Sep 14 2015

Interesting match-ups emerge from World Group Draw

Published by at 11:33 pm under Esports and Gaming

With the League of Legends World Championship fast approaching, Riot Games held the live group draw for the event to determine the placement for all international teams.  On Saturday, after the dust had settled, the four groups had been decided.  The groups turned out like this:  Group A (CLG, YOE Flash Wolves, KOO Tigers, Pain Gaming), Group B (Fnatic, Invictus, AHQ, Cloud 9), Group C (SKT1, H2K, EDG, Bangkok Titans), Group D (LGD, KT Rolster, TSM, Origen).

Most analysts and fans have deemed Group A the “weakest group.”  The 1st place team from North America, Counter Logic Gaming, has a great chance of surviving the group stages, even after losing their jungler, Xmithie, due to visa issues.  The 2nd place team out of the Korean LCK, the KOO Tigers, should have no problem breezing through this group as well.  Group A has the biggest gap between the perceived top 2 teams and the bottom clg lol2 teams.  YOE Flash Wolves (2nd place LMS) and Pain Gaming (International Wildcard) are not expected to do much except gain valuable experience on the world stage.

Group B has been aptly nicknamed (and teased) “the group with no Korean teams.”  Despite this fact, B has a wealth of strong teams.  The biggest questions that arise from this group are, “Can Fnatic keep up its’ crushing season?” and “Can Cloud9 turn a magical journey through the NA gauntlet into something truly legendary?”fnatic2  AHQ will look to prove themselves on the international stage after demolishing their competition in the LMS to cruise to a 1st place finish.  Invictus, who finished 3rd in the Chinese LPL, features a dynamic Korean duo in the jungle and mid-lane and will look to deny the great seasons of Fnatic and AHQ and stop Cloud9’s incredulous run.

Some of the best player-to-player match-ups emerged from the draw of Group C.  Mid-laners in particular.  Faker. Pawn. Ryu. Any group with these great mid-laners would be great to watch on its own, but this one features some of the best rematches we could have hoped for.  Ryu will look to avenge one of the greatest outplays in LoL history.  Faker will faker1look to topple Pawn and get revenge for his team’s loss at the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year. The mid-lane is sure to be full of excitement in this group. This was a terrible group for H2K to be drawn into, with SKT1 and EDG looking to return to the finals of an international tournament.  It is everyone’s estimate that the Bangkok Titans have little to no chance of escaping this group.

D stands for death. Every time a tournament with a group stage is held, a group full of the most competitive teams seems to form. This is that group.  All four teams (LGD, KT, TSM, Origen) could reasonably win this group. The problem is only two of these strong teamstsm1 will make it to the bracket stage. Fan favorites TSM have a tough road ahead of them if they want to shake the nightmares of MSI and the NA finals from their memories.  Recent challenger team Origen, although full of veterans, will have to play out of their minds to defeat the likes of LGD and KT Rolster.

This year’s World Championship has a lot of storylines.  Will Korea dominate again? Can North American teams show up and contend with top international teams? Will EU deliver on the world stage? Will the exodus of top Korean pros to China elevate an LPL team to victory? These questions are sure to be answered when the group stages of the World Championships begin on Oct. 1.


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