Group C was billed as the easiest group to get through, but through one weekend of play, no team is undefeated and every side will need two wins in order to get through. Edward Gaming is still a heavy favorite to win the group, but which side will claim the other spot into the Quarterfinals?
Edward Gaming -550 H2K +350
Edward Gaming was supposed to waltz through what was considered the weakest group at Worlds, but following an opening match loss to international wildcard INTZ, the Chinese champions couldn’t rest in order to make sure they made it through the first week at 2-1. This is still one of the tournament favorites, but the play of top-laner Mouse has called into question just how far this team can go.
Mouse has been extremely shaky in the top-lane so far for EDG. He was massively outplayed in the team’s loss to INTZ, dying 7 times while only racking up 1 kill, and he was far from spectacular in the win against Ahq. It was only against H2K that he had a decent game, but even then he didn’t turn the tide until over a half-hour in.
H2K is the standout for Europe after the first weekend with the only win from any of the region’s three teams. They took care of business against INTZ in a match that started off extremely slowly, but seized the initiative quickly after gaining the upper hand and ended up dispatching the up-and-comers in a little over half an hour.
The European side played a pretty level match with the other team considered to be their main competition Ahq eSports Club, but their eventual loss has put them at 1-2 and means they need to win at least two matches this weekend in order to have a shot at advancing to the knockout stages. A win against the overwhelming group favorites would be huge and greatly bolster their chances.
When these two sides met last week, EDG meticulously built up a gold lead and used that advantage to eventually snowball H2K following a misplay from Mouse that ended up working out in EDG’s favor. Even though it’s hard to have faith in Mouse at this point, the framework of EDG is enough to overcome a challenger like H2K and that will lead to a win for the Chinese giants.
Ahq eSports Club -550 INTZ E-sports +350
Ahq is known as a team that likes to engage in big team fights, but exhibited a lot of restraint through the first weekend of play. Many observers expected their bout with H2K to have plenty of fireworks, but instead Ahq played a subdued game. The Taiwanese side is now the second-favorite to get out of the group after their win over H2K, but must continue their nuanced play in order to succeed.
Albis has looked like one of the top support players in the world thus far in Worlds and as he goes, so goes the team. In Ahq’s two wins, Albis has a KDA of at least 10 and in their lone loss, he has a KDA of just six. He thoroughly dominated INTZ’s Support player Jockster the last time these two teams met Ahq needs him to continue his solid play.
INTZ shocked everyone when they beat EDG in their first match, but looked like the moment had caught up with them in their matches afterward against Ahq and H2K. INTZ seemed tentative instead of seizing opportunities and that conservative style cost them.
The Brazilian side has to show that they aren’t satisfied with winning one match at Worlds. They spent the whole week trying to prepare and keep the moment from overwhelming them but that’s easier said than done. INTZ has to come out with a plan of attack and stick to it this time around.
It would be a great story to see both of the international qualifiers make it into the knockout stages, but Ahq is going to get the win here and virtually ruin INTZ’s chances. Ahq has a more well-rounded team and has been on a stage like this before and won’t let the moment overwhelm them.