With the League of Legends World Championships 2016 fast approaching, here’s our preview of Group D.
The inevitable ‘group of death’ makes its return as the most difficult group in the League of Legends World Championships. With 3 already proven teams in Royal Never Give Up, Team SoloMid, Samsung and the relative new kids on the block Splyce; who arguably looked as though they were the 2nd best team in the EU LCS during the summer. This looks to be an incredibly exciting group.
I believe the hype around TSM this World Championships to be very necessary as they have looked so consistent and very crisp in the way they play the game, with RNG likely to fall just behind them. SSG are exciting and could cause an upset, however with the overall power of LPL’s RNG, I don’t see them making it out of the group stage. Splyce looked good in the EU LCS, but I think this team needs more time and experience before they truly start to perform at an international level. As for lanes to focus on, the mid lane will definitely be the one to watch. With the likes of Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg, Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao, Lee “Crown” Min-ho and the up and coming talent of Chres “Sencux” Laursen, this will be an extremely influential area which teams should look to play towards.
Expected Lineup: Hauntzer (Top), Svenskeren (Jungle), Bjergsen (Mid), Doublelift (AD), BioFrost (Support)
Another consecutive World Championships dawns for TSM. The North American 1st seed again get placed in the ‘group of death’, however, I expect TSM to make it out of the group stage in the 1st spot, this time. Judging by the success of the team in the NA LCS summer split regular season and their impressive 3-1 win over C9 in the summer split final, TSM will be out for blood in 2016.
Their star man Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg should be able to lead his team through a clean group stage and after the recent interviews by players that have faced TSM in scrims, it would seem like this team look to be in contention to win the coveted Summoner’s Cup. Organisation owner Reginald has come out and stated that they are ‘just scrims’ and that they aren’t an accurate representation of the results that are expected of this team. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see TSM top this group as they are an extremely organised team that tends to use macro level strategies to out rotate their opponents to swing the game in their favour.
ESTO Prediction: 1st
Tournament Odds: 16/1
Expected Lineup: Looper (Top), Mlxg (Jungle), Xiaohu (Mid), Uzi (AD), Mata (Support)
The LPL 2nd Seed are coming into the World Championships with a very, very talented roster. After topping group B in the LPL regular season with an impressive 13W – 3L, this team went on to play in the summer final against EDG. RNG got dominated by EDG 3–0 in the final, meaning that they would grab the 2nd seed. With players such as Hyeongseok “Looper“ Jang, Zihao “Uzi” Jian and Sehyoung “Mata” Cho, it’s very hard to see RNG failing in the group stage like last year’s Chinese powerhouse LGD.
One important thing to note however is that Chinese teams rarely have good international performances, excluding the likes of Edward Gaming and SHRC. They seem to crumble on the world’s stage in terms of consistency. If RNG manage to stay consistent with their game-play and don’t succumb to the pressure like their Chinese counterparts LGD did last year, this team can definitely make it out of the group stage.
ESTO Prediction: 2nd
Tournament Odds: 20/1
Expected Lineup: Cuvee (Top), Ambition (Jungle), Crown (Mid), Ruler (AD), Wraith (Support)
After their predecessors winning the World Championships in 2014, it seemed like this team had gone through a stage of regrowth as most of the players on the Samsung’s rosters had chosen to continue their careers in the LPL. Coming in as Korea’s 3rd seed after beating KT Rolster 3–2 in the LCK Gauntlet final, it’s exciting to see what these guys can do and if they are ready to face off against the best teams in the world.
With the likes of star man Sungjin “Cuvee” Lee, who seemed to have a decent time laning against the likes of Korean powerhouse top laners Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, this team should prove challenging for the other teams in the group. Being from a domestic league that homes most of the world’s strongest teams should give them a slight edge however I personally don’t think they’ll be able to overcome the likes of TSM and RNG to make it out of this extremely difficult group.
ESTO Prediction: 3rd
Tournament Odds: 16/1
Expected Lineup: Wunder (Top), Trashy (Jungle), Sencux (Mid), Kobbe (AD), Mikyx (Support)
Last but not least, the EU LCS 3rd seed, Splyce. This team had one of the most successful years I have seen in quite a while in Esports, coming from the EU Challenger Series at the start of the season, almost getting relegated in the EU LCS spring split and now facing off against the best teams in the world in North America at the World Championships. They only marginally missed out on clinching 2nd seed after they beat H2K in the semi-finals of the playoffs (3-2). However as they lost 3-1 to G2 in the final, and had less championship points than H2K, they had to successfully beat UoL in the regional final to qualify as Europe’s 3rd seed.
One thing must be said, it is incredibly unlucky for Splyce to have been placed in this group. In any other group you can see these guys causing some trouble, however because they’ve been placed in the ‘group of death’ I can’t see them getting the results they need. They are the evident underdogs in this group but should be approached with caution by the other teams.
ESTO Prediction: 4th
Tournament Odds: 200/1
Group D Fixtures:
|Date||Fixture (Game 1)||Time (PDT)||Date||Time (Game 2)||Time (PDT)|
|09/29/16||SSG vs SPY||20:30||10/08/16||SSG vs TSM||16:00|
|09/29/16||TSM vs RNG||21:30||10/08/16||SPY vs RNG||17:00|
|09/30/16||TSM vs SSG||18:00||10/08/16||TSM vs SPY||18:00|
|09/30/16||RNG vs SPY||19:00||10/08/16||SSG vs RNG||19:00|
|10/01/16||SPY vs TSM||20:00||10/08/16||SPY vs SSG||20:00|
|10/01/16||RNG vs SSG||21:00||10/08/16||RNG vs TSM||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.