It was not a good day for North American or European League of Legends fans.
North American and European teams combined for six games on Wednesday, with none of those six teams playing any of the other five. Out of those games, North America and Europe combined for exactly zero wins and six losses.
It was a humiliating day adding to a string of humiliating days for the two major regions. In the first three days of the group stage of Worlds, Europe has a 2-7 record with Fnatic going winless while Rogue and MAD Lions each picked up a game over Cloud9 and Gen.G, respectively.
North America is keeping up for once; they also have an 0-3 team in Cloud9 and two 1-2 teams: Team Liquid, who beat the MAD Lions, and 100 Thieves, who claimed a win on Tuesday over DetonatioN FocusMe. If the groups were done today, every single North American or European team would be out.
It’s a painful reality for the regions, especially Europe which has thrived in the last few World Championships. Two of their teams have made the finals, while a number have made semis. This year, simply making the quarterfinals might be a win for any of these rosters and while there are outside factors, like Fnatic’s substitute situation, it doesn’t excuse this performance.
Fnatic has looked lost. They held on desperately against PSG Talon today, but they still weren’t able to win the over 45-minute game. Substitute botlaner Bean didn’t look awful, ending the game with a 5-0-3 on Jhin, but he couldn’t get involved in the fights and while support Hylisang fought for every engage, the rest of the team just fell flat. Nisqy, Fnatic’s midlaner, has struggled immensely for these first few days, currently sitting with a 6-19-10 KDA.
On the other side of the coin, Korea and China are doing very well. China is sitting with two 3-0 teams in EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up and with their other two teams both sitting at 2-1. While FunPlus Phoenix’s defeat by DWG was surprising given many had FPX ranked number one at the tournament, the team has solidly beaten Cloud9 and Rogue.
Korea is doing just slightly worse; DWG is sitting at 3-0 atop group A, while T1 dropped a game to EDG but is sitting at 2-1 in second place in group B. The disappointment on the Korean side is Hanwha Life Esports, who have lost games to RNG and PSG Talon. Despite strong efforts by Chovy and Deft, the weaknesses that crippled this team in the summer still remain and it’s not looking good for those two players to be able to win a championship on this team.
Now, the schedule shifts; on Friday, the second half of the group stage will begin as one by one each group will finish their stage. The drama starts with Group A, where Rogue and Cloud9 will be attempting miracle runs in their efforts to catch DWG and FPX. Those games start the same time as usual; 7 a.m. EST, and will continue to be broadcast on Twitch and YouTube in multiple languages.