Before the LoL World Championships group stage had kicked off, I made my predictions through the lolesports “Pick’em” game. Some of my predictions are looking good; others seem to have gone on vacation and left me hanging.
Here’s an update on how I’m doing, and how I expect these groups to play out in the coming week. First, my pick’em:
This was supposed to be the most predictable group, but that obviously hasn’t been the case. I still feel good about having the ROX Tigers first; I expect them to get their heads on straight and 3-0 this week.
G2 Esports has failed, though, and it’s very unlikely that they will make it out of the group. Perhaps if I had listened to myself when I predicted that G2 would be the tournament’s biggest disappointed, I would have adjusted my official prediction and been a happier camper for this pick’em.
CLG looked amazing in their win over the Tigers, but their lapses in vision and mechanical misplays were exploited by ANX. I don’t think CLG will let that happen again, and I slightly favour them to take another win over G2 and make it to the quarterfinals. CLG need to clean up their execution on some of their playmaking, though. I love the way CLG move as a team and pull the trigger fearlessly once they’re set up, but their deficits in individual skill levels do show through now and then.
As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think ANX are likely to win another game. They surprised their group with the types of plays they’re willing to attempt, but I don’t think they’ll get away with it any more.
Updated Prediction: ROX 1, CLG 2
Looking good for me! SKT are the class of the group, despite their stumble against the Flash Wolves. Cloud9 somehow stole the win against the Flash Wolves and are sitting in the top two alongside SKT, as well. I May have a win but don’t look like they deserve another. (I May have yet to earn a meaningful gold lead at this tournament, and have averaged a 10.1 EGR, which means that as of the 15-minute mark, they average about a 10% chance to win. Yuck.)
The Flash Wolves might beat SKT again, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I think SKT, like ROX, will go 3-0 this week.
That means it will come down to FW vs C9. There’s a decent chance the Flash Wolves take this meeting, which, if I understand correctly, would force a tiebreaker, assuming that SKT goes 3-0 and I May goes 0-3. I see more flexibility and broader win conditions for C9, so I think C9 will win the tiebreaker (or possibly just win the first time they play).
Updated Prediction: SKT 1, C9 2 (same)
Like group A, in this group we’ve seen an unlikely upset over the top team, and a mix-up in the middle of the group. I’m less confident in EDward Gaming’s ability to go 3-0 this week than I am in ROX’s ability to do it, but I still think that’s the most likely outcome.
That leaves us looking at H2K and AHQ and wondering whether INTZ will find another victory to shake things up that much more. Given that INTZ’s win over EDG came through an absolutely immense early snowball, but that they still looked vulnerable to EDG’s playmaking even from an enormous gold lead, I’m going to say that unfortunately we won’t see another INTZ win.
If EDG goes 3-0 and INTZ goes 0-3, then it’s up to H2K vs AHQ to either force a tiebreaker or put AHQ over the top. The early game will be crucial, because it’s where H2K tends to win or lose, since their mid/late game shot calling and team fight coordination is often questionable. H2K has had great early vision, but so far it isn’t being used well enough to produce consistent gold leads or early dragons. AHQ, meanwhile, have done more with their lane pressure and have diligently picked up the first dragon in all three of their games. I think this game could go either way, and if H2K wins they’ll have good momentum for the tiebreaker. But my prediction is an AHQ win, with Mountain and Ziv crucially winning the top side of the map.
Updated Prediction: EDG 1, AHQ 2
When I did my video previewing group D, I laid out all of the reasons that I thought TSM would top this group and Samsung would place second. I still hold to that line of reasoning.
I’ve been saying from the start that I expect Royal Never Give Up to split 1-1 with TSM, but TSM will 2-0 Samsung and Samsung will 2-0 RNG. We’re still on track for that outcome, and I’m still reasonably confident in it, though of course anything could happen in a group this close.
Splyce does have some spoiler potential, but the only way I see them taking a game this week is if one of their opponents badly underprepares for them.
Updated Prediction: TSM 1, SSG 2 (same)