Since The Daily Campus’ last Worlds recap, the first three days of the second week of the group stage have concluded, and six of the eight quarterfinals slots have been filled.
On Friday, all of Group A’s second round robin was played out, and two tiebreakers ended up being needed. Korea’s DAMWON Kia (DWG) came into the day undefeated at 3-0, and they picked up where they left off. Wins against China’s FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) in the first game of the day, Europe’s Rogue in the fourth and North America’s Cloud9 in the sixth locked DWG into the first seed from Group A, undefeated at 6-0 going into quarters.
After DWG’s smooth group stage, however, chaos ensued for the other three teams. Cloud9, who came into the day without a win, started off their Week 2 with a win against Rogue. Immediately after that, they also beat FPX, giving them a 2-3 record going into their matchup with DWG.
After DWG beat Rogue and Rogue beat FPX, Cloud9’s 2-3 had them level in wins with both FPX and Rogue, who were tied at 2-4. Because Cloud9 lost to Damwon, they joined the three-way tie, with only one spot in quarters up for grabs between the teams.
First off in the tiebreakers round was Rogue vs. FPX. The European representative upset the former world champion and favorites at this year’s tournament, knocking them out in fourth place in the Group of Death. This set up a matchup between Cloud9 and Rogue, where after an absolute classic of a game that lasted more than 50 minutes, the North Americans secured the final spot. It was a welcome change of pace for North American fans, as NA teams historically have lost to European ones in tiebreakers.
After the drama of Group A, Group B had all of their Week 2 matches on Saturday. China’s Edward Gaming (EDG) came into the day with an undefeated record in the group at 3-0, and immediately rose to 4-0 after defeating Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe (DFM) in the first match. Unfortunately for them, things did not go smoothly after this, as losses to North America’s 100 Thieves and Korea’s T1 lowered them out of the first seed.
T1, on the other hand, managed to have a solid day across the board, winning against all three teams they faced. Their 2-1 record from Week 1, combined with three more wins, gave them a 5-1 record, good enough for the first seed in the Group. DFM, after making a historic run for Japan at the world championships, was unfortunately unable to win a single game in groups. 100 Thieves’ 3-3 record was not enough to force a tiebreaker with the 4-2 EDG, who secured the second seed over North America’s first seed.
Group C’s matches occurred on Sunday, starting off with a matchup between the PCS’ (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Southeast Asia’s region) PSG Talon, coming in with a 2-1 record, and Korea’s Hanwha Life Esports with a 1-2 record. Hanwha claimed a decisive victory to start off the day to move into a tie for second with PSG.
The second game saw a major upset, as the undefeated reigning Mid-Season Invitational champions Royal Never Give Up (RNG) lost to the winless Fnatic, moving the teams’ records to 3-1 and 1-3 respectively.
RNG bounced back immediately, defeating PSG in Game 3 to move to 4-1, knocking PSG to third place with a 2-3 record. This was solidified in Games 4 and 5, as Hanwha took back-to-back victories against Fnatic and RNG, placing them tied at the top of the group with RNG. Game 6 was between PSG and Fnatic, both of whom by this point had been mathematically eliminated, but PSG still claimed victory to finish their run with a respectable 3-3 record.
Before the day’s end, possession of the first seed was still up for grabs, as RNG and Hanwha needed to play a tiebreaker. Although Hanwha’s early lead made it seem as if Korea would be claiming its third first seed out of the three that have been named, RNG came out on top, providing a light at the end of the tunnel for what has been a disappointing week for China so far.
With one more day to play in the group stage, we look to Group D for which teams will be the last to claim a spot in the quarterfinals. Group D was the closest in Week 1, with no teams going undefeated. Every team is within one game of the rest, so there’s no telling what might happen. As of now, Korea’s Gen.G and China’s LNG Esports are in the lead with 2-1 records, but Europe’s MAD Lions and North America’s Team Liquid are right on their heels at 1-2. All the action begins at 7 a.m. EST on Monday, streamed on lolesports.com, YouTube or Twitch.