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Gen.G and MAD Lions officially qualified for the 2021 League of Legends World Championship quarterfinals from Group D on Monday after defeating Team Liquid and MAD Lions LNG Esports in their respective tiebreaker matches. This is the second year in a row Gen.G have advanced to the knockout stage at Worlds as a top seed from groups.

Gen.G defy expectations

Gen.G’s journey to Worlds 2021 was hampered with scrutiny over the seemingly one-dimensional playstyle they showed domestically during the League of Legends Champions Korean 2021 Summer Split. In Upcomer’s pre-Worlds power rankings, they ranked at the bottom of the top 10 at ninth place. 

LCK caster Maurits “Chronicler” Jan Meeusen chimed in with his thoughts on how despite being underrated, it shouldn’t surprise people to see Gen.G shake things up in the group stage at Worlds 2021. 

“People somehow got it in their heads that somehow Gen.G is the worst and they are going to bomb out of their group,” Chronicler said. “Every time people think that, Gen.G just crushes everyone’s hopes and dreams. For people thinking Gen.G won’t get out of groups…I think that is a very, very optimistic take.”

While top laner Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon has had a middling performance at the tournament so far, it’s true that Gen.G are no longer simply the Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk show. Mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong has been an incredible playmaker and catalyst for the team this Worlds. Before Gen.G’s match against Team Liquid, Bdd ranked first in overall kill share percentage (KS%) out of all mid laners at Worlds at 34.7% according to Oracle’s Elixir.

MAD are back online

MAD Lions are known to be one of the most coordinated teamfight teams in the world, and today they lived up to that reputation. With an incredible ability to win late-game objective fights, even with a gold deficit, it’s no wonder so many ranked them highly coming into the tournament. Even with their backs against the wall after a rough start in the first round-robin, MAD turned it around right when they needed to.

MAD’s biggest issues heading into the final day were their early game and (some of) their individual play. While best-of-ones have never been the team’s strong suit, they seemingly shored these things up for their final push; MAD’s second match against LNG, where they lead the way 12 kills to 3 by 20 minutes, is a great example of that improvement.

Quarterfinals begin on Friday, Oct. 22 at approximately 8 a.m. ET.