We’ve reached the end of the first round of the Worlds 2018 Play-In Stage, and that means it’s time for the Knockout round to begin.
During groups, the Play-In Stage went about how most people would expect, the teams from major regions cleaned up while two smaller region teams set themselves apart from the rest in G-Rex and BAHÇEŞEHIR Supermassive. There were a few bumps in the road for the major teams, like G2’s first game loss to Supermassive or Edward Gaming falling to Infinity Esports, but neither of these losses prevented those teams from exiting their group in first place.
Now that we’re on to the Play-In stage finale, there can’t be any more mistakes from these teams as they compete for a spot in the Worlds 2018 Group Stage. So, if you didn’t catch-up on all the games from Play-Ins, here’s what to expect from this weekend’s winner take all Knockout round matches.
Cloud9 vs Gambit Esports
Of all the teams in the Play-In Stage so far, Cloud9 are one of two teams to go undefeated, and there’s a good reason for that. While the team’s early game was sometimes shaky this week, their strong fundamentals and decision making late in matches simply kept them a step ahead of the teams they faced from smaller regions.
Meanwhile, Gambit aren’t exactly the strongest team to make it out of groups. They were dominated twice by G-Rex, who look legitimately good, and Gambits only two wins were against Kaos Latin Gamers, easily one of the worst performing teams in the competition. In other words, it’s going to take a lot of luck for Gambit to even make their series against Cloud9 close.
Edward Gaming vs DetonatioN FocusMe
DetonatioN, like Gambit, are a team in a slightly awkward spot. Their best game of the tournament was their first against Cloud9, though the team couldn’t find a way to finish the match out even with their strong early lead. From there, things didn’t get much better as they traded 1-1 with fellow group mate KaBuM! and wound up beating them in the tie-breaker match. That means DetonatioN advanced with a record of 2-3, not exactly ideal.
Edward Gaming, on the other hand are a very good team. China’s third place finishers, Edward Gaming only lost one match during groups, and it wasn’t going to affect their standings anyway and it was a close one. The glimmer of hope for DetonatioN comes from Edward Gaming’s frequent inconsistency, but the team would need to make a lot of mistakes not to make it out of this knockout match.
G2 Esports vs Infinity Esports
Of all the major regions to face off against smaller regions, this is the one match that could be close. G2 Esports didn’t exactly look their best in groups while Infinity performed pretty well, even managing that upset on Edward Gaming.
That being said, G2 seemed to be warming up throughout groups and looked to get better with just about every game they played. So, when they beat Supermassive in the tie-breaker to end the final day of games, G2 finally looked like a strong team again and making them still the significant favorite in this match.
G-Rex vs BAHÇEŞEHIR Supermassive
This is far and away the most exciting game in the Knockout round. The two most impressive, non-major region, teams from groups are facing off. This is also the only match that doesn’t have a clear favorite. While Supermassive comes in with an extremely talented roster featuring the likes of Lee “GBM” Chan-seok, G-Rex has looked almost like a major region team, dominating their group, and going completely undefeated. Not to mention their ADC who put up the most average kills a game with almost two more than the next closest player.
With three predictable games to start out the weekend, the toss up between these LMS and Turkish teams should be the perfect way to close out the Worlds 2018 Play-In stage and get ready for the main event.