The League of Legends Season 10 World Championship Group Stage kicked off with explosive action on Saturday in Shanghai.
Most of the matches were one-sided stomps, with teams making their tournament debuts with aplomb, but there was one dramatic, back-and-forth affair coming from Group C.
Here’s how Saturday’s action went down:
The match of the day saw the LCK’s 3rd seed, Gen.G (1-0) take a 45-minute win against the LPL’s 4th seed, LGD Gaming (0-1). This match was a slugfest; what it lacked in intelligent macro play and efficient itemization, it made up for in action. Both teams were tied with three kills at 15 minutes, but Gen.G was ahead in gold thanks to early farm leads from mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong’s Lucian and bot laner Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk’s Ashe.
LGD would occasionally find good picks or plays to chip away at Gen.G’s gold lead in the mid game but it would never amount to anything. No matter how often LGD support Ling “Mark” Xu’s Leona engaged on Gen.G, Gen.G’s team fighting and peel was too good, preventing LGD from following up and allowing Ruler to freely deal damage.
Ruler finished with a 5/3/13 KDA (Kills/Deaths/Assists) on 86% kill participation and dealt a game-high 35,000 damage in the win. After securing a Baron buff along with an Infernal Soul, Gen.G pushed down the mid lane with an 8,000 gold lead at 45 minutes. Gen.G enters a tie with the LEC’s 2nd seed, Fnatic (1-0) in Group C.
Another match on Saturday promised to be a barn-burner as the LCK’s top seed, DAMWON Gaming (1-0) took on the LPL’s 2nd seed, JD Gaming. While this was labeled a potential finals preview, it got ugly fast as DAMWON dominated in a 24-minute win. DWG jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu was a huge catalyst for the win, dominating the jungle matchup as Nidalee en route to an eventual 6/3/14 KDA.
The early game was all about Canyon putting pressure on JDG’s jungler, Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok, and converting that into leads for his team. An early Rift Herald and Cloud Drake secure helped his team start accruing leads, which snowballed the game out of control. What was only a 1,000 gold lead at 10 minutes ballooned to a 3,300 gold lead just a few minutes later as a result of Canyon’s aggression.
Canyon was constantly backed up by DWG support Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee, who constantly roamed as Leona. DWG never let JDG get a chance to do much of anything, snowballing objectives into a couple of consecutive team-wipes at 20 minutes. This lightning-fast win shows just how scary DWG can be, especially considering how they trampled over a top team from the region expected to win the tournament.
Speaking of regional top seeds, the favorites to win the tournament, the LPL’s top seeded Top Esports (1-0) kicked off the tournament with a dominating 31-minute win over the LCS’ 3rd seed, FlyQuest (0-1). TES got ahead quickly, with jungler Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan’s Graves picking up a pair of kills for top laner Bai “369” Jia-Hao’s Camille. In turn, 369 used his lead to roam around the map, helping everyone on TES get early kill gold and control of the map.
FlyQuest was doomed from early on as Top Esports grew their gold lead to 2,000 at 10 minutes, doubling that to a 4,00 gold lead two minutes later after grabbing two kills and two towers in that two-minute span. TES looked unstoppable as they took four consecutive elemental drakes and a Baron en route to the win.
In other top-seed action, Group C’s second match of the day saw LEC 2nd seed Fnatic take down the LCS’ top seeded TSM (0-1). Fnatic jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek got his hands on his signature Evelynn, a draft mistake from TSM that would come back to haunt them.
Selfmade’s pressure was immense early in the game, bullying TSM jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu’s Nidalee and controlling the map. Later, once Selfmade got items, he was able to pull off flashy assassinations and set Fnatic up with what would prove to be an insurmountable objective lead. Fnatic put the game away decisively, picking up its second Baron buff and a 5-0 teamfight to secure the 34-minute win.
LCK 2nd-seed DRX (1-0) picked up a dominant win in 30 minutes over the CIS region’s LCL champions, Unicorns of Love (0-1). DRX jungler Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon was bloodthirsty as Nidalee, dealing a whopping game-high 26,700 damage, good for 31 percent of his team’s total damage to champions, and finished with a 13/1/6 KDA good for 86 percent kill participation. This game was all but over after a triple kill for support Ryu “Keria” Min-seok’s Pantheon at 12 minutes propelled DRX to a 5,000 gold lead at 13 minutes.
Last, but not least, the LEC’s 3rd seed Rogue (1-0) picked up a win against the PCS’ PSG Talon (0-1). Rogue’s bottom lane was actively early, roaming to the mid lane twice in the first 10 minutes to put PSG mid laner Park “Tank” Dan-won down two deaths. From there, Rogue played a good team game, making few mistakes and only surrendering a drake and a tower in a nearly perfect 28-minute win.
–Field Level Media