With both of the tournament favourites going out last week in the quarterfinals, the Worlds 2018 semifinals has become anyone’s game now.
Even so, we’ll try our best to make sense of all of this. After all, there’s still a lot of logic and method into all the madness that happened last time, and it will surely persist in the next matches.
Right now, our attention is focused on the only team from the east remaining in the tournament, Invictus Gaming. Their opponents? The team responsible for delivering the biggest upset of last week in G2 Esports. While these two teams could not be any more different in terms of their place in the global hierarchy, both teams are also quite similar in that they rely on the dominance of their solo laners to open up opportunities for their junglers. Both teams are also known for their 1-3-1 lane setups.
Having said that, let us delve further into this 2018 Worlds semifinals matchup.
Click here for our recap of the 2018 Worlds quarterfinals.
Worlds 2018 Semifinals Breakdown
Martin “Wunder” Hansen and Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok are both dominant top laners in their respective regions. They rely on winning the lane and being a consistent split push threat. TheShy’s substitute, Lee “Duke” Ho-seong, has more of a team fighting orientation. While they can play more or less the same pool of champions, Duke’s experience as a world champion from years of being professional brings more stability to the team. He is usually left alone to fend for himself, and if he is in the roster while they are on red side, it leaves the counter pick for his mid laner.
I expect that TheShy will be in for the first two games to match Wunder, and that Duke will be in at least in the third or fourth game if the series goes that long. We must watch out for TheShy’s Fiora, and what Wunder can possibly pick to match it.
Gao “Ning” Zhen-ning is a rather unpredictable jungler: while mechanically proficient, he sometimes has positioning and decision-making errors. He usually relies on his lanes’ priority to be able to invade the enemy jungle and make plays for his team. Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski is the more supportive jungler: he gets his laners ahead and shadows the side lanes in the 1-3-1.
Both of these junglers have a similar champion pool as well: Camille, Lee Sin, Gragas, and Xin Zhao stand out. Both players can play the Zac if necessary as well. Expect a rather heavy contestation in the jungle picks, as the meta dictates that the junglers’ early game playmaking shapes the tempo of games.
All eyes will most likely be on the middle lane: we will see Luka “Perkz” Perkovic go against Song “Rookie” Eui-jin. Rookie is, without a doubt, the best mid laner in the tournament, but Perkz was the deciding factor in G2 Esports’ match against Royal Never Give Up. The carry potential of both players is immense, but Rookie has the edge over Perkz: even on picks like the Galio and Lissandra, which are more to facilitate its members rather than lane dominance.
Expect both players to attempt to outplay the other and bot teams to pick or ban champions like Leblanc, Syndra, Irelia, Akali, and other assassins.
Both teams rely on the stability of the AD Carries. With the emphasis on their solo laners, the bottom lane usually is left on utility or wave clearing duty, or the role of late game insurance. Yu “Jackeylove” Wen-bo has shown an inclination towards the Kai’sa and the Xayah, and if needed he may reach towards the Ashe. On the other hand, Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss has had different picks from the rest of the AD Carry flock: he has his Heimerdinger, he has his Jhin, and he has his Sivir.
Invictus Gaming would most likely attempt to get a favorable matchup in the bottom lane, and will attempt to ban Hjarnan out as his champion pool usually seems to be suspect.
Kim “Wadid” Bae-in and Wang “Baolan” Liu-Yi have been mostly on initiation duty. Watch out for their Rakan, Alistar, or their Braum. The most contested pick, however, will be Tahm Kench. Tahm Kench greatly enables G2 Esports’ 1-3-1 setups. Tahm Kench’s ultimate is capable of assisting a side laner, or pushing an advantage in a side lane. At the same time, on the side of Invictus Gaming, Tahm Kench allows a team’s carries to play rather aggressively while decreasing the amount of punishment received. The Devour, after all, is capable of saving a teammate, and the Thick Skin allows him to be unnaturally tanky.
The support picks for these two are rather small. However, bear in mind that mage supports are rather conditional in this meta. Additionally, there are always picks like Leona, nautilus, and Thresh, that have more variance and preference among teams.
Worlds 2018 Semifinals Prediction
In the end, I can see Invictus Gaming winning 3-1. The talent in the roster across the board completely outclasses that of G2 Esports. However, we have seen upsets before in this tournament, and we must be prepared for anything.
Betting: Invictus Gaming -1.5 map handicap at 1.73 odds. (GGbet)
All Worlds 2018 semifinals odds courtesy of GGbet.
Do you agree with our prediction for the Worlds 2018 semifinals matchup between Invictus Gaming and G2 Esports? How much of a fight do you think will G2 Esports be able to put up? Let us know in the comments section below!