4,661,909 players participated in the Group Stage Pick’em this year, shattering our previous record. After 2 weeks of games, only 43 brackets are still in the running for the elusive Perfect Pick prize. Let's take a deep dive into the second week of Groups and see how it all went down.
Day 5: Group B
The first group to compete was Group B, and by the end of Day 1, we were already down to only 280,134 perfect brackets.
The bracket destroyer for Group B was the tiebreaker resolution between GAM and IMT. Because GAM took less time in their wins, they had the tiebreaker over both FNC and IMT. With IMT’s loss to FNC in the first tiebreaker game, IMT dropped to fourth place. One of the most popular picks in all of Group Stage was predicting GAM to finish in last - over 60% of brackets! All of these were eliminated from contention with IMT’s loss.
Our eventual perfect bracket was the 7th most popular choice; if we flip GAM and IMT, we get the most popular pick for Group B.
Looking at the breakdown of brackets by region, we see that in Group B, Korea’s global dominance extended to Pick’em. Almost 14% of KR brackets got a perfect Group B, compared to 5% of the rest of the world. The least successful regions were EU North and North America, with only 3% of pickers in each getting Group B correct.
Day 6: Group C
280,134 people came into the second day of group play with perfect brackets. 19,449 remained when the dust settled.
Only 5.5% of all brackets got Group C correct, fueled by RNG emerging from the group in first place. This was actually the least picked correct outcome of all of the Group Stage, with only 11.1% of brackets correctly putting RNG in first for Group C.
Unsurprisingly, Korea did not continue their streak of dominance, as over 77% of Korean brackets picked SSG to win the group (compared to 59% everywhere else). Oceania (12% perfect Group C bracket) and North America (10% perfect) were the best performing regions for Group C, with Japan in third at just under 7% perfect. Turkey was the worst performing region (2% perfect) as they favored their region’s representative, 1907 Fenerbahçe.
Day 7: Group D
Group D seemed like the hardest group to predict, as there were no clear favorite brackets. The two most popular brackets in Group B accounted for over 30% of total brackets; the top two in Group C accounted for 50%. In Group D, the two most popular brackets barely broke 20%!
Group D’s results delivered on this chaos with the least picked perfect bracket of any group. Only 70,000 people (1.5%) were able to predict Misfits’ upset of TSM, and TSM failing to advance was the biggest upset of the stage (74.1% picked them to advance in either first or second place).
Regionally, no one saw this coming. The best performing region was Russia at 2.4% perfect Group D brackets; North America did the worst at 0.9%.
Day 8: Group A
The final group to take the stage saw the greatest consensus among Pick’em players. The top two brackets were picked by over 62% of players, and over 88% of brackets selected SKT to win Group A. Only 4.7% picked SKT to get knocked out.
There was a similar level of consistency at the bottom of the bracket. AHQ was the least selected team to advance out of the Group Stage, with only 7.5% of brackets picking them to finish either first or second.
In a break from the first few days of Groups play, the results aligned with players’ predictions, and the most popular bracket (40% of entries) turned out to be correct. Adding to the Group A point total was the EDG / AHQ tie for 3rd, which meant that the 12% of pickers who had AHQ in 3rd and EDG in 4th also got the full 16 points.
Two regions really stood out at predicting Group A: Turkey (56%) and EU North (57%). Only Russia (42%), Oceania (45%) and Japan (46%) were significantly below the average. It turns out that Russia had the least faith in SKT - 16% of Russian brackets predicted C9 would place first in Group A, more than double the rest of the world (8%).
Perhaps the most surprising stat to come out of Group A was the underperformance of brackets that were perfect coming into the last day. Only 43 of these 247 brackets stayed perfect. That means a mere 17.5% of the previously perfect brackets got Day 4 correct, compared to over 51% of everyone else. Looking at the brackets, we’ve identified two reasons for this collapse.
First, the otherwise perfect pickers favored EDG far more than everyone else. The most popular Group A bracket among the 247 was 1) SKT 2) EDG 3) C9 4) AHQ - 43% of these pickers went with this bracket, compared to only 23% of everyone else. Second, the 247 were a little too willing to predict big upsets. That might explain how they did so well with the crazy outcomes in other groups, but it really punished them in Group A. This was most evident with the AHQ selections - 31% of the otherwise perfect brackets picked AHQ to advance from Group A (compared to only 7.5% of all brackets).
At the end of the day, only 43 perfect pickers were able to restrain themselves and come up with a correct bracket for all of Groups.
4,661,909 entered. 43 remain. Every region still has at least one bracket live for a perfect pick and the only thing standing in their way now are the 7 remaining matches in the Knockout Stage.
We’ll leave you with a few more stats from the Group Stage as we look ahead to what comes next: