DAMWON Gaming and JD Gaming advanced to the knockout stage of the League of Legends World Championship on Friday.
DAMWON (5-1), the LCK first seed, and the LPL’s second seed, JD Gaming (4-2), move on from Group B, with PSG Talon and Rogue eliminated.
While JD Gaming’s win over a dominant DAMWON Gaming was technically the main event of the evening, the most important match of the day happened a few games before when the PCS’ PSG Talon (2-4) picked up a huge upset win against JD Gaming in a quick 26 minutes.
PSG Talon got ahead early, taking a 1,400 gold lead by three minutes with a couple of early kills. This didn’t mean that PSG was in control, though, as JDG’s lane-dominant draft kept the PSG gold lead from ballooning. Still, PSG made all the right moves to suppress JDG top laner Xing-Ran “Zoom” Zhang’s Kayle, lest he reach the late game and shred through everyone.
Once JDG was set behind, their lack of initiation came back to bite them in the midgame. PSG took objectives with near impunity thanks to the control given to them from PSG jungler Dong-woo “River” Kim, who posted a nearly perfect 2/0/8 KDA (Kills/Deaths/Assists), good for 91 percent kill participation. PSG upset the balance and earned some pride after going 0-3 in the first round robin, taking out JDG in a little under 27 minutes.
This game locked DAMWON Gaming into the first seed and JD Gaming into the second seed before the two had to play each other. PSG lost to DAMWON earlier in the day but managed to take down the LEC’s third seed, Rogue Gaming (1-5), in 30 minutes to go 2-1 on the week.
Rogue struggled heavily in the second round robin, with every other team figuring out the playbook on how to defuse Rogue’s early proactivity. Each of the teams made it their mission to isolate their top laner and Rogue’s Finn “Finn” Wiestal, to the point where Rogue tried to implement a rarely seen lane swap and move their bottom lane to the top lane in order to help Finn avoid laning against DAMWON top lane ace Ha-gwon “Nuguri” Jang’s Kennen.
That particular game was Rogue’s first of the day, but it set the tone for how they would perform in the remainder of their matches. Rogue’s efforts were spirited, but they simply couldn’t overcome the mechanical prowess of DAMWON as they lost in a lightning-fast 23 minutes. Rogue lost both of their other games, going 0-3 in the second round robin overall.
DAMWON Gaming’s sole loss came at the hands of JD Gaming in what was a dominant showing from the LPL side. JDG’s Zoom was a menace on Camille, helping JDG secure early kills and transitioning into an unstoppable split pusher later in the game. While neither team was playing for seeding, the win was big for JD Gaming going forward as they finished the second round robin going 2-1.
PSG Talon finished in 9th-12th place, with Rogue in 13th-16th.
Group C — Fnatic, Gen.G, Team SoloMid and LGD Gaming — takes the stage on Saturday.
–Field Level Media