The first week of the Season 4 World Championship started with a bang as the Scene was rocked by a game-changing ban of SK Jungler Svenskeren for choosing a culturally insensitive name for his Taiwanese account. This decision completely changed the landscape of Group B and threw all prior predictions out the window. Meanwhile, in Group A, a championship favorite managed to survive a brush with elimination and qualify for the quarterfinals.
Group Stage Recap (A&B)
1. Samsung Galaxy White: 6-0
2. EDG 4-3 (Won Tiebreaker match over AHQ)
3. AHQ 3-4
4. Dark Passage 0-6
The Group of Death, as it was called by Pundits, was expected to see SSW and EDG easily make it out of the group. For the first three days, everything went as planned. SSW dominated every match they played, while EDG looked strong against all teams except the Korean Jauggernauts. AHQ seemed average, and Dark Passage just enjoyed the ride. However, the warning signs of EDG’s weaknesses were starting to show. Namei was not playing at his best, Fzzf’s builds were questionable, and there was a lack of aggression from the team. This became more evident on the final day of the groups.
AHQ and Dark Passage entered the Group Stage with low expectations, but AHQ proved that a lack of expectations can be beneficial. Despite being at a 2-game deficit with two games to play, AHQ managed to close the gap and put pressure on EDG for the final standings. Their match against EDG was intense and showcased their strengths, as they closed out the game before EDG could fully spawn.
1. Starhorn Royal Club 5-1
2. TSM 4-2
3. SK Gaming 2-4
4. TPA 1-5
Group B was considered the most balanced group, with each team having their own strengths and weaknesses. However, SK Gaming’s star Jungler, Svenskeren, was banned for the first three games due to a racially insensitive name on his SEA account. This ban took away much of the excitement from the group and affected the outcomes of the matches. Ultimately, SHRC won the group, but their performance was not as impressive as expected.
In the following week, SHRC will face their fellow countrymen, Edward Gaming, in what will be an uphill battle for them. TSM also has a tough match against SSW, one of the strongest teams in the tournament. While the performances of both teams in the group stages make the outcome uncertain, SHRC’s performance raises concerns for their upcoming match against EDG.
I’ll have a separate preview article for Groups C & D tomorrow.
Keywords: Season 4 World Championship, Group Stage Recap, Group A, Group B, Samsung Galaxy White, EDG, AHQ, Dark Passage, Starhorn Royal Club, TSM, SK Gaming, TPA, esports, League of Legends.