Royal Never Give Up 1-0 G2 Esports
Royal Never Give Up secured yet another victory early Sunday morning at the League of Legends World Championship when it defeated G2 Esports, locking in first place in Group C in the process.
While Royal (3-0) did end up taking down G2 (1-2), it was a close affair all throughout the game. RNG found an early kill and objective lead that it held onto throughout the entire game, but it did so only at the expense of a significant portion of the game's possible farm. G2 managed to build up a reasonable gold lead thanks to the superior farm, but by the end, RNG made said lead null and void. Once RNG's primary carries loaded up on items, it was curtains for G2.
A team as talent-stacked as Royal didn't win via team play, however, and there was definitely a couple of individual performances that were worth mentioning. The first, and most obvious, of these was Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao, who didn't die a single time over the course of the game and also found himself a quadra kill during the final teamfight of the game. His ability to continually find devastating flanks on G2 Esports with his Twitch secured more than one teamfight for his team, and it was obvious that G2 were at a loss of how to react to his aggressive playmaking. The other notable performance came from RNG's top laner, Yan "LetMe" Jun-Ze, who managed to keep pace in his lane up against one of the best top laners in the game in Ki "Expect" Dae-han. The performances of both Uzi and LetMe will dictate how far RNG goes in China, and the early returns are quite good thus far.
-- James Bates
Samsung Galaxy 1-0 1907 Fenerbahçe
Samsung Galaxy bounced back from getting trounced on Day 3 with a victory against 1907 Fenerbahçe on Day 4 of the 2017 League of Legends World Championship in Wuhan, China.
Samsung Galaxy drafted a team composition that lacked tanks in comparison to Fenerbahçe, but got the start that it needed. Jungler Park "Haru" Min-seung made Ezreal jungle look easy by ganking the mid and top lanes successfully early on to give SSG an early 2,000 gold lead by the six-minute mark. SSG top laner Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin's Trundle benefited most from the early ganks as he was able to farm a huge lead and put plenty of pressure in the side lanes. However, the rest of SSG struggled to maintain control over the rest of the map in the mid game.
Fenerbahçe's answer to the split push was grouping up, controlling neutral objectives and forcefully pushing down turrets. There was little that SSG could do to stop Fenerbahçe's jungler Dong-woo "Crash" Lee's Sejuani from engaging and dictating teamfights throughout the mid game. While Fenerbahçe came back from the early gold deficit to take a lead late thanks to two Baron power-plays, one bad teamfight late was all it took to stall its comeback bid.
In the final teamfight Samsung Galaxy managed to tear through the front line tanks and clean up the rest of Fenerbahçe while marching down the mid lane. SSG secured an ace before quickly pushing to victory before anyone on Fenerbahçe could respawn. With this victory, Samsung Galaxy took sole possession of the second place spot in Group C and it looks likely that it won't drop down in the standings.
-- Ben Wong
Longzhu Gaming 1-0 Fnatic
Longzhu Gaming closed out its first week of play at Worlds by absolutely thumping Fnatic on Sunday, taking out the EU side in little over 20 minutes in Wuhan, China.
This game was a perfect storm for Longzhu (3-0) in more ways than one, as Fnatic (0-3) failed to ban away mid laner Gwak "Bdd" Bo-seong's Galio while top lane star Kim "Khan" Dong-ha took Nasus to the top lane. Fnatic tried to draft some engage, but never had any momentum in this game, constantly on the backfoot and left reeling in the face of Longzhu's team cohesion. For the first 17 minutes of this game, Longzhu simply out-rotated Fnatic as it knocked down several towers while effortlessly defusing Fnatic's attempts at making plays in the top lane, leading to the lowest-kill game in Worlds history.
It truly was a team-wide effort by Longzhu that gave the No. 1 Korean seed a perfect game, maintaining deep vision in Fnatic's jungle to have a perfect response to everything Fnatic tried. After Khan finally fetched first blood 17 minutes into the game, Longzhu wasted little time securing picks in the bottom lane to knock down Fnatic's inhibitor at 20 minutes. Then, Longzhu summoned the Rift Herald while Khan joined his team in demolishing Fnatic's Nexus in just under 21 minutes in the fastest game at Worlds so far. Between dancing Rift Heralds and Longzhu's impeccable play, Longzhu fans certainly have a reason to smile, but Fnatic fans might want to look away for the remainder of the group stage, which resumes next week.
-- Noah Waltzer
GIGABYTE Marines 0-1 Immortals
The Gigabyte Marines collapsed under the weight of its own hype early Sunday morning when it was defeated by North America's Immortals in Group B at the 2017 League of Legends World Championship in Wuhan, China.
The notoriously cheese-heavy team seemed to have either run out of the ability or the desire to break open the metagame, which has been the hallmark during this tournament. Instead, the Marines (1-2) tried to pick up wins in the most unpredictable way possible: by simply playing standard League of Legends. After two days of lane swaps, the Marines opted into a standard laning game with three hyper-scaling lanes, but the results left much to be desired against Immortals (2-1). Despite managing to secure an enormous early game lead onto star jungler, Do "Levi" Duy Khanh, the Marines failed to accomplish all that much over the game. The spotlight instead belonged to the Immortals, who punished the slow start that the Marines were locked into composition-wise.
The lesson from this game was a clear one: if the Marines try to play a game of standard League of Legends against any opposing team, it would lose. The individual skill was obviously lacking down the board for the Marines, as its players simply couldn't stand toe-to-toe with the best that NA had to offer without a creative strategy.
-- James Bates
Team SoloMid 0-1 Misfits
Misfits took down Group D leaders Team SoloMid on Sunday, forcing a three-way tie at the top of the group after taking down the No. 1 North American seed in Wuhan, China.
Make no mistake about it, Misfits came to play. After a shaky start to the group stage, Misfits have continued to improve throughout Worlds, coming up big against TSM. Team SoloMid's bottom lane duo of Yilliang "Doublelift" Peng and Vincent "Biofrost" Wang tried to bully their way to lane dominance with the duo of Kog'Maw and Nami, respectively, but seemed to lack respect for their EU counterparts. This allowed Misfits jungler Nubar "Maxlore" Sarafian's Gragas to gank TSM's bot lane underneath their tower on a couple of occasions, putting Misfits ahead early on.
TSM did what it could to try and fight back in the midgame, but Misfits stayed one step ahead. Always threatening to take out Doublelift in fights, there wasn't much that TSM could do to overcome a significant early disadvantage. It wasn't like TSM just rolled over and died, though, as TSM showed some gutsy shotcalling late in the game to keep its comeback hopes alive. Unfortunately for TSM, Misfits stayed the course while AD carry Steven "Hans sama" Liv posted a monstrous performance as Xayah, finishing with an 8/0/6 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) for 82 percent kill participation, taking TSM down and evening things up in Group D.
Both teams will wait until next week to continue battling for dominance in Group D, tied with Team WE for first place with all three teams sitting at 2-1 in the group.
-- Noah Waltzer
Flash Wolves 0-1 Team WE
Desperately needing a win in the first week of the 2017 League of Legends World Championship, Flash Wolves were unable to overcome the might of the hometown heroes of Team WE on Sunday in Group D. While Flash Wolves found the first blood early on, it was all WE from there on in the fairly lopsided contest in Wuhan, China.
The casters may have doubted the utility of WE's composition that was wholly focused on winning the top side of the map, but it worked out in spades for the Chinese squad here. WE (2-1) simply decided to make an early focus on objectives to gain a gold lead that it never relinquished. Even when Flash Wolves (0-3) found a huge 5-for-1 extended teamfight win, WE managed to hold onto the gold lead. After recovering from that fight, WE started to slowly chip away at the resolve of the Flash Wolves to set up for the win. WE then took the last couple fights with little resistance until finally pushing into the base to clean up the 32-minute win.
While Flash Wolves came into this group as one of the heavy favorites, the Taiwanese squad has not lived up to the hype thus far. Whether it be from being outplayed mechanically or even on the macro level, Flash Wolves simply haven't looked up to snuff in Group D. With an 0-3 record, it will certainly be an uphill climb for the squad in the second week of the group stage.
-- Wyatt Lyles