So after a wonderful four days of esports action, we have moved out of the double-round robin Play-In Group Stage and into the best-of-5 Elimination Stage. This almost serves as the culmination of Act One of some of the storylines of Worlds and we all know how good the Riot script writers are.
Cloud9, the plucky rival of the fan favorite TSM protagonist, sprinted through Groups with impeccable momentum, but will the bite of Lyon Gaming stop them in their tracks? Will the old Kings of Europe, Fnatic, begin their redemption arc after a shaky groups or will they fall prey to Hong Kong Attitude who smells blood? Team WE have a strong late game, but if there were any team to take advantage of their weak early game its the youthful upstarts from Vietnam with Young Generation. 1907 Fenerbahçe and Team oNe both had to play a tie-breaker to get here, but only one can represent the wild card regions – will it be Turkey or Brazil that comes out on top? Here are a selection of the top games in each of these team’s clashes and satisfaction comes guaranteed with outstanding games across the board.
Game to Watch 1: Cloud9 vs. Lyon Gaming (Game 2)
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1wjqtHSsMQ&t=2m45s)
Game to Watch 2: Fnatic vs. Hong Kong Attitude (Game 1)
The old kings of Europe have been looking shaky as of late – they didn’t qualify for last year’s Worlds and despite coming in first in their group, they did not do so unbloodied. So, as an EU fan, I was hoping for an easy opponent or at least one who might not expose Fnatic’s weak early game as much, but when they drew the sunglasses wearing dragons of Hong Kong Attitude, I was more than just a little scared. However win or lose, I knew I was in for some amazing games, so get out your popcorn as the third seed from Europe does battle with the third seed of the LMS and excitement ensues as this match determines who gets redemption in the eyes of their fans and who gets to swim back home. Lets just hope that the midlaner Caps has had his orange juice as this game and series is on his back to carry against HKA’s super strong early game and volatile teamfights!
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R325SztbTuQ&t=5m10s)
Game to Watch 3: 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor vs. Team oNe Esports (Game 3)
This was definitely the most unpredictable matchup of the elimination games and I don’t think either team was unhappy with the draw. 1907 Fenerbahçe was the only non third seed team who came out top in their group, though it was a close, bloody battle with Hong Kong Attitude. Meanwhile Team oNe had to beat the weaker Dire Wolves in a tie-breaker just to continue their Worlds run. Game three is when this series really shines, with both teams 1-1 and hungry for blood. Pick and Ban phase was super strange, with Fenerbahçe first picking Janna for some reason and 4LaN managing to get his hands on his comfort pick of Jungle Olaf after sneakily flexing Sejuani to the top lane! In the midlane Marf has been subbed in to take on the unstoppable force of Frozen, while Padden and Absolut battle it out to determine who will be the best late game adc in one of my favorite match-ups: Twitch vs. Tristana. This close game is the best of the series as Turkey and Brazil clash to determine which region will continue be represented in Worlds.
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ers74fV5XA&t=4m02s)
Game to Watch 4: Team WE vs. Young Generation (Game 2)
Young Generation are almost the archetypal Vietnamese team. With their trademark early game prowess and hyperaggression they look to use their strengths to bring down the third team from China. Look out for the junglers in particular as Condi lives up to his nickname of “Son of Baron” and seeks to cheese with early ganks with his Jungle Ezreal pick while Venus finally gets his hands on his favourite Lee Sin. Young Generation’s Naul shows why his stats on Syndra are so out of this world with masterful execution of this powerful midlane champion as Mystic continues to impress with his imposing Tristana play. Bigkoro and Palette seek to bully botlane while WE’s Ben seeks to maximize the powerful ardent censer by buffing his triple-adc team on Janna. This game is super entertaining as it swings back and forth between the two teams and rightfully earns a spot on this list of games to watch!
(Link to VOD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHjUfN7Zo-o&t=2m48s)