Hello to all of our readers! Viktor, Corey and Jonas are back with more Worlds coverage after the conclusion of the Group Stage. This time around they will be answering some questions in regards to the upcoming Quarterfinals and what we can expect from the matches.
Q: Which teams will win their Quarterfinal match and why?
Viktor: Longzhu vs Samsung will likely be the closest series. On paper it’s looking very one-sided for Longzhu. Not only did they play at a higher level during the Group Stage but their aggressive style matches up very well against a passive team like Samsung. My predictions for the other matches are victories for all of the first place teams from each group. I just don’t think any of the second place teams can match up well against their opponents. The only possible exception might be SK Telecom T1 vs Misfits Gaming. Although SKT should win the series, they haven’t been stellar in the early game while Misfits have been fairly good in that area. That could lead to Misfits potentially winning a game or two.
Corey: Samsung vs Longzhu will be close in my opinion but I would give the edge to Longzhu based off of recent play. SKT should easily take down Misfits. I just don’t think Misfits can consistently have strong early/mid games especially against a stronger opponent. While Fnatic looked good in Week 2, RNG has been fantastic all throughout the group stage and I believe they will easily take the win. Similar story for the final match. C9 had moments of brilliance but Team WE have looked so much better than a third seed team. I definitely think WE will take it.
Jonas: Longzhu has consistently proven to be a better looking team than Samsung from the start of the Summer Split to now and I don’t think that will change. I give the edge to Longzhu. I really don’t think Misfits stands much of a chance against SKT. While they did impress me in the Group Stage, SKT just has superior players and are better at pretty much all stages of the game. RNG should be a favorite against FNC for pretty much the same reason. They just seem superior in most ways. As for NA’s last hope in C9, I actually think it’ll be a closer series than most would expect. Team WE did look good but they don’t look unbeatable. I do expect them to win but I think C9 will still put up a good fight.
Q: Are any upsets possible?
Viktor: I really don’t think so. I think all the teams that finished first in their group will win their Quarterfinal match as well.
Corey: The only one I believe is possible would be Cloud 9 over Team WE. This will have to happen largely through a survivable, but not passive, early game. And drafts that don’t give up both Jarvan IV and Galio to Team WE.
Jonas: I think C9 has a chance to take the series against WE. They looked pretty good in the Group Stage and it wouldn’t be that outrageous for them to win 3-2 in a close match.
Q: For the teams that are expected to lose, who needs to step up in order for an upset to happen?
Viktor: If Samsung wants to stand a chance of upsetting Longzhu, I’d say Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk and Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong both have to step up because they were very underwhelming in the Group Stage.
Corey: Lee “Crown” Min-ho, Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, Paul “sOAZ” Boyer and Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi are all going to be under relatively high amounts of pressure in their match-ups compared to their teammates. Not being the teams’ proverbial “chink in the armor” will prove crucial to any upset hopes.
Jonas: I don’t think anyone in particular will need to step up.
Q: Will the meta in the Quarterfinals change in any way from the Group Stage meta?
Viktor: With the way Caitlyn started to appear in Week 2 of the Group Stage, I definitely think she’s going to see more play. Aside from that I don’t see any huge changes to the meta.
Corey: We saw more Jayce as expected in the groups. I really think the only change might be more Caitlyn in the bot lane.
Jonas: The meta in week two shifted a lot to prioritize winning early before Ardent bot lanes would scale and make the game take forever. Small changes like Lulu over Janna have been occurring because Lulu is stronger in lane. I am sure some some changes will occur, but they will probably be based on the lane priority we saw last week.
Q: Are there any players that had a mediocre performance in the Group Stage that you want to see playing better in the Quarterfinals?
Viktor: I just really hope Ruler and Ambition step up so that we can have a more competitive Longzhu vs Samsung series.
Corey: I don’t think anyone really played bad for the context of their games. I hope to see more polished drafting from some teams though.
Jonas: No not really. I don’t think anyone had a really bad performance during the Group Stage.
Q: Is there any team in the Quarterfinals that surprised you by making it there?
Viktor: Definitely Misfits. I expected them to finish fourth in their group but here they are facing off against SKT. What a crazy outcome!
Corey: Absolutely surprised by Misfits and Fnatic being here, and a bit by Cloud 9 as well. Not to discredit them — they just stepped up against the competition that was most crucial.
Jonas: It still blows my mind that Misfits are in the Quarterfinals. They will get destroyed in my opinion but they earned their spot. I’m also somewhat surprised EDG underperformed so much, giving C9 a free ride to the Quarterfinals. I definitely think C9 earned the spot though. It’s less of a surprise than Misfits, but a surprise nonetheless.
Q: Is there any team in the Quarterfinals that is likely to lose but deserves more than a Quarterfinals finish?
Viktor: Definitely the loser of the Longzhu vs Samsung series. Both teams are top tier and even though Samsung underperformed in their group, they are still a great team.
Corey: Whoever loses the Longzhu vs Samsung match will have deserved a higher spot, but that’s about it.
Jonas: I think Samsung will lose to Longzhu, but would have been able to beat RNG or WE. Samsung looked pretty solid in their group, but not as good as I would have liked or expected. I still think they could have made it to the Semifinals with a different draw.
Q: Got any closing thoughts?
Viktor: I really hope the Chinese teams can keep performing at a high level in a Bo5 setting!
Corey: There are more really great match-ups this Quarterfinals than there were last year. I’m very much looking forward to each series.
Jonas: Nope. Just hoping for some quality League of Legends!
Thanks for reading our expectations for the Quarterfinals! We will likely be back for the Semifinals as well. The Quarterfinals begin on October 19th when Longzhu Gaming faces off against Samsung Galaxy!
Photographs taken by Riot Games