With the conclusion of group B, the final team moving on to the second round of the knockout stage has been determined. They now have a chance to qualify for the main stage of MSI. Unlike group A, there was a clear favorite in Vega Squadron, who dominated the group. As a result, a majority of the OP 5 is made up of Vega Squadron. Luckily one player from another team managed to sneak in; with that being said, here is a look at group B’s OP 5.
Top: Vladislav “BOSS” Fomin (Vega Squadron)
Taking the first spot in the OP 5 is the top laner Vladislav “BOSS” Fomin from Vega Squadron. As Vega dominated their way through group B, so too did BOSS against his lane opponents. While he had a rough game on Ryze (0/7/0) to finish off the group stages, his overall play otherwise was great. With a total statline of 5/3/13 across three games on Hecarim and 7/1/14 across two games on Irelia, BOSS was nearly unkillable (total KDA of 9.75 across those five games).
Going forward with a BO5 series against the Flash Wolves ahead of them, BOSS will need to maintain his great performance against a solid top laner in Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang. Will BOSS be able to hold his own against world-class caliber top laners? If he can, Hanabi will be the first test to prove it.
Jungle: Kirill “AHaHaCiK” Skvortsov (Vega Squadron)
Taking the spot for the junglers is Vega Squadron’s Kirill “AHaHaCiK” Skvortsov. As the group progressed, AHaHaCiK was by far the most impressive of the junglers. Not only did AHaHaCiK have the best performance throughout the group stage by the junglers, but he was also able to do so on unique champions every game. It showed off his ability to adapt to the needs of the team. On top of that, whether it was on a damage dealer like Kha’zix or a front line tank like Sejuani, AHaHaCiK was a great playmaker for the team.
Vega will have a tough road ahead of them going into the knockout stage. If Vega wants to find success against the Flash Wolves going forward AHaHaCiK will need to continue his great level of performance.
Mid: Lev “Nomanz” Yakshin (Vega Squadron)
Despite all eyes being on DetonatioN FocusMe’s Kyohei “Ceros” Yoshida, it was Vega Squadron’s Lev “Nomanz” Yakshin who impressed the most and took the spot in the OP 5 for mid laners. Throughout Group B, Nomanz had some fairly impressive games on the likes of Corki (2/1/4) and Ryze (2/0/1 and 3/1/1). But his best performance came in their second victory over DetonatioN FocusMe on Zoe (5/0/9) where Nomanz made a key pick on Sona which snowballed into a victory.
Going into the knockout stage, Nomanz will have a great chance to prove himself going up against some of the best mid laners in the world. His first challenge comes in the form of Shin “Rather” Hyeong-seop who is still on loan from Griffin. If Nomanz can have a good showing against Rather, it’ll be a huge confidence boost for himself and the team.
ADC: Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura (DetonatioN FocusMe)
The only player not from Vega Squadron to make the OP 5 is DetonatioN FocusMe’s ADC Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura. Despite dropping out of the tournament after ending the group stages in 2nd place, Yutapon was by far the best ADC in group B. Throughout group stages Yutapon showed off an impressive champion pool as he went on to have great games on the likes of Miss Fortune (6/3/4) and Ezreal (8/0/2).
While the result wasn’t what Yutapon and the rest of DetonatioN FocusMe were hoping for, their overall performance still showed some clear improvements since their last international experience. With more time, Japan could be a dangerous wildcard region.
Sup: Aleksandr “SaNTaS” Lifashin (Vega Squadron)
Rounding out the OP 5 for group B is Vega Squadron’s support Aleksandr “SaNTaS” Lifashin. While most of the supports in group B were solid, SaNTaS has a slight edge with his solid playmaking on the likes of Pyke and Shen. Along with his performance on the likes of Blitcrank and Braum, SaNTaS showed that he had a fairly large champion pool, allowing him to make plays however he has to.
Like AHaHaCiK, SaNTaS will need to maintain his current performance and continue to make great plays if Vega wants a chance at taking out the Flash Wolves. If he falters and falls off, Vega could be in trouble. Will they be able to accomplish the upset? Only time will tell.
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Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
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