kt Rolster defeated Team Liquid
Edward Gaming defeated MAD Team
Flash Wolves defeated Phong Vu Buffalo
G2 Esports defeated Afreeca Freecs
Royal Never Give Up defeated Cloud9
Team Vitality defeated Gen. G
Main European Export: Upsets
Looking at the results, one of the most obvious takeaways from today is that both European teams earned victories. Bringing confidence that is often hard to come by when facing such strong opponents, both G2 and Vitality used individual skill and gutsy plays to win the day.
G2 used superior macro play to outplay their opponents from the LCK. Although the score was only 2-4 in favor of G2 until the final team fight, they found themselves up nearly 10k gold. With an impressive display of split pushing, Martin “Wunder” Hansen looked as if he was playing a different game than his teammates – in a good way. Impressive play by Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss on Heimerdinger allowed Wunder to push freely. The game ended with G2 winning a teamfight in the Top Lane as Wunder walked into the enemy base from the bottom lane.
Impressive plays by Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski throughout solidified the win for G2.
In the last match of the day, Team Vitality faced off against a lineup of defending Worlds champions in Gen G. An exciting, bloody game that looked like it could go either way for most of it. Gen G generally stayed up in kills, but Vitality found the majority of objectives and maintained a gold lead. During the regular season, the team often lived or died with Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro, and today was no different. Breaking out Ekko in the Mid Lane, he was able to log several kills and even more daring escapes.
As the game approached 43 minutes, both teams looked to gain control of Elder Drake, but Jiizuke teleported to the Top Lane and took the inhibitor. When Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin responded, Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho joined his Mid Laner by teleporting into the base, accompanied by a Nocturne Ult from Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek which limited the enemy vision. Within seconds, the game was over and Vitality stood victorious.
Business as Usual
The other games on Day 1 went as many expected. Flash Wolves decimated Phong Vu Buffalo in a 27 minute, 11-1 match. The veterans from the first seed in the LMS proved that they came to Worlds for the trophy. MAD Team was eventually taken down by Edward Gaming in a 41 minute game, but showed promise. Wu “Liang” Liang-Te was massive on Cho’Gath, and Chen “Uniboy” Chang-Chu had some great Zoe plays, but the superior macro game of EDG won out in the end.
Many NA fans were hopeful at the start of today’s matches, but they were to be sorely disappointed. Team Liquid looked outclassed overall by a dominant kt Rolster. The Korean side boasts a roster full of some of the most storied veterans present at Worlds, and it showed. They took the gold lead for good at 14 minutes and only built it from there on their way to a 32 minute victory.
Royal Never Give Up are a favorite of many to win Worlds this year, and complete the perfect season. With Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, considered by most to be the best player at Worlds, RNG was a formidable opponent for a Cloud9 team that was in last place of the NALCS just a few months ago. Eric “Licorice” Ritchie came looking for the upset, having a fantastic showing on Urgot for the NA team. Unfortunately, he forgot to tell the rest of Cloud9, and they proved too heavy for him to try to carry.
Overall, it was an exciting day of games, setting the stage for Urgot, Syndra, and Kai’Sa to be highly contested power picks at worlds, while still leaving room for some variety with the likes of Heimerdinger and Zoe. Be sure to check back with The Game Haus throughout worlds for the latest news and analysis.
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