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Cloud9 and SK telecom T1 advance to the Worlds 2017 Knockout Stage

At least NA will have one team in the Worlds quarter finals.

Riot Games

The conclusion of Group A brings with it the end of the 2017 World Championship Group Stage and for the first time in the tournament, everything went exactly the way everyone expected it to.

SK telecom T1 come out in first place, but looked incredibly vulnerable while doing so, dropping one game to the fairly weak ahq, and playing terrible early games that could only reasonably compared to North America. Their wins almost all came off of strange glaring mistakes from their opponents and should serve as a warning sign for the team that things need to improve if they want to defend their World Championship title.

Meanwhile, North America’s Cloud9, the other team to advance from the group, were far and away the best American team at the tournament this year. Unlike their regional counterparts, they picked strong, winning lanes, and adapted their style to fit the tournament meta, helping them take down their opponents and advance from the group despite a few hitches along the way.

For a full look at the final games of the Group Stage, check out our breakdown of each match below.

ahq e-Sports vs SK telecom T1

Winner: ahq e-Sports

This has not been a good tournament for SK telecom. During the first week they managed to finish 3-0, but didn’t look good doing it, coming close to a loss in all of their games. Turns out, in the first game of week two, ahq figured out how to go all the way and take the defending world champions down.

Edward Gaming vs Cloud9

Winner: Edward Gaming

Riot Games

EDG during week one looked like they had no idea how to play the meta at Worlds 2017, but it seems like they may have figured it out for week two. Taking the game in just 35 minutes, with a fantastic early game that kept C9 from getting any meaningful objectives, or finding a way back into the game.

ahq e-Sports vs Edward Gaming

Winner: Edward Gaming

Before this game started, it seemed unlikely that EDG could play better than they had against Cloud9 in the previous match. But, just a few minutes into this game, they proved that to be false, taking an even stronger early game lead and punishing every miss-step from ahq with a massive teamfight or a key objective eventually leading to a quick and clean game win.

Cloud9 vs SK telecom T1

Winner: SK telecom T1

SKT may have won the early game here, but C9 slowed them down enough to make it anyone’s game come 20 minutes. Some smart decision making and fantastic teamfighting kept Cloud9 hanging around and close to the victory, until SKT’s superior map movement prevailed and the split push started taking a few too many objectives for C9 to deal with.

Cloud9 vs ahq e-Sports

Winner: Cloud9

This was the best game of Worlds so far from North America. Cloud9 adapted their strategies, drafted strong lanes and competent champions and executed well. In other words, it was completely different than the rest of the North American games.

SK telecom T1 vs Edward Gaming

Winner: SK telecom T1

Riot Games

Once again, EDG seemed to have the game all wrapped up against SKT, and once again they couldn’t quite finish it off. Thanks to fantastic engages from almost every member of SKT, they pulled back from a lost inhibitor and a 6k gold deficit to eventually claw their way back into the game and take the EDG Nexus at almost 40 minutes into the game.