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Stropse Today 10/10: Group C Decided

In the penultimate day of the League of Legends Worlds 2020 Group Stage, the real-deal contenders separated themselves from the imposters. Gen.G proved to be a serious threat for the Summoner’s Cup, while Team SoloMid fumbled their way back to North America. 

Group C was jam-packed with action, and today marked its final day. Here are breakdowns of all the games that took place on Saturday. 

Fnatic vs. Team SoloMid

Courtesy of Riot Games

Our first game of the day pit NA vs EU once again. If Fnatic won this game, they would autolock a place in the quarterfinals. A win for TSM would begin the long climb back up to potentially lock in that second seed. Both teams were looking for their first win: let’s see if it could be done. Spoiler alert: this will be a relatively short summary.

The game was relatively bloodless as Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek was able to easily take two drakes out from under TSM. Fnatic began to accelerate kills onto Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek relatively later as they took kill after kill from TSM. The game broke open as Selfmade stole the Ocean Dragon from TSM and the game snowballed from there.

Ultimately, after an ace and a 22 minute Ocean Soul, Fnatic wrapped the game up and sent TSM back to North America, qualifying for Worlds.

LGD Gaming vs. Gen.G

This was a rough one for LGD from the very beginning. Jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho attempted to continue his streak of early, influential ganks, but failed miserably. At just over two minutes into the game, LGD members Peanut and Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying both wasted their flashes, and the prior had given up first blood to Kim “Rascal” Kwang-he.

The early horrors for LGD continued just moments later. In a moment of teaching, Gen.G jungler Kim “Clid” Tae-min and Rascal showed viewers what a real gank looks like and secured a kill onto Langx. Just six minutes into the game, Gen.G had a 2,000 gold advantage.

LGD did show signs of resilience, however, and after a few skirmishes they slowly brought themselves back into the game.

With Gen.G’s lead stagnating, Langx, playing Renekton, executed some impressive flanks and nearly single-handedly turned the game around. The Chinese top laner showed incredible patience, knowing just the right time to engage to shut down Gen.G. Despite LGD’s Worlds run not going the way fans would have wanted, Langx’s skills in team fighting were apparent. After starting the game with a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist) of 0/3/0, Langx stayed mentally strong and wound up being an integral part to this game.

However, that all turned around with the flip of a coin. LGD’s decision to go for a sneak ending backfired horribly, and everyone on the team died. It was then easy pick-ems for Gen.G, who walked down the map for the easy nexus kill.

Team SoloMid vs. Gen.G

Courtesy of Riot Games

As fun as it is to meme on Team SoloMid, credit needs to be given where it’s due. TSM stumbled their way through the Group Stage with glaring weaknesses in their play. However, going up against Gen.G is never an easy task, and TSM came into this game proactively, shoring up the vulnerabilities that had previously plagued them.

The game started with TSM carries Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yiliang “Peter” “Doublelift” Peng offensively flashing into the dragon pit to secure a kill onto Kim “Clid” Tae-min. North American fans would have been happier to see these aggressive plays earlier on in the tournament, as the game technically had no meaning for the first seed from North America.

Bjergsen had a monster game on the Lucian, once again proving his versatility. The mid laner consistently created advantages through plays all around the map, and TSM held a sizable gold lead going into the late game.

It’s a shame that TSM wasn’t able to sustain their advantages. Not only would it have been a more fun sendoff back to North America, but if TSM was able to grab the win, it could have impacted how the standings played out. TSM fumbled the mid-late transition with a few questionable plays and before long, Gen.G had won the game.

A lot of the credit for the Gen.G comeback deserves to go to Gen.G’s bot lane, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk and Kim “Life” Jeong-min. As one of the most talented bot lanes in the world, Ruler and Life showcased their greatness and resilience.

Despite throwing away the win, this was one of TSM’s strongest performances at Worlds 2020. Not many expected them to do much of anything against Gen.G, but at least they came out swinging. Gen.G remains one of the scariest and underrated teams at Worlds, and it’ll be fun to see how they fare during the Knockout Stage.

Fnatic vs. LGD Gaming

One of the most important games of the year for both squads, Fnatic came in as the better all-around team. With the win, they clinched their spot in the Quarterfinals.

It was a really messy early game for LGD that they never truly recovered from. Returning to the bot lane from a late invade on Fnatic’s red buff, Ling “Mark” Xu and Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun were caught out and first blood was taken by Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. In the next four minutes, Mark would die two more times at the hands of Fnatic’s bot lane.

LGD’s bot lane woes would haunt the team throughout the game, as Fnatic jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek did a terrific job at snowballing their advantages. Selfmade’s ability to push their leverage and create leads is what put Fnatic over LGD in this one.

For LGD, it was a nice run after a shaky Play-In stage, but they proved to be a step down from their competitors. They often played more similar to five solo queue players than an established unit, and they were punished for it. Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying, Su “xiye” Han-Wei and Mark all joined midway during 2020, and they might have looked looked better have they had an entire year to practice together.

Looking ahead to 2021, their roster may be quite different than their 2020 version. Four-fifths of their starters have expiring contracts, and their synergy just wasn’t there during Worlds.

LGD Gaming vs. Team SoloMid

TSM had one last chance to get a win and avoid being the first team in the First Seed to go 0-6. With Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg locking in the Zilean, TSM looked to win on comfort. LGD, already having been eliminated from worlds, was putting their pride into the last game and definitely did not disappoint.

The game started with early pressure from Su “xiye” Han-Wei onto Bjergsen, but with some quick thinking from Mingyi “Spica” Lu, the fight turned into a kill back onto the Graves. Cross map, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang made some incredible plays onto the bot lane of LGD. But quick thinking for  Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho turned into two quick kills and a dragon.

From the side of LGD, xiye on the Orianna was becoming more fed as LGD gained a 5k gold lead at the 20 minute mark. Yet while the game became more bloody, both teams traded blow for blow with LGD still maintaining an objective lead. Fight after fight, the game grew increasingly close. However, it was a risky baron call at the end of the game from TSM that caused Peanut and Kramer to close the game out and lock a 0-6 record for TSM.

Gen.G vs. Fnatic  

Click here for coverage of the fight for first place. 

Here are the standings after Saturday:

Screengrab courtesy of LoL Esports
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