search slide
search slide
pages bottom

Six Winners and Losers of Worlds Day One

Day One of Worlds kicked off with sky-high expectations and five matches between the elite from each region. Each team went through challenges to represent their region on the world stage, and they were all freighted with different expectations.

While it’s still early yet, and there’s plenty of time for redemption for each team, some clear winners and losers have already emerged from the fray.

Winner No. 1: Counter Logic Gaming

Counter Logic Gaming took the first game of Worlds by beating G2 against the entire analyst desk’s predictions, which is a fantastic start for their tournament. Counter Logic Gaming entered Worlds with a heavy share of uncertainty on their shoulders. They had struggled through the Summer Split after their performance at the Mid Season Invitational in Shanghai, and while they had shown major signs of life at the end of the Split, it wasn’t enough to dispel the doubts over whether they could perform at Worlds. When Darshan gave up First Blood on top, it seemed to be a death knell.

CLG wasn’t ready to give up, though, and after a vicious scrap on bottom they managed to pull ahead and keep getting leads. We know that CLG was struggling to readjust to Coach Ziks’s return to the roster after some health problems, but they were optimistic about their ability to get back on their feet. Their first match is a sign that they are back on track.

Winner No. 2: INTZ

When Edward Gaming went up against INTZ, many viewers figured the game was a foregone conclusion. One team was enjoying their first time ever at Worlds, and the other team had automatically qualified for the tournament after an 18-0 season in the LPL.

The key to victory for the plucky David as they headed against the Goliath? Lee Sin. Gnar, played by INTZ’s Yang, went up against EDG’s Mouse on Irelia. Revolta, on Lee Sin, set up shop on top and took out Mouse again, and again, countering EDG’s early advantage and building a gold lead for INTZ. Dragon? Lee Sin was there. Towers? Lee Sin was there. EDG’s back line? Lee Sin was definitely there.

This was more than a snowball on one champion, however: INTZ pulled off some impressive macro play throughout the entire game. At first, it seemed to be an easy game to turn around for EDG. After all, the ROX Tigers had fallen behind in the early game to Albus Nox Luna, only to turn the game around easily. INTZ didn’t roll over and show their belly in the same fashion, and now all of Group A — and indeed, the world —knows to fear the underdogs from Brazil.

Winner No. 3: Surprise Picks

It’s always fascinating to see different regions come together and compete. Every region has a slightly different meta, and knowing which picks are superior is a sure path to getting an advantage.

Which is why Nami is one of the real stars of Worlds so far. Nami has been ever-present in picks and bans, pairing especially well with a Caitlyn for lane presence. She can heal, she negates poke and her tidal wave is great for locking down teamfights. With Nami being so heavily contested, we can expect to see her on the Rift again and again, which might lead to Braum being a priority counterpick — or another support that the teams haven’t shown yet.

Winner No. 4: RNG (Against all odds)

RNG vs. TSM’s start was marred by another Aurelion Sol orb visibility bug — no, not the one that got him disabled in TSM vs. CLG, but another bug that made Aurelion’s orbs invisible that was noticed by Bjergsen. After a long pause, it was determined that Aurelion would need to be disabled and the game remade.

In the new set of picks and bans, TSM snatched away RNG’s priority pick of Lee Sin. It was certainly within the bounds of fair play, but it came across as an unfair situation. If TSM had won, it would have cast a shadow over the victory. RNG support Mata refused to accept this scenario. While Svenskeren performed perfectly well on Lee Sin, Mata turned in a legendary performance on Alistar that kept TSM at bay. While the game was close, Mata drew the most praise on RNG, and it’s unlikely we’ll see teams letting him grab the Minotaur again.

However, the circumstances surrounding the game were unfortunate, which leads us into our first loser.

Loser No. 1: Production issues

It’s difficult to run such a large tournament, logistically, but Day One encountered a startling number of hiccups. There were a fair number of pauses in the earlier games, but TSM vs. RNG suffered the largest disruption. There was, of course, the Aurelion Sol bug that required the remake after a long and unfortunate pause. That was followed up by an audio echo and overlap issue that looped several seconds of the casters speaking over itself while the casting team valiantly tried to speak through it.

While audio issues and pauses are annoying, they’re nothing compared to a bug that requires a full remake. RNG were able to persevere through having their Lee Sin picked away, but the way that the rematch was handled does raise questions of competitive integrity. In addition, starting the biggest tournament of the year with Aurelion Sol potentially being disabled is frustrating — especially when the Summer ended with a very similar bug that took Aurelion out of the game.

Loser No. 2: EU

It feels almost unfair to return to EU’s games today, like kicking someone when they’re down, but it’s important to touch on their results and examine what it means for EU. The region went 0-3, with G2, Splyce and H2K all falling to their opponents. These were not close-fought bouts that could have gone either way. H2K put up the most valiant fight against AHQ, but their early game comp wasn’t able to seal the deal, and the Jinx-led late game comp of their opponents ended up sweeping them off the Rift.

EU seems to have massive problems with communication and macro play. While it is day one, these games matter, and Europe is going to have to fight harder than ever if they want a shot at making it out of groups. So far, the region’s performance is a far cry from the days where Fnatic made the semifinals and went toe-to-toe with SKT T1.

Leave a Reply

Captcha image