Grading the groups with Professor Pira


Allright class, settle down. We’re halfway through the groups, so your midterm grades have all been posted. Please be advised that we grade on a curve here at Worlds, so some of you might not get the grades that your record suggests. Don’t worry though, -- no one has failed...yet. A few of you might want to adjust your drafts and scrims before the next Round Robin, however, or it might be your last. If you have any questions, office hours are on the syllabus. Good luck, and have fun!


Group A




Score: 3 - 0
Grade: A+


Well done on your first Round Robin! After executing on your first game against FunPlus Phoenix, I had no doubts that you’d continue to excel. You’ve secured your early games with rare efficiency -- 100% First Bloods and First Towers is impressive! Add to that a complete control of the Dragon Pit and it’s safe to say that you’re top of the class.


Your closest rivals will likely be EDward Gaming come Quarterfinals, but for now, just continue to focus on setting an example for the rest of your group. I expect nothing less of the returning champions!



FunPlus Phoenix

Score: 2 - 1
Grade: C+


It seems like you might have slept through the first class, as day one looked like you really didn’t understand the assignment. While you have managed to make up ground since then, a 2 - 1 record is hardly befitting of a team that is expected to make a run for the championship. I have concerns about Tian and Doinb, although you both managed to do better in your last game vs Rogue.


I understand wanting to have fun in League of Legends where you can, but at a certain point ‘happy gaming’ doesn’t really cut it anymore (yes, I’m talking about the game vs Cloud 9). You seem to be on the right path after your second win, but until I see more consistent results, I’m going to consider your play ‘a little sus,’ as the kids say.




Score: 1 - 2
Grade: B+

You might be a little surprised by the grade I’m giving you, considering you are sitting at 1 - 2. Look, I’ll level with you: you got drawn into the toughest group on paper, and you’ve managed to at least keep up with some of the best teams in class.


You’ve got a creative streak that can’t be taught, and some of your individual plays have been the most enjoyable moments of the tournament for me so far. Hans Sama, you painted a beautiful picture with that Miss Fortune escape — if this were an art class, you’d get the top grade. I also appreciate that you’ve managed to wake up FunPlus Phoenix from their slow start, even at a cost to your own record.


In terms of areas to improve, look to shore up top lane — Odoamne needs some help, or you need to try to get more done on other parts of the map to compensate. Your early games are solid as always, but please bear in mind that the rest of Worlds does not run on Rogue Time.



Cloud 9

Score: 0 - 3
Grade: D+


Well, where do I begin? I was hoping that the remedial play-ins games would help level you up in time for the main event, but clearly that hasn’t been enough. At the midway point, you have the second-lowest kills per game, and are falling behind by 15 minutes every time.


Guys, I don’t mind if you occasionally crib some notes, but don’t copy everything from 100 Thieves. North America has traditionally looked to you to lead the way at Worlds. I know that’s a lot of pressure, but you’ve done it before. For now, I have to give you a harsh grade for coming away winless, even in a tough group.


Group B


EDward Gaming

Score: 3 - 0
Grade: A+


Really fantastic work on your first Round Robin. You’ve not only met expectations by leading your group with an undefeated record but you seem to have overcome your past weaknesses by not dropping games to the minor region teams! You’re putting up nearly perfect numbers so far: Best Team K:D, most towers taken, least towers lost, and only Royal Never Give Up has bested your kills per game. It’s been a treat to finally have Flandre at Worlds, and the wait has clearly been worth it.


Scout has a nearly perfect score and has shown incredible skill in and out of lane. The team is playing well together, and importantly, have only shown more-or-less standard team compositions— I wonder what you’re keeping hidden? I fully expect a clean finish to the group stages, and we’ll discuss your title chances in the Quarterfinals.




Score: 2 - 1
Grade: B+


Okay, T1, you’ve had a great Worlds so far. So why am I only giving you a B+? You are solid against weaker opponents, even crushing DetonatioN FocusMe for a sub 20 minute speedrun  but you struggle against the top teams, as we saw versus EDG. It takes more than gatekeeping to get an A in my class, unfortunately.


Canna, Oner, you both have had stellar performances, and Oner even managed to mindgame the rest of the field into thinking that Talon is a good pick  well played, I’ll consider extra credit on your next assignment. If you want to improve your GPA, focus your attention on performing better in your rematch against EDG.



100 Thieves

Score: 1 - 2
Grade: C-


Just because North America rarely performs at worlds, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach for the stars. I get that you’re the cool kid in class, with your awesome clothing line and collab video with LilNasX, but I’d like to see some more focus on your assignments.


You’ve got the second-lowest kills per game and gold per minute, and I know you’re more skilled than that if you apply yourselves. On the plus side you won handily against DFM — Ssumday, FBI, you are both showing up more than the rest — see if you can lead by example.


Now for a rather serious matter. You’re adults, and can make your own decisions, but just know that Hopium is a gateway drug to Copium, and the offseason is a long and cold one. Regardless of if you plan to graduate or not, it’s something worth thinking about.



DetonatioN FocusMe

Score: 0 - 3
Grade: B-


Okay, it’s been a fun ride having you in class, but there are a few things I feel the need to address. You are a talented team from a minor region, and no one expected you to make it to this stage  so well done on that, full marks. However, I want to emphasize that now that you are in the top 16, you can’t get away with the shenanigans anymore. I’m going to assign you extra homework: No Talon, no Lillia, no Gnar, and absolutely no Sett top lane. I know teams will target ban Evi, but that’s no excuse.


That being said, you can only impress from here, so treat the next Round Robin as a chance to surprise everyone. If you can manage to take two of your next three games, we’ll talk about an unlikely Quarterfinals appearance.


And just between you and me  I am not going to bust you, but please, please stop dealing Hopium to 100 Thieves. I’m a bit worried about them


Group C


Royal Never Give Up

Score: 3 - 0
Grade: A

The good news: I love that you are playing true to the old LPL style of fights, fights, and more fights. The bad news: Sometimes you fight so much that you’re forgetting to take the nexus. The energy you bring to class is electric, but if you want to be the royals, star of the class, game times need to tighten up.


For a top team, you allow far too many deaths, but so far have been able to successfully complete each game. Xiaohu, you still get top marks for continuing to carve a creative niche in the meta. Wei, well done too — continue to lead by example for the rest of your team. Keep it up, and I’ll see you in the Quarterfinals.


PSG Talon

Score: 2 - 1
Grade: B


Listen, I won’t be playing favorites with the grades, so don’t expect special treatment. You’re the last representative of the PCS, and I know that comes with a lot of pressure from your fans. However, you are very familiar with the assignment —  you’re an experienced squad with a lot of talent.


Overall, you’ve performed where it counts, securing two wins off of some excellent teamfighting. Hanabi and Maple, you both get full marks for this. But I want to emphasize that you simply cannot rest on your laurels. For the second Round Robin, I’d like to see the entire team focus on securing better vision around objectives, so that you don’t fall behind early. If you can do that, and tighten up your drafts, there’s no reason you can’t still at least force a tiebreaker for 1st in your group.


As a personal aside — Unified, please stop getting gapped by other bot laners. I’ve seen you domestically and I know how mechanically skilled you are. I said I wouldn’t play favorites, but I’d consider throwing in some extra credit if you can step up so the other faculty stops making fun of me whenever I visit the teacher’s lounge.



Hanwha Life Esports

Score: 1 - 2
Grade: C-

Sigh, okay Hanwha, let’s talk. You’re a bit all over the place  in the play-ins you looked really clean, and everyone seemed to be on the same page. What happened between then and now? Morgan has been falling asleep in class, facechecking brushes like it’s the regular season, and Willer has been playing hooky.


Chovy, you’ve been really solid in lane, but there’s more to League of Legends than the early game. You still managed to get at least one win, but Fnatic are having a rough time, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in that, okay? For the next Round Robin, I’d really like to see you get back to your play-in form. If you don’t have it in you, that’s understandable, but I really need to see you playing your best game. For now, I’m giving you a middling grade for your first three.



Score: 0 - 3
Grade: C-

Fnatic, I understand that you’re in a tough spot. You have extenuating circumstances  although your substitute bot laner has performed admirably, all things considered. Your performance is better than the results suggest. However, I have to factor your troubling tendency to throw into your grade. I’m not failing you, but I hope this serves as a wake-up call to try and salvage your next games.


There’s a lot of potential in your roster  Adam has made some great plays, Bean has had a solid debut, and Bwipo is making moves across the map. Take the time between Round Robins to reflect, rest, and come back to the rift with the best game you can muster. Worst case scenario, you can always opt to audit the class and come back next year.


Group D 



Score: 2 - 1
Grade: B+


Your performance has been solid overall, though your process is messy and honestly...hard to follow. Your grade reflects your record, and I’m waiting to see how you complete the term project.


Clid, you get full marks for an excellent Trundle Jungle performance, but I have to dock some points for the lackluster Burdol substitution against Team Liquid. Bdd and Ruler, you both have been excellent, so I understand if this feels unfair, but League of Legends is a group project, after all. Keep up the good effort, and I believe that you can secure that ‘A’.



LNG Esports

Score: 2 - 1
Grade: A-


I’ll start by saying that you have already proved that you deserve to be among the World’s Elite. Between a long gauntlet runback and a masterful play-ins performance, it’s clear that you care to put in the work on your assignments. Ale, you’re clearly a natural, keep playing those bruisers. Tarzan, you might be the best Jungler here, and I don’t offer that praise lightly — clearly, being raised by gorillas helps!


So far, you’ve been speedrunning your groups — well done on the fastest average gametime. Keep on subverting those expectations, don’t drop another game, and that ‘A’ will be yours in no time..


Team Liquid

Score: 1 - 2
Grade: C+


Team Liquid, your group is far more open than anyone expected, so you have a rare chance to upset the apple cart and score a good grade for the end of term. This time around, I’m going to give you a middling grade, as this was intended to be a tough assignment from the get go. You’ve put up better objective numbers than the rest of your region, but only just.


If you want to make it into the Quarterfinals (or avoid 4th place), I want to see individual improvements from Alphari and Tactical in particular. In fact, Tactical, come to my office after class  we need to talk about keeping your eye on the minimap when you Teleport.


MAD Lions

Score: 1 - 2
Grade: :(


Okay guys, you need to lay off the Copium a bit  and for the record, I’m not MAD, just a bit disappointed. I loved, loved your wombo combo composition against Gen.G  what happened with the rest of your games? I know there’s a lot of pressure on you to carry the hopes of EU this year  but I also know that you have the skills to do it.


For your next Round Robin, I’m going to give you some extra homework  maybe you can work together with DFM to get it done. Practice a bit more with the champions you’re drafting (except Qiyana), and try to sync up on the rift as a team. If you can do that, getting out of the group is still in the realm of possibility.



All images by: Riot Games

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