1. Wildcards are no match for major regions
No matter how hard they tried and how close of a fight they put up, few wildcard teams could upset a major region in the end. Lyon Gaming definitely came close, and Young Generation even succeeded in taking a game off Fnatic, but none of them—apart from 1907 Fenerbahçe—could make it to the World Championship Group Stage. And if the result is the same (a single wildcard team qualifying,) it begs the question of why we have to watch the Play-In stage at all.
2. For a #1 LPL team, WE are very shaky
I know, I know, Team WE are supposed to be the #3 seed from China. But several analysts, including LPL’s Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, claimed that they have the highest ceiling of all the Chinese teams. And while that certainly might be the case, the Play-In stage revealed countless holes in WE’s early game. Of course, they still pulled through in the late game, but one can’t help but wonder if a capable high-tempo team will crush WE before they can get their macro off the ground.
3. Fnatic need to work on their early game
As much as we love the fact that Fnatic made it through the Play-In, it’s too early to celebrate. Their first games once again showcased a surprising lack of jungle proximity to the mid lane, and the power duo of Rekkles and Jesiz looked outmatched in the laning phase. Their potent teamfighting and objective control are still intact, but Fnatic need to fix this early game lull—and fast—if they hope to survive in a group with Longzhu Gaming and Gigabyte Marines.
4. Cloud9 have to learn to play without laning leads
Whenever their laners got ahead on their own, Cloud9 looked like one of the most dominant teams in the Play-In stage, confidently snowballing their leads into swift victories. But things were very different when they couldn’t outmuscle their opponents. In fact, both Dire Wolves and Lyon Gaming managed to push Cloud9 into a corner by matching their aggression in the early game, and C9 only got out of this bind by taking advantage of the enemy mistakes. Now that they find themselves in the same group as SKT T1 and EDG, waiting for mistakes is a luxury they can’t afford.
5. 1907 Fenerbahçe need to step up
1907 Fenerbahçe might’ve upset the #3 seed from the LMS, but Hong Kong Attitude weren’t exactly setting the world ablaze in their home region. In fact, struggling to overcome the worst major team of the tournament doesn’t look good for Fenerbahçe’s chances in a group with G2, RNG, and Samsung. As they are now, Fenerbahçe have a hard time working in sync with their jungle substitute, Crash. They need to use what little time they have to form a cohesive team—otherwise, they’re in for a very, very harsh wake-up call.
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