2016 World Championship: Day 8 group stage guide

Worlds Group B teams courtesy of lolesports.com
Worlds Group B teams courtesy of lolesports.com /

The 2016 World Championship Group Stage comes to an end today. Let’s preview today’s action in Group B.

Worlds is a time of heartbreak and jubilation. North American League fans experienced the latter last night with Team SoloMid’s loss to Royal Never Give Up. Today, North America’s last hope, Cloud9, fight to stay in the tournament.

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C9 has a game lead on both Flash Wolves and I May. But Flash Wolves will benefit from a nearly guaranteed win due to I May support Hankil “Road” Yoon’s one game ban. That means C9 will likely have to defeat Flash Wolves in a head-to-head while also handling business against I May.

This all assumes that SK Telecom T1 will exit in first place. The prognostication has been dicey as team after team has failed to live up to their pre-tournament hype. Can SKT avoid the fate that befell EDward Gaming, TSM and even almost took down ROX Tigers?

I May vs Flash Wolves: watch score 3/10 (4:00 PM ET)

The Road suspension really throws a wrench in this one. I May do not have another support on the roster and may struggle to communicate without him. Flash Wolves dominated 99% of their match last week before falling apart in the late game. With no support, that shouldn’t happen again.

Flash Wolves has the easiest schedule of the day: an early should-be walkover win against I May, no back-to-backs and facing Cloud9 after they play SKT. Their bout against SKT doesn’t come until the last game, when the group may have already been decided.

The alternate stream focuses on the mid lane matchup, where I May’s Hawoon “Athena” Kang will have his hands full with star Yi “Maple” Tang Huang of Flash Wolves.

Next: Why I May's Support Road was suspended

Cloud9 vs SK Telecom T1: watch score 7/10 (5:00 PM ET)

SKT won the first meeting easily as veteran jungler Seongung “Bengi” Bae catapulted his lanes to an insurmountable lead. It will be interesting to see which jungler SKT opt for. A C9 upset isn’t out of the question, not in these worlds, but a 2-1 day clinches the quarterfinals for NA without a tiebreaker. It would be totally understandable if C9 coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu had his team focus on Flash Wolves and I May in their week of prep, knowing that SKT would be too difficult to take down.

The alternate stream is the matchup we’ve been waiting for: former SKT, now C9 top laner, Eonyoung “Impact’ Jeong against current SKT star “Hoseong “Duke” Lee. Both are fantastic in lane, but who can get to the teamfights first?

Cloud9 vs Flash Wolves: watch score 8/10 (6:00 PM ET)

meteos /

C9’s turnaround is quick and they will likely be fighting for their tournament lives in this match. The alternate stream features Cloud9’s vision. Unfortunately, C9 is behind the back in the tournament in wards/minute, while Flash Wolves lead in that category. C9 has pulled vision-centric strats before, such as in their NA LCS semifinals win against Immortals.

It will be interesting to see if C9 jungler William “Meteos” Hartman rushes a sightstone here. Whatever they decide, Meteos will have to do better: his Lee Sin saved C9 last week against FW, but only after an abysmal 50+ minutes of missed kicks.

SK Telecom T1 vs I May: watch score: 3/10 (7:00 PM ET)

SKT should have no problem in this one. Sure, they’ve made mistakes and nominal jungle starter Sungu “Blank” Kang has been inconsistent, but their mistakes are relatively easy ones to fix, and as long as they move as five, victory should be theirs. I May’s only hope may be to camp the hell out of Faker and try to keep him down, like Flash Wolves did.

The alternate stream focuses on I May’s vision.

I May vs Cloud9 Gaming: watch score 6/10 (8:00 PM ET)

Another game that should decide C9’s future. The alternate stream features on the top lane matchup between Impact and Waiho “AmazingJ” Shek. After last week’s “Top Die Jungle Die” game, this should be good.

Flash Wolves vs SK Telecom T1: watch score 7/10 (9:00 PM ET)

SKT is known for exacting revenge, and I would not be surprised to see them bait FW into the Aurelion Sol pick and punish the heck out of it — or just ban it and punish anyway. The alternate steam is Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok vs Maple, and it should be explosive.

The last day of Worlds Group stage is upon us!

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