Everything you need to know about the League Of Legends Worlds 2020 Play-Ins.

20:23, 30 Sep 2020

The League of Legends World Championship is kicking off with the Play-in stage of the tournament on Friday, September 25 at 9am BST / 10 am CEST / 4am EST / 1am PST. The best League teams from all around the world will be facing off against each other for the prestigious World Championship, immortalising themselves in League of Legends history.

With a scaling prize pool depending on the number of championship skins being bought (of which 25% go directly towards the teams), the overall amount will likely surpass $5,000,000 (~£4,000,000). In total 22 teams from eleven regions will be competing at the World Championship.

Check out our content hub for our full daily Worlds coverage! Please be aware that these will contain spoilers!

Starting out with the play-in tournament from September 25 - 29, four teams will move forward into Group Stage play with the top-seeded teams. The Play-In teams have been drawn into two groups that look like this:

Group A
INTZ (BR)
Legacy Esports (OCE) 
MAD Lions (EU) 
SuperMassive Esports (TR) 
Team Liquid (NA) 

Group B
LGD Gaming (CN) 
PSG Talon (PCS) 
Rainbow7 (LAT) 
Unicorns Of Love (CIS) 
V3 Esports (JP) 

The top-seeded team from each group will automatically be slotted into the main event's group stage. The third and fourth seed of each group will have to face each other in reverse order. The winner of this match will face off against the 2nd seed of the other group, determining which other two teams qualify for the main event. 

After a short break, the main event will begin on October 3, putting the remaining 16 teams in four separate groups. The first three competitors in each group have already been determined, with the play-in tournament victors slotting in as the fourth seed in each respective group. The groups were drawn as follows:

Group A
G2 Esports (EU)
Machi Esports (PCS)
Suning (CN)
TBD

Group B
Rogue (EU)
DAMWON Gaming (KR)
JD Gaming (CN)
TBD

Group C
Fnatic (EU)
Gen.G (KR)
Team SoloMid (NA)
TBD

Group D
Top Esports (CN)
DRX (KR)
FlyQuest (EU)
TBD

Friday, September 25 Worlds Coverage

Game recaps

Mad Lions vs INTZ 1-0 (Rewatch recommendation: 3.5 / 5)

Despite Tay's best efforts to bring INTZ to the forefront of the battle, particularly in the mid-lane, it seemed like INTZ held back on the top lane Urgot which is set to play a huge part during this tournament due to a buff. MAD Lions took full advantage of INTZ inability to finish what they started, resulting in a number of blunders however leading finishes from Humanoid, Kaiser, and Shadowz which sentenced INTZ to their first loss.

PSG Talon vs Rainbow 7 (Rewatch Recommendation: 2 / 5, a good ol' stomping)

What a blood bath. Early game, PSG Talon manages to feed Hsiao "Kongyue" Jen-Tso to a 4/0/3 lead in the jungle with Shadow solving world hunger with a 0-4 score before 15 minutes. Rotations of PSG were on crisp and aggressive, frequently significantly outmanning R7's lanes 4v1 or 4v2. As mid-lane tower falls around 17 minutes in and Rift Herald gets taken shortly after, a clean victory is in the cards for PSG. Finally, R7 gets to make a play in the top lane with Brandon Joel "Josedeodo" Villegas being the only laner staying even with their counterpart, but even here a 4v4 leads into a failed gank that sees PSG being the only team to get a kill out of it.

Firmly arrived in the mid-game with a dragon, 4k gold and 12-3 in kills lead, PSG Talon are pushing their advantages. Kongyue, now sitting at a 6/0/4 scoreline with 16 Mejai stacks, becomes a nightmare to handle for Rainbow7, quickly developing his lead into a 9/0/5 scoreline with 25 Mejai stacks. Around the 30 minute mark, a fight breaks out around Baron in which Rainbow7 gets aced though they manage to drag Kongyue with them to the afterlife, putting some halt on his stacks and getting the fat kill bonus. While it serves to elongate the game, just two minutes later Rainbow7 gets aced again, and PSG Talon manages to push the Nexus in with relative ease.

With an impressive performance, PSG Talon underlined their status as one of the teams expected to make it to the Main Event. 

Post-game interview gems:
"In the practices, we focus on the synergies." 
"I think with three new players it can be quite a challenge to get into the group stage."
 

INTZ vs LGC (Rewatch recommendation: 4 / 5, high tempo, crazy back and forth)

After half of the early game plagued by repeated pauses, INTZ manages to get an early advantage by Diogo "Shini" Rogê getting a clean invasion as Volibear in on Leo "Babip" Romer on Nidalee, trading flash for flash in the unfavourable early game match up. As INTZ tries to convert that advantage into a Cloud Drake, Babip manages to catch Shini off though INTZ manages to grab the cloud buff. While INTZ technically got away with a reasonable trade, they are put on the backfoot by Kim "Topoon" Ji-hoon getting a kill in the top lane with LGC being able to push for a Rift Herald, now 2k ahead at 10 minutes. Another fight breaks out in top river two minutes later in which the teams trade LGC's top laner for INTZ's jungler, putting Shini at a rough 0/2/1 start. The temp keeps up with INTZ rotating bottom and securing a kill on Babip and two dragon lead at 13 minutes though LGC gets the first tower in bottom lane.

Finally, we have a bit of a breather until the third dragon spawns with INTZ trying to get an engagement onto Quin "Raes" Korebrits with a Bard ult, but the Tristana wisely buffers his jump and escapes the ultimate while flying through the air all golden. Posturing around Dragon continues, and with the help of a split pushing Rift Herald, LGC finally gets a Dragon on the scoreboard.

A fight breaks out in the mid-lane with three of LGC's players getting away with live bars requiring an electron microscope to see the remaining blue. The teams only treat one for one, but INTZ gets the important mid-tower and third Drake out of it, putting the Soul pressure onto LGC. Not appearing to be bothered by that pressure much, LGC gets a kill on Micael "micaO" Rodrigues' Ezreal.

After a couple of trades through which the Brazilians lose their top inhibitor, INTZ gets the fourth dragon and finally catches up in kills bigtime with a score of 13-8 lead at the 35-minute mark (though still 4k gold down). Ygor "RedBert" Freitas keeps trying to get engagements with his Bard Ultimate against the four of LGC while Topoon keeps splitting top lane. As Rodrigo "Tay" Panisa needs to pay attention to the pushing top lane, Legacy finds a favourable 4v4 fight which they win with two members left alive, able to take the Elder Dragon. With the momentum now on their side, Legacy secured Baron Buff and pushed into the base of INTZ, managing to push the nexus in with the help of constant super minion pressure.

In a wild back and forth LGC remained unwavering in the face of a big Drake disadvantage, counting on Topoon to apply incredible amounts of base pressure and winning smaller scale skirmishes. INTZ remained in an ever-prevalent quantum state of in and out of the game and eventually succumbed to objective pressure.

Post-game interview gems with James "Tally" Shute:
"We threw a lot of our lead."
"Anything can happen, you have to be ready to adapt."
"Even we might not be the most talented player from OCE, I think we mesh really well together."
"[Chaos] is what we enjoy doing."

LGD vs PSG Talon (Rewatch Recommendation: 4.5 / 5, everyone loves a coordinated upset)

Lucian mid-lane, we repeat, Lucian mid-lane. Su "xiye" Han-Wei faces Chen "Uniboy" Chang-Chu's Orianna. Despite the unorthodox pick and resulting game plan, the early game remained tame and contained, with no kills going down for any of the teams, always staying close to each other in gold.

The first advantage is gained when LGD makes a powerplay towards the top lane, grabbing first Rift Herald and later a kill on Su "Hanabi" Chia-Hsiang who gets dove under tower by Xie "Langx" Zhen-Ying and Han "Peanut" Wang-ho on Volibear and Lilia respectively. A couple of minutes later PSG Talon can catch up slightly by grabbing Drake, though the gold lead has grown to 1.5k at the 15-minute mark in LGD's favour.

While LGD secure a second Rift Herald, PSG smell weakness in the mid-lane catching Ling "Mark" Xu's Braum in the process. That trade turns in out in favour of LGD as they manage to push in mid-turret with the assistance of the herald shortly after.

A fight breaks out in the lower river which looks initially looks to be in favour of LGD, but as PSG smartly disengage in their jungle, the Chinese team overextends and loses a member and subsequently their second Dragon.

Posing for third dragon, LGD lose another member early but this time can't come back from a disadvantage or trade in a favourable way, giving the third Dragon to PSG too and losing two more players in the process. PSG Talon are now clearly in command of the game as it is theirs to take here. The taste of an upset is in the air.

With blood in the water, PSG Talon shark around Baron and in a messy fight get a huge victory getting both the buff as well as four kills. With the score now sitting at 12-2 in PSG's favour and them having now found a 4k gold lead, Ocean Soul is easy pickings.

LGD tries a hail-mary play in the top lane, but Hanabi's Ornn is simply too slippery and PSG's bot lane pushing in the bottom inhibitor, the grip on LGD's throat tightens. As another Baron is secured by PSG as a well as three of LGD's members, PSG pushes in the Nexus.

The first major upset of Worlds 2020 is perfect. Not only the fact that PSG was able to win this match but in what kind of a commanding manner was a delight to watch.

Team Liquid vs Mad Lions (Rewatch Recommendation: 3 / 5, close game until Tactical and Impact decided it wasn't)

It takes this game ten full minutes in order to start with the action. As Mad Lions' bot lane pushes in their wave, they don't appear to be respecting Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen's Twisted Fate ultimate pressure as he teleports down and trades favourably for a 2-1 lead for Team Liquid.

Getting Rift Herald off of the pressure, TL turns to the bot lane with Edward "Tactical" Ra getting a kill under tower on Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság while Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong gets a nonchalant solo kill in the top lane. Just seconds after Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen gets blown up in the bot lane in retaliation.

As the mid-game action gets crazy, the teams fight each other in a 4v4 fight in bottom lane in which Team Liquid gains the upper hand and gets the bottom tier 1 turret out of it. Shortly after top tier 1 and tier 2 as well as the middle tier 1 turret is taken by TL too, with only bottom tier 1 getting traded for Mad Lions.

Nevertheless, at 20 minutes, the match sees both teams at about equal strength when a fight breaks out. Trading two for three opponents, Team Liquid emerges victorious and get the tier 2 middle tower.

Five minutes later, there's still no substantial gold advantage for any team, with the Dragon score sitting at 2-1 in Mad Lions favour but Team Liquid leads 5-3 in towers. Another Dragon goes to Team Liquid and Mad Lion's hunger for a fight. Trying to find an Ashe Arrow onto their opponents, Carzzy misses it, and the failed engage rubber bands directly in their face with a fed impact getting a clean entry into the backline, grinding Mad Lions into fine dust in the process. Team Liquid take Baron of the advantage and moves forward. Another fight breaks out in front of the Lion's base, and Tactical remains aggressive, flashing for clean up kills. Team Liquid clean sweeps the fight and pushes the nexus.

An impressively playing rookie performance by Tactical in an overall close match in which Team Liquid eventually got the upper hand through blundered positioning and execution by the Mad Lions.

Post-game interview gems with Broxah:
“There’s no doubt that this is a win I really, really hoped for.”
“Coming into worlds NA sucks, and EU is so much greater. I’m happy that we managed to take down one EU team here.”
“One team that impressed me personally was PSG.”

A first day of the 2020 World Championship Play-Ins delivered record-breaking viewership with the LGD Gaming vs PSG Talon series breaking over a million viewers on the English Twitch and YouTube broadcast alone. As the North American viewers wake up, they will be met with a stunning upset to catch up on.

Saturday, September 26 Worlds Coverage

Game recaps

Rainbow7 vs V3 (Rewatch Recommendation: 1.5 / 5)

Sinning all the way with Shirou "Paz" Sasaki picking Renekton in the top lane facing off against Emmanuel "Acce" Juárez on Sion. Around seven minutes Acce dives deep past the tower with the help of Brandon Joel "Josedeodo" Villegas' Nidalee but V3 are onto them. Acce dies, but both V3 members are low too, so after respawning he teleports back in and gets killed once more, but Rainbow7 also secure both kills. Renekton keeps the lane deep giving Lee "Bugi" Seong-yeop's on Elise the chance to solo Rift Herald.

Around 18 minutes, a fight breaks out in the midlane. Shin "Raina" Okubo engages with a Sett ultimate but gets quickly taken out. Nevertheless, the entrance into the fight is made as Paz gets into the middle of Rainbow7, devastating the backline and winning the fight. 

Skirmishing in river, V3 gets another dragon and are up in the counter of it 3-1. Baron is baited by both teams, but only eventually a big teamfight breaks out at 25 minutes, in which Raina once again finds a solid ultimate and V3 manage to clean up Rainbow7, taking Baron right after. Despite their scaling setting in Rainbow7 loses another fight and have to give up Infernal Soul to V3 and 9k down in gold at 30 minutes. From there on out, it's V3 all the way, pushing the Nexus in not a perfectly clean but sufficient manner.

INTZ vs SuperMassive Esports (Rewatch Recommendation: 2 / 5, a half-won game in draft)


Hey Lee "KaKAO" Byung-kwon, how is it going! Pretty well in the early game apparently as the South Korean veteran completes a successful gank on Tay. Shini retaliates with a great kill in the mid lane off of a massive Nidalee spear. Then it becomes less elegant as INTZ set up for Herald but gets read and lose three members in the process. 

INTZ needs plays, and they try one on Armut in the top lane with a 1v5 onto him. Getting help from a teleporting Bolulu, they somehow turn it around on INTZ and even get a kill out of it. Yikes! The errors made during the draft phase keep haunting INTZ as SuperMassive catches wind for smooth sailing, farming up for a couple of minutes.

SuperMassive attempt a dive but also fail to execute that one, losing KaKAO in the process. Fortunately, Armut can trade Tay back in the split lane.

After SuperMassive manages to secure Cloud Soul, they engage in a mid-lane fight and blow out INTZ in the emerging team fight, taking Baron right after. The following base push just becomes a trivial matter and SuperMassive even BM at the fountain before finishing. At a score of 0-3 in matches, INTZ has a rough road ahead of them.

Unicorns of Love vs V3 (Rewatch Recommendation: 3.5 / 5, worth watching just for the Nomanz play)

The first early invade of Worlds 2020 that got action. V3 tries to grab UOL’s red buff bot promptly blunder, with Raina on Sett falling to the benefit of BOSS. On the back of their early advantage, UOL just keeps rolling securing top and mid-lane, getting Dragons and only leaving Heralds up to V3 to a score of 8-2. V3 keep themselves in the game by pushing turrets, keeping the gold even at the 15-minute mark.

As a fight breaks around Rift Herald, UOL looks to have an advantage, but V3’s Sion can keep them at bay. As Kassadin finishes the Herald and tries to run off with the heart, he gets taken low repeatedly resulting in a ridiculous minute long chase which eventually leads to a fantastic turnaround. What a play by Nomanz, Ace will feel that one for a while.

What follows simply a crazy bloodbath in which UOL continuously keeps the upper hand, meticulously pushing Inhibitors until none are left, and they get the Nexus with a big kill and gold lead.

Until the play by Nomanz, the game had been relatively even. Giving an impulse to his team, UOL flipped on the switch after the outplay, taking their first win at Worlds 2020.

Rainbow7 vs LGD (Rewatch recommendation: 4.5 / 5, an insane upset with Peanut having a death wish)

The game really starts off around the four-minute mark with LGD trying to make a play in the top lane, diving Acce’s Ornn but Peanut can’t get out of tower range in time and also gets killed, giving Acce the trade.

When a fight breaks out in the mid lane around the ten-minute mark, LGD shows their rotation smarts, with Peanut trading for Josedeodo but Langx is right there to go for the kill on Aloned’s Orianna, giving LGD a 1k gold and Dragon lead.

R7 takes Herald and groups three of their members in the top lane, managing to catch out an aggressive Peanut. With Herald, R7 pushes in top tier 1 turret with ease. Rainbow7 continues to catch up for a decent while, getting objectives and catching up in gold until LGD turn it on in several small skirmishes all around the map.

A team fight around Drake breaks out in which Rainbow7 miraculously wins while also getting their third Dragon buff. They are 3k gold down, but a Soul could just help Rainbow7 to pull this incredible upset. Holding on until Dragon spawns, R7 stays defensive and lets their lanes be pushed in, fighting safely under tower while trying to maintain vision control of their jungle as much as possible and rotating onto split pushing players like Langx, who has to blow his flash.

A fight for Ocean Soul breaks out, and R7 grabs it, winning the team fight with two members of theirs remaining, allowing them to control the Baron area and eventually even taking it. With two buffs active, R7 push into LGD’s base!

While does a minor throw in the bottom lane dying and losing his guardian angle buff, the very next fight R7 is back on Elder Drake and even get the buff. They are now in the driver seat of this ever-increasingly likely upset. Taking Baron, they are pushing in with Soul, Baron and Elder Drake, taking it down mid. Pushing in the Nexus after a relatively easy fight, Rainbow7 deliver the biggest upset of Worlds 2020.

Unicorns of Love vs PSG Talon (Rewatch recommendation: 4 / 5, sweet relatively high-level League Of Legends)

The match of the day kicks off with Hanabi drawing the short end of the stick against AHaHaCiK, giving UOL an early advantage. The teams posture around Rift Herald at 9 minutes and a fairly high-level team fight breaks out in which PSG comes out ahead. Fights like these keep happening over the next couple of minutes, with PSG gaining small advantages but UOL never completely blundering for a big disadvantage, always taking bits for themselves in the form of Rift Herald, Turret plates, and jungle creeps, somehow staying ahead in gold while losing these fights.

In a back and forth dance, UOL keeps getting these small advantages that compound in incredible pressure onto PSG’s base. Repeatedly UOL gets into their opponents base, taking Inhibitors consistently and finally after 30 minutes, the Unicorns with Super Minions in their sails push through to the Nexus.

The match showed arguably some of the highest level of League of Legends so far in the Play-Ins with the Unicorns prioritizing value overkills and taking smart trades all around the map.

SuperMassive vs Mad Lions (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, an upset for the soul)

The first ten minutes of the game go down fairly amicably with trades back and forth. Around 17 minutes a long fight breaks out in the mid-lane that allows SuperMassive to gain a minor advantage by trading three for two, escalating into a dragon and a mid-turret push. Armut’s Wukong is sitting at a fat 4/0/1 score and is commanding a lot of attention in the team fights, requiring both Hecarim’s Ultimate to be solely dedicated to counter dives.

Humanoid on Zoe has not caught a great game, being outclassed by Bolulu and KaKAO’s heavy jungle pressure. SuperMassive just keeps rolling and rolling, extending their lead to a 14-3 kill advantage, a downed Inhibitor in the middle and a 9k gold lead at 25 minutes. SuperMassive continue pushing their advantage, taking first Dragon, tier 3 bottom turret and eventually even the second Inhibitor.

In the final fight, Mad Lions try to make something happen with an offensive Hecarim ultimate but the Jungler is too squishy and gets blown up immediately. With the Super Minions pushing into the base and only Mordekaiser, KaKAO can push the Nexus in, accomplishing another upset. 

Team Liquid vs Legacy (Rewatch recommendation: 2.5 / 5, a beautifully executed game by TL)

Tally, once again on Lucian, gets pressured twice, first losing his Flash and his life on the second gank. Shortly after LGC takes Rift Herald but TL is onto them, with a fat Ornn ultimate by Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong hitting three of LGC's members, killing first Topoon and later Tally once more in the process. Legacy at least catches Jensen's Orianna out in the jungle, putting the kill score at 4-1 for Team Liquid with an Ocean dragon and a 2k gold lead at twelve minutes.

Tally keeps being bullied, dying another time, and dropping 35 CS behind at the 15-minute mark while Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen is sitting well-fed at 5/0/1 on his Graves, geared with a Warrior and Black Cleaver. Pushing down tier 1 mid Turret with the help of Herald, TL pulls off a beautiful combo of CC onto Babip taking him out. Shortly after the horses ride up top and graze off Topoon. Tally gets solo killed by Impact once more, with the Australian mid-laner's death quickly becoming the period of every team fight sentence.

"That's a stampede of Team Liquid" Aaron "Medic" Chamberlain describes the game state at 25 minutes which proves to be an apt description with the game getting closed out before 30.

Team Liquid put themselves in the pole position to get out of Group A.

Sunday, September 27 Worlds Coverage

Game recaps

V3 vs LGD Gaming (Rewatch recommendation: 2 / 5, throwing arms like an NFL quarterback)

The early game develops slowly with only Bugi looking towards a gank up top that doesn’t lead to a kill. After a little posturing around river top-side, V3 sneaks a quick Cloud Dragon and even Rift Herald just shortly after. 

Again in top lane, LGD sets up for a kill with their jungler who didn’t end up being required as Langx’s Ornn simply blows up Paz’s Renekton. Rotating bottom river, a fight breaks out around the second Dragon with V3 looking like they are going to get it, but Peanut comes in with a smite steal on his Kindred.

Now at Rift Heral once more LGD rotates upwards and catches out Bugi with a big Syndra ult killing him under his own tower after they had chased him through his jungle.

V3 once more wants their Dragon, this time focusing on Peanut to not get another buff stolen. Getting him very low, he has to Flash off giving V3 the Dragon as they also kill Langx, killing xiye after a big chase all over the map, fishing him off with Archer hitting a solid Ashe Arrow. 

Langx Ornn hits a huge spike which allows them to consistently pressure V3 around the map and grabbing the fourth Dragon for themselves. It looks like LGD is taking charge of this game as Markz feeds into a fight early around Baron. As V3 tries to get it, another fight emerges with the Bard making up for his mistake of earlier by taking Archer out of the fight with his ultimate, killing three of V3 and getting Baron on the back of it.

Kramer and xiye are monstrously fed at this point, sitting at 8/0/5 and 5/1/7 respectively as LGD pushes into the bottom Inhibitor, breaking it down with middle following shortly after. 

Then LGD Gaming almost finds a way to throw by splitting in a team fight. Eventually, they recover and finally get at the nexus. Not a great match for the majority but finally a win on LGD’s scorecard.

Rainbow 7 vs Unicorns of Love (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, A solid game by the Brazilians start to finish)

Unicorns of Love come in with an unorthodox draft of Wukong, Skarner, Cassiopeia, Senna, and Nautilus running into R7’s Lucian, Ezreal, Alistar, Evelynn, and Camille. The first play doesn’t happen until seven minutes into the game with a four-man dive on bot lane, taking out SaNTaS in the bottom lane. 

Taking advantage of Skarner’s shard, UOL grab first Dragon to close the gold gap. When UOL tries to get a kill bottom lane, the play backfires, and they instead get triple killed with the bottom tower also falling with Herald pressure. 5k up at 15 minutes, Rainbow7 takes charge of the game by dispatching of tier 1 tower. As the second Dragon spawns, UOL clumsily contests it and gets aced in the process.

Rainbow7’s gold advantage grows to 10k at 20 minutes with them taking Baron while trading one for one. Trying to get a sneaky pick on someone in Rainbow7’s bottom jungle, UOL does indeed find a kill but has to eventually give up four of their own to a re-engaging R7. 

As more and more skirmishes break out, R7 gets further and further ahead, seemingly increasing their gold lead by 1000 a minute. While Josedeado has a minor throwing attempt by dying with Baron coming up, the Brazilians stall long enough to eventually take the fight and ace UOL at Baron, which allows them to finish the game.

From the start, R7 took advantage of major mistakes by UOL who felt outdrafted from the start.

PSG Talon vs V3 (Rewatch recommendation: 1.5 / 5, straight up victory by Talon)

The game starts slowly until the five-minute mark in which Ace gets taken down under his tower by Kongyue’s Kindred and Syndra’s Uniboy. Riding this advantage to level 6, Uniboy kills a second time with his ultimate.

V3 catches PSG out on a gank top and get a double kill by smartly anticipating it, rotating for players up top. Same happens in the bottom lane but with the roles reverse, with PSG getting the upper hand. Trading back and forth the game finds itself at a stage of two dragons for PSG Talon with a 3k gold lead at 17 minutes with the kill score tied 8-7 with PSG having taken down the top and middle turret.

More and more very scrappy fights occur on top of each other using Kongyue’s ultimate to cheat death effectively with the fights coming down to the wire. Twenty-five minutes in and PSG has grinded out a 10k gold lead with three dragons to boot. V3 tries to stand against the resource disadvantage but can’t hold out long, getting finished off in under 30 minutes. 

LGD Gaming vs Unicorns of Love (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, LGD are put on their last life)

Xiye shows himself bloodthirsty early into the game getting the upper hand on Nomanz’s Syndra. Boss heavily overstays his welcome in the top lane only two minutes later getting solo killed by Langx, arguably the only player who has considered for LGD in this tournament so far. The first big neutral only falls after ten minutes with Herald being taken. 

The game picks up from here with constant 4v4 fights breaking out all over the map with Langx dunking on Boss repeatedly. Fortunately for UOL, they keep themselves in the game with a Dragon grab and Gadget feeding up to 4/0/0 on his Twitch.

Also taking the second Dragon, UOL equalise the game around 17 minutes as LGD fight for their tournament. Gadget’s Twitch turns to be a real problem throwing bombs towards the lines of LGD. Taking the third Dragon, UOL really starts rolling even getting an ace on LGD despite the Chinese game successfully nuking Gadget early into the fight but blowing a ton of their cooldowns.

LGD’s backs are against the wall with looming Inferno Soul requiring to contest the objective. Once again it’s Gadget who goes on a tear soloing the backline of LGD while his team takes the rest of the Chinese team out. While LGD respawns, UOL take Baron and with Inferno Soul to boot, they are seemingly minutes away from sending LGD packing.

While it looks like that LGD can in fact bring it back by winning the next two fights (which is two more than they should have) Boss shoves in two nexus turrets, and LGD is wide open now. UOL puts the boot on LGD’s tournament life’s neck as they re-engage into the base, putting LGD in the tiebreaker game against V3.

PSG Talon vs Unicorns of Love (Rewatch recommendation: 4 / 5, wild turnaround)

Tiebreaker for direct qualification time. The early and mid-game develop very slowly, with a lot of fights around neutrals giving UOL a mild advantage of 3k gold at 23 minutes. Keeping it safe while zoning with Ezreal and Ziggs, PSG Talon has a hard time finding engagements.

Taking their fate into their own hands, UOL throws it with full force against the bottom lane walls, losing four players in the process and consequently having to give up Baron though Gadget can at least get top inhibitor. 

Of the back of that toss, PSG Talon takes enough of an advantage to earn a direct seed into the main event. 

LGD Gaming vs V3 (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, wild turnaround)

The early game goes over uneventfully in this knockout tiebreaker, without any team gaining a clear advantage. At 10 minutes, teams start fighting for Rift Herald, blowing a lot of cooldowns in the process and only resulting in the death of Paz on Camille who had tried to get a clean kill into the backline on Kramer’s Jhin but failed. 

With Inferno Dragon spawning, the teams have another argument regarding who deserves to go to the knockout stages, with LGD getting a quadra kill on V3, taking Dragon for themselves as well. 

Trickling along, LGD maintains their advantage but don’t meaningfully increase it from minute 15 - 20. Finally, before 25 minutes they catch a fight and can one again quadra-kill V3, giving them their third rake and Baron.

LGD tries to play it out as conservatively as possible, taking Cloud Soul and amassing a 13k gold lead before they find the guts to go for the game win. V3 are the first team out of Worlds 2020.
 

Monday, September 28 Worlds 

Game recaps

Team Liquid vs SuperMassive Esports (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, TL smurfing in Play-Ins with minor hiccups)

The two unbeaten teams in Group B face off to likely determine who will be directly qualifying for the Main Event. Both teams opt for relatively slow compositions and farm up until about nine minutes into the game when KaKAO secures Rift Herald and kill Impact under his tower. Using the heart, they try to get as many Turret Plates as possible, but Broxah goes in hard into the top and jungler, and as Impact respawns and immediately uses his Shen ultimate, they catch out both of their opponents and bounce back from the disadvantage they had suffered only a moment earlier. Team Liquid answers by taking the first and second Dragon of the match, tying the gold at 12 minutes.

When Jensen tries to teleport back to base, he does so in a very aggressive position right in front of SuperMassive tier 1 middle tower. Armut and SnowFlower unexpectedly have rotated middle and catch him out. A very sloppy mistake by Jensen.

Team Liquid take a Rift Herald and decide to put it to good use, gathering all their members in mid lane. SuperMassive rotate awkwardly through their river and have SnowFlower caught out, giving them easy access to their third Dragon even getting a kill out of it.

SuperMassive now clearly on the backfoot try to make something work for themselves but keep losing fights to a once again well-playing Tactical on Twitch. With Baron buff, TL try to recall but sloppily get caught out in an undesirable fight which they just barely end up winning. With two members alive they try to get the much desired Ocean Soul, but SuperMassive is onto them, and in another scrappy fight, TL wins on numbers but fails to secure the Baron.

Ocean Soul understandably becomes a large focus in the game and with 10k gold behind, SuperMassive have to take an unfavourable fight around Dragon which they promptly get aced in, allowing Team Liquid to push the base in.

Player interview gems with Jensen:
"I can't believe I'm the first one to win with Silas."
"All the wildcard regions have actually improved a lot."
"Some of the wildcard regions can for sure compete with the big regions."

Mad Lions vs Legacy (Rewatch recommendation: 3.5 / 5, Australian League Of Legends packs a punch)

The Europeans need a win, this much is known. In good Mad Lions fashion, the action starts early with an attempted Teleport play in the bottom lane by Humanoid, but it doesn't lead to any results. When Mad Lions tries a second time to get something going in the bottom lane this time with Shad0w giving a helping hand, Legacy is onto them and have anticipated the rotation, splitting the fight two for two.

Shad0w now all stocked up tries to clear Rift Herald but Legacy once again knows that this is going on and group three of their members to shut that attempt down, killing Shad0w in the process. Shortly after, LGC's bottom lane makes a kill happen without lane intervention and takes the first Dragon off of that play.

The game remains high tempo, with frequent smaller skirmishing lighting up all over the map. Much like in previous matches, Tally takes to feeding the Lions with an unfortunate Galio ultimate in the middle of three ravenous cats. 

When a full team fight breaks out in mid-lane, the teams space out both incredibly well with only Mad Lions getting a single kill out of it. Thinking that this would give them the Dragon for free, they engage the neutral but get teleported on have the buff stolen by a Jhin auto-attack, with two more members of Mad Lions dying. At 20 minutes, LGC are 2k Gold and two Dragon buffs ahead. 

Mad Lions are holding on to their dear lives, having Humanoid caught out of position in the top lane as he gets collapsed upon. This time Legacy feels safe in taking Baron but is proven wrong as they lose two of their members.

Mad Lions rally the troops and deny the Ocean Soul from Legacy, leaving themselves a way to win this game until a fight breaks out in the upper river in which the Lions get their claws pulled, getting aced and giving their opponents a save Baron buff.

Once again having to contest Ocean Soul, Legacy prey on Mad Lions around their opponent's red buff and another four kills. The Ocean Soul is now a trivial task with no grievous wound item insight for Mad Lions. The middle Inhibitor has to make way to the pressure of LGC. 

Despite being several thousands of gold down, Mad Lions continuously try to find offensive entrances but simply get outmuscled in those team fights. Eventually, the team has four of their members killed, and Legacy and light the nexus up.

Player interview gems with Babip:
"When we first started playing at worlds, we realised we had to play a lot more aggressive."
"I think [Lilia] is still one of the strongest champions here."
"We have a decent chance against most teams in this group."

Team Liquid vs INTZ (Rewatch recommendation: 3.5 / 5, an underdog keeps their dreams alive)

It’s the last chance for INTZ to get a victory on the board and it starts off well, with Broxah being caught in his jungle, giving up first blood. Redbert shortly after finding a sweet roam in the mid-lane surprising Jensen and going up 3-1 in kills.

Despite INTZ having a Dragon and kill advantage, Team Liquid still manage to carve out a 2k gold lead based on Impact staying dominant in his lane, taking down top tier 1 tower early. A fight in the middle has the teams split kills one for one, but Liquid keep getting small farm and neutral advantages putting them now three thousand gold ahead at 15 minutes.

Teams remain fluid in the fights that they take, split pushing off and trying to force engagements to divert attention away from their split laners. At 23 minutes, this works out well for INTZ as Tay gets to push bottom tier 3 turret in while the rest of his team keeps TL busy in middle. Redbert repeatedly finds great engagements for his team, setting his team up for kills that least to a Baron buff take by INTZ at 26 minutes. 

The game balances out at 30 minutes and with neutrals two minutes out and many big items coming up for both teams, the game will likely be decided soon. As Broxah gets caught out due to unfortunate routing, INTZ picks up two Inhibitors and are looking to fight their way into the tiebreaker against Mad Lions. Getting both Neutrals certainly sets up this upset.

Taking destiny into their own hands again, INTZ push their advantages and manage to beat Team Liquid to keep their Worlds campaign alive.

Legacy vs SuperMassive (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, Oceanic League is legit)

The two teams at 2-1 score are facing each other to decide which team will have to play the tiebreaker against Team Liquid later today. Lillia is picked once again by Babip despite her pretty terrible win rate in the play-ins so far. 

In a fight around Rift Herald, Legacy takes a four for one victory as well as the Herald but their lanes are being pushed on the side, losing them a lot of gold despite winning the fight. SuperMassive group around the second Dragon and take it down, but SnowFlower dies during the get-away.

A large fight happens for the third Dragon which SuperMassive manages to take while barely managing to squeeze out a three for four kill trades. With SuperMassive at Ocean Soul point, Legacy has to contest every Dragon for the rest of the match.

Legacy does get an easy Baron, and when the Ocean Soul grating Dragon spawns, Tally puts on a master class on Sett, waiting as long as possible to use his ultimate and hits three people, initiating a cleanup ace.

Shining bright and blue, Raes sits at a 13/2/9 hyper-fed scoreline getting close to a full build around 27 minutes. Another fight around Baron breaks out in which everyone but SuperMassive's support is killed. Raes chases him down for the sole purpose of getting to BM in his face, while the nexus is taken down.

Player interview gems with Topoon:
"The only difference is the ping."
"Whoever picks Ornn first wins the game."

Mad Lions vs INTZ (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, a very slow start into a thrilling finish)

Given the importance of the match, both teams take it slow with no kills happening in the first ten minutes. Even in the following five minutes, only three kills and one Dragon develop with INTZ gaining a mild gold advantage.

After 20 minutes, teams are not pacifistic but certainly aren’t sending each other to the grey and white either as the kill score tied at 2-2. Humanoid tries to get a Shockwave place but ends up baiting his team big time. As he kites back, Mad Lions get two kills but Mad Lions pressure back and reverse sweep the team fight, sweeping Mad Lions with two of their members alive. 

Trying to one-up each other in fight positioning, Mad Lions get a minor advantage and kill one of INTZ, putting them at Ocean Soul point which INTZ will have to look out for.

Another mid-fight takes place, and Mad Lions once again manages to kill one of INTZ but managed to disengage once more, and no neutral can be taken. As the Lions quickly sneak the Ocean Soul, they look to be heavily ahead in these poke wars with the buff. Engaging heavily in mid lane, the fight gets dragged as several members enter 1v1s and 2v2s and in the end, the Europeans pull through and manage to push the Nexus in, keeping their tournament dreams alive. INTZ played their hearts out this tournament but unfortunately will be sent home. 

Team Liquid vs Legacy (Rewatch Recommendation 4 / 5, Complete Domination)

With the winners of the game booking their places at the Group Stages, TL came out of the starting blocks with a point to prove and inserted their dominance from the get-go. The early stages of the game set the tone for the whole experience. Blink and you would have missed it as Broxah opened the kill scoring almost immediately. The great Dane racked up five kills in the opening 11 minutes, which saw Team Liquid take a monumental lead. 

Legacy bounced back with a kill of their own in the top lane as Topoon and Bapip thwarted the advancing Tactical, but it would be to their own downfall, as Team Liquid spread over the map and began to take advantage of the numbers elsewhere. Broxah continued to cause havoc, tower diving Isles and Raes, leaving Legacy channelling back to their fountain with their tails between their legs. This left Liquid to begging to take the Dragon and destroy the bottom tower, and pin Legacy in their top lane.

Pinned to their tower, the first team fight engaged and Team Liquid’s initial dominance was visible. With many more items and a huge gold lead, they caused immiscible damage and came out with another four kills. 

With just 15 minutes on the clock, Legacy was facing the barrel of the gun. Team Liquid has an eight Turret Plate lead, two unanswered towers knocked down, up nine kills to one, had both available dragon buffs, more items than Walmart, and 8,000 more gold in the bank than their opponents. This was becoming a slaughter.

The quickest game of the year was complete just five minutes later, as they finished Legacy off in just 20 minutes and 20 seconds, with Broxah leading the way with eight kills without dying. A convincing win for Team Liquid, as they advance to the group stages.

 

Monday, September 29 Worlds Coverage

Game recaps

Rainbow7 vs LGD - Game 1 (Rewatch recommendation: 3 / 5, LGD slowly coming to form?)

Within the first five minutes, LGD finds the first blood in the bottom lane on the unsuspecting Ashe played by Leza. Trying to contain the roam of the mid-laners on both sides, grouping up around Rift Herald and mid-lane happens for both teams with three fights breaking out around nine, ten, and thirteen minutes respectively. During those engagements, both teams trade back and forth and stay fairly close.

At 15 minutes, R7 thinks they can get an easy trap-kill on MarkZ but LGD is a step ahead and gets to counter engage, killing four members of R7 and Rift Herald in the process. Using the Heart middle, they push in tier 1 turret and posture up at Dragon. Knowing that they won’t have a chance to contest it, R7 makes a play on top-lane with Langx dying to a three-man gank under his tower. As LGD realise that this is happening, they retaliate at tier 2 middle turret, killing two and taking the objective as well as Dragon.

Utilising their full teleporting abilities, LGD finds a 5v3 in their opponent's jungle with a sweet engagement by Mark which they get Baron with. Now 10k gold up, LGD puts on the hurt. Looking for that last fight to win the game, Langx finds Acce and Josedeodo at their raptors camp and immediately goes in. As members of both teams collapse into the breach, LGD’s gold advantage outmuscles R7, allowing them to crack the nexus.

Rainbow7 vs LGD - Game 2 (Rewatch recommendation: 2 / 5, the sleeping Dragon awakes, stomping)

The second game once against starts favorably for LGD. Peanut, once again on Kindred, finds the right timing to enter mid-lane together with xiye on Orianna, they take first blood. Shortly after, Langx’s wave pushes in an unfortunate way, requiring him to step forward just as Josedeodo on Graves enters the lane and takes him for his Gnar gold. 

As the third Dragon spawns, the first large team fight breaks out and Shadow on Nautilus ends up heavily overextending on the engage, getting himself killed while also baiting Acce in who also falls. LGD takes both neutrals and puts the Dragon Soul point pressure on R7.

Both teams group up around mid due to the aforementioned Infernal Soul but LGD can maneuver in a smart way, securing the buff without R7 finding a way to go in. Their last remaining chance appears to be being able to sneak Elder Dragon or Baron but vision control is not in their favour as LGD keeps it tight on the map. 

LGD plays down their advantage in a routined way, catching R7 members when they try to step up to get vision. LGD takes Baron and focuses on Elder dragon next, making sure R7 doesn’t find any footing in this game.

Taking Elder Dragon, LGD completes this stomp, taking their sweet time to style on their opponent at their spawn.

SuperMassive vs MAD Lions - Game 2 (Rewatch recommendation: 2.5 - Bounce-back-ability stabilised the tie)

After an unsuccessful first game, MAD crawled back and proved themselves a worthy opponent against SuperMassive, securing the first blood of the game early on. A quickfire double from Carzzy and Kasier opened a seeping wound from the heart of SuperMassive, resulting in them securing the first Rift Herald.

MAD improved tenfold in terms of their team fights which ultimately let them down in the first tie. The first brawl saw the lions claw their way through the SuperMassive offense and steal the Baron from their clasp, and trading one for two. This set the tone for the tie as they kicked on and grew stronger as the next team fight saw the Baron buffs elevate their health and power to a point where SuperMassive could not trade blows and were forced into their own fountain to defend the nexus.

A huge gold lead and multiple buffs saw MAD make easy pickings of the defense, and the nexus soon fell to square the best of five up at 1-1.

SuperMassive vs MAD Lions - Game 3 (Rewatch recommendation: 3.5 / 5 - The SuperMassive importance of staying with the pack)

SuperMassive started off with a fire in their belly. Fuming from how Game 2 went, they came out all cylinders firing, with jungler, Zeitnot, picking off lions that strayed from the pack.

Taking an early lead, SuperMassive begun to amass gold and set the trap for MAD Lions upon the first Dragon becoming available. With the Lions looking to scratch their way back to an even game, the Dragon buff was what they needed, although it would be their demise. Jumping in to try and steal it, reminiscent of the Baron steal in Game 2, SuperMassive had more up their sleeve this time around and wiped out the entire pride with an ace and a 9-1 kill lead.

MAD Lions attempted to reduce the deficit with Orome answering back with some kills of his own, but SuperMassive's early lead proved too high of a mountain to climb, and soon after they were able to regain control and cruise through a fragmented team fight and advance on the inhibitors that their minions had been chipping away at. Making easy work of the nexus, SuperMassive took the game to match point.

SuperMassive vs MAD Lions - Game 4 (Rewatch recommendation: 4 / 5 -Measured to perfection)

Game 4 was the most evenly matched game yet. This was like a boxing match, with each team sparring each other, Trading blow for blow, this game was evenly balanced until it exploded into life.

Up until the 15-minute mark the game was evenly poised until the Dragon came into play again. This time it was SuperMassive who decided to take the fight to MAD, as they pounced on an awaiting rabble. Opening the scoring up with a 3 kill lead, it looked as if SuperMassive were heading towards the group stages, however, on the 20-minute mark, the game flipped on its head.

From here, MAD Lions bit back. With an incredible team fight, the champion choice was justified as they were able to utilise a range of stuns, heals, and mass area damage to weaken players and allow Carzzy to fly through and clean up the retreating SuperMassive side.

With this the scores were equal, but MAD Lions' were purring and roared into the next battle through the top lane. With a swift ace, MAD Lions had full control of the fountain took down the inhibitors and nexus to take the tie to a sudden death Game 5.

SuperMassive vs MAD Lions - Game 5 (Rewatch recommendation: 4.5 / 5 - Ultimate Control)

This was a textbook from the underdogs. SuperMassive went supermassive in their coordinated team fights, causing a huge amount of damage.

From start to finish in Game 5, SuperMassive were in control, and only let the lions out of the cage for glimpses, just to slam the gates shut in their face. Starting off, Zeitnot reaped the rewards of picking top lane to out to shut down Orome alongside Armut. Picking up some early kills, Zeitnot became too powerful for the Lions to deal with, as players such as Humanoid couldn't find the power to overcome his mid-lane opponent without Zeitnot pouncing in.

The Dragon became MAD Lions downfall again as they were bettered in another team fight for the buff, as SuperMassive were dealing so much damage to large areas, having multiple Lions whelping in submission. Taking out four of the lions SuperMassive was able to secure both the Dragon and Baron buffs and advanced on the fountain with too much power for MAD Lions to paw off. With just under half an hour on the clock, the Turkish side pulled off one of the biggest upsets of Worlds yet, knocking the EU side out of the tournament and booked their place in the Group Stages.

LGD vs Legacy Esports Game 1 


Raise your koalas. Under top turret, Peanut on Graves and Langx on Renekton pincer Topoon under his turret and on Gangplank, he has no way to escape with as little HP as he had. LGD manage to effectively choke out many income sources from LGC, taking their jungles and controlling lanes during neutral contests much more efficiently. 

Around the fourth Dragon (2-1 Dragon score in favour of LGD), the Chinese team spreads around with Langx flanking around and catching Raes on Kalista out. They swiftly dispatch of two the Australians, take Dragon and Baron in one swoop.

Now at Cloud Soul point and with Baron buff, LGD starts putting pressure on the base. Destroying the first Inhibitor, LGD go for the second and get caught in a fight and first xiye and later Mark get send back to spawn. 

With an 8000 gold lead and Cloud Soul now locked in, LGD chase LGC around the map, playing with their food and eventually smashing the big crystal.
 

LGD and Legacy Esports Game 2

The game starts out very slow with neutrals, towers or kills being scored until nine minutes into it when LGC takes the first Dragon. Even at 15 minutes, only two Turret Plates each have dropped and the second Dragon fight only then gets taken once more by Legacy.

Finally the action picks up around third Dragon with Legacy wanting to get to Soul point and them getting into a better position. As those teams trade two for three in LGC’s favour, LGD reenages to get them off the Dragon but ultimately fail, trading one for one once more.

In the next fight in mid lane, LGC takes another advantage for themselves but the gold is still stacked in LGD’s favour. This changes quickly with two fights going clearly in Legacy’s favour, the latter one around Baron allowing them to push in the middle Inhibitor. 

The next fights are surprisingly even, allowing LGD to get back into the game while crucially also denying Legacy the Dragon Soul. When a fight for Baron breaks out both teams only feel each other out, take a step back with LGD getting too curious and stepping into one too many brushes losing Peanut. During the subsequent Baron fight, LGD pulls out a miracle fight victory despite losing Baron which allows them to finish the game.

Legacy snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and LGD show off their veteran cool.

LGD vs Legacy Esports Game 3


Once again, the early game develops slowly, though at least two kills fall in the first ten minutes with top laners being traded. Here and there LGD win skirmishes, taking small advantages by picking one or two players off consistently. During this period, especially their ability to turn fights around stands out.

After 20 minutes, LGD are up 5000 gold and it looks like Legacy has to perform a miracle to get back into this series. With Baron pushing them along, LGD push in middle and bottom Inhibitors and recall once more to seal the deal of this series. Trying to find a hail mary play, they push towards LGD’s blue buff on the top side. Once again looking good in the engagement, LGD turn it around by having Twister Fate teleport into the backline and delete Raes.

LGD ace Legacy and push the nexus in. A valiant effort during the Play-Ins for the Australians comes to an end. 

 

Unicorns Of Love vs SuperMassive Game 1

The pressure of knockout stages is on the teams and we can feel it in the caution they proceed in. For the first 10 minutes not much happens until the game “explodes into action” as the casters put it. Fighting for neutrals, 13 kills fall between minute ten and eighteen with Gadget on his trusted Twitch emerging as the well-fed winner at a 5/1/1 score. 

Never letting go of the snowball, they roll it down mid increasing its size. Two destroyed inhibitors later Unicorns of Love are up 10k gold are on Soul point and have the kills on their now very scary Twitch. 

Pushing into base once more, SuperMassive just barely hold onto their base, trading two for three, and are able to stall until their respawns come in. All it takes it a second go around to finish the job. UOL go 1-0 up.

Unicorns Of Love vs SuperMassive Game 2

By mere scoreboard, not much happens in the first ten minutes and yet KaKAO chokes out AHaHaCiK in his jungle, sitting at level 7 while the Turkish jungler still sits at level 4.

Contesting nothing but a vision, both teams find each other in the river with everything from teleports to summoners being used on both sides. The unicorns get an excellent team fight off, acing SuperMassive and only having to let go two. At least SuperMassive can take both neutral after their respawn. 

Once more, a neutral is fought for and again SuperMassive get ace’d, putting the Kassadin at a scary 5/1/2 with Gadgets bottom lane Ziggs also sitting at 3/0/6.

What’s that? SuperMassive haven’t been aced in the last three minutes? I guess UoL have to change that, scoring their third ace of the game on the bottom side of the map, further extending their lead. 

 

After 30 minutes, UoL is almost 10k gold ahead and is on Inferno Soul point with their carries all well fed. Taking all three inhibitors down, they have free reign to fight in the enemy base and win the next fight to put themselves up 2-0 in this series. 

Unicorns Of Love vs SuperMassive Game 3

It again takes eight minutes for the action to start and it’s KaKAO who is taken down in mid-lane after a failed gank. Three minutes later, UoL wins a fight around Dragon and get two more players, spreading the kills over their carries. At this point, they are one Clout Dragon and 2.5k gold up. 

In the mid lane, Gadget’s 2/0/2 Infinity Edge’d Jhin ults and takes 50% of Zeitnot’s HP in one swoop while the ADC was really only trying to keep his support alive. A selfless play that really hurt SuperMassive as UoL takes Dragon off of that advantage.

For the third Dragon, UoL takes it really quickly but SuperMassive still want to find a favourable fight, having Bolulu dive deep into the backline with his Sett ultimate. While this one hits beautifully, he’s in a rough position and due to the major advantage that UoL had before this fight, they can ride that fight home four for one. Taking Baron, they push it towards the enemy base but SuperMassive find an incredible engagement that gives them the three for one favourable trade with a lot of bounty gold coming their way.

While this lends some hope towards SuperMassive, UoL immediately answers with a Dragon Soul in their favour, winning the next Baron fight too. With four surviving, they have enough to destroy the nexus and Unicorns of Love make it to groups.

Image Via Riot Games 

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