With the League of Legends World Championships 2016 fast approaching, here’s our preview of Group C.
In group C we have the dominant Chinese no.1 seeds Edward Gaming, LMS’s regional qualifiers ahq e-Sports Club, Europe’s points winners H2k-Gaming and Brazil’s international qualifiers INTZ e-Sports. Similarly to group A, this group will more than likely come down to a fight for second between the two no.2 seeds, H2k and ahq. There are less likely scenarios where INTZ manage to take a game or two from the no.2 seeds or Edward Gaming capitulate, much like LGD did in 2015, yet I’m hard-pushed to see either of those happening. Could INTZ take a game off H2k or ahq? Yes – but it would take the performance of a lifetime. Will Edward Gaming go 2-4 and crash out in the group stages? No chance. They are just too strong a team, both collectively and individually. They have World Championship experience, a unique style of play, which will be hard for the other teams to combat, and they’re on a hot streak like we’ve never seen.
Take a look at our preview of the Group C teams:
Expected Lineup: Mouse (Top), ClearLove (Jungle), Scout (Mid), Deft (AD), Meiko (Support)
Edward Gaming could not be coming to the World Championships in better form. They had a record-breaking 16-0 LPL Summer Split and then went on to beat Team WE (3-2) and Royal Never Give Up (3-0) in the playoffs. The comparison to last year’s LGD performance is, for me, irrelevant. LGD were nowhere near the level of this current EDG roster (they weren’t near the level of the 2015 EDG roster either). A more apt comparison would be between EDG of 2015 and EDG of 2016. This team has developed in ways their fans could only have dreamt of. Their only real weakness is the new addition to their lineup, Lee “Scout” Ye-chan. His match ups against Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook and Liu “Westdoor” Shu-Wei will be challenging but in my opinion, manageable. Scout is no rookie, he’s been sub to both Faker at SKT then Heo “PawN” Won-seok at EDG, so he’s played with the best. His style of play is arguably better for EDG than PawN‘s, with their best performances coinciding with the switch.
Edward Gaming’s Ming “Clearlove” Kai is essential to the success of his team, his usual strong performances will be necessary should they hope to make a real push for the title. He works well with PawN, and his other team mates, to ensure he offers support at the right times. Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu is one of the best ADCs in the world at the minute. He and Tian “meiko” Ye should come out the better of their respective match ups in this group, the only possible hurdle being their match up against H2k and FORG1VEN. I see EDG going the distance in this tournament, starting with a 6-0 in this group. Whilst they have their weaknesses, I don’t believe any of the other three teams in this group will be able to expose them.
ESTO Prediction: 1st
Tournament Odds: 7/2
Expected Lineups: Ziv (Top), Mountain (Jungle), Westdoor (Mid), An (AD), Albis (Support)
The choice for second in this group is the hardest I’ve made in the tournament so far. I’m going for ahq based on the possible drama of H2k as opposed to them being a better team. I’d say they’re evenly matched as teams, with H2k having slightly better individual players, but individuals don’t win games. I also don’t think that ahq’s placing through 2016 tells the full story. Flash Wolves clearly know how to play against ahq, which would be worrying should the two face, but for the most part, ahq have been equally, if not more, consistent than their fellow Taiwanese qualifiers. This unchanged lineup has experience at the World Championships, with a respectable run last year that ended with a loss to eventual winners SKT (0-3) and a 7th-8th place finish. During that run they took games off Fnatic and Cloud9, who were both playing better than the H2k have been this season.
Xue “Mountain” Zhao-Hong really impressed me in the regional qualifiers and is a key man for his team. If ahq want to grab the second spot, then strong supplementary performances from him will be key. The only problem with this is, Westdoor has a tendency to be inconsistent with his performances, but he’s been in fine form of late – so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.
ESTO Prediction: 2nd
Tournament Odds: 80/1
Expected Lineups: Odoamne (Top), Jankos (Jungle), Ryu (Mid), FORG1VEN (AD), VandeR (Support)
H2k, as with any group they’re in, should provide the entertainment value both in and out of match play. Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou is one of the most out-spoken, controversial players on the scene – yet he is exciting to watch. It’s his controversial comments and unpredictable nature that lead me to worry about H2k. In my mind both H2k, and ahq, will lose to EDG 0-2. How well will the morale of the teams hold up after this? H2k and ahq, it seems to me, are similar teams, both individually, and as a collective. The only edge I see is the experience that ahq holds. Not individual players’ experience, but experience as a unit that has had to lose games and play tougher opposition whilst keeping unity within the team and not letting heads drop.
An issue I have with H2k is their tendency to drop the opening game against weak opposition. Twice they lost the first game against Team Roccat, as well as losing openers to teams such as Origen, Fnatic and UoL, during the EU LCS Summer Split. This will give INTZ hope. If H2k drop a game, and therefore the match in the Bo1 style, against the Brazilian qualifiers, their moral will be shot, along with their hopes of making it out of the group. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski is H2k’s best player, and his performance will be relied upon during the group stages. If H2k want to make it out of the group, he and Forg1ven will have to be at their very best.
ESTO Prediction: 3rd
Tournament Odds: 100/1
Expected Lineup: Yang (Top), Revolta (Jungle), Tockers (Mid), micaO (AD), Jockster (Support)
INTZ will be looking to draw inspiration from the performance of last year’s International Qualifiers, and fellow Brazilians, paiN Gaming – who won against Flash Wolves and CLG. There is a clear pecking order in the CBLoL, with INTZ above paiN, so they will believe that anything is possible coming into this competition. INTZ have a tendency to go behind against their opponents and work their way into matches. We’ve seen this in the International Qualifiers and with their matches against tougher opposition in the CBLoL. This will not work here at the World Championships though. Should they show any of these three teams the slightest advantage, the game will likely be over before they know what has hit them.
INTZ have scrimmed against tough opposition from each of the major regions and will know what to expect when coming into this group. If there preparation has been thorough, and they play to their absolute best, they might well change the outcome of this group. But will they secure a top 2 position? In short, no.
ESTO Prediction: 4th
Tournament Odds: 1500/1
Group C Fixtures
|Date||Fixture (Game 1)||Time (PDT)||Date||Time (Game 2)||Time (PDT)|
|09/29/16||H2k vs ahq||18:30||10/07/16||EDG vs INTZ||16:00|
|09/29/16||INTZ vs EDG||19:30||10/07/16||ahq vs H2k||17:00|
|09/30/16||H2k vs INTZ||20:00||10/07/16||H2k vs EDG||18:00|
|09/30/16||EDG vs ahq||21:00||10/07/16||INTZ vs ahq||19:00|
|10/02/16||ahq vs INTZ||16:00||10/07/16||INTZ vs H2k||20:00|
|10/02/16||EDG vs H2k||17:00||10/07/16||ahq vs EDG||21:00|
Keep up-to-date with all the results, analysis and gossip from this year’s League of Legends World Championships right here at ESTO.