LoL Worlds 2019 Group Stage Head-to-head: Best matches of the weekend
With the final round of group stages wrapping up this weekend at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, all eyes are set on SK Telecom T1, Team Liquid, Royal Never Give Up and Invictus Gaming as they prepare to duke it out for first place positioning. Now that FunPlus Phoenix and Splyce have qualified for their group, the attention turns toward Groups C and D and the expectations for each match day will be sky high given the temperature check displayed by each team last week.
In one of the most competitive World Championships we’ve seen in years, the fight for international supremacy is well underway. This weekend’s action will likely determine the front runners in the race now that SKT and G2 have seemingly found their stride.
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Royal Never Give Up vs. SK Telecom T1
In one is the most exciting matches of week one, SKT vs. RNG is surely to deliver a second time around as both teams jostle for first place. SKT’s jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min has taken over this tournament by storm and his performances are slowly making him a household name.
However, no first place finish in group stages goes unchecked and Royal Never Give Up are poised to make this a nail biter from the opening exchange. RNG’s Uzi has been in rare form this group stage yet again as he has made a mockery of Fnatic and Clutch Gaming’s enemy bot lane. Last time these teams squared off, the strength in numbers proved to be too much for the Chinese giants and that could once again spell danger for Uzi and Xiaohu this stage.
Faker continues to blaze past the competition and has succeeded on a variety of champions so far this group stage. With mid lane priority and control coming in at a premium during Worlds 2019, it’s only right that Faker and co. find themselves at the top of the heap and their depth on all roles is once again paying off. The dream is now slowly being realized for Korea’s number one team, a victory in this second game against Royal Never Give Up will surely be the icing on the cake in what has otherwise been a dominant group stage outing thus far.
Team Liquid vs. DAMWON Gaming
On the following day of Worlds 2019 action, the rematch of North America’s number one seed and Korea’s third seed will undoubtedly be one of the marquee matchups to watch this weekend. Team Liquid and their franchise carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng have finally broken out of their group stage horror show and the performances have been breathtaking from Team Liquid across the board.
Unlikely heroes have been the name of the game for this group, and Team Liquid has surfaced to prominence on the back of their top laner and jungler exceeding all kinds of expectations. The veteran factor for Team Liquid has been carrying them in certain aspects over the more talented but less cohesive rosters they are facing in this group. All year long, Team Liquid has prided themselves on excellent macro play and outmaneuvering their opponents at every phase of the game.
In their series against DAMWON Gaming though, the room for error is cut drastically low as Nuguri, Showmaker and Canyon are all vying for an opportunity to put more respect on their teams effort. DWG have been known to choke in high intensity situations and the experience from mid laners like Rookie and Jensen obviously took a toll on DWG’s confidence in their 2v2 trades mid lane.
DAMWON Gaming vs. Invictus Gaming
In what will likely be the second place tie breaker for Group D, DWG vs. Invictus Gaming will surely be a hotly contested matchup that could occur more than once when this group is all but decided. We’ve mused on DWG’s weaknesses in the clutch, but their most prominent player in the jungle is the direct counter to one of the weaker aspects of IG’s play, and they will need all the advantages they can get over the likes of Rookie and TheShy starting to find their world-class form.
Invictus Gaming’s bot lane has been a bit of a liability for the reigning World Champions as JackeyLove hasn’t shown his high tier playing ability thus far, but what IG lack in team cohesion they more than make up for with individual skill. Few teams can execute Lee Sin compositions and regularly find picks the way IG have succeeded in doing this tournament. The veteran abilities and ‘been there done that’ aspect is sure to take the reigning champs to the next level if Korea’s third seed isn’t too careful.
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