While it might seem like we here at Anime Arcade only play KanColle and Overwatch, we actually have a fair number of League of Legends fans in our growing community. I myself used to be an avid player of the popular MOBA, and I remain a fan of the eSport that surrounds it. With that being said it is once again the most exciting time of year for League of Legends eSports fans! The World Championship (Worlds) is once again upon us, and the 4 group stages have been drawn with 4 teams in each group. With this knowledge I thought I’d test my prophetic skills by throwing some predictions on which two teams will make it out of each group. Here’s hoping I’m not too terrible at this.
ROX: 6 – 0 / G2: 4 – 2 / CLG: 2 – 4 / ANL: 0 – 6
Group A is the group of death for everyone not named ROX Tigers. The former ROX team had dropped games in major tournaments, but this ROX team looks much stronger than previous iterations. While the potential for upsets is still very real, the odds heavily favor ROX making out of groups in the first slot. The second slot is a bit more of a question, but I chose G2 over Counter-Logic Gaming based on CLG’s recent lack luster performances. G2 is the first seed out of Europe, while CLG made it into worlds purely on championship points. While CLG’s training might bring them back into contention, I think it’s safe to say G2 will take it. What about Albus NOX Luna you ask? An unfortunate casualty of the Group of Death.
SKT: 4 – 2 / FW: 3 – 3 / C9: 2 – 4 / IMAY: 2 – 4
I think that Group B will be one of the bloodiest groups in the group stages of Worlds. The reigning champions SKT will no doubt instill fear into the other teams of the group, but I still believe that they might be surprised in (at most) 2 games. This will give either Cloud 9 or IMay hope at breaking through to the Quarterfinals. However, Taiwan’s Flash Wolves will likely prove too high a wall to climb and they’ll slide into the second spot of Group B. Honestly I might be short changing the Taiwanese powerhouse, but you can never be too careful when predicting around Cloud 9. Impact’s most recent performances make me willing to give C9 a slim chance at making it out of the group stage, or at the very least upset my top two teams in the group.
EDG: 6 – 0 / AHQ: 3 – 3 / H2K: 3 – 3 / INTZ: 0 – 6
Similar to Group A, Group C should be a stomp for the #1 seeded team. EDG looked dominant in the summer split of the LPL, so there is little reason to think that they won’t carry their win streak into Worlds. While they might drop 1 or 2 games, I am fairly confident in their ability to dominate Group C and erase the embarrassment the LPL suffered at Worlds 2015. AHQ and H2K will likely scrap it out in the middle of the group, possibly coming to a standstill at 3 and 3. With a tiebreaker match, my metaphorical money is on AHQ to take the second spot. About the only thing I see INTZ accomplishing in this group is playing spoiler to either AHQ or H2K. Sorry Brazil.
RNG: 4 – 2 / TSM: 3 – 3 / SMG: 3 – 3 / SPY: 2 – 4
The final group of Worlds will be yet another bloody group like Group B. Group D is the group I am the least sure about (if I can be sure of any). Royal Never Give Up will likely take the 1st seed of the group through some intense back and forth matches. Despite being North America’s #1 team, Team SoloMid will likely find China’s 2nd place and Korea’s 3rd place teams difficult opponents. Similarly Europe’s 3rd place team is more like their 2nd place team so the road will be that much harder for TSM and Samsung. However, this iteration of TSM is probably their best yet and I’m fairly confident in their ability to succeed in a tie breaker match against Samsung.
ROX / G2 / SKT / FW / EDG / AHQ / RNG / TSM
In my opinion these eight teams have the highest potential to make it out of the Worlds Group Stage. This is based purely off their performance in the regular season, and the skill differential in regions based off previous international events. I can’t say for certain if North America/Europe got better or Korea got worse, but it will be interesting to watch nonetheless. If you’re interested in making your own predictions, leave your comments here, or on our social media pages to tell me what you think of these predictions! Tune into LoL Esports to catch all the exciting action of the League of Legends World Championship tomorrow to see how your predictions pan out as well!