On Wednesday October 2, a dozen teams will start to battle it out for the last four spots at the League of Legends World Championships Group Stage. Teams from the major regions (LEC, LCS, LMS, and LCK) are the favorites to emerge, but we’ve seen upsets at this stage before. Of the teams from those major regions, only DAMWON Gaming appears untouchable, so squads from minor regions could get the chance to make it to the main stage.
2019 League of Legends World Championships Play-In Day 1 Betting Odds (Courtesy of BookMaker)
Clutch Gaming -275
Unicorns of Love +226
Clutch were one of the worst teams in the LCS in the Spring Split, but this team performed significantly better in the Summer Split. Huni jumped into the wayback machine to become the dominant top laner he was on Fnatic and SK Telecom T1, and mid laner Damonte has been excellent on assassins. They helped Clutch stun Team SoloMid for a spot at Worlds, and their unique style of play will be tough for Unicorns of Love to match up against.
UoL do have a few advantages though. Edward is one of the most veteran players at this competition, and his steady hand will help UoL in teamfighting. He posted a 5.4 KDA during the LCL Summer Split, and he knows what it takes to win at Worlds as the last remaining member of Moscow Five. Still, it’s unlikely to be enough here.
Detonation FocusMe +405
This is a bad matchup for Detonation FocusMe. DFM won the LJL in both spring and summer, and this team had high hopes for Worlds after finishing 4-2 in the Mid-Season Invitational Group Stage. However, their style of play matches up exactly with Splyce, and Splyce play it better.
Both teams play for the late game where they excel in the teamfighting stage. That’s been a hallmark of Japanese teams from the start of the LJL, and Splyce played the longest games in the LEC this season. Splyce has the tools to turn it on quicker though with a great jungler like Xerxe, and their bridge to the mid game is more solid. Splyce should have no problem beating DFM.
Unicorns of Love -230
Teams from Oceania never fare well in international tournaments, and it’s hard to see that changing this year. MAMMOTH are probably the weakest team at Worlds, but at least most members have been on this stage in the past. Triple and k1ng have been top players in the OPL for a while, yet they are likely no match for Unicorns of Love.
UoL’s frenetic pace is likely to fluster MAMMOTH. The Russian team has incredible micro talent, and while the macro play isn’t quite there, the individual skill is more than enough to overcome a team like MAMMOTH.
Isurus Gaming -140
Detonation FocusMe +120
This is the only upset I like on Wednesday. DFM are a good team that should finish second in Group B, but they need to pick up a win over Isurus Gaming. I’m a little surprised to see Isurus installed as the favorite. They finished tied for last place in their group at MSI, and they lost to the Oceania representative Bombers.
Isurus have the most decorated regional player in mid laner Seiya, and Buggax has done well in the top lane. However, jungler Oddie does not have the greatest pathing skills, and this bottom lane is way too aggressive. DFM will turn that aggression against them.
Clutch Gaming -700
Clutch could finish this match in under 25 minutes. There isn’t a position where Clutch doesn’t have a major advantage, and Huni could style on his top lane counterpart if he has a skill match-up. Huni shined on those throughout the LCS Regional Playoffs, so look for him to be prioritized a winning lane.
Isurus Gaming +483
This match won’t be close either. Splyce just have better talent than Isurus, and Isurus are not a team that moves together well. Their kill percentage as a team is very low, so Splyce will use their superior coordination to get the upper hand.