Day 2 of Worlds wraps up. North America stays undefeated. 5 teams lock knockouts,
The World Championship (also known as Worlds) is the second of two-yearly international tournaments in the League of Legends Esports scene, where players compete on franchised teams for fame, pride, a considerable salary, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash prizes.
22 teams from 12 regions (The Vietnam Championship Series couldn’t send their 2 teams due to covid travel restrictions) will compete for the ultimate prize in LoL esports, the 70-pound Summoner’s Cup. The tournament started with the play-in stage on October 5th, before advancing to the main stage groups which will take begin on October 11th before eventually ending with the finals on November 6th.
Day 2 has wrapped up and it was much more exciting than day 1. The games were closer, bloodier, and the stage is being set for some do-or-die games and some very interesting best-of-5s. I will be going through each game, giving the result, a headline that sums up the match, and a summary of how the game went, and a look at who the teams will play next.
Game 1: (LCK)
TLDR: About what was expected. Now the true test begins for OCE.
Summary:That was one of the more one-sided games I’ve seen. The early game was about as dominant as an LCK/LCO matchup should be. By 5 minutes, Chovy had solo killed Tally (after PEACE spent 4 bans on Chovy), and more importantly, Deft had 44 cs to Violet’s 13 and was level 5 to his 3. Violet’s support Aladoric was a higher level than him at one point. To PEACE’s credit, Vizicsacsi had a 20 cs lead over Morgan. But then Babip decided to dive an Aatrox under tower and HLE had reinforcements on the way. He didn’t even get to drop the rift herald he had. Vizicsacsi lost almost all his early lead off that botched play. To be fair, the game was already over by that point. With how well Deft and Vsta were zoning away Violet and Aladoric, the PEACE bot lane could’ve shut off their monitors and the early game wouldn’t look much different. HLE knew this and sent Willer bot lane to pick up 2 more kills. PEACE did try to make plays mid and late games. They even found a few picks. Proactivity from behind is good. The game was just so far out of their control by that point it didn’t really matter.
While it wasn’t completely flawless from Hanwha Life Esports, it was much better than their day 1 performance. After the early deficit and turning around the dive, Morgan took over on Aatrox. Willer was a monster on Taliyah. Chovy was as dominant as advertised. Deft and Vsta were almost flawless. I’m glad to see they didn’t let the shaky day 1 get in their head. As for PEACE, getting stomped by the 2 major regions was completely expected. The true test will be if they can put it behind them and beat the teams closer to their skill level. They have had some decent mid games, but they really need to clean up that early game. It’s very hard to make plays when you’re down 9k gold and multiple full items behind by 20 minutes.
With this game, Hanwha Life and LNG Esports clinch a spot in the knockout round.
Game 2: (LPL)
TLDR: RED Canids get a lead early, but LNG makes some picks and snowball hard.
Summary:The draft for both teams meant this was set up for an explosive game. LNG had massive amounts of burst with champs like Gragas for Tarzan, Jayce for Ale, and Zed for Icon. Meanwhile, RED Canids had a very good teamfighting comp with big ultimates like Miss Fortune, Kennen, and Irelia.
RED would actually get a 1k gold lead off of 2 kills in a 3v3 in the mid lane. This was incredibly unexpected as LNG was looking like the scariest team in play-ins and Guigo was surving top lane in a bad matchup against Ale.
Unfortunately for them, (and any fans of the upset) LNG would find multiple picks off of superior vision and a team comp designed for it. Ale would hit a shock blast onto Guigo and flash under tower to kill him, and when Guigo came back to lane, Iwandy and Tarzan were already up there and combined with Ale to kill him again. The top lane which had gone surprisingly even was now 1.5k in favor of Ale. LNG would find a good fight in the enemy jungle at 20 minutes and it was all LNG from their. LNG’s team comp simply had way too much burst damage for RED Canids to get a proper teamfight. It was best demonstrated when RED tried to turn an LNG retreat into a teamfight, and LNG cc’d and blew Guigo up before he could even use his vital teamfight ultimate. It’s hard to play the game when you die in the blink of an eye.
Three guesses as to what happened after this picture and your first two don’t count.
LNG had a few shaky moments in the early game, but LNG would end up stomping the game after they found a few picks. Ale looked as good as ever, He’s looked absolutely dominant in all 3 of his games, and although the competition is much weaker than what he will be facing in group stage, if he keeps it up LNG could be a real threat in group D. Light and Iwandy were the unsung heroes. Although Ale would be talked up as he kicked off the snowball, and Icon would be talked about as he picked Zed mid, Light ended up going 6/0/5 even though TitaN was the recipient of 1st blood while Iwandy’s roams were vital to putting Guigo behind and kicking off fights.
RED Canids were a mixed bag. On one hand, they got an early lead against the top team in the group. On the other hand, it looked like they had no idea how to properly snowball a lead. LNG was beatable that game, they just failed to push the early advantage. They couldn’t match LNG’s vision game. They won’t get much of a break as they still have to play the other top team of the group today, but if they learn from their mistakes, perhaps they will shock the world.
Game 3: (LCO)
TLDR: An absolute bloodbath of a must-win game goes the way of PEACE, thanks to a massive difference in the mid lane.
Summary:I’m still not entirely sure what I just watched. That was the bloodiest game of Worlds so far. It felt like teams would fight for anything and everything, all the time. Babip would work with Tally for 1st blood on Cody at 6 minutes in and the game never slowed down from there. Only 2 minutes later, INF brought 4 people mid to return the favor onto Tally. A great Gnar ultimate at a Rift Herald fight would hand Buggax 3 kills early and he would be the man of the match for Infinity. Vizicsacsi’s life would be made miserable as his laner was gifted 3 free kills and he was the unlucky one to lane against him. Unfortunately for Infinity, Buggax was the only real point of power. Babip was far more impactful than SolidSnake and was 6/10 with 10 stacks on dark seal by 15 minutes. Bot lane was mostly going even as WhiteLotus and Violet were farming up but weren’t present in the big teamfight. Despite Tally having few kills, he would amass a massive CS difference in the mid lane very early on. The fights would rest on a knife’s edge for most of the game. The 5v5 fight at 25 minutes was the best example of this as Buggax was the only one on the map left standing after it. It could’ve just as easily swung hard in the favor of either team.
PEACE was getting big leads in jungle and mid, but Buggax was trying to solo carry the game. He ended up going 13/4/1 and was 3.5k gold lead ahead of Vizicsacsi. He was the only one on INF to end with a lead. Bot lane went very even but Violet was more impactful in the fights. Jungle was a huge difference for PEACE as Babip got all 4 dragons and Baron Nashor. But the biggest issue for Infinity was the mid lane.
Dear God, the mid lane difference in this game was ginormous. It wasn’t even like Cody was getting camped by Babip, sure 1st blood came from him, but the rest was almost all Tally outplaying him in the Irelia/Sylas matchup. Cody wasn’t even playing the same game as Tally. Tally would be one of the biggest carries for PEACE while Cody would do absolutely nothing noteworthy. By the end of the game, in mid lane, there was 136 CS difference. A 1 ½ item lead, a 3 level diffrence. 6/5/11 vs 1/6/9.
For PEACE, it is good to see the mental didn’t get broken by the top-heavy start. They are now all but guaranteed a spot in the knockout stage. Tally and Babip really stepped up after some rough games, Violet finally got to play League of Legends, and the OCE will continue their trend of steadily getting better. Their final match tomorrow against RED Canids will be a nice warm-up game for the best-of-5 against them on Friday.
Infinity meanwhile is all but dead. Their opponent for the must-win game is LNG. They are not winning that one, so I will save my rants about them (because I have a lot to say) for the send-off.
Game 4: (LCK)
TLDR: The HLE people expected shows up again as bot lane and Chovy are on form. RED still put up a fight.
Summary: Hanwha Life Esports closed their group stage on a very high note as they held off RED Canids early and won the key fights late. Although the early game would be a close contest, you can attribute that more to RED Canids’ willingness to make plays than anything HLE did particularly wrong. That’s not to say HLE was flawless, Deft died in mid lane when he really didn’t need to. But RED were legitimatley keeping up with HLE in the fighting department. Grevthar got very involved in the side lanes early on Twisted Fate. Guido would teleport bot lane to get a 2 for 1 trade. RED were keeping up in the kills. But the devil is in the details. Those roams came at a hefty price.
Hanwha Life massively out-farmed their Brazilian counterparts. Chovy may not have roamed as much, but he was getting a big farm lead and only roamed when he knew it would do something. Chovy ended with a 99 cs lead over Grevthar and went deathless on the day. Morgan would get the shutdown gold on Guido as he was a level up on him thanks to getting time alone to farm. Deft and Vsta both had greatgames. Deft was able to out-farm TitaN even though he got an early kill. He was constantly 20-30 cs up. Vsta was bloodthirsty on Leona. His engages were great, he was utterly unkillable, and he did his job almost flawlessly. This would be made clear in fights around objectives. Even though RED had the mechanics to keep up, HLE’s bigger wallets allowed them to buy more items and edge out the fights. The fights around objectives would just barely go HLE’s way early and would be absolute massacres late game. The only objectives RED Canids got were 2 towers and 2nd rift herald. HLE got 1st herald, all 4 dragons+infernal soul, Baron, and the W.
RED Canids might have lost both games today, but they sure made them entertaining. They aren’t afraid to fight early, they don’t get intimidated by big names, the players are emotional and you can see the joy when they win a fight or even a game. That 1-2 scoreline doesn’t really do them justice. Their mechanics were fine, it was the details that killed them today. The vision and sloppiness with a lead against LNG, and getting highly out-farmed against HLE. I would put them as favorites against PEACE tomorrow, and in the best of 5 they will play Friday.
Game 5: (LCS)
TLDR: Cloud 9 are in great form as they stay undefeated. Beyond Gaming go down early but refuse to give up.
Summary: Most of the doubts Cloud 9 had surrounding them going into Worlds are starting to fade away fast as C9 fought their way to yet another victory. Meanwhile Beyond Gaming showed that yesterday was not their peak as they lost gracefully. Despite putting the playoff top laner Liang back in after subbing in PK day 1 and showing great draft adaptability by flexing Lilia to top lane, the 1st few minutes would go poorly for BYG. Blaber and Fudge caught out Husha on an invade in the jungle and they picked up a kill each. BYG wouldn’t take this lying down and Doggo roamed mid to pick up a kill and a few minutes later, BYG got the herald and a 2 for 1 trade. The game would be incredibly even only the most marginal of gold leads for BYG at 15 minutes. Doggo was very strong but Maoan’s Yone failed to take off. On the other side, Fudge and Blaber picked up early kills but the rest of C9 were having quiet games. The game would be a bloody one and the teams would trade kills back-and-forth. Cloud 9 always came out just a little bit ahead, but not so much that they could put Beyond Gaming away for good.
Unfortunately, those little leads would add up as “death by a thousand cuts” was the name of the game for BYG. Trading 1 for 2 isn’t fatal itself but when every trade has them come out a little behind, those would result in Blaber, Zven, and Perkz all getting very strong. Beyond Gaming never gave up. Liang would look for key sleeps, Doggo would not be deterred after getting one-comboed by Perkz and would tear through C9 with his MF ultimate when he could. But Kino’s Ammumu was incredibly squishy. Him being squishy while also being forced to serve as a primary form of engage lead to many deaths before he could do much of anything. Maoan’s Yone wouldn’t get much done. He could find ultimates but he wasn’t doing much damage. Meanwhile Fudge was unkillable while having a ton of damage, Blaber was impactful early on Lee Sin, Perkz had another great game on Sylas, Vulcan’s engages were crisp, and Zven was untouchable on Ezreal. BYG would fight against the odds until they could fight no more.
This was a game where both teams come out looking good. Beyond Gaming helped show that they were no pushovers, yesterday was a fluke, and that they refuse to go down gently. If BYG takes any pent-up anger from starting 0-2 and use it against the also winless Unicorns of Love, it could be an ugly stomp. Meanwhile, Cloud 9 is looking the best they have since Spring. All of the questionable play and mocking from summer and MSI might as well have never happened. This is the C9 that was advertised at the beginning of the year. And although it is against weaker competition, Cloud 9 are showing that they are a force to be reckoned with, and won’t just be fodder for the “real teams”.
Now if only they weren’t going to be drawn into a group with Damwon KIA and FunPlus Phoenix.
Game 6: (LJL)
TLDR: DFM comes out swinging and make the race for the top 2 even tighter. GS loses off one play.
Summary:As the headline stated, this game might as well have only lasted 6 minutes. For context, Glatasary’s team comp was very fragile, did tons of damage, but didn’t do much else. They didn’t have a true tanky frontline. Their carries had little protection. If they got ahead they would blow up DentonationFocusMe, but if they got behind, they wouldn’t be able to do anything. The first 4 minutes were alright. Nothing major happened, Zergsting picked up first blood by baiting Steal into a bad dive. But then at 5 minutes, a 3v3 fight broke out. It was going Galatasaray’s way, but one factor would ruin everything. Crazy had already used his teleport to get back to lane. Evi’s Urgot did not. Evi found a flank ward, turned it into a 4v3, and cleaned up a 3 for 0 fight for DFM. Game, set, match DFM.
What, do you think I’m exaggerating? After that play, all Galatasaray got after that was 2 towers and 1 kill. Evi got two of the kills so any tower plating Jayce took on the roam didn’t mean anything. Evi solo killed him and took over lane. Steal was capable of 1v1ing Mojito with the gold he got off the play and Lee couldn’t do anything for the rest of the game. Bolulu had nowhere to make plays on Azir while Aria could keep him under tower and nuke any members of GS. And the bot lane could almost carry the game by themselves after that. Gaeng’s Thresh lanterns made Yutapon untouchable while his Aphelios ripped through Galatasaray like wet tissue paper. DFM every member of DFM was on fire. GS was fragile and had no real way to come back. This game is huge for DFM as it puts them back in the race for the top 2. With only 1 game left vs Beyond Gaming, if they get some help from GS, they could still very well take 1st as h2h only decides side selection in a tiebreaker match, not who gets out.
As for Galatasaray, just chalk it up to that one play, put it behind you and get ready for C9 later today. Aside from playing early game better and not drafting 5 squishy members, there is little to take from it when the game so heavily swung off of one play.
All three 2-win teams clinch a knockout round berth off of this DFM win.
Game 7: (PCS)
TLDR: The PCS reps close the day strong. Unicorns of Love barely show up.
Summary: This game went about as everyone expected. After a 4-man dive onto the UoL bot lane resulted in 1 kill for them and Maoan diying to the tower (meaning UoL got no gold from it), BYG cleaned up the early game and put UoL very far behind at 8 minutes. Argonavt got caught out on a rotation to Rift Herald by a Syndra stun from Maoan and he and Husha burst him out, Husha dived into the pit and stole the rift herald while Liang killed AHaHaCiK. As a result of the herald and the pressure, BYG had a 5k gold lead by 15 minutes while all UoL had was a single mountain dragon. UoL showed faint signs of life when they were able to kill off 3 members of BYG, but Doggo’s Ezreal quickly snuffed it out with a triple kill as BYG found the dragon and the ace. The only strong member of UoL was BOSS, who was able to get 2 more kills on a top lane dive. The rest of UoL could do very little as BYG picked up more kills, a 10k gold lead, and a Baron. The game only lasted a little over 25 minutes as BYG marched into the base and took everything. Despite the poor competition, Beyond Gaming needed this victory. They needed it to get out, yes, but more importantly, they needed the momentum and a mental reset. With DFM having a good day, they certainly didn’t want to make their final game tomorrow do-or-die with no momentum on their side. A near victory and close game against the best team in the group is nice, but a win will lift the spirits even more. BYG has an uphill battle if they want to make it out to group stage but with the players kicking it into high gear (especially Doggo, who has looked great in all 3 games), they seem to be up to the challenge.
Meanwhile, what is there to say about Unicorns of Love that I haven’t said already or won’t say in the send-off? Their only game left is Cloud 9. They have shown almost nothing positive in their 3 games so far. None of them have been even close. At no point did it ever feel like UoL were in control of this game. Every single player ended the game at least 1k gold behind and nobody could stand up to BYG in individual 1v1s or teamfights. The only notable players this game was AHaHaCiK and Argonavt, and they were for the wrong reasons. Both players were the dictionary definition of outclassed by Husha (who killed Argonavt, stole AHaHaCiK’s herald he started and ran over him at every turn, and Doggo (a matchup between the undisputed best player on BYG vs one of the worst players on UoL went about as expected).
Game 8: (LCS)
TLDR: Cloud 9 are here to stay. Galatasaray ends their group run on a low note.
Summary: The Cloud 9 hype train kept rolling as they won the “battle for 1st “ to remain undefeated. Tryndamere mid and Jarvan IV top made a repeat appearance, and Blaber would pick up Taliyah jungle. The rest of the draft was fairly standard for both sides with meta champions like Sylas, Xin, MF, and more rounding out the lineups. C9 would have a great early game with a good level one blowing summoner spells for both Bolulu and Zergsting. Getting flash off of Bolulu proved effective as Vulcan and Blaber roamed at level 3 and 4 to get Perkz 1st blood. Great kiting by Zven and a good roam by Blaber would result in 3 kills for C9 while losing none of their own despite the low healthbars. GS would fight back, punishing a dive onto Alive with 4 members roaming bot to kill Zven and Vulcan, but Blaber would section them off with a weavers wall and drop herald to secure Perkz first turret gold. Galatasary would not lie down and die as a fight for 2nd herald would result in many shutdowns on fed C9 members going GS’s way. And Cloud 9 would throw them a bone with Perkz dying to Bolulu with Tryndamere ultimate still available (the coaching staff, casters, and even Perkz himself would have a good laugh at it).
But Cloud 9 would show up when it mattered Cloud 9 would crush the baron fight 5 for 0 and Galatasaray couldn’t hold onto the base. That little mistake from Perkz was the only really noteworthy mistake C9 had. The rest of the game was smooth sailing. Sure GS would fight back, but it never felt like they were in any real danger. Everyone is playing massively better than they did in summer split and at the best possible time. Perkz is (mostly) back in Worlds form. Blaber is killing the MSI memes one game at a time. Fudge is stepping up in his 2nd Worlds ever. Zven and Vulcan look unstoppable in the bot lane Zven only having 2 deaths in 3 games, and Vulcan’s frequent early roams playing a key part in their newly found success. With only the winless Unicorns of Love left to play tomorrow, C9 is poised to take the group stage spot and all the momentum in the world with them. And with what group they are going into, God help them, they are going to need it.
Meanwhile, this was not the best of days for the TCL. They had a prime position to do the unthinkable and finish 1st in the group yet they were not up to the occasion. TCL MVP Mojito could not stand up to Blaber at all, and he ended up going 1/6/1. The rest of GS was only marginally better. C9 had the lead for the entire game and Galatasaray didn’t have a shot at taking it back. Now their fates are out of their hands. They are qualified for the knockout round, but if they place 3rd, they are going to have to rematch Beyond Gaming for the “privilege” of playing either LNG or Hanwha Life in a best-of-5. That is all but a death sentence for any team coming out of group B. If you are a fan of the TCL, you are a fan of the PCS now. If BYG beat DFM tomorrow, there is a 3-way tie for 2nd. I wouldn’t go so far as to write Galatasaray off, but they will be heading into the knockout round with not much momentum on their side.
The World Championship will continue October 7th with China’s LNG Esports vs Latin America’s Infinity Esports at 6am CST. These will be the final games before the switch to best-of-5’s. You can find the full schedule at https://lolesports.com/, and catch every match there, on the LoL Esports YouTube channel, or at https://www.twitch.tv/riotgames