Finally, its Worlds time.
In 2 days, the crème de la crème of League of Legends teams will begin their gauntlet to pick up the Summoners Cup of the 2016 season.
This season of LoL was amazing; NA stepped up big, G2 changed the face of what Europe usually offers, and China and Korea don’t seem so high and mighty anymore. Also, ROX has been so dominant that most people and I are giving them the #1 spot with ease.
With this in mind, we will now attempt to evaluate and predict how the Worlds bracket will look after the group stage.
Let's get it started.
Group A comes off as one of the easiest groups to predict. ROX has been so dominant that everyone and me included give them the 1st spot with ease.
On the other hand, the second team to leave the group is hard to predict between G2 or CLG.
Mithy and Zven did wonders for Origen last season before moving to G2, and with Trick in the jungle it’s all that gets G2 going. The downfall though is Perkz at MID who is greatly underperforming.
On the other hand, we have Aprhomoo and Stixxay on botlane for CLG. A deadly combo as proven at MSI (Mid-Season Invitational). But once we look at the other 2 laners in Huhu (Mid) and Darshan (Top), they don’t offer much superiority over G2 since both of the teams nonbot-laners are underperforming as of late.
So it comes down to the Junglers. Xmithie for CLG and Trick for G2.
Trick is the European MVP Jungler and he has all the “tricks” in the book. For me, this is what would give G2 overall dominance over CLG.
But there is also hints that Reingover from Immortals came aboard to help Xmithie on boot camp and work on his early game. Which makes this a nightmare to predict.
The last team on our list is Albus Nox Luna that came through the IWCQ (International Wild Card Qualifiers). Now, I don’t have much hope in any wildcard team from the IWCQ. They generally underperform greatly with the top tier teams, and their chances of advancing are very low.
I honestly hope at some point a IWCQ team will just go bananas and destroy everyone, but I don’t think that this is the year we will see that. We can always hope these teams come to improve and grow by just attending, and if we ever want to see a Teemo or a “trollpick” composition, these are the teams that would gladly go for it. (Remember Mineski?).
I put Albus Nox Luna at last place in Group A.
4. Albus Nox Luna
Now this is another tough group to call.
We have 3 big names on the World stage. All been to Worlds, and all have a huge fan base.
SKT (1st) and I May (2nd) will go out of this group.
It’s quite simple really. People bash on SKT T1 for having a “weak” jungler, but keep forgetting that this team is built on insane talent. They don’t need much to get going and even a mediocre jungle performance will still get them the win.
For FlashWolves to get going they need to get Karsa (JNG) and Maple (MID) to get fed. That is quite hard once your mid lane “snowballer” is facing Faker. So this is where SKT still wins.
C9 on the other hand, will try to go through their top lane but will still struggle into Duke (Top SKT). And every other lane is evenly matched or losing. So same as FW, C9 will aim to go through the “weakness” of Blank (SKT Jung), and hope Meteos (C9 Jung), does twice the work of SKT’s jungle.
And lastly, I May.
This team equals to what Digital Chaos was in the Dota 2 Internationals. Raw talent, diverse background, with some issues in communication.
They are new, unique, and unpredictable. The champion pools go deep and they do not seem to fear any team they match. They can be a huge flop or a huge success, akin to what Origen did last season.
Even when matching them to SKT I think they can win. But, I do not think they will beat everyone.
This team likes controlling the tempo and the pace of the game. But it swings both ways as C9 and SKT know how to play really well when under pressure.
So I predict they will win against one, but lose against the other.
This leaves us to how C9 fares to FlashWolves to round out the group. Both teams rely on a strong jungler to get them going. While FW focuses on a Midlane snowball, C9 does it by feeling out who can outscale better. In a head to head, this is tricky to call.
But FlashWolves play seems too one-dimensional to me. And with that in mind, I give the edge to C9.
Which leaves the final tally like this:
2. I May
This group at first glance is similar in a prediction manner to Group A. One team is a clear favorite, and two need to get an edge to get 2nd place.
EDG is going to win this lane. As an organization they have fought long and hard to establish EDG as the model for a stable organization in China. They have performed at a very high level for two and a half seasons now, and they haven't seem to hit their glass ceiling yet.
They will go far in this tournament, no question. 1st place in the group for sure.
And now the hard part.
How to measure two teams that easily implode and explode at random?
It's no doubt that both AHQ and H2k are top tier teams.
They have talented individuals, good macro play, and a solid early to late game strategy.
But, they both tilt. And when they do, it’s a mess. FORG1VEN is back for H2k. He has amazing talent but he also goes from peak performance to mediocre play between the first and second games.
AHQ on the other hand have had a ton of issues of their own.
They have the blaze and glory of past, a legacy to their names, but now they are slowly fading.
I can compare them to Season 4 Fnatic. And I think they will perform in the same manner FNC did back in the Worlds 2014.
With both teams having their fair share of instability, either could go over away from the group stage. But I do feel that H2k has a stronger analyst and coach to prepare them for what AHQ may bring.
So in a face to face showdown and both of the teams not dropping a game to the wildcard INTZ, I predict that H2k gets 2nd place in Group C.
I do not know where to begin here.
Is this the year TSM finally plows through everyone to get the 1st seed and also show domination on Worlds?
Or will this be a normal prediction style group where EU and NA are left behind in favor of China and Korea.
Even Splyce has shown they don’t mess around when it comes to dedication and preparation.
RNG and SSG are not such cutthroat teams they used to be a season or two ago. I am not sure if EU/NA have grown a lot, or if these two teams have reached their peaks already.
So many questions, so let’s just get down to it.
First off: TSM, TSM, TSM.
Yes I am a fan boy. To me, TSM is the equivalent of how I feel about Digital Chaos in Dota 2, and NiP in CS:GO. I always hope they win. I always hope they do good.
They have Bjergsen, Doublelift and Svenskeren this time around. Fanboying aside, TSM looks solid. Better then any previous Worlds or MSI tournaments they attended.
I think this is the year they can make it far in the tournament if they commit hard enough.
Back to Korea and China, we have SSG and RNG.
Samsung Galaxy is not the team we know from 2014 in any way. The organization has had its fair share of trouble in the past season, and has been actively rebuilding. But what I can see this time, is that they committed heavily on proving their brand is not out of the top tier just yet.
They had a shaky split but a very strong finish this season and knowing how dedicated Korean teams are when it comes to preparation, I have no doubt SSG is one of the two teams leaving the Group of Death.
RNG on the other hand is a superstar team. Everyone is experienced, everyone is doing great, and the organization itself has so many world class events under its belt. They are perceived as a solid contender by many.
But RNG’s biggest strength is also their biggest weakness. And that is Uzi (ADC). Uzi is a god in his role and he hard carries RNG most of the time. But knowing this also puts him under great pressure. He can probably only hard dominate Kobbe (SPL) from the enemy teams, but Doublelift (TSM) and Ruler (SSG) are not easy targets.
Combined with Svenskeren (TSM) and Ambition( SSG) in Jungle to provide much needed pressure, I don’t think RNG will get ahead of the respective opposing ADCs which will make RNG suffer.
And finally Europe’s 3rd seed, Splyce.
Splyce has a lot of potential to grow, but they need to overcome a very steep learning curve and grow from a rookie team to a team that beats three league powerhouse teams in a very short time.
It is possible, but I think unlikely. Almost every team and player when faced with the Worlds stage as a rookie has a hard time adapting. And to add all the teams they face in their group, I put their chances at advancing as highly unlikely.
This brings us to our final prediction for Group D:
Well guys, that wraps up our analysis! We hope you enjoyed it.
To watch the LoL World Championship, tune in at http://www.lolesports.com/ on September 29th at 4:00 PM PST.
Be sure to join us next week as we break down ESL One New York!
- Tags: eSports