Hey folks! We’re back with our predictions and expectations for the Group Stage of Worlds. Our Play-In predictions were somewhat accurate and we hope to continue that going forward. Cloud9, Fnatic, Team WE and 1907 Fenerbahce all advanced and now that we know all the teams that will be battling it, here is our discussion on the Group Stage.
Viktor: So the most obvious question is the one we’ll start with. Who do you guys think will place first and second in each group?
Corey: In Group A SKT is my pick for first place. I think they will probably drop a game but they will still top the group. EDG will take second. Similar story for Group B. I think Longzhu will drop one game but will smash everyone. Immortals have a good chance of making it too. In Group C Samsung will also drop a game but will still finish first. I have G2 finishing second. And finally in Group D TSM taking first with Flash Wolves taking second is going to be my prediction. I don’t have a lot of faith in Team WE after their Play-In performance.
Jonas: Group A I have SKT for the obvious reason. They are the most dominant team in League of Legends history. I think EDG will come out in second based on the fact that they have looked good this split and Scout is a standout player in my eyes. C9 was a close second, but I don’t know if they have what it takes. In Group B I have Longzhu taking first as expected but I’m going to pick the GIGABYTE Marines coming out second. Their aggressive playstyle and performance at MSI have made me a believer in them. In Group C I think it will be Samsung taking first with Royal Never Give Up grabbing second just because their roster seems superior than G2’s. And finally in Group D although I want to pick TSM, I’ll go with Team WE taking first. It will be a close fight but I think TSM might drop a random game to Misfits or Flash Wolves.
Viktor: I agree with you when it comes to Group A Jonas. Although I am a bit skeptical of EDG after their shaky LPL playoffs run. In Group B I’ll take Immortals over GIGABYTE Marines just because I think they have more going for them. The Marines have a different roster this time around and Fnatic looked shaky in Play-Ins. IMT on the other hand hasn’t been seen in a while and although they did lose to TSM in the NA finals, they lost off of a throw they made. As a whole they’ve looked solid as a team. I pretty much agree when it comes to Group C although I do think Samsung will have to fight for their wins and it won’t be so easy for them. And when it comes to Group D, I think TSM will end up taking first with WE taking second but it will definitely be very close. I just think TSM’s roster that failed last year has the experience needed to not fail again in a weaker group this time. Although I do think TSM might actually drop a random game.
Jonas: That’s what I’m afraid of!
Viktor: Any players you guys will be keeping an eye on?
Corey: For me it would be players that will be vital to their team’s success. Contractz, Clearlove, Cody Sun, Olleh, Expect, LetMe and Betty all come to mind. I think the chances of their teams doing well depend so much on them performing at a high level.
Jonas: Condi, Zven and Crown are on my radar. I just think Condi and Zven are very consistent players and I enjoy watching them perform well. And they will certainly need to perform well. Crown is a player that will have a lot to prove at Worlds this year and I want to see him do well. Honorable mention to Bjergsen because I would like it if he plays more skill-intensive champion that can put TSM on his back.
Viktor: Same here when it comes to Bjergsen. I really want to see him step up in a big way and straight up win games for TSM. My other two players will be EDG’s IBoy and Clearlove. IBoy is a promising rookie who didn’t seem shaken up in the LPL finals. I want to see if the pressure of Worlds will get to him or if he’ll continue to perform at a good level. Clearlove is a guy that has a lot of critics and doubters and he must play well in order to prove them wrong.
Jonas: I definitely agree when it comes to Clearlove. He has a lot of pressure on his back and he has to embrace it and use it to his advantage.
Viktor: Do you guys have a dark horse in the tournament? I’ll go with the GIGABYTE Marines. Although realistically I don’t see them making it, there is a world where they upset both Immortals and Fnatic.
Jonas: Maybe slightly controversial but I think G2 would be my dark horse. I don’t expect them to do well but it would be both surprising and not surprising if they did make it out of groups.
Corey: I think the four teams that I have finishing fourth in their groups are my dark horses. So that would be Ahq eSports Club, GIGABYTE Marines, 1907 Fenerbahce and Misfits.
Viktor: Is there any champions that you think will see a lot of play? Or any unique picks that might pop up? Personally I think Ardent Censer will dominate this tournament so we’ll see picks like Karma top or even Lulu top popping out of nowhere.
Jonas: I think Jungle Ezreal is interesting and I really want to see if he’ll remain a big thing as we head into Groups. I’m also hoping for some aggressive playmaking supports because frankly Ardent Censer supports are not that exciting to watch.
Corey: I think Jayce, Ashe, Nidalee and maybe even Renekton might see more play. Miss Fortune is another one that might come out of nowhere. We saw her appear at Worlds last year so it can definitely appear again.
Viktor: On a more controversial topic, do you think the teams that made it to Groups through the Play-In stage are at a disadvantage?
Jonas: Personally I don’t think so. If you’re a good team you’ll make it out of groups regardless of whether or not you had to play more games or not. That shouldn’t be a factor towards a team’s losses in any way.
Corey: None of the Play-In teams had to show much to win their games and while they did miss out on more scrims, they at least got some warm-up games. So I’d say there’s no advantages or disadvantages.
Viktor: I agree with you guys for the most part. While having to show some of your picks might be a bit of a disadvantage, stage warm-up can be very useful so there’s positives and negatives to the Play-In stage.
Jonas: That’s fair. It’s looking like an even playing field.
Viktor: Is there a world where a Korean team doesn’t make it out of groups?
Jonas: No. I don’t even think there’s a chance of a Korean team not finishing first in their group.
Corey: If it’s gonna happen it’ll be Samsung but I just can’t see it happening. It would take G2 and RNG playing at a really insane level and I don’t see that happening.
Viktor: Agreed with Corey on this one. Unlikely to happen but if it does it’ll be Samsung. Do you guys think we’ll have a new world champion this year? Are the chances higher than they were last year? Personally I’d say the chances are about the same. There’s still three Korean teams, two of which are not SKT. So it’s looking the same.
Jonas: Can’t argue with that! I also think the chances are the same.
Corey: Compared to last year I’d say the other two Korean teams that aren’t SKT are looking even more solid. So yeah I’d say the chances of a new world champion are a little better.
Viktor: Any closing thoughts guys?
Corey: It’s gonna be a lot of fun. I’m hoping I’m wrong about these predictions honestly. I want to see some crazy stuff happen. There are new teams to see play on the Worlds stage for the first time, as well as a cast of the best veterans. I’m expecting a show, and I’m sure we’ll get one.
Jonas: I’m just excited and ready for Worlds to start so I can be wrong about everything!
Those were our predictions. We had fun talking about the Groups and we hope you had fun reading about our expectations and opinions on the topics we touched upon. The Group Stage will begin on October 5th and we’re all really looking forward to it just as much as you are!
Photographs taken by Riot Games