Worlds: What We Saw in the Groups Second Round Robin | RiftFeed
LCK's Teams Rise to the Top

Worlds: What We Saw in the Groups Second Round Robin

Esports
DWG KIA
DWG KIA are the only team to leave the groups undefeated © Riot Games

The Worlds groups were a blast until the end, with tiebreakers in three groups and a four-way tie in Group D. When the smoke cleared, LCK teams took three of the four first seeds, with Royal Never Give Up snatching the fourth.

The first three days of Worlds were a set of LCK and LPL successes. With all LEC and LCS teams standing at 0-3 and 1-2, it looked quite possible that there would be no Western representatives in the playoffs. The second round robin's format, however, always allowed for surprises. With every group's remaining matches played on a single day, a lot would be decided in the last moment, as much by pure skill as by a team's mental fortitude.

Group A: DAMWON Reign Supreme

As many expected,  DAMWON KIA and FunPlus Phoenix were in the lead after the first round robin - and after the Friday games started with a win for the LCK team, all looked decided. Meanwhile, Cloud9 broke their losing streak with a win in the rematch against Rogue - and then followed it up with a great showing against FPX, taking a second win and tying the LPL finalists at 2-3. DWG KIA, meanwhile, overpowered Rogue to get their fifth victory, punctuated by a 4v5 victory in which Kim "Khan" Dong-ha scored a Pentakill on Lucian.


Rogue recovered quickly, however, and managed to take it to FPX in their next game. Despite a poor start, Kacper "Inspired" Słoma's Fiddlesticks was on point, helping the team secure a much-needed win. Cloud9, somewhat expectedly, fell to DWG KIA, setting a three-way tie for the second place where they, Rogue and FunPlus Phoenix were all at 2-4.

The game order was decided by game time in their victories, leaving FPX and Rogue to play first, with Cloud9 facing off against the winner. The LEC team was once more up to the task and after another standout performance by Steven "Hans Sama" Liv sent FPX packing as the fourth team of the group. The game against Cloud9, meanwhile, was a showdown worthy of the EU vs NA rivalry. It was close for most of the game and while Rogue had a chance to take over several times by going for the Baron, they disengaged when C9 came  to contest. In the end, it was the LCS team that executed the lategame fights better and deservedly won. Once more after their 2018 performance, Cloud9 would go out of what looked like an impossible group.


Group B: The Return of the King

LPL champions EDward Gaming were on top of the group after the first round robin, with T1 with Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok in hot pursuit. Both teams scored early wins against Detonation FocusMe and 100 Thieves respectively to secure their playoff spots. In the rematch between the two favorites, T1 fared much better, securing an early lead and getting the better of their opponents in the early fights. 21 minutes in, they killed the EDG jungler and secured the Baron, using it to end the game soon afterwards.

With only their pride on the line, 100 Thieves rematched Detonation FocusMe. Mid laner Lee "Aria" Ga-eul hada standout performance on Twisted Fate and his team was close to victory, but 100 Thieves endured and snatched the win after DFM overextended for a backdoor. The LJL champions were routed by T1 and we were getting ready for a tiebreaker for first place when 100 Thieves got an upset win against EDward Gaming, sending them to second place. 


Group C: RNG Hold the Line

The group started with victories for the bottom two teams: Hanwha Life Esports defeated PSG Talon and Fnatic came out strong against Royal Never Give Up to get their first win of the tournament despite a great performance by Chen "GALA" Wei. However, RNG were not discouraged and came back with a much-needed victory against PSG Talon where they took a big early lead and despite some hick-ups in the mid-game managed to secure the win.

Fnatic had to keep winning to keep their playoff dream alive, but HLE were chasing a quarterfinals spot of their own. The two teams slugged it out for over an hour before a clutch fight for Hanwha 34 minutes in gave them the Baron and a third drake and allowing them to close out the game soon after. The LCK team was on form for their rematch with RNG as well, shutting down Li "Xiaohu"  Yuan-Hao and keeping control of the objectives to secure a decisive victory. PSG Talon, meanwhile, took down Fnatic in both teams' last game to secure third. The group featured one last game, where despite Hanwha's strong start RNG came back to take the win and secure a first seed for the LPL.

Group D: The Legendary Four-way Tie

This group was the closest one after the first round robin, with no 3-0 and 0-3 teams, but we didn't expect what was to come. MAD Lions and Gen.G fought hard in the opening game, with the LEC champions coming back from an early deficit with a snuck baron only to overreach and give Gen.G the opportunity to end. In the next game, Team Liquid scored a key win against LNG Esports, briefly tying the LPL team - who, in return, defeated Gen.G after an amazing Fiora game by Hu "Ale" Jia-Le.

MAD had to keep winning to force a tiebreaker  - and they proved themselves up to the challenge. The LEC team won their rematch against Team Liquid, overcoming Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen's strong Twisted Fate with clutch mid-game teamfight. In the last two games, both Western teams won to fource a 3-3 four-way tie, which would be resolved by a best-of-one bracket for the top two spots.

In the first match, the LCK team overcame an early gold deficit, with a masterful Zoe performance by wak "Bdd" Bo-seong to defeat Team Liquid and secure the first playoff seed. MAD Lions, meanwhile, flirted with disaster after a horrible start against LNG, only to come back with clutch teamfights and a heroic base defense to turn the game around and ensure their spot in the quarterfinals. In the fight for first place, MAD and Gen.G delivered another nailbiter. The LEC team's mid-game mastery looked to tilt the game in their favor when an overextension by İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek gave Gen.G the lead they needed to close it out.


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Worlds continues with the quarterfinals - the first of which, on Friday, October 22nd, brings us a rematch from the LCK regional final between T1 and Hanwha Life Esports. Meanwhile, check our other coverage and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!