With two teams already decided for the bracket stage, we move on to day six, where Group C will be slugging it out to see who will join them. EDG and Ahq sit at the top of the table at 2-1 each, but H2K were looking stronger towards the end of the first week and could feasibly pull out some surprise wins. As for INTZ, if Albus Nox’s miracle run and INTZ’s own day one upset over EDG are anything to go by, we should all know never to count out the wild cards.
EDG vs INTZ: Winner, EDG
People were probably a lot more excited for this match up the second time than they were on day one. Then again, it’s highly unlikely that anyone could have predicted one of the biggest upsets in League of Legends history. Perhaps some of the people who were most upset by this monumental occurrence were EDG themselves, and they came into this match with a score to settle. They came out of the gates swinging, picking up four unanswered kills in under seven minutes, and from then on, they showed why they were the number one seed from China. Utilizing the long range of Syndra and Jhin to get picks and siege turrets, EDG methodically wiped INTZ off the map. This was the EDG that everyone expected to see. The rest of the teams in the tournament should watch carefully so that they know just what they’re up against. As for INTZ, unfortunately they continued some of their bad habits from week one: engaging when they shouldn’t and not having the whole team on the same page. Miscommunications like that cost them the early game they so heavily rely on, and it will continue to cost them games unless they fix it quickly.
Ahq vs H2K: Winner, H2K
A vital game for both teams, especially H2K if they want to have a chance of getting out of the group. Both teams came into this match with some of their comfort picks, with Forg1ven on Caitlyn and Westdoor getting his Lissandra. Unfortunately for Ahq, they played into H2K’s hands by not making enough early plays and letting the laning phase drag out. The H2K carries were allowed to farm up in peace, and by the time Ahq did start making aggressive plays, it was too late. H2K continued to snowball their lead uncontested until around twenty-nine minutes when Albis made every single highlight reel by stealing the baron with a Karma Q. As impressive as this was, it only delayed the inevitable as H2K waited the buff out and then continued to fight and siege with their superior late game team composition. For H2K, this was a return to form. Forg1ven and Ryu were allowed to freely scale up into late game monsters and the team looked much better overall. Ahq on the other hand looked a little lost in the early game. They had some good engages in the mid to late game, but by that point they were just too far behind to be able to do anything. Ahq will need to fix something for their future games if they don’t want to be eliminated.
H2K vs EDG: Winner, H2K
While the last game was important for H2K to not be eliminated from bracket contention, this game would determine how much control they would have over their own fate. A win meant that they were tied for first and would only need to beat INTZ to secure a spot, while a loss would put them at the mercy of the other teams. Fortunately for H2K, they got everything they wanted out of the draft again. Forg1ven on Caitlyn, Ryu on Ryze, Jankos on an aggressive early game jungler. This was a perfect H2K composition, and they played it exactly to their strengths. Early kills in the top and mid lane allowed H2K to dominate the lane phase once more until they were ready to start taking objectives. Once the first tower fell, it was a domino effect, and there was very little EDG could do about it. They were able to stall out the game around twenty-seven minutes, but it only let H2K scale up even further and once they got their second baron, it was all over. If teams are going to beat H2K, they’re going to need to do something to interrupt H2K’s lane focused start. Whether that be taking away key champions in the draft phase or lots of ganks in the early game, something must change. As for H2K themselves, they just need to keep doing what they’re doing and make sure that their late game shotcalling stays strong so that they don’t slip up like they did multiple times during week one.
INTZ vs Ahq: Winner, Ahq
While the game started out pretty well for INTZ with a well-played early dive in the bot lane, they weren’t able to transition that lead into anything. In fact, the entire game stalled out for a solid ten minutes with no kills or towers being taken, and the gold lead staying under two thousand. This all broke open when Westdoor followed the Lissandra E into three members of INTZ and set up an easy fight for his team. This was the moment Ahq had been waiting for and they did not let it slip by, as they took baron and the rest of INTZ’s base in the span of about four minutes. This decisiveness is something that Ahq have been lacking for a large part of the tournament, but when they do have it, they’re a top contender. They’ll need to keep that momentum going for their last match against EDG if they want to be able to make it out of the group stage. As for INTZ, this loss marked the end of their run at Worlds. While they may not have broken out of the group stage like Albus Nox, they can still take solace in the fact that they fought their hardest and were able to give EDG a big slap in the face on day one.
INTZ vs H2K: Winner, H2K
Looking at this match up, veterans of competitive League of Legends will be reminded of two years ago when Kabuum upset Alliance and ruined their chances of making it out groups. Fast forward to today and the next iteration of Brazilian stars were looking to do the same to the hope of Europe. While INTZ had the right idea coming into this match, the execution was less than stellar. They took away a lot of H2K’s power picks, banning Caitlyn and Ryze and picking up Elise for themselves, but in the end, INTZ were still their own worst enemies. Beginning with an over extended dive in the bot lane that led to three deaths, INTZ were simply never on the same page. Yang’s teleports were never at the right time, Jockster was caught out trying to ward multiple times, and the team just didn’t seem to have the coordination it had in their win versus EDG. H2K on the other hand were the picture of cooperation, always knowing when to turn a fight and how to capitalize on INTZ’s mistakes. Jankos in particular stepped up to the plate, going 5/1/8 on Olaf and using a combination of Jayce’s Acceleration Gate, Sivir’s On the Hunt, and his own ghost and Righteous Glory to run down any poor member of INTZ who happened to be in the wrong place. With this win, H2k secured their spot in the bracket stage and showed that even if you ban some of their top picks, they still have plenty of ways to win the game.
Ahq vs EDG: Winner, EDG
Much like what happened in Group A, the two teams fighting here were both looking for a shot at the bracket stage and a rematch with H2K to determine seeding. At the start of the match, everything seemed like it was going in Ahq’s favor. Westdoor had Twisted Fate, AN had Jinx, and Albis had Tahm Kench. Anyone looking at the picks would think that EDG had fallen asleep during the draft phase. The early game certainly reflected this comfort, as Ahq used their mobility to get picks all around the map while consistently taking objectives. This added up to a solid seven thousand gold lead and Ahq went for the baron. They did secure it, but they went way too low and lost four members for it. This was the tipping point for the whole match as EDG took a series of towers, then a second baron, and from there, the game. For Ahq, their mistake was trying to teamfight against a superior team fighting composition being used by one of the most coordinated teams in China. It simply wasn’t the style of play that they needed to pursue, and in the end, they paid the price for it. As for EDG, while they did well to salvage this game, they got very lucky. Their draft phase was still quite bad, as they didn’t respect their opponents’ power picks. That kind of over-confidence could easily cost them future matches in the bracket stage.
H2K vs EDG: Winner, H2K
With EDG’s win over Ahq, they were set to advance from the group stage. Now the only thing left to decide was the seeding of Group C in a tiebreaker match between H2K and EDG. Just like in their last game, EDG showed a little overconfidence, allowing H2K to pick up Syndra for Ryu and Forg1ven’s beloved Caitlyn. These mistakes would come back to haunt EDG. The early game proceeded much in the same way as H2K’s last three games. They were allowed to farm up in the early game, taking a few objectives, but otherwise avoiding fights. To EDG’s credit, they did have good early picks, particularly around ten minutes where they executed a clean dive in the mid lane to grab two kills. The game stagnated after that however, with H2K still taking their objectives and EDG struggling to find the same picks against the disengage from Syndra and Karma. Once again, the game came down to one big fight, and it was H2K who came out on top, with Odoamne roasting three members of EDG with his Rumble, allowing H2K to get the baron. Even with the now huge disadvantage, EDG fought tooth and nail to stay in the game, with Clearlove pulling off an incredible baron steal at thirty-eight minutes. It wasn’t quite enough however, as H2K took the Elder Dragon and charged straight into the EDG base. The final fight came down to the wire, with only Forg1ven surviving to finish off the enemy nexus on his own.
With H2K and EDG advancing, four of the eight bracket stage teams have been decided. H2K had an incredible day, winning four straight games to take first place in Group C. They looked to be at the top of their game and if they keep this up, they could conceivably go even further in the bracket, depending on who they face in the coming rounds. As for EDG, while they’re still undeniably a strong team, some of their drafts have looked a little questionable. It remains to be seen whether they’ll learn from their mistakes or if they’ll continue to put themselves in disadvantageous situations because they don’t respect their opponents enough. Lastly, congratulations to Ahq and INTZ. Both teams played their hardest and should be commended for showing up on the big stage. They may not have advanced, but they should be proud of what they accomplished this year.