League of Legends Worlds 2018 Group Stage: Day Eight Recap
On day eight of the group stage, the final day, Group D finds out who comes out on top. Will it be the European favorites, Fnatic or the Chinese Invictus Gaming? Surely, 100 Thieves from North America will show up. Can G-Rex climb back from the depths?
Game One: Fnatic vs 100 Thieves
What’s a better way to start off the final day of the group stage than with the classic rivalry of Europe vs North America? The last time these two teams met, Fnatic crushed 100 Thieves, letting them only get a single kill in the game and making them look silly. Fnatic could cement their dominance with another clean win over 100 Thieves.
As the game began, there was an opportunity for 100 Thieves to get first blood, but it was turned around and they suffered it themselves. 100 Thieves, pretty early on, realized their win condition. They knew they had to group and teamfight to have more of a chance to win the game. For most of the game, grouping was exactly what 100 Thieves were doing, but Fnatic were stronger. There were times where 100 Thieves would be grouped with five people and simply three from Fnatic would wipe them. This was a slightly closer game than the first one, but one could assume that would be the case since they have already played against each other once and the shock has worn off. However, Fnatic was still able to take the game for themselves.
Game Two: G-Rex vs Invictus Gaming
This game was a must-win for Invictus Gaming. If they were unable to win this game, they would automatically be the second seed with only a small chance to change that. This game appeared as if it was simply two teams that were diametrically different facing off. G-Rex was forced to make all their moves reactionary. There was little they could do to get the advantage over Invictus Gaming. A large teamfight in the bottom lane by the bottom inhibitor tower was what sealed the coffin for G-Rex. With this loss, G-Rex were eliminated from Worlds, but they still could play spoiler to any of the other teams in their group.
Game Three: Fnatic vs G-Rex
What a game from Fnatic. You can’t say that G-Rex wasn’t trying, but there was a large number of kills on the side of Fnatic. Fnatic were able to keep pressing their advantage. They did so by taking towers as they went to secure this game. The picks from G-Rex were solid off the draft phase while possibly the only issue being the Nidalee in the jungle. She has been out of the meta for a long while and there were better options open for G-Rex to pick.
Altogether, this game was very one-sided in favor of Fnatic. Once they began rolling, there was no stopping them. The picks from Fnatic, the Xin Zhao and Irelia were recipients of this snowball. They were the sole recipients of a majority of the kills and were integral to taking down the team of G-Rex.
Game Four: 100 Thieves vs Invictus Gaming
Invictus Gaming were coming into this game with one thing on their mind. All they were focusing on was the upcoming game against Fnatic. This game did not matter. They win against 100 Thieves, great. There was no way they were ever going to lose to 100 Thieves the way they were playing.
At one point, 23 minutes in or so, 100 Thieves was looking good. They had just won a big teamfight and split the Invictus Gaming team apart. They were near the Baron pit and one would assume they would then go for Baron. Well, that is not what they do. They instead turned and chased after the enemy Ryze who is behind them, and they opened up their backline to being dove. Within a second of 100 Thieves backs being turned, the IG jungler and top laner flank them and wipe out the 100 Thieves with the help of their mid laner over the wall. It truly is this fight that signals the end of 100 Thieves’ game against Invictus Gaming.
Game Five: G-Rex vs 100 Thieves
G-Rex has been the only team that everyone was able to beat twice. This would include 100 Thieves as the game progressed. Of course, both of these teams wanted to prove they were supposed to be here and both wanted to pick up a win to end worlds on a high note. The draft for both teams looked slightly strange. If I had to guess, they chose to go more for comfort and fun rather than simple meta picks and compositions.
For some reason, be it luck or be it a release of pressure, this was the best game that 100 Thieves played at Worlds. In the end, their rookie jungler had 24 out of 26 kill participation. That is ridiculously good, and he carried the game on his back almost single-handedly. There were moments where this game was close, where there was the potential for G-Rex to grab more. The potential was there for G-Rex, but they did not act upon it. They instead would fall into the trap of focusing one person down so much that you can’t fight against the rest of the enemy team. This skewed focus was what lost them this game and slotted them in as 0-6 in the group stage at Worlds 2018.
Game Six: Invictus Gaming vs Fnatic
This is it. If Invictus Gaming could take down Fnatic here, they would have sole possession of first place and Fnatic would drop to second. The beginning of this game was closer than it should have been. Fnatic attempted to get fancy in the draft and got the two priority top lane champions for themselves in Urgot and Aatrox.
For a majority of their previous games, the game would be decided by the first fifteen minutes by a large advantage from the jungle position in Fnatic. This game was less so a jungle dominance and more of a middle game teamfight dominance. The communication from Fnatic was key in securing them the Baron as well as the ensuing fight. They were able to get four kills, the Baron and the base of Invictus Gaming in one fell swoop.
Game Seven: Fnatic vs Invictus Gaming (Tiebreaker)
One more time, this time with feeling! We got another game between Invictus Gaming and Fnatic directly after the Fnatic win. The momentum was with Fnatic as they had been riding high off dominating the previously undefeated team. This momentum was pivotal, as Fnatic managed to get first blood a mere two minutes into the game and start off on the right foot. However, Fnatic must have begun to scramble as the game was transitioning to mid-game, as they ceded a few kills to Invictus Gaming and had to begin fighting their way back.
Fnatic did just that and continued to take the advantage into the face of Invictus Gaming. A massive fight around the middle lane was enough to push Fnatic far enough ahead of Invictus. Meanwhile, the top laner for Invictus Gaming was able to get a kill and get out scot-free in a fight he should have died in. The final fight of the game was a large mistake from Invictus Gaming. Their support had gotten killed and they stepped too far forward with reckless abandon. Fnatic is able to ace Invictus Gaming and end the group stages in first place.
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