The League of Legends Season 6 World Championship started with an unexpected result, as North American No. 2 seed took down two-time European champions G2 Esports in the first game of action.
G2 took an early lead thanks to a well-timed gank top lane by Gang-yun “Trick” Kim, but CLG dominated the early game thanks to a swift response in the bottom lane. Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, playing a more carry-oriented Olaf against Trick’s Elise, repeatedly made plays on the bottom side of the map and picked up five kills in the first 15 minutes. It opened up a big lead for the team and provided him with his highest pre-15 minute damage total all season.
CLG relied on a strong bottom lane combination of Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes’ Caitlyn and Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black’s Nami. Caitlyn was a signature pick for Stixxay earlier in the season for CLG, and allowed the team to reliably siege with its lead and take objectives.
At 33 minutes, CLG aced G2, picking up three kills for Stixxay and the win. Xmithie finished the game 6/0/5 and Stixxay went 4/1/8.
After winning promotion from the European Challenger Series, G2 Esports have won two straight EU LCS titles. A disappointing MSI dropped the European champions to Pool 2, placing them in this group.
CLG won its second straight North American title in the Spring Split and put forward the best international performance by an NA team ever at this year’s MSI, finishing in second place. A disappointing Summer Split set expectations low for this tournament.
The two teams are expected to compete for second place in the group, after tournament favorite ROX Tigers (who play against Albus NoX Luna later Thursday).