwon would seed into either group B or group D.

Hong Kong Attitude

HKA holds a title that no “major region” team wants to boast. The LMS side is the only major region team to not progress from the play-in stage since the tournament first began in 2017. Since then, HKA rebuilt and now returns to the Worlds stage. Stronger players, most notably in the top and jungle positions, will assist them in the tourney.

Team Lowkey esports is a big threat to the LMS side and could see history repeat itself again. Hong Kong Attitude may not progress to group stages for the second time in three years. Even if HKA wants to progress, fans expect them not to do well, given they would seed into group A with G2 Esports, Griffin and Cloud9.

Written by Jordan Marney

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