Worlds: WE tops group D, Misfits eliminate TSM
Group D was wide open at the start of the day, with everyone but Flash Wolves being in contention for playoffs. But a miserable day for TSM ended with yet another early exit from Worlds.
Misfits made the first aggressive move in their game against Flash Wolves, but it could hardly have gone worse. They conceded first blood, first tower and an infernal drake off the back off a failed blue buff invade. The lead didn’t last long but a couple of kills in the river led to a baron buff for FW, numerous towers and a 6k gold lead. A third infernal drake followed, but the Frost Wolves conceded the second baron and signs of their 0-3 record were starting to show. Misfits took down several towers off their own and two inhibitors, eliminating the gold gap entirely. Then, a single kill around elder drake was the signal for Misfits to go: they marched into FW’s base, aced them, and completed a 40 minute comeback.
Both TSM and World Elite started week two on 2-1 records, meaning qualification was still up for grabs. The Chinese team picked for lane dominance with Caitlyn and Jayce and their bottom lane took down an 11 minute tower before a single kill took place. All three outer towers were down within two minutes, followed quickly by first blood and a fourth tower. WE were ahead by over 4k gold just 15 minutes in and were taking down inhibitors by the time baron entered the rift. The big worm died 23 minutes in and the game was over 90 seconds later.
World Elite had brutalized TSM and a win over Flash Wolves would practically guarantee them passage to playoffs. They drafted a similar composition, looking to push early towers but FW actually took first gold for the cost of an infernal drake. Mystic’s Caitlyn had a huge CS lead and, after winning a 2v2 in lane, was able to secure the first tower gold again. WE weren’t able to push the tempo quite as hard as they did against TSM, but they were clearly in charge. Rift herald opened up the map and now WE were in a comfortable spot. A baron was all they needed to finish the game off, ending it with a 12k lead.
Misftis had a chance to book their quarter-final ticket by beating TSM, and they had the better opening, picking up first blood in a four man bottom lane dive. Alphari locked in a second Yasuo of the tournament but the early action was all in bottom lane, resulting in a 2k lead for Misfits. A four for one team fight in the middle lane showed the power of TSM’s team fight, however, and the Yasuo combos with Jarvan and Blitzcrank never really materialized for Misfits. Another team fight resulted in a baron for the American team and they never looked back. Typically , they took their time to close things out, but close things out they did.
TSM went into their final game against Flash Wolves, knowing that a win would mean Misfits had to beat World Elite to force a tie-breaker. Karsa’s Sejuani picked up first blood, though, with help from MMD on Renekton. A repeat gank worked perfectly and FW had a 1k head early on. First tower gold cemented FW’s, and while a skirmish in bottom lane went two-two, the Wolves grabbed another two towers in the aftermath. The Taiwanese team were snowballing out of control and TSM had no answer to the almost 10k lead at 20 minutes. Baron buff was enough for FW to push down mid and pick up the 25 minute win.
The last scheduled game of the group would guarantee a tie-breaker of some kind. A win for Misfits would see them through to the next stage, but having to face a rematch against WE to decide top seed. A win for the Chinese team would force a tie-breaker between Misfits and TSM for second. In either case, first blood for Ignar in the 2v2 lane was exactly what Misfits needed. Bottom lane turned into a blood bath, but 3/0/1 Hans Sama was more than happy about it as his team opened up a 2k lead just seven minutes in. WE’s first attempt at a play was successful – diving Alphari in the bottom lane – but it was traded for two towers and a rift herald. A couple of messy team fights stemmed the bleeding and then the baron dance began. World Elite emerged victorious from that, and from the game itself after grinding out the huge gold difference Misfits accrued.
WE continued to get the odd kill here and there and eventually managed to get enough Misfits players low on health to force the baron. WE had not only stemmed the bleeding, they appeared to have gained the advantage. A few slip ups meant the game stayed close, and second baron was traded for elder drake. Full damage Rek’sai meant that Misfits simply didn’t have the tank line to compete with World Elite as the game passed the 40 minute mark and it mean TSM had a second bite at the Misfits cherry.
After picking an unusual comp in their earlier game, Misfits went more standard in the tie-breaker and after a slow early game, they picked up first tower. TSM equalised immediately and had a small gold lead thanks to better farming, but first blood 16 minutes was followed up with a second tower kill and a 1k lead for Misfits. Misfits pushed their advantage with a rift herald, punishing Hauntzer’s Jayce and taking down four towers to TSM’s one. Misfits then started up baron and forced TSM to fight on their terms, resulting in four kills for nothing as well as the baron itself. Two inhibitors fell in short order and the game looked all but over with a total kill score of 7-0. TSM picked up a couple of kills in their base defence but it wasn’t enough. TSM were eliminated and Misfits claimed a quarter-final spot.