This article is part of our LoL Previews series.
We’re halfway through the Group Stage at the 2017 World Championship and fans have gotten everything they’ve wanted and more thus far. While teams like Longzhu Gaming and SK Telecom T1 have dominated much like we thought they would, those were far from the most interesting teams to witness in Week 1. Let’s breakdown what we should be keeping an eye on going into the final week before the playoffs kick off.
Will Fnatic win a game?
While few ever expect Europe to do much in international competition, none likely would have predicted that any EU team would perform as poorly as Fnatic did in the first week. Coming out with three straight losses, the team looks to be at the lowest point that we’ve ever seen. They’re in a pretty stacked group with Longzhu, Immortals, and the Gigabyte Marines, sure, but what they’ve done on the Rift has been anything but fantastic.
The problems aren’t new ones by any means, but they have been amplified by the level of competition facing Fnatic in China. AD carry Martin “Rekkles” Larsson is the main focal point of this team, and getting him ahead early in games has worked well domestically. Internationally, however, it hasn’t done the team any favors. He tried to hard carry Fnatic to victory against Immortals on Day 2, but Immortals focused him down in a hurry, taking a win in the long, drawn-out contest. Fnatic will need to dig into their bag of tricks to come up with some alternative win conditions in a hurry if they want any hope of getting out of groups.
Will Longzhu, SKT or Royal Never Give Up lose a game?
On the flipside of Fnatic’s struggles are the three teams who are currently sitting pretty with 3-0 records. Longzhu and SKT were expected to do well, but the manner in which they’ve won some of their games has surely came as a bit of a shock. Longzhu took down Immortals, Gigabyte Marines, and Fnatic in three sub-30 minute contests, with their win over Longzhu clocking in at a ridiculous 21 minutes. It simply seems impossible for them to lose a game at this point.
RNG and SKT, on the other hand, have had a bit tougher route to their 3-0 records. Most of their games have gone the distance, as their respective groups are a bit more competitive than what Longzhu has seen so far. Don’t be surprised to see either of these teams drop a game at some point this week. Make no mistake, however, it would be a shock of epic proportions if any of the three don’t make it out of groups. Whether each team can stay perfect is the story to follow.
Who will come out on top in Group D?
Group D is turning out to be the most competitive one of all, thanks, perhaps to the fact that the pool is not brimming with the tippy-top of international competition. While every other group has a team with a flawless 3-0 record, this group saw Team WE, Misfits Gaming, and Team SoloMid all go 2-1 after the first week. This sets up what is sure to be an action-packed final week of competition for these teams.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, and team to keep an eye on, in this group is Misfits. With the other two European teams, Fnatic and G2 Esports, only posting a single win between the two of them, it’s looking like the hope of Europe is resting on their shoulders. The same could be said for North America and Team SoloMid, with China’s WE hoping to be one of possibly two teams to make it into the playoffs. All three teams have played each other incredibly close to this point in, making this the group to keep a close eye on when they go at it on Saturday.
Whatever transpires over the next few days, it will not be something to miss for fans of League of Legends. The action will get under way with Group B duking it out on Thursday at 12 a.m. ET.