written by Vale
This week we look at North American teams attending Worlds, and what their chances are. Unlike last week, we now know the groups. Therefore, it’s easier to judge whether the three teams can make it to the knockout stage of the tournament. You can find the groups here:
Predictions on which teams will make it out of each group will come later, but let us look at each NA team’s chance at advancing:
TSM, Winner of the group draw: TSM won the group draw by not just getting the group with no Korean team, but having an overall good matchup. They got the 2nd best Chinese team (which poses the biggest challenge), the best Southeast Asian team, and the 3rd best team from EULCS. The teams in this group hit at TSM’s greatest weakness though, their bot lane. Lustboy will have to be on top of his game, to help a struggling WildTurtle through the laning phase against three teams that all have very strong bot lanes. But if he can manage this, TSMs chances look fairly good. Bjergsen is the best midlaner in the group, and Dyrus should be fine against the other toplaners as well.
Prediction: If TSM can get WildTurtle through the laning phase and team fight the way they did during the NA regionals, I see them landing 2nd place in the group and advancing, but that is probably where it will end for TSM.
Cloud 9, the hope of NA? Cloud 9 have long been NA’s hope in international tournaments, but even when they dominated the competition in NA, they struggled against foreign teams. This will be a crucial time for them to reverse that trend. For Cloud 9 to advance, they have to fix the uncharacteristic tactical mistakes that plagued them in the NA final against TSM. They will lose in straight up skill matchups against Alliance and NaJin White Shield, and will have to rely on tactical prowess to advance. Their goal should be to beat Alliance for 2nd place in the group, but it will be very difficult for Cloud 9, because the player who has struggled most is Hai and he faces off against Froggen, who carried his team to first place in Europe, and dominated the opposition in the midlane.
Prediction: I think C9 will end up 3rd in the group, and narrowly miss the knockout stage.
LMQ, the 7th best Chinese team: When LMQ left china for NA, they were a below average Chinese team. Eeven though they upgraded their roster and finished 3rd in NA (which speaks to the other NA teams inability to beat teams with strong players, but weak tactics), they will struggle against the other teams in the group. Compared to other NA teams LMQ have superior players, but very weak tactics, and their ability to team fight well was sufficient to qualify for Worlds. If you compare them to the international competition, and more specifically the other teams in the group, their players are at best average or below average and their team fighting is also average. LMQ have to hope Fnatic and OMG are still slumping, and that they have not fixed their problems. But even then, it will be hard for them to make it out of the group.
Prediction: I do not see LMQ making it out of this group, and they will probably finish 4th.