League of Legends World Championship 2019 group stage has concluded. Some traditions that were kept, some broken and an amazing comeback contributed to the possibly best quarterfinals draw in the history of League esports.
World Championship's group stage has ended with exactly 50 matches, including the two tiebreakers. There are two fun facts related to that sentence. Regarding the 50 matches, Pantheon was banned in all of them, during the first ban phase, by the red team. It turns out people don't like letting the enemy get a first pick of a champion that can play any lane, have a global presence and an oppressive laning phase.
The second fact is that Europe is no longer unbeatable in tiebreakers. This time around, both tiebreaker matches included a European team and both of them lost. Without further ado, let's jump into groups' details.
G2 Esports started off on a strong footing but didn't manage to get the perfect 6-0 groups record which would be a first for a European team at Worlds. Griffin found themselves rejuvenated in the second half of groups to just come and smash everyone. Coincidentally or not, their performance improved drastically after their manager was fired. Therefore, Korea got their first top seed from groups and Europe the first quarterfinalist.
Splyce came from Play-In stage, finished second in the group, tied with FunPlus Phoenix and the winner was decided through the tiebreaker. Only one match was played but there could be more, had GAM Esports not turned out to be the only bottom-placed team in groups that managed to snag a single victory, effectively preventing J-Team from contending for one of the top two spots.
The group of death saw Fnatic in a flimsy display during the first week. RNG and SKT T1 looked strong enough to safely go through the group stage but FNC came back stronger in the second week, went 3-0 and knocked RNG off that #2 spot. Uzi's unfortunate streak with SKT T1 continues even if this time the knock out was indirect.
Speaking of unfortunate streaks, Team Liquid went out with 3-3 record. It's not their losing streak however, but rather their marksman's. Doublelift, along with Sneaky, is the most-participating player in all World Championship's when it comes to League of Legends, appearing in eight tournaments in total. However, he dropped out in group stage with 3-3 score in the last four attempts.
Damwon and Invictus Gaming went through to the quarterfinals.
All three Korean teams ended up first in their groups, all three Europeans ended up second while two Chinese teams qualified, one through top spot and one in second place. This went well for all the regions as such placements prevented the so-called civil wars where teams from the same region meet in quarterfinals.
G2 Esports is facing Damwon Gaming, Korea's third seed and one of the teams they dreaded the most. It remains to be seen who will come out on top as neither team is comfortable with playing their draw.
Splyce had a good run at worlds but they really drew a short straw here as SKT T1 is their quarterfinals opponent. They got inted by Mithy but at least we got some decent memes .
In stark contrast to the G2 vs Damwon pairing, Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix both liked they got matched together. It appears that both teams see this as a good draw with good chances to go to semifinals.
The last matchup is Griffin versus the reigning world champions, Invictus Gaming. The Korean team looks incredibly strong right now but as a reminder, Invictus had a much weaker performance in groups and tiebreaker match than in knockout stage at World Championship 2018, which they won.