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After 10 days at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, we finally have the first two teams to qualify for the knockout stage. One of the two displayed flawless gameplay to finish 6-0 in groups to qualify. The other did the most NA thing possible to make it to the top of their group at Worlds 2021.

DWG KIA really is that good

There were question marks surrounding DWG KIA when they made it to the world championship this year. There wasn’t a dispute about whether DWG KIA were good or not, but whether or not they could do the next to impossible and win back-to-back Worlds. As the first seed from South Korea, they showed everyone in Group A what they could really accomplish.

DWG KIA’s stomp was a surprise to no one. In fact, it was certain from the moment the group was finalized. And for some players using the LoL Esports website to play Pick’ems, the layout of which teams would advance from Group A was revealed before matches even began. If players left Group A in the same order it was presented in when it was randomized, they would have gotten full points for that round. While the randomization is just that, it’s ironic that some people had the correct answers in front of them the whole time.

LCS fan and longtime bot laner Mitchell “Adouphoof” Santos forgot to set his Pick’ems in time, but the Mighty Coin bot randomly chose the correct group outcome for him.

randomized Pick'ems group, featuring NA escaping from Group A at Worlds 2021
Adouphoof’s randomized Pick’em group. | Provided by Adouphoof

Cloud9 0-3? No big deal

After making it out of play-ins to get to the group stage, Cloud9 were at the bottom of Group A when the day started. At 0-3, Cloud9 had to ride the NA copium train for any possibility of making it out. Yet, out of all the North American teams currently at Worlds only Cloud9 have set that precedent before. Fueled by the dreams of NA fans and several internet memes, Cloud9 did the unthinkable: they forced a three-way tie for second.

While neither Rogue nor FunPlus Phoenix were having a good day in terms of performance, that was just more fuel to Cloud9’s fire. Cloud9 won back-to-back matches against Rogue and FPX to get to 2-3 in the group. A loss to DWG KIA forced the tie in the end, and from there, the rest was history. After a silver scrapes, 50-minute game against Rogue, Cloud9 prevailed to just barely qualify for the knockout stage.


After the victory, #C9WIN was trending across the United States, with everyone showing their support for the first NA team to make it out of groups at Worlds 2021. But the fans weren’t the only one’s tweeting about Cloud9’s victory.

“SADOIFPJKMAIOWELçDRFGJMQEDOIPflgçtjemwIOPdjmewaoipfw4eotgfjhnmIEJOFAWSDOIGFJMnwogjrmaogj. IS THIS REAL???? #C9WIN” was the exact Tweet from the official Cloud9 account after the game against Rogue concluded.

League of Legends host Eefje “sjokz” Depoortere was one of the many individuals at Worlds tweeting about the masterclass Cloud9 had pulled off. She focused on how crazy it was that Cloud9 were on the brink of no return at 0-3 at the start of the day.

“C9 were 0-3 before this,” said sjokz. “THAT IS F****** CRAZY”

Even the official LoL Esports account on Twitter was getting in on the fun, tweeting about how the “Group of Death” really wasn’t that deadly after all for North America.

“Group of death? Damn, sorry to hear that FPX & RGE,” said LoL Esports on Twitter after Cloud9 defeated Rogue to qualify for the knockout stage accompanied by a picture of the Cloud9 players.