League of Legends Worlds 2018 Group Stage: Day Four
Day four is the last day of the first round robin. This means that every team has played the other teams in their group. Now, teams and fans alike can make an assessment on the power levels of the teams in each group. For example, Royal Never Give up is clearly powerful, and KT Rolster looks like the team that will meet them in the finals. We won’t know until the second round robin really hits, however.
Game One: Afreeca Freecs vs Phong Vu Buffalo
This was a pivotal game for Afreeca. They needed to beat Phong Vu Buffalo to really cement themselves any power at all. If they ended the first round robin without a win, that would be catastrophic. No Korean team has ever done that. So, all the pressure was on Afreeca to win this game, Phong Vu just needed to play spoiler to them. However, this was not the case. Afreeca came out of the gate looking to impress.
Afreeca came out with two back to back double kills in the top lane. They were able to then get their top laner ahead and make sure he had a safe lane to play. From there, the pressure they had been able to wrest from Phong Vu was enough to win teamfights. This eventually led to a fight near the bottom lane inhibitor turret where, for a moment, it looked like Afreeca would fall. However, they turn onto Phong Vu and take out all but one of their opponents and the base as consolation.
Game Two: G2 Esports vs Flash Wolves
The results of this game seemed like it was written on the wall. G2 Esports looked good, but not good enough to take down the Flash Wolves, right? Well, that’s not what happened. G2 has turned on whatever magical force European teams possess when they are counted out completely. They decided to play a complete snowball composition against one of the best looking teams in the tournament.
The gamble taken by G2 Esports to pick snowball champions paid out in the end, as they were able to create enough pressure other places on the map. This allowed their top laner to split-push and take the enemy base, forcing Flash Wolves to respond to either their base or the Baron. If they made any choice, they would be mistaken and taken advantage of by G2. This dance continued, as the G2 top laner was able to take all of Flash Wolves base as the Flash Wolves took the Baron.
Game Three: Invictus Gaming vs 100 Thieves
This game’s result was written on the wall from the beginning. Invictus Gaming has been undefeated and looked good in their wins. 100 Thieves, on the other hand, has looked poor, even in their win. Of course a team that is superior would win against a lesser team, right? 100 Thieves, not to be beat down, started the game off with a pair of kills on the topside of the map. However, as they looked to make an advantage in the bottom lane, they lost a member. The game then turned more into a teamfighting madhouse. All of a sudden, this game seemed over.
Invictus Gaming summoned the previously secured Rift Herald in the middle lane. The Herald was able to get a charge off on the tower and IG took down the outer tower in the midlane. From there, the Herald continued with Invictus Gaming and took down the inner tower. Sixteen minutes hit, and the Herald is on the middle inhibitor tower with Invictus Gaming taking down three members of 100 Thieves. Within four minutes, the game is over as Invictus Gaming takes 100 Thieves down in an oppressive fashion.
Game Four: G-Rex vs Fnatic
Fnatic could not lose this game. It would be catastrophic for every other team to have beaten G-Rex but Fnatic not to do so. This is why Fnatic picked a very strong composition, combining early game strength from the jungle with late game carry potential from the bottom lane. Fnatic started it all out on the right foot, as they got a kill in the top lane after a roam from their midlaner.
Before long, Fnatic was winning teamfight after teamfight. They were able to simply overpower G-Rex and crush in each lane. As the Baron spawned, Fnatic was on top of it and was able to secure it and a large number of kills on the back end. This gave Fnatic even more of advantage, as they moved to the bottom lane and took G-Rex’s inhibitor along with the rest of the base.
Game Five: Team Liquid vs MAD Team
Each of these two teams came into this game without a win. One of them would emerge with a win under their belt. The western fans would be rooting for Team Liquid to win and Team Liquid would deliver. Even as early as three minutes into the game, Team Liquid was up in gold on MAD Team. It was a small amount, but as we have seen, Team Liquid’s early games are where they get their advantages.
Team Liquid must have been realizing what all we realized, the lose as the game gets later. So, they bring the teamfight phase of the game earlier than one would assume. Fifteen minutes into the game and they committed five people to the bottom lane for a huge teamfight win. This advantage closed the gap for Team Liquid between the end of laning phase and the teamfight phase. They were able to easily pressure out the rest of the map and secured the Baron around thirty-three minutes into the game. They played more like a team in this game than they had in the previous games they had been playing. A singular teamfight in the midlane was enough to push Team Liquid over the final hurdle of taking down MAD’s base and Nexus.
Game Six: KT Rolster vs Edward Gaming
This game became hyped as the week progressed towards this game. Each team looked strong and both wanted to continue that advantage. KT, one of the teams likely to make it to the finals, looked immeasurably strong this game. They were simply running over everyone on Edward Gaming. In all of the game, they only dropped one kill in a bottom lane fight under a tower. What did all of Edward Gaming in was the wanton aggression from KT. They were not afraid, did not look to even respect Edward Gaming. They were able to take out Edward Gaming with ease, ending the game before thirty-five minutes and a clear display of why they are the top of Group C.
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