With the World Championship quickly approaching on the horizon, the best League of Legends teams around the globe have been battling it out for a coveted place on the plane to China.
TSM Already Through
In North America, Team SoloMid have already qualified for the 2017 League of Legends World Championship after winning the Summer Split and claiming the automatic invitation, with Cloud9 and Immortals having the greatest shot at joining them. Cloud9 have the most circuit points outside of TSM due to their second-place finish in the Spring Split. If CLG falter in the semi-finals against Immortals, which they are predicted to do, and TSM win it all, then Cloud9 would represent North America as the second seed.
Immortals, however, are in prime position to be the number one seed, based on their form during the entirety of the Summer Split. Ever since the addition of Xmithie to the Jungle position, Immortals have looked like a top team in the region. Immortals’ largest challenge could come in the gauntlet, as if they fail to win it all then teams will have more time to improve and oppose them.
Fnatic the Favourite in Europe
In Europe, Fnatic are far and away the favourites to exit as the number one seed. Fnatic have been dominant all split long, continually adapting to the ever-changing meta game. Even if Fnatic were to be upset in the playoffs, they would likely dominate the gauntlet and find their way to the Worlds.
Despite their recent struggles, G2 are still seen as a favourite to receive the second seed due to their circuit points. With such an overwhelming amount of both playoff and international experience, G2’s ability to play under pressure gives them the edge against newcomers such as Misfits. With the presumption in place that Fnatic win it all and G2 claim second place, H2K appear to be the logical selection for the third seed. Misfits could be a problem for H2K given their impressive showing against Unicorns of Love, yet H2K have been here before. As previous Worlds semi-finalists, H2K have the infrastructure and basis needed to perform when the games matter the most.
SKT Not as Strong This Year
Three-time world champions SK Telecom T1 have already claimed a spot at this year’s World Championship, with high expectations accompanying them. While not completely dominating the regular season as many predicted, SK Telecom are beginning to shine when it counts. Fresh off of a reverse sweep of KT Rolster to put themselves into the finals, SKT have once again shown themselves as the favourites to not only win LCK Summer, but the Worlds as well.
The aforementioned KT Rolster are favoured for the second seed, given SKT’s recent form. If SKT defeats Longzhu in the finals, as it is believed they will, then KT go through as the second seed due to circuit points. Even in defeat, KT looked impressive against SKT, forcing them to all five games in the series. While KT have disappointed late in seasons before, they would be the favourite in the gauntlet should Longzhu defeat SKT.
Longzhu have continued to impress as the season goes on, with every player proving their worth. While the likes of Cuzz, Bdd, and Khan are untested on Worlds stage, many believe they could find themselves achieving the semi-finals.
Team WE One to Watch
Team WE are a heavy favourite to claim a top two seed for the LPL at Worlds. With a first-place finish during the Spring Split, WE have the ability to advance via circuit points or by winning the Summer Split entirely. One of the most consistent teams throughout the regular season, WE will look to prove themselves on the Worlds stage.
Royal Never Give Up enter as another favourite to claim a spot at Worlds from the Chinese region. After finishing in second place during the Spring Split, RNG have displayed further brilliance throughout the Summer. Should RNG be placed into the gauntlet, they would be the heavy favourite to become the three seed due to their history and absurd wealth of talent.
Even with the departure of superstar Deft from the AD Carry position, EDward Gaming have continued to be one of the best teams in the world. As a whole, WE, RNG, and EDG appear to be fairly sizable favourites to represent China at Worlds this year.
With anticipation mounting for a truly competitive Worlds starting in late September, there is still a lot of play to go before the field is set.