Chinese and South Korean Teams have dominated the Worlds Main Event Group Stage, leading to a disappointing year for several Western teams.
The Worlds 2022 Group Stage ended last weekend and we have our eight quarterfinalists. Last week, we decided to do a hot take and go over the winners and losers of the first round of the groups. Naturally, some of what we said did not age well. Back then, the LEC looked like a powerhouse and week 2 gave European fans quite the cold shower. So let’s go over what we saw in the groups and who was hot and who was not.
- Royal Never Give Up: The LPL fourth seed had its ups and down in play-ins, but they turned up the heat when it was time to go to the groups. While the team lost the rematch and the tiebreaker versus Gen.G, we are willing to cut them some slack - they did, after all, face off against the LCK champions and it did look like there were some health issues involved. RNG showed some very good League of Legends and showed they could be a dark horse for the tournament.
- JD Gaming: China´s champions have showed they are up to snuff and may be one of the favorites for the title. JDG would sometimes start slow but time after time, they would take over the mid-game. They easily fended off Evil Geniuses and G2 Esports and while DWK was able to force a tiebreaker, the LPL first seed managed to come out ahead with a very entertaining game where Bai "369" Jia-Hao had one of the most over the top Aatrox performances we’ve seen at Worlds.
- T1: After a loss to Fnatic in week one made many wonder how good T1 was going to be this tournament, the LCK champions delivered a standout performance in week 2 to give us the answer: very good indeed. They easily got back at the LEC team and leave the group at first place with a 5-1 record. T1 showed us some great drafting and execution, playing around Choi "Zeus" Woo-je as he made his claim to be one of the best players in the tournament so far.
- G2 Esports: Up until the Summer finals, G2 Esports was widely seen as the best LEC team of the year and even after their loss to Rogue, we expected some great League of Legends from the second European seed. Well, we did not get it - G2 looked exposed at Worlds, leaving the group with only one victory - against NA´s third seed Evil Geniuses, who in week 2 got their revenge in the rematch. G2 looked just out their depth against JDG and DWK. This is not enough for a team often considered the best western squad.
- LCS: While the North American representatives improved their record in the second round robin, going from 0-9 to 3-15, this is still the worst score the region has had at any world championship. Victories against old rivals the LEC might have been enjoyable for NA fans, but the fact that none of these teams managed to get anything more than a 1-5 is frankly bad. This is the first year since 2015 where there are no NA teams in playoffs, but even then we saw the LCS squads be a lot more competitive. Both Western regions looked exposed this Worlds - unless Rogue ends up going on a rampage in the playoffs - but it’s hard to argue that the LCS underperformed.
- Top Esports: By now, it has become a tradition that at least one LPL team falls on its face and does not make it out of the group. China’s second seed had a bad first week, losing to both DRX and Rogue, before an upset loss to Vietnam’s GAM Esports ensured that Top would be flying home after the play-ins. The LPL team ended the tournament with two good wins against the LEC and LCK representatives, but the damage is done. Even with a lot of comments about the loss to GAM being caused by a bug, it is hard to deny that Top struggled in several key games in groups.
Read More about Worlds 2022:
- LoL Worlds 2022: EU Proves They Suck As Much as NA
- The Best and Worst of the Worlds Groups, Part 1
- League of Legends Worlds 2022: Faker Breaks Another Record
The Worlds playoffs kick off on Thursday, October 20th from 11 PM CEST as JD Gaming faces off against Rogue. Will the LEC champion shake off the week 2 malaise and once more rise up to the occasion in the playoffs, or will it be an easy semifinal spot for the LPL first seed?