As the final qualifying tournaments in respective regions come to a close, the 16 spots for the League of Legends 2016 World Championship is locked in and ready to go. The group stage aims to kick off at the end of September, with the same format as previous years’.
The group stage separates teams into four groups. These groups are drawn at random; however follow a specific set of rules. Such that:
No two teams from the same region play in the same group
Number one seeded teams from each region do not face each other in the group stages
Pool 1 will consist of the ROX Tigers, EDward Gaming, Flash wolves and Team SoloMid.
Pool 3 consists of Splyce, Cloud 9, INTZ e-Sports and Albus NoX Luna.
Pool 2 is made up of everything that hasn’t been mentioned.
This year’s World Championship, like every single one of its predecessors, reaches another level of heightened competition and excitement. My power ranking for this year’s World Championship contenders is as follows:
1. ROX Tigers
2. SKTelecom T1
3. EDward Gaming
4. Team SoloMid
5. Royal Never Give Up
9. Flash Wolves
11. I May
12. Counter Logic Gaming
The Korean teams without a doubt sit at the top half of the standings. For reasons being, that they have been a dominant force within international competition and a benchmark for top-tier competitive play. ROX and SKT take the throne because a) SKT have had a history of becoming exponentially better during pre-worlds training and perform formidably on stage and b) aside from SKT’s historical dominance, ROX would sit as the best team in the world right now.
Trailing not-so-far behind the Koreans is the LPL powerhouse EDG. EDG is a team that is running out of competition in China as they farmed up wins over the course of the regular season and playoffs. With that being said, EDG have had numerous hiccups playing on the World stage in both 2015 and 2014. They will have a lot to prove this year.
The team that is stealing the World’s spotlight this year is Team SoloMid. The surge in comments like “NA have a chance at winning world’s” by all means, comes after TSM’s spectacular regional performance this split. With enormous amounts of resources pooled into their Korean boot camp, analysts and psychological coaches; North America is as close as its going to get to winning Worlds.
Group Stage Draw
With the Group Stage draw happening this Sunday morning (4:00 am AEST), there are a lot of wild possibilities that could be drawn. The “Group of death” as they call it looks like:
EDG (LPL No. 1 seed)
SKT (LCK No. 2 seed)
G2 (EU LCS No. 1 seed)
C9 (NA LCS No. 3 seed)
There are countless other possibilities that could occur, drawing in both favourable and unfavourable conditions for every team.
The first week in betting will without a doubt surface a lot of opportunities as teams are going to be overvalued and undervalued. Team’s in the top 4-5 are going to be tipped to win when facing teams in the bottom 10-16 of my power rankings. But that may not necessarily hold true. So keep an eye out as we approach the draw, and when match-ups are posted.