The 2017 World Championship Group Stage is just about to begin and we at the Rift Herald are taking a look at each group to see who is most likely to move on to the Knockout Stage.
The Group Stage matches are a little different than those that are series based and taking place later in the tournament. Each team will play the other teams in their group twice in just single game matches. After all six matches have been played, the two teams with the best record will move on, while the Worlds 2017 journey will come to an end for the two teams at the bottom of every group.
With a preview of Groups A and B already out, it’s time for us to look at the final two groups at the 2017 World Championship. While the first two may have had some standout favorites, Groups C and D could be entirely up for grabs depending on who shows up ready to win when the games start on October 5.
Ever tournament has it’s group of death and this year it’s Group C. While most often it’s because the group has the best teams, that isn’t exactly the case this year. The reason C is the group of death is because three of the teams should be relatively close together in skill.
Royal Never Give Up is one of China’s best teams, and historically their best in group stages, Samsung Galaxy is far and away the weakest of the Korean teams at Worlds 2017, and G2 Europe’s strongest representative. This gives us three teams that have a great chance of taking games off of one another. In fact, it’s not hard to imagine a world win which all three teams go 1-1 against each other, giving us a chaotic three way tie.
With all that being said, I expected Samsung’s coaching to come through in the clutch and help the team push past their opponents and end up at the top of the group. As for G2 Esports and RNG, their two head to head contests could be some of the best in the entire group stage. In the end, I think RNG has the edge simply thanks to history. Between the two organizations, G2 has always had a hard time in the group stages with the best of 1 format, while Royal Never Give Up always seems to excel there.
- Samsung Galaxy 5-1
- Royal Never Give Up 4-2
- G2 Esports 3-3
- 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor 0-6
What a time to be alive. For the first time ever, a North American team can realistically be the favorites in a World Championship group. Not only will Team SoloMid come into this group as the strongest team, they are also a strong stylistic counter to every other team in their group. Flash Wolves and Team WE both struggle with decisive play around key objectives and Misfits play an extremely similar style to TSM with a little less polish and a weaker laning phase.
The most likely challenger to TSM’s place at the top of the group is likely to come from the LPL’s Team WE who would do well to drag a game late and finish off a decisive team fight, forcing a tie-breaker with North America’s number one seed.
I’ve already mentioned this, but all of this hinges on whether or not TSM are able to perform up to the expectations they have set for themselves over the NA LCS Summer Split. While it’s true of all groups that teams could over-perform or under-perform on a given weekend, this is perhaps the group where that could make the biggest impact. If WE look as weak as they did against Lyon Gaming during the Play-In, or Flash Wolves seem to have cleaned up their LMS issues, either one could leap to the top of the group. The same goes for Misfits, who will be attempting to retain the incredible run of play they had in the EU LCS playoffs.
- Team SoloMid 5-1
- Team WE 4-2
- Flash Wolves 2-4
- Misfits 1-5