- Teams from Group C and Group D played the final set of games for the Group Stage of Worlds 2019 Play-ins. Here are our predictions for the knockout stage.
Worlds 2019 – Play-ins Knockout Stage and Predictions
The playoff stage for Worlds 2019 Play-ins has now been drawn. Who do you think has the best chance of upsetting a major region team?
1. Damwon Gaming vs Lowkey Esports
I’d feel bad for anyone who gets matched with Damwon Gaming. They’re the only unbeaten team in the Play-ins and they’re not even playing 100% yet. It’s scary to think a team like Lowkey is going to have to try and score not one, not two, but three upsets in five tries. However, for Lowkey to even have a chance, they have to drop everything they have with them into this series. This just might be the most one-sided match-up for the knockout stage.
Prediction: Damwon Gaming 3-0
2. Clutch Gaming vs Royal Youth
On the other side of the coin, this might be the closest and most entertaining match to watch. Clutch Gaming started off shaky and had to wait for Huni to realize he’s not playing against Team Liquid for them to gain much-needed confidence and secure first seed. If they failed, they could’ve been matched with Damwon Gaming or even Splyce and risk infamy by being the first major region team to ever drop out in the Play-ins. Despite that, they got the worst possible match in Royal Youth (since they cannot match with UoL). Stylistically, Royal Youth play the same way as Clutch Gaming: use top laner as split pusher to alleviate pressure from the rest of the team, allowing them to secure objectives across the map. With that said, we’re in for some exciting 1v1’s featuring Huni and Armut.
That’s not to say the rest of both teams are just going to watch. Damonte will have to shake off his jitters and shut cyeol down to prevent him from affecting the other lanes. I do believe Cody Sun can hold his own against Pilot, but Vulcan is another story. Is it nerves? Possibly, but the point is Vulcan isn’t playing up to par with his gauntlet run performance. If Huni is to carry this team, Vulcan will have to be the main engage tool for Clutch.
On the other hand, Royal Youth are up for the match of their lives. Last year, G2 shocked the world after beating RNG in the quarterfinals, playing aggressively in the side lanes and not allowing Uzi to snowball the game. They then used Wunder and Perkz to dance in and out of side lanes. In the semi-finals, G2 were obliterated by eventual champions Invictus Gaming, who played a similar 1-3-1 style, just much much better. Royal Youth will be facing the same dilemma in this match. If they want a chance to win, their mid and bot lane will have to step up and make up for whatever advantage Huni will almost inevitably get in the top lane.
Prediction: Clutch Gaming 3-2
3. Hong Kong Attitude vs Isurus Gaming
After the DFM game, I felt like Isurus Gaming still haven’t found their identity in this tournament. Sure, they played a lot better in their second day of games but I didn’t see enough improvement to give them a shot against Hong Kong Attitude. HKA is just better individually and collectively, at least from my perspective. If Isurus Gaming can draft a 50-50 teamfight comp against Hong Kong Attitude, they might just score a win. Their best shot is to put Warangelus on something that can carry 5v5 teamfights while Seiya creates space for him. On the other hand, Hong Kong Attitude will need to match their performance in their last game against Lowkey Esports to ensure they don’t drop games unnecessarily. They’ll need M1ssion to step up and help Crash snowball 3z’s lane and allow him to be their big playmaker.
Prediction: Hong Kong Attitude 3-1
4. Splyce vs Unicorns of Love
Vizicsacsi and Xerxe take on their former team for the last spot on the Main Stage. EU fans must be furious that their 3rd seed got matched with their 4th seed for a slot in the Main Stage. Kidding aside, this should be a bittersweet 3-0 for Splyce.
However, we can never count the CIS region out. They’ve always been the underdogs and they relished in it. If UoL can play the side lane game better than Splyce, they might just have a chance. Innaxe probably won’t get a chance to play Heimerdinger, so he’ll have to step up to try and contain Kobbe early on. If they do, this will put pressure on Humanoid to create something out of nothing. Add that to the nuances of a Bo5 such as morale, momentum and adjustments in between games, they’ll need to take this one game at a time.
For Splyce, the best way to approach this match-up is through the mid lane. Humanoid is one hell of a young player and he’s shown he can outlane pretty much anyone (except maybe Showmaker but we’ll probably never see that for ourselves this year) in the Play-ins. Nomanz has been successful with using mid lane priority to soften up the side lanes and open them up for dives. If Humanoid can contain Nomanz like Triple did, Kobbe can definitely carry against Unicorns of Love.
Prediction: Splyce 3-1
After the Knockout Stage, the four winning teams will be drawn into the four groups in the Main Stage. Stay tuned for our complete preview and predictions for the Main Group Stage of Worlds 2019.