This is part 1 of a miniseries of articles that will take a look at the teams that made Worlds compared to the teams I predicted in the Hopefuls for Worlds series
As the teams for the four major regions have been decided for Worlds 2018, it’s now time to look back. Let’s start with North America once again. We’ll look at the hopefuls that hoped to make Worlds and the reality of the three teams representing the region. We’ll find out how the teams ended up where they are and how the future looks for them now.
While all the other predictions were wrong, the one team that made it to their predicted placing was Team Liquid. After a convincing 3-0 victory against Cloud9 in the finals, they took the first NA seed at Worlds and booked their trip to Korea. Since our hopefuls article, Liquid has fixed a lot of issues that were originally mentioned.
Mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park has slowly but surely developed into a capable second carry threat for the team behind ADC Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. Meanwhile, the Korean duo of Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung have found their consistency and have looked great all through the playoffs. Meanwhile jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero has continued to control the jungle, completely dominating any jungler that plays against him. Lastly there’s Doublelift, who has continued to prove that he is a world-class ADC as he dominated his opponents on his way to the season MVP.
With the entire team looking amazing going into Worlds, the hopes of an entire region rests on their shoulders. Will they be able to redeem a whole nation and their own personal failures of the past? For this team to continue succeeding, every player on that team needs to maintain their recent form and not regress to their past ways. The eyes of NA are on you Team Liquid, now is the time to become the team we need.
100 Thieves vs Echo Fox
After Rift Rivals, 100 Thieves looked like one of the weakest teams in the region. Meanwhile, the future looked bright for Echo Fox with their roster changes highlighted by the addition of support Andy “Smoothie” Ta. However, their results ended differently.
While 100 Thieves struggled throughout the rest of the season, they still managed to end the regular season in 3rd. Although the playoffs ended in a less-than-ideal 4th place finish, the team qualified for Worlds through points. Although their team is still solid, a huge issue has emerged in their ADC position. With rumors surrounding the reason to bench Cody “Cody Sun” Sun in favor of Richard “Rikara” Samuel Oh, the team needs to fix their internal struggles if they want to do well at Worlds.
Meanwhile, Echo Fox’s issues were very much public as the details surrounding their roster changes became public. As a result, the org was facing a lot of scrutiny for their handling of the situation. At the same time, the performance of the team on the rift did not help the situation. While the top half of the map continued to perform as expected, the bot lane duo of Lawrence “Lost” Hui and Smoothie still had troubles. On top of that, the team failed to address their macro play. As a result, they found themselves eliminated from both the quarterfinals and gauntlet by Team SoloMid.
While 100 Thieves have been disappointing in the last half of the season, their mostly consistent placings has rewarded them with Worlds qualification. While most have written off the team’s chance to have a solid result, the Korean bootcamp could fix a lot. Will 100 Thieves redeem their recent issues? It’ll all depend on their performance at Worlds.
Counter Logic Gaming vs Cloud9
When our original article was made, Counter Logic Gaming looked great and were tied for first. Every player looked amazing and were one of the best in their position. But the faith Kool-Aid had to end at some point, as CLG ended the season in 8th. Meanwhile, Cloud9 were 2-6 and tied for last place. Nothing was working for them and no combination of players was getting them wins. But we all know how that ended.
So let’s start by talking about the big question: What happened to CLG? While the whole team’s performance fell off the deep end, big problems were in the jungle and the mid lane. Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin regressed to the level of play similar to his time on Team Liquid meanwhile Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun began having trouble against other mid laners once again. Going into the postseason, CLG will have to make some big decisions regarding their roster.
Meanwhile, C9 had a very different situation on their hands. Despite the criticism of the roster swaps, coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu proved his decisions were worth it as C9 found themselves in the finals. Despite a 0-3 loss at the hands of Team Liquid, C9 dominated TSM in the gauntlet as they managed to continue their great run into Worlds.
With that stroll down memory lane, we have finally reached Worlds. While the expectations for NA are not high, the teams will still be fighting with everything they have. Whether they do well or not will remain to be seen. Regardless, we can expect to see some very entertaining matches from these teams.
To watch the Worlds, visit watch.na.lolesports.com. For more information on the split, teams, standings and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Recaps of former weeks and other LoL content can be found at https://thegamehaus.com/league-of-legends/.
Featured image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
Follow Rui on Twitter @ruixu38.
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