The field for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship continues to take shape this month, as more teams have qualified to book their ticket for the trip to China.
Longzhu Gaming the Ones to Beat
After their stunning performance in the finals of Korea’s LCK, Longzhu Gaming come in as the favourite for the League of Legends 2017 World Championship. As the number one seed from Korea, Longzhu will be the heavy favourite to finish first in their group no matter their opponents, especially as they won’t be going up against any of their compatriots in the early stages.
Every member on this team has continually produced throughout the summer season, but the undervalued and overlooked bottom lane of Pray and GorillA will have the most impact moving forward. The duo’s experience on the international stage will be of vital importance for Longzhu as they look to guide their younger players in a new environment. Longzhu have a shot to usurp SKT’s throne as the champions of Worlds.
SKT Still Strong
Speaking of SKT, they still come in as a strong contender to win it all given their experience and ability. Given their shocking 1-3 loss in the finals against Longzhu, SKT come into Worlds in peculiar and unusual fashion, in that they’re not the favourite to win it all. However, SKT are still considered the second-best team in the world, with the single greatest player to ever play League of Legends, Faker, still on their roster.
With Faker at the helm, SKT always have a great shot at winning it all, but one key decision for the Korean powerhouse could be their use of substitutes. SKT has continually subbed their junglers, Peanut and Blank, and top laners, Untara and Huni, with a high rate of success until the most recent final. Look for SKT to make an appearance in the finals, as long as they do not end up on the same side of the bracket as Longzhu.
Flash Wolves Should Not Be Overlooked
The LMS’s Flash Wolves are a quiet threat to claim a playoff spot at the upcoming World Championship. Flash Wolves have consistency performed at the World Championships, pulling off victories against SKT among others. With mid-laner Maple and jungler Karsa at the helm, Flash Wolves have the tools necessary to fight with the world’s best. While at times struggling against weaker opponents, Flash Wolves’ highs show they have the ability to make a playoff run happen. As long as the side take care of business with the lower teams in their group, they should be able to claim a playoff berth.
RNG Could Cause a Stir
Royal Never Give Up are an ever-present threat to make a deep run at Worlds given their wealth of experience and talent. Uzi stands out even amongst this talented bunch, as he’s still considered one of, if not the most, mechanically gifted player League of Legends has ever seen. With a willingness to play Vayne amongst other hyper-carries, Uzi is the cornerstone that RNG base their game around.
The other key to RNG’s success is jungler mlxg, who has had an up-and-down season. Mlxg is known for his incredible aggression and ability to read the opposing jungler, allowing the likes of Uzi to make aggressive plays on the back of his judgment. The aggressive combination of these two stars will be key if RNG are to influence the playoffs at Worlds.
North America Have Twin Hopes
North America’s Immortals are set to introduce fresh faces looking to have an impact on the Worlds stage. With veterans such as Flame, Xmithie, and Pobelter guiding the young stars of Cody Sun and Olleh, Immortals have a well-balanced team that could pull off a number of upsets throughout the group stage. While Team SoloMid are typically seen as the hope of North America, their continual struggles on the international stage leave the door open for Immortals to shine.
The key to Immortals is jungler Xmithie, who has revitalised the team ever since his acquisition from Counter Logic Gaming. If Xmithie can neutralize the opposing jungler and keep the game even into the mid-game, then the Immortals will have a chance to sneak into the playoffs, assuming a reasonable group draw.
The final field will come together over the next couple of weeks as the qualifiers run their course and an excellent World Championship seems on the cards.