After defeating their opponents in the Play Ins finals, Cloud9 and EDward Gaming will both advance to the Group Stage of Worlds 2018. Though they both found success, the two series played out very differently, and say a lot about the expectations for each team as they move forward.
Cloud9 eventually defeated Gambit in a back-and-forth series that went to the full 5 games. Though they looked dominant in their victories, the reverse could be said about their losses, and the final result heading into the last game was far from certain. Neither team looked able to play from behind, and whichever was able to win the early team fights snowballed to a decisive and quick victory, with only one of the 5 games going past the 30 minute mark.
After game 2, C9 swapped out Blaber for Svenskeren, but the overall result was similar: when they got ahead in Games 3 and 5, they were able to cruise all the way to the enemy Nexus, but when Diamondprox and Kira found their synergy in Game 4, C9 struggled to respond.
When C9 looks good, they look very good, and may be able to hold their own in Groups. However, if they don’t get their issues solved and have showings like Games 2 and 4 of this series, they will have a very rough time.
As expected, the other series was much more one sided. EDG cruised to three easy victories, sending home DetonatioN FocusMe home without so much as a single Dragon. As one of the top teams in the LPL, and with superstars like Ray, iBoy, and Clearlove, EDG came to prove that they belong on the World Stage.
They did not disappoint, and looked just as dominant in Game 3 with Haro in the jungle as they did with veteran Clearlove in Games 1 and 2. If they continue to play like this, EDG will add to the already impressive list of LPL teams at Worlds, and are likely to go far.
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