The League of Legends World Championship is back in town and it only seems appropriate to get the boys in on the action via Riot’s Worlds Pick’ems. It’s time for another session of admins attempting to look like they know something about League of Legends. Yep, it’s this year’s staff predictions for the group stages. Yet again, it wouldn’t be a proper competition without skins on the line. Last year’s NUEL admin leaderboard winner Adam (Addyal) is absent from this year’s competition in an attempt to preserve his 100% win record (I guess he has to win something). We’ll see if the rest can match his one line prediction of “Basically CLG to win, everyone else is trash.” (How in God’s name did he win?)
First up was master caster Dezachu.
Dezachu (Head of Broadcast)
“After winning the LCK you’d be stupid to doubt ROX’s chances at qualification. Albus NoX Luna have been playing in a younger scene than the rest of the world and with a weaker line up – that leaves G2 and CLG. Consistency will be key between these two but I give it (very narrowly) to G2.
SKT have looked pretty shaky this year (compared to KT/ROX) but still solid in comparison to other regions. I’m really intrigued to see how I May do but ultimately I think Flash Wolves will finish second which means yep – I’m placing C9 last. They’ve never looked consistently good without Hai on the Rift and even now there are too many chinks in their armour for international competitors to exploit.
Edward Gaming – justification needed? Don’t think so. Controversially I’m gonna put H2K here. After all it’s an opinion and I’d love to see H2K come out and surprise us all! ahq 3rd, INTZ last.
My FAVOURITE group. Going to make sure I watch every single game! It was really tough to call but I’ve put RNG as the winners, TSM 2nd, Splyce 3rd and SSG 4th – never thought I’d be putting SSG there, but here we are. My ‘group to watch’ for sure.”
Skin for Win: “Super Galaxy Rumble” 😀
CS:GO caster and self-appointed “silver scrub” Jack was more succinct in his answer.
Jack (CS:GO Caster)
I have Rox and G2, EDG and ahq, TSM and RNG, C9 and SKT progressing. I think C9 will beat SKT off the back of mismatches in top lane and the jungle. Faker’s decline in form continues, The bottom lane holds firm for skt though
Skin for Win: “Gotta be Rocket Girl Tristana. I’m an ADC main and she’s my most played champ but I have no skins except for that naff one from Facebook.”
As I pondered Jack’s reasoning, I was reminded of the prophetic Addyal and that perhaps less is more. He seemed confident and assured in his predictions needing few words to make his point. Potshot promptly sent me a thesis on the subject.
Potshot (LoL Content Lead)
“Ye of little faith, come forth and forecast doom for the West!
Group A is a thrilling potential mosh pit, but I predict G2 to make it out of the Tiger’s den. To pray that ROX might not make it out in first is nigh unfathomable. I’ve been impressed with G2’s mastery of the macro game this season and Trick might be one of the best junglers to represent Europe in recent years. Despite being a fan of MSI hotshots CLG, I’m predicting them to have to watch the rest of the tournament alongside ANL who need a miracle to claim a win at this tournament.
Group B looks to be hotly contested; four vastly different styles coming to a head in what must surely be a 3-way brawl for 2nd place behind head wolf SKT. I’ve never seen a game of I May, an up-and-coming team at the end of an extraordinary road, but I’d expect them to prop up a table containing the hyped up C9 roster and the perennially underestimated Flash Wolves. I’m opting for the Flash Wolves to prevail over a sneaky Cloud 9 victory because they’ve shown they can deliver when the stakes are high (but in my heart of hearts I believe in the meme dream team).
Group C is a similar story to the last. Again, I’m expecting the Taiwanese team to progress alongside the group favourites, though they’d have a mountain to climb winning against potential opponents in the next round. It’s hard to see H2K making a real impact at this tournament, and indeed they could be forgiven for starting a Reddit revolt by having INTZ take a game off of them. If EDG bother to scout their opponents, they should stomp this group.
Group D is perhaps the only one where I could acknowledge every team has a chance of making it out. However, Royal (and Uzi) will be hungry to take the whole tournament for the first time in their history. For TSM, this group is an odd one. They could lose to any of these teams, but over the course of the group stage I think their talented laning will see them progress. Samsung will foster ambitions of preventing that, but may prove to be one of the weaker Korean teams at recent international tournaments. It would be a wonder to see Splyce compete with such prodigious competition, but I wouldn’t rule them out of causing an upset as they have developed tremendously this split.”
Skin for Win: “I need Nunu Bot, don’t know how I’ve played 6 years without it.”
I was left reeling by the awful puns on player names. I was at a loss over what to do and my world was falling apart. Fortunately Luke was there to pick up the pieces of my broken pysche. Pretty sure he’s used to cleaning up my mess anyway, last minute social media posts and all.
Skypirate (Social Media LoL)
“While I hope my picks will be completely wrong I believe many others will be making picks similar to these. Group A will definitely see Korea’s ROX Tigers prevail followed by either G2 or CLG. Russia’s ANX could prove everyone wrong but with less experience I anticipate them to come bottom of Group A.
Group B… SKT T1 are the obvious top pick along with either Flash Wolves or I May… why did I May go last when they came 1st in the 2016 Season China Regional Finals? I just don’t feel they can continue their lucky streak. C9 will shock in the groups stage but inevitably be unable to stand up to the likes of SKT.
In Group C, EDG are arguably one of the best teams in China, even after Fireloli, Athena and FireFox left for I May. EDG have near consistently won the LPL for 2 years which is an amazing feat although will they make it past the top four? I’m doubtful after last year and I would say nearly the same for ahq who came 1st in the 2016 Season Taiwan Regional Finals. H2K and INTZ are not going to be able to beat the Regional winners of China and Taiwan although I do secretly hope INTZ do a fantastic job for Brazil.
Group D are the group I’m most interested in, maybe because I’m a Samsung fan and I’m slightly biased with the pick. I believe any of these teams could rank 1st in their group if they show up with their A game at Worlds. Samsung’s 3:2 vs KT Rolster at the 2016 Season Korea Regional Finals proves they are one of the best. Plus I’m hopeful for some SKT v Samsung games. Royal came second in the latest playoffs losing 3-0 against EDG. Could they beat TSM who came 1st in NA? It’s likely, but TSM could upset everyone which would be awesome. Splyce are still finding their feet and I think next year they’ll be dangerous. Splyce just need a little bit more time in the oven.”
Skin for Win: “The Ivern skin as he’ll be out then.”
Up next was the voice of our video recaps, Bobson.
Tombobson (Video Content LoL)
Group A: “An Old Dogs/New Tricks team from NA. I want them to do well because they’ve tried so hard in the past at Worlds.
Group B: I just want even more SKT Skins to see Riot sweat.
Group C: ahq have a good track record at Worlds. I see them at least topping groups.
Group D: I want Splyce to carry the EU flag as it’s been too many seasons since we’ve won!”
Skin for Win: “Final Boss Veigar!”
Bobson was concise, neat and complete in his response, all the characteristics that a good boss needs to stay organised. Up next was someone so nice they named him twice (different names though, otherwise that would be silly).
“I think second seed will come down to whether Xmithie outperforms Trick and CLG doesn’t choke against ANL. G2 may very well have benefitted from getting second seed out of MSI.
Calling it now that SKT doesn’t make it out of groups. Like EU, LMS looks weak because JT and ahq fell off, but FW remains as strong as ever and a Korean neutralizer. C9 with Impact on steroids and an improved Meteos (Zac incoming) having a strong chance of beating SKT in a BO1 format.
Westdoor is going to be hurt hard by the midlane champion pool despite efforts to expand it this season. Unless Ziv pulls out a godlike performance, the rest of the team will lose too quickly to their H2K counterparts.
Very unsure about this group. Both European and Korean teams had very recent surprise success. Samsung has been playing higher caliber teams, and the momentum of beating KT for the first time may carry them far. Splyce has maintained form much longer than SSG and are underrated due to their performance versus UOL, a team specifically known for forcing even the best teams into a clownfiesta. I think RNG may actually place last this group due to their post-finals LGD-esque meltdown.”
Skin for Win: “Elderwood Hecarim. It’s been my Win10 login screen for nearly a year (since the S@20 announcement, so early november?) and I don’t actually own it, I usually rep Arcade.” 🙂
All this discussion had put me on edge. I had to get involved.
Nilknarf (Written Content)
Group A: “The only competition for ROX Tigers in this group should be G2, but otherwise they should breeze through. ANL don’t stand a chance and I expect CLG to disappoint (sorry Adam).
Group B: SKT will top the group followed by the Flash Wolves. The current meta suits Meteos of Cloud9 and Impact has looked strong, but I think the team’s weaknesses will be exposed by the higher standard of opposition… wait there’s a fourth team?
Group C: EDG to smash the rest. H2K will beat a much weakened ahq who aren’t what they used to be. I was tempted to put INTZ just above them, but Ziv will drag his team over the line. Westdoor to have Twisted Fate permanently banned and disappoint.
Group D: TSM look good, but they won’t beat RNG. That bottom lane is just too monstrous. Samsung will fall slightly flat, but at least they’ll beat Splyce. Apologies European fans, it’s doom and gloom. I’m a cynic.”
Skin for Win: “Meowkai. I just love throwing kittens.”
Last of all was a man who needed no words for his predictions, a silent guardian, a watchful protector. He needed no language to communicate his predictions. He simply presented and left, leaving all others in awe. Such knowledge, such power. He asked for no skins. The glory of winning would be enough to sate him (unlike his mobile data plan. Candy Crush isn’t gonna play itself you know).
Enjoy Worlds everyone and we’ll see you soon for the next NUEL tournament! Stay tuned.