Additional Recaps: Looking Back At Day 1 of Worlds 2017
Additional Recaps: Looking Back At Day 1 of Worlds 2017

This article is part of our Additional Recaps series.

When the first day of the League of Legends 2017 World Championship

group stages kicked off last night, everyone had a pretty good idea of

what to expect. The two Korean teams, Longzhu Gaming and SKT

Telecom T1, were going to smash their opposite numbers, while teams

like Royal Never Give Up and Fnatic would make short work of their

minor region opponents. All eyes were on the two only “real” matchups

of the night, Samsung versus G2 Esports, and ahq e-Sports Club

against EDward Gaming.

For much of the night, all suspicions seemed confirmed. Both of the

Korean teams triumphed against their hapless North American foes,

while 1907 Fenerbahce fell before the might of Royal Never Give Up,

though the latter team surprised everyone when they abandoned their

traditional early game style in favor of a late game Ardent Censor-centric

composition. Samsung obliterated G2 Esports, a fact that when

combined with Royal’s awkward game against Fenerbahce lent much

legitimacy to Samsung’s claim that they would once again fight their way

to the finals.

Two games, however, did not go as planned. The first at least had the

decency to defy expectations without breaking suspension of disbelief,

as ahq pulled off an upset win against the regional heroes EDward

Gaming at the end of a grueling 55-minute game -- an upset that was

unexpected, to be sure, but still sane.

The other upset, however, was nothing of the sort. The Gigabyte

Marines spit all over the “established metagame” when they faced off

against Fnatic, and the result was easily the most exhilarating game of

League of Legends to ever grace Worlds. The game featured a lane

swap, an artifact of a meta long thought dead, 12 kills in the first 10

minutes of gameplay, and a Nocturne that managed to power level to

level 6 in a unimaginable 5 minutes of game time. One could hardly

blame Fnatic for falling before what was, frankly, one of the most

unexpected and creative gameplans ever executed in a game of

professional League of Legends history that hearkened back to GSG’s

legendary ARAM strategy. Any fan of professional play would be doing

themselves a disservice were they to not go back and review this game.

If an unexpected and unprecedented strategy like this has already

succeeded on the first day of the tournament then there can be no doubt

that 2017 is going to have a Worlds like no other, especially since the

Head Coach of the Gigabyte Marines reportedly claimed that when his

team faces off against Longzhu Gaming they will deploy a strategy

“unlike anything ever seen in League of Legends.” Only time will tell

what other delights await ardent fans of League of Legends, as you can

be sure of one thing: if the Marines start finding success with their

unorthodox strategies, it won’t be long before the entire tournament

transforms into a cheese-tasting competition like no other.

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