Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Worlds

Deficio and Krepo break down Worlds 2016 Group C

With less than two weeks until the 2016 World Championship kicks off at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on September 29, we wanted to share our thoughts on Group C and how we think it's going to pan out.

There's plenty to talk about, but before we get into it, remember to check out Jatt's Group A Guide as well. Our fellow co-casters Rusty from the LPL will be covering Group B and Kobe from the NA LCS is having a look over Group D in the days to come.

Group C

EDG, AHQ, H2K, INTZ​

Featuring the No. 1 seed from China, No. 2 seeds from Europe and LMS, and the Wildcard from Brazil, Group C has one clear favorite and a cluster of questions beneath it. Considering how these teams performed in the Summer Split, there may be just one major battle in the Group: Europe's H2K vs. LMS' ahq fighting each other for the coveted 2nd place spot.

That’s not really a slight on the group, though. Edward Gaming comes into Worlds 2016 as China’s main hope and potential contender to win the tournament. Just like 2015, actually. Though they came in to Worlds 2015 as the No. 2 seed, LGD’s complete and utter capitulation meant LPL fans had to put all their faith in an EDG team led by China’s most decorated player, legendary jungler Clearlove. Unlike 2015, however, EDG now heads into Worlds following a historic undefeated Split in the LPL, having not lost a single series in the regular season or Playoffs.

As sure as we are about EDG’s expected dominance of Group C, the reverse is true for INTZ. The Brazilian Wildcard could certainly have landed in a tougher group, but their chances of advancement are slim at best. They can, however, play a big part in who finishes second, as H2K and ahq battle each other -- and maybe themselves -- to earn a place in the Worlds Quarterfinals. If INTZ can channel paiN Gaming’s winning performances from 2015, Group C could be very feisty indeed.

The clash between ahq and H2K will be intense. The No. 2 seeds from the LMS and EU LCS respectively can both escape this group and earn a spot in the Quarterfinals in Chicago, but it won’t be easy. H2K match up favourably on an individual level, particularly in the bottom lane, but there are two ways for ahq to end on top in this duel: Mountain goes off in the early game, or ahq’s carries over their clean macro play from the Regional Qualifier to beat H2K’s erratic late game shot calling.

But we all know what you’re truly here for: Deficio’s predictions and Krepo agreeing.

  1. EDG
  2. H2K
  3. AHQ
  4. INTZ

Find out why below.

EDG

EDG

Edward Gaming

  • Top: Mouse
  • Jungle: ClearLove
  • Mid: Scout
  • ADC: Deft |
  • Support: Meiko

How did they qualify? No. 1 seed from China's LPL. Summer Split Champions.

EDG should advance to the Quarters without dropping a game. There is plenty of experience on the team. Deft, ClearLove and Meiko are serial winners. Together, EDG have developed their own style within China, mixing the trademark Chinese aggression with a measured approach to the macro game -- particularly focused on globals. It’s a style unto itself that teams around the world need to adapt to and therein lies EDG’s biggest Worlds 2016 win condition.

They arrive at Worlds 2016 off the back of perhaps the most dominant split in LPL history. Few teams can boast the kind of record EDG achieved in LPL Summer 2016. EDG finished LPL Group A with a 16-0 series record (with a total game record of 32-5). After a narrow 3-2 victory over Team WE in the LPL Semifinals, they swept RNG aside to secure the LPL’s No. 1 seed at Worlds this year.

EDG’s motto is “Fight Back with Results” and they did exactly that after breaking up the legendary World Elite line-up. With consistent performances domestically, they gained the fandom, trust, and support of LPL fans and hit critical mass following the team’s victory at MSI in 2015. Their undefeated Summer Split bolstered that fandom even further.

How do they advance from Group C?

Continue dominating with their global centric playstyle. Deft and Meiko have proven to be a world class bot lane, and with the resources this style generates, they should be able to carry.

Keep their solo laners alive. ClearLove should especially help Scout control the early mid lane vs. Ryu and Westdoor to prevent any trouble from spilling into their bot lane.

ClearLove must establish dominance over the junglers in this group by carrying his domestic performance to the Worlds stage.

Where could they falter?

  • Mouse struggles against other top laners. Odoamne, Yang, and Ziv could give EDG’s top laner some issues if he doesn’t adjust to international competition.
  • If ClearLove under-performs. ClearLove is the key to EDG’s success, but if he focuses too much on the bottom lane, farming, or playing Hecarim, then he could struggle to influence games.
  • Repeat China’s Worlds 2015 performance. China woefully under prepared for Worlds in 2015, and if EDG doesn't do their due diligence on other regions going into San Francisco, we could see a repeat of last year's failures. This is highly unlikely, though, seeing as EDG is bootcamping in Korea and China’s kryptonite (lane swaps) is no longer meta.
AHQ

AHQ

ahq e-Sports Club

  • Top: Ziv
  • Jungle: Mountain
  • Mid: Westdoor
  • ADC: An
  • Support: Albis

​How did they qualify? LMS Regional Qualifier winner.

If there’s one thing you can be sure about when it comes to LMS teams, it’s how unpredictable they can be. And Worlds 2016 promises that same level of unpredictability, as ahq and the Flash Wolves return to the tournament with mixed expectations. The LMS had a poor Summer Split in 2016, with many LMS analysts believing the region looks weaker than last year.

ahq in particular had a rough split by their own standards, by finishing in 3rd place. Several ahq players even spoke out on multiple occasions about the issues plaguing the team. But it was their Semifinals defeat at the hands of Flash Wolves that provided them a much-needed wake-up call. ahq easily swept the LMS Regional Qualifiers, beating Hong Kong Esports and Machi 3-0 each, thanks to fantastic performances from their jungler, Mountain. How well they'll do at Worlds depends on whether ahq has solved the internal issues that plagued the team during the 2016 season so far and whether they can repeat their clean Regional Qualifier performance.

In particular, if Mountain can continue that level of performance, he can be a primary carry for the team. However, a lot of his best performances were on Gragas, who was nerfed in the patches leading up to Worlds. So, his champion pool will be tested, and it’s a factor that could decide the outcome of the Group, considering the strength of the junglers he will be up against.

If EDG cruise to 1st place as expected, all eyes will be on ahq and H2K in the battle for the 2nd place spot in the Group. The edge goes to H2K in our predictions. If ahq wants to beat H2K, Mountain absolutely must play at his full potential or H2K will just turn won lanes into a won game.

How do they advance from Group C?

  • Momentum is key. ahq needs to carry the momentum they built up during the Regional Qualifiers.
  • Keep the bottom lane afloat. An and Albis must ensure they don’t concede the game simply by losing lane to FORG1VEN and Vander.
  • Mid-game macro. ahq's mid to late game is strong, but they tend to falter in the laning phase. If they're able to tighten this aspect of their play up, they'll be able to position themselves even better for success later.  
  • Westdoor needs to step up. Westdoor can sometimes be a serious liability for his team. For ahq to get out of Group C, he's going to have to start adding pressure and winning his lane.​

Where could they falter?

  • Mountain is inconsistent. We know about Mountain’s high points, but he struggles to maintain that peak. This will be especially difficult against Jankos, who often carries H2K via his early game pressure.
  • Westdoor struggles in the laning phase. Despite his experience, Westdoor struggles to keep up with stronger laners and regularly falls into massive CS deficits even if he’s not under pressure, which is inexcusable for a mid laner at Worlds. Jankos could exploit this by setting up Ryu to carry the game.
  • An and Albis don’t become another one of FORG1VEN’s banter tweets.
H2K

H2K

H2K

  • Top: Odoamne
  • Jungle: Jankos
  • Mid: Ryu
  • ADC: FORG1VEN
  • Support: Vander

How did they qualify? No. 2 seed from EU LCS. Qualified via Championship Points.

After making their first Worlds appearance last year -- in the same group as EDG -- H2K refreshed their lineup moving into the 2016 season. They dropped ADC Hjarnan, support KaSing, and jungler Loulex in favour of FORG1VEN, Vander, and Jankos, respectively. This was H2K’s attempt to take the team from 3rd or 4th place to actual EU LCS champions as they upgraded in two positions.

They looked impressively strong in the regular season of the EU LCS Spring Split and fought G2 Esports closely before buckling in the Playoffs and eventually finishing in... 4th place. In the offseason, they made the decision to replace FORG1VEN with Freeze, who had just finished a stint with Renegades in the NA LCS. While Freeze didn't have the mechanical prowess of FORG1VEN, H2K banked on a boost to team morale and cohesion to more than making up for that.

Alas, it did not work out as hoped. Freeze picked up a wrist injury and it showed in his performances, as he consistently trailed in the ADC stats department, heralding the return of FORG1VEN. The Greek player’s impact was immediate and forceful, as H2K went 5-0 in the final week of the EU LCS after his return even with no practice. H2K then dominated Fnatic and galloped to a spot in the Semifinals. Though they could not conquer the Danish wonder boys of Splyce (fook yeah Denmark), they did earn Europe’s No. 2 seed at Worlds with their Championship Points.

The re-marriage of H2K and FORG1VEN seems to be going as planned, then. However, as is usually the case when two feisty ex-partners reunite, it could end up going sour at any point. EU players tend to make their feelings known fairly quickly after any roster change, and while we didn’t get a donezo manifesto, H2K’s players had some choice words to say about Europe’s most polarizing player. Some of it went beyond banter. If the situation stays amicable, though, H2K has a very potent bot lane that should bolster their chances to get out of this group.

Also key to H2K’s advancement is jungler Jankos. The Polish jungler was the star of the show in H2K’s convincing victory over Fnatic and performed admirably in the EU LCS 3rd place match in Krakow. Playing in front of a Polish crowd was a dream come true for Jankos and reaching Worlds for the first time in his career is another. If any one player can influence how this group plays out, it’s Jankos.

Plus, the jungler matchup against ahq is important, so Jankos needs to beat Mountain. Should he continue his form, he could carry H2K into the Quarterfinals.

How do they advance from Group C?

  • Keep focused. It sounds simple, but considering H2K’s track record (and the track record of some of their players), keeping their minds focused on succeeding as a team, having a productive boot camp, and synergizing on the Rift will see them go a long way in this Group.
  • FORG1VEN proves he’s world class. FORG1VEN is a supremely talented player from a mechanical standpoint, and he wants to leave a legacy. Now he finally has his chance to perform on the Worlds stage, and if he wants to be remembered as a legendary player, he needs to prove himself internationally.
  • Push early leads. Jankos has been instrumental in applying early pressure and aiding H2K in turning their winning lanes into advantages. If H2K can control the early game and punish weaker teams, they will qualify.
  • Set up Odoamne to succeed. Odoamne can do plenty with an advantage (Kikis likely still has PTSD) and if he can show that dominance against Ziv and Yang, H2K will succeed alongside him.

Where could they falter?

  • Internal issues and communication failures. It’s worth highlighting again the extent to which H2K can eliminate themselves from contention. If anything prevents H2K from taking 2nd place in this Group, it will be their own internal issues.
  • They lose the laning phase. This is unlikely considering they match up favourably in mid and bot lanes, but if Jankos fails to replicate his pressure and fails to live up to his reputation for securing first blood, it may lead to poor showings from the H2K lanes and not making it out of the group.
  • Poor shot calling. H2K actually understand the game well, their problem often lies in the implementation. Their shot calling and in-game communication remains too erratic and they'll need to calm down and focus if they want to succeed (seriously, stop shouting, guys).
intz

INTZ

INTZ e-Sports

  • Top: Yang ​
  • Jungle: Revolta
  • Mid: Tockers
  • ADC: micaO
  • Support: Jockster

How did they qualify: Through winning the IWCQ. #1 team from the CBLoL.

After previously failing to qualify for Worlds despite being favourites, it's now INTZ's time to shine. In 2016, they finally claimed their spot at Worlds by winning both stages of the CBLoL and defeating Turkey’s Dark Passage in a close series at the International Wildcard Qualifiers on home soil.

However, making it to the Worlds 2016 Quarterfinals will take the performance of a lifetime (and somewhat of a breakdown from ahq and H2K). It's likely still beyond Brazil this year, but it's not beyond them to take games off the teams in Group C.

In fact, INTZ could decide the outcome of the entire group. Assuming EDG sweeps the group and ahq and H2K go even with each other, INTZ could really throw a spanner in the works by also taking a game off H2K or ahq. Or both. If the three teams finished with a record of 2-4, INTZ could force a tiebreaker. H2K and ahq would do well to be wary of the surprise factor that make Wildcards so valuable at an international tournament.

Whatever happens, the incredibly loyal fans from Brazil will make their voices heard and their support could provide a huge boost in confidence for INTZ.

How do they advance from Group C?

  • Hope for a complete collapse of H2K and ahq. Both teams on a bad day can be taken down by INTZ.
  • Force tiebreakers. INTZ’s best hope to qualify is to force a tiebreaker scenario amongst themselves, H2K, and ahq. With each team having a 2-4 record, it’d be anyone's game.

Where could they falter?

  • INTZ simply don’t match up on an individual as well as macro level. The play at the IWC Qualifier was a level much lower than other Worlds qualifying tournaments. If INTZ falls behind early, their opponents at Worlds will leave significantly less opportunities for INTZ to come back.
  • Despite China's Worlds 2015 performance, it doesn't make us feel that Edward Gaming are any less capable of winning Group C. It's a new year and the game is different. The main questions surrounding this group will come from ahq and H2K -- how close will the battle for the coveted 2nd place spot and trip to the Quarterfinals be? And we do believe INTZ is going to put up a good fight for it, too. We can write predictions for eternity, but Worlds has proven time and time again that what is expected doesn’t always pan out.
  • Now that you've seen what we had to say about Group C -- and what Jatt thinks on Group A -- let us know how you think the Worlds Groups are going to play out. Stay tuned in the coming days for our other guides to the Worlds Groups B and D, and we'll see you when the tournament kicks off on September 29 in San Francisco.