The League of Legends 2018 World Championship is starting in a week’s time. Today, the groups for the play-in stage and group stage have been drawn.
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) September 23, 2018
The best League of Legends players in the world will be competing for a chance to lift the Summoner’s Cup. The top teams from every region will try to represent their home with honor. There are some Worlds veterans such as Korea’s Gen.G, who wish to repeat their 2016 success. However, there is some fresh faces at the tournament like the entire roster of Europe’s Team Vitality. The whole team has never gone to Worlds before, and so they will need to steel themselves in front of thousands of fans. Let’s take a look at the groups that are going to battle it out this October.
First, let’s check out the playing field for the Play-in Stage Groups. The big teams that many western fans will be looking at are Cloud9 and G2 Esports, who are looking for a Group Stage berth once again. Cloud9 is coming into the World Championships with a slew of rookie players with a lot of potential and talent. Players like Robert “Blaber” Huang and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam will have plenty of pressure on their shoulders to perform. Hopefully, the veterans on the team can help calm their nerves and lead them to victory. Meanwhile, we will see if budding star top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie can shine at his first appearance at an international event.
On the other hand, G2 Esports is looking to change history after several early exits in the last two World Championships. This year, they are bringing a completely new lineup compared to 2017. Many people will say their success depends on mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković. However, their jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski should be the X-factor that decides whether G2 can make it past groups this time around.
Let’s move on to the League of Legends Worlds Group Stages.
Our first group of the tournament is looking pretty interesting. However, depending on the fourth team is, it may be an easy push for Afreeca Freecs to take a top seed. There may be a bit of resistance when they face off against Flash Wolves, who are a decent team in their own regard. Vietnam’s Phong Vu Buffalo will be attending their first World Championship, and they are a huge underdog in this group. I expect Kim “Kiin” Gi-in and Afreeca to take this group easily, unless the play-in qualifier is someone strong.
This could be the Group of Death, depending on who joins the final spot. You have two of the best teams in the world in this group in Royal Never Give Up and Gen.G. Team Vitality have a mountain to climb already with the two teams in the group. If a good team joins the group from Play-ins, there could be a massive upset in the works. Can Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao help create a new legend for RNG and China? Or will Gen.G repeat history and make it to the next round? Expect fireworks when Uzi and Gen.G’s Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk meet up in their matches.
This could also be a tightly contested group as well, with the top teams from Korea and North America in the mix. Can KT Rolster perform at their first appearance at Worlds since 2015? This has been one of the most successful years in their history. Can Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho and company take control of their destiny? Also, we cannot forget about Team Liquid, who is undoubtedly the best team coming from NA. Will Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng continue is dominant run through 2018? He is playing some of the best League of his career. Could MAD Team or the Play-in team upset one of the best teams in the world?
Another interesting group here with Group D. The best team in Europe, Fnatic, will be facing up against 100 Thieves and Invictus Gaming. This is a group where an upset could definitely occur, as all three teams could take a game off one another. The European Summer Champions are obviously the favorites, but they will not have an easy road. They will need their MVP mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther to rise to the occasion at his first Worlds appearance. 100 Thieves will have to rely on the play of their star top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and the shotcalling of Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black.
What do you think of the League of Legends Worlds Group Draw? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more Worlds coverage, check us out here! Remember to catch the beginning of Play-ins on October 1st.
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.