After four days in Singapore, the Wild Rift Horizon Cup group stage comes to an end with only six teams advancing to the knockout stage. These teams include ThunderTalk Gaming, Da Kun Gaming, Sengoku Gaming, SBTC Esports, Team Secret and Rolster Y. Both ThunderTalk and DKG received a bye to the semifinals after going undefeated in their respective groups.
The winner of the best-of-five series between SBTC and Team Secret will face DKG. While the winner of Rolster Y vs. Sengoku faces ThunderTalk in the semifinals. No western team made it to the knockout stage as both Team Queso and Tribe Gaming were eliminated. Also, Brazil’s TSM suffered an emotional exit after losing the last important series to SBTC.
Below is a look at the teams left, as well as their knockout matches.
SBTC vs. Team Secret—An SEA championship rematch
The knockout series between SBTC and Team Secret at the Horizon Cup is like a rematch of the SEA Championship finals. SBTC dominated that final with a 4-1 scoreline. However, the Wild Rift Horizon Cup is a much different story, as Spirit have looked like the better team so far. They finished their group in second with only one loss to ThunderTalk.
Meanwhile, SBTC struggled and were even forced to a third game by Tribe Gaming. SBTC entered into the tournament with more expectations, being the first seed from the SEA region. They will be eager to take down Spirit after escaping elimination on the last day of the group stage.
Rolster Y vs. Sengoku Gaming
Both of these teams finished the group stage with some impressive performances. Unlike most teams, Sengoku have played a more controlled and calm game, especially in the last two days of groups. This style can tend to frustrate teams who just want to get early game advantages through kills.
Nonetheless, Rolster should still be able to dictate the pace of the game as they like. Rolster play around their two solo laners Jung “Ratel” Yoon-ho and Kim “Isaac” Eun-soo. This playstyle is very hard to control, as players never really know which lane to focus on. Also, Ratel’s performance in baron lane has earned him three MVP titles in the group stage. If Sengoku fail to contain both solo laners of Rolster, they will have a hard time in the series.
Da Kun Gaming
Tournament favorites DKG finished as leaders of Group A, losing only one game to Rolster. The Chinese team have looked dominant in both team fights and macro plays. While their game is mostly centered around Fangjun “Huiba” Li, the safety that Mochen “Emo” Fan on a Garen support provides the team cannot be overlooked.
Furthermore, teams know that DKG’s biggest threat is Huiba, but they still find it hard to completely shut him down. Rolster remains the team to successfully carry that plan out. However, that only lasted for one game as the jungle king found a way to play around the constant shutdowns. With DKG already having won SBTC in the group stage, they may prefer to face them in the semifinal series.
ThunderTalk Gaming in Wild Rift Horizon Cup Knockout stage
ThunderTalk, like their Chinese counterparts, are also undefeated in the group stages, with only two games dropped. They also have a diverse style of play but Zhou “Z” Tianjin remains a driving force for them. The star baron laner holds seven MVP titles, the highest for any player in the group stage.
The team won the LPL qualifiers to represent China at the Wild Rift Horizon Cup. They only looked weak in the games dropped to Sengoku and Team Secret. After receiving a bye to the semifinals, ThunderTalk must wait for the winner of the Rolster and Sengoku knockout series.
The Wild Rift Horizon Cup continues at 5 a.m. ET on Nov. 19.
Jimoh Rashidat is a freelance esports writer with over two years of experience. She covers FIFA, League of Legends and general gaming content.