Worlds 2018: A Play-in Knockout Stage Primer - Upcomer
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After two days of furious play, the Play-in Stage for League of Legends‘ World Championships is finishing up. Most of the fan favorites were able to make it to this point. However, this upcoming best-of-five portion will decide who will go on to the Group Stage of Worlds 2018. Who is good enough to stand with the best teams in the world? We will find out this weekend, but for now, let’s check out the matchups going into Saturday and Sunday.

Cloud9 vs. Gambit Esports

Looking at the first matchup of the weekend, both Cloud9 and Gambit Esports have problems that need fixing. For Cloud9, it’s all about getting the jitters out of the team, especially their rookies. Robert “Blaber” Huang, Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and Eric “Licorice” Ritchie have been making some pretty bad mistakes through the two days of competition. Even their star mid laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen has been making some uncharacteristic positional mistakes as well. However, as a team, they are still able to play through the midlane to a good degree of success. Additionally, veteran ADC, Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, has been a beacon of consistency for Cloud9. Also, Cloud9 is still undefeated and is a testament to their ability to play as a team, no matter the deficit.

Meanwhile, Gambit Esports has been struggling through the Play-ins so far. The CIS-based team has a plethora of veteran talent, such as Alexander “PvPStejos” Glazkov, Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov and Edward “Edward” Abgaryan. Unfortunately, they have not been able to find much success at all, only winning against Kaos Latin Gamers and getting dominated by G-Rex. KLG was easily the worst team in the Play-ins, and wouldn’t be a great measuring stick for progress either. This matchup should be Cloud9’s to take.

Prediction: Cloud9 Win 3-0

G2 Esports vs. Infinity Esports

There could be an upset in the works between G2 Esports and Infinity Esports. If we go by the results from the Worlds Play-in Group Stage, Infinity has been looking great for the past two days. The Costa Rican team would even surprise EDward Gaming with a comeback victory. Infinity Esports has a pretty strong mid game, that is centered around their strong jungle play. If they are to win this game, they will need to keep their enemies on their heels and surprise them.

Meanwhile, G2 Esports hasn’t been looking too solid, even dropping a game against Supermassive. However, the Play-ins are a perfect place to work out the kinks before the real show, the Worlds Group Stage. G2 Esports will have to rely on Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski to control the tempo of the game early. I have no doubt that the veterans of this team will be able to wrestle control and take the series.

Prediction: G2 Esports Win 3-1

Edward Gaming vs. DetonatioN FocusMe

A true Worlds David vs. Goliath matchup here between China’s Edward Gaming and Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe. The Cinderella story of DetonatioN has been wonderful to witness, as we would watch them take down Brazil’s KaBuM Esports, and push North America’s Cloud9 to the edge of the seats. This Japanese team has truly made their people proud, going from one of the worst performing wildcard regions to battling it out for a spot at the Worlds Group Stage.

Unfortunately, their story may cut short because of Edward Gaming. Yes, Edward Gaming has had a few stumbles in the Play-in Group Stage. However, people cannot forget that this is China’s third best team. The talent they have is up there with some of the best in the world. The only chance that DetonatioN has, is if the Chinese team somehow underestimates them. Edward Gaming also has a reputation for inconsistency with their performances. Still, this should not be a matchup they even come close to losing.

Prediction: Edward Gaming Win 3-1

G-Rex vs. Supermassive

This could be the closest series of the four we have this weekend. Supermassive has been playing exceptional recently, only returning to Earth for the last few games of their Play-in Group Stage. Their team play has been impressive, even taking down G2 Esports on their first day of play. They even have a pretty decent roster with players like Lee “GBM” Chan-seok and No “SnowFlower” Hoi-jong.

However, the LMS’ G-Rex has been playing that much better throughout the entire Group Stage. They would go undefeated, looking like a team that should be a major region. Their dominance lies in their macro play and teamwork; their team fights led by Anson “Empt2y” Leung have been amazing so far. Their ADC, Lee “Stitch” Seung-ju is also leading the way with the highest kill average in the Worlds Play-in Group Stage. Therefore, I think that G-Rex is looking too good to bow out of Worlds now.

Prediction: G-Rex Win 3-2

What do you think of the Worlds Play-in Knockout Stage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! If you want more Worlds content, check us out here!