History is made on day two of Worlds quarterfinals - Upcomer
Worlds 2018 quarterfinals Cloud9 Fnatic Edward Gaming Afreeca Freecs

History is made on day two of Worlds quarterfinals

Is this one of the best Worlds we have ever seen? After what we’ve just witnessed, it may just be. There were so many storylines to follow across the four matches shown this weekend. The weekend would bring the unlikely elimination of tournament favorites, KT Rolster. As a result, Afreeca Freecs would suddenly have the hopes and dreams of Korea on their shoulders. The entire legacy of Korea’s League of Legends dominance was on the line. However, in front of them stood the underdogs of the entire tournament and the last bastion of light for North America, Cloud9. Meanwhile, Europe’s top team, Fnatic, was heading into their quarterfinals matchup as the favorites. Their super mid laner Rasmus “Caps” Winther has been performing so well over the group stage. Their jungler, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen, has also been a menace against the opponents of his team. The whole team has been playing exceptional at Worlds so far, but they’d have to face a big challenge in Chinese third seed, Edward Gaming.

Recommended Videos

Cloud9 vs. Afreeca Freecs: The Last Hope for Korea and North America

Cloud9’s story has been repeated for weeks now; the once tenth place NA LCS team was now battling for a chance at the Worlds semifinals. The team who got the supposed “Group of Death” would claw their way to the quarterfinals. Afreeca Freecs would top their group after a relatively slow start. Both teams were under a ton of stress, seeing as they represent the final team for their respective region. However, it would be the boys in blue who would come out on top.

The problem that Afreeca Freecs would encounter time and time again, was their inability to respond to Cloud9’s aggression. Game one would be a prime example of Cloud9 pushing the tempo and keeping Afreeca Freecs off balance. By the nine-minute mark, Cloud9 would already secure themselves five kills. Veteran jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen would be a huge factor for Cloud9’s success, with big ganks and invades throughout the first fifteen minutes. Additionally, Cloud9’s macro was very good through the series, effectively outplaying Afreeca Freecs for the majority of each game.

In game two, Afreeca Freecs would break out the top lane Viktor, and while the early game would run well for the Koreans, Svenskeren would again run rampant. Playing a damage-oriented champion like Graves would force him to carry, which he would. Afreeca Freecs would actually lead for a time in this game, but Cloud9 would climb back into it with some aggressive fights. The final match would be the closest and bloodiest match, with Afreeca’s Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun keeping the team in the game. Unfortunately, his efforts would be in vain, as the overall team fighting power of Cloud9’s composition would be too much for them to handle.

Fnatic vs. Edward Gaming: Europe’s Path to Finals

Fnatic would stumble a bit in their first game against China’s Edward Gaming. It would give EU LCS fans quite the scare, as Edward Gaming would dominate Fnatic in game one. Caps would actually be a point of weakness for the EU LCS Summer Split champions, as EDG’s Lee “Scout” Ye-chan would hop to a four kill lead after some great ganks. The game would slowly snowball into Edward Gaming’s favor, as Fnatic would not have much damage to follow up any engage. Meanwhile, with Caps being behind, EDG would be able to turn any fight into their favor. They would take game one easily, in around 27 minutes.

Edward Gaming would continue taking early leads for themselves with some good ganks from Chen “Haro” Wen-Lin. However, it would be Fnatic’s smart macro play that would keep them in each game. In games two and four, even though EDG would take leads in kills, Fnatic would answer back with big objectives. Fnatic would actually maintain the gold lead in game two and three, even though they were down in kills.

Meanwhile, each member of the team would step up big in each game. Caps would be essential in their win in game two, ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson would step up in game three, and top laner Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau would show up in game four. Broxah was also a huge boon throughout the series, helping enable his team to become successful. All in all, Fnatic was the all-around better team; if they were losing on the kills, they would take all the objectives. If they found success in the early game, they would help translate that into the late game. Smart play plus great teamwork is sending Fnatic to the semifinals.

Final Thoughts on Worlds quarterfinals

For the first time since season one, there will not be a Korean team at the Worlds Grand Finals. Since season one, a Western team is guaranteed a spot at the Finals. Finally, for the first time, there is a chance that no Eastern team makes it past the semifinals. This Worlds is all about the underdog overcoming all the odds. This Worlds is about records being made, rules being broken, dynasties being shattered and destinies being fulfilled. Now, the underdogs are coming together to face each other once more.

Up to this point, the Western esports world would unite under one flag, wishing luck upon our respective teams. North America or Europe, it didn’t matter; as long as a Western team made it out. However, the narrative is changing. As our focus shifts towards each other again, the animosity rises once more. No longer are we brothers in arms, but instead rivals, aiming for the greatest prize of them all. North America or Europe? Who will make history as the first Western team since 2011 to reach the Finals of Worlds?

Both teams love to play aggressive, but it comes down to who can embrace the chaos more. Cloud9 has shown that they can thrive in hectic situations, but Fnatic is showing that they have a penchant for constant aggression as well. Whichever team can innovate with their picks could sneak away a win as well, which Cloud9 has shown they can do. Whoever wins next week will be able to raise their fists high: They’ve made it to the summit.

What are your thoughts on day two of Worlds quarterfinals? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more Worlds coverage, check us out here!