With two League super teams, SKT and C9, whose your favorite in group B?
Group B and Group D are fighting over the title “the group of death” – whereby the skill level of every team in the group is comparable and the outcome is nothing short of mutually assured destruction.
Group B comprises of the following teams:
- Flash Wolves (1st Place LMS)
- SKTelecom T1 (2nd Place LCK)
- IMay (3rd place LPL)
- Cloud 9 (3rd Place NA LCS)
Let’s get the obvious statements straight off the board: SKT are the strongest team in this group and the Flash Wolves were the weakest number 1 seed of any group. SKT are in the driving seat to take the first seed of Group B, despite their struggles throughout the LCK regular split. Everyone can agree on the fact their preparations for international events can accelerate them from zero to hero. SKT are also going to receive very harsh odds that could potentially prove to be poor bets, as historically:
- Flash Wolves beat SKT twice at IEM
- IMay is the EDG Challenger team
- C9 can go toe-to-toe with SKT in terms of 1v1/2v2 lanes
While I am confident that SKT will finish in first place, the upset potential in this group is far bigger than any other group. Which is why I find the risk/reward of this group to be extremely high.
The Flash Wolves will be making their second appearance to worlds, after their debut in 2015. At a glance, Flash Wolves have relatively weak laners, especially in the current 1v1 and 2v2 meta. The Flash Wolves usually work off the strength of Maple and Karsa, while NL slowly scales into the late game. SwordArt also has a great deal of experience and, should he choose the right champions, be a support to watch out for. With that being said, I still view the Flash Wolves as – ‘not as strong as they should be’.
Cloud 9 qualified for Worlds through the regional qualifying gauntlet. And boy. There is a lot of hype surrounding Cloud 9 and their players. Impact has been crowned “best top laner in NA” and quite possibly “2nd or 3rd in the world”. C9’s line up is extremely solid, with well-rounded threats in all lanes that have the current meta as an advantage for them. I am pretty keen on betting for a C9 victory against the likes of Flash Wolves and IMay.
Will Impact live up to the hype?
IMay clenched it to worlds after an amazing run through the playoffs – defeating Invictus Gaming, Snake Esports and Team World Elite, all of which were contenders for Worlds. The potential for IMay to perform on the world stage is largely unknown. Their roster previously played in the challenger scene as an ‘EDG academy’. The roster itself is quite volatile, with AmazingJ previously playing for the main EDG roster in 2015. AmazingJ showed himself as a huge liability at Worlds 2015, coming out as a huge feeder.
Overall, I believe that there will be a lot of value in betting for C9 to win against IMay and Flash Wolves (should the bookies give us the right odds). As for the group itself, my predictions are as follows:
1st Place – SKTelecom T1 (qualified)
2nd Place – Cloud 9 (qualified)
3rd Place – Flash Wolves
4th Place – IMay
I’d also like to add that the Flash Wolves are still an extremely solid team. Their performances at International tournaments have shown that they are consistently about to reach the quarterfinals. So I feel like the bridge between 2nd and 3rd place is extremely close. Therefore the team that drops games to IMay is without a doubt going to fall behind.