The Group A of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship wrapped up yesterday in a bittersweet fashion for western fans. There is plenty to break down, to see how the two qualified teams were decided.
Worlds 2022 Group A Recap
Day 5 of Worlds 2022 started with three teams of Group A tied 2-1 in first place. The LPL team EDward Gaming, the LEC third seed Fnatic and the LCK’s second seed T1 had to put in everything in order to prevail, as one of them was certain to go home after the six matches.
After the first round robin, western fans had put their hopes into Fnatic, having beaten T1 in a convincing match. Unfortunately, those hopes were quickly shattered, as Fnatic dropped unexpectedly against the last place team Cloud9, handing the North American team and its region the first victory at Worlds 2022. What was even worse was that C9 dominated from the first minute until the end: FNC never looked in position to fight back. It was a joy and a glimpse of hope for the LCS fans, and a cold shower for the EU fans, which saw their qualifying dreams go away in the next match.
FNC faced T1 in the game, hoping to make the comeback after the disastrous starter. However, FNC made a crucial mistake in the draft, handing the bot lane duo of Sivir-Yuumi to the Korean team, which proved to be fatal for the game’s outcome. Despite a won 1v2 where Humanoid on Akali killed Faker’s Sylas, Upset and Hylissang underperformed, with the bot lane completely in T1’s favor. Fnatic went 0-2 in the first opening matches, with a combined score of 2-3: only a miracle would allow them to live on, but it wasn’t the case this time around.
Miracles don’t come around often
EDG took down C9 in a very one-sided series, where C9 weirdly went back to a drafting style that was similar to the first round robin. They didn’t draft scaling as they did against FNC and instead opted for the Varus again and it didn’t work out. With 19 kills to 1 in favor of the LPL team, EDG broke C9’s nexus in a little more than 26 minutes.
Following that win, EDG proceeded to destroy FNC in a similar fashion and more importantly, lock their and T1’s spots in the top 8 at Worlds. Jiejie was all over the place with Sejuani and it seemed like FNC was already in mental boom: no objectives were taken on the map by the EU team. Despite lasting 29 minutes, EDG had built a 16k gold lead and went 4-1 in the group, later caught up by T1 who handed C9 their fifth loss in the group. That being said, Jensen and Faker put up a great 1v1.
The last match was the decider between T1 and EDG: the winner would get the first seed in the group and technically a better edge in the knockout stage. The match was even for the most part of the early game until T1 pulled out a clean ace that allowed the Korean team to snowball the lead. With a Baron pickup at 21 minutes and better scaling thanks to Gangplank, Viktor and Soraka, T1 broke EDG’s base in 28 minutes and 14 seconds. Top laner Zeus has been performing and delivering so well so far, as he’s slowly entering among the elite players of the game.
T1 will now have to wait and see what team they will be facing in the knockout stage, while EDG hopes they don’t get seeded against RNG or another Chinese team like they did last year. With the other three groups still having to play their games, the two eastern teams will have to wait until Oct. 16, when the quarterfinals draw show will take place.
We are back to correct LoL Worlds Power Rankings expectations after Group A concluded. It was tall order for Cloud 9 and Fnatic to make it out, but we had high hopes this is the year of the west. Its time for G2 and JDG to do their job tonight.