Worlds 2017: Top Storylines Heading into the Group Stage
Written by Eric Kummel (@I_Am_Kummel)
The group stage of Worlds is never short of excitement, disappointment and of course memes. Whether it’s heavy favourites floundering under the pressure, or a team with nothing to lose defying all odds; the double round robin never plays out as expected.
Following the conclusion of the newly added play-in stage we’re left with one of the most well rounded group stages in the history of tournament. That leaves plenty of room for juicy storylines in every group.
Group A: Round of Applause
Cloud 9’s Jensen has never shied away from sharing his thoughts on social media as proven by his reaction to the Play-in draw.
Calling out teams from minor regions is one thing, but last at last year's World's tournament Jensen decided to call out the eGod himself.
Somebody most certainly did get clapped.
Jensen went a combined 2-8-9 in 2 losses against SKT in the group stages, while his Korean counterpart finished 12-3-12. Now obviously Jensen’s tweets are usually just playful banter, but either way he will have his chance for revenge against Faker this year.
After the ludicrous numbers Jensen has put up this season he’s coming in as one of the most dominant laners in the West.
Group B: A Different Ssong
It’s no secret that Longzhu are massive favourites to take the top spot in Group B, but they’ll be facing off against a familiar face. Immortals head coach Ssong was a coach with Longzhu back in 2016 and his relationship with Pray and GorillA dates back to 2014 with time spent on Najin Sword and the Rox Tigers.
Both members of the Longzhu bot lane have mentioned that they are excited to see how Ssong has influenced that team. Maybe Ssong’s inside knowledge of the best bot lane in the world will help them secure a win over Korea’s top seed? No. Probably not, but it’s an interesting story!
Group C: G3-3?
The group of death got a little less deadly with 1907 Fenerbahce joining the fray. But RNG and G2 will likely still have to fight tooth and nail for that 2nd ticket out of groups.
A second place finish at MSI this year saw G2 avenge their previous performance at the mid-season showdown, vacation memes and all.
Finding a way to emerge as a top 2 seed in this tough group would help vanquish the 1-5 demons of last year’s group stage.
With 4 straight LCS titles there’s no question G2 are the kings of Europe, but can they put up back-to-back solid international performances? Even a 3-3 record might be enough to sneak out of this competitive group.
Group D: Group of Life or Death
The Group draw of worlds is basically a game of Russian roulette. Three of the chambers contain a Korean team and this year the final chamber held the Flash Wolves.
TSM emerged as the unofficial winners of the high stakes game and were rewarded with the best possible path out of groups that they could’ve hoped for as a Pool 2 seed.
Even with World Elite slotting in to that final spot in Group D, TSM still has a chance to fight for the top spot in that group. As Rebecca Black wisely stated in her under the radar second single “This is My Moment”, this is the moment for TSM. If the boys in black and white don’t advance to the knockout stage expect some serious changes to the TSM roster, whether it’s warranted or not.
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