The first day of Worlds certainly didn’t disappoint and with the entertainment value of the Play-In Stage alone, one can only shiver in anticipation for what the Group Stages will have in store for us. However the main tournament is still a while away and Day 2 will determine who is promoted from Groups A and B and who leaves Worlds in shame. Can Team WE and Cloud9 continue their dominance of their respective groups? Will Lyon Gaming show that they are a force to be reckoned with or can Gambit upset the Latin American team in true Russian/CIS style? Dire Wolves and oNe Esports also come in hungry to redeem themselves from yesterday’s shaky performance and perhaps make Cloud9 regret some of their twitter banter. Day 2 has certainly lived up to the high standards set by Day 1 and here are the top 3 games to give you the best of a competitive day and high hopes for the level of play for the rest of the tournament!
Game to watch 1: Team WE vs. Lyon Gaming (again!)
After the marvelous first game between these two teams, it is little wonder that their rematch grabs a spot on this list. Lyon Gaming, despite their tragic loss yesterday, set out to re-challenge Team WE for the first seed out of Group A. The interesting dynamic within this match is the definitely the jungle match-up. Not only because it marks the first appearance of the notorious Jungle Ezreal, but that Lyon choose to counter it with a Kha’Zik. These jungle picks both pack a punch, but are also relatively squishy – giving us an explosive early game with much depending on who can unleash their damage on the other first. It was super entertaining to watch Condi and Oddie attempt to outmaneuver and outplay each other with inventive jungle pathing, bold counter-jungling and Elder Dragon steals. Support mains also have something to look forward to as Zero (in his first game for WE this tournament) dazzles us all with his Taric play against a strong botlane of Xayah and Rakan, and it is always a joy to watch Mystic rocket-jumping all over the map with Tristana!
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buwgycu99H4&t=2m00s)
Game to Watch 2: Cloud9 vs. Dire Wolves
The Play-In Stage has almost been too easy for Cloud9 with three almost-effortless stomps giving them a cushy 3-0 lead. However this match shows that Dire Wolves bite is far from toothless and that they have plenty of fight left in them. Their counter to Cloud9’s signature strategy of camping for their beast of a midlaner Jensen was to instead target C9’s weak point – Smoothie and Sneaky’s laning phase. Great champion synergy and talented teamwork led to one of the most bloody early games so far. Not only do you have impressive CC staking potential from an Ashe, Alistar and Sejuani but you also have Phantiks on Vladimir, a potential counter to Jensen’s Syndra. With Dire Wolves showing off their prowess in the extended laning phase, just as Cloud9 exhibit their proficiency at mid-game team fights, this match easily makes the list of games to watch. Additionally C9, despite no longer having the superstar jungler Meteos on their roster, still manage to have high meme potential as the top laners clash – will Chippys redeem himself or will Impact put him in his place with a simple “pls stop?”
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC3qjsj1CL4&t=1m31s)
Game to Watch 3: Lyon Gaming vs Gambit
Yesterday it was both of Team WE’s matches that made the list – today that honor belongs to Lyon Gaming. Not content to be dismissed as a wild card team, this is Lyon’s chance to prove they are worthy advancing through Worlds. On the flip-side, this is do-or-die for Gambit Esports, who need to win to force a tie-breaker and bring back glory to the Gambit name. What really made this match shine for me was the top lane, with a mirror of their previous game’s match-up – PvPStejos on Jax and Jirall on Camille vying for split-pushing dominance. What made it even more interesting was how each of the teams made great efforts in their rotations to help swing this match-up, with jungle ganks and roams from mid. Also spoiler alert, but this game contains the first PENTAKILL of the tournament, giving the final reason as to why this match is one of the top 3 games of day 2!
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er81x3bIa_4&t=6m11s)