LCS At Worlds 2021 Group Stage Day 2
The 2021 League of Legends World Championship is here, and North America sent out three teams to represent the region. 100 Thieves is at the tournament as the first seed after winning the LCS Summer Split, Team Liquid went in as the second seed after losing to 100 Thieves in the Summer Split finals and Cloud9 rounds it all out as the third seed after finishing third in the same playoffs.
While Cloud9 had to battle in the play-in stage in order to qualify for the main stage, both 100 Thieves and Team Liquid got to play their first match of Worlds. The day ended with North America going 1-2 for the day.
Going into the tournament, each team had a different set of expectations. As the team that dominated the spring and got to represent the region at MSI, Cloud9 were looking to right the wrongs of the past. The past goes as far back as their 2020 season in which, like this season, they dominated the spring, giving themselves their first-ever MSI trip. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSI didn’t happen. Cloud9 missed out on something they sought for years. This season culminated with the organisation missing their first-ever Worlds.
Thankfully for them, they began to right the wrongs this season by winning the Spring Split, making it to their first MSI and eventually making Worlds.
Team Liquid, on the other hand, didn’t necessarily have to right any wrongs from the 2020 season, but still had to endure their own battles. Although they won the first LCS Lock In tournament, they weren’t quite up to par once the spring split regular season began. This led to them meandering in the middle of the pack until the playoffs rolled around. Once playoffs rolled around they got back in shape but were quickly knocked down a peg by Cloud9. This called for a rematch in the finals in which Cloud9 took the victory over a hobbled Team Liquid who had to play with a substitute jungler - this would be the beginning of their problems.
Their problems continued in the Summer Split as they benched their top laner and their jungler once again had to step down, this was rounded out by their head coach resigning. Nonetheless, Team Liquid were able to keep themselves afloat all the way through the end of the split. Once in the summer playoffs, like the spring, they returned to form—it was an even better Team Liquid. This version of Team Liquid got themselves to the finals, in which they faced off against the team they sent into the losers’ bracket, 100 Thieves. This ended matchup ended in a swift, almost record time series victory by the Thieves.
100 Thieves on the other hand were different than the other two. Like Team Liquid, they started off the Lock In tournament well, but unfortunately were knocked out prior to reaching the finals. They were able to continue this momentum in the regular season of the spring split but weren’t able to close it out. This called for midseason changes.
A swap in the mid-lane and a bringing of a new head coach was all this team needed as once in the summer, the Thieves were on in full force all the way into the playoffs. In the playoffs, they won a close 3-2 bout versus Evil Geniuses but later lost the finals qualifying match versus Team Liquid, being sent into the losers’ bracket. In the losers’ bracket, they quickly made work of Cloud9 and subsequently made quick work of Team Liquid in the finals, winning their first-ever LCS championship.
We already talked about these three teams on Day 1 of the group stage, now here's Day 2.
LCS teams at Group Stage Day 2
The Cloud9 who won their play-in matches showed up for today’s game but lacked the aggressiveness and the willingness to push the envelope. An early gold lead that came to fruition due to the team’s early-game plays against FunPlus Phoenix was all for nought as North America’s third seed sat back and did nothing with it. This allowed a FunPlus Pheonix team to happily farm themselves back into the game; add a few plays here and there, and they were at Cloud9’s doorstep.
The match ended with a base race that Cloud9 smartly took as they were down in every sense of the game, unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to win it.
There’s not much about to say about their match versus DetonatioN FocusMe today, as the Thieves completely dismantled them—one blink in the early game, and you miss it. Although the game started close, Can “Closer” Celik’s Viego quickly took over, finishing with a 3/1/4 scoreline. Both Felix “Abbedagge” Braun’s Ryze and Victor “FBI” Huang’s Lucian had huge carry performances as well.
As the other loser of the three, the Team Liquid that showed up against MAD Lions on Day one did not show up on Day 2. Seemingly prompted by an odd Talon pick for Lucas “Santorin” Larsen in the jungle, the known tempo setter for the team couldn’t get going. This made the team around him crumble, and LNG Esports capitalised heavily. Even though Team Liquid were able to throw one punch in the mid to late game, it was never close.