At this point of the tournament, every team has played at least one game. Despite that fact, nothing is set in stone and anything can still happen. With that said, here’s a review of Group Stage Day 3.
Damwon ties it up in Group D, hands IG’s first loss
After a loss against Team Liquid, Damwon Gaming are in danger of dropping out of groups. That’s why they brought their A game against the defending champions Invictus Gaming. In their best game of the tournament, they decided to pour everything they had onto the bot lane. Damwon Gaming’s bot laner Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon had his best game of the tournament so far, playing aggressively from start to end. He even had a solo kill on counterpart Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo.
The game was a see-saw all throughout. Damwon got a huge lead after securing Baron. However, a misstep by Nuclear allowed Invictus Gaming to swoop in and claw their way back to into the game. At a standstill once again, a fight for Baron erupted. Damwon’s support Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee also played marvelously on Poppy, denying entry to Lu “Leyan” Jue’s Gragas. The Baron led to an Elder drake and that eventually broke IG’s back.
Impact saves the day for Team Liquid, outlasts AHQ e-Sports Club by inches in a close game
Down 0-2 in Group D, AHQ are desperate to find a win to stay alive. Similarly, Team Liquid wanted to prevent a 1-2 hole to end the first week of Groups.
Both teams started the game firing on all cylinders. Both junglers were making great plays around the map. Team Liquid’s mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen played his worst game of the tournament. His lackluster play and AHQ’s Rumble-Qiyana combo were a huge factor in AHQ almost winning the game. AHQ won a number of team fights in the mid game, allowing them to secure the map and the Baron. However, AHQ’s mid laner Kim “Rainbow” Soo-gi got a little too over-eager and died in TL’s base.
That proved to be a disaster for AHQ. Now denied of a game-ending push with Rainbow gone, the LMS team decided to start Baron in full vision of Team Liquid. Not only did they fail to clear the ward, they let Team Liquid’s jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero into the pit. A miraculous Baron steal by Xmithie, something he has been famous for in his long career, gave Team Liquid a reprieve.
A few minutes later, it was Team Liquid’s turn to knock on their opponents’ base. Wang “Ysera” Tsung-Chih landed a huge Nautilus hook onto Jensen and started AHQ’s incredible wombo-combo. However, despite AHQ’s incredible initiation, TL’s ADC Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng survived and managed to kill a diving Tsou “Wako” Wei-Yang. Meanwhile, Liquid’s Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong sneaked into the other half of the fight and killed of the remaining threats on AHQ. With no carries left on the blue side, Team Liquid brute forced their way to their 2nd win of the tournament.
FunPlus Phoenix recovers from their Day 1 loss, rips Splyce for their first win
Analysts predicted FunPlus Phoenix to go 6-0 in the Group Stage. However, it didn’t even take a day for that to go out the window. FPX lost in a shocker of a game to J Team in Day 1 of the tournament. Meanwhile, Splyce took care of business in their last match-up against GAM.
FPX’s loss made them pissed. It didn’t take long before they imposed their will onto the hapless Splyce members. FPX top laner Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem started the game with a solo kill on Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss. Splyce made good plays in the bottom lane but FunPlus continued to exploit Splyce’s weakness in the top lane. Also, FPX’s star mid laner Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang continuously outplayed Marek “Humanoid” Brázda.
Despite the solo lanes of Splyce dropping the ball, they remained slightly ahead for the most part. A couple of good team fights, thanks to their zone control, gave them a cushion before Baron spawned. However, Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang managed to steal the Baron and jump-start FPX’s comeback. A final fight before the 2nd Baron spawn erupted and FunPlus managed to pick off Humanoid. That allowed them to steamroll over Splyce, end the game and march into the win column.
Levi’s Nocturne strikes again, helps GAM to first win of the tournament against J Team
With an upset over FunPlus Phoenix in Day 1 of Groups, J Team should be confident enough to believe they can bet anyone in this group. On the other hand, GAM’s loss to Splyce meant this group might not be as straightforward as analysts have predicted.
Đỗ Duy “Levi'” Khánh’s famous Nocturne that terrorized the international community makes a return in this game and he didn’t wait long to remind teams of its power. GAM had an early dragon and gold lead, thanks to their non-stop aggression and some micro mistakes by J Team. Using their endless engage tools, they continuously baited J Team into fighting in the tight corridor behind the blue side wolf camp. After multiple attempts using the exact same play, GAM was able to finally break J Team’s back and earn their first win of the tournament.
This win ties up all four teams of Group B at 1-1.
Griffin shakes off their Worlds jitters, makes Hong Kong Attitude their first victim
Griffin lost to G2 Esports in their first game in what can only be described as shellshock. This time, however, they played a more controlled game and they dictated the pace for most of the game.
Hong Kong Attitude started the game with a brilliant bait to counter Griffin’s early game invade. The bait worked, much to the delight of fans watching live, and got them 3 early kills. However, that proved to be nil as Griffin almost immediately clawed back despite the early deficit. HKA had brilliant setups but their execution was sorely lacking and Griffin made sure to punish them each time.
Kudos to HKA for not giving up. However, every time they tried to throw a punch, Griffin were always prepared to counter. Griffin imposed their superiority with a 10k gold lead at 37 minutes, ending the game and earning their first win in one swift motion.
G2 Esports wins in a fiesta against NA’s Cloud 9
Tournament favorites G2 showed they are for real by beating Korea’s Griffin in the first match of Group A. Meanwhile, Cloud 9 are hoping to replicate their magical semi-final run last year against a tougher group draw in this tournament.
Cloud 9 top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie tried his damn best but couldn’t carry his team against the immense talent of G2. Both Rasmus “Caps” Winther and Luka “Perkz” Perkovic simply ran over their counterparts and Cloud 9’s early lead in the top lane never even mattered. C9’s substitute jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang played incredible this game and his early game, coupled with Licorice, would normally win them the game. However, G2 isn’t an ordinary team. Every step they made, G2 had an answer, especially in the bot lane. In the end, G2’s support Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle made the plays necessary to win the game decisively.
This win puts G2 ahead in Group A with a clean 2-0 record.
The last set of games for Week 1 will be played tomorrow. Stay tuned for our daily Worlds recaps.