World Championship Play In Preview: EDG and Cloud9 looking to sweep the competition
With the World Championship hype well underway, the Play In stage pits the Regional champions from every region as they battle it out for the final spot in each World Championship Group Stage that has already been drawn this week.
On October 1, four groups of three teams will play in double round robins to secure a playoff spot, and the winner of each Play-In Knockout Stage will be granted a spot in a group that doesn’t have a team from their region at the World Championship.
Group A – Edward Gaming, Infinity Esports, Dire Wolves
Group A for the time being is all but wrapped up for Edward Gaming as they have looked extremely strong since beating out the rest of their regional competition in the LPL gauntlet.
After a suspension due to behavioral problems from Dire Wolves’ Shern ‘Shernfire’ Tai, the prospects for a Oceanic upset are incredibly slim given the stacked roster EDG are bringing to the table, and Infinity Esports also lack the necessary cohesion to make a serious run.
Unless a complete upset takes place, expect EDG to go for a clean sweep in this group with Dire Wolves following closely behind them.
Group B – Ascension Gaming, G2 Esports, SuperMassive
While the level of competition is slightly more parallel in this group, G2 Esports have been on a high recently with star mid laner Luka ‘Perkz’ Perkovic really coming into his own as he basically carried his team to victory through Regional Qualifiers.
The Turkish champions SuperMassive will put up the biggest fight as they are looking to implement their new Korean infrastructure to work under Head Coach Heo ‘Irean’ Yeong-cheol. With former big time players like GBM and SnowFlower in their ranks, there is a chance SuperMassive pull off a super upset if given the opportunity.
Ascension Gaming have had little time under the microscope being one of the smaller teams from the SEA region, but the teamwork and synergy from this squad are still very much a threat and could pose problems if G2 don’t respect the opposition.
Group C – Cloud9, KaBuM! e-Sports, DetonatioN FocusMe
Another year, another gauntlet run for Cloud9 and at this point the organization wouldn’t have it any other way given their run at last years Worlds Play In. The North American giants went a perfect 7-0 last year in Play Ins and will be hoping to keep that streak against the Brazilian and Japanese champions.
KaBuM e-Sports have made history once again by being the first team from the region to represent Brazil twice at Worlds. This feat is a testament to their success as a team, and their dominance over the season, winning both splits in Spring and Summer, are a further indicator that they are not to be slept on.
DetonatioN FocusMe are most likely the biggest what-if team in the tournament, the LJL Champions have secured a spot at Worlds through the Play In, and their team has the chance to be the first Japanese representative on the big stage.
The team has all the makings of a championship caliber squad, remaining a team for the past two years basically untouched. With a good turn of fortune, they could sneak into the Knockout Stage and possibly pull off an upset.
Group D – G-Rex, Kaos Latin Gamers, Gambit Esports
If Group C is considered to be the toughest group in terms of competition, Group D has to be the ‘group of life’ by comparison as virtually every team in this group can beat one another. G-Rex have a reputation for being one of the shakier teams to come out of the LMS, but the talent on this roster is palpable to say the least.
Kaos Latin Gamers have represented Latin America South for the past two years at the Worlds Play In, failing to make a good impression on both occasions. This time around, the roster has been hard tuned to fit a style that compete with the world’s best. If all goes right for the Latin Gamers, we may have a genuine upset on our hands.
Gambit Esports have once again come into their own as one of the more legendary organizations in the space. The star roster compiling Diamondprox, Edward, PvP Stejos and Kira have all been on their A game since winning the Summer Split in their region, and they will need all that success and more if they want to come out of this group unscathed.