Worlds: NA teams victorious, SKT tested
All three North American teams won on day two of worlds. Meanwihle, SKT emerged victorious after being severely tested by EDG.
America’s greatest hope started their campaign with a victory, but they had to work hard for it. The early game was dead even, with first tower being traded back immediately and the middle portion of the game was a tentative war of attrition. Frost Wolves took a lead past the 20 minute mark and a baron extended that advantage but when Karsa got picked off in time for the second baron spawn, TSM were able to close the gap. Another kill immediately afterwards was almost enough to close the game out, but TSM backed off and the game went on. Frost Wolves had to play defensively against TSM’s superior team fighting, however, and they ceded elder dragon without a fight. Then the Wolves took a baron and the game swung in their favour again, leading to two inhibitor kills. Still the game went on, and it took yet another baron and an elder drake for TSM to finally end the game as FW were forced to fight.
Next up, Misfits and World Elite gave us a much quicker interlude before Immortals and Fnatic took to the rift. The Chinese team got off to a solid start and simply snowballed their way to a comfortable victory. Misfits will need to see games like this as a learning experience because they got nothing else from it.
The latest chapter in the NA/EU rivalry was a real doozy, with both teams starting the game with well-coordinated tower dives. Rekkles’ Twitch was the main beneficiary of the early exchanges and was able to pick up a couple of stealthy kills as the map opened up. But a misplay around Flame’s split push granted Immortals a baron. Fnatic stabilised and neither team was able to wrest control of the game, despite another pair of barons going either way. Then, just as Fnatic seemed to be asserting their dominance, Rekkles flashed in for a potentially game-winning pick on Cody Sun, only to get himself killed and hand the game to Immortals on a silver platter.
Gigabyte and Longzhu were next up, and it wouldn’t be a Marines game without some kind of shenanigans. This time it was Mordekaiser top, Tristana mid and a whole bunch of early roaming and swapping. Longzhu were in no mood for nonsense, however. They started the game off with a successful two-kill dive and never looked back. The Mordekaiser was 0/5 before long and the game was essentially out of reach before the baron even spawned. Indeed, the Korean team put their opponents out of their misery not long after the 20 minute mark.
Contractz on Ezreal was a real headache for AHQ in the early game, and an invade on Mountain’s red buff led to Cloud 9 picking up first blood. The North American team grew themselves a nice early lead with more kills and used it to secure an infernal drake, cementing their advantage. Cloud 9 were all over their opponents in the early game and had an almost 5k lead by 20 minutes. A baron soon afterwards doubled that gap and C9 showed no signs of slowing down, finishing the game in 31 minutes.
Scout’s Lucian got the Chinese crowd excited for EDG’s game against SKT, picking up first blood with a little help from Clearlove. EDG‘s lead grew off the back of a large skirmish in the mid lane, putting them 5-0 in kills and 3-1 up in towers. The Chinese team were in no mood for letting SKT back in either: they picked up their 8th kill to SKT’s zero, just in time to take down a baron 22 minutes in. Then SKT pounced. An unbelievable team fight – from 10k behind – resulted in four kills for nothing and a baron for the defending champions. Now team fights were wide open. EDG won one while defending their base, but lost one which cost them an elder drake and baron. With the superior scaling composition, an unlikely SKT comeback was now looking inevitable and so it proved. As the clock hit 45 minutes, SKT exploded EDG’s nexus.