The first round robin has concluded with all the teams having played their first game against each of their three opponents within their respective groups. Some teams and players look unstoppable (DAMWON Gaming) while others look... well, rather stopped (sorry, PSG Talon). Take a look below at the best and worst players from the first round robin.
Let's kick it off looking at the best top laners so far. Of course, to start it off has to be none other than DAMWON Gaming's Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon. He is an absolute menace every time he touches the rift, and he does it on so many different champions and champion styles. He brought Lulu to Season 10, and then he beat it when his opponent dared play it against him. He has a 10.3 KDA, doubling the second place top laners 5.5. Nuguri is just built differently.
Behind him has to be Bai "369" Jia-Hao, who has had some dominating performances for Top Esports. His Jax game was monstrous, with countless outplays in 1v2 and 1v3 situations. Both teams were spending resources top side that game, but only TES reaped the rewards. The one big question mark is that he has the lowest damage percentage, but he's also on a team with four other legends. Regardless, he's one to keep your eye on.
There are no super clear cut standouts here — besides, we don't want to single anyone out, right? — but it's likely between Su "Hanabi" Chia-Hsiang, Colin "Solo" Earnest, and Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik. Solo has truly inted a few games away, but he was also constantly putting his team in a position to trade across the map. Hanabi has struggled to get much accomplished, despite being a well known, strong top laner, and PSG has yet to find a win. He also somehow has an even worst KDA than Solo. Broken Blade has played fine, and have been given resources by TSM. But his super strong Camille never found any good flanks, and his Shen was somewhat lackluster when considering TSM's prior usages. Each needs to pick it up if they hope to advance.
The first pick has to be Lê "SofM" Quang Duy. There simply is no other option. SofM knows the jungle so intimately, he has no ability to misplay. SofM Flame Horizon’d Machi's Huang "Gemini" Chu-Xuan. He routinely outdoes both supports in vison score, too. He also builds tank whenever he pleases, and still farms faster, takes all the objectives, and ganks just as much. Historians will study his jungle pathings for centuries to come, the same way we admire the pyramids (maybe a bit too much?) still today.
Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan is likely in second-place behind SofM, with by far the highest KDA and likely the second best ability to just assist his teammates and control the game right behind him (but Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu is right there, too). Karsa has played three champs beautifully, even pulling out the Gragas, only one of two so far this Worlds group stage. When his team needs him, he's always there.
It's got to be Kim "River" Dong-woo and Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen. PSG was an entirely different team in the play-ins (literally) and with the return of the original PSG mid-jungle duo, they've looked lost.
Speaking of lost, Broxah was nowhere to be found for the first two Team Liquid games, playing farming simulator and failing to bail out his laners in need. Their game against Suning was entirely telegraphed by the LPL third seed, yet Broxah did nothing to help his bottom lane, as they got dove and shoved off the wave repeatedly for the entire beginning of the game. In his first two games, he had the lowest damage percentage of any non-support player, and was even lower than some of the supports. He finally passed up a couple of others, but it's still merely 13.8%, which is super low for two Graves picks and a Lee Sin.
Faker, Faker, ShowMaker! (or... well you got it.) Heo "ShowMaker" Su has just been incredible. In their very first game against JDG, everyone expected an intense, close battle to the death — a banger, if you will. That it was, but mostly because ShowMaker locked Twisted Fate and just decided to win every single lane. He went 6/0/11 and they finished the game in just 24 minutes. ShowMaker has a 29 KDA, while the next best mid has a 7.
The next is probably Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon, but it's a bit tough to say. Xiye could be the other option, who has stepped up immensely from the Play-In stage, where he played pretty poorly and was a liability for his team. Chovy definitely has harder opponents, however, but the rest of DRX has also begun to step up around him as well. In any case, both of these two deserve recognition for their efforts, and both deserve a watchful eye in the second round-robin.
It hurts to say it, but Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg is at the top of this list right along with Park "Tank" Dan-won. Bjergsen has had multiple uncharacteristically bad performances. He was walking melee range into the enemy Sett while playing his signature Zilean, having to take poor backs and falling behind 30+ CS. Most of his TPs were spent to zoom back to base because he was caught out in a side lane, or as unsuccessful ganks. Tank was just never going to live up to the plays made by his temporary sub, Chen "Uniboy" Chang-Chu, who took his place in the play-ins. Tank is playing against some incredible mids, where Uniboy had a bit easier competition, but the comparison is a bummer nonetheless.
The first has to be Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, without any competition to speak of. Many AD carries have played well, but like SofM with his vision score and Lee Sin antics, JKL is on another tier. He’s played Senna in all three games (a supportive-style champion) and still achieved the highest DPM among all ADCs, as well as the highest DMG%, and that’s with knight on his team. His games aren't going particularly late either, all ending right around the 30-minute mark, so he isn't boosted by super late game team fights. He's just constantly outplaying and out damaging everyone else on the Rift at all times.
There are a number of arguments for next in line, between Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk, Tang "huanfeng" Huan-Feng, Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun, Martin "Rekkles" Larsson, Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu... There were many standout performances in individual games and solid performances throughout, but it's mostly a big bunch of star ADCs fighting to be the runner up to JackeyLove.
This spot belongs to Wong "Unified" Chun Kit, who just hasn't been able to keep up with the pace of Group B, nor the expectation set before PSG after their incredible play-in run. You could also argue that Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng deserves to be here for a similar reason as Bjergsen. He hasn't lived up to his potential, caused problems in the draft phase, and completely fumbled the Ezreal pick, dying level one in lane, blowing flash repeatedly, and continuing to overextend and get killed because of it.
None other than G2's Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle. Mikyx has been incredible this entire event, even in G2's loss against Team Liquid. Apart from the must-do support duties, he even got a solo kill as a Tahm Kench, ulting himself to the bot lane behind the enemy AD carry and just licking them to death. He has played a number of different champions and champion styles, and he shows up huge every single time. Not to mention that blast cone ward play.....
Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh comes in second for similar reasons. He was constantly in the right place, roaming when he needed to, catching out opponents, and protecting his carries perfectly. His ADC, huanfeng, is partially able to do as much as he is because of SwordArt's masterful support play.
Aleksandr "SaNTaS" Lifashin just hasn't made it work in the group stage. He was fantastic in the play-ins, playing Mikyx-esque League of Legends as this incredible engage tool for his team, that always found the perfect flanks while staying safe himself. However, the pressure exerted by the top tier players in his group hasn't allowed him to perform effectively in his last three games. He still has a shot at redemption, but he and UOL have a tough road ahead.
Who do you think should've made the list? And who do you think is overrated? And who is most likely to improve and top their group after the second round-robin? Let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter.
Images by Riot Games
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