The teams that made up pool 3 for the main stage were Hong Kong Attitude, Splyce, Clutch Gaming, and DAMWON Gaming. Now that these teams have been drawn into their respective groups, the complete groups for the Main Stage have been revealed. With the fourth team now in each group, how does it affect the layout of the group stages?
The Weak Becomes Stronger
Before the four teams were fully decided, general opinions were that Group B and D were slightly easier and weaker overall when compared with Group A and C. However with Splyce and DAMWON Gaming entering Group B and D respectively, these groups have become a lot tougher to get through. In Group B, while FunPlus Phoenix is the clear favorites, that second seed is up for grabs between J Team, Splyce, and GAM Esports. Along with that, the upset potential from these teams are fairly high and could result in FunPlus losing the first seed.
Meanwhile, in Group D, Team Liquid and Invictus Gaming’s easy road to the playoffs have taken a huge hit as DAMWON enters the race. With DAMWON now in the group, fans should expect some explosive games between the three teams while ahq e-Sports Club will try to pull off some upset victories. With three very strong teams fighting it out in Group D, anything could happen.
Overall, with Splyce and DAMWON entering their respective groups, it feels like the first time there lacks an “easy” group. So in the end, no matter which teams win and make it out of their groups, the real winners will be the fans.
Korea’s Worst Nightmare
With SK Telecom T1 and Griffin already in their own groups of death, DAMWON Gaming had a small chance at making it into an easier group. However, the worst-case scenario played out as DAMWON made their way into Group D. Now DAMWON face-off against two teams that have some of the best bot lane tandems in the world in Team Liquid and Invictus Gaming. With all three Korean teams in a rough spot, how many Korean teams will end up making the playoffs? Along with that, how many will be going to be able to take the first seed in their group?
With the competition becoming stronger than ever, this will be a year where Korea is truly challenged as a region. However, as a result, this could be Korea’s chance to take back their status as the best region in the World and erase any doubts about the region’s future going forward.
Group D is really awesome
It's the past, present and future of South Korean top lane legends
Impact, the first Korean top lane world champion
TheShy, the reigning world champion
Nuguri, the hyped up next great Korean top laner
Time for Old Man Impact to teach kids a lesson
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) October 8, 2019
Apart from the obvious Clutch Gaming narrative with top laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon facing off against his former teams in SK Telecom T1 and Fnatic, the narratives going into this year’s group stage have been abundant. With interesting matchups like the battle of the Korean top lanes in Group D, another rematch of international rivals in SKT and Royal Never Give Up, and the long-awaited showdown between the friendly G2 Esports and Griffin in Group A, there’s a lot of natural hype for these group stage matchups. While these narratives may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, it does provide another avenue to look at these matches as the teams prepare to start the long battle to make it to the playoffs.
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