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Albus Nox becomes first Wildcard to make Worlds quarterfinals with ROX Tigers upset

The tournament darlings provide their biggest upset yet.

Riot Games

Russia’s Albus NoX Luna has become the first Wildcard team in Worlds history to make it out of the group stage, securing its spot in the quarterfinals with a 4-1 start to the tournament after defeating Korean champions ROX Tigers in a marathon 66-minute match Thursday. In a tournament that’s been filled with upsets so far, it’s perhaps the biggest yet.

For the fourth time in five Worlds games, Albus NoX Luna secured the first kill, dragon and tower of the game. Last time these two teams faced, ROX trailed early, but turned the game around by 26 minutes. But this time, Albus NoX played more carefully and with more poise, taking advantage of ROX’s mistakes and taking the historic win.

A Baron steal brought ROX back into the game, allowing them to take their first tower at 37 minutes. The second tower didn’t drop until 54 minutes, and ROX followed with another stolen Baron. But Albus NoX kept up the pressure, repeatedly taking down ROX’s inhibitors and finally taking their own Baron at 64 minutes.

Albus NoX was finally able to take the Nexus a few minutes later, with Likkrit, per usual, as the last man standing.

With Europe’s G2 Esports already eliminated, the final quarterfinal spot in Group A comes down to ROX Tigers vs. Counter Logic Gaming, the last game of the day. In the first matchup between these two teams, CLG pulled off the upset.