Group Stage  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Group Stage  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network League of Legends World Championship Season 6: Summaries from the Group Stage-- Group D Mon, 10 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you're behind on Worlds coverage, check out the previous articles discussing results from Group A and Group C.

Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran! The third group to finish both rounds of Red Robin was Group D, featuring Team SoloMid from the NA LCS, Samsung Galaxy from the LCK, Splyce from the EU LCS, and Royal Never Give Up from the LPL.

Red Robin Round 1

Day 1


Group D kicked off with Samsung Galaxy going up against Splyce. The early game was even, with Gold lead slipping back and forth. First Blood went to SSG Ambition with an Assist from CuVee, but SSG made a dive in bot lane that SPY punished with three Kills.

SSG didn't back down, however, pushing through objectives to not only maintain but also grow their Gold lead. They snowballed from there, only giving SPY a few kills before taking down the EU team's nexus.


SSG's victory was followed up by a match between Team SoloMid and Royal Never Give Up. Worlds suffered a hiccup here, and was forced to take a pause when Bjergsen couldn't see Aurelion Sol's orbs. The champion was disabled and would remain so for the first three days until the glitch could be fixed. The disable led to a complete remake between the teams, with a new Pick/Ban phase. RNG took First Blood early in, but the teams danced around each other while vying for Gold lead. TSM started to pull ahead around 12 minutes, moving for a Drake and a few turrets, but a team fight just past 18 minutes led to a Triple Kill for RNG Xiaohu's Cassiopeia.

Steadily, TSM's Gold lead declined while RNG started pushing for more objectives and fights to take the lead. TSM made a move for Drake at 28, but Mlxg showed up for the steal. TSM made one more vie for the lead before RNG shoved through and snowballed to end the match. Worth noting was RNG Mata's impressive showing as Alistar through the entire match, ending 1/2/15 and proving his statement through the season of "Give me Alistar, and I will win you the game."

Day 2


Group D's Day 2 kicked off with Team SoloMid going against Samsung Galaxy. With the home crowd in the arena chanting their name, TSM burst out of the gate with a strong lead and First Blood. They refused to relent through the entire match, only giving up one Kill and two turrets as they plowed through every SSG play for the victory.


With the crowd ecstatic with TSM's slaughtering performance, Royal Never Give Up took the stage to challenge Splyce. And Challenge they did! Like TSM before them, RNG took off with their match. Uzi snagged First Blood in the first five minutes, and RNG snowballed from there. 

SPY managed to take three Kills and worked to defend, but there wasn't a strong enough response to Uzi's 10/0/4 Ezreal and RNG's determination to win.

Day 3


After the complete slaughters from Day 2, Group D came into Day 3 ready to rumble. Team SoloMid and Splyce had the stage first. SPY Mikyx took First Blood against Biofrost, but TSM's Hauntzer quickly answered with a Kill.

Both teams continued to trade Kills and Objectives, but SPY Sencux started to step up for his team and shove their lead ahead. When SPY Trashy grabbed a Drake, the team started to push, extending their Gold lead, claiming several Kills, and grabbing a Baron. It looked like SPY would finally claim the game, but in truth things started to fall apart from there. Something seemed to flip in TSM. They started communicating better and tightening all of their plays, surging forward to grab a Drake, several Objectives, and Kills. They answered SPY's snowball with one of their own before steamrolling over any attempt at defense and claiming the victory.


The last match for RR1 came to Royal Never Give Up taking on Samsung Galaxy. Group D would have Day 4 off, with no more matches until Day 7. SSG Ambition started the game off with a First Blood and Double Kill at five and a half minutes. RNG came back with a Gold lead trailing up to a Drake, but almost immediately after, SSG took over the lead in Gold. Just after the 14-minute mark, RNG scored two Kills and a turret, but SSG answered with two Kills and two turrets. The teams danced around Gold lead for a while, with both claiming another turret while SSG took Drake. SSG started pulling for the lead, finally getting the break they needed with four Kills mid lane, Baron, and another Drake.

SSG pushed from there, not giving another inch as they claimed their victory and ended RR1.

Round Robin Round 2


Group D's Round 2 started off with Samsung Galaxy taking on Team SoloMid. the teams danced around each other for the first few minutes before SSG made a move to claim First Blood. the next few minutes saw other confrontations, ending with a strong lead for SSG: three Kills to TSM's 1. A beautiful outplay by TSM allowed the team to surge ahead. SSG made a move in the bot lane, but TSM Doublelift earned style points by not only using his abilities and his flash to stay alive but also taking down SSG CoreJJ.

Within moments, three TSM players moved for the bottom turret, taking down SSG Ruler in the process for a lead. SSG didn't let them keep it for long, and a misplay by Biofrost causing Bjergsen to waste his ult aided SSG's vie to reclaim the lead. The 15-minute mark saw a team fight with TSM taking down SSG Ambition and Crown. TSM rotated bottom and overcommitted, so SSG punished by pushing up mid and taking down another turret. While TSM recalled, SSG moved for an early Baron Nashor. 38 minutes saw a beautiful team fight with TSM taking down three members of SSG, but DoubleLift overstepped and got shut down by SSG Crown. SSG made a move at 40, taking down TSM's health and chasing them away. Rather than going for Baron, they made a push for mid. After forcing TSM to defend, SSG pulled back for Baron. TSM attempted to challenge, but SSG came out on top with a Triple Kill for Ruler.

With Baron buff in place, they made another push for TSM's base. TSM attempted to defend, but SSG scored an Ace and took down two inhibitors before being chased away. TSM made a quick push for Elder Drake, but SSG made it in time for the steal and chased them away before porting into TSM's base and making a move for the nexus. TSM mounted a defense, but SSG overpowered them and took it down.


Once the stage was clear, it was time for Splyce and Royal Never Give Up to prepare for their match. The first few minutes saw the teams dancing around each other, swapping damage but not landing a kill. RNG attempted a gank in top, but Wunder survived with some fancy footwork and Trashy arrived to push top back while the laner went to heal. 

SPY made a move in the jungle against Xiaohu, but once again some fancy footwork and a good use of Summoner Spells led to an escape and no Kill. 11:30 saw RNG claim First Blood against SPY Wunder just before RNG Mata was taken down in bot lane.

13:40 saw SPY surge top lane, taking down a turret and earning Sencux a Double Kill. Down in bot lane, SPY Kobbe got the Kill on RNG Mata, but Uzi took down Kobbe in response before SPY Mikyx took him down to finish the 2-1 trade in SPY's favor. Instead of sacrificing objectives to put pressure in other lanes, RNG tried to contest every take; another fight in bot lane led to a turret and Kills for SPY. SPY pushed ahead with a lead, winning a team fight and moving back to snag their first Baron at 26 minutes. SPY continued to shove through every team fight, taking one more Baron before rushing RNG's base and ending the game for their first victory at Worlds.


After a break to let SPY reset, the EU team took the stage once again to challenge Team SoloMid. SPY felt the pressure for this match; if they lost, they would be out of the running for Quarters. SPY Trashy took First Blood, but Bjergsen answered with a kill of his own. TSM then pushed for a second Kill, just nudging themselves into a Gold lead. TSM made a strong showing, but SPY came back to race for the first turret bonus. They beat TSM by a half-second before stealing a jungle camp for another Gold boost, but TSM answered by taking Mountain Drake. SPY continued to challenge, managing a 2-for-2 Kill trade in mid. Just before the 20-minute mark, Bjergsen's Syndra got a Double Kill, leading TSM to push a mid that led to a turret and a confrontation with SPY before backing off with no losses.

TSM took Ocean Drake before Bjergsen earned Unstoppable by taking down Mikyx's Karma. After a few moments to cool off, TSM rotated top to take down two turrets and several SPY members before backing off of the base. After another push top ending in a 3-0 confrontation in TSM's favor, SoloMid rotated down to take Baron Nashor. TSM made a push at 27, shoving up the mid and bot lanes to take down turrets and inhibitors before rotating to the top inhibitor and going for the nexus.


With the stage clear and ready for the next bout, Samsung Galaxy took on Royal Never Give Up. The teams danced around each other for a while, with SSG Ambition taking early control of the jungle, and First Blood went to SSG Crown's Viktor. SSG then pushed for first turret, taking the lead before taking Drake. At 15 minutes, SSG had the largest early lead of any team at Worlds 2016. At 21, they went for Baron-- in another Worlds 2016 record, I might add. RNG Uzi tried to steal with an Ezreal ult, but he just missed the last hit. SSG collapsed on RNG's base at 23, smashing through RNG's defense to win the fastest game of Worlds 2016.


Despite no longer having a chance at Quarter Finals, Splyce took the stage once more to challenge Samsung Galaxy. The teams had a few spats in the jungle-- and a few taunts --but First Blood came to SSG in the bot lane just after four minutes. SPY got a kill in answer before their second bot lane champion went down in a 2-for-1 trade in SSG's favor.

SPY tried for an ambush on Crown from the jungle, but they were overcome by Crown's back up, and the mid-laner made an escape. SSG pushed through their objectives, getting an Ace and breaking their just-made record for fastest game. With this victory, SSG wins the First Seed advantage for Group D and moves on to Quarter Finals.


The last match of the day came down to Royal Never Give Up and Team SoloMid to decide who would take Second Seed. RNG made a power play right at the beginning, invading TMS's jungle to steal their blue and Gromp. Seven minutes saw an ambush in river that ended in a Triple Kill for RNG Unzi's Ezreal.

RNG also took first turret of the game, taking a strong lead against TSM. They continued to snowball, grabbing an Infernal Drake to extend their lead. Around the 13 mark, RNG Looper made a move for TSM Haunter in the jungle, and the teams met head on in a 2-for-2 trade. RNG then rotated down for a Mountain Drake. TSM moved for defense, sending DoubleLift to whittle down minion waves while Bjergsen and Hauntzer worked on their CS to keep RNG's Gold lead from spiraling. A team fight at 23:30 saw RNG Uzi make some impressive kills, but Bjergsen's Ryze got a Double Kill-- including a Shut Down on Uzi. The fight ended as a 3-for-3 trade and proved that TSM wasn't down for the count quite yet. The team exchanged damage at 26 with no Kills, and RNG made a move for Baron to force an exchange. TSM Hauntzer took two turrets, but that was not a good answer to a Baron and two Kills.

With one minute remaining on their Baron Buff, RNG made a hit and run of top, taking down the inhibitor before backing off with no losses. At 32, RNG made a push to take down the bottom base turret, and TSM had a moment of "enough," charging into the team fight for an Ace against RNG.

TSM quickly pushed to take a mid turret while their inhibitor began its countdown to respawn. Another team fight in the jungle ended in a 2-for- one trade in RNG's favor before RNG moved to bait the Baron to draw out TSM. When TSM didn't take the bait, RNG moved for Baron. TSM Biofrost just missed the steal, with RNG claiming a second Baron. 36 saw RNG push for the base, with Uzi getting a Triple Kill into an Ace. With that, RNG took the nexus and advanced to Quarter Finals.

What's to Come

With six of the eight Quarter Final teams decided, we now prepare to watch Group B to see who among Cloud9, I May, Flash Wolves, and SKTelecom T1 will claim the last two seeds to round out the roster for the Quarter Finals.

I'll see you on the rift!

League of Legends World Championship Season 6: Summaries from the Group Stage-- Group C Sun, 09 Oct 2016 06:57:35 -0400 ChocolateCat42

If you're behind on Worlds coverage, check out the previous article discussing the results from Group A.

Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran! The second group to finish both rounds of Red Robin was Group C, featuring INTZ e-Sports from Brazil, Edward Gaming from the LPL, H2K from the EU LCS, and ahq e-Sports Club from the GPL.

Red Robin Round 1

Day 1

AHQ vs H2K

Group C's first match of the series was H2K versus ahq e-Sports Club. AHQ came in as the underdog in this match, surprising the crowd when they took First Blood. H2K focused on creep scores to gain a lead in Gold and items, however, paying back First Blood with H2K Forgiven taking down AHQ Mountain. AHQ would not back down, battling H2K for Objectives and getting into spats across the map. Despite H2K's Gold advantage, AHQ kept ahead of them in Objectives by claiming Drake's and turrets while defending their own structures. The match stretched on, but at just past the 30-minute mark, AHQ made a brilliant play. While three of their members fell, AN and Mountain claimed Baron. It was all uphill from there. AHQ pushed all of their Objectives, pulling ahead in Gold and answering every challenge from H2K. Around the 42-minute mark, AHQ made a play that resulted in not only another Baron but also an Ace against H2K.

After that advantage, they shoved through the last few minutes of the game to claim the Nexus and a victory for one of the many upsets during Group Stage.


With the crowd still reeling from AHQ's unexpected victory, Wildcard INTZ took the stage to challenge China's top-tier team, Edward Gaming. No one in the crowd was surprised when EDG Deft's Ezreal claimed First Blood. The analyst table and most of the crowd fully expected them to take the game. ITZ had other plans, starting with an impressive dive leading to a Double Kill for Revolta's Lee Sin.

From there, ITZ shoved through Objectives, knocking EDG out of the lead across the board. They snowballed through the next 42 minutes, keeping ahead of EDG. Revolta's Lee Sin and Yang's Gnar won massive style points through the game, setting up some brilliant plays for their team and snagging some unexpected Kills. Around the 13-minute mark, Gnar played a game of pinball with the enemy, while 24 INTZ set the stage for the Wildcards to shock everyone during Group Stage by defeating Edward Gaming in their first match. 

Day 2


Group C's Day 2 started off with H2K taking on INTZ e-Sports. Both teams played carefuly, with the first ITZ turret falling at 10:52. First Blood took place just past the 18-minute mark when H2K's Ryu, Jankos, and Vander teamed up to take down ITZ's Jockster.

From that point on, H2K refused to give ground. ITZ managed to take one turret and one Kill in the entire match.


After H2K and ITZ cleared the field, Edward Gaming took on ahq e-Sports Club. While AHQ had the early Gold lead, it didn't last once EDG PawN took First Blood at 3:31. AHQ persevered, taking down the first turret and regaining the Gold lead until EDG took it once more. The next few minutes saw 1-for-1 Kill trades before AHQ took their first Drake. EDG clung to their Gold and Kill lead until they managed to take Baron and another turret. EDG slingshotted up, but AHQ were persistent, slowly working to close the gap. EDG made a vie for a second Baron, also getting Kills and a third Drake.

With that momentum, EDG pushed through to AHQ's base and took down the nexus for the win.

Day 4


Group C had Day 3 off, but they opened Day 4 with ahq e-Sports Club challenging INTZ. AHQ Westdoor rotated from mid to top after five minutes to snag First Blood, but the game had no clear leader until closer to the 10-minute mark.

That was when AHQ started to really move. They took the first Drake, three Kills, and three turrets within quick succession. AHQ snowballed from there, not giving up a single Objective. ITZ managed to claim some Kills, but the shut out from AHQ prevented any sort of comeback. ITZ fought fiercely, but ultimately AHQ took the victory.

H2K vs EDG

The last match of Round Robin Round 1 was Edward Gaming facing off against H2K. EDG started fast, with Deft getting first blood just before the two-minute mark. H2K's FORG1VEN came back around the four-minute mark for a Double Kill, and H2K temporarily pulled ahead in Gold before Scout and Mouse earned Kills. EDG took the lead and held tight. H2K made a few plays, with scattered Kills and a few Objectives, but EDG matched their enthusiasm. The back-and-forth continued past the 30-minute mark, but an impressive fight in bot lane gave EDG the final push they needed with three more Kills.

Shortly thereafter, they grabbed a Baron before pushing H2K's base for a win.

Red Robin Round 2


The night kicked off with a rematch between Edward Gaming and INTZ e-sports. EDG started off with an aggressive move, with Clearlove claiming First Blood within the first four minutes. EDG kept up the pressure, cascading through with several more kills in the next few minutes, including a beautiful rotation down to bot lane.

EDG steamrolled through Objectives, claiming Drakes and slaying enemy champions while barely taking any losses. ITZ managed to take three turrets and a single Kill, but compared to EDG's progress, their small victories did nothing to help their cause. Just before the 29-minute mark, EDG pushed a fight that led to Scout claiming a Quadra Kill as Syndra. By 31:30, EDG made a move for Baron Nashor while ITZ tried to work a steal. EDG shut them down, however, snagging the Baron buff. EDG ended the match with a decisive victory just before the 35-minute mark.

AHQ vs H2K

Once EDG and ITZ cleared the stage, it was time for ahq e-Sports Club to challenge H2K. The pressure was on for H2K, as the EU LCS hadn't had a great showing through Groups. H2K grabbed First Blood, but things were quiet until 15:30 saw the first epic team fight, ending in a 2-for-2 Kill trade with a Double Kill for Westdoor.

Mountain later tied up the Kills with an impressive chase near the 21:30 mark. The 28-minute mark saw a beautiful team fight for H2K, including a three-man teleport to the middle of retreating AHQ members to try and clean up. Once AHQ's surviving members retreated, H2K made a move for Baron...only to have it stolen by AHQ Albis's Karma. (#SupportGoals)

H2K went for revenge just before 33:30, snagging two more Kills for the count before following up with a Mid push that resulted in downing an inhibitor. They continued to cascade the pressure, shoving through to take the AHQ nexus and thus the game.

H2K vs EDG

After H2K shut out AHQ, they retook the field to challenge Edward Gaming. H2K Ryu took First Blood, but it turned to a trade when he fell to the turret. Within seconds, H2K Odoamne took down EDG Mouse in the top lane. EDG worked to stall out the game, working on the Gold count and keeping H2K on their toes. They made a move just past the 18-minute mark, gaining two Kills while losing a turret. They continued to push, making a move on H2K's bot lane turret around 19:20. At 26, H2K went for Baron while EDG was too slow to the challenge. H2K surged up the bot lane, taking EDG's outer base turret to expose the inhibitor before pulling off. H2K made a move just past the 31 mark, teleporting in three members to take on Mouse. Mouse's Poppy managed to knock away one assailant before having to flee up the bot lane. His team was there, however, managing to arrive in time to allow Mouse's escape. After a few moments to reset, H2K turned on Beast Mode. They came out ahead in team fights, getting another Baron along the way.

EU fans were on the edge of their seats, their hopes resting on H2K's shoulders. G2 had been eliminated and SPY had a tough climb ahead if they wanted to qualify in their Group. EDG made a vie for Drake around 43, and H2K quickly grouped up to trap them. It looked worrisome when EDG claimed the first Kill of the team fight, but H2K stole the Elder Drake before wiping four members of EDG and rushing the base.

Scout tried to mount a defense, but H2K erased him before taking down the Nexus.


Once the stage was clear, INTZ e-Sports and ahq e-Sports Club got ready to face off. 5:20 saw a team fight in bot lane that resulted in ITZ Jockster going down for First Blood to AHQ. ITZ looped around to turret dive and resume the fight, taking down AHQ AN and Albis but losing a turret in the top lane.

AHQ and ITZ spat back and forth for the next several minutes, trading Objectives, Drakes, and Kills for a fairly even game. At 24:20, AHQ turned on the ignition, catching ITZ Revolta in the jungle and slicing through ITZ Jockster's defense. Once the fight was over, AHQ turned their attention to Baron. With the Baron buff active, they pushed ITZ's base and took down an inhibitor while opening up the base. AHQ initiated another fight with ITZ around 27, pushing into the base and taking down ITZ's nexus. ITZ's loss officially disqualified them from reaching Quarter Finals.

ITZ vs H2K

INTZ wasn't completely out of the action quite yet. The very next match saw them pitted against H2K with a chance to disrupt the EU team's advance as well. H2K's fate hung in the balance, but they knew they would face a tie-breaker either way. 

H2K took an early lead, with First Blood and three more Kills in the first eleven minutes, though both teams claimed a turret. H2K went for two more Kills, and ITZ gave the sacrifice in exchange for a turret. 15:30 saw a good play in ITZ's bot lane, but H2K responded swiftly by taking a mid-lane turret. H2K started making more plays, getting more kills. They built up on their Objectives, grabbed a Baron and a Drake, and then made one last push to take down ITZ's nexus and secure their place in the Quarter Finals.


The next match between ahq e-Sports Club and Edward Gaming would determine who would face H2K in a tie-breaker before joining them in the Quarters. Just before 8:30, AHQ grabbed First Blood by taking down Meiko and rotated up to grab an Infernal Drake. 12:20 saw EDG having a party in bot lane, claiming two Kills and just getting chased off of the turret. AHQ found Clearlove in the jungle within thirty seconds, tying up the Kill count. The teams traded off for a while before AHQ made a big play around the 20-minute mark, with Westdoor setting up for Ziv to teleport in. AHQ took a strong lead in Gold, though the Kill count remained tied. The two teams danced around each other on the map, fighting over vision control, before Mountain caught Deft out in the jungle and deleted him.

Fueled by the Kill, AHQ moved up to look into a vie for Baron. Another confrontation followed in front of the Baron pit. Although AHQ got Baron, EDG came out ahead in the fight before making a move for Drake. After more back and forth, AHQ pulled ahead in turrets while EDG pulled ahead in kills. EDG set up to take Baron, but AHQ's AN and Albis held them off while Ziv pushed bot lane up to the base turret. EDG fell back to avoid a Jynx Penta, but once they regained health, they move for the pit again and took the Baron. Their success seemed to flip a switch, fueling EDG to surge through the mid and bot lanes, taking down turrets and inhibitors on the way. They did play it safe, backing off when they started to lose their edge. EDG took some time to reset before moving on the Drake and then shifting up to the Baron. AHQ attempted to interrupt, but EDG took down Westdoor and Mountain in moments. With the initiation, they started pushing AHQ's base. With that last surge, EDG secured their spot in Quarters and forced AHQ out of the competition.

EDG vs H2K

Riding high from their victory, EDG only had a few minutes to reset and get ready to take on H2K in the tiebreaker that would decide who claimed First Seed advantage. The two teams danced around each other for the first seven minutes, occasionally having a spat but not claiming any kills.

Around the eight-minute mark, H2K Jankos caught PawN out in the jungle and took him down for First Blood. Coming back into the fight after respawning, PawN took his revenge against Ryu's Syndra. EDG attempted to take Infernal Drake, but they were short a member. H2K found them and capitalized on the error, claiming a Kill before turning around and taking Infernal Drake for themselves. EDG came right back, catching H2K Ryu in the mid lane and taking him down despite an attempted save by Jankos, who fell as well. PawN went down in the fight, but he was executed by the turret rather than killed by a champion. H2K slowly pulled ahead, claiming two more Drakes, creeping ahead in Gold, and maintaining a lead in turrets. EDG did hold a lead on Kills, but that was the only advantage, and H2K was chasing them off in most spats. At the 29 mark, H2K caught EDG in the mid lane for a team fight. Losing only Ryu, H2K gets an Ace against EDG with a Double Kill for Odoamne.

With EDG off the map, H2K took Baron before grabbing another Drake. With the buffs in place, H2K started pressuring EDG's base. EDG started pushing back, stealing Baron from H2K just after the 38-minute mark.

H2K quickly moved to bait at the Elder Drake, hoping to keep EDG from using the Baron Buff to push towards their base. EDG didn't take the bait, moving for H2K's base to try and catch up on turrets. H2K caught them in the jungle as they retreated, taking down several members before going for the Elder Drake and moving to push EDG's base to down the mid inhibitor before backing off. After a short break to cool off and reset, H2K rotated top to take down the turret and inhibitor and push the nexus. EDG swarmed in a huge team fight to try and stop them, with H2K FORG1VEN the only survivor. After claiming the last kill for the Ace, he finished taking down the nexus to claim First Seed for H2K.

What's to Come

With H2K and Edward Gaming joining ROX Tigers and Albus Nox Luna in the Quarter Finals, all eyes turn to Group D to see who among TSM, Samsung Galaxy, Royal Never Give Up, and Splyce will earn the next to Seeds.

I'll see you in the Rift!

League of Legends World Championship Season 6: Summaries from the Group Stage-- Group A Fri, 07 Oct 2016 04:25:48 -0400 ChocolateCat42

Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran! Fans around the world have been glued to their monitors as the top 16 teams from every League of Legends region faced off for the ultimate title: World Champion 2016. Group Stages began Thursday, September 29th. The 16 teams were split into groups of four and then began two rounds of Red Robin, where they faced each team from their group in Best of One matches. While the first Red Robin was split with two matches from three groups, this week will see each day dedicated to a single group to finish out the phase. The top two teams from each Group will move on.

This Group Stage has been full of unexpected results and underdog victories. Below are summaries and highlights from all of the matches in Group A, which includes Counter Logic Gaming from the NA LCS, ROX Tigers from the LCK, G2 Esports from the EU LCS, and Albus Nox Luna from the Wildcard picks, a CIS team.

Red Robin Round 1

Day 1

The first match of Worlds set the stage for an exciting week as Counter Logic Gaming took on G2 Esports. The NA and EU LCS have long harbored a rivalry with each other, so the hype was strong for this game. With this year’s Worlds being broadcasted from the USA, the home team was rooting for CLG despite all of the analysts predicting a win for G2 based on both team’s stats.

While the match was a complete stomp, it wasn’t in the predicted way: CLG dominated the map, and Xmithie’s Olaf steamrolled for a final player stat of 6/0/5. It came as no surprise when he was named MVP for the game. Stixxay also had a strong showing as Caitlyn, snagging a Tripple Kill as CLG secured an Ace and won the game.

The second match of the day saw LCK’s top team and tournament favorites ROX Tigers take on the Russian Wildcards Albus Nox Luna. ANX had a strong start and managed to carry the game from the beginning, but ROX fell into their more aggressive playstyle-- including a Quadra Kill from Pray-- and turned the stats around in their favor for the win.

Day 3

Group A’s teams had the day off for Day 2, but they were back to work on Day 3 with Counter Logic Gaming facing off against Albus Nox Luna. This time, the hopes were high for CLG against underdogs ANX, but once again League of Legends became the League of Upsets when ANX took total control of the game and snowballed against CLG for the win.

ANX’s support Likrit proved to be a beast on the field, dealing massive blows as Tom Kanch. He acquired several new Twitter fans after his post-game on-stage interview, where he proved to be quite entertaining.

The second Group A match pitted ROX Tigers against G2 Esports. G2 came out of the gate strong and dominated the field for 23 minutes, controlling the map and steamrolling ROX. However, at the 23:20 mark, ROX made a move that turned the game around: Peanut stole Baron. At 33:30, Smeb's Kennen claimed an Ace, and ROX began their assault.

Things snowballed from there, leading to the ROX victory. At this point, the Tigers remained undefeated.

Day 4

Group A started off Day 4 with Albus Nox Luna challenging G2 Esports. The Cinderella Wildcard team started off well, claiming first blood against G2 just before the five-minute mark and securing a gold lead. They snowballed from there, keeping in the lead with Gold and downing the first tower at 15:08. They kept ahead of G2 with all objectives, claiming the most Drakes and the only Baron Nashor of the game. By the end of the match, ANX secured another win while G2 continued their losing streak.

The next match brought Counter Logic Gaming head to head with ROX Tigers. while ROX came into the match highly favored, CLG decided to throw down the gauntlet by claiming First Blood before the three-minute mark. In a true Cinderella story, CLG steamrolled through the rest of the match, maintaining a Gold and Objective lead and slaughtering ROX in team fights. To everyone's ecstatic surprise, CLG delivered ROX their first loss at Worlds.

Everyone was talking about Huhi's dominance as Aurelion Sol. ASol was disabled for the first three days due to a bug, so the Hype was real when he was listed during Day 4's matches. CLG grabbed him for Huhi during the Picks and Bans, and that proved to be an amazing decision. Huhi not only claimed First Blood for his team but also dominated throughout the match.

Red Robin Round 2

The first match of Round Robin 2 gave us G2 Esports vs. ROX Tigers. A win here would be G2’s only chance for possibly advancing to the Quarter Finals, the EU team currently 0-3. Unfortunately, their last-ditch match was against tournament favorites ROX, who were looking to regain their favored status after running fairly even with other teams in the Group. G2 came out of the gate quick, claiming First Blood for an initial lead. ROX started to take charge with a Gold lead, but G2 shoved them back down. The EU team maintained their lead right up until the 15-minute mark, when ROX GorillA's Alistar went for a tower dive, landing a double knock up that allowed his team to dominate the fight.

ROX proceeded to take control of the match, snowballing through objectives and fights until they ultimately claimed G2's nexus and officially knocked them out of the running for Quarter Finals.

Match two gave Support Mains what they wanted to see—new fan-favorite Likrit against stats-favored Aphromoo when Albus Nox Luna took on Counter Logic Gaming. The excitement began at the eight-minute mark when Likrit scored First Blood for ANX by taking down his in-game rival.

ANX continued to dominate the match, taking both the first Mountain and Cloud Drakes for their respective boosts and destroying three towers by the 24-minute mark. The third tower saw them take down CLG in a team fight and go for the first Baron Nashor of the evening. ANX took their first move against CLG’s base at 27, but CLG managed to chase them off despite pathetic damage stats. By 28 minutes, ANX had a 13K gold lead as they set their eyes back on the base and took down some turrets and two inhibitors. They backed off to claim an Infernal Drake before doing what no Wildcard game had done before by claiming the record for the most wins from a Wildcard team ever when they claimed CLG’s Nexus to end the game. ANX officially tied ROX Tigers at 3 Wins to 1 Loss.

After ANX's impressive feat, fans settled in to watch Counter Logic Gaming move to the next match against G2. While G2 cannot advance to Quarter Finals, they had the chance to prevent CLG's advancement as well. CLG claimed First Blood in the top lane just after the four-minute mark. They kept their lead in Gold and Kills through the 17-minute mark. G2 attempted to come back with a Syndra ult, but Aphromoo's Braum saved the day and allowed his team to escape and maintain their lead.

Just past the 32-minute mark, G2 tried to make a move when CLG went for Baron, but CLG dominated the fight, just missing the Ace before finishing off the Baron run. CLG claimed the win, maintaining their chance at the Quarter Finals.

The Hype was strong when Albus Nox Luna challenged ROX Tigers. The match started off with a five-point Ward strategy on both teams and typical laning phases. The five-minute mark saw ANX claim First Blood thanks to a Jungle gank in the mid lane from PvPStejos's Nidalee. Just shy of a minute and a half later, Nidalee returned to the mid lane for an Assist as Kira's Vladimir took down Kuro's Syndra. ROX Peanut had a misplay, but he made up for it by shutting down PvPStejos in the Jungle right before punishing Likrit in the bot lane after a bold push by ANX. By the 19-minute mark, ROX started finding their groove, dominating in team fights to level out in Gold before overcoming ANX in Kills. ANX would not go down without a fight, however, securing a second Drake and making some impressive plays. By the 25-minute mark, ANX had yet to give up a turret. The 26-minute mark saw an impressive save from PVPStejos that resulted in a Double Kill and a Baron for ANX.

ANX claimed an inhibitor at 35 before staking out the Baron pit. ROX started to group up in the Jungle, however, so both teams played it safe and backed away for a short while before ANX went in. ROX was waiting, though, with Kuro snatching it from beneath ANX's noses.

The Casters began to worry that ANX was starting to let nerves take over, but ANX managed to out-rotate ROX just before the 42-minute mark to get some hits in on the base turret and ping the inhibitor. They backed off before ROX could go for the full team fight, respecting ROX's domination in that type of setting. Just past the 45-minute mark, ANX surprised ROX by going for an Elder Drake. ANX pushed the base again, taking down top and mid inhibitors before going for a Baron to bait out ROX, but ROX cleaned house with the team fight and took Baron for themselves. ANX started pushing back, taking inhibitors again and keeping ROX from objectives, including a Baron, but ROX came back to grab an Elder Dragon before stealing yet another Baron from ANX. ANX managed to defend their base, forcing ROX to retreat and defend their own base again and managing to score another downed inhibitor. ANX made an amazing push into the base, taking down inhibitors, a full nexus turret, and all but a pinch of the second. They had to pull back, but they also played ROX's wards to trick them into defending base while two members went for Baron. Finally, with ANX at 119.4K to ROX's 119.6K Gold, ANX finished this roller coaster of a match by smashing through the Nexus!

It was a close final fight, with all of ANX's hopes resting on Smurf and Likrit's shoulders. Poppy and Taric were the last ANX members standing at the Nexus, but Taric's ult allowed them to survive and land those last few hits. With this victory, ANX seals their position in the Quarter Finals-- the first Wildcard team to ever make it past Groups.

Right after their epic record-blasting run versus ROX, ANX found themselves going up against G2. Running off of momentum, ANX performed a five-man invade to snatch First Blood just past the minute mark. The teams went back and forth for a while, exchanging objectives and kills while keeping their Gold fairly even. Slowly but surely, G2 started to pull ahead. While the Drake count was even, G2 managed to get a 3 Kill lead and Baron. After the initial push, they started to snowball, eventually taking the base for their first win and finishing 1W-5L.

While G2 managed to come away with the win, Counter Logic Gaming and ROX Tigers were preparing to face off for their future. With ANX clinching the first slot, only one of these teams would be able to advance to the Quarter Finals. ROX started strong, with Peanut claiming First Blood at the three-minute mark.

CLG refused to go down without a fight, however, evening out the kill count and Objectives by the 11-minute mark. ROX's only true lead was in their Gold, and even that gap was closing. The 17-minute mark showed ROX starting to turn on their aggression, shooting up for a four Kill lead and steamrolling CLG in team fights. 

CLG started to make another comeback just before the 24-minute mark, having a fight go in their favor before claiming an Infernal Drake. To that point, they had been tied with ROX in having a single Cloud Drake. ROX forced a fight at Baron, but CLG almost managed to wipe them in the fight. A last minute hit to Baron saved ROX in the battle. CLG put up a great fight, but ROX held onto their lead and secured their position in the Quarter Finals. Their win tied them up with Albus Nox Luna, ensuring a tie-breaker to decide who would be the First Seed from Group A.

ROX against ANX in the tie-breaker was the last match for Group A. They had a few spats in the jungle, but Peanut's Elise started to outpace PvPStejos's Graves. ROX made an aggressive dive in the bottom lane to achieve First Blood and secure ROX's lead for the early phase.

ROX decided that it had been too close of a call securing their advancement, so they weren't going to lose taking First Seed. They snowballed through the game, taking the lead in the Jungle and finishing strong.

What's to Come

With Group A's two teams confirmed as ROX Tigers and Albus Nox Luna, Worlds turns to Group C to discover who will join Group A's two Seeds in the Quarter Finals. 

I'll see you in the Rift!

Dota 2 International Group Stage Update Thu, 04 Aug 2016 04:45:27 -0400 flcl4lyfe

With the Wild Cards decided yesterday (congratulations to EHome and Escape for continuing on to the main event), the group events can begin. Sixteen teams have been divided in to two blocks and are set to play to decide the bracket.

Block A is currently playing and has some serious contenders:

  • Alliance
  • Na'vi
  • Escape
  • Wings
  • Evil Geniuses
  • OG
  • LGD
  • TNC

They're all going to face off to cut the wheat from the chaff. So far, only Alliance has the strong start, netting two wins against TNC. Navi, OG, EG, LGD, Escape and Wings are all tied at one point. TNC follows at the back. With plenty of more matches to follow, their positions are far from decided.

Worried that these teams won't bring their best? Fear not, dear viewer. Each game offers plenty of nail biting action and the realest plays. Still waiting on those Black Holes, though.

Tomorrow promises plenty more action with Block B. In the mean time, though, enjoy the top plays.