Day 3 of the 2017 World Championship Play-in Round 1 painted a clear picture of groups C and D overall team positions.
As expected, Fnatic won both of their Group C games, although not without trouble. 1907 Fenerbahçe are 2-0 in Group D as well, despite Hong Kong Attitude being nominally regarded as slight favourites prior to today’s games.
Here’s a quick summary of the action and a preview for the final day of Round 1.
Young Generation vs. Kaos Latin Gamers
It seems like being a second GPL seed didn’t help Young Generation much against the Latin America South Winners Kaos Latin Gamers. This is a pleasant surprise, as we’ve clearly underestimated this team.
Young Generation held a miniscule lead for the better part of the match. They picked up 5 kills in the first 20 minutes, but KLG kept their composure and focused on maximizing their objective plays.
KLG’s power picks for top (Cho’Gath), middle (Orianna) and ADC (Tristana) were too much to handle for long. The support jungler pick in Sejuani also seemed to work very well against YG’s mainstream meta choices.
The eventual baron kill triggered a snowballing turnover. This rapid change of pace and flow was too much for YG to keep up with. It was just a matter of time, and sure enough, it was all over soon enough.
Rampage vs. Hong Kong Attitude
Rampage clearly didn’t display the capacity to hang with LMS #3 seed at all. With exotic picks like Maokai on top, Soraka as support and even Sejuani as support carry, they looked painfully out of place from the very start.
On the other hand, Hong Kong Attitude couldn’t ask for a better first opponent. They got warmed up, shook off the nerves and looked ready to take on Fenerbahçe later that day.
Fnatic vs. Kaos Latin Gamers
Let’s face it – the only way for any wildcard team to beat Fnatic is to acknowledge you’re going to die a lot and work around this fact. That’s what ROCCAT and Ninjas in Pyjamas did to beat this lineup of killers back in EU LCS this summer.
As a team, Fnatic rely heavily on razor-sharp teamfighting capabilities and all out aggression. They’ll often chase the opponents down the map as if their lives depended on it. Their games are also known to last relatively long.
Yet, the final result of this game was very similar to Rampage vs. Hong Kong Attitude that took place right before. Fnatic brought their A game, with Rekkles once again proving to be an unsolvable problem on Xayah.
In the end, it was one of those rare quick wins for Fnatic, something they failed to do in their subsequent game.
Hong Kong Attitude vs. 1907 Fenerbahçe
This was probably the most anticipated matchup of the whole Play-in Round 1. Group D obviously had no clear favourite between these two teams, and they had a score to settle.
The game clearly reflected this sentiment. HKA invested heavily into the objective-oriented plays. Meanwhile, Fenerbahçe treaded along, picking more kills in the process, but falling behind on gold. You couldn’t have guessed a clear winner for more than half an hour.
The baron kill, however, went to Fenerbahçe. With obvious problems in fighting parity, this was too much for HKA to handle. The gold lead quickly reversed to Fenerbahçe and they were now in control of the game.
Cruising comfortably in this newest shift in tempo, Fenerbahçe picked up a second baron kill 10 or so minutes later, and it was all over soon after that.
Young Generation vs. Fnatic
This match is relevant only for 1 thing – YG exposed Fnatic’s glaring inability to finish off a weaker opponent quickly. The game lasted for 50 minutes.
We get it, that’s how Fnatic plays. They’ve been winning, so you could say that’s all it matters. But, all that those 15 or 20 minutes of unnecessary extra playtime produce are bonus chance for Fnatic’s opponents to come back.
That’s what we’ve seen against ROCCAT, Ninjas and Misfits this summer. It cost them the finals, the guaranteed #2 seed in the 2017 World Championship Group Stage and probably the EU LCS championship title.
Hopefully, they’re holding onto a few aces in their sleeves, because they’re going to get ludicrously exploited in the group stage this way.
Rampage vs. 1907 Fenerbahçe
After a bit less than 27 minutes of playtime and Fenerbahçe’s Padden padding his kill stats with Kog’Maw (10/0/0), Rampage cemented their position at the bottom of the group D. Obviously, Fenerbahçe are too good of a team to let anything wild happen.
Day 4 Ahead
Going into the second day, the teams will have one more bit at each other.
In group C, Fnatic are almost guaranteed a #1 seed. However, despite being 0-2, Young Generation still has a chance to push through into the knockout phase. Their loss to KLG was far from one-sided, and they showed they can at least make Fnatic work for the win. Still, KLG look very good, and are favourites to pass as #2 group C seed.
It’s a pretty safe bet to say that Fenerbahçe will emerge as #1 seed from group D. HKA shouldn’t have problems coming out as #2 as well. Rampage are clearly outclassed by the two, so they’ll need a miracle.