Today saw the League of Legends World Championship kick off in Korea, with the world wondering whether an emergent region would challenge the pre-tournament favourites. With G-Rex showing up and smashing through Kaos Latin Gamers and Gambit Esports; Cloud 9 destroying Kabum in the opening game of the day. It seemed that the ‘Script’ would be followed to the letter, with both the NA and LMS teams dominating the emerging regions. However the day was made more interesting when DetonatioN Focusme took the stage against Kabum.
Despite a shaky early game resulting in a substantial mid-game deficit, some good picks on targets such as Titan, stalled the game. From there DFM stole a baron and steamrolled Kabum for their first win of the group stage. I was extremely impressed by Yutapon, who’s strong positioning on Varus combined with Vivid’s Tahm Kench gave DFM a point of power even when behind.
DFM beating Kabum was their only win of the day, however their stand out performance came later against C9. In this game the entire of the Japanese squad stepped up. Steal had a strong early game on Xin, not allowing Blaber to steamroll him in the same way Ranger had. Ceros pulled out the Ziggs and laned extremely well up against Jensen and Evi was a monster on Urgot. For the majority of the game these strong individual performances led to dominant team-fighting and impressive objective control.
I really can’t say how exciting it was to watch live, hoping that DFM could defeat C9 and cement their names in the tournament. In the end though, it wasn’t to be and C9 found a clutch final teamfight to secure their spot atop the group at 2-0. Whilst it should now be trivial for C9 to lock in the top spot, it is encouraging to see that the group might not be a one horse race. If DFM play well and close out the game next time, it is possible they secure first in their group upsetting C9. But even if they don’t, , I think they will make a worthy opponent for anyone should they make it out of the group.
In short, I am excited to see what they can bring on day three of the Play Ins and encouraged that in group C we might see strong competition for the top spot. I’m hoping for the quality of viewer experience that the LJL are not the only emerging region to make a splash during the Play Ins. For EDG and G2 the task is simple, win both of your games, but as DFM taught C9, that wont always be as easy as it seems.
What Play In team are you excited for, do you expect any upsets? Let me know in the comments below.
Written by: Hugh Mccormick