2016 Worlds Recap: Favorites reign supreme on day two


After an opening day filled with upsets, here’s the 2016 Worlds recap for day two of the group stage period.

Day One of the 2016 World Championship instantly threw several groups into chaos. Group D was always going to be tough, but Team SoloMid’s loss to Royal Never Give Up on the first day of competition was still disappointing for their fans.

And then there was Group C. Picked by some analysts as the easiest group to figure out, Group C was turned upside down by INTZ’s upset of EDG.

The good news for these two teams was the short turnaround to Day Two, where both turned things around for their first victory.

SK Telecom T1 defeat Cloud9 Gaming

This game started out with a lineup change for SKT. Much speculation was raised by SKT’s practicing with their stalwart veteran jungler Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung rather than Kang “Blank” Sung-gu.

SKT had played with Blank since IEM Katowice, but after he faltered against KT Rollster in the LCK Summer Finals, SKT decided a change was needed. Bengi was subbed in for Game 1 and had a huge presence on the map.

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SKT’s gameplan going in was for Bengi to play a utility style. They wanted to see if C9 jungler William “Meteos” Hartman could punish him and carry the game. While Meteos built a big CS lead, Bengi’s roams helped snowball his lanes ahead.

Crucially, SKT’s star SKT mid laner, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, built an enormous CS lead on Syndra. Combined with proactive roams from Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan, SKT won nearly every fight and dominated C9.

I May defeat Flash Wolves

Flash Wolves dominated the map for nearly the entire game. But with only a short-ranged Lucian as their primary siege, they struggled to take turrets against a turtling I May. Unable to make anything happen with Lihong “MMD” Yu’s Gnar bar, Flash Wolves decided to press their luck by starting Elder Dragon.

The initial fight was disengaged with bleeding health bars and blown cooldowns for both sides, but no deaths. So Flash Wolves tried Elder again, lost the teamfight, and lost the game. I May played well to stall the game, but FW really panicked on their dragon call.

Team SoloMid defeat Samsung Galaxy

This was a crucial game for TSM, who could not afford to fall to 0-2 in such a tough group. And boy did they show up.

LCK color analyst Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith called TSM’s performance Rox Tigers-esque, and it certainly was. TSM dominated nearly every position in a comprehensive victory. This is the type of performance the legion of fans chanting “TSM! TSM!” wanted to see.

Royal Never Give Up defeat Splyce

This was another game where the favorite dominated every position. Royal played the map well in a second straight game and controlled vision. The alternate stream really showed how little information Splyce was playing with. That’s never good playing into a club as talented as RNG.

Next: INTZ's shocking upset over EDG

H2K Gaming defeat INTZ e-Sports

H2K went into this game wanting to play a stronger macro game and not allow INTZ to find the skirmishes that allowed them to beat EDG. They executed on that plan with a patient game, slowly pushing up their vision and taking bits of the INTZ jungle at a time. They starved the Brazilian squad of farm until taking down the nexus.

EDward Gaming defeat ahq e-Sports club

EDG’s shocking Day One loss against the wildcard team made this match extremely critical. They started extremely well with a creative level-one play from ADC Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Support Tian “Meiko” Ye.

With pressure on that side, Ming “Clearlove” Kai was free to gank for midlaner Heo “Pawn” Won-seok. ahq did take the game’s first turret by pushing in top laner Chen “Mouse” Yu-Hao and then lane swapping. But that allowed Mouse to build a freeze outside his tier two. This freeze, combined with EDG’s control over bot side vision, made it difficult for ahq to farm.

After losing the river, ahq were forced to turtle on their side and wait for ADC Ashe to scale. They did a good job of stalling the game, but unlike Flash Wolves, EDG didn’t panic. They slowly inched their ward line further and further into ahq’s side.

That vision advantage eventually allowed them to sneak an Elder Dragon. Having bled objectives since the beginning of the game, ahq were pressured into fighting at Baron against an Elder-buffed EDG. EDG won that fight and won the game.

Here’s hoping Day Three is just as good!

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