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

Ladies with large letter B
As we continue our journey up to the start of Worlds in a couple of weeks, it’s now time to take a look at the four teams from Group B and decide how this bracket will play out.

Let’s examine how each team got here, perform an in-depth analysis, and predict which two teams will be moving on.

Don’t miss our analysis of Group A, Group C, and Group D.

SKT — defending World Champions

After becoming the first team to win the World Championship twice under one franchise, it wasn’t always easy sledding this year for SKT.

When you’re the premier team in League of Legends, everyone wants to knock you off. For some teams, playing against SKT is their Super Bowl.

Now let’s talk about SKT’s struggles this year.

After winning Worlds, SKT’s next tournament was a loss to ESC Ever at the KeSPA Cup. (At the time, ESC was a Challenger team in the LCK.) Their Spring Split start didn’t go much better either.

SKT headed to IEM Katowice in an astonishing sixth place in their region. However, that tournament would be the turning point. SKT decided to finally switch to their new rookie jungler, Blank, and the team immediately looked like contenders once again.

SKT would go on to win IEM Katowice, returning to the LCK to finish in third place and knock off the ROX Tigers for first place in the Spring Split.

(And don’t forget a trip to MSI, where they also would win.)

How they got here

SKT is here by virtue of Championship Points.

After being upset by KT Rolster in the semifinals, any hope of a number one seed vanished.

However, SKT will be perfectly content with this group. Flash Wolves may present a problem, but SKT is still the clear cut favorites in this group.

Contender or pretender?

Well, this is an easy one. I feel visual representation is in order of how dominant SKT has been since Faker joined the organization.

Let’s take a look at how the team performs against international teams in big tournaments:

  • Worlds 2013: 12-1 (only loss came against a really good OMG team)
  • Allstar 2014: 9-0
  • MSI 2015: 10-5 (they would actually lose this tournament to EDG 2-3 in the finals)
  • Worlds 2015b 12-0
  • IEM Katowice 2016: 7-0
  • MSI 2016: 12-5
  • Overall record: 62-11 against international competition

That’s an astonishing 82 percent win rate against international teams.

Flash Wolves — an LMS powerhouse

Flash Wolves have a long tradition of representing their region in international tournaments. They are without a doubt one of the most successful and storied franchises to come out of the LMS.

Despite their resounding success in Taiwan, Flash Wolves know they’ll truly be judged by how they perform against international competition.

Last year, they were able to go an impressive 2-0 against the Korean ROX Tigers (then the KOO Tigers) in group stage, moving on to the quarterfinals where they lost to EU’s Origen.

How they got here

Flash Wolves once again dominated their region, claiming first place in the 2016 Spring Split and the 2016 Summer Split. They qualified as the number one seed from LMS.

Flash Wolves play with a very unique style, looking to push the tempo early and find the chaotic teamfights in which they excel. Look for them to come into Worlds with one the strongest early games of any of the 16 teams competing.

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Contender or pretender?

Flash Wolves are always contenders when it comes to international tournaments. This is what they build up to every year, and it’s where they can leave their mark on the game’s history.

Flash Wolves have been the kryptonite for top Korean teams in the past, something of which SKT will have to be aware.

As we mentioned already, Flash Wolves swept the KOO Tigers in group stage last year as well as giving SKT fits at MSI. (They were the only team with a winning record at MSI against SKT.)

Simply put, Flash Wolves elevate their level of play when they have to face a Korean team.

But the same cannot be said when they play North American and European teams. This is perhaps because the NA/EU LCS features many teams starting out fast as well, heading off one of the strengths of Flash Wolves.

Cloud9 — North America’s darling

It’s no wonder that Cloud9 has amassed quite the fan group here in North America.

Their scrappy play, likable players, and consistent success just make you want to root for this team. Coming into the Summer Split, Cloud9 replaced three of their five starters. They didn’t miss a beat though, returning to Worlds once again.

I know this will be hyped to no end in the coming weeks, but what majority of fans are looking forward to watching Impact play his former team (SKT)? Ninety percent? Ninety-five percent?

Impact has been playing on another level these past two months, and I expect that to continue heading into Worlds. SKT has been breaking in a new top laner this year (Tom), and I think Impact will teach him a few things about being a World Champion top laner.

How they got here

Once again, through the gauntlet.

Cloud9 had quite a few obstacles to overcome just to get to Worlds. They had to win two series against Immortals, no easy task. They once again had to survive the regional qualifiers after falling to TSM in the Summer Playoff Finals.

At least this wasn’t as improbable of a run to Worlds as we saw Cloud9 embark on last year. Nonetheless, their resilience is one of the reasons this team can pull off some upsets at Worlds.

Contender or pretender?

That’s right. Jensen isn’t ready to body Faker quite yet, but he is ready to give him a quick clap. Jensen is never without confidence, and it’s part of what draws fans to Cloud9.

With Sneaky, Jensen, and Impact on the roster, Cloud9 is most certainly a contender here. Meteos has been really solid for the team this split too.

Let’s not forget, Flash Wolves has had difficulty with North American teams. If Cloud9 can take a game off SKT and Flash Wolves, they have a really good shot at making it out of the group stage.

I May — China’s underdog

If you’ve never heard of I May, don’t worry.

They haven’t existed for long, but they have a strong connection to another Chinese powerhouse. IM started out in the LSPL (the Chinese Challenger league) as the sister organization of Edward Gaming (China’s number one seed here at Worlds).

I May was known as EDE during their time in the LSPL. After winning their way out the LSPL and into the LPL Summer Split, IM had no choice but to cut ties with Edward Gaming, changing their name and claiming their independence.

How they got here

I May had one heck of a magical run in their inaugural Summer Split, culminating in a 3-2 upset victory over Team WE to head to the World Championship.

After silencing their critics in China, IM will be looking to claim a few more upsets in their first international tournament.

Contender or pretenders?

I acknowledge IM’s feats just to get to Worlds, but we’ve never seen this team compete on the international stage.

To make matters worse, this isn’t exactly the ideal group for them. SKT, Flash Wolves, and even Cloud9 are all veteran teams with a ton of experience on the international stage.

Until we see how IM actually performs (let’s not forget, China isn’t exactly a powerhouse region), this is a team just looking to soak up some experience.

Predictions

  • SK Telecom T1: 5-1
  • Flash Wolves: 3-3
  • Cloud9: 3-3
  • I May: 1-5
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.