[LoL] Worlds 2016 Quarterfinals Predictions






Ah, yes, it's that time of the year again.  With group stage throwing every person for a loop, we've reached the next phase of the League of Legends World Championship.  Let's dip into what the quarterfinals are looking like and what we expect to see.  We'll start in order of which series will be played first.





Samsung Galaxy vs. Cloud9  (10/13 - 6 PM)

Prediction: SSG 3-1 C9

Many people will give this series to Samsung Galaxy (SSG) which is entirely fair.  Cloud9 are living in the meme of being carried by SKT out of groups, due to SKT halting the Flash Wolves hopes of forcing a tiebreaker between themselves and C9 for the 2nd seed.  Samsung Galaxy came into the group stages as a bit of a question mark for many.  Being the 3rd seed from Korea, many questioned whether or not they would step up.  

After week 1 it still seemed a bit murky.  Losing to TSM but absolutely destroying RNG left fans' heads spinning.  Though seeming inconsistent, they still played as an elite team and took a 2-1 week one into week two, finishing with a 5-1 record. This roster suddenly looks terrifying.  Cuvee was the rock that carried SSG to worlds and, although having shaky performances, has done what his team needed when it mattered most.  Crown is a monster in the midlane, destroying the enemy team with Viktor and Ryze.  With Ambition in the Jungle hungry to win, and the duo of Ruler and CoreJJ in the botlane, this lineup will not crack under pressure.  

Cloud9 on the other hand have their share of issues.  There's no denying that Impact was a force to be reckoned with during the NA LCS, especially during the finals. Up against world class talent, C9 can't so easily depend on Impact to dominate his opponent and draw the necessary pressure to his side of the map.  The C9 bottom lane has received it's fair share of flack as well, specifically the support, Smoothie.  Looking all out of sorts on meta picks such as Alistar, its going to take some level of nerve to bring together the level of play that superstar players like Mata and Wolf can provide on the same meta champions.  

Overall, this C9 roster has been very shaky against the foreign teams.  I believe in their ability to string together coordinated victories and at least have a winning strategy for one game, or simply get Jensen ahead early on in the midlane, but they need to make the right moves to get to that place if they're going to have a chance in this top 8.


SK Telecom T1 vs. Royal Never Give Up  (10/14 - 6 PM)

Prediction: SKT 3-2 RNG

Man, this whole side of the bracket looks too hard to predict.  SKT is coming into the tournament as the 2nd seed from Korea, but I don't believe that any of that really matters anymore.  All of the team's cards are out on the table.  

The key here is figuring out which team is more likely to adapt.  I give that star to SKT.  RNG were on the brink of getting knocked out at group stage, having very poor performances against SSG and Splyce. These performances may represent some signs of in-game tilt.  

SKT have a rock-solid lineup and support staff behind them.  They've won 2 of the last 3 world championships and they are hungry for more.  RNG are in a similar boat, having Looper and Mata as Season 4 World Champions from SSW, and Uzi, the legendary ADC who has always seemed to fall short in two different World Championship finals.  It's unfortunate to see these two have to face so soon in the tournament, but it's inevitable with the way that groups panned out.

Since these two are so evenly matched, I expect a game 5 as long as RNG stop the tilting bleeding early.  They have to expect the most competitive games at this point.  

As far as strategy, I expect SKT to focus RNG's bottom lane in attempt to get Uzi behind/off his game. This is a historical strat so it should be one that RNG expects. In this case, I would expect Looper, Mlxg and Xiaohu to press advantages elsewhere.

As for RNG, I think they may be best off exploiting SKT's jungle.  Bouncing between Blank and Bengi could be risky business.  Bengi seems to be reliable if the plan is to get Faker snowballing, where as Blank has had remarkable Lee Sin play, but has been questionable during his Olaf games.  


ROX Tigers vs. Edward Gaming   (10/15 - 6 PM)

Prediction: ROX 3-1 EDG

This matchup will be an interesting one, similar to SKT vs. RNG in the sense that it will be a Korean team versus a Chinese team with two Korean players.  

Both of these teams are extremely strong but have had moments of weakness. I give the edge to ROX here because they have proven that they can bounce back and perform under pressure, stealing back the 1st seed of their group.  

The only notable loss in week 1 for ROX was their game against CLG where Huhi went off on Aurelion Sol. They also lost a 66 minute game in week 2 to ANX, a team who is breaking through as one of the strongest Wildcard teams to date. Later on, ROX won the tiebreaker between the two in a dominating, sub 30 minute fashion. I believe that ROX has gotten their flow back. Smeb has become the monster in the top lane that we expected, Peanut is cool under pressure with the Baron steals, Kuro carries positive scores, Pray is arguably the best Ezreal at the tournament and Gorilla is, well, Gorilla.  

Edward gaming is so capable on the other end. Deft, Pawn and Clearlove are big names and are all very strong players in their respective roles. I do see a weakness in Mouse's inability to find success on tanks. He had an Irelia performance that really made people think twice, but then was exposed in their first game of week 2 against H2K where he was stuck on Poppy again.  This is worrying for EDG when their weakest player is going up against the best in the world.  


H2K vs. Albus NoX Luna  (10/16 - 6 PM)

Prediction: H2K 3-0 ANX

Albus NoX Luna have blown peoples' minds this tournament.  Having taken creative team comps and upset the likes of CLG, G2 and ROX Tigers is no easy feat.  They're here to excite and make the run of their lives, but I'm afraid that that run stops at H2K.  

This prediction isn't supposed to take away anything from ANX, as they have gone above and beyond expectations. This is only to praise H2K's dominant performance in week 2.  They went 4-0 during the run on October 7th, including a tiebreaker between EDG, where Forg1ven didn't even die once.  

I credit this 3-0 prediction to the fact that these two face off last in the Quarterfinals, giving both sides the advantage of seeing any strats played before their set on the 16th.  

Forg1ven wants this worlds run to go far because of how confident he is in his own abilities.  You can feel his impact on the team through his play.  One game he was down 30 CS on Deft, only later to be up 100 CS on Deft.  That's the determination that this H2K lineup is being carried by.

I do believe that ANX will put up a fight and pull any tricks up their sleeves that they still have.  If they lose game 1 and start game 2 off on the wrong foot, I don't know if they'll have enough juice in the tank to ward off this fired up H2K.  



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