LoL World Championship Group Stage: October 17 (Worlds)
Christopher Troeh guides you through the North American (LCS) & European (LEC) World Championship Group Stages for esports DFS contests!
The quarter-finals matches are nearly concluded: this weekend features promising matches: tournament favorite TES face off against EU 2nd seed FNC, while Gen.G and G2 face off on the other side of the bracket, the latter match may go a full 5 games, but FNC look completely outmatched against the Chinese 1st seed. Let’s get into the picks.
It’s insanely difficult to figure out who to pick for captain, but there is one thing you should definitely bet on: TES winning. G2 vs Gen.G is impossible to decipher, either team can win depending on who shows up. Caps and Perkz are in the perfect position to decide the match-up. On the other hand, we have the issue of deciding who we want to take for captain: Karsa, Jackeylove, or Knight? On a personal basis, I prefer either Karsa or Knight; and I favor Karsa due to his low cost relative to impressive numbers. Jackeylove versus Rekkles is a contended match-up, and I think Rekkles’s defensive playstyle will inhibit Jackey’s ability to rack up points. Selfmade has been a highlight for FNC, but I strongly believe he will struggle against TES’s superior 2v2. If you feel comfortable picking a second mid laner, I’d choose Knight, but I feel like jungle is easier to select for than mid lane.
Alternatives to consider:Knight ($11,400)
Of all top laners on the day, the gap between 369 and Bwipo is absolutely astronomic. There is a really simple way for TES to beat FNC: ban Volibear, punish top. 3 of FNC’s 4 wins at worlds have been with decent performances from Bwipo holding his own top on the bear, while his stats off the champion have been mediocre. Meanwhile, 369 holds 6 unique picks (the maximum amount) throughout the event, and aside from his Urgot against Solo’s Gnar, he’s played very well in each of them; even in negative match-ups like against Doran’s Quinn, he’s still held up against the pressure. Unless Bwipo brings out a massive curveball (Urgot?) I highly doubt 369 will have any issue against the FNC top laner. The secondary choice is hard, but I give a weak edge to Wunder considering his pedigree alone; Rascal has flopped too many times for Gen.G.
Alternatives to consider:Wunder($6,000)
Jankos has still had a hard time adapting to the jungle meta despite his solid first few games at worlds. I think people are correct: Jankos tries too hard to be active during the early game, and it conflicts with the dominant meta of “farm jungle” that we’ve been seeing recently. However, G2 did handedly defeat FNC when they met in LEC finals; furthermore, the fact they actually lost to FNC the first time also gives me some hope, since it’s clear they’re willing to adapt. It’s not as though I think Clid is some sort of jungle monster, just that I think his pool generally matches the meta: Lillia, Nidalee, Graves. Meanwhile, Jankos prefers more active early game junglers. I’d recommend Clid, but pick Karsa if you picked a different captain.
Alternatives to consider:Karsa($6,800)
Knight is a real no-brainer: he is the best mid laner in the world. Also, he’s playing against one of the worst mids at the tournament! (ha). But seriously though, Nemesis is pretty similar to Bwipo in many regards: his champion pool is really small; he’s looked good on Orianna and Lucian at this event, and you can’t really pick Orianna blind (reliably) unless you’re on red side. Blue side has been dominant at this event (although; I wish TES would pick red and ban Lucian; I am curious to see how Knight would punish Orianna). It got to the point where Nemesis literally played Lulu midwhich is a bit worrying. Other than Knight, I’d recommend Caps. I haven’t been impressed by either BDD nor Caps, but BDD bringing out his signature Azir makes me question the efficacy of his champion pool in this meta.
Alternatives to consider:Caps($7,000)
Every single ADC is fantastic on the day. However, the G2 versus Gen.G match is difficult because Mikyx is a much better support than Life, but Ruler is the more practical ADC. However, I still recommend Ruler: +30 CSD per game, and a ~7 KDA makes me assured that his current for is still solid; plus Gen.G’s group was likely more difficult than G2’s who only had to face Suning as a significant threat (sorry, Team Liquid). Ruler is the biggest name by far on Gen.G and he is one of the most promising ADCs in the world. If you have the cash and slots, Jackeylove is a good choice too, but his support often abandons him to play around mid in the early game; not saying he won’t perform, just that he isn’t the center of his team like Ruler is.
Alternatives to consider:Jackeylove ($7,800)
Despite it having been a mostly Gen.G and TES favored article, I strongly favor Mikyx for support. I think G2 actually have the chance of knocking a few games off of Gen.G due to how good Mikyx is capable of playing; alongside with how bonkers overtuned the role is right now. Mikyx had the ability to carry against SwordArt in G2’s 1st game against Suning, and SwordArt himself is one of the best (if not the best) in the world. By comparison, Life has been mid table, and honestly, a pretty disappointing replacement to CoreJJ in my mind. Support aside from Keria (and probably Effort, Lehends) has been weak in the LCK. Mikyx is top of his class, while Life is a C-student at best. Don’t choose Hylissang, choose Life if you have to, and Yuyanjia isn’t worth taking away slots from TES.
Alternatives to consider:Life($5,400)
Yeah. Solo lane gap is pretty massive, and I don’t think FNC have enough firepower to match TES. The closest competition is in ADC and Jungle, and that’s irrelevant because both roles are extremely team reliant. How are you going to play when both your solo laners are incapable of contesting their opponents in the 1v1? You don’t, you lose. If TES all have a heart attack and die (see: IG versus TL 2019 MSI) FNC may actually be capable of winning the entire tournament, but otherwise, TES have this in the bag. G2 versus Gen.G is sort of close to call, but I favor Gen.G due to being more alligned with the meta; and I think Jankos just isn’t on his game.
Alternatives to consider: Gen.G($5,000)
Best mid in the world; best jungle in the world? Likely, I can’t wait for these two to match up against Damwon Gaming, it’ll be absolutely awesome to see the two styles of mid/jungle play out. Selfmade was probably the best jungler in EU and he carried a FNC that looked absolutely dead to worlds through innovating the meta, FNC seized the moment and the change of pace destroyed the slower teams like Schalke. However, Knight and 369 (foreshadowing) are too much to bear, and Karsa will likely control the entire game against FNC.
I think G2 will lose against Gen.G, but these two roles are clearly in the favor of G2, while mid is a little on the flippy side. Life and Rascal are really weak players relative to the rest of their roster, and while I don’t think Wunder will be capable of punishing Rascal just based of pools, I do think he’ll perform well in the series versus Gen.G. Mikyx has already shown how fantastic he’s capable of playing against Suning’sSwordArt, and I think Life is relatively weak.
These two are the most important picks in my eyes. Bwipo’sVolibear has been good, but what does he have after you ban it? Pray they lock in a match-up for something like Ornn or Malphite. 369 is the definition of flexibility and has shown a wide range of champions; from bruisers to tanks. He’s a perennially underrated top laner and a great pick on the day alongside fellow solo laner Knight, who’s also expected to gap the opposition.
All 3 of these guys have been talked about at length: Mikyx targets a weakness in Gen.G, 369 and Knight do the same, with Knight being in contention for the best player in the entire world. Don’t skip out on picking up some of these guys; I really don’t think there are better choices elsewhere relative to their cost/team slot.
Wunder and Caps are cheaper than their contemporaries, I see Wunder as a small upgrade and Caps’ inferiority relative to BDD is pretty negligible. I listed Selfmade, but I also want to shout-out Rekkles; they face the stiffest competition yet, and I think FNC will be snuffed out in 3 games. However, these two will likely at least look competitive against their competition, their solo laners will probably get blown out, but if FNC do manage to take even one win off TOP, it’ll be off these two (and maybe Hylissang, who knows) showing up to play ball.