The Rise of the West – 2015 Worlds Day 1 Roundup

Nephilim 2015-10-02 03:46:37

The Rise of the West Worlds Day 1 Round up

The 2015 World Championship is here! The first day proved to be highly entertaining and even boasted a few surprises, as the results of some matches catching the greater League of Legends community off-guard. Prior to the first game, the analysts were at somewhat of a loss in predicting which champions and team compositions would dominate the 5.18 meta. The presence of juggernauts created an air of mystery during bans and picks; would teams leave the likes of Darius, Skarner and Mordekaiser open, or would they ban them outright just to be on the safe side? Let’s take a look at the individual matches and examine what transpired.



Coming off of a massive Summer Split win-streak, Fnatic can only be described as the West’s best hope for winning Worlds. With that said, Invictus Gaming’s jungle & mid synergy is daunting; having played together on KTA, KaKAO and RooKie are often instrumental to IG’s victories. Seemingly stuck in the past, Fnatic drafted a team composition that, although quite common during most of Season 5, has fallen out of popularity. Still, it’s a Sivir comp – you group and you win. IG’s team composition was a bit peculiar, as KaKAO, normally more successful on early game junglers, elected to play the newly reworked Skarner.

Fnatic began with a four-person fast push in the bottom lane. Huni was left to soak the gold from the bottom turret, but a failed attempt at bouncing the wave allowed Zztai to teleport to the bottom lane and save it. This proved inconsequential for Europe’s top team, though. Taking advantage of their significant wave clear, Fnatic proceeded keep their lanes pushed and obtain vision in IG’s jungle. Kitties gave up the first blood attempting to put wards on the map; not long after, he died again under similar circumstances. A later dragon fight saw Fnatic claim dragon and three kills, netting them an 11,000 gold lead at 25 minutes. Having had enough of this game, IG surrendered five minutes later.

C9 vs AHQ


When YamatoCannon expressed his doubts about Cloud 9 being able to win a single game in Group B, few people objected. Despite a slightly impressive gauntlet run, their chances of succeeding against the likes of AHQ, Fnatic and Invictus Gaming were considered to be grim. AHQ hails from LMS – not the most competitive region – but has been praised for their aggression and early game pressure. Westdoor, often cited for his carry potential, was given Fizz, one of his most played champions. AHQ also claimed Darius, a highly contested pick, while C9’s choice of Veigar on blue side seemed rather foolish. Very few people were optimistic about Cloud 9’s odds of winning this one.

The early game played to AHQ’s advantage. However, the brilliance of Cloud 9’s team composition began to shine when they started sieging in the mid lane. Veigar’s Event Horizon – coupled with Morgana’s Dark Binding – made defending towers a risky affair for AHQ, whose composition suffered from a lack of wave clear. Cloud 9 proceeded to pick up kills and towers with reckless abandon; Hai, often criticized for declining mechanical ability, pulled off some spectacular Lee Sin plays. Defying all expectations, C9 vanquished AHQ in 23 minutes.

SKT vs H2K


The long-awaited Faker/Ryu reunion finally happened! Unfortunately, we did not get to see one Zed, let alone two. However, Ryu did choose an assassin in order to give him an advantage over Faker’s Azir in lane. Despite amassing a slight gold lead during the early game, H2K found themselves unable to contain MaRin’s Fiora. Near the Dragon pit, H2K managed to catch Faker out of position and instantly kill him. Thinking they had the advantage, they pressed on. However, MaRin finally arrived and managed to claim a triple kill. SKT continued to push their advantage, claiming Baron, towers and kills. MaRin invested in a third-item Guardian Angel, which allowed him to safely split-push with no fear of dying. Without an answer to MaRin’s formidable presence in both team fights and while split-pushing, H2K lost 31 minutes in.



This game featured arguably the most significant skill mismatch at this tournament. EDG’s team composition was somewhat brazen; their lack of magic damage spoke volumes of their confidence to end the game before armor stacking would prove an issue. In an attempt to get G4 ahead, four members of BKT ganked PawN only two minutes into the game. A tragic Twisted Advance from Warl0ck missed PawN, rooted a minion and ultimately cost BKT an early advantage. EDG managed to claim two kills in a beautifully executed 4v2 dive under BKT’s bottom tier 1 tower. With marked advantages in every lane, EDG cause BKT to surrender after only 20 minutes – not unlike many of my ill-fated solo-queue games.



Counter Logic Gaming’s first game of this tournament provided rather worrying. Despite boasting a strong team composition, CLG struggled during the early and mid game. Xmithie was determined to get ZionSpartan ahead; he camped the top lane, albeit unsuccessfully. Ironically enough, it was ZionSpartan who gave up first blood during a gank. An excellent roam from SwordArt granted the Flash Wolves another kill onto ZionSpartan. A few skirmishes broke out during the mid game, but these only played out to the Flash Wolves’ advantage. CLG didn’t lose faith, however. The combination of Lulu and Jinx scaled incredibly well, and FW were ultimately unable to get to Doublelift. CLG won the game after 41 minutes of uncertainty.



The best thing I can say about this game is that it wasn’t a complete stomp. Well, to be fair, it was a stomp, but Pain Gaming managed to create a surprising early lead. A level 1 skirmish saw two kills go to PNG, while KOO claimed but one. Pain initiated an aggressive, early dive under KOO’s bottom tier 1 tower and claimed another kill. KOO was nowhere near done, however. With Ahri, Ashe and Thresh, the Tigers’ team composition excelled at making picks. Through superior rotations and vision control, KOO steadily amassed an oppressive lead. Pain Gaming found themselves incapable of matching KOO’s tempo; the game ended at the 30 minute mark.

With the exception of H2K, every Western team that played today emerged victorious. Invictus Gaming’s subpar performance has lead many to wonder if both Fnatic and Cloud 9 will make it out of groups. On the other hand, CLG is looking rather lackluster; having a relatively easy group may not be enough to see North America’s first seed advance to quarterfinals. Tomorrow will prove more trying for the West, however. TSM will be taking on kt Rolster in the first game of the day, with Origen versus LGD following shortly thereafter.

If you enjoyed this content, follow the author for more on twitter at @NephilimPatrick.

Images credited to the Lolesports stream.


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