The third day of the League of Legends World Championships play-in ended Wednesday and once the dust settled, the first four teams who would be taking place in the play-ins elimination matches were decided. Among them was G-Rex, Cloud9, Detonation FocusMe and Gambit.
The day began with a bout between LMS' G-Rex versus the LCL's Gambit Esports. Gambit's struggles over the course of Day 1 of the event were once again echoed against G-Rex, who outstripped the Russian team not only in terms of individual ability but also in terms of strategic know-how as well. Mykhailo "Kira" Harmash, Gambit's mid laner, was the most glaring issue on a team full of problems, however, as his 0/6/3 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) torpedoed an otherwise weak, but salvageable early game from the side of Gambit. The game ended fairly conclusively soon after, which locked in G-Rex as the winners of Group D.
Over in Group C, DetonatioN FocusMe was also playing to secure its trip to the worlds play-in elimination rounds, but ran into an unexpected bump during its first match of the day: the 0-2 KaBuM! e-Sports. Both teams opted into a draft that was, at best, confusing, which led to a game that certainly didn't feature the best play of the day, but could be considered the most entertaining. KaBuM's bottom laner, Alexandre "TitaN" Santos, lived up to his hype coming into the event with a stellar showing on Vel'koz -- a pick which had never been picked in a worlds game before this game -- but the true hero of the story for KaBuM, who ended up upsetting its Japanese opponents was top laner, Luccas "Zantinos" Zanqueta. His Aatrox was perhaps the scariest to be seen in the play-in so far, as it proved a terror not only in the lane, but thanks to some crucial mistakes by DetonatioN FocusMe, it also carried in the game's decisive teamfights.
Back in Group D, Latin America's Kaos Latin Gamers had one last chance to claw its way into the elimination rounds when it faced Gambit Gaming, who was still limping from its loss to G-Rex earlier in the night. Its strategy for doing so was unorthodox, to say the least, as KLG decided to go all-in on a Draven pick for their bottom laner, Nicolas "Fix" Sayago -- another rare sight on the Worlds stage. Despite a stellar early game from the Latin American squad which included a first blood for Fix, it quickly became apparent that the bold strategy had backfired. Once the laning phase ended and the two teams met in full, there simply wasn't any way for KLG to come out ahead, as Gambit's composition was outstanding at dealing with an immobile ADC like Draven, who was reduced to nothing more than a bystander despite an insane early lead. Its hopes of representing Latin America in the later stages died alongside its Nexus, as its 0-3 record ensured there could be no advancing for KLG, and secured Gambit the second ticket out of Group D.
A set of fairly inconsequential games followed: Cloud9 utterly crushed KaBum -- despite the best efforts of mid laner, Matheus "Dynqyuedo" Miranda's LeBlanc -- and then G-Rex pounced on the clearly broken KLG and took another win for themselves despite another scrappy defense from the Latin American side. Cloud9 then handily took care of DetonatioN FocusMe, a feat it struggled to pull off to open the week.
One last score had yet to be settled, however, as the results of the day left Group C's standing inconclusive. While Cloud9's 4-0 record assured them a place in the elimination rounds, both Japan's DetonatioN FocusMe and Brazil's KaBuM! e-Sports ended the day tied at 1-3 with an inconclusive head-to-head. Unfortunately for the Brazilian squad, however, its tiebreaker rematch would prove to be what may be the least competitive game of the tournament so far. Zantinas wasn't capable of carrying his team to victory once more, as early focus from DetonatioN's outstanding jungler,Moon "Steal" Geon-yeong, -- an unsung hero over the course of the entire play-in -- ensured that his Aatrox never really made it off the ground, and certainly wasn't up to the task of chasing down the two hyper mobile carries on the Japanese squad. DetonatioN was quick to put their rivals out of their misery, however, as the match lasted a mere 24 minutes and was the first perfect game of Worlds 2018. DetonatioN's victory earned them both a place in the worlds play-in elimination rounds and the history books, as this will be the first time that a team from Japan has made it to the elimination stage of an international League of Legends event.