The 2022 League of Legends World Championship kicked off with eight games in the Play-In Stage. All twelve teams took to the stage—some more than once—to show the world what they’re made of. Here is our Worlds 2022 Day 1 recap.

Isurus 0-1 MAD Lions

Worlds started with a win for MAD Lions, although it was a hard-fought one. The team was given an easy First Blood by Isurus support Son “Jelly” Ho-gyeong wandered into enemy territory just 44 seconds into the game. MAD pushed their advantages aggressively, but got too eager and let Isurus back in the game. Especially Jesús “Grell” Loya, who piloted the Graves, blew a few huge holes in MAD Lions’ plan and threatened to turn the game around. Ultimately, MAD Lions closed out the game through better map play, led by jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades.

Fnatic 1-0 Evil Geniuses

Europe continued its win streak in the second game as Fnatic took on Evil Geniuses. From start to finish, the game felt one-sided. Evil Geniuses played towards their bot side, but attempts to get Hasan “Kaori” Şentürk a lead failed. In fact, it was Fnatic’s bot lane who claimed First Blood and started snowballing the game in their favor. Elias “Upset” Lipp, who had arrived in Mexico shortly before the game, and substitute support Rúben “Rhuckz” Barbosa took charge of the game and led Fnatic to a comfortable victory.

LOUD 0-1 Beyond Gaming

Beyond Gaming came out of the gate swinging on the Worlds 2022 stage. After an evenly matched early game, the PCS’ second seed started to capitalize on LOUD’s overaggression. An overcommitment of the Brazilians eleven minutes into the game gave two kills to Beyond Gaming, who instantly converted it to map control. Everyone on Beyond Gaming was working together in harmony. Mid laner Lu “Minji” Po-Wei popped off on the LeBlanc and Beyond Gaming cruised to their first win in the Play-In Stage.

MAD Lions 1-0 İstanbul Wildcats

MAD Lions’ second game of the day followed the same pattern as their first. The team quickly found their footing and pressured İstanbul Wildcats in all lanes. By fifteen minutes, MAD Lions had a 3.5k gold lead. Twenty minutes into the game, MAD Lions started fumbling again. Mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer got caught out repeatedly, which gave İstanbul Wildcats the opportunity to stop MAD Lions’ snowball. The game grew increasingly messy, with both MAD Lions clumsily looking for fights and the Wildcats fending them off with just as much chaos. When İstanbul Wildcats overplayed their hand trying to take down Elyoya, MAD Lions struck back, cleaned up their TCL opponents, and ended the game.

Beyond Gaming won their first game of the Worlds 2022 Play-In Stage. (Source: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games)

Chiefs Esports Club 0-1 Fnatic

Whereas MAD Lions got in their own way again to stumble across the finish line, Fnatic sailed to another victory. The first ten minutes went by quietly. When the teams started to skirmish more, around thirteen minutes, Chiefs briefly stayed even with Fnatic. The bubble burst quickly. Fnatic mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda melted through his opponents with his Viktor. There was simply nothing Chiefs Esports Club could do against the onslaught. The coordination of Fnatic that they managed to get Upset a pentakill—the first of Worlds 2022.

DetonatioN FocusMe 0-1 LOUD

LOUD had learned their lesson from the game against Beyond Gaming. Instead of preying on their opponent’s mistakes, they took the initiative. This didn’t go smoothly immediately—a few messy engages on the top side of the map made it look like LOUD would tank another loss. However, the team pulled through with unrelenting aggression. Thiago “tinowns” Sartori haunted DetonatioN FocusMe on Zoe. LOUD accomplished the fastest win at Worlds 2022 so far. It took them just 23 minutes to destroy the enemy Nexus.

Saigon Buffalo 1-0 İstanbul Wildcats

The penultimate match of Day 1 can be described with one word: pandemonium. Saigon Buffalo and İstanbul Wildcats brought mayhem to the table. It began in the draft phase, when the Buffalo locked in Zac mid for Bùi “Froggy” Văn Minh Hải. From the first minutes, both teams were trading back and forth without much structure. While the game had a relatively quiet mid game, the peace didn’t last long. After 34 minutes of fireworks, Saigon Buffalo proved too apt at the aggressive playstyle for İstanbul Wildcats to handle, and closed out the game.

DRX 1-0 Royal Never Give Up

To round up the first day of Worlds 2022, DRX went head-to-head with RNG in a tense battle. RNG controlled the early game calmly. They secured the first two drakes, got a few kills, and slowly built up their advantages. But everything the LPL team had been building up was broken down swiftly. They recklessly engaged on DRX in the bot river and gave bot laner Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu three kills on his Tristana. DRX wasted no time and planted themselves in the driver’s seat. They quickly stacked up three Hextech Drakes and had RNG on the ropes. That’s when it was RNG’s turn to get back in the race: with a Baron steal from Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao, the game was even again. To round out the titanic clash, DRX managed to steal the fourth Hextech Drake, granting them the Hextech Soul, which was enough for them to close out the game.


Group AGroup B
Fnatic (2-0)MAD Lions (2-0)
Beyond Gaming (1-0)DRX (1-0)
LOUD (1-1)Saigon Buffalo (1-0)
Chiefs Esports Club (0-1)Isurus (0-1)
DetonatioN Focusme (0-1)Royal Never Give Up (0-1)
Evil Geniuses (0-1)İstanbul Wildcats (0-2)

For the full schedule of the Worlds 2022 Play-In Stage, click here. You can watch the games live on the official LoL Esports site.