[Spoilers] LoL World's Recap - Day 1

Worlds will be played on patch 6.18 with Yorick disabled due to his fresh rework and Aurelion Sol temporarily disabled due to an in-game bug.  Group stage will run for 8 days spanning from 9/30/16-10/9/16.  These are first impressions and opinions.

The first game of the day has a lot of expectations.  It sets the stage for the worlds meta that will build over the next month.  The first match will be a crowd favorite: EU vs NA.

Game 1
(Group A)
G2 Esports vs Counter Logic Gaming 

             Blue                                                    Red
G2 - Elise (1)                                 CLG - Nami, Cait (1)
        Jayce, Syndra (2)                               Vladamir, Poppy (2) 
        Jhin, Braum (3)                                  Olaf (3)                           

Bans: Aurelion Sol, Rek'sai, Karma                            Bans: Nidalee, Sivir, Soraka

Going into this match, CLG was definitely the underdog.  Having a bumpy summer split and facing off against first seed G2, it was assumed that CLG would get rolled over.  

Having bootcamped in Korea with Reignover as another mind to help manage CLG's jungle, I was skeptical as to how much of an impact Reignover's addition would have on Xmithie's play.  In fact, I believed the move may backfire and create uncertainty.

This was not the case.  This game was the Xmithie show.  Getting an early lead and snowballing Stixxay in the bot lane, the North American jungler finished with a respectable 6/0/5 score.

Darshan also did an incredible job by applying necessary pressure after giving first blood to counterpart Expect, constantly demanding jungle pressure from G2.

G2's saving grace was Expect on Jayce.  However with the incredible peel of Poppy and Olaf, as well as Nami Tidal Wave, Jayce could only hope to trade kills in team fights.    

Despite the final scores showing a CLG stomp, I couldn't help but feel there was still a bit of shakiness within the teams.  It's probably nothing more than some day 1 jitters, or simply the teams trying to feel each other out.  This was a very enjoyable game 1 and a big win for NA fans.  

Game 2
(Group A)
ROX Tigers vs. Albus NoX Luna

Oh, Korea vs. Wildcard, I can only hope for a juicy upset.

                 Blue                                               Red
ROX - Elise (1)                               ANX - Bard, Jhin (1)
            Nami, Lucian (2)                             Shen, Graves (2)
            Jayce, Rumble (3)                           Vladimir (3)

Bans: Brand, Karma, Rek'sai                                                     Bans: Sivir, Nidalee, Ezreal         

What a chaotic first 10 minutes.  ANX collapsed on greedy map movements from ROX which gave them an early kill lead.  If you looked close enough, you could see ROX smiling through it all.  

It wasn't long before the first seed from Korea turned on, stopping all momentum that the Russian squad had gained early on.  Playing around Smeb's teleport and executing coordinated team play, it wasn't long before ROX was clean acing ANX - twice.

First impressions, there is no doubt that ANX is here to play.  They demand respect in the early game when everyone is on an even playing field.  The question will be whether or not they can translate any early advantages into meaningful objectives - tower first blood, dragons, rift, and most importantly, will they be able to outplay in those mid game team fights?  As far as weaknesses go, aMiracle is under criticism from his Jhin play. Only having dealt 6.9k damage to enemy champs, the weakest from any of the damage dealers on ANX, he'll have to step up big if ANX is to have a chance in Group A.

ROX will have to clean up their early game.  An early invade from Peanut forced Smeb and Kuro into positions where they gave up early kills.  Clearly they were playing aggressively to test how well ANX would react, but they will not be able to easily bounce back in the mid game against any of these top competing teams.

Game 3
(Group C)
H2K vs. ahq e-Sports Club

               Blue                                                 Red
H2K - Elise (1)                                       ahq - Rumble, Olaf (1)
                 Braum, Casseiopeia (2)                         Malzahar, Bard (2)
           Caitlyn, Gnar (3)                                   Jinx (3)

Bans: Twisted Fate, Tahm Kench, Rek'sai                                   Bans: Nidalee, Syndra, Karma

The first Jinx at World's! I'm hyped!

This was the longest match of the night at 47:07.  The infamous slow play style of European teams was put to the test against the ahq squad, resulting in a back-and-forth type game where neither team wanted to heavily commit to team fights.  

An early Quicksilver Sash purchase from Ryu negated a lot of potential plays that could have happened around Malzahar and for a while it seemed like H2K had a hold on ahq.  A lack of effective macro play was what allowed ahq time to scale.  Perhaps H2K put too much attention to kills, or had a lack of decisive shotcalling, but whatever the issues, ahq found objectives and successful team fights. 

Weeding through the ResidentSleeper's in twitch chat, I was excited by the Jinx pick and by how ahq planned to catapult An's Jinx ahead of Forg1ven's Caitlyn.  It wasn't until an explosive 43 minute baron fight where ahq clean aced H2K, secured the Baron and gained a 8k gold lead.  

Game 4
(Group C)
INTZ e-Sports vs. Edward Gaming

           Blue                                                 Red
ITZ - Syndra (1)                                    EDG - Nami, Ezreal (1)
          Ashe, Braum (2)                                      Vladimir, Graves (2)
          Lee Sin, Gnar (3)                                     Irelia (3)

Bans: Jayce, Rek'sai, Rumble                                                        Bans: Nidalee, Elise, Bard

Wildcard vs. the number 1 seed in the LPL.  We know this story all to well, don't you think...? 


This might be the biggest upset in LoL World Championship history.  Early on, we saw Deft and Meiko pressuring micaO and Jockster in the bottom lane and it seemed like foreshadowing for what was to come.  On the other side of the map, Yang was coordinating some very stylish ganks with the help of Revolta.  Chaining their CC and lining up Lee Sin Q's, they took out the first two top turrets fairly quickly and bullied Mouse's Irelia around.  

At 20 minutes, ITZ managed to accumulate a 6k gold lead, knock down 5 towers, be up 3 kills and get a cloud dragon.  The real test was going to be if they could close out the game against one of the best teams in the world.

There were moments when it seemed like ITZ may throw, specifically around their bottom lane.  Multiple times they would get caught out by Vladimir and give momentum back to EDG.  Fortunately, Yang and Revolta were able to continue to find picks onto Deft and Mouse, as well as disengage when things went out of favor.  

Notable mention to Jockster who had top level Braum mechanics, shielding countless Trueshot Barrages and Tidal Waves.

ITZ were hungry to play against the LPL monster EDG.  It is clear that their plan of attack was to play around the top/jungle duo, and with those advantages they were able to carry through to EDG's nexus.  What an entrance to Season 6 World's for this vastly underrated team.

Eyes will be on EDG to see if they bounce back from the upset.  Nobody wants to see a team tilt at worlds because of one bad game.  There's a reason that they are the number 1 seed from the LPL, they have to shake it off and plan for tomorrow's match against ahq. 

Game 5
(Group D)
Samsung Galaxy vs. Splyce

                Blue                                                Red
SSG - Rek'sai (1)                      SPY - Cassiopeia, Tahm Kench (1)
           Rumble, Ezreal (2)                   Graves, Jinx (2)
           Nami, Viktor (3)                       Kled (3)

Bans: Kassadin, Aurelion Sol, Karma                                       Bans: Nidalee, Elize, Syndra

This will be the first time that Kled will be played in a professional game.  Shameless Kled Jungle guide plug.

First impressions during the early game left me to think that Splyce were outmatched.  Despite being praised for his jungle pathing, Trashy was late to countergank the telegraphed top lane gank onto Wunder.  With Ruler taking out Kobbe shortly after, it appeared that Korea was on course to roll this one over.

They may have been a bit too hasty, with an aggressive dive bot only picking off Tahm Kench.  Quick rotations from midlane, as well as aggressive use of summoner spells gave Cass a double and Jinx a kill on Nami.  Just like that, the gold was even.

Unfortunately for Splyce, their team composition, relative to SSG's, left them without clear-cut engage, leaving them in a position where they needed to bank on Samsung engaging while keeping Jinx alive in order to turn a team fight.  

Cuvee did an incredible job at zoning with Rumble against Kobbe's Jinx, stopping any opportunity for Jinx to get a fight changing Get Excited reset.  Micro plays like this are part of the reason why Cuvee is praised for the impact he has had on this team.  He even did his best Faker impersonation and sidestepped a predicted Cass ult.  What a god.

It's good to see that Splyce has the confidence to pull out Kled in a high pressure situation like day one of world's.  However, it didn't seem like the team was completely comfortable with the forced Kled engages.  It took Wunder about 3 ults to even get a favorable fight for his team, who would have to get through the disengage of Nami and reengage of Rek'sai and Rumble to even have a chance at coming out on top.  All things considered, Splyce seemed out of sorts.

The most memorable point of the match was the extended team fight around 25 minutes that began when Cassiopeia went deep on a kill to Rumble.  Tahm Kench ulted Graves and himself up to the inevitable collapse on Sencux and the next 45 seconds resulted in many blown summoner spells, a blood bath, a chase to the mid-lane, more TPs and a hype fadaway auto attack from Jinx as she was swallowed up by Tahm Kench.  

Definitely an enjoyable match to watch, but not clean from either side.  Both of these teams share a group with RNG and TSM so there is absolutely no room to breathe.  

Game 6
(Group D)
Team SoloMid vs. Royal Never Give Up

Doublelift vs. Uzi!!!

                  Blue                                                    Red
TSM - Lee Sin (1)                            RNG - Rumble, Cassiopeia (1)
            Jhin, Nami (2)                                   Hecarim, Sivir (2)
            Orianna, Kennen (3)                         Alistar (3) 

Bans: Caitlyn, Jayce, Syndra                                                 Bans: Nidalee, Elise, Rek'sai

I'm pretty sure Bjergsen hates Aurelion Sol.  After a brief break, a remake was made due to a bug with Aurelion Sol's orbs, leaving him temporarily disabled for the tournament.

So remember the Xmithie show earlier?  The early game was a Svenskeren marathon.  After giving up first blood while peacefully taking his raptors, something snapped inside the Danish jungler.  He spent the next 10 minutes making plays and outplays all around the map.

It didn't take RNG long to pick up the pace, though.  Once the team fights started, RNG had TSM's number.  They were always one step ahead with consistent deep vision control and flanking in fights.  

Most notably, Mata halted TSM's momentum with constant flash Headbutt/Pulverize engages, or simply the fear of the engage.  Mata, a season 4 World Champion and World Championship MVP credits his lane partner, Uzi, with having, "the best lane phase of any ADC in the world."

The bot lane was where RNG found their opening.  Misplays from the TSM duo and returned jungle pressure from Mlxg led to a 16 minute tower bot followed by a successful TP flank from Looper around dragon.  

There were definitely some uncoordinated plays from the solo lanes on TSM.  Bjergsen was not connecting with Orianna's Shockwave when it mattered most, and late Slicing Maelstrom's from Kennen missed the fragile window of opportunity before the TSM bot lane was blown up.  TSM will have to sharpen their coordination here if they're going to get the edge against these teamfight-centered teams.

This game felt like the most competitive of the day.  Both teams had shining moments but in the end RNG's superior teamfighting was what tipped the scales.  If RNG is to set themselves apart from their group as the number 1 seed, it appears that it will be TSM and SSG fighting for that second spot out of groups.  

Day One Summary

Overall pretty shaky.  Moving forward teams will find their stride while adapting to the World's meta.  Here at LAN Mob we're all waiting for Corki to make an appearance.  It's only a matter of time, right?

Strongest: RNG

Being able to keep their cool and bounce back even when Svenskeren was pressuring RNG solo laners and Mlxg's jungle through coordinated team fighting and superior vision control.  The individual players are strong enough to hold their own while becoming an intimidating beast when they group as 5.  

Weakest: ANX

Even though they were able to demand respect against the number 1 seed in Korea, it all fell apart after a few plays swung the gold lead back into ROX Tigers favor.  The troubling part for ANX was their ADC's lack of damage to champions.  The stakes are high at World's.  At this point, teams should be beyond worrying about whether or not their damage dealers are able to get damage off in team fights.  The fact that it was so surprisingly low lead me to believe that ANX are still steps behind where they need to be in order to succeed.

Onto Day 2

A very exciting start to worlds indeed!  I'll be back with more wrap-ups as the group stage moves forward.  Things I didn't touch on that you'd like me to focus more on? Let me know how I can improve.

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