The 2022 League of Legends World Championship is entering the Group Stage soon. Sixteen teams go head-to-head in their four groups, hoping to claim a spot in the top eight of the tournament. The Worlds 2022 Group Stage is where the best players of this year get to prove themselves to the world. For the fans, it’s a great opportunity to show their prediction skills. In the Worlds 2022 Group Stage Pick’Ems, you can predict exactly in which order each group will end. Do you think all four LPL teams will top their group, or is the LCS causing a few upsets? The choice is yours. Be sure to check out our full Pick’Ems guide to help you get you started.
Here are our predictions for the Group Stage Pick’Em of Worlds 2022.
Group A: T1, EDward Gaming, Cloud9, Fnatic
Group A is arguably the most-stacked group at Worlds 2022. It’s comprised of LCS first seed Cloud9, LCK second seed, Worlds 2021 semifinalists, and MSI finalists T1, reigning world champion EDward Gaming, and LEC third seed, the superteam Fnatic.
But while the names in this group are dazzling on paper, the gap is probably bigger than many realize. T1 and EDG are the clear favorites to make it out of the group. The biggest question is in which order they do so. We put T1 ahead (by a small margin) for their overwhelming strength on the top side. Choi “Zeus” Woo-je and Mun “Oner” Hyeon-jun are the reason T1 got as far as they did and in a meta that favors teams with good top laners, we expect them to get the better of EDG.
Cloud9 and Fnatic are at the bottom of our Group A predictions for different reasons. Cloud9 ended the LCS Summer Split with an impressively dominant run through the playoffs upper bracket. However, the team had mediocre results in the regular split’s best-of-one format, the same format for the Group Stage. Cloud9’s shining light, Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol, will have to pull a lot of weight if the team wants to cause upsets.
Fnatic has the disadvantage that we’ve already seen them play in the Play-In Stage. The team relied heavily on individual skills to make it to the Group Stage. Mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda ran circles around every other mid laner he faced, but Fnatic’s teamwork was lackluster. Against the elite from other regions, Fnatic will have to step up their coordination drastically if they want to have a chance at beating them.
Group B: JD Gaming, G2 Esports, DWG KIA, Evil Geniuses
JD Gaming is the favorite to make it out of Group B by a large margin. The LPL champion is one of the most well-rounded teams in recent history. Many westerners will recognize JDG’s top side players, Bai “369” Jia-Hao and Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok. But the other side of the map houses a titan as well. Wang “Hope” Jie has risen to the top of the AD carry pool and will give his opponents a run for their money at Worlds 2022.
The middle of the pack is where Group B gets interesting. G2 Esports and DWG KIA both had a disappointing end to their regional leagues. G2 got unapologetically stomped by Rogue in the Summer Split finals and DWG KIA barely even qualified for Worlds. The eyes of the world will be on the two teams’ mid laners, Rasmus “caPs” Winther and Heo “ShowMaker” Su, two of the best ever in their role. But we think G2 will edge it out because of someone entirely different: Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé. The support player has skyrocketed to the elite level in just one year in the LEC. With incredible macro understanding he times his roams perfectly, setting his teammates up for success.
Evil Geniuses being at the bottom of our predictions is a mix of many things. Yes, the LCS’ third looked incredible against MAD Lions in their qualification series. However, there is a big gap between the opponents Evil Geniuses beat and the ones they’ll face in the Group Stage. A lot of EG’s weight was pulled by top laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, who got progressively better throughout the Play-Ins, and jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma. It’s unlikely that it’ll be enough again in the Group Stage. EG will probably win a game, maybe two, but they are the underdogs in Group B.
Group C: Top Esports, Rogue, DRX, GAM Esports
Group C is the most exciting group to us. We’ll start with the boring part: Top Esports will win this group. Although they were defeated by JD Gaming in the LPL Summer Split finals, the series could not have been closer. Top Esports is one of the favorites to win Worlds 2022 and outshines the other teams in their group.
But after that, Group C becomes a big question mark. Rogue looked destined to bow out in third place in the LEC Summer Split playoffs, but was revitalized in the semifinals’ big stadium event and bounced back with ruthless dominance to claim the championship. Rogue has fantastic laners who play to their role well. Emil “Larssen” Larsson and Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos are Rogue’s big carry players in the mid and bot lane respectively. Rogue’s volatility comes from their flashiest player, jungler Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong. Malrang has no stop button on ganking. This benefits Rogue if their laners are ahead and Malrang can be another catalyst but hurts Rogue when the laners are behind because Malrang isn’t claiming resources himself. If Rogue finds a comfort spot in the meta, though, the LEC’s best-of-one kings are looking good to advance.
DRX looked frightening in the Play-In Stage. They made it out of their group in first place with a crisp 5-0 score and were clearly the best team of that phase. But as great as DRX looked, in large part due to Kim “Zeka” Geon-woo popping off in the mid lane, they were far from perfect. LPL fourth seed RNG and LEC fourth seed MAD Lions pushed DRX to the limit. What these games laid bare is that DRX has trouble adapting to new metas. RNG was their first opponent at Worlds 2022 and MAD Lions threw curveball picks at DRX, opting for a Mordekaiser/Bel’Veth/Vex top side. DRX has impressive tenacity. But historically, the Group Stage meta has always shifted from the Play-In Stage meta. DRX might find themselves a few games down at the beginning if they don’t adapt soon, since their Group Stage opponents are much less likely to give up advantages.
The biggest question mark of all teams in the Worlds 2022 Group Stage is GAM Esports. It’s almost impossible to predict how they will do. As the first seed from the Vietnamese league, they automatically generate a lot of excitement. VCS second seed Saigon Buffalo was explosive at MSI 2022 and during the Play-In Stage, and GAM Esports handily beat them in the Summer Split finals. There is a chance that GAM Esports enters the Group Stage guns blazing and rolls over Rogue and DRX. However, there is also a chance they fall flat on the international stage if the skills that made them stand out in the VCS do not transfer well. The spectrum of possible GAM performances is so wide, we know so little of the team, that we choose to err on the side of caution.
Group D: Gen.G, Royal Never Give Up, 100 Thieves, CTBC Flying Oyster
The consensus seems to be that Group D is the Group of Life for Gen.G, the LCK’s first seed. Gen.G was unleashed in the LCK Summer Split. They went 17-1 across eighteen best-of-three series, dropping only five individual games in the process. Where many other organizations across the globe failed to build a successful superteam, Gen.G knocked it out of the park. From mid lane monster Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon to the legendary Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, Gen.G packs star power in every role. They’re one of the favorites to win Worlds 2022 and one could consider it a surprise if they do not go 6-0 in the Group Stage.
Although the LPL has been the strongest region in League of Legends Esports for a while now and RNG contributed massively to that status with back-to-back MSI trophies, the team isn’t looking hot at Worlds. A close loss against DRX can be excused, but they almost dropped two games in their Play-Ins qualification series against Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe. RNG’s team play looked off. Objective set-ups were more difficult than they should be for the team. Nevertheless, when RNG clicked, they were a step above many in the competition. They might have to bow to Gen.G, but they’ll almost certainly end Group D in second place.
100 Thieves has a tough battle ahead of them in Group D. They were only marginally better than Evil Geniuses in the LCS Summer Split playoffs semifinals, while EG was playing with a last-minute substitute. In the grand final, 100 Thieves stood no chance against Cloud9. So far at Worlds, we’ve seen a big focus on utility champions in the jungle role. If this remains the case during the Group Stage, it would limit the talent of Can “Closer” Çelik, who shines on carry junglers. 100 Thieves’ support Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun will feel right at home, though, with his deep champion pool.
CTBC Flying Oyster gets a lot of sympathy points for their organization’s funny name. Unfortunately, their region, the PCS, isn’t very hot at the moment. At MSI 2022 PSG Talon did beat a tumbling G2 twice, but ultimately failed to make it to the semifinals. Beyond Gaming, the PCS’ second seed, bit the dust in the Play-In Stage, not even making the top four in their group. While Flying Oyster is a much better team than Beyond Gaming—they convincingly beat them twice in the Summer Split Playoffs—the team has many things going against it. They have two Worlds debutants and even the players who did make it to the international stage before did not get past the Group Stage with their teams. Perhaps mixing their players cooks up an unexpected dish, but the odds are against them.