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

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With regional play over and the League of Legends World Championship group stage determined, all attention will now focus on international competition.

Some of the best League of Legends teams the world has to offer will arrive in the United States within the next three weeks to embark on their journey for glory.

Starting this week, we’ll be taking a look at each group stage, and providing an in-depth analysis of each team. Then, we’ll predict which two teams will be moving on.

And don’t for about the other groups! Click the links for analysis of Group B, Group C, and Group D.

ROX Tigers — third try is a charm

In somewhat of a surprise from the regional playoffs, it’s ROX Tigers and not SK Telecom T1 taking the number one seed in Korea to Worlds. ROX has made it to the finals of the LCK the previous two years, failing to get past SKT both times.

After KT Rolster stunned the defending champions SKT in the semifinals, ROX Tigers and KT Rolster dueled it out in one of the most exhilarating five-game series we’ve ever witnessed in competitive play.

This has been a budding rivalry the past three years in Korea, with the Tigers actually holding a 20-14 edge in total wins. This has been a long time coming for ROX, as they’ve finished three of the last four LCK splits with the best record.

How they got here

While ROX Tigers had already qualified for Worlds thanks to their standings in the LCK Championship Points system, it was a Baron steal in Game Five of the LCK Summer Finals that punched their ticket as Korea’s number one seed.

In case you missed the action, KT Rolster’s Score smited the Baron a fraction of a second early, leaving 2 HP for Smeb to clean up for the steal.

Contender or pretender

ROX Tigers are most certainly contenders at this year’s Worlds. In fact, after their runner-up finish last year to SKT and their stellar play this season, ROX Tigers could legitimately be considered the favorites.

Statistically, ROX Tigers have excelled in the mid-to-late game. Their First Blood rate of 50 percent and First Tower rate of 47.5 percent are just average compared to the other teams in the LCK. Their First Dragon rate is also a pedestrian 47.5 percent. So how is ROX so dominating? Let’s take a look at their mid-to-late game for answers.

If ROX Tigers are able to build any semblance of an early game lead, look out. In the LCK this past season, they’re first in KD (kill-to-death ratio), first in tower percentage (amount of towers taken each game), and have the second highest dragon rate (despite an average First Dragon rate).

In the regular season, the ROX Tigers won 76 percent of games with a standard start (meaning no lane swaps), the best in the LCK. The recent Worlds patch essentially abolishing lane swaps is great news for ROX Tigers.

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G2 eSports — no vacation this time

We’re thinking G2 eSports will decide to actually show up to this tournament instead of taking a vacation right before (and during) the competition. If you’re not quite sure what we’re talking about, let’s flash back to the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational:

Alright, now back to this version of G2 eSports. After finishing last at MSI, the number one qualifying team from the EU LCS would be the only major region winner to be placed in Pool 2. This means that G2 eSports will have to play against a number one seed (in this case, the number one seed in ROX Tigers).

This group could have been much worse for G2. In fact, they’re quite lucky to be where they are. There’s no TSM or SKT to contend with (a potential group draw they could have had). Deficio even approves of this draw for G2 and all EU teams (something he was critical of last year):

How they got here

G2 eSports has been the best team in the EU LCS during both the Spring and Summer Split.

They already qualified for Worlds via Championship Points, but knocking off H2K in the Summer Finals secured the number one seed.

Contender or pretender?

G2 eSports are contenders in the sense that they’re clearly the second best team in this region. Counter Logic Gaming may have some tricks up their sleeve, but they’ve been off since their second place finish at MSI.

Beyond the group stage? It’s hard to say how G2 eSports will match up against the other number one seeds.

I think they’re a fringe top six team, but I don’t expect them to be able to match up against the likes of ROX, KT, SKT, Edward Gaming, or even TSM.

Counter Logic Gaming — there’s work to be done

Let’s be honest, CLG is at Worlds thanks to their stellar finish during the Spring Split. Their Summer Split performance is something the team wants to forget altogether.

There is one dangling caveat for CLG.

Riot has shaken up the meta right before Worlds starts, releasing two patches in a row that focused mainly on elevating professional play. CLG is known to be an extremely innovative team. They’ll need that advantage just to make it out of the group stage.

How they got here

Because of Doublelift. Just kidding, CLG fans!

CLG made it to Worlds thanks to their second place finish in the Championship Points standings. TSM qualified as the number one seed after beating C9, leaving CLG as the next best team (by points, definitely not by play on the Rift this split).

Contender or pretender?

Until I see some sort of life from CLG, they enter this tournament as definitive pretenders.

Yes, CLG performs extremely well when they’re counted out. But we still have nightmares from last year’s Worlds.

Also, CLG will have to figure out how to take games from ROX Tigers and G2. Good luck with that.

Albus NoX Luna — the little engine that could

Formerly known as Hard Random, Albus NoX Luna (ANX) is one of the two international teams to qualify for Worlds.

The team originates from Russia and has three Ukrainian players and two Russian players.

How they got here

Albus Nox Luna has dominated the CIS region for years now, just recently collecting their fifth title.

ANX qualified for Worlds after a crazy finish during the 2016 International Wildcard Qualifiers playoffs, knocking off Lyon Gaming (arguably the favorites) in a stellar best-of-five series that went the distance.

Contender or pretender?

Congratulations to ANX for making it to Worlds! Now the bad news.

Unfortunately, this team will struggle to even find a win in group stage. They’ve had a difficult time at past international tournaments and I don’t see that changing here.

LoL Worlds predictions

  • Rox Tigers: 6-0
  • G2 eSports: 4-2
  • Counter Logic Gaming: 2-4
  • Albus NoX Luna: 0-6
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.