The first two teams have locked their spot in the top eight of the 2022 League of Legends World Championship. LCK second seed T1 and LPL third seed, current world champion EDward Gaming secured a top-two finish in Group A during the second Round Robin of the Group Stage. Fnatic, who qualified through the Play-In Stage, has been eliminated from the tournament.
An anticlimactic conclusion
Day 5 of the Worlds 2022 Group Stage was entirely centered around Group A’s rematches. Heading into the day, a three-way tie between EDG, T1, and Fnatic, all at a 2-1 score, promised a tense battle for the final Knockout Stage.
Cloud9, who started the day with an 0-3 score, was a highly unlikely candidate to make it out of the Group Stage. Nevertheless, they shook up Group A with a convincing victory over Fnatic in the opening game. This already turned the tables and created a great advantage for T1 and EDG. Fnatic now had to win against both of them in order to keep up in the race.
In the game between Fnatic and T1, which followed immediately after, the LEC team started off well. Mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda ran circles around Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, and jungler Iván “Razork” Martín aggressively forced T1 back. But come mid game, T1 changed the tides. They repeatedly caught out Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov and used him as a springboard to take the lead. Fnatic had a complete lack of coordination on the map. T1 top laner Choi “Zeus” Woo-je sliced through the Europeans with his Yone and sent them packing with another loss.
EDG picked up a swift win against Cloud9, eliminating the LCS team and putting Fnatic with their backs against the wall. Another loss would guarantee Fnatic’s elimination, as there would be no way for the Europeans to catch up with the LPL squad or with T1 in the standings. EDG put up another show. Tian “Meiko” Ye, playing his signature Thresh, set up bot laner Park “Viper” Do-hyeon’s Jinx for success early on. But it was the mid/jungle duo of Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie and Lee “Scout” Ye-chan who beat Fnatic into the ground. Though the game lasted almost thirty minutes, there was barely even a moment in which Fnatic looked alive and kicking. EDG played meticulously and secured themselves and T1 a spot in the Knockout Stage.
Seeding left to be determined
Although EDG and T1 are certain of their spot in the top eight of Worlds 2022, there is still something to be fought for between the two teams. The first-placed team of each group plays against a second-placed team of another group in the Knockout Stage, and vice versa. This gives the first-placed teams an edge, as they, in theory, face one of the weaker teams that qualify for the next round of the tournament.
The other six Knockout Stage teams claim their spot over the next three days. On Oct. 14, Group B rounds up its last matches. It’s Group C’s turn the day after, and Group D rounds out the Group Stage on Oct. 16. You can find the full schedule here.