League of Legends Worlds 2018 Play-ins Day One Cloud9 G-Rex

Finally, the most important esports event in League of Legends is underway. The 2018 World Championships are starting off with the Play-in Stage, where twelve teams from around the world battle for a chance to represent their team at the Group Stage. Some of the most popular teams in the Play-ins include Cloud9, G2 Esports, EDward Gaming, and Gambit Esports. It has been a tough road for these teams to get to Worlds. Let’s check out the big stories for the first day of play!

Cloud9 need to iron out mistakes

North America’s Cloud9 would defeat both KaBuM! Esports and Detonation Focusme to go 2-0 on day one. However, those wins were not without a few struggles. The team has plenty of rookies on the team with support Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang. Also, this was the first Worlds appearance for their MVP-candidate top laner, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie. It was clear that they were playing with some nerves through the two matches.

The Worlds newcomers were making very uncharacteristic mistakes, and at one point, were even down to Japanese team Detonation Focusme. Although Cloud9 would manage to take the win, it is not a good sign for Cloud9 fans. If they were to make those same mistakes in the group stage, you can bet that their opposition there will take advantage of it. In a post-game interview with Inven Global, Licorice would say:

We got some “not-so-good” feedback. We were told to watch the VOD’s all by ourselves and think about what we’ve done. He was not too pleased. After the game, when we were walking, we saw the coaching booth. GoldenGlue was smiling, Svenskeren was there smiling, our manager Vincent was smiling… and then Reapered was there with this deadpan look.

It is good that Cloud9 and coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu aren’t becoming complacent even with the victory. There is much to change if they want a chance at winning anything past the Play-ins. Luckily, they still have enough time to fix their mistakes before they reach the real competition at Groups (if they can even get there).

G-Rex impresses on Day One

Meanwhile, LMS’ G-Rex would play quite well in their first matches of Worlds 2018. The team is led by League veteran Lau “Kurtis” “Toyz” Wai Kin, who last went to Worlds as a player on Taipei Assassins back in Season Two. He is now acting as manager for the fiery squad, and they were looking clean. Compared to Cloud9, whose games did not look like a major region vs. a wildcard, G-Rex’s executes were very good. They did not make too many big mistakes and should be interesting moving forward.

However, we shouldn’t overrate them just yet. G-Rex was a very good team in the LMS, and it is expected that they should breeze through their group in the Play-ins. They are showing some great synergy together. Take this great engage from jungler Anson “Empt2y” Leung, who played amazing today:

Also, they made some pretty good improvements on their overall team play from their first game to their second. People need to watch out for this team, or else another huge upset could be in the works for Worlds.

What’s Next

Tomorrow, a few big names will be duking it out in Groups A and B. Europe’s G2 Esports will be hoping for a hot start at Worlds this year. They will need Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski to step up if they want a fighting chance not only in the Play-ins but in the group stage as well. Additionally, China’s EDward Gaming will be battling it out against OCE’s Dire Wolves and LAN’s Infinity Esports. Ming “Clearlove” Kai and co. should be able to utilize their experience as veterans to ease past these next games to move on to the Group Stage.


What are your thoughts on day one of League of Legends’ 2018 World Championship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more League of Legends coverage, check us out here!

Lawrence Tyler Esguerra
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.