All teams and players participating in the League of Legends World Championship receive fame and expectations, because it’s considered the zenith of the LoL pro leagues. However, not all players can always satisfy fans’ expectations. Nonetheless, it’s a tournament with winners and losers.
This article thus mainly talks about 6 players who had such unfortunate moments in the Worlds 2017 Group Stage. Though the absolute indicators were important, the list was determined based on how much fans expected them to thrive. We hope that it remains as a good motivation for them.
Before beginning the main context, we would like to apologize NA fans beforehand. The list has many names of players from the NA region, as they did not score as expected compared to other teams. As one of the LoL and eSports fans, we only wish the NA teams with so many enthusiastic fans to have good outcomes in the international leagues. Hopefully heating up the atmosphere, and ultimately drive the quality of eSports much higher in global aspect.
■ TSM’s jungler, Svenskeren
We would like to firstly talk for Svenskeren beforehand. What put him to the most flame was TSM’s picks/bans. There was a slight change in the Worlds meta since the 2nd week of the Group Stage. The tactic of suppressing the lane and demolishing towers with champions who are good at either diving or laning such as Caitlyn or Galio became viral, instead of a late game oriented tactic.
However, TSM was not ready for the change. TSM still insisted with a slow method even if the opponent had an aggressive comp. Even though they ended up changing the strategy nearly at the end of the Group Stage, they didn’t have time to get used to it. Had Hauntzer’s Gnar not fulfilled his job, nobody could’ve guaranteed their win in the 2nd week.
Svenskeren therefore could not show his potential as all lanes were suppressed. All he could do was covering the lanes and jungling. It must have not been a familiar situation for him as he’s been playing for a long time with the best laners in the NA LCS. The situation was so bad that only Score in his heyday or a few of the best junglers in the world could overcome such circumstances.
Although it’s certain that he had reasons, it’s also a fact that his personal performance was not as good. The average number of kills and assists that he claimed in the first 15 minutes of all matches was zero. That is, he didn’t score any in the early game of every match.
There are players who couldn’t claim any kills in a match, probably due to the current meta, but it’s only Svenskeren and Ambition who couldn’t score both a kill and an assist. However, Svenskeren’s ranking as to the jungling is even low, whereas Ambition’s is reasonably higher.
His KDA is 1.73, placing him 2nd at the back. Even with 3 wins and 4 losses, there’s no big difference with Crash from Fenerbahce with 6 losses.
Even if this Group Stage was quite difficult for Svenskeren, he needs to overcome this challenge in order to become a player of a higher quality. He needs more active and creative problem solving capability, if he wishes to compete with other world class teams.
■ Samsung’s Mid laner, Crown
In the late Spring Season and early Summer Season, he showed the best performance that made everyone think that he will become the best mid laner. However, he started to lose himself since the mid Summer Season, and haven’t recovered his potential ever since. Although SSG managed to score 4 wins and 2 losses due to their group placement, Crown’s presence was as prevalent as it could have been.
His hazy existence is shown on the kill participation rate. Most mid laners in the Worlds have more than 70% of the rate, and 80% for the top mid laners. However, Crown’s rate was 64.7%, placing him 3rd at the back.
What more to touch is on his ability of engagement. He scored the average of 1.67 teamfight kills and 3.5 assists per match, and Frozen and Chawy are the only ones who had lower numbers than Crown’s combined numbers. Considering that SSG’s score is better than that of Fenerbahce and ahq e-Sports, where these two players are affiliated, Crown’s number can be seen much worse.
Crown shined brighter and had a better result when his playstyle was more aggressive and adventurous. He may be playing cautiously due to SSG’s team playstyle, but it’s time to come up with an improvement through feedbacks.
■ Gigabyte Marines’ Mid Laner, Optimus
Gigabyte Marines is like a gemstone that has not been processed yet. The fans always love their way of coming up with a fresh strategy that could not be predicted at all, and claiming victory as a result. This Worlds is not their first stage where they surprised the entire world. They have spread their name since the MSI of this year. Among them, the jungler Levi and the mid laner Optimus were the most impressive members.
However, unlike Levi who showed moments as attractive as the time in the MSI, Optimus didn’t really fulfill his duty. It was difficult to spot his wonderful performance of dominating the MSI rift and claiming kills in this Worlds. Although he stood out once with Syndra against Immortals, it was literally a one of a kind event. He died more times than any player in the Group Stage, with the lowest kill participation rate of 54.8%. It wasn't like he claimed more kills or dealt more damage instead.
The most disappointing match was GAM vs Fnatic, the last match of the Group Stage that was to determine their entry to the quarterfinals. Optimus picked Orianna in this match, and he surprisingly missed the ult 5 times, making himself such a helpless member to the team. It must have been shocking enough to scratch his pride.
Optimus said a farewell to GAM with this Worlds as the last. We do not know which team he will be in for the next leagues, but we do hope him to show the potential he demonstrated in the MSI once again.
■ Fenerbahçe's Mid laner Frozen
It was also a bit unfortunate for Frozen. After leaving Longzhu and heading to Turkey, Frozen quickly rose to the top to claim the MVP player of their split. In the play in stages, he quickly also ranked to the top and carry his games. Korean fans sent their regards and support to him.
It was unfortunate that his performance run had a halt during the Group Stage. Fenerbahçe’s jungler, Move, was also a Korean player but sadly couldn’t make it to worlds because of a visa problem. At the same time being a former member of Longzhu Gaming, Crash joined the new to cover for Move’s series of unfortunate events.
Although Crash did replace Move, it was not to say Crash was better than move. The most crucial synergy between mid and jungle, however, was not present due to time restrictions. Surviving the onslaught from the veteran teams, Crash held on till the last games of Groups. In fact, Fenerbahçe's top laner, Thaldrin, or Frozen made the calls in the Group Stage. However after Crash joined the roster, the shot calling was a bit confusing to make.
Frozen was not a perfect player however. Frozen lacked a lot of personal judgement and competence in the group stage. Although Frozen was the ace for the team, he would give the enemy team a lead by giving up a kill in the crucial moment of a game. For example, In the first game, Fenerbahçe got a lead off several mid lane ganks but Frozen gave back the initiative when he got caught out.
In the game against Samsung, Frozen would get ganked at lv 2 as Ekko and die. During the last team fight, he died without even being able to use his ulti or able to aid his team. Frozen did make good plays from time to time but calling him the consistent ace for the team is hard to say.
Since they lost all their games, it was not a good indicator for them. During the next World Championships, let’s hope Fenerbahçe and Frozen will be more prepared than this year.
■ Immortals' ADC Cody Sun
Because of the OP Ardent Censer, the current meta is solely focused on the AD carry. In other words, the pressure to carry your whole team as a single damage dealer has significantly increased. Debuted as a pro player not too long ago, Cody Sun fell prey to this immense pressure.
Up to the 1st week of Groups, Cody Sun showed a good level of performances. However starting from the 2nd week of Groups, an infamous throw was made by Cody coming from his lack of good positioning. It happened during the game against Fnatic (2nd week). He flashes forward as Tristana and ults the enemy towards his team, dying in the process. Cody Sun showed an ideal amount of embarrassment afterwards.
At the time, Immortals were already losing the team fight. Cody Sun had no choice but to retreat. Trying to deal as much damage as he could, he got caught by the wind. After that, he made the play as mentioned prior. The game was soon lost afterwards.
In the 2nd game against Longzhu Gaming, Cody Sun showed yet again a poor performance. In a neck and neck game, Cody Sun could only dish out not even half of Pray’s damage during the entire game. Even though Pray made a record breaking damage count to compare fairly, it was clear the difference in AD carry damage outputs.
The statistics weren’t on his side either. Cody Sun was recorded to output around 585 damage per minute. The top AD carry players dished out around 700~800 damage per minute. It is a shame Cody didn’t score as high. Kill participation told the same story. 66.1% kill participation. Scoring 3rd to last on all worlds AD carry players.
Immortals showed incredible performances in the summer split and went to worlds 2nd place of the NA LCS. Everyone gave them high expectations. Although understanding that Cody Sun was nervous on such a big stage, it is only natural to feel a bit unfortunate for his performance.
■ Flash Wolves' ADC Betty
No one would have expected the long awaited Flash Wolves would score 1 win 5 losses on the Group Stage. Flash Wolves held high expectations with great results from previous international stages.
During this year’s worlds, it was difficult to see the dynamic duo of Maple and Karsa ripping the enemy teams apart. Although it is true both players could not perform as well as we hoped, Betty became the key to Flash Wolves’ success because of Ardent Censer meta.
Betty, similarly to Cody Sun, could not easily handle the pressure on his shoulders. In many important team fights he mispositioned himself and led the game to his team’s defeat. His occational passive plays were even more problematic. During the current Ardent Censer meta, ADC’s are asked to play more aggressively and commit to team fights. Betty failed to show such performance even when he was big enough in late game. As a result, Betty ranked last place on group stage kill scoreboards, with only 10 kills.
▲ Showed 3k less damage than what Doublelift did.
The two games against WE were the most unfortunate. In the first game, they would either all die with their summoner spells up or die where you shouldn’t have died. In the second game, Flash Wolves lost the early game laning phases and was also behind double the cs of the opponent.
It was an unpleasant performance for Betty at worlds this year. Hopefully this unpleasant experience will aid him in his future endeavors and improve to a better player.