The first Round Robin for the Worlds 2019 Group Stage has been completed! The standings are in. G2 and SKT are the only two teams sitting at 3-0. TL is NA's best hope (as expected) with a 2-1 record so far, in a three way tie for first in their group. And Martin "Rekkles" Larsson and Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi have still yet to play an ADC.
Worst of all, Day 4 marks the midway point for the Group Stage and we still have Garen/Yuumi in our game. Someone please find the tech to put an end to this cat.
While yesterday saw a bunch of pop off jungler performances, today saw the same for the midlane. 4/1/8 for Li "Xiaohu" Yuan-Hao's Ryze, 7/0/1 for Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's Akaali, 5/1/3 for Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang on Kayle, 6/0/6 for Chu "FoFo" Chun-Lan's LeBlanc in the first four matches.
Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang, our MVP from yesterday, also had an incredibly dominant game today, going 7/1/6 and doing nearly 30% of his team's damage on Qiyana. And Kim "Khan" Dong-ha joined Faker in the 7/0/1 scoreline in their defeat over Clutch Gaming, repeatedly finding solo kills wherever he went.
With many of these games being rather one-sided, dictated by a single pop-off player or two each time, the task to find one person to place above the rest remains difficult. However, because of the weight on the RNG - FNC matchup, and because of FNC's win conditions, the Day 4 MVP has to go to Xiaohu.
The Early Game
FNC came into the match with a single threat comp, Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšekon on Kayle in the mid lane. With the other four champs just existing to support and provide CC for teamfights, it was crucial for RNG to find ways to take care of the Kayle. Xiaohu not only put Nemesis behind early, but he was exactly the one to take care of him in fights every time.
By just level 3, Xiaohu forced Nemesis under tower and Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan came in to dive from behind, netting them the first blood. Xiaohu used that advantage to keep Nemesis behind. By the 10 minute mark, Xiaohu was up 20 cs and, despite FNC's best efforts to get Nemesis back in the game, sustained that lead for pretty much the rest of the game.
More than the cs lead, of course, was the teamfight. In each teamfight, Xiaohu always found a way to flank to pinch FNC and threaten Kayle so she couldn't free fire. In the Baron fight that would eventually break the game open for RNG, Xiaohu flashed forward into three FNC members, unleashing a full combo onto Nemesis, chunking him out and rendering him useless.
The beauty of this play was two fold. Karsa was in trouble with Nemesis free firing on him, and Kayle self-ult prohibits her from using any abilities. So when Xiaohu threated Nemesis, he had to self-ult, saving Karsa. But Xiaohu already popped him down to just 10% health, removing him from the fight.
With Kayle gone, and others already cleaned up, RNG secured the Baron and established a big enough lead that they'd later be able to secure themselves the win.
But that isn't even the only thing about that fight that Xiaohu did correctly. Before the fight even started, he singlehandedly chunked Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov to half health. Then, as Xie "Langx" Zhen-Ying was transforming into Mega Gnar, Xiaohu Realm-Warped him into a perfect flank position and finished off the FNC support.
But with Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao falling low, Xiaohu was now the only legitimate damage on RNG. So it was essentially a 4v4, each side having one damage threat. After kicking Kayle out of the fight, Xiaohu deleted Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau and Rekkles, sending them both back to the fountain, almost entirely all by himself.
Four minutes later, in the next big fight, Xiaohu positioned himself on the side, and in another sneaky combo finds Nemesis and forces out both Kayle and Shen ult, keeping the other members of RNG safe.
While FNC's comp almost worked, Xiaohu overperformed in teamfights to make FNC's single threat rather unthreatening. With that, he earns the prestigious title of InvenGlobal MVP for Day 4 of the Group Stage.
Catch the rest of the Group Stage coming up soon as we head into the second Round Robin. These teams play again on Day 7 to determine who makes it to the knockouts and who says goodbye to their hopes at a Worlds title.
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