Not many people came into day one of the Worlds quarterfinals with much expectations. Two of the tournament’s juggernauts, KT Rolster and RNG were looking to bulldoze their way to the semifinals. Who could blame them? They were looking like the two best League of Legends teams in the world. Also, from their performances throughout the group stage, it was looking like one of them was a shoe-in for the Finals. No one gave a second look at their opponents, Invictus Gaming and G2 Esports.
However, there is a reason why every team has gotten to this point. They have shed blood, sweat, and tears the whole year, for a chance at this moment. You can never count out any team, especially in the top eight, no matter who you are. Plus, we’re not sure if you got the memo: Upsets run Worlds 2018. Good luck to everyone’s pickems.
KT Rolster was looking like one of the best teams in the world. Their star-studded lineup combined with their great macro play would ensure them a great bid for World Champion. However, their eyes were so set on the Finals of Worlds, that maybe, they couldn’t see the challenge that was waiting in front of them. Invictus Gaming was an underdog for sure, but they were still strong contenders. They still have one of the best midlaners in the world in Song “Rookie” Eui-jin, with one of the best young ADC’s in Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo. You cannot count them out, no matter how strong KT Rolster is.
The Chinese third seed would shock the world, right out of the gate. Invictus Gaming would take game one and two with relative ease, with the dominant KT Rolster nowhere in sight. Invictus Gaming would practically wipe the floor with KT Rolster, showing off aggressive, coordinated teamfights. Rookie would have an impressive showing, going 12-3-14 through the first two games. Their third game would look much closer, with both teams trading blows across the map. However, the game would be decided with one of the closest endings in Worlds history:
The third game was probably one of the most intense matches of the tournament. However, for Invictus Gaming, to get that close to a semifinals berth only to fail must have been demoralizing. Meanwhile, the momentum would be enough to propel KT Rolster to a fourth game win. The top Korean team was looking like themselves again, with great teamplay and macro decision making. Still, with both teams with two wins, the series was anyone’s to take.
Many people expected KT Rolster to take the fifth game, especially with how much momentum the team had. Invictus Gaming was looking shellshocked; losing game three by literally two auto-attacks, then getting outplayed in game four, would take a toll on any team. However, the Chinese team would do the unthinkable and manage to reset their mental. Game five would teeter on a knife’s edge, but it would end up being Invictus Gaming’s 17-year-old phenom JackeyLove, who would seal their fate and the series win:
Next, we would have Europe’s third seed, G2 Esports, take on tournament favorites, Royal Never Give Up. G2 Esports would barely squeak by into the quarterfinals, after beating Flash Wolves in Group A’s tiebreaker. On the other hand, RNG would dominate their group and go 4-2. It was an almost impossible mountain for G2 Esports to climb, and yet, somehow, they did. However, it didn’t look like it in game one. The Chinese would absolutely stomp G2, on the back of their superstar Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao. Was this a sign of how the next games were going to be?
Short answer: not at all. G2 Esports would storm right back, and with some help from their top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen’s Akali, they would take down RNG. The game was actually pretty well played from G2, with some great ganks and macro decisions. RNG would rush right back with a quick 25-minute win, shoving G2 Esports off balance. The series was on the fence, teetering from one side to the other.
G2 Esports needed a savior. Luckily, the former best mid laner in Europe would answer the call. After a relatively disappointing year, getting to this point was already good for the perennial European champs. However, if you’re already here, why not just go for it all? Luka “Perkz” Perković would rise above the rest, and in games four and five, he would take over. He would end up 18/1/8 in the last two games, with game five being his best match yet. He would place G2 Esports in his backpack, netting himself eleven kills. G2 did it. They were going to the Worlds semifinals.
Unfortunately, the KT Rolster and RNG dynasties are in shambles. All their hopes and all their dreams at Worlds glory have crashed down to reality. The worst parts of their respective teams would rear its head at the worst possible moment. For example, people know that KT Rolster can be inconsistent, and they can choke at the most inopportune times. Also, analysts have said that RNG is known to underestimate their opponents on multiple occasions. Maybe their actions would lead to their own demise. Maybe they were so focused on the Finals, that they couldn’t focus on the task at hand? Or maybe, the pressure of being the best at the tournament got to them.
For Invictus Gaming and G2 Esports, it’s about defying all expectations and playing your own style. They wish to make their own legends, not be a part of someone else’s. As a result, these two underdogs will now collide in what should be an exciting series for players and fans alike. Can JackeyLove and Rookie be the final hope for China at Worlds, and make it to the Grand Finals? Or will G2 Esports make history for the West and reach the Grand Finals for the first time? We will have to wait and see when the semifinals roll around!
What are your thoughts on day one of Worlds quarterfinals? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more Worlds coverage, check us out here!
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.