The 2019 Demacia Cup has reached the end of the Group Stage, and all Knockout qualifiers have been decided. Group B is topped by Edward Gaming (most known as EDG) and Top Esports, while Group D sends Rogue Warriors and Bilibili Gaming. They will join previous winners Vici Gaming, Team WE, JD Gaming, and RNG in the brackets starting Christmas night.
While the victors in Group B, EDG and TES, make a lot of sense, they also beat out Han "Peanut" Wang-ho and Ha "Kramer" Jong-hun's new team, LGD. It's not likely that any team with roster swaps, especially international ones, would have great synergy yet, but LCK fans will have to wait more if they're hoping to see the pair in a best-of series.
On the other hand, LPL fans can rejoice! EDG finally found some strong footing after a rough 2019. Ming "Clearlove" Kai returned to EDG as a coach, and helped lead them from backstage this time, rather than onstage as we are used to. He had a strong debut, and it was a good showing for the new roster as a whole. They even beat TES, who was one of the strongest teams this summer and who recently added Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan in the jungle role. However, on the other hand, they had a few additional roster changes of their own, so it's also impressive for them to advance.
Both RW and BLG played a couple different versions of thier roster, mixing around both brand new additions and longer tenured players. For how much shifting around each team did, they not only qualified, but also gained valuable information on the natural synergies with their new members. Strangely, Invictus Gaming didn't qualify, though they were running a mix of their Academy players with their new players.
On one hand, it's troubling, since they picked up the bot lane duo from Vici Gaming - the last place team from this past summer. However, Ding "Puff" Wang and Su "Southwind" Zhi-Lin played well throughout the games, with Puff even managing to keep a 15 KDA as an ADC. While iG still has Wang "Baolan" Liu-Yi under contract, it's quite likely the team will look to use Southwind as Puff's bot lane counterpart, so a good showing here is still a win for iG.
The Knockout Stage matches have been drawn. The Quarters consist of Vici Gaming vs Top Esports, Edward Gaming vs Team WE, JD Gaming vs Bilibili Gaming, and Rogue Warriors vs RNG. Each will play in a single elimination best-of-five series, and the winners will of course move on from there.
The Knockout Stage and Christmas come in just a few days. So after you finish unwrapping your new socks from Grandma, be sure to remember to pop open the Twitch stream to catch the action and remedy those pro League pangs. Catch the recaps here and on our Twitter below.
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