North America disappoints at Worlds once again.
Another year, another poor performance by the North American region — League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) — at the League of Legends World Championship. The North American region’s woes continue as not a single team of the three sent made it past the group stage, failing to make Quarterfinals. This is the second year in a row that the so-called “fourth-best region” hasn’t made it past the group stage.
It was a near-identical performance to last year’s Worlds standings wise as North America had one team finish 0-6 and the other two teams finish at 3-3. In contrast to last year’s Worlds where it was one 0-6 finish for Clutch Gaming, now known as Dignitas, a 3-3 finish for Team Liquid which mirrors this year’s performance and a 2-4 from Cloud9. It was a single win improvement for the region from last year to this current year.
With Worlds playoffs underway in just a couple of days, beginning on Thursday, October 15, in this article we’ll be looking over the performances by the three teams who represented North America — Team SoloMid, FlyQuest and Team Liquid.
To say Team SoloMid disappointed as the number one seed for North America would be an understatement. In probably the most contested groups in all of Worlds, the fact that Team SoloMid couldn’t squeak out at least one win is embarrassing. This is the number one seed, the team that had one of the best playoffs runs in LCS history. They went from getting swept down into the loser’s bracket, to climbing themselves to the top — they even had a reverse sweep of their own to later thwart one in the finals against FlyQuest.
This team look discombobulated, lacked confidence, and had zero sense of urgency — they let the enemy team run laps around them in every match. The play where Mingyi “Spica” Lu gets a 5-man Lilia sleep versus Gen.G in the midst of an important team fight, tells you everything you need to know about how Team SoloMid performed at Worlds — it was also the icing on the bad performance cake.
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, one of the supposed better mid-laners going into the tournament, had one of his poorest performances to date. Bjergsen was towards the bottom in every stat category amongst players in his role according to the League of Legends stats website gol.gg. Stats are obviously going to look poor due to Team SoloMid overall performing abysmally, but this is not the performance you’d expect from your superstar mid-laner if you’re Team SoloMid.
FlyQuest’s 3-3 performance should be of no surprise seeing the group they landed in. The fact that they had to battle one of the tournament favourites in Top Esports, and a strong number two seeded Korean team in DRX and still managed to get three wins is impressive. Although two of their wins came from beating down Unicorns of Love twice.
They had a lackluster first week only getting one win over Unicorns of Love. But, they managed to turn it around come week two after the pounding they received from DRX to start the day of matches. The turn around was so strong that they had their best performance yet against Top Esports in which they managed to beat them in FlyQuest fashion — the playstyle that got them to two back-to-back LCS finals. They finally had Colin “Solo” Earnest on a top lane champion in which he could hold his own, as opposed to getting constantly punished and camped. Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage got his signature Azir, and the bot lane duo performed well, getting themselves two early kills — Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun got his Blitzcrank.
Overall not a bad showing for the organisation’s first time on the Worlds stage.
Team Liquid began their Worlds run having to battle through the play-ins stage, as they were North America’s number three seed. They dominated the play-ins only dropping one uncharacteristic match against INTZ, in which they had control, the gold lead and the right composition but just dropped the ball. This forced a tiebreaker versus Legacy Esports to auto-qualify for the Worlds group stage in which they handily took care of business with a 20-minute win.
Come group stage, like FlyQuest, Team Liquid had a poor week one performance of their own even though they did manage to beat G2 Esports. That defeat over G2 Esports was revenge for that MSI Finals loss in 2019, as they showed good macro, as well as Nicolaj “Jensen”, had a stellar performance on Orianna. G2 Esports did make it too close for comfort at times but Team Liquid were able to finish it out.
They started the day with the first and only win of the week for themselves. In the rest of the matches, they seemed to have thrown out everything they had learned out the window. Their new bot lane pick of Twitch and Rakan got countered, and poor overall drafting came to the forefront.
They managed to turn it around in the second week, showing the Team Liquid of old. North America’s third seed impressively clawed themselves back into Quarterfinals contention only to have Suning take it all away with a victory over G2 Esports — forcing a tiebreaker between themselves for first place in the group. Team Liquid went from 1-2 to 3-3, they set themselves up to make Quarterfinals but needed that G2 victory over Suning. Overall, Team Liquid left fans wanting and hoping for more. This team is filled with Worlds experience from top to bottom, having two World champions, one Worlds finalist and one Worlds semifinalist. The only player who had no Worlds experience was their promising AD Carry in Edward “Tacitcal” Ra.
Images via Riot Games