The Play-In phase of the League of Legends World Championship is over and after some tough games all the teams to advance to the Group Phase have been defined. And today the first games take place to find the world champion. With the opening game between DAMWON Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix the Group Phase started off with a banger with the two previous World Champions!
After some tense matchups during the Play-In Phase the last four teams to join the Group Phase have been chosen. With DetonatioN FocusMe and LNG Esports taking the first place during round one and Cloud 9 as well as Hanwha Life Esports securing their spot in round two – both with a clear 3-0 win – the last participants are ready to start. Although the current situation did not allow any fans at the tournament location in Reykjavik, we all can watch with the same excitement from home.
The EU and NA teams in the LoL Worlds
The Group Phase started and all teams prepared themselves the best possible way for the upcoming games. This World Championship there are three teams from each EU and NA representing their region. Can they take on and beat their counterparts from the other regions to become the World Champion? Looking back at the last two Championships it will be a tough challenge. But not impossible.
Let us take a look at the EU teams
A short-term change was announced for Fnatic yesterday where they will play with their substitute player “Bean”. Which does not make it easier for them but looking at the Fnatic statement, their team already practiced with him and seem confident. “Bean” played for the Fnatic Rising team and could already gather some experience at the EU Masters, reaching 2nd place. But he does not have any international tournament experience yet but with Hylissang as Support he has a very skilled player to guide him. Although the first game did not turn out that well, they still have time to adjust and adapt to these new circumstances.
MAD Lions have shown what they are capable of throughout the last couple of tournaments. In the LEC they got the Spring and Summer 2021 title and placed 1st beating Fnatic and Rogue, securing themselves a ticket to the group stage of the LoL Worlds. But in the MSI 2021 they had some struggles when facing the Asian teams. Against RNG and and DAMWON Gaming they only won one out of four games against them. Hopefully they had enough time to prepare and adapt their strategy to beat them the next time they face each other.
Looking at Rogue we have an experienced team when looking at the tournaments they participated in. Their team placed mostly somewhere between 3rd and 5th place which is good but against the other teams at worlds it could get pretty tough. But with the right strategy and champions, they stand a chance to take on their enemies’ head on.
The NA teams participating in the LoL Worlds
Cloud 9 did have a rather tedious start as they had to fight for their spot through the Play-In phase. With a 3-1 standing after round one they had placed second behind DetonatioN FocusMe with the same score. But in round two they gave us a taste of what they are capable of, taking the win with a clear 3-0 against PEACE.
100 Thieves is together with Team Liquid and Cloud 9 one of the three teams that placed in the top five in the LCS Splits during the last two years. With each of them managing to place 1st at least once they have gathered a lot of experience but against international teams it looks a bit different. There it was in 2018 where all three of the NA teams participated in the Worlds. In the last two years it was only Team Liquid and in 2019 together with Cloud 9 that played in the World Championship.
Can one of the western teams take the win?
It does seem very tough that a EU or NA team becomes the World Champion. If you look at the different groups, it looks like it is doable. But Group A with Rouge and Cloud 9 having to play against DMW and FPX is for sure the most challenging one. Looking at the teams MAD Lions and 100 Thieves make a good impression and seem to have a strong team. But 100 Thieves are in a strong group with SKT T1. If the EU and NA teams get to the Knockout Stage and get a good matchup they might be able to advance to the Grand Final. But it needs a solid strategy for each of their opponents and some luck.
Who do you think is the strongest western team? And what placement can they reach?
The Time Line
The LoL Worlds just started but the different stages will be played within a couple of days and the Grand Final takes place on the 6th of November.
Group Phase: 11.10. – 18.10.21
Knockout Stage: 22.10. – 31.10.21
Grand Final: 06.11.2021
I wish all the teams the best of luck and to you all, have fun watching your favourite team play!
Stay healthy and stay safe.
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