It’s Day 3 of the League of Legends World Championships and the action is really picking up now. Some of the top teams entering the tournament are facing virtual must-wins if they hope to make it out of the Group Stages and reach the Quarterfinals next week. Let’s see what’s in store for today:
Flash Wolves -165 Cloud9 +135
The Wolves had a small lead on I May in their first match of the tournament on Friday, but failed to capitalize on the advantage and that led to their demise. The turning point of that match was when I May ganked the Elder Dragon from Flash and used the subsequent bonuses to grind out a win.
As for Cloud9, they had the misfortune of running into the defending champions and were unceremoniously dispatched, taking just one tower from SKT in a route.
This match will come down to who can play the best in the mid-lane. Maple was billed as one of the most versatile mid-laners in the world coming into this tournament but had a disappointing game against I May and was outplayed by Athena. He will face off against Jensen, who was pummeled by Faker in the first match, and failed to register a kill.
Maple should redeem himself and get the upper hand on Jensen and Flash Wolves will ride him to a victory here.
SK Telecom T1 -670 I May +420
SKT showed why they are the only two-time World Champions in the history of League of Legends in their first match and Faker proved why he is still considered the best in the world. He dominated the mid-lane, leading the team in CS, and now leads SKT against I May in a battle for supremacy in Group B.
The Koreans are a heavy favorite here and with good reason. I May just doesn’t have the talent needed to beat SKT here and can’t overwhelm them with meticulous team play. SKT should waltz to an easy victory.
TSM -420 Splyce +270
That’s the type of performance that observers were expecting from the home-town favorites. TSM totally eviscerated Samsung Galaxy after a disappointing opener against Royal Never Give Up to move to 1-1 and now face an 0-2 Splyce team that will likely finish bottom of the table without a win here.
TSM only gave up one death at the hands of the Korean side, an impressive feat for any team, and Bjergsen was a terror early on in the mid-lane. Bjergsen toyed with Crown throughout the match and his presence in the middle of the map helped lead the North American champions get the win.
The team play from TSM was perhaps the most impressive seen yet this tournament. Each member had at least four assists and TSM totaled 37 assists against Samsung. Their team fighting was exemplary and the main reason why they were able to dominate the Koreans so handily.
European teams have not fared well this tournament and it’s hard to see Splyce getting a win here. They looked extremely tentative against Royal Never Give Up last night and this team looks like it’s doubting themselves. TSM is going to roll them up.
Royal Never Give Up -150 Samsung Galaxy +120
This should be the match of the day. RNGU is riding high at 2-0 while Samsung really needs to pull off an upset here to avoid falling to 1-2 in the group. One of the stories of the tournament so far has been RNGU’s disciplined style of play. This is a team that has been known to be easily baited in the past, but they have been able to keep their composure thus far.
RNGU seems that they are somewhat surprised to be in this position though. Star player Uzi gave a post-match interview last night where he picked TSM to win their group despite Royal’s win over TSM in the opening match of the tournament. It’s unclear why he would pick against his team, but that is a little concerning heading into this match.
Royal has never fared well against Korean teams and despite their recent run of play won’t be able to overcome Samsung here. Samsung has their back against the wall and knows it needs to come out swinging and will do just that to create a three-way tie at the top of Group D.