Everyone loves an underdog story. And every year at the League of Legends World Championships, Wild Card teams represent the opportunity for upsets. Whether from Brazil’s CBLOL, Russia’s CIS or even Turkey’s TCL, teams from these minor regions are often overlooked and pictured as free wins. Occasionally, these perceived lesser opponents show a whole lot of skill. Last year, it was Albus Nox Luna whom made Wild Card history. Two wins over CLG, a victory over G2 and a marathon against ROX Tigers in which ANX came out the victors. They made history becoming the first and only Wild Card team to escape the Worlds group Stage.
Is there anyone who can fill that role this year?
- Gigabyte Marines
Everyone knows the memes. They NEARLY beat Team SoloMid in a best of 5 to advance into the group stage of the Mid-season Invitational. And then in the group stage, they once again defeated the North American representatives.
Wild Card > NA, NA IS A WILDCARD TEAM, the jokes and twitch spam goes on for ages. Nonetheless, GAM showed that they have what it takes to hang with teams from other regions. The problem is that this isn’t the same team that we saw at MSI.
Slay and Stark are gone and Archie has switched from support to top. The latter is a move that is extremely exploitable for their opposition. Compared to other top laners in Group B (sOAZ, Khan, Flame), Archie is mechanically the weakest and will be exposed in 1v1 scenarios.
The good news, is they still have their jungler Levi. A standout at MSI made waves with Kha’Zix and Graves. With a weaker supporting cast, Levi will have to be even better in order to pull off upsets against Fnatic, Immortals and Longzhu.
Predicted Result: 1-5 with a win over Fnatic.
2. 1907 Fenerbahce
This one is quite the long-shot. The Turkish team got pretty lucky in the play-in stage as they drew Team oNe eSports in the knockout round. The weakest #2 seed took a game off of Fenerbahce before falling 3-1. Even then, Fenerbahce failed to post many convincing wins thus far, relying on strange Baron steals and some late game team-fights.
With all of that said, they did it with an emergency jungler. Their starting jungle, Move, had VISA issues and couldn’t make it over to China. Crash has filled in admirably and although he makes frequent mistakes, he does enough to fuel his carries ahead. Padden is the main guy to watch for. Although he had one awful jump-in on Tristana, he generally understands where to position and pumps out all kinds of damage on hyper-scaling ADC’s.
I don’t expect much out of FB as the opposition is Group C is more than stiff. Samsung Galaxy, RNG, G2 esports, good luck.
Predicted Result: 0-6