As soon as Group C of the 2017 World Championship was announced, it was dubbed the group of death.
With G2, RNG, and SSG being in the same group, we were in for a three-way battle to determine which two teams make the cut and entered the knockout stage. After the first week of the competition, G2 was sitting at a 1-2 scoreline while SSG (2-1) and RNG (3-0) were miles ahead of them.
But for a split second, it looked like the kings of Europe could turn their luck around.
Game 1 started with several G2 power plays against RNG. Trick’s Sejuani was particularly noteworthy, and the Korean jungler found countless openings to set up great teamfights. With Zven’s Tristana being there to play cleanup, G2 secured a confident 27-minute victory against the Chinese lineup.
The second game between 1907 Fenerbahçe and Samsung Galaxy went without any notable surprises. The Turks managed to get a lead, but it wasn’t enough to combat SSG’s monstrous late game. Together with Crown, Ambition tore through his opponents on Kha’Zix and secured his team its third victory.
Game 3 was a do-or-die moment for G2. They had to take down Samsung Galaxy here or they would become the prime candidates to drop out of the group stage. The first few plays went in G2’s favor with Perkz putting on a clinic on Ryze, but Samsung slowed down the game enough to build up their Galio/Cho’Gath frontline. The ensuing teamfights sent Quickshot on a casting frenzy, but with Kha’Zix and Twitch constantly attacking G2’s carries, the kings of Europe eventually fell to the enemy onslaught.
Still, they weren’t out yet. Perhaps 1907 Fenerbahçe could pull off an upset and bring G2 back into competition?
But the World Championship isn’t open to miracles, and the Turkish wildcard looked completely lost against RNG. It didn’t help that Uzi turned into a monster as he dove past the inhibitor turret on his Rageblade Vayne, and earned his team a confident 26-minute victory.
With this win, G2 were eliminated from qualifying for the knockout stage. Still, they were determined to go out with a bang as Perkz fulfilled his promise and locked in Yasuo against 1907 Fenerbahçe for his final Worlds game. It came as no surprise that G2 bled kills in the early game, but superior macro kept them strong enough to strike back in teamfights.
Even so, pulling off a Yasuo against Lulu, Maokai, and Sejuani wasn’t easy, and G2 had to give up countless Barons and three inhibitors before Perkz found the deciding teamfight and finished this 52-minute game.
Last but not least, there was a deciding match between RNG and SSG.
Both teams had already qualified for the knockout stage, but the winner would take the first seed to have a higher chance of securing a good matchup in the future. From the first few plays, it became apparent that Samsung were adapting to RNG’s aggression.
Mlxg roamed around the map on Lee Sin, finding one clutch gank after another, but SSG reacted well and were in the right place and at the right time to counterattack. They were preparing to transition into their trademark late game to seal the deal, but then the teamfights started. With Letme landing superb Equalizers and Uzi dismantling his opponents on Tristana, Samsung kept giving up more and more ground until there was nothing else to give but their Nexus.
In the end, both Royal Never Give Up and Samsung Galaxy made it to the knockout stage. As for G2, their story mirrored that of last year’s TSM—a Western team that put up a good fight but couldn’t overthrow the Korean and Chinese powerhouses.
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