Europe’s number one team would take a stronghold over Group D at Worlds today. Fnatic would dominate their games, taking first place in the group over Invictus Gaming. Meanwhile, the final North American team at Worlds, 100 Thieves, would end up disappointing once again. As many have said, it is a story that has been told way too many times before. However, let us take a look at the games today, and how the competition would shape up.
What a showing from the best team in Europe and in Group D. Fnatic was coming into this set of games with confidence, but not many people were expecting them to crush the competition. The type of controlled aggression that the team is bringing to Worlds is something you’d want to see from your favorite team. It is very reminiscent of Team Vitality, who love to engage and fight across the map. However, Fnatic’s brand of fighting is much more calculated and calm.
In their games today, they would show off their fearlessness as well. For example, in their first game against 100 Thieves, they would take a well-timed 3v5 fight. Fnatic would end up winning that fight, showing how self-assured they were in their abilities. This is what sets apart European teams from their Western counterparts: they play without fear, and they play to their own style of play. This way, when they play at Worlds, teams cannot prepare for them as well as other squads. Fnatic did make a few small mistakes, but all in all, Fnatic was looking very clean as a team.
Jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen would help get the fights started on Lee Sin, playing him twice in Group D. Their superstar midlaner, Rasmus “Caps” Winther, has also been playing stellar. He provides whatever the team needs, whether it is an Akali or an Aatrox, and does it well. Their bottom lane has also been strong, working well with Broxah to take control of the lane. All in all, Fnatic is looking like one of the best teams at the tournament. They would also end up drawing China’s Edward Gaming for their matchup in the quarterfinals. EDG looks very beatable, and if we look at it, this could be their best chance to push all the way to the Grand Finals.
Meanwhile, the Chinese second seed will be taking second place in Group D heading into the Worlds quarterfinals. Invictus Gaming was looking good in today’s matches, but they were not able to beat Fnatic in both the games they would play. Those games would shine a spotlight on some of the team’s inconsistencies. Their team fighting can get very sloppy, especially in the later stages of the game. Invictus Gaming’s engages are not the best, and their reactions to enemy engages need some work too. Having a fiery, 17-year-old rookie in Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo may cause some problems, but those can be ironed out over the course of Worlds.
The team also has arguably the best mid laner at Worlds in Song “Rookie” Eui-jin and one of the best top laners in Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok. If anything, we saw some of the best mechanical play of any two teams in Group D, between Invictus Gaming and Fnatic. They will need to clean up their macro play and rely on their individual skill in order to move forward at Worlds into the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, they are facing off against KT Rolster in the quarterfinals, so they will have a huge mountain to climb if they want to lift the Summoner’s Cup.
This team might be one of the worst second seeds to go to Worlds. After qualifying for the tournament via championship points, 100 Thieves would completely flop in Group D. Their performances were simply uninspiring and unmotivated throughout. Honestly, it was almost sad to watch, as the team was being outplayed by almost every team on the day. The only team that 100 Thieves would defeat was G-Rex, who was the worst team in Group D by far.
It is clear that this team needs to make some big changes heading into the NA LCS offseason. If they were to go into the 2019 NA LCS Spring Split with this team, they would be a mid-tier team at best. I can almost guarantee that 100 Thieves will be making roster changes for next season. Even when they were playing for third place at the NA LCS Summer Finals, TSM was looking much better than them.
First, they need to fix up the log jam they have at the AD Carry position. Rookie Richard “Rikara” Samuel Oh was thrown into an undesirable position, but his performance left something to be desired. Leaving Cody “Cody Sun” Sun on the bench may have been a big mistake, as Cody has Worlds experience and may have been able to perform underneath the bright lights of Korea. Their mid laner Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook would also underperform, with bad positioning and team fighting all around.
There might be a roster overhaul coming up for North America’s second seed. Aside from star top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, there aren’t many sources of firepower available on the team. They require a carry mid laner, ADC, or both, for success next year. Replacing Ryu should be a priority, as he has been playing at a lackluster level for quite some time now. Keeping Ssumday on the team is important for the team’s future, as he has clearly been the best player on the team. In fact, Ssumday has been the best top laner in the NA LCS for the whole summer.
I would not be surprised to 100 Thieves dropped both Cody Sun and Rikara to start fresh in the bottom lane. Their veteran support Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black has also been underperforming lately, and a clean slate with a new bottom lane partner could be good for him. Hopefully, 100 Thieves can bounce back next season and make a run for Worlds once again.
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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.