The League of Legends World Championship is quickly approaching and finally we have our groups laid out. For those of you that do not know: There are four groups of four teams and after a double round robin the top two teams of each group get to go to the playoffs. The groups this year are:
Group A: ROX Tigers, G2 Esports, Counter-Logic Gaming, and Albus Nox.
Group B: Flash Wolves, SK Telecom T1, I May, and Cloud9
Group C: Edward Gaming, AHQ E-sports Club, H2K, and INTZ E-sports
Group D: Team SoloMid, Royal Never Give Up, Samsung Galaxy, and Splyce
These groups ended up pretty even in difficulty I feel, but I do have to say that Group C looks like the group with the least competition. EDG has been extremely dominant in the Chinese scene and they'll be facing off against a wildcard team and two 2nd seed teams that haven't really impressed me over the last split.
On the other hand, Groups B and D are going to be a real toss up. Group B will most likely have SKT get out of the group but then its a real gamble on whether Flash Wolves or C9 will be the other team out. Flashwolves have always been a strong international team and C9 had a pretty pathetic showing last year at worlds. Yet this year with all the roster switchups and improvement with their macro play, C9 has a real shot of making it out of the group stage this year.
Group D is going to be my group of death this year. All of these teams have had great showings in their respective regions and all but Splyce already have several world championship showings under their belt. TSM had one of its most dominant splits in its history this year. Samsung galaxy has already won worlds before. RNG is the second best team in China at the moment and have been extremely dominant in that very skilled region.
Splyce are definitely the underdogs in this group, but I believe that they will give these other teams a run for their money if they relax their guard for even a second. Yamato Cannon has done an excellent job reforming this team after almost getting relegated two splits ago and I'm excited to see what he can do.
Group A looks pretty clear cut to me. Wildcard teams generally have no chance of advancing past groups on the international stage and CLG have only gotten worse since their MSI appearance. Maybe they can recapture some of that same magic, but I find it highly unlikely for them to make it out of the group stage. Especially when they're in a group with the European wonder team, G2 and the favorites to win worlds from Korea, ROX Tigers.
And here are my official predictions for who will their groups:
Group A: ROX Tigers and G2 Esports
Group B: SKT and FlashWolves
Group C: EDG and AHQ
Group D: TSM and RNG
What do you think? Am I a TSM fanboy and need to get a reality check? Leave your predictions in the comments down below and let's get hype for worlds!