Twenty-four teams descended upon South Korea nearly a month ago for the League of Legends World Championships but only two remain. EU’s Fnatic and LPL’s Invictus Gaming will face off in the finals on November 3 at Munhak Stadium in Incheon, South Korea.
Fnatic enters the contest as the +120 underdog with IG coming back at -167 per Sportsbook.
This is not the two teams we expected to see in the finals but this pairing offers plenty of interesting storylines heading into the finals.
Fnatic and IG Meet Again
This will be the fourth time that Fnatic and IG face off during the Worlds, as the two teams both competed in Group D during the group stage. Fnatic won two of the previous three games – but both games were largely determined by early game play per Hotspawn.
The most recent two games between the two finalists saw Fnatic win – to clinch first place in Group D. Fnatic legend Rekkles played lights-out in those contests, with the bot lane posting a combined KDA of 13/2/20. On top of that, Rekkles has been untouchable during the knockout stage – posting the highest KDA ratio and the third-highest total CS.
Can Rookie Carry IG?
Rookie is the best player in the series – there is no question. Rookie has claimed the mantle of best mid in the world, taking over for the legendary Faker and has – like his predecessor – carried his squad on sheer aggressiveness and technical proficiency. Fnatic was able to contain Rookie in the group stages – with underrated Caps holding his own in mid lane.
With the top lane being a coin flip and bot lane being so important, it will be critical for IG to make the right calls for any potential Rookie gank. And if Rookie starts rolling early in this series, he may just become unstoppable and push IG to the Summoner’s Cup.
And then there were four. But it certainly is not the four we expected to see, as the only remaining teams in the League of Legends World Championships consist of G2 Esports, Invictus Gaming, Fnatic and Cloud 9.
With the early-tournament favorites eliminated – including all of the Korean teams – IG is posted as a -112 favorite to win the Summoner’s Cup. The lone Asian representative is closely followed by Fnatic (+175) with G2 (+700) and Cloud 9 (+800) a distant third and fourth.
Invictus Gaming vs G2
Rookie might very well be the MVP of Worlds so far. The mid laner has been downright dominant despite teams throwing bans at him constantly. As Mike Plant of Hotspawn pointed out, KT Rolster specifically banned five different champions to keep them away from Rookie in the quarterfinals and it did not stop him.
G2 needs to have a plan to work around the mid lane. Ning is not a pushover but he needs to be on his comfort picks if he wants to stand up to Rookie. Picks and bans are going to be incredibly important in this series – with this meta favoring fast-starting teams.
Cloud 9 vs Fnatic
Cloud 9 is the first NA team to ever make it to the Worlds semifinals. They did it in impressive fashion, dominating Afreeca Freecs in the quarterfinals. Laning phase will be critical for C9 in this contest, as it seems like the place Fnatic is most vulnerable. Specifically, the top lane could decide this series with Fnatic’s Bwipo struggling a bit in the quarters and backup top laner sOAZ more adept at team fighting.
Jungle and patience are the keys for Fnatic. Broxah should have a massive advantage in the jungle over C9, which should help boost the rest of Fnatic. Plus, Fnatic’s veteran-heavy roster understands the game like few others – strategically choosing their fights. As long as they remain smart and they get the lead in the jungle, this should be Fnatic’s series.
Odds as of October 25 at Sportsbook
The 24 best League of Legends teams have descended upon South Korea to do battle for the World Championship. The LCK has dominated the global LoL scene, with a team hailing from Korea winning Worlds each of the past five years.
Oddsmakers are expecting a dominant performance from the Asian clubs but they are tagging Royal Never Give Up (RNG) of the LPL (China) as the slight favorites. RNG is currently sitting at +220 according to Sportsbook with KT Rolster close behind at +250.
Let’s take a look at the tournament favorites, potential dark horses and how the tournament is laid out overall.
Worlds 2018 Favorites
RNG has been absolutely unstoppable this year, winning every tournament they have entered – including the Mid-Season Invitational. The team has the perfect mix of mechanical mastery and wild play style that ensures that no opposition can be 100 percent comfortable facing off against RNG.
KT Rolster is the LCK champions and sports some of the best players on the planet. I don’t think there is much debate that Score is the best jungler in the world right now while the legendary Smeb is manning the top lane. This veteran presence should be enough to be one of the best teams at Worlds but KT Rolster has been notorious for not being able to win the big one in the past.
LPL runner-up Invictus Gaming enters the tournament with the third-best odds. The roster is stuffed with iconic names like Rookie and Jackeylove but the wild play of TheShy in top lane is what makes IG so fun to watch. The leadership is strong on IG – with Rookie and coach Kim Jungsu – but this team has not been to the Worlds in three years either.
Worlds 2018 Dark Horses
I can already feel people laughing at me for saying this, but Fnatic (+2800) is in a good position for Worlds. They dominated in the EULCS – especially during the playoffs – they have an absolutely stacked roster and their flexible rotation of Bwipo and Soaz in the top lane make them unpredictable. Plus, they are competing in Group D during the group stage, which looks to be an automatic bid for Fnatc into the knockout stage.
There is also Flash Wolves (+2000). Flash Wolves is better than the sum of their parts – not to detract from any of the players but you don’t look at the roster and think “this team is loaded.” Instead, Flash Wolves rely on strategy, movement and aggression to win games. Their early-game focus led to the team having the shortest average game time and highest first turret rate in the LMS. No team in Worlds is able to get after an opponent as quickly as Flash Wolves. However, if opponents can get them into the late game, issues can arise.
How the LoL Worlds Work
Twenty-four teams are set to compete in the Lol Worlds. First comes the play-in stage, which takes place from October 1-7. These 12 teams will compete against one another to earn one of four spots left open for the group stage, which happens from October 10-17.
The top eight teams from the group stages move on to the knockout stages. This is when the tournament turns into the do-or-die, with winners moving on and losers going home. This all culminates on November 3 when the Summoner’s Cup will be awarded to the top team in the world.
|Royal Never Give Up||+220|
|Phong Vu Buffalo||+50000|
|Kaos Latin Gamers||+100000|
Odds as of September 26 at Sportsbook