LoL Worlds 2017 – C9 vs. World Elite
To quote one of the casters at the end of game 3, “C9 have done the impossible.” This is the state of Western League of Legends these days. It’s considered almost impossible for NA or EU to beat Chinese or Korean teams. LoL Worlds 2017 has been a different beast. Misfits almost beating SKT and FNC giving RNG a battle to be proud of has helped Western team’s images on the international stage.
However, WE were the better team on the day. In the final, key game, they built a composition which suited them perfectly. From play-ins to semi-final, WE had finally completed their rebuild from their 2012 monster team.
LoL Worlds 2017 – C9 vs. World Elite – Game 1
A worrying trend is occurring for Western teams across the LoL Worlds 2017. They can all get decent sized leads against the Asian teams, but then something happens which turns the game on its head and allows teams like WE, SKT, and RNG back into the game. This is precisely what happened in game one of C9 vs. WE. C9 were 5k gold ahead at 15 minutes, that is basically free win territory for most teams. However, a scrappy, 4 for 1 fight around the Rift Herald allowed WE to begin evening up the gold.
C9 were willing to break the meta, however. With an A’sol in this game. C9 knew they needed to pull something out amazing to win this series. But it wasn’t enough and WE took the first game.
LoL Worlds 2017 – C9 vs. World Elite – Game 2
Again C9 broke the meta. This time Impact brought out the Signed. It was a crazy game, but C9 managed to push past the Chinese representatives to win the game with some fantastic team fighting and decision making. C9 looked as if they could make it through to the semi-finals, after repeatedly staying competitive with WE. As the last hope of the West at Worlds 2017 and as the third seed, this would be a Cinderella story, to say the least!
LoL Worlds 2017 – C9 vs. World Elite – Game 3
Sneaky and Smoothie prove that they’re not only good, but they’re better than Ben and Mystic. An early straight up 2v2 after some great play by Sneaky, followed by first turret and a few more kills for the ADC of C9 meant that C9 were ahead. Sneaky was now massively up against his opposite number and was looking to carry this game. Impact on the Signed yet again was creating problems all across the map for WE. Sneaky isn’t known for his massive carry games, but this was one of them. If C9 could win one more then they’d be in the semi-finals.
LoL Worlds 2017 – C9 vs. World Elite – Game 4
A phase 2 Signed ban by WE was definitely necessary by WE. Impact ran them across the map in the previous 2 games and if WE hadn’t banned him they’d probably have let C9 advance to the semi-finals on this game. However, WE managed to even up the series thanks to an early amount of pressure from WE. This started a snowball which was unstoppable, and WE took it to game 5. If another European team took it to a game 5 then lost, it would be heartbreaking for most fans. C9’s communication appeared to break down, which is common when they are in a deficit.
LoL Worlds 2017 – C9 vs. World Elite – Game 5
It would take composure from both teams in game 5 to move forward to the semi-finals. The amount of pressure on both sets of players must have been massive. This would be the first time that NA had a semi-final spot since Season 1. WE were looking to rebuild their legacy which climaxed in 2012.
After their brave picks in the first few games, C9 appeared to have lost their confidence and picked a much safer composition in the final game. The macro game was 100% in favour of WE, while C9 were chasing kills across the map. C9 put up a brave fight in the first few games, but they seemed to lose their bite in the final game. Congratulations to WE and commiserations to C9 and the West.
The Worlds Semi-finals
What does this mean for the semi-finals? RNG will face SKT which will be incredibly interesting after MSF took SKT to a fifth game. It is definitely conceivable that RNG could beat SKT, however, SKT can never be counted out.
WE will face SSG in the other semi-final. SSG looked unstoppable in their quarter-final vs. Longzhu. Longzhu were one of the favourites to win the entire tournament, but they were 3-0’d by a vastly superior SSG. There is a strong possibility (although nothing is confirmed yet) that the final will be a repeat of last year, with SSG facing up against SKT. There is also the possibility that there will be an all-China final, which will suit the home crowd down to a tee.