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Worlds 2016: Group Stage Day 1 Recap

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It’s time for Worlds! The best teams from all over the world are here and ready to rumble. Let’s get into the first earth-shattering game of the greatest tournament of the year.

G2 Esports vs. Counter Logic Gaming (WIN)
Going into the very first game of Worlds 2016, all 3 analysts chose G2 for the win,  and how wrong they were. CLG took one of the most convincing, cleanest wins I’ve seen since watching EDG whoop RNG in the LPL summer finals. It’s actually incredible, I wrote CLG off as a 3rd rate team, but their play today -the map rotations, TP play, decisive Barons and turret taking- is quite literally ROX Tigers level. Way to go CLG, you proved many, many people wrong!
Credit to G2 however, they put up a great fight despite playing poorly, they never gave up. Ever. At every point of the game they were trying to fight their way back into the game, Trick in particular did his damnedest -even if he did miss man important cocoons. Notably this ‘Tower Pushing’ composition showcased by CLG is likely to be a staple of worlds, expect more Caitlyn in particular.

ROX Tigers (WIN) vs. Albus Nox Luna
Oof! I was actually a bit scared for the Tigers there for a moment, that was one of the worst openings they have ever had. Terrible invade into getting pretty much solo killed in two different lanes-ouch! As Tigers do however, they came back with a fiery vengeance pulling off a jaw-dropping turnaround with multiple multi-kills even under base turrets.
Still though, what exactly happened there? ROX having some nerves issues? I feel that’s unlikely since, you know, they were 2nd place at Worlds last year. Is ANX overplaying, or is ROX not as good as we think? Possibly. It’s still too early to say.

H2K vs. AHQ (WIN)
It’s Forgiven’s chance to win worlds! And hell, he might’ve had a hell of a chance if not for his overall team’s average macro play. There is no doubt in my mind H2K’s individual players mechanical skill is world class -in fact they were ahead in nearly every lane for the longest time- but when it comes to map play, they were severely outclassed. In particular, AHQ controlled the vision and sat on Baron like their lives depended on it. And for good reason! Their Jinx with Baron shredded through turrets like wet paper procuring an indomitable lead. Also, all 3 analysts were WRONG again.

INTZ has done the impossible! INTZ, the wildcard team from Brazil, has defeated the #1 seed from China, the team expected to win the entire tournament. Like what?? I fully expected EDG to come back during the team fighting phase multiple times, but INTZ never offered the opportunity. They played absolutely perfectly in the late game. Perfect picks, perfect vision control and perfect objective control. It’s insane because, I mean, one mistake and EDG takes the game.

I thought this match would be an easy sweep, but INTZ has showed up in a way I didn’t think possible. And it’s not even that EDG played especially poorly, it’s more so that Rivolta (jungle) and Yang (top) played like world champions with breathtaking synergy and raw mechanical skill. I still can’t believe it, this is by far the biggest upset I’ve ever seen at worlds. In the words of legend C9 Impact, “Top Die.”

Bad game. Surprisingly large amount of mistakes from each team. Kled was picked though! However, he was not impressive. Gross from both, SSG looking even weaker than I thought -same for Splyce.
Seriously doubt either will move on judging just from this match.

Disclaimer: This match was a remake. Regardless of ‘what ifs’ regarding drafts and strategies, RNG came away with the win, and it was glorious. Initially, admittedly, I was pretty pissed on the notation that RNG lost their advantage by revealing their strategy and allowing TSM to change their draft, but RNG were still able to remain flexible and beat NA’s sweetheart.

Even though they fell behind early, Royal Never Give Up did just that, they never gave up. Despite the massive disadvantage early, they supremely out team fought TSM for an incredibly clean win considering. Before Worlds I somewhat wrote RNG off as nowhere near as good as the top competition, but now, I’m not so sure.

Closing Thoughts:

What a crazy day. 4/6 upsets, teams that should’ve been performing well were dumpstered, teams that were written off showed up big, pauses, strange new picks, and a new meta, the list goes on and on. It doesn’t get any less hectic from here however! Today’s featured match ups are: SKT vs. C9, TSM vs. SSG, and EDG vs. ahq. Will C9 beat the king? Will EDG and TSM get their redemption?

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