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The second day of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship featured many exciting games and also cemented two teams’ seeds going into the best of five stage and the main event.
Group A of the Worlds Play-In Stage has been pretty much decided, as LGN Esports and Hanwha Life Esports locked in the top two seeds in their group. Both teams cam away with three wins after both days while the rest of their group sits at one or zero wins.
Group B, on the other hand, is more open. Cloud9 leads the group with three wins, and DetonatioN FocusMe and Galatasaray Esports are close on their heels with two. Those win totals, alongside the groups two games tomorrow, could set up an interesting tiebreaker later in Day 3. Here’s how it all went down.
LNG and HLE lock up Group A
Both LGN and HLE looked ready to take on main stage competition as they rolled through their opponents.
LNG defeated RED Canids in the second matchup of the day. The Brazilians put up a great fight but were ultimately overwhelmed by Hu “Ale” Jia-Le’s Jayce and Wang “Light” Guang-Yu’s deathless Lucian. The win put LNG at the top of their group and in a prime position to lock up the first seed with another win tomorrow against Infinity Esports.
Hanwha Life seemed to have played themselves into their peak form, much like they’re Regional Gauntlet run, and had two clean games against PEACE and RED Canids. Their top laner, Park “Morgan” Gi-tae, in particular, has started to step up against play-in competition — and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon continues to run over his opponents in the laning phase. He currently has the best laning statistics, gold difference, experience difference and creep score difference at 10 minutes out off all the other mid laners in play-ins.
glad to see gauntlet Hanwha also makes an appearance at worlds https://t.co/WLNEcsSKgt
— Chronicler (@ChroniclerCasts) October 6, 2021
As for PEACE, RED Canids and Infinity Esports, none of them have been 100% eliminated from the tournament, but Infinity Esports’ destiny is no longer in their own hands. As the only team in their group without a win, the Latin American squad will have to defeat LGN Esports on Day 3 to have a shot at continuing their Worlds run. The Liga Latinoamérica representatives have played decently at Worlds so far, but have yet to maintain a consistent lead. Their sole game today against PEACE demonstrated that problem, as they were even in gold and experience with PEACE, and fighting well, until they started scrapping in the mid lane and gave up a fourth drake to PEACE after a lost skirmish.
While Group B is searching through the rule book for tiebreaker scenarios and precures, PEACE, RED Canids and Infinity Esports are just hoping for wins for a chance at a best-of-series.
Cloud9 top Group B
At the start of Worlds 2021 Day 2, Galatasaray Esports were the frontrunner of Group B and positioned to take the automatic bid for the main event. However, Cloud9 continued their hot streak from Day 1 and Galatasaray fumbled their two games on the day.
Cloud9 started against Beyond Gaming and managed to take a win despite an interesting draft phase. The North American team picked up Malphite for their top laner expecting to face off against the enemy’s Graves. But, Beyond Gaming switched their picks around and put Graves in the jungle, matching their Lillia against Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami’s Malphite. Despite the extra challenge, the Australian pivoted his build, normally an anti-attack damage tank, into an ability powered one. This ultimately gave Fudge the ability to trade in his lane and lead to a swift Cloud9 win.
Cloud9’s second win was just as fast, 28 minutes, as they dispensed of Galatasaray without too much of a problem. The Turkish bot lane gave Cloud9 some trouble in the early game, but after a few visits from Robert “Blaber” Huang and Luka “Perkz” Perković, the lane stabilized and the game shifted into their favor. With those two wins, and Galatasaray’s loss to DetonatioN FocusMe, Cloud9 now hold first place. The team can lock in their spot in the main event with a win on Day 3 against Unicorns of Love while Beyond Gaming can start a tiebreaker bonanza if the Taiwanese team defeats DFM as well.
That scenario would put Galatasary, DFM and Beyond at two wins and two losses each, forcing more games to decide seeding for the Knockout Stage. The other tiebreaker scenario is if Cloud9 lose and DFM win, meaning Cloud9 and DFM would battle in one more best of one for a spot at the main event while Galatasaray and Beyond will fight for seeding in the next phase.
The top teams have arrived
While Group A clearly had two frontrunners to win the group before the tournament started, and they both cemented that status on Days 1 and 2, Group B has been more wide open until now. While there have been some who rate Cloud9 as the best team, many thought this group would have a tighter race to the top seeds. Now, it is fair to say that Cloud9 have met those expectations while DFM and Galatasaray have continued to impress at certain points.
The Worlds Play-In Stage continues Thursday with the final day of round robins at 7 a.m. ET. LNG vs. Infinity Esports starts the day as Cloud9 vs. Unicorns of Love should end it, barring any tiebreaker matches.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.