With the exhilarating group stage of the 2015 League of Legends World Championship now finalized, today begins the best of 5 (BO5) knockout stage format. The first game of the series will begin today, October 15th, at 12:00pm ET.
Let’s take a look at the first two teams that face off against each other.
Road to Worlds
This is a team that largely was composed of players from the same Gamania Bears team that played in the 2013 World Championship.
In 2013, they were knocked out in the group stage by eventual champion, and this year’s favorite to win it all (1.434 odds), SK Telecom T1. This time around their luck has changed. They were able to draw a relatively weak group and claim the number one seed in Group A against an underperforming Counter Logic Gaming and a raw paiN Gaming.
Strengths and weaknesses
Steak, Maple, NL, and SwordArt are experienced players and have the bonus of playing together for years now.
While they looked dominant in the Spring Split, they lost some confidence after being bested by ahq and passed over to play at the MSI. They also lost to HKE in the summer playoffs, but rebounded to beat them 3-2 in the regional qualifiers to get here.
Potential laning issues include ADC KKramer not joining the team for Worlds (former ADC NL will be taking back his spot) along with Steak’s inconsistency in top lane. Confidence is also an issue. If they lose the first game, it could get really ugly.
The obvious choice would be SwordArt, one of the better supports in this championship.
However, in order for Flash Wolves to advance, they will need consistent play from their top laner. Steak is similar to Cloud9 fan favorite Hai in that his leadership abilities and shot calling are superb (Flash Wolves found this out when they temporarily replaced him), but he lacks a defining champion pool and his mechanics are questionable.
It’s definitely one of the key matchups to watch for in this BO5.
Road to Worlds
How much longer can Origen sustain this magical journey (shout out to all the Bard fans out there)? Forget about their first ever trip to Worlds resulting in advancing out of group stage and to the knockout stage, this was the team’s first year in the European LCS.
While they may be a newer team, former Fnatic mid laner xPeke was given the right to choose his teammates, mixing youth with veterans. It all started to come together near the end of the year, when they took Fnatic to a surprising five games in the EU LCS Finals (Fnatics only two losses since MSI before Worlds started).
They showed extreme poise and confidence in the group stage, navigating through a shrill of a performance by LGD Gaming and the ghost of TSM. Their reward? A matchup against arguably the weakest one seed to advance out of group stage.
Strengths and weaknesses
Origen’s style of play will be similar to paiN Gaming and Koo Tigers, excelling in a split-pushing environment. Why is this so important?
Flash Wolves just advanced from the same group with both of these teams. They’ve seen the strategies and techniques. This is still their first time on the world stage as a team with pressure mounting, and they’ll have to quickly overcome some obstacles against a group of experienced players.
Their inability to excel at any one particular stage of the game (sometimes they can snowball mid game, sometimes they can carry late game, but they’re not superb at either) will be a key element of this matchup to watch for.
Look no further than the visionary and team captain, xPeke. He was a legend when he played for Fnatic, and no one could have predicted the success his team has had in this short of a time frame.
Just getting to Worlds is a huge victory for him. His ability to recruit fellow Fnatic player sOAZ, former TSM jungler Amazing, and relatively new players Mithy (who did briefly play for Lemondogs) and rookie Niels is already a win in our books.
Expect big things from this team in the future.
eSports betting prediction time
If you’re looking for a matchup that has an underdog with legitimate shots of winning this is the series to watch. Even though Flash Wolves is the number one seed in this matchup, they currently have odds of 2.810 to win compared to Origen’s 1.465 odds.
We think Flash Wolves odds are much higher than this of winning (40-50%). They’re coming from a group that had two teams very similar in style to Origen. That will no doubt decrease some of the strategies and tactics that Origen has in their arsenal. Also, Origen dropped the last two games of their group stage. Was that just a mini-slump after having already secured a spot in the knock out stage, or a sign of things to come?
On the flip side, Flash Wolves had to fight their way to the knockout stage after dropping two games in the first round. They finished group stage winning all three games in week two. If you’re looking for an underdog with realistic chances of winning, put your eSports betting bucks on Flash Wolves against Origen.
Flash Wolves 3-2