Day 2 of the League of Legends Group Stage has come and gone, and fans are already beginning to see favorites emerge from their respective groups.
In Group A, G2 Esports and Suning, after playing one of the most entertaining games of 2020, have emerged as the clear favorites over Machi and Team Liquid. Over in Group B, DAMWON Gaming is looking like the best team in the entire tournament after two dominating performances.
Group C still stands as the most competitive region of them all, with Gen.G, LGD and Fnatic all vying for the top spot with TSM lagging behind. Although fans didn’t get to see any Group D teams today, Top Esports and DRX still look as though they will be the two teams to advance.
Here are breakdowns of all the games that took place on Sunday.
Machi Esports vs. Team Liquid
There is no reason to sugarcoat it; this was one of North America’s worst losses in Worlds history. Team Liquid drafted a team composition with nearly no engage tools, and that limitation was apparent throughout the entire game.
It was an impressive win for Taiwan’s Machi Esports, who systematically dismantled the North American representative. It felt like it was a death by 1000 cuts, and Machi never lost control over the game.
The PCS representative played at a quicker tempo than Team Liquid. They almost always were the first to objectives and they played proactively around the map while their opponent sat back and took all the damage with no response.
Machi mid laner Chen “M1ssion” Hsiao-Hsien had a fantastic game on the Syndra and was a major catalyst in Machi’s victory. Jungler Huang “Gemini” Chu-Xuan also impressed fans and analysts, outjungling Team Liquid’s Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen.
G2 vs. Suning
To see coverage of this epic match, check out the marquis matchup here.
Rogue vs. DAMWON Gaming
In a tense stand-off against the #1 LCK seed, RGE Rogue held their ground against the steadily increasing gold lead of DMW DAMWON Gaming before finally succumbing to the intense rotational pressure in this relatively bloodless game.
The start of the game was quickly taken over by DMW Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu who used the intense early-game pressure of Ignite Graves to start stealing everything from RGE’s jungle, including taking Finn’s life in the top-lane for an easy first-blood. DMW’s prowess from the entire team in vision control and rotations was apparent, with constant stabs to try and pounce on RGE, but despite being on the backfoot RGE gave as little ground as possible consistently, dodging ganks and impressively keeping their collective mental game grounded as they disengaged disadvantageous teamfights multiple times with near perfect execution. The most impressive example of these flawless disengages was their bout for the 3rd dragon, burning multiple ultimates on their side and on DMW’s, but managing to steal away the dragon without a single casualty. Even though they were consistently down throughout the game, RGE managed to consistently threaten DMW with a sweeping comeback if they messed up any full engagement.
DMW almost had RGE in their clutches multiple times, barely missing Steven “Hans sama” Liv with an Ashe arrow that allowed him to reversal onto Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee, and in general BeryL found himself dying a few times trying to push DMW’s advantage. However, RGE could never find a prime opportunity to capitalize off of BeryL’s deaths, and finally succumbed to DMW when Emil “Larssen” Larsson got caught mid-lane during their rotational dance around Baron, allowing DMW to take the Baron, kill Kacper “Inspired” Sloma, and then take Dragon Soul to finally seal out the game.
PSG Talon vs. JD Gaming
After yesterday’s one-sided games vs Rogue, PSG Talon looked to take on JD Gaming to earn redemption after their impressive Play-In run. After some sneaky tactics in pick-and-ban handing an assumed mid-lane Sylas to Sin “Kanavi” Jin-Hyeok, JDG took PSG to the races.
There isn’t any other way to explain it: The game was a near stomp from JDG. Using Zuo “LvMao” Ming-Hao on the Pantheon to create roam pressure across the entire map and Zeng “Yagao” Qi on the Ekko to drag Park “Tank” Dan-won all over the map, JDG showed why they are one of the best teams in the World.
That isn’t to say there were no bright spots for PSG as they were able to take out Lee “LoKen” Dong-wook early in the game, but PSG will have to prove themselves once again why they earned their spot in the Group Stage. As for JDG, they look for the second seed with a win over Rogue later in the week.
Gen.G vs. Team SoloMid
The Gen.G vs. Team SoloMid matchup, if anything, showcased the obvious regional skill gaps in macro play. Despite what many predicted, Team SoloMid kind of held their own against the Korean giants. In a historical battle in the bottom lane between Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk and Yiliang “Peter” “Doublelift” Peng, the latter was able to fight off Ruler for much of the game. The 27-year-old North American even secured an impressive flash-kill onto his opponent. Along with Doublelift, TSM top laner Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik had somewhat of a decent game on Renekton.
Despite the somewhat decent showings for the Team SoloMid players, Gen.G was just clearly an all-around superior team. Even while TSM held a lead in kills during the early game, not a single Gen.G member showed a sign of sweating as they always had complete and utter map control. Mid laner Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong on the Sett straight up outplayed Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg on his signature Zilean pick. The game was never truly close, and Gen.G advanced to 2-0 while Team SoloMid flopped to 0-2.
LGD Gaming vs. Fnatic
The team that looked lost in their performances during the Play-In Stage have completely turned it around here in Groups. After an extremely messy game that resulted in a loss against Gen.G, LGD Gaming came back strong, taking down European fan favorites Fnatic in a 34 minute win.
LGD did their homework, banning away Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek’s Evelyn right away with their first ban. Fnatic’s inconsistencies showed this game, and they were unable to accomplish much without Selfmade’s signature Evelyn pick.
Both these teams will be vying to make it out of Group C behind Gen.G, who look like the clear best team of the group.
Here are the standings after Day 2: