Play-In Stage 2017 Predictions:
Group A: World Elite advances, Gambit 2nd
-As much as I want to see Gambit do well (and I do think they can steal a game) they just don't have what it takes to beat what many consider to be China's best team even though they're the 3rd seed.
Group B: Cloud 9 advances, oNe E-sports 2nd
-I think that as disappointed as C9 fans were at their performance this playoffs, the strength of competition in NA is simply leaps and bounds ahead of Brazil and Latin America North. Although Vert is definitely worth watching in the top lane for oNe.
Group C: Fnatic advances, Young Generation 2nd
-While I think that Europe was significantly weaker this year, Fnatic and G2 have shown relative dominance over their region. If this was any other EU team besides Fnatic or G2 I'd actually give Young Generation a chance of advancing out of this group but as it stands I just don't see it. European teams are fairly adept at dealing with odd, off the wall strategies likely to be employed by wildcard teams.
Group D: 1907 Fenerbahce advances, Hong Kong Attitude 2nd
- Other than Gambit, who I believe is the best of the wildcard region teams in the entire worlds tournament including Gigabyte Marines, I feel that 1907FB are the next strongest. I kinda wanted to give "homefield" advantage to HKA here but I just think FB are just a bit better although close. Rampage isn't a pushover either and they'll be looking to make a name for Japan in their first ever representation at Worlds. This is going to be the most fun group to watch for sure outside of specifically Gambit vs WE.
So China 3, NA 3, EU 3, and Turkey will be the four teams advancing out of the Play-in tournament. Once we see group draws after we'll see what I think for group stage.