After playing host to 12 teams battling it out for only 4 spots in the 2017 World Championship Play-In stage, Wuhan Sports Gymnasium in China lit up once again as the group stage of the World Championship began with LPL title favourite RNG (Royal Never Give Up) going head to head with the clearest beneficiaries of the Play-Ins, Turkey’s 1907 Fenerbahc?e  eSpor. After topping their group and then going on to topple Team oNe eSports in the elimination bracket, 1907 Fenerbahc?e  demonstrated that no longer are the wildcard regions free wins, and instead are teams that can take games off any team, any time.

With Albus Nox Luna taking down entrenched teams to make it out of Group Stage in 2016, the stage is wide open for the next wildcard team to take the world by storm, and with their on-fire ADC Padden already with a pentakill under his belt, 1907 Fenerbahc?e  are looking to be this year’s dark horses. RNG however, had narrowly gone down to Edward Gaming (EDG) in the LPL final after being 2-0 and denying star AD Carry Uzi his first LPL title. Hungry to avenge that defeat, RNG looked favourites along with Samsung Galaxy to make it out of Group C.

Before the games began, however, all 16 teams stepped onto the stage as the groups were slowly introduced, with SKT T1 the favourites in Group A, with Cloud9 and Edward Gaming looking to fight over that second spot, after the former snuck their way in through the Play-In Stage as well as ahq e-Sports club bringing up the rear. Group B comprised of LCK first seeds Longzhu Gaming, fresh off their defeat of SKT in the LCK final, as well as NA’s second seed in Immortals and the former Kings of Europe in Fnatic. The GIGABYTE Marines, after their phenomenal performance at MSI 2017, had seeded directly into the group stage and weren’t a team to be snorted at.

Group C, the so-called Group of Death, sent out the LCK’s third seed in 2016 Worlds finalists Samsung Galaxy to compete with RNG, Europe’s first seed G2 eSports and the Turkish 1907 Fenerbahc?e. G2’s last international outings had seen them take second place in MSI and Rift Rivals, against SKT T1 and TSM respectively. The 4th and final group heralded the arrival of the North American powerhouse of TSM to do combat with the LMS stalwart Flash Wolves as well as the upstart Europeans in Misfits Gaming and dark horses in China’s Team WE. Misfits had stormed through the finals after a lacklustre Summer Split and had taken out the likes of Fnatic and H2K on the way to their first Worlds appearance.

Game 1

The first two games of the day were that from Group C, before Groups B and A took the stage to round out Day 1’s six best-of-ones. For Group C, 1907 Fenerbahc?e  were the clear underdogs and it would be a surprise whenever they took a game up. Especially against RNG, 1907 Fenerbahc?e  would be hard pressed to put a 1 in the Wins column. The first champion select of the World Championship opened up with RNG taking away Gragas, Xayah and Alistar, splitting their bans up amongst members of the Turks, while 1907 Fenerbahc?e  responded with two targeted jungle bans against Mlxg in Jarvan IV and Sejuani, and also a Kalista ban to ensure Uzi can’t pop off.


Rek’sai was the first pick of Worlds 2017 on the side of the Chinese, as 1907 Fenerbahc?e  followed up with a Lulu for Japone and Crash’s signature Nidalee. Attempting to abuse the power of Ardent Censer, RNG took Janna for Ming and Kog’Maw for Uzi for full late-game play. Tristana for Padden rounded out the first round of picks, and we returned to the banning table as RNG locked away Taliyah and Lucian to limit Frozen’s champion pool while 1907 Fenerbahc?e  tried to do the same to Letme as they banned Shen and Galio.

Maokai was picked up for Thaldrin, trying to repeat the success of the Play-Ins, while RNG took the toplane tank in Cho’Gath as well as a blind pick Ryze for Xiaohu, which was quickly countered with a Syndra for Frozen. Respecting the all-in potential from RNG, Frozen decided to take the Cleanse to ensure he wouldn’t be giving up any early kills on the Dark Sovereign. A sneaky Level 1 invade on RNG’s red buff resulted in Crash securing the first kill of the World Championship on Mlxg’s Rek’Sai, much to the dismay of the Chinese crowd.

In response to the aggression, Mlxg bravely plowed into 1907 Fenerbahc?e ’s jungle, taking away crucial camps from Crash as he attempted to press the gold advantage he and the team had over the men from China. The game fell passive, an occasional gank coming in, as well as Frozen and Xiaohu sending each other back to base with near-lethal trades, until a failed gank from RNG allowed a repeat of the first blood as Crash took down Mlxg with the assistance of Frozen. Now ahead by 1.5k gold, 1907 Fenerbahc?e  Fenerbahce were looking to keep the proverbial foot on the throat of RNG.

A superior vision game being played on the bot side by Fenerbahce halted much of the aggression from RNG, although Mlxg returned to the midlane and proved third time’s a charm as he took down Frozen and quickly followed up as he exacted revenge on Crash under turret to improve to 2/2. Xiaohu’s recall was brutally interrupted by a vengeful Frozen as his Unleashed Power brought the Ryze down to a sliver of health and a Flash was burnt as Syndra attempted to secure the kill. The game returned to a state of quiet until an attempted bait in the bot lane from RNG was superbly countered by 1907 Fenerbahc?e , limiting the damage to only a kill on Thaldrin and a 1k gold deficit as the first turret fell with an accompaniment of the crowd’s roar.

The fighting faded to that solely of vision, with RNG investing heavily in control wards to try and stamp control over the map. With control over the game being firmly wrested from 1907 Fenerbahc?e  as well, RNG tried to utilise their 2.5k gold lead to knock down the outer ring of turrets of Fenerbahce. Two dragons in the favour of 1907 Fenerbahc?e  represented one of the only leads that they had at the 25 minute mark, with CS differentials predominantly on the side of RNG with only Crash and Frozen being ahead.

Action erupted as the game closed in on 30 minutes with Uzi picking up two kills on the top lane on Japone and Frozen, with miscommunication causing Padden to trade RNG’s mid Tier 2 for 1907 Fenerbahc?e ’s inhibitor to drop the Turks even farther behind. Now 8k gold behind, 1907 Fenerbahc?e  ceded the lives of Thaldrin and Crash as well as that of the Baron to allow RNG to pressure all of Fenerbahce’s turrets, leading the downed masonry count 8-3. A rotation meant Xiaohu was caught out but a stellar Realm Warp + Zhonya’s resulted in a clean escape. Repeated uses of the Realm Warp resulted in team fight victory after team fight victory as RNG took advantage of their scaling composition to storm to their first win of their Worlds campaign in 38 minutes with a 13-3 scoreline as well as a 12k gold lead.

Game 2

The second game of the World Championship was the new rulers of Europe in G2 going up against Samsung Galaxy. Both teams had unchanged rosters since Worlds 2016, although they hadn’t clashed. Many predicted this to be one of the more crucial games of the Group Stage, as Group C was arguably the closest group of the tournament, and on the outset it wasn’t looking like it was going to disappoint. Champion select booted up with G2 deciding to make sure Jarvan wasn’t available as well as targeting CoreJJ with Janna and Lulu bans. SSG responded with banning out the dreaded Kalista + Rakan as well as Sejuani from Trick. G2 took Xayah, even though Rakan wasn’t available, and Samsung Galaxy took Gragas and Varus for Ambition and Ruler.

The crowd roared in delight as Trick picked up the Ivern, throwing back to 2016 as Alistar was their second back. Taric for SSG closed out the first round, again allowing Ardent Censer to be abused for the Varus. Crown was targeted as Ryze and Syndra were taken away, and Samsung were of the same mind, making sure Perkz can’t play Kassadin and LeBlanc. Cho’Gath was secured for CuVee, while Corki was picked up for Perkz and Expect took the Shen into the top lane. Taliyah closed out the picks as Crown grabbed her and the teams were onto the Rift.

Showing respect to the early engage potential from the European Samurai, Crown flashed away the moment he caught sight of them, aiding a gank possibility from Trick. On the bot side, SSG had itemised supremely defensively in an attempt to negate the early aggression from G2, with both the Varus and the Taric taking Relic Shield and Flash – Barrier and Flash – Heal on the two, respectively. A botched gank in the top lane from Trick was the beginning of pressure, as although both Expect and Trick slipped away with slivers of health and without a kill, the Ivern headed back up there minutes later, this time securing First Blood.

Perkz being chunked out at the 10 minute mark freed up Crown to aid Ambition and CoreJJ to take down the Infernal Drake and a meagre 0.5k gold lead. An attempted initiation from G2 in the bot lane was turned on it’s head as SSG quickly defused the situation, with Crown’s Weaver’s Wall forcing Zven to burn his flash. Both junglers were in the vicinity of the bot lane, but G2’s snap decision lead to them locking down Ruler before Ambition had a chance to intervene to go 2-0 up.

Looking to capitalise, G2 rotated around the map, beginning a lane swap in a throwback to metas of old. A monstrous fight in the top lane after a Rift Herald attempt resulted in all summoners being burnt and a 4-3 kill trade in favour of SSG after the fight split up into two halves, with each team winning one, until Crown and CuVee with the larger health bars cleaned up the fight. G2 responded with a Rift Herald take with milliseconds to spare before it despawned, and used very quickly to equalise the turret count at 1 apiece, however SSG took down the Cloud Drake on the back end as the game returned to tenuous passivity.

Samsung’s early pressure on the turrets paid off, as they rotated around to take the remaining two outer turrets on the side of G2. Repelling another attempt to start a teamfight from G2, Crown managed to take down Trick and Ruler took down Expect as G2 expended far too much on the Cosmic Radiance’d SSG to build a 6k gold lead and up 6-5 in the kills. Grabbing Baron, the end was nigh for G2 eSports with Samsung pounding down turrets all of the place with the aid of the Hand of Baron. Crown’s Wall split up G2 and CoreJJ ulted to enable Samsung to take 3 kills with a 10k gold lead, and it wasn’t long before the Nexus Turrets then the Nexus fell as SSG took their first victory of Worlds in 27 minutes and close out the displays from Group C for Day 1.

Game 3

Longzhu had come to the World Championship with plenty of hype surrounding them after they took down SKT in the LCK finals to secure Korea’s first seed at Worlds, after having not been able to find success until then, even though they’d been in the competition since 2012 (albeit under the name Incredible Miracle) and had finished 7th in LCK Spring. Their opposition was that of North America’s Immortals, who had themselves produced many a miracle in their 2 years in the NA LCS. After going down in the NA LCS finals to TSM 3-1, Immortals were looking to stamp a claim that it wasn’t just TSM that could compete internationally and could take it to the powerhouse regions of Korea and China.

Longzhu’s first actions of Wrolds 2017 was to target Immortals’ stellar botlane, banning away Kog’Maw, Janna and Xayah, while Immortals did vary their bans by taking away Lulu, Sejuani and Kalista. Jarvan IV was the first pickup from Longzhu, meaning that Cuzz could be playing the Crown Prince for the first time this year. Asia’s new craze in Jungle Ezreal was first picked for Xmithie, while a comfort Varus was there for Cody Sun. Tristana and Taliyah followed for Pray and Bdd, both frequently played champion for them. Immortals countered with a Ryze pick that had proved valuable for RNG earlier in the night as champion select moved to the second round of bans.

Keeping themselves safe, Immortals ensured Khan could not play the Jayce that he has become so well known for, in addition to taking away Rakan. Longzhu played the picks and instantly moved to try and weaken Flame’s champion pool with a Renekton + Shen ban. Olleh decided he’d play his signature Morgana, while Cuzz got Kha’Zix, meaning that Jarvan was being handed to the hypebeast himself, Khan. Maokai and Karma rounded out champion select for Immortals and LZ respectively.

Again, safety prevailed for the red side, with Cody Sun’s Tristana taking Barrier and Olleh with possession of the Heal this time around. The speedy clear from Xmithie was only marred by misjudging the Patience on one of the camps, but that didn’t stop him for running down bot for an attempted gank. Unsuccessful, the Ezreal shifted back into the shadows to continue farming up to try and catch up on the deficit Cuzz had put on him. Both teams danced around each other, never fully engaging until a 4 man gank botlane turned First Blood over to Olleh’s Morgana and a neat Realm Warp away from danger negated the threat of a follow-up from Khan, who burnt his Teleport in an attempt to do so.

The joy was briefly held, as a pixel-perfect Weaver’s Wall from Bdd barred the incredibly close Morgana from reaching the turret, and Crown quickly picked up a return kill. Xmithie returned minutes later, and a CC chain from Olleh and Cody Sun lined up Xmithie’s Trueshot Barrage to chunk GorillA so Olleh could finish her up and continue his representation of all kills and deaths in the game. Sensing more opportunity, Flame utiilised his teleport advantage to 4-man gank bot lane for the second time and picked up a kill onto Xmithie and Flame as well as first turret. Now ahead by 2k gold, Immortals continued to maintain pressure until stellar mechanics from the side of Longzhu enabled them to repel another attempted initiation.

However, this had consequences as Crown divided up the North Americans with another on-point Weaver’s Wall and quickly burst down Olleh for their second kill of the game. Trades happened on the bot side, as Cuzz’s life, quickly ended by a precise CC chain, was traded for a solokill onto Xmithie by Bdd to equalise the gold count. Picking up an Ocean Drake as well as a Rift Herald, the onus was now on Immortals to start to try and make plays. Sending Herald top, Immortals took down the top Tier 1 turret to restore balance with the turret count arriving at 2-2.

A pick off on GorillA at 23 minutes led to Immortals charging down Infernal Drake, but Longzhu made the gutsy call to rush down Baron, just sneaking away with it but Immortals followed up resulted in a 2-1 kill trade for NA’s second seed. A pushing Longzhu caught out Xmithie and they took full advantage pressing the mid lane to the inhibitor turret. A fantastic initiation from LZ deleted Olleh and Cody Sun and Flame quickly followed. Pobelter played like a man possessed and darted around the Korean champions, managing to take down two before ceding the ace to Longzhu.

Bdd firmly stated his claim to be the next Faker with another beautiful wall to lock away Pobelter and Xmithie, with the latter being blown up in a matter of milliseconds. From equal gold at the time of taking Baron, LZ’s power play had built up a 6k gold lead as Khan leapt onto the Varus with a Cataclysm to send him back to the fountain, with Pobelter joining him soon after to allow Longzhu to desecrate the turrets and close out their first match of Worlds 2017 in 30 minutes exactly with a 13-10 kill lead, a 9-2 turret score and a impressive 9k gold lead.

Game 4

The second game of Group B would be former World Champions Fnatic taking on upstarts GIGABYTE Marines from Vietnam. Underdogs of the group, the Marines had gathered a decent following after their performance at MSI, taking TSM to 5 games. The Marines’ jungler, Levi, had developed a reputation for stealing Dragons and Barons

Fnatic started off by deliberately focusing on one of the Marines’ strongest player in Levi, as his  champion pool was whittled away with an Ezreal and a Jarvan ban, as well as a surprising Xayah ban. The Marines decided to spread their bans, as a Kalista, a Sejuani and a Janna ban all came out. Varus was quickly locked in for Fnatic’s star ADC in Rekkles, while GAM opted to take Galio and the always strong Lulu. Karma and a signature Ryze for Caps were next on Fnatic’s shopping list, as Tristana was finally snagged by the Vietnamese representatives.

With no junglers yet locked in, the bans were focused towards that from GAM, opting to take away Rek’Sai and Gragas before picking up a solo queue terror in a surprise Nocturne. Broxah’s response in Elise as well as Maokai ended Fnatic’s pick phase, while the Marines finished off with a Kassadin, always a bold move against the team who had made him famous. With a reputation for playing risky, Nevan’s Lulu opted to take Heal and Ignite while both ADCs took Barrier and Jesiz played it safe and took Flash and Heal. Both teams were looking to make plays with double Teleport on both sets of mid and top laners.

The game started as if it were a solo queue nightmare, with a lane swap at 1.5 minutes as Noway and Nevan charged toplane and quickly pressured sOAZ away from his turret. With a significantly weaker laning start, Galio opted to assist Levi and power-leveled him to 4 by 2:49 and instantly went down bot to attempt an attack on Rekkles and Jesiz. The inventiveness almost paid off, but Caps managed to snag First Blood on Archie as all of Fnatic repelled the invasion.

The sheer lead that the Marines’ bot lane had built up by solo-farming up top proved too much for the level 2 Maokai and he was annihilated under turret with Nevan demonstrating the power of Heal – Ignite Lulu. Broxah salvaged the situation with a Flash over the wall to secure the kill. Attempting to pick off Archie, Jesiz felt the unholy wrath of Levi after he ulti’d at 5:30 into the game, where his level was actually larger than the game time, and it returned the kills to 2 each. A roaming Caps flashed over the bottom turret wall to take down Archie for the second time but Levi’s Nocturne turned around to slice Rekkles and sOAZ into ribbons before being shut down by the now 3-0 Caps.

Being 3-0 didn’t afford any safety for Caps, as 3 members of the Marines went into juggle turret aggro to allow Optimus to shut him down and jump 1.5k gold up. Fnatic was obviously unprepared for the sudden aggression as GAM pressured all of the outer turrets. A brawl in the midlane led to Caps blowing up Nevan as he himself was wiped off the Rift and a 2v1 from sOAZ goaded Levi into taking turret shots and a well placed Sapling finished off the fed Nocturne.

The bloodbath continued in to bot lane as Archie fell victim to a CC chain and Rekkles picked up his first kill of the game. Noway traded that for midlane turret, but Fnatic were determined to one-up the Vietnamese as they turned to focus the Cloud Drake. A nice Realm Warp allowed for a clean escape from the pressing Marines and to try reset the map. A surprising lull occurred until the 12th minute as Noway and Nevan pumped down sOAZ to improve the Tristana to 3/0/0. A fight around Rift Herald resulted in two kills for Fnatic, with Optimus and Archie being caught out by 3 members of EU’s third seed.

As the Marines charged down the botlane Tier 2, a lone sOAZ’s attempts at defense fell short as the incredibly fed Levi appeared out of nowhere to turn the tree into kindling. It was repeated only moments later as Caps was burst down to tie the kill scores at 9 apiece. The game had gotten to the stage where Levi was two levels ahead of anyone else and a concerted effort had to be made to kill him, and Fnatic did just that. Piling onto Levi as a 3man unit while the Vietnamese jungler was killing the wolves was just enough to shut him down and give Fnatic some breathing room.

Rift Herald made inroads into the turrets deficit, but another messy fight in the midlane threatened to expose Fnatic’s jugular as Levi wiped out sOAZ in exchange for the life of Archie. Organised chaos reigned supreme over the Rift as the Marines’ game plan grew closer and closer to its’ climax as Drakes fell and the Vietnamese champions made moves towards Baron. Caps vanished out of the clutches of Levi and Optimus with a precise Paladin before GAM moved bot to try and split pressure on Fnatic.

Noway proved the second member of the Marines to show no fear as he plowed forward to pickup a Double Kill on Rekkles and Jesiz even as his support stole his Triple with a well-timed Glitterlance onto sOAZ. The base was quickly broken with the botlane inhibitor falling quickly after its’ turret to put GAM up 4k gold and a considerable mountain to climb for Fnatic if they wanted to walk away with the win.

As the Marines cleared out vision around the pit, a split-second call to burst down Baron was rewarded by an attempt at an engage by Fnatic, giving the GPL champs Baron as well as two free kills onto sOAZ and Broxah’s Elise. Optimus was on recall-delaying duty as super minions pounded their way onto Fnatic’s nexus turrets aided by the turret demolisher herself in Noway’s Tristana (who was already 7/0/3) 23 minutes into the game.

Feigning retreat, Noway and Nevan ducked out of Fnatic’s base only to step back in moments later to burst down Broxah in a matter of milliseconds, with sOAZ and Jesiz following in quick succession. With enough resets to last a lifetime, Noway leapt onto the king of Pentas in Rekkles and deleted him for a Quadra Kill. Moving in on Caps with a hunger for the first pentakill of the group stage, the Ryze’s health bar was quickly depleted by a barrage of bullets before Optimus’ Kassadin riftwalked in to steal away the final kill but to walk away with a 24 minute victory.

The crowd erupted in delight at the upset and social media went insane with many calling it one of the best games of League ever played. Unconventional strategies were what made people fall in love with the Marines during their MSI campaign and today they didn’t fail to deliver. Fnatic looked obviously gutted with the defeat, as many expected them to be finals contenders, but this is only one game out of 6. With the win, the GIGABYTE Marines firmly declared themselves contenders for this group, with a pledge to unveil yet another brand-new strategy against Worlds contenders Longzhu Gaming.

Game 5

North America’s second outing at the World Championship was Cloud9 taking on the undisputed best team in the world in SK Telecom T1. After going undefeated in the Play-In stage, Cloud9 undoubtedly got one of the harder groups of the tournament, but that wouldn’t faze them heading into the matchup. After Jensen had challenged Faker on social media prior to their battle in Worlds 2016 and had failed to back it up, this was his chance to redeem himself.

SKT started by banning away Galio, Rakan and Thresh to weaken Smoothie’s options, while Cloud9 responded with Xayah, Sejuani and Kalista to stop Peanut and Bang from good early-game initiation. Jarvan proved to be a priority for the Korean teams, it being the second time today that Korea had chosen it with their first pick. C9 wanted to get their botlane under wraps early, and opted to take a Lulu and Tristana.

Janna and Kog’Maw were quick counters from SKT, and Ryze for Jensen to attempt round 2 of the Clappening finished off round 1 of picks and bans. SKT got rid of Ezreal and Cho’Gath while C9 targeted Faker with a Syndra and an Orianna ban. Cassiopeia was picked up by Faker, quickly followed by a Maokai for Huni while Impact decided to challenge that with a Nautilus and Peanut was to be taken on by Contractz picking up the Rek’Sai to finish off champion select.

Insignificant gold leads fluctuated back and forth as well as various jungle pressure until Contractz’ gank top lane was repelled by some stellar outplay from Huni to chunk out both Impact’s Nautilus and the Rek’Sai. Contractz tried again in the midlane onto Faker, but the one they called God cleanly outplayed them both under his own turret to kill Contractz with Cassiopeia’s poison and allow Peanut to come in and clean up the low-health Jensen. Now ahead by 1k gold, SKT began to roam to create pressure, arriving mid as Cloud9 attempted to 3man gank Faker under turret, managing to trade his life for that of Contractz and getting their first kill of the game.

Huni’s Maokai left alone in the bot lane secured first turret and a 2k gold lead for SKT, however he soon fell victim to two ultimates from Impact and Contractz. Counterjungling went horribly wrong for Contractz as Peanut and Faker exacted revenge for the death of Huni and sent him back to the fountain without any loss. The back and forth continued as Faker fell victim to the fadeaway Q from Jensen and returned the gold deficit to only 3k behind for C9. Two towers to none, SKT had control of the map and were looking to exert that pressure elsewhere.

Two quick pick-offs on Jensen and Smoothie at 21 minutes led to a slow Baron take for SKT, who pounced on the circling C9 to take another 3 kills for the delayed ace and an 8k gold lead. In desperation, Cloud9 went all in on Huni as he was pushing in the bot lane to take him down, but had to sacrifice their midlane inhibitor for it, an unworthy trade in every sense of the word. Utilising their Baron, SKT continuously pushed up the botlane, taking turrets, champions and inhibitors and finally the nexus as they romped to a comfortable 26 minute victory with a 13k gold lead and 12 kills to 5 to go 1-0 in their group on Day 1. With the loss, NA and EU were 0-4 on the first day and definitely had to bounce back on Day 2 and beyond if any of the teams wanted a shot of making it out of groups.

Game 6

The final game of the day was an historical matchup in EDG vs ahq, one that had traditionally favoured the LPL. an 8-2 record favouring the Chinese. EDG had come into the tournament as the LPL’s first seed after reverse sweeping RNG in the LPL Summer Finals while ahq had again played second fiddle to the Taiwanese dominator that is the Flash Wolves.

Jayce, Galio and Xayah were quickly taken away from ahq while Kalista, Rakan and Jarvan were kept from the side of EDG as the LPL champions locked in Sejuani as their first pick. Albis made sure he could continue use of Ardent Censer as he picked up Janna, while Mountain grabbed himself a great initiator in Gragas. Lulu and Kog’Maw for iBoy and Meiko were EDG’s second and third picks, while a hypercarry in the form of Twitch was taken for An with ahq’s last pick of the first round.

Gnar and Ryze were banned away by EDG as they tried to ensure that Ziv and Westdoor weren’t getting comfort champions while ahq targeted Scout’s pool with a Syndra and Taliyah ban. Cho’Gath was instantly locked in for Ziv in the toplane, while Lucian and Shen were EDG’s counters and Corki for Westdoor rounded out the last champion select of the day.

EDG slowly worked their way ahead in CS in all lanes, maintaining a minor gold lead, however a supremely botched towerdive in the bot lane gifted First Blood to An’s Twitch on a silver platter. 18 minutes heralded the first action in the game since that first blood, with a Scout outplay onto Westdoor to augment his already formidable CS lead/

With both teams’ signature playstyles that of embodying the phrase of “slow and steady wins the race”, 20 minutes had passed before a brutal teamfight in the toplane signalled that the heart of this game was still beating. An’s Twitch, while behind in CS, darted around all of EDG after a brief disengage to pick up a Quadra Kill to leave only Meiko alive before falling to the Lucian.  Realising that this was going to be a problem, EDG followed up 5 minutes later with a pick onto the Twitch to equalise the entire scoreboard and keep this game on a knife’s edge.

The game stayed silent, both teams minding their own business, until 35 minutes rolled around and flashes of light zapped around the Baron pit as ahq engaged onto the depleted EDG. With An getting revenge and picking up the first and only kill of the fight onto Scout, Baron was there for the taking for the Taiwanese runners-up. Despite the advantage, the foundations of ahq’s game plan were quaked as iBoy went rampant on the front line of ahq to pick up a Triple Kill and a 3k gold lead for EDG. Baron was next up, falling at 45 minutes in favour of Edward Gaming despite ahq’s best attempts at a steal, with Mountain falling victim to iBoy.

The next fights were fruitless, with only single kills being picked up back and forth until Scout and Meiko fell to the Twitch. With the numbers advantage, ahq smashed down the base to take down the nexus and the Group favourites as well as taking the first true scalp of the tournament so far.