It was the wee hours of the morning in North America, but a dark shadow was falling over NA’s Immortals as they saw their chances of making it out of the Group Stage at Worlds slip through their fingers. After going 0-3 the first week, Fnatic clinched every game except against Longzhu (who went 6-0), including two tiebreakers.
Longzhu And Fnatic To Advance
The book is closed on Group B, and only Longzhu and Fnatic will continue their runs at Worlds 2017. That means it’s the end of the road for Immortals and Gigabyte Marines, and it certainly turned out to be a bumpy one. Going into Week 2, IMT could have pretty much secured their #2 spot in the group by winning their first game against GAM. But with GAM Archie taking Urgot into the top lane, and GAM Levi running blue Kayn, things took a turn for the unpredictable, and IMT proved unable to adapt.
But at the time, it didn’t seem like there was very much on the line. The game brought both teams scorelines to 2-2. Longzhu was already likely out of reach, and Fnatic was 0-3 from Week 1. IMT and GAM would continue to vie for second place in the group, right?
The next game was no surprise, with Longzhu taking down Fnatic in around 30 minutes, continuing their incredibly dominant streak. But Fnatic at 0-4 had had enough, and after a back and forth game, they crushed an engage at around 36 minutes. It was a botched bot lane tower siege from Immortals, and IMT Pobelter was able to give Fnatic the perfect opening by wasting his Command Shockwave on just a Nautilus. FNC Caps was able to get three-man-stun onto the tank and two carries, and Immortals quickly found themselves getting picked off in retreat. It would have been hard to recover from even without IMT Cody Sun’s bizarre flash forward into the entire enemy team.
Then Fnatic set their sites on the Gigabyte Marines. A tricky team, GAM seemed to be one trick short of making it out alive this time. Their game against Fnatic was déjà vu all over again, with an Urgot and Kayn on the Rift. But Fnatic had been watching, and they easily shut the Marines down.
That meant Group B had suddenly become the most interesting scenario possible, given that Longzhu was untouchable, defeating all three of the other teams handily each time they met. FNC, GAM, and IMT all found themselves at 2-4. It was time for tiebreakers, and Immortals and Fnatic were up first.
In all honesty, it seemed the Marines had run out of tricks. This first tiebreaker was all too likely to decide who would get the second spot out of Groups. Fnatic was on a hot streak. The draft had a few bumps. IMT Flame got Trundle, who had a 100% win rate after Week 1. FNC Caps ended up on Malzahar, after bans of Syndra, LeBlanc, and Casseiopeia from Immortals. Fnatic’s bot lane was Tristana/Janna, and Immortals had Twitch/Lulu.
There were plenty of mistakes made throughout the game, and in the end, that deep cut pick of Malzahar may have had more of an effect than Immortals would have thought. Early kills from FNC Caps had both IMT Pobelter and IMT Cody Sun ended up building Quicksilver Sashes just to avoid Nether Grasp. And since IMT Xmithie never got rolling on Ezreal, that set the Immortals damage potential way back. Then they found themselves post 20 minutes against a two-item Tristana with nothing but a Cloth Armor on Trundle.
That, combined with superior objective control, allowed Fnatic to win their third straight game of the night. It was a formality for them to take down GAM in the second tiebreaker, earning the title as the first team to ever go 0-3 in Week 1 of Groups and make it out.
— lolesports (@lolesports) October 12, 2017
The excitement continues tonight with Group C. Will RNG be able to match Longzhu’s undefeated streak? Can G2 or 1907 Fenerbahçe contest the number two spot over Samsung Galaxy? All will be decided on the Rift.