The Best and Worst of the Worlds Groups, Part 1

Korea and China fight for the top as the LEC has a promising start and NA faceplants. But who truly stood out for better or worse?

Rogue looks like they never missed a beat from the LEC Finals | © Riot Games

The first round of the Worlds Main Event groups is over and it’s time to take stock of what happened. Naturally, with half of the groups’ games yet to be played and with shape and mental strength being key in the second stage where all games of a group are played on the same day, it’s far too early to be sure just how things will end - but we are going to try anyway. After all, what would League be without hot takes and a few statements that age like fine milk? Still, a few things went as expected - and a few things did not. JDG being on top of their group? That one was pretty expected. Rogue going 3-0 in the first half? That maybe not so much. NA going 0-9? That… well, okay, that’s a bit worse than we thought. So let’s recap the pleasant surprises and the disappointments.

Who’s Hot: Fnatic, Rogue, RNG

Fnatic had to deal with some Covid-caused delays but the team still came in first in their Play-In group with a 4-1 score. Still, the team showed they were ready to fight in what looks like a very competitive group, having no problems with Cloud9 and not giving T1 the time to scale for a 2-0 start. While the early game against EDG went horribly wrong, Fnatic tried to fight back and looked quite solid under the circumstances - though it was not enough. Still, the team is looking a lot better than most expected and is making group A extra spicy.

Rogue, meanwhile, came in as the LEC first seed after a heroic finals weekend, but no one was quite sure just how they would perform on the Worlds stage. It turns out that the European champions never missed a beat, outfighting DRX to get on the board before adding wins against GAM and Top Esports to their tally for a 3-0 start to their group. All lanes are looking strong and if Rogue can keep it up, they have a good chance to leave the group in first place.

Meanwhile, another team that fought on through the play-ins is taking group D by storm. Royal Never Give Up might have gotten a rude awakening with their lost game to Detonation FocusMe, but they showed up in the group, defeating LCK champions Gen.G in their opening game with great performances from all 3 lanes. CFO was overpowered in the early game and while 100 Thieves actually had an early advantage, one teamfight was all RNG needed to take over and end the first stage of group with a 3-0 record. While keeping it up might not be easy in the face of a Gen.G eager for a rematch, RNG are looking strong.

Who's Not: LCS, TES Esports

Oh boy. The NA teams had their ups and downs throughout the nine games they played, all there of them are currently dead last in their groups with a 0-3 record. Cloud9 looked outclassed by Fnatic and simply bombed against the two Asian teams. Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves looked a bit more solid at times, but they were at times outmatched and at times made key errors they could not recover from . At the end of the day, all of them faced difficult groups, but not to not get a single victory in nine games has to be a disappointment. Even CTBC Flying Oyster proved too much for 100 Thieves to overcome. We expected it to be rough for the LCS teams, but we expected them to get a few more shots.

Meanwhile, despite having some of the best LPL players, Top Esports looked quite shaky in group C. After a near-perfect start against GAM Esports, they were able to close out the game but not without a fight from the rowdy VCS champions. Meanwhile, without such a big early lead they struggled in the mid-game against Rogue and DRX. At 1-2 they can still recover, but beyond just the score, their play left a lot to be desired as reckless engages and being caught of position cost them time and again.

Read More about Worlds 2022

The Main Event Groups continue on Thursday, October 13 as the group A teams settle the score, Can the LEC teams keep it up and would the NA representatives find their groove, or are we in for another playoff dominated by LPL vs LCK?

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