League of Legends’ world championships kicked off on Saturday, with an impressive opening ceremony and the first games of the play-in stage. Throughout the tournament, we’ll be bringing you notable results, as well as an overall tournament round-up.
Get up to date with the whole tournament with our Worlds 2017 guide.
Now that play-ins are over, it's time for the Worlds group stage. The 16 teams are divided into four groups of four, and each team will play every other team in its group twice, in a best-of-one format. The two teams with the most wins from each group will progress to the quarter-finals.
Today’s quarterfinals match between SKT and Misfits was poised to offer the biggest upset in League of Legends history. As first seed from the strongest region, and three-time World Champions, SKT looked like they’d be progressing comfortably to the next round.
In the first game of the best of five match against Misfits, none of whom had ever played at Worlds before, that prediction looked extremely likely. SKT rolled over the Europeans, suffering only one death before the Misfits’ Nexus fell.
In the second game, however, the Europeans bounced back. An unexpected Blitzcrank pick from Misfits’ support, Ignar, meant they could claim the early game, pushing SKT back before they could get a real footing in the game, and taking the match to 1-1.
For some reason, SKT decided to double down on their late-game composition in the second game. Their relatively passive choice of Vayne, a champion who finds much of her strength in the late stages of the game, was punished by Ignar’s incredibly aggressive Leona play, and saw Misfits claim two kills in the opening minutes of the game, before continuing to snowball and take a 2-1 advantage.
SKT looked to be on the ropes towards the middle of the fourth game, and Misfits were in an extremely strong position. Their rookie status showed, however, as they overextended and allowed SKT back into the game, taking the match to a fifth and final game.
In the final game, however, SKT showed their dominance in teamfights, sitting back from Misfits before quickly delivering a killing blow, claiming the series 3-2 and progressing to the semi-finals
The quarterfinals are now well underway, and with the beginning of the knockout stages came the tournament's biggest update so far. Samsung Galaxy faced off against Longzhu Gaming in an all Korean match this morning, but things didn't exactly go to plan.
Longzhu left their group in first place, without having lost a match. Fresh off the back of a victory in the LCK Summer Split, and seeded second, just behind SKT T1 and above their opponents, they were potential tournament favourites. Samsung, on the other hand, had only come second in their group, which was arguably one of the easiest, and though an undeniably strong team, were expected to struggle against Longzhu.
In the end, however, Samsung were dominant, and progressed through to the semi-final 3-0. They were successful across the map; their jungler, Ambition, had his best match of the series so far on Sejuani. Their bot lane focused on Tristana and proved their worth against Longzhu's Pray and Gorilla in the mid to late game. And their midlaner, Crown, was able to entirely shut down Longzhu's pbb, stopping him from helping snowball other lanes. Longzhu were able to claim a couple of fights, but after their first loss were unable to find their footing, crashing out of the competition weeks earlier than even the most conservative expectations might have guessed.
The final four teams progressing to the quarterfinals of Worlds 2017 were decided over the weekend. Groups A and D battled it out across Saturday and Sunday, with a few hiccups along the way and a significant upset for one veteran team.
Group D saw China's Team WE progress comfortably, and Korea's Flash Wolves crash out with just one win in total. Misfits and TSM both ended the group stage 3-3, triggering another tiebreak. Misfits seemed comfortable throughout, finishing off TSM's base slowly but surely, to progress alongside Team WE.
After Edward Gaming's disastrous first week, they managed to improve on their 0-3 record with wins over Cloud9 and AHQ, but it was a case of too little, too late, with Cloud9 eventually progressing with three win and three losses. Elsewhere in Group A, SKT progressed, which is no great surprise to anyone, but on the way managed to lose a game to AHQ, whose impressive early game gave the reigning champions too much of a mountain to climb. It made no difference to the outcome of the group, but does show that the reigning champions can be defeated.
Today saw Group C's teams battle it out for a spot in the Quarterfinals, with RNG and Samsung Galaxy making it to the next stage, while G2 and Fenerbahce saw their journey come to an end.
G2 started the day well, beating RNG in what would prove to be the Chinese team's only defeat of the group stage. Later in the day, however, they failed to capitalise on opportunities to beat Samsung, and once the latter beat Fenerbahce, G2's fate was sealed, making them the first European team to exit the tournament.
1907 Fenerbahce, who were the only wildcard team to progress from the play-in stage, also exited the tournament, but despite not winning a single game in groups, challenged G2 in their final game, holding them off for nearly an hour.
The final game of the day saw RNG and SSG clash to decide which team would progress from the group as first seed. Despite an uncharacteristically strong start from the Korean team, RNG managed to close out the game without much of a hitch, securing first place.
Worlds has entered its second week, meaning that by Sunday, we'll know which eight teams will have made it through the group stages to the Quarter Finals. Today saw what may very well have been the most closely-fought day of games of the tournament so far, as the results for Group B came right down to the wire.
While Longzhou continued their unbeaten run, ending the group at an impressive six wins and no losses, the three other teams scrambled to a joint second place. Fnatic managed to turn around their previously poor run of form with victories over both Immortals and Gigabyte Marines. In their games, GAM beat IMT, meaning all three teams finished the groups at two wins and four losses, triggering a double tiebreaker.
Since Gigabyte had a lower cumulative win time in their two wins, the first tie was contested between Immortals and Fnatic. The latter did well to gradually press an advantage, slowly but surely closing the game out and ending Immortals' run at Worlds.
That meant Fnatic progressed to take on Gigabyte for their spot in the Quarters. In a close-fought game in which Gigabyte played one of their most meta strategies of the tournament so far, Fnatic eventually proved stronger, although some extremely drawn-out teamfights meant it was far from plain-sailing for the European team. Their success means they join Longzhou in the Quarters, due to take place next week.
Worlds 2017 is heating up. This weekend saw a few teams take steps towards securing their spot in the tournament's knockout stages, but there are plenty of others who'll be fighting right until the closing matches of the group stages.
Unsurprisingly, SKT T1 are riding high, with three wins and no losses following their defeat of AHQ. Joining them at 3-0 are RNG and Longzhu Gaming. All three teams top their respective groups, and look set to progress to the next round. Group D is very closely fought, however; while Flash Wolves are sitting at 0-3, all three other teams in the group currently have two wins and one loss following TSM's defeat to Misfits.
The tournament's biggest upsets seem to be coming from EDG and Fnatic, both of whom have significant amounts of Worlds experience, and who might have expected to progress despite their tough groups. Fnatic could change their fortunes if they're lucky next week and can claim wins against both Immortals and Gigabyte Marines, but EDG is probably out of luck, sitting bottom of the tournament's most difficult group.
The three North American teams regained some form on the second day of the Worlds group stages. TSM beat Flash Wolves, and Cloud9 seemed comfortable against AHQ. Fnatic seemed strong against Immortals, but a massive misstep from Fnatic ADC, Rekkles, eventually cost them the game.
Continuing Europe's misfortune at the tournament so far, Misfits were dispatched by Team WE. However, that defeat wasn't as embarrassing as Gigabyte Marine's failure to deal with Longzhou. Gigabyte scored only two kills in the match, compared to Longzhou's 17, losing the game in just under 24 minutes with a gold disadvantage of more than 17,000 gold.
The final game of the day was, again, the best. SKT T1 took on Edward gaming in the most recent iteration of one of LoL's most heated rivalries. Despite trailing by 11,000 gold at one point in the game, it only took SKT one team-fight to close the gap and eventually claim victory.
Day one of the group stages proved to be hard work for Western teams, with none of the five European or North American teams winning their matches. As a result, China, Korea, and the LMS dominated the first day.
The day kicked off the way many expected, with Turkish wildcards 1907 Fenerbahce struggling in the face of Royal Never Give Up. After that, G" fell to Samsung Galaxy, and Immortals lost to Longzhu, in largely predictable outcomes. SKT dominated Cloud9, making an early start to their bid to claim their third Worlds title in a row.
Not everything went to plan, however, as Fnatic lost to Gigabyte Marines, severely damaging their chances of making it out of groups, and requiring them to beat Longzhou and Immortals in order to make it to knockouts.
The best game of the day came thanks to a high-stakes game between EDG and AHQ. One of the longest games of the tournament so far, the game was an excellent back and forth, and for the most part it seemed as though it could very easily go either way. Eventually, however, AHQ won a pivotal teamfight, claiming Baron before closing out the game.
The play-ins are a new stage, designed to give teams from smaller regions a spot on the international stage. For the most part, there are the first-ranked teams from regions like Brazil, Turkey, and Oceania, but the play-ins will see those teams test their mettle against the third seed from major regions, with Europe, North America, China, and the LMS also featuring.
The final matches of the play-in stages were completed today, deciding which four teams would progress to the Worlds' round of 16. There were no huge particular upsets in this morning's knockout matches, but the games were hard fought nonetheless.
In the first match, 1907 Fenerbahce took on Team oNe. While Turkey's Fenerbahce dominated the first game, it wasn't all plain sailing, as they lost game two, and were behind in game three before clawing their way to victory. Eventually, Fenerbahce won the match 3-1.
The second match of the day saw Vietnam's Young Generation take on China's Team WE. While the Chinese team's 3-0 victory seems emphatic from scoreline alone, they were significantly behind in game two, but stole two barons from YG to facilitate their comeback.
That means Fnatic, Team WE, and Cloud9 all progress from the major regions, with Fenerbahce the only team from a minor region to make it through play-ins.
At the end of this morning's broadcast, a draw took place to decide the final groupings for the next stage of the competition. Those results are as follows:
- Edward Gaming (China)
- SK Telecom T1 (Korea)
- AHQ E-sports Club (Taiwan)
- Cloud9 (North America)
- Longzhou Gaming (China)
- Immortals (North America)
- Gigabyte Marines (Vietnam)
- Fnatic (Europe)
- G2 Esports (Europe)
- Royal Never Give Up (China)
- Samsung Galaxy (Korea)
- 1907 Fenerbahce Espor (Turkey)
- Flash Wolves (Taiwan)
- Misfits Gaming (Europe)
- TSM (North America)
- Team WE (China)
The Worlds 2017 Group Stages start on Thursday, October 5 at 08:30 BST.
There were no games yesterday, but this morning saw Worlds' first two knockout games, with Cloud9 taking on Lyon Gaming, and HKA facing off against Fnatic. Both games were pretty seem pretty one-sided from the scoreline, finishing 3-0 in the best of five match, although Fnatic vs HKA was actually very hard-fought.
In the end, while one result was more or less expected, the other was not. Cloud9, having topped their group, were always expecting to beath Lyon Gaming, and they did so easily. HKA, despite coming into the tournament from a major region, were beaten to top seed in their group by Fenerbahce, drawing Fnatic for the next round.
The strength of HKA meant that many assumed Fnatic would be leaving the tournament, but a strong showing from their mid-laner Caps, helpfully backed up by jungler Broxah on Gragas, helped Fnatic secure an unlikely victory, and a spot alongside Cloud9 in the offical Worlds group stages.
The first round of the play-in stage is complete, and eight teams have progressed to Worlds' first knock-out round. While most of the games have gone roughly how you'd expect, there were a couple of upsets on day four of the tournament.
The first of those was Fnatic's defeat to Young Temptation, which saved the Vietnamese team from a playoff while undoubtedly knocking the Europeans' confidence. After that, Fenerbahce came back from having lost their second game to Hong Kong Attitude to win the play-off game, taking first place in their group, the only team not from a major region to do so.
Highlights from day four included a hugely important baron steal from Fenerbahce's crash in the tie-break game, and a pentakill from Whitelotus to close out Lyon Gaming's clash against Gambit.
With the group stages over, the draws for the knock-out round of the play-in stage have been confirmed. The winners of these best-of-five matches will progress to the group stages of Worlds. Tomorrow, Cloud9 will play Lyon Gaming, while Fnatic will face Hong Kong Attitude. On Friday, Fenerbahce will play Team oNe, while Team WE will play Young Generation.
Having come bottom of their respective groups, Gambit, Dire Wolves, Kaos Latin Gamers and Rampage will all exit the tournament. If my predictions are worth anything, they'll soon be followed by Lyon, Fnatic, Team oNe, and Young Generation.
So far, things have gone just about as expected. North America’s Cloud9 are currently undefeated in group B, as are Team WE in group A, having won four games each. In group C, Europe’s Fnatic are currently 2-0, but very nearly floundered against Vietnam’s Young Temptation. In Group D, Turkey’s 1907 Fenerbahce are also 2-0, having upset Hong Kong Attitude in their game.
The top two teams from each group advance in the double round robin format of the play-in stage’s first round, which means that as things currently stand, Team WE and Lyon Gaming progress from group A, while Cloud 9 and Team oNe Esports have got through group B. Tomorrow will decide the fates of groups C and D.
We’ll update this post around 13:00 BST every day, as the day’s results are finalised.