The League of Legends World Championship is now firmly underway, with the crème de la crème in the world’s biggest esport battling it out in Shanghai. Whilst the championship is underway, there’s still a very long way to go with the semi-finals not set to take place until the end of October and the grand final not until November.
That’s not to say that there’s not a whole lot of great action to be consumed before then though, with the group stages resuming and concluding over the weekend. The story thus far follows a trend that we’ve seen all too often in League of Legends tournaments. It’s not particularly pretty reading for those who avidly follow teams from North America, or Europe either.
Europe, look away!
Between G2 Esports, Fnatic and Misfits (the top three seeded teams from Europe) not a single team has recorded a victory as of yet. Fnatic were toppled by Vietnamese squad GIGABYTE Marines before also losing at the hands of Immortals and the chance to progress from the groups looks more and more remote. They will have to turn in an exceptional performance to upset Longzhu Gaming on Sunday should they have any chance to edge forward in this year’s competition. Misfits and G2 have only played one game apiece, so their tournament lives are not quite as desperate as Fnatic, but they will most definitely need the star players to turn up.
Recommended European matches (GMT):
Flash Wolves versus Misfits Gaming – 09:00 – Saturday October 7th
Misfits Gaming versus TSM – 09:00 – Sunday October 8th
Royal Never Give up versus G2 Esports – 13:00 – Sunday October 8th
North American hopes are still alive
Credit: LoL Esports
On the North American side, it hasn’t been quite as bleak. Cloud9 and Immortals both hold a one win, one loss record whilst TSM have won the only game they have played thus far. TSM won a gruelling 55 minute affair against Flash Wolves earlier today and they’ll be looking to build all important momentum coming into this weekend. They’re arguably the pick of both Europe and North America, and as aforementioned, they are set to play Misfits on Sunday which is sure to have the Western world encapsulated. The battle between the two regions has always been feisty, but at the moment it looks firmly in the favour of the NA scene. Immortals managed to just edge out Fnatic earlier today following a mistake from Swedish starman Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, as he misused Flash, paid with his life and ultimately the game. Immortals will face a crunch match against the Vietnamese surprise package GIGABYTE Marines who have been picking somewhat unusual Champions so could well trump any opponent on their day.
Recommended North American matches (GMT):
Cloud9 versus Edward Gaming – 13:00 – Saturday 7th October
GIGABYE Marines versus Immortals – 10:00 – Sunday 8th October
For the League of Legends purists – SKT and SSG
For those with no affiliation and simply looking to watch some of the best possible League of Legends on the stage, there may be a slightly different choice afoot. Although, with only six or so hours of competitive action each day — one would assume that there will be many who won’t miss a single match over the course of the tournament.
Credit: LoL Esports
Don’t miss SK Telecom T1, the reigning and three-time world champions who despite a poor Summer Split (by their impeccable standards) look to have rediscovered the form that has made them previously unbeatable. With all of the SKT squad singing from the same hymn sheet, they’ve already won two out of two and now face the task of ahq e-Sports Club in their final match. No match at worlds should be a walk in the park, but with SKT looking dominant it would take a brave man to bet against the Korean juggernaut strolling through that affair.
Elsewhere, there’s the Chinese powerhouse in Samsung Galaxy who again will be big favourites to progress as top seed from their group. They’ve still got two matches left to play, battling it out against Fenerbahce and Royal Never Give Up after already beating the challenge of G2. One would expect them to win the both, although Royal Never Give Up most definitely have the ability to take them all the way and that could well be the contest of the weekend.
Recommended purist matches (GMT):
Samsung Galaxy versus Royal Never Give Up – 11:00 – Saturday 7th October
SK Telecom T1 versus ahq e-Sports Club – 12:00 – Saturday 7th October