The play-in stage of the League of Legends World Championship is finally here, and 12 teams are fighting for their spots in the groups stage. The first day of the play-ins involved groups a and b playing six best-of-one games. Splyce came out on top being the only team to have a 2-0 start, while DetonatioN FocusMe fell behind with an 0-2 start. The following is a recap of day one of the Worlds play-in stage.
Clutch Gaming vs. Unicorns of Love
Unicorns of Love, emerged victorious over Clutch Gaming in the first round, ending the game in 38 minutes with a 6,000 gold lead. An unorthodox strategy was taken by Unicorns of Love, placing their bottom laner, Nihat “Innaxe” Aliev, on Heimerdinger. Although their team composition lacked a front-liner to soak up damage, they utilized a Glacial Augment build on Vladislav “BOSS” Fomin’s Neeko to find picks onto members of Clutch Gaming.
DetonatioN FocusMe vs. Splyce
Splyce took down DetonatioN FocusMe in a swift 26-minute game, building a massive 15,000 gold lead. Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir looked particularly impressive this game on Hecarim. He was able to secure kills in top and bottom lane within five minutes. Splyce looked well-coordinated throughout the game, grouping together to grab towers and the game-ending baron buff near the 24-minute mark.
MAMMOTH vs. Unicorns of Love
The Australian team, MAMMOTH, defeated Unicorns of Love 38 minutes into the game with a 9,000 gold lead. A late-game fight over the Baron buff allowed MAMMOTH to ace Unicorns of Love and rush to take down their nexus. MAMMOTH’s mid-laner, Stephen “Triple” Li, had an impressive performance on Syndra, ending the game with 10 kills and a triple kill under his belt.
DetonatioN FocusMe vs. Isurus Gaming
Isurus Gaming, from South America, defeated DetonatioN FocusMe in a close 40-minute game. The teams spent most of the game even on gold and objectives, but they found it difficult to build an advantage. The pivotal play in this game involved a long Baron fight late into the game, where Isurus Gaming’s Fabián Esteban “Warangelus” Llanos Bernal on Ezreal made quick work of DetonatioN FocusMe’s backline.
MAMMOTH vs. Clutch Gaming
Clutch Gaming, from North America, took down MAMMOTH in a 39-minute game that was much more focused around objectives. MAMMOTH set themselves up for a strong siege composition, picking Azir for tower placement and Karma for strong poke and shields. However, three oceans drakes for the side of Clutch Gaming allowed for them to be better set up to siege against MAMMOTH, and slowly wither down their base.
Splyce vs. Isurus Gaming
Splyce overcame Isurus Gaming in a 30-minute game, displaying their superior macro skills. Splyce secured every dragon, and won the game without losing a single tower. They snowballed their early lead from the pressure of their jungler, “Xerxe“, resulting in a strong mid-game advantage. The last-ditch effort from Isurus Gaming to protect their base failed. A strong engage from Tamás “Vizicsacsi” Kiss on Gnar stunned two members against an inhibitor, depleting the defense of Isurus Gaming.
While Splyce is favored to hold a spot at Worlds, all of these teams are still in the running to claim the spot. Patch 9.19 has brought significant changes to the metagame, and it will interesting to see how teams adapt to the new changes in strategy as more start to appear. The play-in stage of Worlds runs until October 8, and four out of the 12 teams will earn a spot.
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Featured photo from Riot Games
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