The 2019 League of Legends World Championship is in full swing, sixteen teams have been battling it out at a shot at winning the biggest prize in competitive League of Legends. The teams have just completed their first round robin with many upsets across the board, here is the rundown on the groups thus far and what fans can expect moving forward.
Group, for the most part, is going as expected from a results point of view but when you start to dive deeper into the performances of each team, it tells a very different story. G2 Esports, for the most part, have been the dominant team that everyone wanted them to be. Their cleanest win came against Griffin but their bloodiest came against North American opposition Cloud9.
Cloud9 has had an interesting tournament to say the least, in their first matchup against Hong Kong Attitude the NA second seed struggled to close out the game against the infamous Garen and Yuumi bot lane with the game lasting over 40 minutes long. HKA, on the other hand, have given their major counterparts a run for their money but have failed to pick up a win after the first three games.
The general consensus for this group is that both G2 and Griffin will make it out, but after barely clawing their way back from defeat in their match against C9, C9 has a good chance of at least forcing a tiebreaker.
Ironically Group B has been one of the more interesting groups at this stage of the World Championship. Fun Plus Phoenix has not been firing on all cylinders and have struggled in their games against J Team and Splyce. J Team has been the surprise of the tournament thus far and are posing to make it out of Group B.
GAM has not put up the performances that everyone was expecting, the Vietnamese lost two out of three games and is simply looking to play upset as the rest of this group rounds up. It would take a Fnatic like miracle to turn their fortunes around.
With how shaky Splyce as looked, the LMS is set to have their first team to reach the quarter-finals stage of a World Championship since the 2015 World Championship.
Group C, also known as “the group of death”, has provided a more standard reality for the four teams involved. SKT is back in full force and has earned themselves a place on top of the standings with a 3-0 record moving into the second round robin. RNG is starting to change the narrative that they are only a bot centric team and is starting to focus more on their solo lanes whilst letting to bot lane handle themselves.
Fnatic, on the other hand, is not living up to the expectations set by the community and are struggling to remain true to their identity as the equal to G2. The former kings of Europe have struggled against all of their opponents thus far and are sitting at 1-2 in the group as the second half of the tournament kicks in.
For all their smiles, Clutch Gaming is just happy to be on the Worlds stage for the first time. It is unfortunate for the North American side to be placed in the group of death but has shown signs of life in both matches against RNG and Fnatic
Fnatic is the deciders on whether this group becomes interesting on the final day of Group C. If they are unable to come up with a better performance against RNG and SKT, they will be eliminated from the tournament a lot earlier than themselves or the fans would have expected. SKT is expected to remain on top of the standings as their 3-0 record showcases with RNG finishing in the second qualification position.
It does not matter how bad they play, you can never count the world champions out. Invictus Gaming has turned their fortunes around after what was a less than stellar Summer Split. The former world champions have put their doubters to rest and currently sit 2-1 alongside Damwon Gaming and LCS Champions Team Liquid.
The general consensus for this group is that any minor changes during the game could have lead to a different result. If moments went their way TL would have been sat at 3-0 without a care in the world but after a throwaway game against IG and a shaky comeback against AHQ, TL have it all to do if they want to make it out of groups.
Damwon Gaming has also had an interesting outing in their first worlds, the LCK third seed also has a similar story to TL in which a different day could have seen them 3-0 in the group. This is the moment in which Team Liquid needs to step up their game, they have more than enough talent to do it, the question is whether they can get over the finish line. If they are not able to then IG and Damwon will be moving on to the bracket stage.
Written by Jordan Marney