Griffin proved they belonged at Worlds. After some analysts stated their skepticism of Griffin’s ability to win big games, the Korean team stamped their dominance against the group favorites. Despite the drama going on regarding their former coach and their manager, Griffin completed their sweep of the second half of Group Stage. They entered this day 2-1, with a single loss against G2. Meanwhile, MSI 2019 champions G2 Esports went 2-1 in the second round robin, falling only to Griffin. However, both losses against Griffin, including the tiebreaker, were highly convincing wins from the Korean side. Nevertheless, both teams are now on their way to the Knockout Stage of Worlds 2019.
If you weren’t able to watch the games, we got you covered.
1. Griffin vs Cloud 9 (Winner: Griffin)
With Group A having a clear hierarchy, Cloud 9 must absolutely win this game in order to advance to the Knockout Stage. Barring any surprise losses from G2, Cloud 9’s only hope lies on the second seed. However, Griffin made this their statement game, announcing their true form to the world. Griffin knew they needed to prove themselves to the rest of the world and they did just that. The Korean powerhouse of a team slaughtered Cloud 9 from start to end. Every player from Griffin outplayed their counterparts more than once. Tarzan, in particular, played the map extremely well, even against LCS MVP Svenskeren.
Granted, Cloud 9’s composition implied they wanted to scale to the late game and hope to out teamfight Griffin. However, Griffin made sure the game never reached that point. By just the 16th minute, Griffin held a 7-0 kill lead and a massive 7k gold advantage. Fast forward the game by 5 minutes and the gold lead just ballooned to 13k, before Griffin even got a Baron buff.
Every team at Worlds plays only six games in the Group Stage, meaning every win is important. Moreover, the second half features only one group every day. That meant little to no time for adjustments after games. Also, fatigue and morale play a huge factor in deciding games, especially the tiebreakers which are played last. In a must-win game for both teams, it was Griffin who held control from start to end.
With the win, they hold a 2-0 advantage over Cloud 9 and will proceed over them in case of a tie.
2. G2 Esports vs Hong Kong Attitude (Winner: G2 Esports)
Not a lot of surprises here. G2, one of the favorites for the Summoner’s Cup, took care of business as usual. Despite hiccups in the early game, G2 constantly made individual outplays to put themselves in the driver’s seat. LEC MVP Jankos, in particular, played spectacularly well against HKA’s Crash. He consistently made plays to set up his laners for dives and basically separated HKA’s members from each other. Even if G2 drafted hyper scaling solo laners in Ryze and Kayle, the skill difference between the players allowed G2’s Caps and Wunder to dominate their lane opponents.
Hong Kong Attitude simply didn’t have enough firepower to make the game competitive and they lost in sub-30 minute game, eliminating them from the tournament. For G2, they secured a spot in the Knockout Stage. If they win against Griffi
3. Hong Kong Attitude vs Griffin (Winner: Griffin)
Teams eliminated from Worlds almost never play “for fun” games, even if a win meant nothing already. For Hong Kong Attitude, they played every game to the best of their abilities anyway, regardless of the general public’s opinion. Nevertheless, Griffin made sure to not underestimate any opponent, especially one with nothing left to lose. Well, at least well into the game anyway. Griffin botched an early gank top to give HKA’s top laner 3z a slight early game lead.
Despite the slight hiccup, Griffin managed to amass 3 infernal drakes, a Baron and a 9k gold lead in just 27 minutes. HKA looked helpless at every stage of the game, not knowing what to do or how to respond to Griffin’s plays. Similar to the entire game’s narrative, Hong Kong Attitude could do nothing but watch their base fall apart as they dropped their fifth game of the Main Event.
4. Cloud 9 vs G2 Esports (Winner: G2 Esports)
It’s sad day for Cloud 9 indeed. After years of being North America’s “last hope” at Worlds, they will be missing this year’s Knockout Stage. Cloud 9’s youngsters definitely improved from last year but they just didn’t improve enough to catch up with G2 and Griffin’s level of play.
For G2, their goal is nothing short of winning the entire thing. Their MSI 2019 win catapulted the LEC champions into the “favorites” conversation. Given the immense expectations, they want to win every game as convincingly as possible. They surely cannot miss a beat with Griffin hot on their heels. Sure enough, they made Cloud 9’s early game an agonizing nightmare to watch. G2 started the game on a tear, amassing a 3.5k gold lead, courtesy of a 6-0 kill score.
C9’s Nisqy and Sneaky tried to make the most out of their huge deficit. Additionally, G2’s Mikyx played recklessly and G2’s usual response of counter-aggression gave C9 windows to punch back. However, the North American team was unable to capitalize on G2’s mistakes. C9 resisted for almost 32 minutes before G2 punched their 5th win of the tournament.
5. Hong Kong Attitude vs Cloud9 (Winner: Cloud9)
With both teams already out of the tournament at this point, Cloud 9 decided to give substitute ADC Deftly some first-hand experience at Worlds. Although Svenskeren played admirably well all season, Blaber is poised to be his rightful successor. On the other hand, this is HKA’s last chance to win a game in the Group Stage of the Main Event of Worlds 2019.
Blaber and Deftly definitely made the most of Reapered’s decision to field them in for their last game of Worlds 2019. Both of the young guns played aggressively but not recklessly, which is a good sign for the organization. The duo accounted for a combined 5-0-4 KDA at 20 minutes.
A wild Jinx ult killed Blaber shortly after Baron spawned. This allowed HKA to pull closer to Cloud 9. After a few team fights, C9 managed to win the one that mattered and they ended their Worlds run on a positive note.
6. G2 Esports vs Griffin (Winner: Griffin)
The last round-robin game of Group A proved to be the most pivotal. A win for G2 Esports cements their claim to the Summoner’s Cup by finishing the Group Stage unscathed. On the other hand, a win for Griffin gives them a shot for the first seed via a tiebreaker with G2.
Griffin certainly didn’t want to disappoint their fans as they started the game guns blazing. They accounted for the first four kills of the game off the back of Tarzan’s crisp play making. Moreover, G2’s jungle-support duo didn’t seem to click as usual this time around. They couldn’t assert vision control against Tarzan and Lehends at all. Because of that, Griffin was able to move around the map first and rotate as a team. Every time an objective is contested, Griffin got there first.
After a free Baron, Griffin made their way towards G2’s base. Oddly, some G2 members tried to defend their inner mid turret against Baron-empowered minions. That proved to be the last disaster of the game because Griffin quickly ended the game off of that play.
Griffin earned their 5th win and tied their record with G2’s at 5-1.
Tiebreaker: G2 Esports vs Griffin (Winner: Griffin)
Due to the result of the previous game, both teams played a tiebreaker for the first seed of Group A. One would expect G2 to make adjustments after they got whooped by the Koreans just moments ago. However, this game seemed like an extension of the previous. Jankos and Mikyx were constantly caught out of position and the rest of G2 seemed totally out of sync.
Granted, they’ve already secured their spot in the Knockout Stage. However, Griffin is showing every other team how to beat G2. The LEC champs are simply being exposed. Caps and Perkz tried their best to carry their team but their mechanical abilities could only do so much. For Griffin, the way they moved as one without hesitation allowed them to beat G2’s tried and tested “organized chaos” play style. They adapted well to G2’s changes in pace throughout the game and made it their own.
It was quite tough to watch, especially in the first 21 minutes of the game. Despite losing their outer top turret, Griffin had a 5k gold lead with an 11-0 kill score. It took everything G2 could throw at Griffin just to get themselves on the board. However, Griffin’s grip on the game proved too tight for them to come back. Griffin ended the game before 30 minutes and took the 1st seed out of Group A, against everyone’s expectations. Amidst the drama concerning their org, the young team doubled down and focused on what really matters.
For Day 7, Group C will be playing the rest of their games for the tournament. Will Fnatic be able to snatch a slot in the Knockout Stage from either SKT or RNG? Will Clutch Gaming make another miracle run? Stay tuned for our daily Worlds recaps.