World Championship 2017 Group Draw: The possibilities

With the Worlds 2017 Group Draw around the corner and 16 teams competing, here are some of the most interesting and deadly possibilities the draw can produce.

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On September 12th, the group drawing for Worlds 2017 will officially begin for both Play-In and Group Pool Structure. The group drawing will determine which teams will battle it out. This time, even earlier out than ever to ensure teams don’t scrim their opponents.

Let’s explore some of the possibilities of the best teams in the world meeting in 2017 World Championship groups. Since the third pool has yet to be determined, these assume that all four major regions in the Play-In proceed to Group Pools.

Group of life

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
CN #1 : EDward Gaming EU #1 : G2 Esports LMS #1 : Flash Wolves
NA #1 : Team SoloMid CN #2 : Royal Never Give Up SEA #1 : GIGABYTE Marines
LMS #2 : AHQ NA #2 : Immortals EU #2 : Misfits
EU #3 : Fnatic LMS #3: Hong Kong Attitude NA #3 : Cloud9

This list is likely the best possibility for all three NA teams to get out of groups.

With Group 1, the regions are exactly similar to the one Team SoloMid was placed in during Season 4. Although EDward Gaming is indeed a powerful opponent for the NA #1 seed, AHQ and Fnatic are not as big a threat in comparison.

Group 2 will be more difficult for Immortals, but the team has shown many surprises in their powerful early game to beat RNG and G2. That being said, Team SoloMid and Immortals could switch spots in the Groups and the results would likely still be the same: both NA teams moving on.

Group 3 all depends on whether Cloud9 can live up to their fans assurances that “Cloud9 would have done better” against the GIGABYTE Marines. And while Misfits did upset the strong Fnatic team in the semi-finals of the EU Playoffs this year, Cloud9 has shown a dominant performance during their Gauntlet match keeping CLG from Worlds. This group might be tight, but Cloud9 on the top of their game can definitely pull this off.

MSI rematch

2017 MSI Rematch 2015 MSI Rematch
EU #1: G2 LMS #1: FW CN #1: EDward Gaming
NA #1: TSM LCK #2: SKT NA #1: TSM LCK #2: SKT
CN #3: Team WE EU #3: Fnatic

All six teams from the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational has arrived at Worlds, and are looking at SKT with revenge on their minds.

Not only that, but the same roster from 2015’s MSI has arrived at Worlds as well.

TSM had a poor performance during both of the tournaments, and the two European teams showed what they were made of both years.

Top lane coliseum

LCK #1: Longzhu Gaming
NA #2: Immortals
EU #3: Fnatic

In this group, a few of the greatest top laners would be duking it out to see who is the very best at Worlds.

LZ Khan, IMT Flame, AHQ Ziv, and FNC sOAZ are all experienced and incredibly flexible at their roles. Although the meta has shifted away from a carry-focused top lane meta, there have been a few picks that have emerged to showcase each of their strengths. Khan’s Jayce demolished SKT, Flame’s Rumble burned TSM, Ziv’s Renekton punished the Raise Gaming team, and sOAZ’s Gnar did wonders against H2K in all of the teams’ Summer Playoffs.

The jungle enclave

CN #1: EDward Gaming
LCK #2: Samsung Galaxy
SEA #2: GIGABYTE Marines
CIS #1: Gambit Gaming

I know I said we should assume that the third seed of each major region will go on, but I couldn’t resist the urge to add Gambit Gaming to the mix.

With some of the most aggressive Junglers heading to Worlds, this group is the highlight if anyone wants to see an impressive jungle game.

EDG Clearlove, SSG Ambition, MES Levi, and GMB Diamondprox would all find themselves in one group, and the audience would stay on the edge of their seats. Diamondprox and Ambition last played one another during IEM Season VII Katowice, after Gambit Gaming won against both Azubu Frost and Azubu Blaze. Although Ambition was the mid laner at the time, Diamondprox still has a winning record against him in their history. Levi shocked the world after embarrassing TSM during MSI 2017 multiple times, and Clearlove is one of the oldest players in the League of Legends scene.

Battle of the mid laners

LMS #1: Flash Wolves EU #1: G2 Esports
LCK #2: SK Telecom NA #1: Team SoloMid
EU #2: Misfits LCK #3: Samsung Galaxy
NA #3: Cloud9 CN #3: Team WE

There are so many outstanding mid laners coming to Worlds that I couldn’t decide just one group. With the first group, the clashing players would be FW Maple, SKT Faker, MSF PowerOfEvil, and C9 Jensen. This group would be similar to the one from last year, except Misfits would be replacing the Chinese team IMay. It may seem odd that PowerOfEvil would be placed together with these big names, but he has stepped up recently showing impressive play.

Jensen has proven his worth in making the race for best mid laner in North America debatable with TSM’s Bjergsen, Faker remains the undisputed best mid laner in the entire world, and Maple has taken games off of Korean teams so many times that his team is considered the “Korean kryptonite”.

The second group has G2 Perkz, TSM Bjergsen, SSG Crown, and WE Xiye. This group itself could be considered a Group of Death, and the midlane would determine who would go on to the quarterfinals.

Despite having a slump in the middle of the Summer Season, Perkz has dominated the EU region for the longest time. Crown lost hard to Faker’s Lucian during Summer Playoffs, but mastered the champion and won with him during the Regional Finals against KT Rolster. WE Xiye is a very consistent midlaner in China despite his name not being as big in the western region. Bjergsen has played against all of these midlaners and has a 1-1 record against Xiye and Crown and a 3-1 against Perkz if we include Rift Rivals.

Not bad.

Bot lane standoff

LMS #1: Flash Wolves EU #1: G2 Esports
NA #1: Team Solomid LCK #2: Samsung Galaxy
CN #2: Royal Never Give Up
EU #3: Fnatic NA #3: Cloud9

This group lumps all of the best bot lanes in the world with each other, and the fireworks would certainly fly.

With G2 Zven and FNC Rekkles being two of the top marksmen in the Western region due to their different, yet efficient playstyles, the rest of the AD Carries have to be careful around these two players. SSG Ruler, SSG Stitch, TSM Doublelift, RNG Uzi, and C9 Sneaky are all top dogs in their region as well, and it would be appealing to see which AD Carry is the best. In this meta where Kog’maw, Tristana, and Xayah are contested picks, it would be a race to popping off.

That being said, I didn’t choose these teams for the AD Carries alone.

FW Betty is coming to Worlds as a newbie, his support player FW SwordArt is a dangerous one, and is the best non-LCK Support player out there. G2 Mithy has duo’d with Zven since the Origen days and has made a name for himself among the Korean fans. As well, SSG CoreJJ, TSM Biofrost, RNG ming, and C9 Smoothie are all top notch support players in their own right. But the player that would be under a careful eye would be FNC Jesiz. Although he has made some questionable plays, this isn’t the first time Jesiz has gone to Worlds.

While this list is certainly debatable, the amount of firepower between all of the Worlds qualifying teams isn’t.

Group of death

LCK #1: Longzhu Gaming LMS #1: Flash Wolves
CN #2: Royal Never Give Up LCK #2: SK Telecom
NA #1: Team SoloMid NA #1: Team SoloMid
EU #3: Fnatic CN #3: Team WE

Let’s face it, the gap between LCK and the rest of the world isn’t closing as fast as people think. Despite all the memes and analysis, the only gap that’s closing is the Wildcard Region and non-LCK teams.

However, I do believe that it is possible for some  teams in the Western region to take games off of the Koreans. We’ve seen it before.

Last year at Worlds, we saw TSM put down Samsung, and almost defeated them again the second time around. And the Chinese region defeated the top 3 LCK teams at Rift Rivals this year.

The first Group of Death is possibly the closest. RNG, TSM, and FNC are all very aggressive and adaptive teams that could take a single game off of Longzhu each. Royal is the Chinese superteam that was created to make the other Chinese teams with Korean players run for their money. Team SoloMid retains the same roster that they had last year, but with a fresh and humble perspective and a penchant for making noise. Fnatic had an iffy performance at the Summer Playoffs, but they fixed their problems within a week and dominated the same opponent they went 3-2 against. Just by looking at this group, I would struggle for hours to think who would be able to fight on.

The second Group of Death is similar to the Battle of midlaners, as each team has a very respected mage in the middle. In fact, this group would contain the best midlaners and bot lane duos heading to Worlds. SKT had a dominant performance at MSI this year, but FW and TSM are both stronger than ever and ready to beat whoever they meet. Team WE took a game off of SKT at MSI and Rift Rivals. This group would be the most anti-SK Telecom group generated, and could quite possibly crush SK Telecom’s dream of getting a fourth Worlds trophy.

But many teams have thought they were capable of this in the past. They were wrong.

What group do you want to see picked for tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!