League of Legends World Tournament Week 1 Recap

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As many of you are aware, the League of Legends World Tournament kicked off in Paris late last week and if you’re anything like me, a normal human being, you’ve had to go to work or school or to the bathroom sometime between now and when the action started. It’s downright impossible to watch every game that took place, so we’re here to try and fill in the gaps.

First off, I’d like to take the time to talk about a few of the new champions that were dusted off and rolled out over the weekend. We’re all aware of the strength of juggernauts on patch 5.18, so it’s unsurprising to see Darius pop up in competitive play. The strangest thing about it is how poorly he seemed to perform for a good chunk of week 1. He was a permanent fixture as far as picks and bans go, but he always seemed to under-perform early having almost no relevance in the games… That is, until C9’s Balls roped himself a pentakill (first one of the tournament, mind you) leading to an impressive win over crowd favorite Fnatic.

Veiger found himself some play in Cloud 9’s first game of the group stages, with the recent changes to his kit and some of the nastiest ability power ratios in the game. Incarnation had a slow farming start, but between his one shotting Dark Matter ability and his blow you into oblivion Primordial Burst, coupled with the immense zone control of his Event Horizon and Ball’s (on Ganplank) barrels and ultimate reigning down terror on all who try to push down midlane, it was all the proof one might need for Veigar’s relevance in competitive play. Not only was he a big part of C9’s first win, which looks to be snowballing into a pretty good hot streak at worlds, he also prompted bans in a few other games as the week went on.

We’ve seen mordekaiser have some success, but mostly remain on the ban list. No surprise there because of course he was banned, that guy is OPOPOP. Fiora made a splash this weekend, finally showing up in a game to the delight of every shout caster league of legends has on payroll. Though she didn’t have quite the impact that Lulu has been having, she is still considered to be a powerful flex pick for both the top and mid lanes and we could very well be seeing some more of here. As previously touched on while gushing about Veigar’s appearance on Summoner’s Rifts, Gangplank is now a pick or ban for every game. He offers so much zone control with his barrels and, as always, if any trouble comes his way, he can just eat an orange and everything is k.

I talked about Cloud 9 a lot already. Did you see that coming? I bet you saw that coming. I mean, come on! They’re a North American team coming out of week 1 with a 3-0 record WITH A VICTORY OVER FRIGGEN FNATIC. If that’s not impressive, you sir have seen too much in your life. I know it’s just group stages and we still have 3 games left for these guys, but a 3-0 record has got me so hype for the North American League of Legends scene. With TSM at a disappointing 1-2 on the week and CLG (NA’s #1 seed underdog) sitting at a still fairly impressive 2-1, maybe we’ve got a chance to have a real showing on the international stage…or at least get out of the group stages.

There were plenty of other exciting events and games that took place in Paris this weekend, from EU’s Team Origen’s 3-0 start to a massive Korean upset, but what’s got me pumped for next week? It’s not about how disappointed I am in China’s performance, it’s about how pleasantly surprised I am with NA’s apparent relevance on the world stage.

So what are your big calls for this weekend? Are you predicting any big upsets or losses? Let us know who and what teams you’re following and why you think they’ll make it all the way.

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