- Teams drawn into Group C and D played their first games today in Day 2 of the Play-in Stage. Here’s what happened at the Worlds 2019.
Worlds 2019 – Play-ins Day 2 Recap
Yesterday, we saw Splyce stamp their dominance in Group B. Meanwhile in Group A, a rock-papers-scissors scenario developed as all three teams went 1-1. Today, the first-ever Korean team to play in the Play-in Stage will spearhead the 6 game marathon. Didn’t have time to watch? We got you covered.
Game 1: Royal Youth (TCL/Turkey) vs Damwon Gaming (LCK #3)
For the first time this tournament, neither team banned Qiyana, which prompted RYL to pick it. Honestly, with all the bans it got yesterday, I thought it would be the first pick. Nevertheless, I think both teams got the picks they wanted for themselves. That isn’t necessarily a good thing though. Remember, this is Damwon Gaming against a TCL team. If I remember correctly, the last time a Korean team dropped a game to a wildcard region was the ROX Tigers against Albus Nox Luna, back in 2016 Worlds.
Royal Youth picked a Xayah-Rakan bot lane and Damwon answered with Kai’sa-Leona. Yesterday, we saw how teams got bullied by the lover’s duo in lane and Leona seemed to be the teams’ answer to this. Royal Youth respect-banned Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu’s Gragas and Cho “Beryl” Geon-hee’s Alistar away, while Damwon stuck to banning power picks: Pantheon, Karthus and Syndra. Royal Youth also first picked Renekton, which was also commonplace yesterday. I’m honestly a bit worried because they let Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon have a safe lane on Vladimir while giving Canyon and mid laner Heo “Showmaker” Su a powerful early game duo with Lee Sin and Leblanc. Lastly, I highly doubt RYL’s midlaner Yu “cyeol” Chung-yeol’s Sylas pick. Do note that he’s practically dead in solo queue for this patch.
Damwon Gaming’s star carry is Nuguri, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the rest of the team is dead weight. Showmaker is known for going toe-to-toe with Faker each time they fight. However, their bot lane mostly plays safe and Beryl, while being their main engage guy, isn’t quite on par yet with the likes of Ming or Mata. Royal has to exploit this bot lane. With this comp, all Damwon has to do is brute force mid lane priority and prevent Xayah-Rakan and Renekton from getting any leads until Kai’sa and Vladimir outscales their counterparts.
For Royal Youth, they’re gonna try to bring the game to the Koreans. Picking Renekton and Xayah-Rakan meant nothing less than complete lane dominance. They’re gonna look to swap lanes at the 10-minute mark to contest Rift Herald and use their early power spikes to try and snowball the game before the Koreans’ fabled macro and god-like team fighting takes the game away.
In minute 30, Royal Youth’s Can “Closer” Çelik tried to one-shot Showmaker near red side’s top inner turret. He did it successfully a few minutes back, but this time Showmaker went into stasis in time and Closer dies to the following collapse by Damwon. Without their jungler, Royal had to give up baron and the lead was too huge after that.
Note: Royal put up a valiant fight this game. Seriously, props to Royal Youth’s top laner İrfan “Armut” Tükek and ADC Na “Pilot” Woo-hyung (Yes, the former Jin Air ADC). They were trading blows left and right but the gold lead Showmaker accrued was too much and Sylas was just way too behind this game. Never pick Sylas again, guys.
Winner: Damwon Gaming
Player of the Game: Heo “Showmaker” Su (Mid)
We all know Kleptomancy Leblanc against a melee doesn’t need a cs lead to dominate lane. With a huge cs lead to boot, Showmaker made the game effectively 4v5 in a just a short amount of time.
Game 2: MEGA Esports (SEA) vs Hong Kong Attitude (LMS #3)
Goodbye, Qiyana. It was nice seeing you this tournament. If that last game didn’t dissuade anyone from leaving Qiyana open in the future, I don’t know what will. Also, it might be that Play-in teams just aren’t that good, but the amount of teams first picking Renekton is perplexing me. It’s not game-breakingly OP, as far as the previous games have shown. Anyway, it’s been Xayah-Rakan pretty much every game and this time, MEGA opted into the Tristana-Thresh.
Hong Kong Attitude’s jungle-mid duo Lee “Crash” Dong-woo and Chen “M1ssion” Hsiao-Hsien facilitate this team’s success. Crash, a mechanically talented jungler, will look to use his Lee Sin to try and snowball his solo lanes so that his top laner Chen “3z” Han can roam on his Quinn and use his gold lead to wreak havoc elsewhere. Later on, they’ll have to use smart vision control to make picks with Quinn and M1ssion’s Corki, as they don’t have a tank and pitched 5v5 teamfights will be a bad idea.
For MEGA Esports, they’re gonna have to look to try and burst down any of HKA’s members and use ADC Kim “Deul” Deul’s Tristana to carry late game team fights. Before they get there, jungler Juckkirsts “Lloyd” Kongubon has to track where Crash is on the map and countergank appropriately.
MEGA’s game plan was to use Deul’s damage along with their mountain drakes to burst down Baron. However, their top laner Atit “Rockky” Phaomuang fell too far behind in the side lane and could do nothing against the Quinn. Quinn freely punished MEGA for not pulling the trigger on the Baron and took an inhibitor for free. After that, MEGA went full tilt mode and tried to force Baron and while Crash stole the Baron, MEGA lost 4 members anyway and lost the game.
Winner: Hong Kong Attitude
Player of the Game: Chen “3z” Han (Top)
Rockky couldn’t touch him this game. Aside from the slight fumble on one dive, a “flame horizon” on Rockky was icing on the cake for a masterful display of dominance.
Game 3: DAMWON Gaming (LCK #3) vs. Flamengo eSports (CBLoL/Brazil)
Boohoo! Damwon, are you scared of the legendary Draven of Felipe “brTT” Gonçalves? Just kidding, it was a standard respect ban. Damwon also banned Pantheon and Qiyana. It seems they didn’t want to leave any openings for Flamengo. Also, this game is one of the few that doesn’t have Xayah-Rakan even if both teams left it open. Lastly, Flamengo picked Aatrox and Neeko for their solo laners, opting for comfort picks instead of statistically better options.
Nuguri is on another hyper carry. The jungle-mid duo of Damwon on Taliyah-Renekton. They’d want to spend the entire early game flexing on mid lane and roaming around the map. Kai’sa-Pyke isn’t as scary as Xayah-Rakan, but Pyke is one of the best supports in solo queue today. Pyke’s ability to provide double gold on kills makes it easier for Kai’sa to scale.
For Flamengo, their game plan revolves around their star player brTT. With him on Caitlyn, they’ll look to bully their bot lane counterpart, take plates and rotate to top lane for Herald. That should allow them to snowball their lead and hopefully outfight Damwon in a 5v5. Flamengo mid laner Bruno “Goku” Miyaguchi’s Neeko might be a safe pick against Renekton, but jungler Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon has to make sure his mid survives unlike cyeol in the previous game.
Damwon outplayed Flamengo from the first moment of the game. Canyon started on top side red buff, ganked Leonardo “Robo” Souza’s Aatrox and burned his flash. It was downhill from that moment for the Aatrox. He was constantly frozen away from the minion wave and repeatedly dove under turret. Flamengo put up a decent fight in the bot lane thanks to brTT but they couldn’t match the gold lead Damwon got in top lane. Despite consecutive outplays by Flamengo’s bot lane, nobody could stop Showmaker’s Renekton.
Winner: Damwon Gaming
Player of the Game: Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu (Jungle)
Showmaker might have stolen the show with his unstoppable Renekton but it was Canyon who made it happen. His Taliyah game was as clean as it can be, effectively taking out Robo out of the game. Robo didn’t get to play League of Legends this game.
Game 4: MEGA Esports (SEA) vs Lowkey Esports (VCS #2)
In my opinion, this draft is the most interesting of the entire tournament so far. Lowkey Esports opted to leave Pantheon open so they could take Akali and Syndra. They then flexed it to mid and bot respectively, picking a Gangplank for Nguyễn “Hani” Tuấn Phát in the top lane against Rockky’s Camille.
This game will be a battle of which team plays the OP champs better. Pantheon is so broken in this patch, especially in pro play. Lowkey’s mid and bot will have to prove the benefit of trading Pantheon for Akali-Syndra. Honestly, knowing both these teams are going to be fighting all game long, this will boil down to who gets caught at the worst possible time and which team can team fight better.
Like I’ve said earlier, this game will be a full-on blood bath. There were team fights everywhere and almost every time. There wasn’t even enough time for much replays.
Anyway, Lowkey had a slight edge for most of the game but the Pantheon pick proved to be their downfall. In minute 38, after countless back and forth between the two teams, Lowkey’s jungler Đỗ Ngọc “DNK” Khải got caught by MEGA near baron pit. MEGA then started the Baron. When Lowkey tried to contest, MEGA’s mid laner Nuttapong “G4” Menkasikan landed the dream Pantheon ult on Lowkey, netting them the final fight and the win.
Winner: MEGA Esports
Player of the Game: Nuttapong “G4” Menkasikan (Mid)
Seriously, Pantheon is just broken. His ability to dive turrets like newly-reworked Akali is divine on pro players. G4 had a lot of facepalm moments this game but without him, they wouldn’t have stayed even until the final minute. Also, top laner Rockky had a great performance this game. His split pushing netted a huge gold lead and even allowed him to solo kill Hani’s Gangplank.
Game 5: Royal Youth (TCL/Turkey) vs Flamengo eSports (CBLoL/Brazil)
DRAVEEEEEEEEEEN!!! We finally get to see the famed Draven from Brazil. Royal Youth instead opted to thin out Shrimp’s jungle pool as well as Yuumi. Also, Flamengo made standard bans: Pantheon, Qiyana and Syndra.
Both teams will look to teamfight with their advantages. Royal Youth has the siege advantage with Azir and Karthus while Flamengo has enough poke with Zoe to push any advantage they might get. Flamengo will definitely pile on the bot lane and leave a relatively safe Neeko top. Also, Shrimp can look to invade Closer’s Karthus early on before he becomes a press-R-to-win monster. Moreover, Flamengo’s pride will be on the line. If this Draven pick doesn’t work, it will surely destroy their morale.
For Royal Youth, it is imperative that they have winning lanes to allow Closer to farm freely in the jungle. Later on, their composition will be quite unstoppable if they can transition an early game lead to the mid game successfully. If they fall behind, they will have to be wary of Draven’s damage.
I honestly can’t pick which one of the plays ultimately decided the game. When Royal Youth ganked bot and drew first blood on brTT, that was pretty much all they got for the game. Flamengo made play after play thereafter. Flamengo caught Royal Youth members time and again and that meant brTT’s Draven built a huge item lead early on and Royal Youth just had no answer for him. Rexpeita!
Winner: Flamengo eSports
Player of the Game: Han “Luci” Chang-hoon (Support)
brTT might have carried the game but it was Luci who made sure he got what he needed to do so. Luci’s Thresh landed hooks left and right and Flamengo eSports rolled right past Royal Youth.
Game 6: Hong Kong Attitude (LMS #3) vs Lowkey Esports (VCS #2)
For the last game of the day, Hong Kong Attitude bans Pantheon on blue side to trade Syndra and Gragas for Qiyana. They aim for an early game burst comp through Crash’s Elise and support Ling “Kaiwing” Kai Wing’s Pyke. Meanwhile, Lowkey wanted to capitalize on the open Syndra and flexed it to bot for Nguyễn “Celebrity” Phước Long Hiệp.
With the ranged and wave clear advantage Nguyễn “Artifact” Văn Hậu Tristana has over M1ssion’s Qiyana, they should look for opportunities to dive this mid lane turret repeatedly. That would also prevent Qiyana from roaming effectively. Gragas is also an effective diver, and Hani’s Gangplank can support his team from afar while waiting to scale. Later, they’re a typical front to back team with balanced damage across the board.
For Hong Kong Attitude, they should put pressure on bottom lane early to enable Wong “Unified” Chun Kit’s Sivir to leave lane early and take plates elsewhere. Also, they can leave him alone in the mid lane to maintain mid priority while Crash’s Elise and Kaiwing’s Pyke to make picks and get a gold lead. Additionally, they have 3z’s Mordekaiser in the top lane to anchor their composition. In late game team fights around objectives, Hong Kong Attitude can use vision control to make facechecking brushes a tilting but inevitable decision to make.
There was tons of fighting this game and honestly, it was one of the most entertaining games to watch so far. One of those teamfights occurred during Lowkey’s second baron attempt. The first one ended in failure with Lowkey losing the Leona and their main engage tool. They try again after a few minutes and this time, they turn on the Qiyana to seal the deal and run away with the game.
Winner: Lowkey Esports
Player of the Game: Nguyễn “Artifact” Văn Hậu (Mid)
It didn’t matter that the Tristana was flexed to mid lane. Artifact played it like it was Zed or Kha’zix. He was jumping forward so much, he made Wildturtle look like a KDA player. More importantly, his unrelenting aggression from the start of the game made M1ssion’s Qiyana a non-factor this game.
Day 2 Standings
- Hong Kong Attitude 1-1
- Lowkey Esports 1-1
- MEGA eSports 1-1
- Damwon Gaming 2-0
- Royal Youth 0-2
- Flamengo eSports 1-1
Tomorrow, Group A and Group B will play their final group stage games in the League of Legends World Championship 2019