A Look Into Worlds 2019 Quarter-finals day 1
Group Stages of the Worlds 2019 has concluded and the 8 contenders head to Madrid for quarter-finals. After all the heated battles in the group stages, two things are certain; This will be one of the most competitive quarter-finals of Worlds and Korean overlords are back!
Worlds 2019 Quarter-finals 1: Griffin(6-1) vs Invictus Gaming(4-2)
The hyped Griffin finally came online during week two of the group stages and managed to grab the first seed out of groups. Many question marks were surrounding Griffin before Worlds even begun. Their combined 1-5 score in best of 5 matches in LCK and crumbling before SK Telecom T1 in both spring and summer finals made people think if they choked under pressure. So far Griffin managed to brush off the question marks thanks to Tarzan and Chovy’s great performance. The squad managed to go 4-0 in week 2 and defeat MSI champions G2 Esports twice in row. The road ahead will not be easy for them as they will be facing the defending world champions Invictus Gaming.
Invictus Gaming had a very rough summer split. Rookie going home for family issues and Ning underperforming made the team exit summer finals very early. They only managed to grab the last Worlds spot by Rookie gaining his form and implementing their academy team jungler Leyan. During group stages, it came very clear that solo laners Rookie and TheShy are in their world champions form, but their problem in the jungle and Baolan not performing is still looming over the team.
Key Player for Griffin: Sword
While Chovy and Tarzan performed amazing in group stages the same can’t be said about Sword. Griffin choose to substitute Sword for Doran in more than half of the LCK summer split and this decision showed itself in the first week of group stages. Sword seemed out of synch with his team and got outclassed by both Wunder and Licorice. In the second week, Sword upped his performance but it will still be very rough for him going against TheShy. If Griffin wants to advance to the semi-finals Sword needs to endure the onslaught that is TheShy.
Key Player for Invictus Gaming: Ning
In the second week, Invictus Gaming decided to sub in Ning back to the main team. Leyan’s rookie performance clearly showed itself during the first week. Even subbing in Ning didn’t solve IG’s all problems as they didn’t manage to beat DAMWON Gaming in both matches. Ning’s aggression works well for IG as when the team is on form they are doing this by solo laners working well with Ning. The question is; can Ning unleash his monster solo laners or will he feed and cost his team the series?
Prediction: 3-2 Griffin
It’s a very close series to predict but Griffin is ahead by a small margin as they seem like the more stable team. If IG is back on their form and brings out that solo lane power they can easily take the series otherwise, star rookies of Griffin will head to the semi-finals.
Quarter-finals 2: FunPlus Phoenix(5-2) vs Fnatic(4-2)
The Chinese LPL champions were predicted to go 6-0 in their group. This prediction was wrong and they barely managed to grab the first seed out of groups by winning a tie-breaker game against Splyce. FunPlus Phoenix was one of the frontrunners of the tournament as they finished the summer split of LPL in 14-1 score in the best of 3 series(29-4 total win/lose). Their biggest strength came from getting 2v2 mid/jungle leads and carry this lead to their bot lane to snowball matches. The team is yet to show this in Worlds group stages. In the first week, star ADC Lwx(which was first All-Pro ADC in LPL) showed his worst performance ever and used Kai’sa ultimates to jump in every fight to die. It’s not all grim for the Chinese squad as super carry Doinb has put on his carry pants and lead his team to victories. Their matchup against Fnatic will be very interesting as both teams showed mixed performances.
Fnatic finally managed to beat their demons Royal Never Give Up! The latter was getting better of European squad in the last two times they faced each other and kicked them out of Worlds 2017 and MSI 2018. It was a real surprise that Fnatic came out of their group as they had an abysmal first week and lost both to SKT and RNG. In the first week jungle Broxah and top laner Bwipo were absent from the Rift and ADC Rekkles was playing non-adcs in bot lane as if he was unconfident of his ability. In the second week, Fnatic looked like the team that contested G2 in Athens and they managed to beat both SKT and RNG to have a miracle run out of groups. Fnatic still has clear weaknesses in their champion pool, the team tends to underperform when they are not in their comfortable champions. One thing is certain for Fnatic is that their midlaners perform great on the biggest stage. Rookie midlaner Nemesis has been the standout player for Fnatic and his stability might be the biggest edge over FPX in the upcoming quarter-finals.
Key Player for FPS: Doinb
FPX is underperforming in the international stage, but the team has its shining light; Doinb. If FPX wants to defeat Fnatic, Doinb needs to put on his carry pants and play worthy of his title “Super Carry Doinb”.
Key Player for Fnatic: Broxah
On a good day, Broxah is one of the best junglers in the world. On a bad day, he is like Evelynn; invisible and absent. Broxah’s selfless jungling and his three men roaming death squad with Nemesis and Hyllisang will be the key for Fnatic’s victory.
Worlds Series Prediction: 3-1 Fnatic
Fnatic overcame the group of death and managed to beat the tournament favorites SKT. While FPX showed very little in their group stages matches. If FPX shrugs their stage jitters and perform like in LPL, they can win this series otherwise it’s very clear Fnatic victory.