The group stages for the 2022 LoL World Championship ended just a few days ago. Even though the ‘real’ tournament hasn’t even started yet, there have been plenty to talk about.
From the LCS’ overall underperformance to surprising upsets, there were topics that brought forth much discussion, both in and outside the game. As the tournament now heads into the knockout stages, let’s take a look at some of the topics that sparked a lot of discussions.
The in-game bug that costed TOP Esports their quarter finals ticket
For TES fans, this is a heartbreaking topic for them, as an in-game bug was a major reason behind them getting knocked out of the tournament. This bug occurred in their match against VCS’ GAM Esports in day 7 of groups, as they finished 3-3 in their group and allowed Rogue to move onto the quarter finals.
While TES did underperform in week 1 of groups, their week 2 performance was much closer to how they looked in the 2022 LPL season. However, this in-game bug in their match against GAM prevented TES from taking GAM’s Nexus with a sliver of health, giving GAM the footing they needed to take the upset victory. So what exactly happened?
After TES took the Elder drake away from GAM, they headed straight for the Nexus. However, GAM was able to miraculously defend their Nexus against TES, allowing them to head straight into TES’ base to take their Nexus. However, upon closer inspection of the match, fans discovered that JackeyLove’s Maw of Malmortius did not activate as intended.
As members of TES were charging GAM’s Nexus, Levi’s Karthus used his ult, Requiem. If JackeyLove’s Maw of Malmortius worked as intended, it should’ve blocked most of the damage from Karthus’ R and would’ve had close to half of his HP. However, because of the bug, JackeyLove’s Lucian only had a sliver of health left, which led to his demise by the enemy Sett. With only Nami and Renekton alive on TES’ side, they failed to take GAM’s Nexus, giving GAM enough time to run mid lane and take the comeback victory.
This sparked a lot of talk within the community. Vandiril, a League Youtuber who’s known for highlighting various in-game bugs, recreated the same scenario and showed that the Maw of Malmortius should’ve blocked the damage from Karthus’ R. However, not only did TES did not point the bug out to the officials, it also seems that they did not take any action after the match.
Even if Maw worked as intended, no one will know whether or not TES would’ve won that match. While it’s regrettable to see such a bug occur on such a high-stakes match, GAM let their name be known to the world, while TES failed to make it out of groups and became the ‘FPX’ of 2022.
The Rise of Rogue
Many predicted that TES and DRX would be the two teams to make it out of group C. However, as mentioned earlier, because of TES’ underperformance in round 1, as well as the upset loss to GAM, TES failed to make it out of groups, while Rogue moved on.
However, much credit goes to Rogue for showing up in week 1. They broke many predictions and finished 3-0 in week 1, placing them in 1st place of their group. Many fans, especially the Western fans, not only did not expect such a dominating performance from them, but rejoiced at the fact that they had a Western team that could go toe to toe against the East.
Because of this, they, alongside DRX, were able to make it to the quarter finals. Although their quarter final opponents are none other than JD Gaming, the fact that they were able to make it out of groups in their first Worlds appearance is definitely one hell of an achievement.
This year’s Worlds is the first year that marked the return of the fans on-site. However, the dangers of COVID continued to loom around the corner, as it affected the teams in both the play-ins and groups.
A number of players and coaches have tested positive throughout the tournament, thus preventing them from playing on stage. Riot implemented protocols to take measures for such scenarios, which allowed the players and coaches to not only be in quarantine, but also to be able to play from an isolated space.
While such measures did delay the matches by a little bit, the matches went smoothly for the most part. However, fans were still definitely worried, especially for those that showed heavy symptoms.
The brotherhood of the 1-5 club
While there were many upset victories and losses that happened in groups, there were a lot of teams who finished 1-5 in their groups. Those teams were: Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, G2 Esports, GAM Esports, CFO, and 100 Thieves.
Fans fully expected that these teams would struggle in their group, but they hoped that these teams would put up more of a fight. Especially for teams like Cloud9 and G2, fans were really disappointed by their underperformance.
However, through memes on Twitter that welcomed each other to the ‘1-5 club’, they tried to remain on the positive end of the pool. While this positivity was well received elsewhere, the LCS teams were still met with heavy criticism, especially due to the underperformance from the region as a whole.
The most balanced Worlds meta ever?
From top Teemo to support Nasus, a wide variety of champions have made their appearance on the Worlds stage. These champions weren’t the “Worlds run is over, so f*ck it” type of picks; they were legit counterpick answers to some of the picks in the Worlds meta. However, it doesn’t mean that they necessarily worked.
A total of 90 unique champions in the play-ins, and 89 unique champions in the group stages were either picked or banned. These numbers are the second highest in Worlds history, with the highest being 92 unique champions in 2019 play-in & groups.
While such off-meta picks didn’t mean much success, it still showed that teams researched a lot in finding their unique interpretations of the meta. It’ll be curious to see which new picks will also be showcased in the knockout stages, especially as the competition gets more fierce.
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