In an incredibly sad day for LCS and LMS fans, as they watched their respective teams get knocked out almost immediately, fans of the LCK and LEC had much happier days. The LEC specifically had a really happy day, and by that I mean, G2 Esports played some extra happy games today, and GRF made them pay.
After their 5-0 run, being only one game away from becoming the first non-Korean team to finish 6-0 in the Group Stage, G2 was crushed by GRF, creating a tiebreaker situation. With the 1st seed on the line, and hopes to dodge FPX and the other groups' strongest, GRF and G2 suited up for another round.
And once again, while it may have been all fun and games for G2, Griffin really "had zero fun," as Eefje "Sjokz" Depoortere would put it, and for the second time in a row absolutely obliterated the LEC champion. Two games in a row, G2's early game plays were thwarted by Lee "Tarzan" Seung-yong, their mid game power spikes delayed, and late game never even reached.
While each and every member of GRF had a stellar day - truly everyone looked pretty unstoppable consistently throughout all four games - only one can be the MVP. Tarzan takes it for his early pathing and jungle tracking. LCS MVP, Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen, was made useless thanks to Tarzan's prowess, and then the same for the LEC MVP, Marcin "Jankos" Jankowski, twice later on in the day.
Each lane won consistently, but it was in large part due to when and where Tarzan showed up. He was incredibly impactful in every early game, and each game felt like a 5v4 in Griffin's favor. The laners were all good to capitalize on his plays, and everyone seemed to play perfectly in sync with his movement as well.
To echo the casters, it's clear that GRF have a calculated, lower risk style of play. They play more slowly than G2 in the early game, taking incremental advantages where they know they can. And that is in large part due to the information gained via Tarzan and his jungle tracking.
I even loaded up a game after the day was over to reset and tried one of his paths, and I won with an 'S' score on a champion I don't even play, so it is 100% confirmed that Tarzan is a god. If anyone can make me look good, they have an insanely high value.
Jokes aside, GRF had a lot of questions coming in to the tournament, especially after leaving their head coach at home. Those questions even lingered after their first Round Robin, thanks, in part, to their loss to G2. But after the level up from just a couple days off, it's clear they have the ability to prep well and compete with the best.
With them making it out as 1st seed, they'll have an easier time in their first Bo5 which is where they've struggled in the past. If they can use Quarters as a warm up and experience boost to find their comfort zone, this team has high hopes of playing in Paris. And you can bet (free Pick'ems advice) your bottom dollar Tarzan and the gang are going to do what they can to get there.
Find out who GRF and G2 will face in the Knockout Stage during the draw, which takes place after the final Group Stage match on Sunday, Oct. 20th.