Worlds: Group Stage Week 1 Recap

The 2015 League of Legends World Championship kicked off with an amazing week that ended yesterday. The first four days of competition were exciting, entertaining, and unpredictable. There has been so many surprises so far in this tournament and we are only halfway through the group stage. There were 24 games this past week and we get to see 24 more games next week. Let’s take a look back at the first 24 games and see where teams stand.

groupstandings1

Don’t feel confused. Those are the actual standings after each team played each other once in the group stage. I’ll give a summary for each group and talk about this madness.

Group A:

CLG and the KOO Tigers were the two favorites to make it out of this group and as it stands, they have a share for 1st place. There has been a couple of upsets in this group as well. CLG kicked off the group with a shaky win over the Flash Wolves. ZionSpartan did not play particularly well. CLG’s map movements and Xmithie’s cocoons on Elise were enough to earn them a win however. The KOO Tigers then went up against Pain Gaming were the expected happened. KOO disposed of Pain Gaming with ease and starting off on the right foot. Then the Flash Wolves matched up against the KOO Tigers. The Flash Wolves subbed in NL at ADC after thier loss against CLG and the change paid off. He picked Varus ADC and along with Karsa’s Nidalee, they were able to siege extremely well with their poke composition. A great baron call led to them destroying KOO’s base and turning the group upside down for the time being. CLG then faced off against Pain Gaming and once again, Pain was disposed of easily. CLG’s Doublelift finished the game 10-0-10 on Tristana and destroyed plenty of towers along the way. The next matchup was CLG vs KOO Tigers. It turned out to be probably the most lopsided game of the tournament so far as KOO racked up 23 kills to CLG’s 4. The final game for the group was Pain Gaming vs Yoe Flash Wolves. Pain Gaming finally went back to champions they have succeeded on in the past and were able to record another win for a Brazilian Wild Card team. Kami’s Twisted Fate finished with a scoreline of 5-0-7 and helped keep his team in contention to make it out of groups.


 

Group B:

Talk about the surprise of the tournament. Many people including myself had Cloud 9 finishing last in this group. At the end of the first week they sit atop the group with a perfect 3-0 record as everyone else in the group remains at 1-2. In the first game of the tournament, Fnatic only allowed 1 kill to Invictus as they easily took home the win. Kakao was useless in the jungle and finished 0-0-0. Everyone on Fnatic played well as they forced a surrender out of Invictus. Cloud 9 then did battle with LMS champions AHQ. Incarnation pulled out a Veigar pick and used it to lock up opponents and help Cloud 9 win team fights. Little did we know that Cloud 9 was just getting started. Cloud 9 faced off against Invictus Gaming in the next match where once again all the analyst picked against Cloud 9. Rookie played well with his mid lane Ekko, but it could not compete in late game team fights with Sneaky’s Tristana or Incarnation’s Azir. Cloud 9’s late game team-fighting once again earned them another win in this group and dropping Invictus to a shocking 0-2. The upsets were not done there, as AHQ took on Fnatic in the next game. All you need to know about this game is that Ziv is an animal on Gnar. He finished 8-2-15 and helped his team with massive ults and stuns to comeback in the late game and earn his team a win over the Europe’s #1 squad. The following day Invictus did battle with AHQ. The bot lane of Kid and Kitties for Invictus stuck out like a sore thumb in the first two games, but they were able to perform in the final game of the week and lead their team over a convincing win over AHQ. Then the unthinkable happened as Cloud 9 beat Fnatic in the final game of the week for Group B. Huni’s Yasuo fell behind early and even though he managed to catch up, Balls ended the game with a pentakill. Pretty ironic the guy that caught the most slack coming into the World Championship ended up being the first guy to record a pentakill at this tournament. With a 2 game lead in the group, Cloud 9 are looking in a great position as the remaining 3 teams will be battling for that 2nd spot.

 


 

 

Group C:

Coming into the tournament, I said Group C was the only clear cut group. At least I was right about that. SKT and EDG were clearly the top two teams in this group and that’s where they stand at this point. H2k and the Bangkok Titans could not come close to defeating these two powerhouses as both teams were 0-2 heading into the last day of the week for their group. When H2k matched up against the Titans, H2k were the first team of the tournament to bring out Mordekaiser. It led to a win for H2k as they claimed the 3rd spot in the group. Hjarnan finished 13-2-10 on Mordekaiser and showed why he is a must ban. In the most anticipated group matchup, SKT and EDG did battle to see who would end up 3-0 after the first week. Marin played a huge role with Renekton (10-0-6) and single handily dominated EDG. SKT were superior in the pick and ban phase as well as the laning phase. Which led to them snowballing ahead. SKT continue to look as the favorite to take Worlds, but with another matchup coming up next week EDG will be looking for revenge.


 

Group D:

After Cloud 9, the biggest surprise is LGD and how badly they have looked. They were a favorite to win it all and a top 3 team in all rankings before Worlds started. Origen also have looked fantastic in their 3 games. To kick the group off, KT Rolster easily dispatched of TSM. It was completely one-sided after the 10 minute mark. Then the madness started. The #3 seed from Europe managed to knocked off the #1 seed from China behind an amazing shockwave from xPeke.

The next day started with KT Rolster matching up against LGD in a big China vs Korea matchup. The game did not live up to the hype as KT cruised to a win over LGD racking up 22 kills and only giving up 4. KT Rolster’s “Protect the Kog’Maw” composition was too much for LGD to handle. TSM then faced off against Origen as xPeke surprised everybody and blind picked Anivia. TSM were not able to capitalize off of their early lead and ended up losing in the late game to Origen’s scaling composition. In the final day of group games, TSM and LGD matched up as both teams looked to earn their first win. Bjergsen’s Twisted Fate (11-0-12) destroyed Imp and the rest of LGD and sent the top team from China to the bottom of the group. Then the two 2-0 teams faced off when Origen and KT Rolster did battle for the top spot of the group. Ssumday was destroying Soaz in the top lane and got KT off to a great start. Then a gutsy baron call by Origen early in the game got them back into the game. They were able to get a couple of picks on Arrow’s Kog’Maw and managed to out-rotate KT and take another win.

Conclusion:

This World Championship may very well be the best Worlds ever as it is full of upsets, unpredictably, and top quality play. The 3 teams without a loss are the #1 seed from Korea, #3 seed from Europe, and #3 seed from North America. If that isn’t surprising, I don’t know what is. This World Championship has already broken many viewership records as well as it was recorded that on the first day of Worlds, Twitch had over 2 million viewers. This tournament is going to be amazing and I am looking forward to Thursday so we can start another 4 day adventure.

 

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin