After Day One of League of Legends‘ World Championship, we’ve already been witness to some incredible games. Worlds has always been home to upset wins, but this first day of competition has been chockful of them. Could Cloud9 find their groove? Will Team Liquid live up to their expectations as North America’s best? Can KT Rolster start off on the right foot on their Summoner’s Cup journey? Let us take a look at Day One of Worlds, first with last year’s World Champions, Gen.G versus Europe’s Team Vitality.
This past January, Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro, Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho and Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński would play their first game in the EU LCS. Less than a year later, they are taking down Gen.G at Worlds 2018. This game was a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. Both teams would wrestle for control throughout the match, with the Korean side taking a huge lead early. After going up 9-4 in kills by the sixteen minute mark, it would seem like Gen.G would roll over Team Vitality. However, the Europeans would have something to say about that.
It was clear that Europe had a gameplay heading into Groups. No matter how behind they were, Team Vitality would stay aggressive with their plays. Jiizuke was a force, constantly diving into the backline of Gen.G with Ekko. Sometimes, their aggressiveness would backfire and cost them multiple kills and objectives. With the game balancing on a knife’s edge, Vitality would make another aggressive call to win the game. Jiizuke and Attila would perform a backdoor play to perfection, giving Gen.G their first loss at Worlds.
Meanwhile, Royal Never Give Up would take on North America’s Cloud9 on day one of Worlds. However, the end result would be much more predictable. After a few successful ganks in the bottom lane, RNG’s superstar ADC Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao would help take over the game. Cloud9 was looking off-balance the entire time, with the team fielding Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen instead of rookie Robert “Blaber” Huang. Their entire team was looking outmatched, save for their top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, who was the sole bright spot on the team
On the other hand, RNG was looking crisp, clean and composed for the 25-minute win. Jungler Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan knew exactly which buttons to push to help his team. Of course, Uzi was the catalyst that would send RNG into the win column. He and Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming would run circles around Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam, and lead RNG to their first victory at Worlds.
G2 Esports would pull out an old classic in Heimerdinger for ADC Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss to sneak victory past Korea’s Afreeca Freecs today. It looks like Afreeca Freecs did not expect much from the Heimerdinger pick, but they were sorely mistaken. Afreeca Freecs were looking almost outmatched by the European side this time around. After a few big teamfights in the midgame, G2 would not let their foot off the gas.
This may be the last time we see Hjarnan’s Heimerdinger at this tournament, as G2 have shown that they know exactly how to play with the champion. Additionally, G2’s top laner Martin “Wunder” Hansen was a beast in the top lane, outfarming and outplaying his counterpart, Kim “Kiin” Gi-in, the whole way through. If G2 can keep this level of play up for the rest of their games, expect a “EUphoric” playoffs in South Korea.
Taiwan’s Flash Wolves would make short work of Vietnam’s only representative in Phong Vu Buffalo. Kim “Moojin” Moo-jin would exercise his will across the map, leading the team with six kills. Additionally, he and the bottom lane of Flash Wolves would destroy the Phong Vu opposing bottom lane. The Viet’s ADC and support combo would end up dying seven times.
The Wolves’ Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung and Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh would look crisp, clean and coordinated. Flash Wolves now look towards G2 Esports on Saturday. G2 is coming off of a great win over the third place Korean team, Afreeca Freecs. They will have to pull out all the stops to take down the surging Europeans.
Korea’s top team would face off against North America’s top seed in the first day of Worlds as well. However, KT Rolster would show why they may be the best squad at the tournament. Their macro play was so clean, with the team taking an early lead and never letting go. Son “Ucal” Woo-hyeon and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu would dominate the competition, with Eugene “Pobelter” Park looking a bit shaky.
Support Kim “Olleh” Hyuk-kyu would state on Twitter that the team was playing with some nerves, and it was clearly showing. They will need to gather themselves for their next games, as they are undoubtedly the greatest hope for North America at Worlds. Meanwhile, this was a good showing for KT Rolster, and a great first game to practice out some strats for other teams.
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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.