As the play-ins stage of the League of Legends World Championship continued on Wednesday, the picture of how the groups would come together began to form more clearly.
In group A, LNG Esports of China and Hanwha Life Esports of Korea, both No. 4 seeds, have confirmed they won’t be eliminated as they sit at 3-0 for LNG and 3-1 for Hanwha. Hanwha’s chances of getting first are not lost yet; if LNG loses tomorrow, the two teams will play a tiebreaker because direct head-to-head doesn’t give a team anything more than side selection at this stage.
Hanwha’s hopes will be on the back of Infinity Esports, who are sitting at 0-3 following a loss today to Peace who is sitting at 1-2. They play Red Canids in a game that could be for safety; if Infinity wins, the loser of that game will play them to avoid elimination. If Infinity loses, those two teams will play each other again in the first best of five of Worlds.
Group B is a little more decided. Cloud9 sits atop the group with a 3-0 record after wins over Beyond Gaming and Galatasaray Esports. Galatasaray, who started the day 2-0 after a big day one, have dropped back to a 2-2 record after also dropping a game early in the day to Detonation FocusMe.
Despite their struggles today, Galatasaray has survived this part of the play-ins stage. They’ll be fighting for a spot in Groups later this week, but they can still end up in a tiebreaker. DFM plays again tomorrow against Beyond Gaming who are at 1-2. If DFM wins, they go to 3-1 and what happens with them depends on if C9 wins or not. UOL, if they win in that case against C9, could force two tiebreakers. If Beyond wins, they’ll go to 2-2 from 1-2 and then Galatasaray will be in a tiebreaker with both them and DFM.
Despite the fact just four games are supposed to be left, the amount of possible, and even at this point, expected tiebreakers is higher. Group B is guaranteed to end in tiebreakers and for Group A not to, LNG needs a win. If they lose, that group could have two tiebreakers of its own.
Tomorrow does not decide who wins the trophy. No one goes home with money based on their play tomorrow, no one lifts the trophy or gets a skin made after them or gets a title. But two teams lose their chance tomorrow. For two of these teams their year, their season, ends tomorrow in defeat.