League of Legends 2016 World Championship: Group D Preview

The Group of Death according to TSM. Will TSM make it out alive?

Group D, the so-called “Group of Death” is filled with some of the most unpredictable and hungry teams of all. These are teams seeking to restore former glory, problem themselves worthy and live up to expectation. The teams in group D include:

  • TSM (NA 1st Seed)
  • RNG (LPL 3rd Seed)
  • Samsung Galaxy (LCK 3rd Seed)
  • Splyce (EU LCS 3rd Seed)

group-d-worlds

TSM are coming into Worlds as a true North American contender for the trophy. TSM are looking better than ever and, should only be getting better by the day. The leaked scrim against SKT demonstrated some degree of sloppiness but they managed to go toe-toe-toe with the defending world champions.

Samsung have made an incredible run to worlds, defeating both Afreeca Freecs and favourites, KT Rolster. Beating such high-profile Korean teams is no easy feat; therefore I do expect Samsung to be a contending team for a qualifying position. With that being said, the league community probably does not know what to expect from a team that has yet to place footing on the international stage since 2014. For a team that has so many unknowns, there is a lot to be fearful of. Some commentators have compared Samsung mid-laner to the likes of Faker. Crown has demonstrated a lot of consistency within his place, putting on the carry boots irrespective of what champion and role he has within the team.

Keep your eye on mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho to be a possible breakout MVP.

RNG is like the evil villain blocking the path to qualifiers for the Korean and NA hopefuls, TSM and Samsung. RNG’s roster is stacked with big international names such as Looper, Mata and Uzi as well as some new names that you might not have heard of: mlxg and Xiaohu. RNG, as a multi-threat team have had huge international and domestic success on an individual level, with Uzi making it to the grand-finals of worlds on two occasions, Looper and Mata claiming the World’s title in 2014 and Xiaohu and mlxg both receiving MVP awards across the LPL regular season.

While TSM, RNG and Samsung are huge powerhouses in Group D, this shuns EU newbie Splyce into a very tight corner. 2016 is the Splyce organisation’s first year of competitive League of Legends. To even reach worlds is a huge milestone for the young organisation, and its young and talented roster. While Splyce have had a lot of success in the second split of 2016, I do believe that their journey has very little to go. While individual potential has no ceiling for Splyce, they aren’t prepared to face teams of international calibre. With a coach that has spent the past few years on the analyst desk due to his own poor performing teams and a young and jittery line-up, Splyce are posed to fail in the group stage.

Group D Power rankings:

1st Place – Team SoloMid

2nd Place – Royal Never Give Up

3rd Place – Samsung Galaxy

4th Place – Splyce