Group Stage: KT Rolster Shows Worlds Why They Are One of the Favorites to Win it All | VPEsports
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Group Stage: KT Rolster Shows Worlds Why They Are One of the Favorites to Win it All

Group Stage: KT Rolster Shows Worlds Why They Are One of the Favorites to Win it All

The League of Legends World Championship (also known as Worlds) is a yearly international tournament that brings together the top teams from each league in a battle to hoist the Summoner’s Cup and earn the title of World Champion. The event moves between host regions each year; this year, teams will battle it out on a tour of four cities across South Korea.

Game 1 – KT Rolster (LCK) vs Team Liquid (NA LCS)

Projected Winner: KT Rolster
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KT Rolster show the world why they’re a favorite to win Worlds

The opening of Worlds began with two number one seeds – KT Rolster from the LCK and Team Liquid from the NA LCS. On the red side of the rift, KT Rolster is one of the favorites to win Worlds this year. On the blue side, Team Liquid are looking for redemption for their Mid-Seasonal Invitational. In the draft phase, both teams got themselves not only power picks but also comfort picks with Smeb on Aatrox and Score on Kindred and Xmithe in Gragas and Doublelift in Kai’Sa.

At the start of the game, KT was able to blow Doublelift’s flash before the laning phase started. This gave Deft and Mata control of the lane from the start and allowed Score to snowball and triple buff Xmithe. However, Xmithe did not lay down and watch the game go out of control. With a great flash Body Slam, Xmithe was able to blow up Xayah and kill Score in the counter gank attempt. Unfortunately for Team Liquid, Impact was killed by a gank by Ucal. This gave Ucal item advantage in the mid lane, which he promptly used to kill Pobelter shortly thereafter. From there, the wheels came off the track for Team Liquid, as KT was able to secure repeated towers. After a fight over Infernal drake that saw TL losing Xmithe, Impact and Olleh – KT Rolster was able to secure the baron. With the power that Syndra had and the deficit that Team Liquid were in, KT was able to wrap up the game from there.

KDA & CS

KT Rolster: 14/4/34

Smeb: 8 KDA w/ 322 cs
Score: 9 KDA w/ 180 cs
Ucal: 12 KDA w/ 384 cs
Deft: 8 KDA w/ 342
Mata: 12 KDA w/ 47 cs

Team Liquid: 4/14/7

Impact: 0.4 KDA w/ 268 cs
Xmithe: 0.7 KDA w/ 156 cs
Pobelter: 0.5 KDA w/ 345 cs
Doublift: 3 KDA w/ 364 cs
Olleh: 1 KDA w/ 16 cs

Winner: KT Rolster


Game 2 – Edward Gaming (LPL) vs Mad Team (LMS)
Projected Winner: Edward Gaming
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In spite of a mediocre early game, Edward Gaming turn the game around with a decisive baron fight

Edward Gaming was one of the stronger looking teams to come out of the Play-In Stage. Despite a surprise loss to Infinity Esports, EDG looked mostly dominant in the group stage and in their knockout stage series versus DetonatioN FocusMe they looked commanding. On the opposite of the rift, Mad Team comes to Worlds as the second seeded team from the LMS; a region that has shown it can play with the big dogs at Worlds. In the draft phase, Mad secured Breeze his signature Ezreal pick. For EDG, they were able to pick a strong two versus two bot lane for iBoy and Meiko with the pick up of Xayah and Leona.

At the start of the game, Kongyue and Uniboy link up versus Haro in their own red side jungle to secure first blood. Shortly thereafter, Haro is able to help secure a return kill on Liang in the top lane. The game was bloody back and forth as the teams were able to secure picks on each other. However, the close game was turn on it’s head when Edward Gaming was able to win two separate team fights around the baron buff. Afterwards, EDG were able to wrap up the game with a team fight in at the bot lane inhibitor and eventually take the nexus for their first win on the main stage.

KDA & CS

Edward Gaming: 18/12/47

Ray: 3.3 KDA w/ 303 cs
Haro: 5 KDA w/ 185 cs
Scout: 7 KDA w/ 370 cs
iBoy: 13 KDA w/ 457 cs
Meiko: 4.3 KDA w/ 73 cs

Mad Team: 12/18/27

Liang: 1.2 KDA w/ 298 cs
Kongyue: 2.5 KDA w/ 191 cs
Uniboy: 2.75 KDA w/ 322 cs
Breeze: 2 KDA w/ 429 cs
K: 3 KDA w/ 42 cs

Winner: Edward Gaming


Game 3 – Phong Vu Buffalo (VN) vs Flash Wolves (LMS)
Projected Winner: Flash Wolves
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Flash Wolves put on a clinic versus Phong Vu Buffalo

Coming into the day, many wondered if the Flash Wolves would return to their 2015 form because their last two Worlds performances had been pretty poor. On the side of Phong Vu Buffalo, they inherited their bye into the main stage of Worlds this year due to the aggressive and surprising performance of the Gigabyte Marines in the 2017 World Championship. In the draft phase, the two teams trade power picks back and forth with a curious Sion pick up instead of the open Aatrox on the side of the Flash Wolves. In the second half of the draft, Buffalo would round out their comp with Graves in the jungle and Syndra in the mid lane. The Flash Wolves had a trick up their sleeve as they locked in Aatrox for their last pick; revealing that the Sion was a flex pick for the mid lane.

During the game, it was shown that Phong Vu Buffalo was outclassed by the Flash Wolves as SwordArt had a masterful engage that ensured first blood with the help of Moojin’s Taliyah. This would become a consistent theme for the Wolves, as SwordArt and Moojin were able to consistently create picks on the immobile carries of the Vietnamese representatives. Another place of power for the Flash Wolves was in the mid lane as the tankiness of Sion completely neutralized the opposing Syndra. After a pick onto Nauk at his own blue buff, the Flash Wolves were able to ace Phong Vu and take the baron. From there it was a quick win for the LMS side as they ended the game in 27 minutes.

KDA & CS

Phong Vu Buffalo: 1/11/4

Zeros: 1 KDA w/ 251 cs
Melodia: 1 KDA w/ 154 cs
Nauk: 0.5 KDA w/ 250 cs
BigKoro: 0.2 KDA w/ 241 cs
Palette: 0.5 KDA w/ 68 cs

Flash Wolves: 11/1/23

Hanabi: 4 KDA w/ 255 cs
Moojin: 9 KDA w/ 155 cs
Maple: 6 KDA w/ 201 cs
Betty: 8 KDA w/ 275 cs
SwordArt: 7 KDA w/ 21 cs

Winner: Flash Wolves


Game 4 – Afreeca Freecs (LCK) vs G2 Esports
Projected Winner: Afreeca Freecs
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G2 pull off the upset and start their Worlds main stage with a victory

Coming into the game, G2 Esports hadn’t looked too clean in the Play-Ins. They had a pretty shaky performance on the first day but they did drop a game in their series versus Infinity Esports. The smart money according to most analysts was that Afreeca would be the victor on the day. In the draft phase, the Afreeca Freecs through the gauntlet down and dared G2 to pick Heimerdinger for Hjarnan. G2 happily obliged and also locked in Rakan for Wadid – a comfort and high performing pick for the G2 support. Both teams had standard picks, with Zoe making her second Worlds appearance; this time in the hands of Kuro.

Jankos continued his reign as the first blood king as he linked up with Wunder in the top lane to secure a kill onto Kiin. After first blood, the pace of the game slowed down as neither jungler could find an avenue for a successful gank. But while Afreeca was content it seemed to trade in farm, G2 were out performing them in the macro game securing tower after tower. While G2 Esports were baiting around the baron pit, Wunder pressured the bot lane inhibitor. Afreeca attempted to force Wunder to teleport to his team by engaging on them but he was undaunted. As he continued to take the inhibitor down, G2 stopped the Afreeca’s attempts to recall to stop him. After Wunder was able to take down the inhibitor he joined his team and in the resulting fight cleared out the Freecs and took nashor. From there it was an easy victory for the EU LCS’s third seed as they upset the Korean side.

KDA & CS

Afreeca Freecs: 3/7/5

Kiin: 3 KDA w/ 295 cs
Spirit: 1 KDA w/ 188 cs
Kuro: 0.5 KDA w/ 340 cs
Kramer: 2 KDA w/ 436 cs
TusiN: 0.5 KDA w/ 67 cs

G2 Esports: 7/3/18

Wunder: 1 KDA w/ 367 cs
Jankos: 2.5 KDA w/ 174 cs
Perkz: 7 KDA w/ 404 cs
Hjarnan: 6 KDA w/ 369 cs
Wadid: 6 KDA w/ 26 cs

Winner: G2 Esports


Game 5 – Royal Never Give Up (LPL) vs Cloud9 (NA LCS)
Projected Winner: Royal Never Give Up
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Royal Never Give Up remind everyone it is the Year of the Mad Dog.

Cloud9 getting to Worlds this year was somewhat a miracle. At the start of the split, they announced they would be benching Sneaky, Jensen, and Smoothie. Their new configuration of Goldenglue, Keith, and Zeyzal started the season poorly and Cloud9 found themselves in 10th place. Bringing the core back to the team, and employing a rotating jungle and mid lane synergy allowed to make it to the finals and win the gauntlet. For Royal Never Give Up, they are riding hide. They’ve won every international event they been at this year and many are calling it the Year of the Mad Dog. Cloud9 and Royal Never Give Up felt alright trading comfort picks.

And as the game played out, you could see why. Ming and Uzi were easily able to score a first blood on Sneaky. For the Cloud9 marksman, this would not be his only death as he continued to play gray screen simulator as RNG did what they do best – play through Uzi. A promising point for the North American side was that Licorice continued to show dominance, racking up three kills on Urgot. But, with their marksman being so far behind and Uzi being as strong as he was, Cloud9 didn’t stand a chance as they were defeated in a mere 25 minutes – the fastest game on the day.

KDA & CS

Royal Never Give Up: 11/3/29

Letme: 6 KDA w/ 201 cs
Karsa: 7 KDA w/ 161 cs
Xiaohu: 7 KDA w/ 199 cs
Uzi: 10 KDA w/ 297 cs
Ming: 10 KDA w/ 40 cs

Cloud9: 3/11/5

Licorice: 3 KDA w/ 213 cs
Svenskeren: 2 KDA w/ 129 cs
Jensen: 1 KDA w/ 235 cs
Sneaky: 0 KDA w/ 206 cs
Zeyzal: 0.3 KDA w/ 12 cs

Winner: Royal Never Give Up


Game 6 – Gen.G (LCK) vs Team Vitality (EU LCS)
Projected Winner: Gen.G
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Europe continues to play to their strengths as Vitality beats the former champions

Many analysts had Team Vitality pegged as the team in the group that was there for a participation medal. Especially considering Gen.G, the previous World Champions, were their first opponents. But continuing the trend started by G2 Esports earlier on the day, Team Vitality decided in the draft phase that they were going to play their style of League of Legends by picking Jiizuke Ekko. Gen.G’s side of the draft was pretty standard and where it wasn’t – picking Ashe for Ruler – it at least was comfort pick.

For most of the early game, Gen.G was in the driver’s seat as they secured first blood and maintained a 2K gold lead. But Team Vitality were not relegated to playing passive as they were the ones to take first drake and first turret. It was a dive in the mid lane that saw Vitality near acing Gen.G that put the EU LCS second seed in the driver’s seat as far the game’s tempo was concerned. Jiizuke’s Ekko had scaled into a threat that Crown couldn’t handle in the side lane and he made Gen.G look silly any time they tried to engage on him. The game seemed lost when Team Vitality were able to take the baron, but by killing off Jiizuke with a well timed Ashe arrow, Gen.G was able to neutralize much of the threat.
The game was won with a creative play as while the teams jockeyed for position on the Elder Dragon, Jiizuke teleported to the open inhibitor in the top lane. Try as CuVee might to stop him, Jiizuke was able to take the inhibitor and began to pressure the nexus. Attila decided to join his mid laner with a teleport of his own and the two were able to take down the Urgot and the nexus for EU’s second upset on the day.

KDA & CS

Gen.G: 18/15/40

CuVee: 1.8 KDA w/ 332 cs
Haru: 11 KDA w/ 217 cs
Crown: 3.75 KDA w/ 403 cs
Ruler: 5 KDA w/ 440 cs
CoreJJ: 4.3 KDA w/ 94 cs

Team Vitality: 15/18/37

Cabochard: 8 KDA w/ 361 cs
Kikis: 2.4 KDA w/ 226 cs
Jiizuke: 3.25 KDA w/ 438 cs
Attila: 3.3 KDA w/ 456 cs
Jacktroll: 1.5 KDA w/ 80 cs

Winner: Team Vitality

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