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The Gap Is Closing: League of Legends 2017 World Championship Group Stage Day 2 Recap

October 7, 2017 Migg Dela Cruz

Group Stage action continues in the second day of Worlds. There was definitely no decline in hype as fans were treated to 3 NA wins, 2 50+ minute brawls, and a huge SKT comeback.

Flash Wolves vs. Team SoloMid

Winner: Team SoloMid

The very first game of the day saw NA’s first seed go head-to-head against the LMS’s first seed. The two titans butt heads in a 54-minute tug of war which came down to the wire. Hauntzer came up big with a huge 5-man Gnar ult to get TSM back into the game, and eventually take down the Flash Wolves’ Nexus.

Team WE vs. Misfits

Winner: Team WE

To contrast the last game, WE and Misfits gave us a chill, 27-minute game. Xiye and company outclassed Misfits from laning phase to the very end. With superior objective control and teamfighting, World Elite were only 1 tower off from a perfect game.

Immortals vs Fnatic

Winner: Immortals

And back to another 50-minute game. With the game ending in 10-9 in kills and 9-7 in towers both in favor of IMT, and two dragons for each team, the game was neck and neck the whole 50 minutes. Broxah was vital in getting Fnatic ahead, utilizing his early game advantage on Lee Sin to gank bottom lane and get Rekkless ahead. The Fnatic ADC ended with a game high 6 kills, but Immortals managed to counter the pick-off strategy of Fnatic by grouping up as 5 all the time, rendering Cho’gath and Ryze useless. Immortals grabbed NA’s 2nd win of the day, and handed EU their second loss.

Longzhu Gaming vs GIGABYTE Marines

Winner: Longzhu Gaming

The Marines continue to throw curveballs at their enemies. Coach Tinikun teased in a Facebook post (that has since been deleted) that they would use a strategy which has never been seen before. True enough, they sent waves around Wuhan and the world when they locked in Mordekaiser for toplaner Archie. But that was just the beginning, as they sent him bottom lane with Karma, and put ADC Noway on Tristana in the midlane, while sending midlaner Optimus up top on Lucian. The unusual strategy had the casters and analysts, and all the fans watching at home scratching their heads. One theory by reddit user u/YumeLoL suggested that the strategy was to have the Tristana and the Lucian on solo lanes so they could farm up EXP and Gold faster. With Cho’Gath in the jungle, they needed that level 6 powerspike on all their champions to capture neutral objectives faster and safer with the Smite + Feast combo. Once Morde was also level 6, they could have the two AD Carries, a Rift Herald, a Dragon controlled by Morde, and he rest of the team barreling down mid to bully out their opponent. But if there’s one team who could have prepared for this and counter it in time, it was LCK’s Summer champions Longzhu Gaming. With the very early four-man dive in the bottom lane and securing the first turret, they were able to slow down the level 6 spike that GAM needed and managed to punish other small mistakes from the Marines.

ahq e-Sports Club vs. Cloud9

Winner: Cloud9

NA’s hardest workers looked to bounce back after their Day 1 loss against SKT. They took their mistakes from that game and turned that into a winning strategy, locking in the Nautilus for Impact which was the iffy pick from their last game. With Contractz on the high-damage jungle Ezreal, they were able to sync up well to get an early game lead. With the rest of C9 on comfort picks in the Ryze, Xayah, and Janna, they were able to snowball to get the W, without losing a single turret.

EDward Gaming vs SK Telecom T1

Winner: SK Telecom T1

If you’ve haven’t heard of the saying “Never bet against SKT,” now you have. Even when the enemy team is up 9-0 in kills, 3-0 in dragons, and a 10k gold lead. With EDG threatening to end the game after taking an inhibitor 24 minutes into the game, SKT seemed to get stronger the bigger their deficit. With an incredibly timed Wombo Combo in the midlane, SKT proved that in order to become a legend, you’re gonna have to do better than a 10k gold lead.

The 2017 Worlds Group Stage continues tomorrow for Day 4. Watch live on Twitch or YouTube.

3:00 PM Team SoloMid vs Team WE
4:00 PM Flash Wolves vs Misfits Gaming
5:00 PM G2 Esports vs 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports
6:00 PM Samsung Galaxy vs Royal Never Give Up
7:00 PM SK Telecom T1 vs ahq e-Sports Club
8:00 PM Cloud9 vs EDward Gaming

Feature image from League of Legends website.