League Of Legends Worlds 2016: Group D In-Depth Team Analysis And Predictions

Letter D spray painted on wood
After a month of waiting, players have only days left to prepare for one of the biggest moments in their esports careers.

Some of the best League of Legends teams the world has to offer will begin battling it out in the United States this week to embark on their journey for glory.

This week we’ll be taking a closer look at the teams in Group C and D for the 2016 World Championship. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our Group A and Group B analysis.

Team SoloMid – NA’s chance to win Worlds

Typically this time of year we’re debating over which North American team has the best chance to move out of group stage.

This year, the hype is in overdrive for Team SoloMid. Not only is TSM expected to win their group, but they have a legitimate shot at winning the entire thing.

How they got here

TSM arrives to Worlds following a stellar Summer Split. After an abysmal Spring Split, TSM finished the Summer Split with a 17-1 record in series, only losing one game in the playoffs as well.

They claimed first place by beating Cloud9 in the Summer Split Finals.

Contender or pretender?

This appears to be the best iteration of TSM, but is it good enough to get to the quarterfinals of Worlds?

This is not an easy group whatsoever. In fact, I have this ranked as the toughest of the four groups. All four teams have legitimate chances of moving on. But if you want to be the best (and TSM does), you have to beat the rest.

I have TSM moving on as the top seed from this group. I believe in the hype: This is a top five team.

Royal Never Give Up – falling on tough times

I’ve been burned before by believing in the Chinese teams, and the past two years the region as a whole has failed to live up to expectations. Royal Never Give Up plays great within their region, but has trouble winning when it matters most.

I was really impressed by RNG at this year’s Mid-Season Invitational, where they finished with an 8-2 record during group stage. But once again, after dominating SKT in the group stage, they could not find an answer in the semifinals (going 1-3 against SKT).

The same exact thing happened during the recent LPL playoffs as well. After RNG finished 13-2 during the group stage, they were barely present during the finals, getting swept by EDG 0-3.

How they got here

Royal Never Give Up arrives at Worlds as China’s second seed, finishing the regular season with the most Championship Points. They lost to EDG in the finals to lose out on the number one seed.

Contender or pretender?

RNG will be contenders at Worlds, but they have to get over the mental hump when/if they do move on to the quarterfinals. This is a team that features one of the most potent bottom lane duos at Worlds.

With the recent meta shift that will essentially seal in regular lanes at Worlds (the death of lane swaps is upon us), look for Cho “Mata” Se-hyoung (RNG’s support player) and Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao (RNG’s ADC) to have an excellent tournament.

Samsung Galaxy – Korea’s blue collar team

This team has worked harder than any of the teams here at Worlds. They’ve had to go through a complete rebuild after a disappointing 2015 season, struggling at times this year as well.

Samsung Galaxy barely avoided relegations in the LCK Spring Split, finishing in sixth place. They followed that up with a fourth place finish during both the LCK Summer Split and the Summer Playoffs.

They made a run through the gauntlet that draws inspiration from last year’s C9 team — grinding out games and finding a will to win.

How they got here

Samsung arrives to Worlds after a stellar run through their region’s gauntlet.

Many did not give them a chance of making it out of the regional qualifier, but here they are. Afreeca Freecs was dispatched in a 3-1 series win, setting up a rematch between Samsung Galaxy and KT Rolster.

KT Rolster were heavy favorites with esports bookmakers to beat Samsung, but this team has really come on at the end of the year. After a stellar, back and forth series, Samsung won 3-2 and clinched their first trip to Worlds since 2014.

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Contender or pretender?

Samsung has the experience and the pedigree to win this group.

They come from the strongest region in the world, and had to fight there way just to get here. Now we’ll get to see how the third best team from Korea faces up against the other regions in the world.

Splyce – a comeback story

Yup, even Splyce’s head coach knows his team is in the “Group of Death” (a term coined for the toughest group from which to advance).

It doesn’t really matter how Splyce performs during Worlds (obviously they want to be competitive); this team has already surpassed expectations this split.

It’s been well-documented here at ESB that Splyce was literally moments away from being relegated.

This team had to fight for their lives in the Spring Relegation tournament. They narrowly out edged Giants Gaming 3-2 just to return to the EU LCS.

How they got here

Splyce will represent Europe as the third seed, arriving to Worlds via the region’s gauntlet. They only had to play one series after finishing the Summer Playoffs in third place, outlasting Unicorns of Love in a tough five-game series.

Contender or pretender?

How different the spectrum looks for Splyce in just six months. This team went from near disappointment of being relegated to the elation of earning a chance to compete at Worlds for the first time ever.

Splyce has had to grind out games all year, beating expectations at every turn. They’ll have to do it again during the group stage if they want their magical journey to continue.

This will be one of my favorite underdogs to watch at Worlds, but even I must admit it will be a tall task to make it out of this group. We’ll be watching and rooting though!

Esports betting predictions

Team SoloMid: 4-2
Royal Never Give Up: 3-3
Samsung Galaxy: 3-3
Splyce: 2-4

Rachel Perry

About

Rachel is an avid gamer whose insatiable desire for all things gaming related has been augmented by the inconceivable growth of eSports and how competitive gaming is viewed. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite games, Rachel can be found playing League of Legends, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, or watching too much Twitch.tv.