Worlds is about to start and Play-Ins are the first stage of the event. Play-ins are always interesting due to the fact that fans get to see the lower-tier teams from top regions like the LCK and LPL face the best teams from minor regions. The teams in Worlds 2021 Play-Ins Group B are as follows:
- LCS – Cloud9
- PCS – Beyond Gaming
- LJL – DetonatioN FocusMe
- TCL – Galatasaray Esports
- LCL – Unicorn of Love
This group of teams is rather interesting for a few reasons. In terms of the Major Regions, Group B is certainly weaker than Group A. B gets the PCS and the LCS while A gets the LPL and the LCK. On the other hand, of the minor regions, Group B has way better teams in comparison to Group A. So who wins, the weaker major region teams or the better Minor Region teams? Here is what fans should expect:
Cloud9 Makes It Out:
While some may find this statement a bit audacious, history would prove it to be a solid estimate of what will happen. Of the traditional four major regions, which include the LCS, LCK, LEC and LPL, only one team has lost in Play-Ins. This team? Mad Lions from 2020 Worlds who were the fourth seed from the LEC. So even the weakest LCS rosters like 2019’s Clutch Gaming made it out. Furthermore, keep in mind this C9 roster is by no means weak. They took a game off DAMWON and RNG at MSI. They also won the LCS in Spring.
Sure, they also lost the LCS in Summer and lost to Pentanet and DetonatioN FocusMe but the skill cap of this team though is so far above what else is in the group. Even in the worst-case scenario where they need to play a BO5 in the group stage, which happens if a team places second or third, there is little doubt that C9 will overcome it.
There is a world where C9 can drop a game or two here, but for C9 to not make it out would be unprecedented and the first time EVER a third seed from a major region didn’t make it out. Would one really expect Perkz to fall out in Play-Ins? The logical answer is no. This C9 team will make it out.
LJL Versus The PCS:
In terms of strength of a region, the LJL might just be one of the weakest. Frankly, their teams have never really been that good, but at MSI the narrative changed after they beat C9 and almost beat DAMWON. But this team isn’t the typical LJL roster. It’s DetonatioN FocusMe who throw the narrative of the region down the drain and produced one of the best Dark Horse teams at Worlds 2021.
But the PCS won’t just sit in the corner content to watch. The PCS has been a complete monster the last few years putting out competitive teams left and right. Heck, PSG Talon from the PCS were stiff competition to RNG at MSI and placed above Mad Lions. Beyond Gaming aren’t PSG, but they beat PSG in a BO5 and in the finals for the PCS, took them to five games.
These two teams are proof that Play-Ins aren’t just the major regions dunking on the minors. They can produce incredibly competitive rosters. The question is, who wins?
The Case for DetonatioN FocusMe:
The main reason to believe in DFM is that they have already shown their ability to beat stiff competition and push Major Regions to the edge. Say what you will about DFM, but their current roster of Evi, Steal, Aria, Yutapon and Gaeng is the most exciting roster the region has ever put out. Evi is an absolute beast in the Top Lane who got the recognition he deserved at MSI. His laning stats are the best in the LJL and it’s not even close. There isn’t a stat in the Summer Split where he isn’t top three besides WPM. He is a freak of nature in the best way possible and may just be the best player EVER from Japan.
Steal is an incredible Jungler who has this ability to play weird off-meta champs time to time like Shaco and Elise. With the rise in traditionally more “off-meta” champs like Talon and Zed Jungle, Steal might just be the perfect player to step up to the occasion. Aria is a Korean talent that has been recognized as potentially one of the future greats. His ability to challenge Showmaker and Perkz at MSI caught the attention of everyone. There truly isn’t a better Mid Laner in the LJL.
Finally, the Bot Lane is back with a new Support. Gaeng was a substitute in the Spring Split, but transitioned to the main spot after MSI. This finally gives the Bot Lane, DFM’s former weakest lane, some stability. In the ADC role is Yutapon. Yutapon has been with the team for nearly eight years and is still one of the best ADC talents in the region.
Regardless of if DFM wins, this team will not go down quietly. Aria and Evi are the heart of this team. If they get ahead, regardless of who they are playing, DFM has a solid chance to win.
The Case for Beyond Gaming:
If Beyond Gaming were able to take a BO5 off of PSG Talon all while taking them to five games in the Finals, does much more really need to be said? Beyond Gaming are a brand new esports org founded by former Taipei Assassins ADC and Hong Kong Attitude Jungler, DinTer. This team burst on the scene and is now at Worlds. Play-Ins results aside, this is an incredible achievement.
To start off with players, it is time to talk about Doggo who one may remember from MSI. Due to Unified being sick for PSG Talon, Doggo was called up to be a substitute for the event. No one knew what to expect out of the 18-year-old legend on this new roster, but he was able to make Ming and GALA look like fools. Doggo is not a dog at League.
Alongside him in the bot lane is Kino. Kino might just be the second-best Support in the PCS. His laning stats are [email protected] of 144, [email protected] of 145 and CSD10 of 0.5. Alongside with his best-in-class warding stats and a KDA of 5.4, Kino is no slouch. Maoan, much like Kino, might just be the second-best in the role. Maoan can quite literally play anything Mid. From Renekton to Irelia to Ryze to Lucian, he can do whatever the team needs and do it in a convincing fashion. This might be the player to break out Tryndamere Mid first.
HuSha doesn’t break the meta like Maoan, but he plays the meta darn well. With his most popular picks like Lee Sin, Xin Xao and Viego, he is able to steam-role the competition which has resulted in his 7.3 KDA. Beyond impressive. Finally, there is Liang, an aggressive Top Laner who wants to skirmish. With the highest DPM in the role and picks like Gwen, Camille and Jax, he will be ready to clash with the best in the group.
Beyond is a team who will thrive in the Bot Lane and Jungle. Doggo and Kino are an incredibly strong duo and HuSha just takes over games.
Who Wins Worlds 2021 Play-Ins Group B?
Based on the information, it seems like Beyond Gaming are the team to make it out. As much fun as DFM are, the weakness of Bot Lane still continues. Sure, Yutapon and Gaeng are a much better Bot Lane duo than before, but better doesn’t cut it against Doggo and Kino. DFM certainly make up some ground in Mid Lane, but Jungle is Beyond Favored and Top is even. DFM can take a game off of Beyond no doubt, but in a BO5, Beyond is the much better bet.
The group should play out like this:
- Beyond Gaming
- DetonatioN FocusMe
- Galatasaray Esports
- Unicorns of Love
Honestly, if UOL and Galatasaray Esports were in Group A, there is a solid chance they would make the BO5, but in this stiff competition, it seems much more unlikely. UOL looked lost at MSI and while they have a new Bot Laner in Argonavt, it probably won’t be enough. Galatasaray is from one of the best minor regions, Turkey. Famously, Turkey were the ones who beat Mad Lions in the historic BO5 last year, but honestly, the minor regions are just better this year. Sorry, Turkey.
Worlds 2021 Play-Ins Group B is shaping up to be a lot of fun regardless of what happens and is the reason to support Play-Ins.
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