When the World Championships for League of Legends kicked off last week, everything appeared to be going to plan. Koreans beat everyone, China beats everyone else, EU loses and one Wildcard team has a big surprise victory before starting the slow descent into being a LoL trivia question by this time next year. Then teams … just started losing. The second half of the group stage kicks off tonight and it’s basically anyone’s game.
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Group A contains ROX Tigers, the favourites for the tournament and current best team in South Korea, the strongest region. They lost to CLG, one of the US teams – generally assumed to be the worst major region. CLG lost to Albus NoX Luna, a wildcard team from Russia who are easily in the bottom couple at the tournament in terms of assumed strength. All three of those teams are 2-1 however, because they all beat G2, arguably the strongest European team and an outside hopeful for the whole thing. That is not to script.
Over in Group B, old dominators SK Telecom T1 beat Cloud9 and IMay, from the US and China respectively, both the weakest teams from their region. However they lost to Flash Wolves, a strong Taiwanese team, which wasn’t much of a big surprise – except Flash Wolves lost to the other two teams, with Cloud9 now sitting on the same 2-1 record as SKT. Not to script.
Group C was where all the confusion started with INTZ e-Sports, of Brazil, took down Chinese mega-powers Edward Gaming. Then, obviously, they lost to the other two teams in their group, ahq and H2k, of Taiwan and Europe. Edward beat those two teams, because nothing makes sense, and ahq split the different by killing off H2k. As close to script as things have been, but still pretty off.
Finally Group D has European outliars Splyce going 0-3, probably the most predictable result across the whole tournament. Again though, the other three teams – Royal Never Give Up of China, Samsung of Korea and Team Solo-Mid of the USA, split their victories RNG over TSM, TSM over Samsung and Samsung over RNG. While it gives mega-fans something to cheer about – TSM being one of the most popular eSports teams in the whole world – it certainly doesn’t make any sense. Definitely not in the script.
For a visual representation, we’d recommend Leaguepedia. The broadcast kicks off again tonight at midnight BST, 1am CEST, 4pm PDT. There’s countdowns on that Wiki page, and the stream embed is below.