LoL Weekly: 2017 Worlds Group Draw, LCS Gauntlet, EU Teams Choose Cities, Worlds Patch 7.18 and More

With the 2017 World Championship Group Draw officially over and worlds patch released, Esportsranks brings you an exclusive summary of this week’s awesomeness. First, let’s see who will play against who in the 2017 World Championship

2017 World Championship Group Draw

Play-In Draw

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Team WE Cloud9 Fnatic Hong Kong Attitude
Gambit Esports oNe eSports Young Generation 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports
Lyon Gaming Dire Wolves Kaos Latin Gamers Rampage

It’s obviously way too early to predict anything, but by the looks of it, Fnatic got one of the easier groups, which might be just what they need to push through into the group stage. Young Generation international debut has everything to do with their countrymen GIGABYTE Marines placing the highest of all wildcard teams on this year’s MSI.

If Cloud9 brings their NA LCS Gauntlet Finals form to the international scene, they shouldn’t have many problems with oNe eSports and Dire Wolves either.

In Group A, Team WE are undisputed favourites. Group D will probably be the most interesting, due to Japan, LMS and Turkey being on a rather equal level power-wise.

One thing’s for sure, it will get messy with all the different regional metas and playstyles. It’s not outlandish to expect quite a few upsets in the process.

Group Draw

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Edward Gaming Longzhu Gaming G2 Esports Flash Wolves
SK Telecom T1 Immortals Samsung Galaxy Misfits
ahq e-Sports Club GIGABYTE Marines Royal Never Give Up Team SoloMid
TBD TBD TBD TBD

Of course, before the Play-In stage is over, we can only partially gauge the main groups.

Everybody will try to avoid Group A with SKT and EDG in it. Group B is also barely winnable with Longzhu Gaming spitting fire on everybody.

Group C is a bit less scary at first sight, but if you think about it a bit more, all three teams are about the same power and skill wise. Samsung Galaxy probably stands out a bit more due to the fact they had to survive Korean league. However, G2 and Royal Never Give up have had their fair share of premier league opponents this year, so you can’t dismiss the duo either.

That leaves us with Group D. Merely skimming over it, it’s immediately obvious that it lacks the punch of the other three groups. TSM shouldn’t have problems with Misfits, while Flash Wolves, although a tough opponent, are still a winnable matchup.

Group D is probably where all of the four teams that advance from the Play-In stage will want to end up.

LCS

Play of the Week

The Huhi clutch is too much!

NA LCS Gauntlet

NA LCS Regional Qualifiers started off with an upset. It seems that Team Dignitas got seriously affected by losing 2 playoffs series in a row (semifinals and third place decider). On top of that, the pressure of being the favourites in the matchup seemed to have put the nail in their coffin.

FlyQuest set the foot on stage in the form they displayed in the last few weeks of the group phase. Despite their obvious weaknesses, this team led by WildTurtle showed everybody they are better than their standings show. On the other hand, Team Dignitas simply looked burned and faded. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that FlyQuest not only won the series, but completely swept Team Dignitas in the process.

Next stop was Round 2 against CLG. This is where all the FlyQuest’s holes became glaringly apparent. Of course, CLG capitalized on each and every opening. The series highlight was the unfortunate Aurelion Sol bug that required a Chronobreak reset for game 2 to continue. This didn’t affect Counter Logic Gaming, who finished strong with a 3-1 series victory in the end.

Then, something happened that very few people expected to see in the final round. Cloud9, a perennial contender team that had a rough summer, came on stage laser focused and prepared to take a win off of Counter Logic Gaming’s back. Although the final score doesn’t reflect it, the games very close. Counter Logic Gaming played on their usual level, but C9 Jensen and Impact had a field day that day.

After Cloud9 took the first two games, Counter Logic Gaming retaliated in the third. It smelled of reverse sweep at first, but then in the fourth and final game, all hell broke loose as both team’s junglers dragged their teams into wild, 50-50 teamfights. Cloud9 gained the upper hand in the end, sealing the series and securing their tickets for worlds.

NA LCS Regional Qualifiers Gauntlet Final Round Cloud9

Twitter @lolesports

EU LCS Gauntlet

Round 1 of the EU LCS Regional Qualifiers went as expected. H2K established dominance early on. Splyce were unable to mount any meaningful resistance through the course of the series. Ultimately, H2K did what H2K has been doing for the majority of the season. Calm, collected and consistent, they swept Splyce and proceeded to Round 2.

There, the eternal top-dogs Unicorns of Love had another one of their off-days, kind of. It wasn’t your typical UoL with Exileh throwing games. In fact, Exileh played pretty well. However, it was evident from the second game it was a different H2K this time around. Going 2-0 into the fourth game, H2K tipped the pressure on UoL’s side.

Of course, UoL aren’t strangers to Bo5-s, quickly equalizing the score for 2-2. But then, in game 5, H2K doubled down on their early pressure, with Odoamne on Gnar pulling most of the weight. A somewhat unexpected win for H2K for sure, it was more than well deserved.

However, that’s as far as H2K could realistically get. In the third and final round, Fnatic were ready to shut down any doubt and uncertainty and secure a trip to worlds. True enough, H2K were unable to come through in any meaningful way, succumbing to their fate once again, just like in the third place decider. This time around though, Fnatic didn’t let it go the distance – they came through with a quick, sweeping 3-0 in the end.

EU LCS 2017 Gauntlet Regional Qualifiers Final Round Fnatic

Flickr @lolesports

No More EU LCS

For better or worse, it looks like this was the last season of EU LCS, at least in the current format. The rumours of EU splitting into 4 major regions turned out to be true, as sources close to the League report. The 10 teams from the League sent in their city choices this week.

As it stands, London will be the toughest region with a total of 4 EU LCS teams picking it as their home-ground. Fnatic, G2 Esports, Misfits and Splyce all want to play in London, UK. Interestingly enough, these are the same 4 teams that allegedly sent their applications for NA LCS franchised partnership.

Berlin, Germany is right behind with 3 of its own EU LCS teams – Unicorns of Love, FC Schalke 04 Esports and Team ROCCAT. Barcelona Spain was chosen by H2K Gaming and Giants Gaming. Lastly, Team Vitality opted for Paris.

The teams still have some time left to potentially change their minds and pick another city as their home turf. Each city/region will have 6 participants, as Riot has been in the talks with major European sports brands to enter the scene and join the existing pool of teams.

A significant change to the structure is accompanied by the transition from promotion/relegation system to the partnership/franchise model. For now, the teams will now have a guaranteed spot in their respective leagues. The situation might easily change over the next few years if new professional teams arise.

Parallel to these regional competitions, there will be a fifth one reserved for the top-ranked teams from each of the four leagues. The whole system was conceived and setup to mimic European soccer competition hierarchy, with country-level leagues that send their best teams into the continental Champions League.

These changes come in light of H2K’s management releasing an open letter to the community last week, criticising Riot’s existing and future policies in regard of EU League of Legends Esports scene. Yet, Riot has sent no clear message pertaining to revenue sharing and income models for teams that have been bleeding funds over the years.

This is all uncharted territory, so there very well may be more fireworks as the information gets released and/or leaked to the public. Stay tuned.

EU LCS 2017 Summer Playoffs Finals Arena

Flickr @lolesports

Patch 7.18 – Worlds Patch With Ornn Disabled

The final patch before League of Legends 2017 World Championship officially starts has just hit us. As usual, it has brought a slew of buffs, nerfs and bug fixes. Unfortunately, Aurelion Sol’s bug that required Chronobreak to be used is not on the list

A couple of items got changed. A few staple meta champions received more significant changes. Here’s a quick summary.

Champions

  • Azir’s R base damage has been buffed to offset the champion’s squishiness in the late game. BASE DAMAGE 150/225/300 150/250/450
  • Cassiopeia’s E fixed bonus damage has been nerfed in favour of a slight buff to bonus ratio. BONUS DAMAGE VS POISONED TARGETS 15/40/65/90/115 10/30/50/70/90 & BONUS RATIO VS POISONED TARGETS 0.4 ability power 5 ability power
  • Elise’s W base damage nerfed in favour of bonus ratio buff. BASE DAMAGE 60/110/160/210/260 55/95/135/175/215 & RATIO 0.8 ability power 95 ability power. Her E cooldown was also increased by a few seconds. COOLDOWN 26/23/20/17/14 seconds 26/24/22/20/18 seconds
  • Fiora’s passive movement speed received a buff and is now active again while in Fiora’s R ability circle. BONUS MOVEMENT SPEED 15/25/35/45% 20/30/40/50% & Fiora once again gains Duelist’s Dance movement speed bonus while in Grand Challenge’s circle
  • Gnar has received long awaited nerfs to his base armor and E ability. BASE ARMOR 29.05 05, E (Body Slam) – COLLISION DETECTION RADIUS 210 180, HITBOX OFFSET RADIUS 60 40 & Indicator changed to reflect the hitbox more accurately.
  • Ivern’s E base explosive damage and ratio got buffed. BASE EXPLOSION DAMAGE 50/70/90/110/130 60/80/100/120/140 & EXPLOSION RATIO 0.7 ability power 8 ability power
  • Jarvan IV’s W received a slight nerf. BASE SHIELD 65/90/115/140/165 60/85/110/135/160 & BONUS SHIELD PER CHAMPION 2/2.5/3/3.5/4% Jarvan’s maximum health 2/2.25/2.5/2.75/3% Jarvan’s maximum health
  • Kalista’s R cooldown is now significantly longer. COOLDOWN 120/90/60 seconds 150/120/90 seconds
  • Lee Sin’s W is now more potent early on, with a minimal nerf at rank 5. BASE SHIELD 40/100/160/220/280 55/110/165/220/275
  • Lucian’s E cooldown will last longer at first few ranks. COOLDOWN 18/17/16/15/14 seconds 22/20/18/16/14 seconds
  • Nautilus received a mana cost buff on his Q. COST 60/70/80/90/100 mana 60 mana at all ranks & HOOK CITY Hitting terrain also refunds half of Dredge Line’s mana cost
  • Nidalee’s E will now provide more healing. MINIMUM RATIO 0.275 ability power 325 ability power & MAXIMUM RATIO 0.55 ability power 0.65 ability power
  • Ornn received a slew of changes, but as he won’t be available at worlds, we’ll skip him.
  • Rakan’s W and R received a mix of buffs and nerfs. W (Grand Entrance) DASH SPEED 1800 + 100% movement speed 2050 + 30% movement speed, R (The Quickness) COLLISION DETECTION RADIUS 200 150 & COOLDOWN 120/110/100 seconds 120/100/80 seconds
  • Rengar will now be a bit tougher. BASE ARMOR 22 25
  • Ryze’s W buffed. RATIO 0.2 ability power 6 ability power
  • Tristana’s E bomb ratio got nerfed. BOMB RATIO 0.5/0.65/0.8/0.95/1.1 bonus attack damage 5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 bonus attack damage & 4-STACK BOMB RATIO 1.1/1.43/1.76/2.09/2.42 bonus attack damage 1.1/1.32/1.54/1.76/1.98 bonus attack damage
  • Rumble’s passive is now a bit less confusing. CLARITY Rumble’s Heat bar now turns orange when at or above 80 Heat
League of Legends Tristana Patch 7.18

Credit: Riot Games

Items

  • Enchantment: Cinderhulk now provides a bit less health. HEALTH 325 300
  • Spellthief’s Edge Line got modified a bit more. LAST-HIT PENALTY After last-hitting a minion, Tribute charge generation is paused for 6 seconds 8 seconds & FROSTFANT COOLDOWN REDUCTION: 10% & FROST QUEEN’S CLAIM BUILD PATH: Frostfang + Fiendish Codex + 450 gold ⇒ Frostfang + Blasting Wand + 500 gold (total cost unchanged)
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate was changed to partially rely on base health instead of solely on bonus health. RATIO Grants bonus health equal to 40% (or 100%) of base and bonus health Grants base health equal to 40% (or 100%) base health and bonus health equal to 40% (or 100%) bonus health & ADDITION, NOT MULTIPLICATION Gargoyle Stoneplate’s active no longer scales with Stoneborn Pact or Nunu’s Q (Consume) Well Fed buff & BUGFIX (Re-)fixed a bugged interaction between Cinderhulk and Gargoyle Stoneplate’s active which caused the combination to grant more bonus health than intended
  • Knight’s Vow is now cheaper and provides less health. TOTAL COST 2300 gold 2200 gold, COMBINE COST 700 gold 600 gold & HEALTH 350 250

Other interesting news, bits and pieces:

How esports teams make money and why EU teams fell behind: a mini masterclass with UoL Manager Romain Bigeard.

LS Logic – Catch-up Experience, Junglers & their lackluster laners

Doublelift on winning NA Finals, Travis’s accusations, what fans should expect from TSM at Worlds

In case you forgot, Koreans have been caught cheating vs TSM in season 2. Food for thought

Anyone remembers Infamous Team Siren? Here’s the full story

Paris Aftermovie – 2017 Summer EU LCS Finals

Dyrus having some fun