The most important event of the year for League of Legends players around the world is soon upon us and fans can’t wait to see their favorite teams compete on the international level. Even though the World Championship only begins in November and the Play-in stage in October we already have the most important milestone behind us. The Group draw event plays an important role in how the story of the tournament shapes every year, as it determines the matchups during the first rounds of the championship. Depending on their luck teams could get an easy time getting out of their Group or find it hardly possible to proceed to the quarterfinals from the group stage.
With many wildcard teams in this stage, we don’t expect many upsets to happen and think that the draw would have a minor impact on which teams will proceed.
In Group A, despite LNG and Hanwha Life being drawn into the same group we doubt that either team would fall short at this stage. LNG has shown a dominating performance while fighting their way through the LPL playoffs and only ended up losing to EDG, who proceeded to win the title. LNG seem to be in great form and it is unlikely that any of the play-in teams could stand against Tarzans wrath, while Chovy is expected to perform way above the level of other mid-laners at this stage, thus giving an easy way forward to Hanwha Life Esports.
Group B seems a lot more double-edged, but we do have faith in C9 and beyond Gaming to clutch it out and proceed to the next round.
It is important to note that there is a rule for the group stages that two teams from the same region can’t be drawn into the same group, so should one team selected to play against a team of his own region, he’ll automatically be pushed into the next group instead.
Without further ado, let us take a look at the results and what we could expect from them!
Group A, the group of death
With DK, FPX and Rogue this group seems extremely difficult to get out of unless your name is DWG KIA or FunPlus Phoenix. From the play-in stage we expect C9 to complete the group, but with FPX being considered a second seed from the LPL and being drawn into the same group as the best team Korea has to offer it is difficult to argue for either Rogue or Cloud9 to have any chance at beating them even if the Asian teams have a bad day and perform below expectations. It is especially unfortunate for Rogue as this is the second year in a row of them being drawn into a group that many consider to be the most difficult by far, however without DK and FPX other teams now have a much better chance at making it out of the other groups.
Group B, EDG, and the boys
Edward gaming will undoubtedly have no trouble coming out first from this group, but there could be quite a lot of intense fighting for the second place as both 100Thiefes and T1 has shown great performance during their regional playoffs, and Should BYG manage to make it out from the play-in stage, they should also be considered a contender.
Group C, the group of Life
PSG coming into the tournament as a first seed could lead to some exciting results. Despite their good performance in recent times, it is not likely that they could compete with RNG, who came into the tournament as a third seed despite showing great performance and are considered one of the contenders to win the championship by many, including us. Should FNC get their picks we also think that they could have a good shot at beating PSG to the second seed, but it depends a lot on how well the other teams will be prepared to prevent them from executing their strategy of transferring pressure to mid lane to enable Nisqy to then dive side lanes with champions like Twisted Fate or Galio in return, still it is unlikely that they could go further than Quarterfinals. Should PSG prepare properly and give enough respect to the known and telegraphed methods Fanatic is using, they could very well come out as a runner up to RNG second from the group. It is definitely a group any team would have been happy to be drawn into.
Group D, the hope of Europe
MAD Lions are this year what G2 has been for the past 3 years for the west. With their proactive and dominant playstyle, they are one of the few western teams who we think could be a serious competition for the best Asian teams. With only GenG and probably LNG in their group, they have a good shot at coming out first in their group and potentially even making it to the semi-finals, if they end up facing a team like FNC, PSG, T1, or 100T in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately for them either DK or FPX will come out of the group stage as the second seed, thus there will be at least one team who we would favor over them in a potential quarterfinals matchup, though on their best day MAD does stand a chance to beat any team. Should LNG be placed into Group D we assume that they will bring down both GenG, who usually end up falling short when it matters the most, and TL who have lately shown a very disappointing performance.
Instead of summing up the results, we expect to happen let us give you a little sneak peek into what we would hope to see as the quarter-final composition for the 2021 League of Legends World Championships.
The big rematch: RNG vs DK
During MSI we have seen an intense 3-2 victory for RNG and DWG Kia would undoubtedly love to get revenge for the close victory the Chinese team has achieved over them half a year ago.
The old GOAT against the new
Both FPX and T1 ended up missing their regional championship title by a few matches yet have shown great performance during the summer playoffs. FPX should be the clear favorites to win the series but seeing DoinB play against Faker is a dream many fans are dying to see come through.
MAD vs LNG
This would be an exciting series to watch. Both teams have an aggressive playstyle with a very proactive midgame. Mad Lions has shown dominance all season while, the Asian team dominated LPL playoffs, in a more difficult region to succeed in, yet we would give the edge to EU in this matchup, considering that LNG used to have games when they just collapse and MAD could put up enough pressure to come out victorious, especially Elyoya being a competent jungler, even against someone like Tarzan.
EDG vs FNC
Unfortunately, as much as we like to root for EU, it seems unlikely that Fanatic could stand a chance against a powerhouse like EDG. Nisqy is probably one of the best midlaners at Roaming in the world, but we have seen in LPL finals how well EDG can prepare for a team having a monster in the midlane when they managed to neutralize even DoinB, who has otherwise been carrying his team on his back throughout the whole season.