After an exciting first week of action, three teams are tied at the top of Group A. Now each team will play every other team in this group in a wild last day of action. There are only two spots available in the Quarterfinals and it will be interesting to see who the odd team out is.
ROX Tigers -520 CLG +320
ROX didn’t look like the powerhouse that most people were expecting in the first weekend of play. The Tigers had some great individual moments, most notably Peanut’s Baron Nashor steal and Smeb’s Kennen ultimate on G2, but lost a surprising number of team fights and were tested by both Albus NoX Luna and G2.
The Korean champions are tied atop the table in Group A at 2-1 but could very easily be 1-2 due to their struggles in the early game as well as their problems with team fights. ROX’s issues in those areas were fully laid bare by CLG the last time these teams met up and this will be a rare chance for the Tigers to avenge a loss.
Which CLG will ROX see this weekend? The North American Spring champions continue to baffle observers with their erratic play. CLG crashed out of the Summer Playoffs against rivals TSM and lost to upstart Albus, but soundly defeated G2 and thumped ROX in the first weekend of the Group Stage.
CLG showed what they are capable of last week against ROX. A glitch had left the champion Aurelion Sol unavailable for the first two days of matches, but the issues were fixed by Sunday and CLG took full advantage. ROX failed to ban the champion and Huhi completely dominated the game with him. The mid-laner picked up 9 of the first 11 kills for CLG against ROX and led the surprising rout that leveled CLG with ROX and Albus atop the table.
It’s highly unlikely that ROX will allow Huhi to run amok with Aurelion Sol once again and he will almost certainly be one of the bans submitted by the Korean side. Without the powerful champion at their disposal, CLG will have to use a different strategy in order to win. CLG looked pretty pedestrian in their two matches without Aurelion Sol and it’s hard to imagine them remaining competitive with a ban on the champion in place.
ROX should fare much better this time around and will have smoothed out their opening weekend kinks. Smeb will be able to shine against his top-lane counterpart Darshan and that will be the difference in a ROX victory. CLG’s main hope is for ROX to have already locked up the top spot in the group, making this match-up inconsequential, but for that to happen they will need to take care of business against G2 and Albus NoX and hope ROX does the same.
G2 -320 Albus NoX +250
It’s been a rough tournament for G2 thus far. The European champions were widely expected to finish runner-up in this group, but are sitting at 0-3 and are longshots to make it to the Quarterfinals now. Mithy and Trick have been bright spots for this team and have given this team chances, but Perkz has been awful in the mid-lane and that has really hurt G2.
Albus was considered an afterthought in a group where every other team had won a league championship this year. However, the international side has looked superb, only losing to ROX thus far. They have caught their opponents off guard with outside-the-box champion selections and risky plays to gain buffs and have a legitimate shot to be the first international qualifier to make it to the knockout stages.
When these two sides met last week, G2 was still reeling from its loss to ROX and made a lot of uncharacteristically poor plays. Chief among those was letting Albus stealthily kill Baron Nashor and gain the bonus that put the side ahead for good. This will very likely be the last match for G2 and we should be able to tell early on if they are mentally in it or not.
The oddsmakers are still underestimating this Albus team. Even though teams in this group will be more prepared for their unique style of play this time around, there’s a major question over how hard G2 will train to make effective counters. G2 will likely have already been eliminated at this point and simply may not care. Albus is a steal at this price with that in mind.