BY BRYANT "HUSKKIEE" NG
The first week of League of Legends Worlds 2017 has come to an end with all groups experiencing their fair share of triumphant moments and heart-shattering upsets. Some teams that have monumental hopes pinned on them delivered, while others disappointed slightly; some teams that weren’t in the list of favorites came out guns blazing and shocked their competitions. With the second week kicking off soon, here’s a list of teams that have faltered in delivering their standards.
EDward Gaming (EDG)
If there’s a team that hit rock bottom in the first week of the group stage, it’s undoubtedly EDG, the first seed hailing from LPL. Unlike the team that they took down through an amazing reverse sweep, Royal Never Give Up (RNG), EDG was struck with the opposite results of RNG by the end of the first week, sporting an utterly disappointing 0-3 score.
With all three of their matches being close shaves that ended in defeat because of one single fatal mistake, EDG has been struggling to capitalize on leads and drafting effectively. With all of their games so far having a Lucian on Scout that doesn’t scale well into the late game, EDG planted a ticking time bomb on themselves that will explode as soon as the game hits the late phase, which was the case, and that led to them getting outscaled and eventually defeated.
One of the biggest factors is Scout’s over-aggression and disregard for his teams when he sees red. Often times the zealous player will face-check a brush that is not warded and get ambushed by the enemy; other times he would attempt to duel his opponent without much thought, which sometimes bear fruits, but other times he will end up as free gold for the enemy if they are ready with backup. EDG also has an issue with vision control around objectives during the mid-game, which was capitalized on by SK Telecom T1 (SKT), resulting in the reigning champions making a comeback.
With only 3 more games to play, EDG is on the brink of being knocked out from Worlds in front of their home crowd. At this stage of the game, any mistake or loophole that EDG shows is going to cost them the game and the chance to compete in the knockout stage; whether they will right their wrongs and pull of a 3-win sweep and potentially save themselves from elimination, we can only hope for a miracle to happen.
Once the Kings of Europe, now dethroned from their EU LCS title and stomped in the first week of the group stage, FNC has been on a roller coaster of constant failures and defeats. Placed in Group B, their score can only earn them a failing grade after they close out the week in a 0-3 shamble.
Forced into unconventional situations, over-ambitiousness, or just a mere steamroll, FNC has experienced it all during their games. Their face-off against GPL’s first seed, GIGABYTE Marines (GAM) was a fiesta to say the least. GAM decided to break the meta by performing a level 1 lane swap and power-leveling their jungler and it proved to be the perfect call as FNC was never able to adapt to the Vietnamese’s game and were eventually taken down.
As if being defeated by a whacky meta wasn’t enough, FNC’s poor decision making and almost solo-queue like playstyle makes them an easy prey for the other teams. During their game against Immortals (IMT), Rekkles’ Twitch had the daunting task of carrying the burden of the entire team, and he was doing exceptionally well, until his decision to flash after Pobelter’s Taliyah ended up in him and Jesiz getting killed. At that instance, IMT saw a clear window to rush for FNC’s base but the third seed from EU LCS had only one task to do in order to prevent that loss, which was to send the rest of the team back and have them attempt to mount a defense. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as FNC made the call to perform their signature xPeke, which costed them the game.
Now at the bottom of the table, FNC’s hopes of making it through groups is dwindling with time. With GAM leading them with only a single game, FNC still has a chance to keep themselves in the game, that is if they win all their upcoming matches. Will the Kings of Europe usurp their throne once again, or will they be buried with their legacy?
Flash Wolves (FW)
Another team that made its entrance into Worlds as the first seed from its domestic region, but was quickly beaten to a pulp; FW had a dreadful run through the first week of the group stage. Slotted into the ‘Group of Life’, Group D, the LMS giants found out that there’s only death for them in their group as they ended their week with all losses.
Some of their games were close shaves that boiled down to a mispositioning from their ADC, Betty; others were simply snowballed on. FW hasn’t seen the light of victory primarily because of their occasional indecisiveness and inability to keep up with the tempo of the game. Sometimes they also find it hard to make up their mind as to what needs to be done especially from the mid to late game phase.
A moment that is worthy to be remembered was their game against Misfits (MSF) where PowerOfEvil went for Nashor’s Tooth on Orianna, a very unconventional item that ended up working wonders. Even though that item wasn’t the tipping point for FW, PowerOfEvil’s shockwave is, landing that devastating ultimate time and time again, catching FW out of position and sending them back to the summoning platform.
Sunken to the base of their group, FW now faces the challenge of staying alive in the ‘Group of Life’ which can only be accomplished if they win all upcoming matches. With the other teams in their group ready for a tiebreaker, FW has to reignite their insignia as the predator before they are turned into pups. Whether the Taiwanese representatives will live on, we’ll just have to wait and see.