Sunday, September 14, 2014

August 2014 Advanced Solo Queue Statistics

August 2014

** There were  4 compromised games in which there was severe lag, a DC, or server trouble, trolls (1-2). There was also 1 game that I dodged (lost 3LP).  **

Misc. Statistics
Highest Placement: Diamond 3 (86  lp)     Lowest Placement : Diamond 5 (0 lp)
Win - Loss: 40 - 26 ( 4 - 1 in promo matches )
Kills/Deaths/Assists (avg): 455 / 494 / 776  (6.89 / 7.48 / 11.76) makes a 2.49:1 Ratio
Team K/D/A (avg): 2115 / 2127 / 3936  (32.0 / 32.2 / 59.6) makes a 2.84:1 ratio
Longest Winning Streak: 11 (13 out of 14)       Longest Losing Streak: 4
Largest LP Gain/Lost (single game): +22 / -23
Average CS For (non-support) / Against (all): 226.1 / 213.0
Average CS per minute For (non-support) / Against (all): 6.42/ 6.15
Highest (peak) Kills/Deaths/Assists (high in each taken from all games): 19 / 13 / 24
Highest Single Game CS:  371 (on Ahri)      

Combat Grades:
            Lane Effectiveness Avg (scale of -2 to +2):  -0.31
            Outside Lane Influence For Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.36
            Outside Lane Influence Against Avg (scale of -2 to +2): +0.36
            Roaming Effectiveness Avg (scale of -2 to +2): -0.02

Contribution Grades:
            Positive Contribution Avg:  20.18
            Negative Contribution Avg: 24.27
            Net Contribution Avg:  -4.09
            Games +/-: 26+ /  40
            Record in POSITIVE Contribution Games:  17- 9      Record in NEGATIVE:  23 -17
            Record in EVEN contribution games (0):

Damage Statistics      
Avg %Damage to Champions (% of teams total):  25.44%
                        Avg without support games: 27.0%

Gold Statistics
**Gold statistics are calculated rounding to the nearest hundred when recording (example: 9700)**
Avg Gold For (GPM): 13,600 (387.4/min)   -------->   in NON Support games: 14,203 (401.6/min) Avg Gold Against (GPM): 13,200 (380.9/min) ----> in NON-Support Games: 13,221 (376.2/min)

Avg For as SUPPORT: 9,213 (284.5/min)  --->  Enemy Support Gold: 9,950 (316.6/min)
Avg Gold For Lane Partner:  10,714 (338.4/min)  ------>  Enemy ADC Gold: 13,050 (415.2/min)  

Champion Specific Statistics
Most Played Champion(s):
            - Karthus (mid) (38 games) (26 wins - 12 losses)
                        - Avg CS: 231.6 (6.8/min), Avg K/D/A: 8.03 / 8.03/ 12.23, which makes a 2.52:1
                        - Enemy Avg CS: 205.1 (6.07/min)
                        - Lane Effectiveness Avg:  -0.16
                        - Outside Lane Influences Avg (against/for): +0.39 / +0.37
                        - Roaming Grade: -0.13
                        - Gold For (gpm) / Against (gpm): 14,349 (420.4/min) / 12,684 (375.3/min)                                 - Avg Game Length: 33:53
                        - % Damage to Champs per Game (avg): 29.95%
                        - Net Contribution Grade: -5.36
                        - Games + / - (contribution score): 11 positive (8 - 3) / 27 negative (18 - 9) 
Champions Played: 14 (lux support and lux mid differentiated, etc.)

Duo queue Statistics 
            Record: 29 - 18
                        - Tuba: 5 games (4 - 1)
                        - War Pigs: 42 games (25 - 17)

Match Time Statistics
Average Match Time:  34:51  Shortest Match Time: 18:36  Longest Match Time: 61:58
Match Time Distribution:
            -  <20:00:  2 games (1 win - 1 loss)
            -  20:00 to 25:00: 2 games (1 wins - 1 losses)
            - 25:00 to 30:00: 9 games (4 wins - 5 losses)
            - 30:00 to 35:00: 19 games (11 wins - 8 losses)
            - 35:00 to 40:00: 14 games (12 wins - 2 losses)
            - 40:00 to 45:00: 9 games (4 wins - 5 losses)
            - 45:00 to 50:00: 1 game (1 win - 0 losses)
            - >50:00: 2 games (1 win - 1 losses)

Pick Order Statistics
Avg position: 2.6    Avg Position of duo: 3.77
            - 1st pick: 24 games (15 wins - 9 losses)
            - 2nd pick: 8 games (6 wins - 2 losses)
            - 3rd pick: 13games (7 wins - 6 losses)
            - 4th pick: 10 games (7 wins - 3 losses)
            - 5th pick: 10 games (5 wins - 5 losses)

Matchup Specific Statistics
Most Frequent Opponents:  
Yasuo (3 - 2), Zed (3 - 1), Akali (3 - 1), Katarina (4 - 1), Xerath (2 - 2)

Strongest Matchups (3 or more games):
- vs Katarina (4 - 1)      Avg K / D / A: 4.6 / 5.8 / 13 (3.03 to 1 KDA)
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 6.13 / 5.81
            - Net Contribution Score: -2.39
            - Lane Effectiveness Score: -0.2
            - Outside Influence For / Against: +0.2 / +0.2
            - Roaming Grade: -0.4
            - Champs Played: Karthus (1-1, Ahri (1-0), Syndra (1-0), Lux (1-0)
            - First Bloods For / Against: 0 / 0

Weakest Matchup (more than 3 games): 

Multi Game Summoner Matchups: 
- vs justscortch: 1-1 beat his kassadin lost to his xerath

Situational Statistics
First Bloods For: 2                         First Blood Assist: 3
First Bloods Against: 8                First Blood Against Assist:  1
Record when getting first blood: 2 - 0   Record when giving up first blood: 5 - 3
Record when getting FB or Assist: 2 - 0
Record when giving up FB or Assist:  5 - 4

Positional Statistics
  - Mid: 54 games,  37 wins - 17 losses
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 6.44 / 6.12
            - Avg K/D/A:  7.72 / 7.55 / 12.19  Ratio of 2.64 to 1 KDA
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: -0.24
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +0.35 / +0.35
            - Roaming: 0
            - Contribution Grade: -4.4
            - First Bloods For / Assists: 2 / 0
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 7 / 1

  - AD Carry: 0 game,  0 win - 0 loss
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: /
            - Avg K/D/A:  /  /   Ratio of
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg:
            - Outside Influence Against / For:
            - Contribution Grade:
            - First Bloods For / Assists: 0 / 0
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 0 / 0

  - Support: 8 games, 2 wins - 6 losses
            -  Avg CS per minute of Enemy AD:  6.27
            -  Avg GPM Enemy ADC / Support: 415.2 / 316.56
            -  Avg  K/D/A: 2.13 / 7.38 / 10.13 for a ratio of 1.66:1 KDA
            -  Avg GPM Lane Partner: 338.39
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: -0.75
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +1.13 / +0.13
            - Contribution Grade: -3.49
            - First Bloods For / Assist: 0 / 0
            - First Bloods Against / Assist: 1 / 0

  - Top: 4 games, 1 win - 3 losses
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against: 6.11 / 6.56
            - Avg GPM For / Against: 353.0 / 433.0
            - Avg K/D/A: 5.25 / 6.75 / 9.75 for a ratio of 2.22 to 1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg: -1.25
            - Outside Influence Against / For: +0.5 / +0.5
            - Roaming Grade: -0.33
            - Contribution Grade: -1.1

  - Jungle: 0 games,  wins -  loss
            - Avg CS per minute For / Against:  /
            - Avg GPM For / Against:  /
            - Avg K/D/A:  /  /  for a ratio of  to 1
            - Lane Effectiveness Avg:
            - Roaming:
            - Contribution Grade:

Environmental Statistics
Record in First Game of Session: 14 - 11   Record in Last Game of Session14 - 11
Record in Single Game sessions (counted as both first and last games):  5 - 0
Longest Single Session: 5 games (3 wins - 2 losses)
Time of Day (based on common playing blocks):
            - Night block (8:01pm to 4am):  32 games (22 wins - 10 losses)
            - Morning block (4:01am to 12pm): 4 games (2 wins - 2 losses)
            - Afternoon/Evening block (12:01pm to 8pm): 30 games (16 wins - 14 losses)

Day of Week:
            - Monday: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Tuesday:10 games (5 - 5)
            - Wednesday: 7 games (5 - 2)
            - Thursday: 4 game (2 - 2)
            - Friday: 6 games (5 - 1)
            - Saturday: 11 games (5 - 6)
            - Sunday: 27 games (17 - 10)

            - Classical: 4 games (2 - 2)
            - Dubstep Mix: 33 games (23 - 10)
            - Empyrion: 2 games (1 - 1)
            - Encircle: 1 game (1 - 0)
            - Feel good Mix: 2 games (1 - 1)
            - High Energy Mix: 7 games (5 - 2)
            - Metal Mix: 9 games (3 - 6)
            - Monuments: 2 games (2 - 0)
            - Protest the Hero: 4 games (1 - 3)
            - Twelve Foot Ninja: 2 games (1 - 1)

Goals from July:
1) Continue the great farming numbers but try to cut down negative contribution (die less)
            - FAILED: While I maintained excellent farm numbers I died even more than last month
2) Stick to Nami, Thresh, Zyra, or Leona for support to bring consistency (maybe new Sona?)
            - FAILED: Zilean and Morgana were played but generally just didn't perform well.
3) Bring the farming focus to other characters besides Karthus. (Orianna, Cassio, etc.)
            - SUCCESS: While I still played mostly Karthus my farm numbers on other champs also improved so this was a success.
BONUS: Diamond IV
            - SUCCESS: Got Diamond 3! 8-)
Goals for Next Month:
1) Seriously cut down the negative contribution (stop dying so much)
2) Improve support performance no matter the playing (die less)
3) Maintain farming numbers across the board but cut down on the deaths

BONUS: Diamond 2

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Worlds Predictions - Group Stage

                It's that time of year again! Cooler weather, pumpkin beer, football season, and WORLDS! I'll be giving my predictions for groups as well as a general breakdown of my reasoning and some general commentary about the teams. For more specific strategy and picks/bans commentary check out my Twitter (@GelatiLOL) during the group stage matches for more in depth analysis.

Group A Predictions

1) Samsung White (6-0)
                - Record Breakdown: vs EDG 2 - 0, vs AHQ 2 - 0, vs DP 2 - 0

                For my money, the most well rounded team in the tournament and my personal pick to win the entire thing. They play well in all phases of the game, possess mastery of the appropriate meta picks, have international experience, and have the strongest competition to train in. Their sister team is arguably the best team in the world (ranked 1 to most people) and seem to be the only team that can consistently beat them which gives them the "world's best sparring partner." I personally think Imp/Mata are still the kings of the bot lane and I don't see any duo's besides NaMei/Fzzf and maybe Uzi/Zero beating them. The only disadvantage, if you want to call it that, is that the Samsung teams are usually fast to adapt to changes in the meta and there really won't be since Worlds will be on 4.14 (the same patch that's been out for awhile) but that's not a disadvantage, just an advantage they don't have. They still adapt incredibly in best of series and possess the synergy as well as individual skill (looking at you Pawn and Imp/Mata) to outplay as a team or on their own. They do, however, play overly cocky sometimes and will throw a game even if they quickly recover but with the schedule having them against EDG first they'll be on point from the start and likely not even drop a game in groups. The champions and positional playstyles in the current meta also favor them so heavily in every position that I just can't bet against them. If they keep their cool and don't let their emotions get to them they're the most well rounded team with equal parts individual skill, team synergy, strategic variety, and adaptability.

TL:DR - White is my pick to win the whole thing. I could see them maybe dropping a game to EDG but I don't think it's likely due to scheduling.

2) Edward Gaming (4-2)
                - Record Breakdown: vs SSW 0 - 2, vs AHQ 2 - 0, vs DP 2 - 0

                Edward Gaming is far and away the best team in China and possess the most tools to compete on the international stage in my opinion. Strategically they are similar to Samsung Blue in that they prefer to play the long, deliberate, controlled game (as controlled a Chinese team can be I suppose). They present a problem for the enemy team to solve in a given time and then take advantage of mistakes made instead of forcing plays to happen. NaMei is arguably the best AD carry on the planet and in the dozen games I've watched him has performed incredibly in every single one. A combination of the aggressive team fight positioning of Uzi, the disciplined decision-making of Deft, and nearly perfect mechanical ability make him a threat at any phase of the game. Combined with veteran Fzzf supporting him you have the makings of potentially the best bot lane in the world. The biggest weakness EDG has is that they play for late game and are often susceptible to getting behind early but unlike SS Blue, they' don't possess the control and comeback potential. In so many words, they get a lead and they stay ahead and control the tempo of the game. With the current meta so focused around AD carry and mid lane and EDG possessing the best AD C and second best mid lane in a region that demands technical perfection the only teams I can see beating EDG are the Koreans (SSW, SSB, and Shield).

TL:DR - I think EDG is probably the 4th best team in the tournament and they were lucky enough to be paired into an easy group where they'll likely get out but they're not on the same level as Samsung White who matches up really well against EDG's playstyle.

3) AHQ (2-4)
                - Record Breakdown: vs SSW 0 - 2, vs EDG 0 - 2, vs DP 2 - 0

                AHQ E-sports are vastly inferior to their accompanying GPL team TPA. They played arguably their three best games of the season in the semi finals vs Saigon Fantastic Five only to be absolutely trounced by the superior TPA in the finals. That being said, they do have a very powerful weapon in their mid laner, multi-region solo queue super star Westdoor. Throughout the entirety of the playoffs in GPL almost every single possible ban (think about that) was aimed at his Twisted Fate, Fizz, and Kassadin and he still managed to outperform and carry his team through. With a massive champion pool filled to the brim with interesting counter picks there is the potential for "shock" value here for them to steal wins but I very much doubt it. The competition at worlds will no doubt be more intense as he gets to joust with Pawn, the Faker slayer and U, arguably the 2nd best mid laner in China only to Cool. Expect bans to all be pointed at him because, to most teams, he is literally the only threat on this team at the international level.

TL:DR - Unless Westdoor hard carries (and I mean HARD CARRIES) then I don't see them beating anybody except for Dark Passage.

4) Dark Passage (0-6)
                - Record Breakdown: vs SSW 0 - 2, vs EDG 0 - 2, vs AHQ 0 - 2

                I like the fairness of giving these smaller regions the wildcard spot at worlds but the fact of the matter is that they're just not on the same level as these other regions. Of course they could play out of their minds and upset some people, that's why we play the games, but if I'm trying to make realistic predictions I can't possibly have them winning a game. I've only watched 2 best of 5s (two Turkish finals) and one best of 3 in which Dark Passage won all but one map and the quality of play just isn't there in this region to really justify any sort of "upset" victory over any of these teams.

TL:DR - Unless they break out the stinky Limburger cheese against AHQ I can't see Dark Passage taking a game. I hope they enjoy their trip and it inspires them to progress.


Imp and Mata vs NaMei and Fzzf

Arguably two best bot lanes on Earth going at it twice (assuming no swaps which is entirely possible). Definitely an exciting one to watch!

Group A - Summary:
Group A ended up being the least balanced with two of the top four teams and two of the bottom three teams (in my opinion). I'm actually glad it worked out this way because it makes Groups B, C, and D really balanced and interesting. DP and AHQ are simply outclassed and neither have a strong enough early game to steal even a modest percentage of games from EDG and SSW. There's really not too much to talk about here.

Group B Projections

1) Starhorn Royal Club (6- 0)
                - Record Breakdown: vs TSM 2 -0, vs TPA 2 - 0, vs SK 2 - 0

                It's easy to talk about the Uzi/Zero bot lane but honestly think the key to SHRC's success lies in this teams weak link, Insec. I say this not because I feel he is the worst player. Hell, you could make a decent argument that he's the best jungler in China but historically that hasn't stood for much. Insec has been the reason for most of SHRC's losses with his overaggressive dives, poor decision making, and tendency to stubbornly force ganks/fights. He's made it work due to a real lack of competition (other than Clearlove/Drug) and his team doing most of the heavy lifting. That being said, Insec is the catalyst. If he can elevate his play and take some of the pressure off his team then there is a good chance SHRC outperform. He really doesn't have too much competition in this group either (the best is probably Winds) so maybe his team can make it work with some crafty picks/bans. The rest of SHRC are pretty much all the best at their positions in the group except for maybe Corn (Bjergsen is pretty good...) and Cola (on par with the rest).

TL:DR - If Insec limits his mistakes and gets champions he excels on then his teammates can do the rest.

2) Team Solo Mid (3 - 3)
                - Record Breakdown: vs SHRC 0 - 2, vs TPA 2 - 0, vs SK 1 - 1

                I'm not a huge fan of TSM. I dislike the uneducated rah rah rahs and blind obedience of their fanbase but I have to admit that they're red hot right now and seem to have finally figured things out. They have fixed a lot of their bad mid and late game habits and are being more deliberate about closing out games when they get an early lead. But this is a delicate situation... There are a lot of weak points on TSM that could potentially send them spiraling into a tilt so hard they don't recover. Dyrus, while solid against his NA counterparts, has never really performed well internationally and while he has been playing significantly better recently I can't see him playing the "don't lose" game against Cola, Achie, and Freddy especially when Amazing will be forced to get Bjergsen going. It's not all on Dyrus however. Amazing needs to continue to prove that he has more than Elise and Lee Sin (and now Nunu) and perform in a better function than "not losing." He has to get his superstar mid laner ahead or this TSM hype train will quickly be derailed. Wild Turtle is the other weak link. With experienced, and more importantly aggressive bot lanes on every other team in this group I just can't see Wild Turtle having a good group stage even with Lustboy. Bjergsen is the only real standout "best in position" and the rest are unexciting so TSM have to do something they didn't often do in NA LCS which is not rely purely on their individual skills to get ahead early. Amazing's champion pool will also leave them extremely vulnerable in picks and bans forcing TSM to perma ban Lee Sin in half their games (purple side) because every jungler in this group will gladly first pick it and while his Nunu has been improved, it doesn't help get his mid laner going or helping his top laner not lose. Unless Amazing has added another pick that he can perform to his personal top level on like he does on Elise/Lee/Nunu then TSM are just going to lose on champ select. They need to be creative like they were in the playoffs and snowball their advantages if they do they'll outperform this record but this group strikes them directly where they are weakest.

TL:DR - I don't think Bjergsen can carry through the mismatches on the rest of his team. Amazing is the worst jungler in this group, Turtle does not deal well with aggressive lane opponents which every other team in this group possesses, and Dyrus is even with the other top laners AT BEST. They also have an extremely predictable and exploitable pick and ban phase.

3) SK Gaming (2 - 4)
                - Record Breakdown: vs SHRC 0 - 2, vs TSM 1 - 1, vs TPA 1 - 1

                I think people are writing off SK mostly because they lack "superstars" and lack high level individual capability. To some extent I agree with this, that compared to the rest of this competition they are a bit behind. That being said,  I'm going to make what is likely the boldest prediction of the year and that is that SK will come out of this group.
                Let's breakdown this group and see just how outclassed SK are in individual skill as people seem to think they are.
·        -  vs. SHRC (0 -2): I actually feel Fredy is as good if not better than Cola who has had some suspect performances. Insec is better than Svenskeren and both play a similar style but I don't think the gap is as big as people think. Corn a better player than Jesiz but I think people are forgetting what Jesiz is good at. He's had to lane all season against Xpeke, Froggen, Overpow, was coached by Incarnation, and has played against Alex Ich as well and he almost NEVER loses against all of this premium competition. Uzi and Zero will likely stomp Candy and nRated but the SK bot lane can at least match the aggression instead of just sitting back and losing. I think that one of these games will likely be close but still a 2-0 for SHRC.
·         - vs. TSM (2 - 0): IMO Fredy is better than Dyrus. Svenskeren is also better than Amazing. Bjergsen is better than Jesiz but, as I mentioned earlier, Jesiz has made a career out of holding his own and limiting damage against extremely good mid laners. This combined with some good picks and bans to limit Bjerg/Amazing and I can see Jesiz/Sven out-duoing Bjerg/Amazing duo to Amazing's limited pool. Wild Turtle does not deal well with aggression and Candy and nRated prefer that style. I think with a good pick/ban phase and all of these mismatches, SK matchup against TSM much more favorably than is initially appears.  
·         - vs. TPA (2 - 0): I'm not entirely sure Achie is as good as people say he is so I'll have this as an even matchup. Winds is the best player on TPA and is a class above Svenskeren. If it's Morning that plays, he's better than Jesiz but if Jesiz can manage players like the ones he frequently plays against I don't see this being any worse than even. Bebe/Jay vs Candy/nRated is the interesting matchup here and I could see it going either way. Both veteran lanes with a lot of experience together.

                While SHRC will likely roll over this group like a dump truck brute forcing its way with raw abilities, I actually see a lot of favorable matchups for SK against TSM and TPA and they could even surprise SHRC in a game. They perform exceptionally well when given a lot of preparation time, have some really off-meta champion selections (Kayle support, Aatrox flex), can easily target a team like TSM in picks/bans, and I generally feel like they will be the team that throws people off balance. With a double round robin there is a lot of "cheese" potential with SK's really weird style of playing the game, much like Fnatic used to have and in the time it takes teams to adapt to that groups could be over.
TL:DR - SK are a weird team to play against much like Fnatic used to be, and I feel that teams will both underestimate them and have trouble quickly adapting to their weird picks and playstyle. I also don't think they're as individually outmatched as people seem to think in this specific group. The TSM matchup is the clincher here.
**** The Svenskeren 3 game suspension has me rethinking this group a bit. I still think SK can take games and creates problems for TSM. ***

4) Taipei Assassins (1 - 5)
                - Record Breakdown: vs SHRC 0 - 2, vs TSM 0 - 2, vs SK 1 - 1

                TPA will have to rely on the experience of Bebe and Winds (former Gamania Bears) and team synergy to battle through a relatively challenging group.  Most of TPA individually can hold their own within this group. Winds is probably not too far off from the aging Insec as the best jungler in the group and Morning is quite good and will likely be able to give Bjergsen and Corn a run for their money, Bebe/Jay are likely on a similar level to the other duos besides Uzi/Zero, and Achie and the other top laners are relatively even. My concern is with lack of competition and the experience of dealing with adversity. Everyone remembers the Cinderella story of the Season 2 championships where the darling TPA upset Frost but it's important not to let that cloud the reality that this isn't the same team. No more Stanley, and perhaps more importantly, no more Toyz. This isn't a bad team but they have literally stomped at every competition in their region and haven't even come close to losing or playing against a respectable team in a high pressure setting. Sure you could make the argument that "maybe they're just that much better" but I tend to favor the teams that are bred in fiery competition (see: Koreans). The fiercer the better, and I just don't see that in this team. I think they'll be better than most people expect and provide for some really close games but not quite good enough to become the heroes they once were. Let last year's finals be a reminder that not all underdog stories come to the storybook ending.

TL:DR - Lack of quality regional competition could make them buckle under pressure on the world stage at some point but they really aren't that much worse than SK or TSM so I feel there will be a lot of close losses. Not a team to be taken lightly especially considering they've only improved in recent months.


Bjergsen vs Corn
                These are simply the two best players in this group to me. How does Bjergsen hold up against a high quality Chinese mid laner in a scenario where he will likely be the focus of bans/ganks and still have to carry his team?  The champion pool matchup favors Bjergsen as he plays a lot of the counters to Corn's best champions. My guess is SHRC focuses every single ban on Bjergsen to force him to a non-Zed, non-Syndra pick to allow for a counter in an attempt to shut him down while Insec accepts the challenge to outplay Amazing.

Group B - Summary

                Outside of SHRC I think this group is close enough that any of the remaining teams could get the second spot. I personally feel that SK Gaming matchup almost perfectly against TSM striking at all of their weakest points while having an effective road block in Jesiz to prevent TSM's strongest asset from going too wild. I think it's important to mention that TPA will have a "home field" advantage but they just haven't been challenged at all since All Stars (?) and are generally outclassed simply due to strength of competition and lack of adversity so I don't think that will be enough to get them through even though they are a team that shouldn't be taken lightly and will likely steal some games.

Group C Projections

1) Samsung Blue (6 - 0)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Fnatic 2 - 0, vs OMG 2 - 0, vs LMQ 2 - 0

                The majority favorite coming into the tournament and the top of many power rankings is Samsung Blue. Personally I think Samsung White has fewer weaknesses but that's pretty much nitpicking. Samsung Blue team fights better than pretty much anybody on the planet and they got placed into a group with three other teams that are primarily there for the same exact reason. I don't see any of the other three having a strong enough early game to abuse that "weakness" of Blue. The only teams in the tournament that I feel have a reasonable shot of beating Samsung Blue are Samsung White.

TL:DR - Blue is the best team fighting team in the world and that's what these other teams do best... you do the math.

2) OMG (3 - 3)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Blue 0 - 2, vs Fnatic 1 - 1, vs LMQ 2 - 0, Tiebreak vs Fnatic 1 - 0

                OMG's strength lies in their solo lanes and jungler. They have the best mid and top in China (maybe top 3 or 4 in the world for each) and you could argue that Loveling is the best jungler there as well (for my money he is). In a region with such insane individual skill the problems that this could provide to their competition are immense but there is a weakness. The bottom lane of San and Dada7 has been absolutely terrible and one of the worst in China this season. OMG is also coming off of some poor performances in the recent Chinese regionals but I think they'll get their act together for this tournament. If San and Dada7 can play the "don't lose" game vs Rekkles and Yellowstar either by picking lane dominant champions or "safe" lanes then I think they can actually 2 - 0 Fnatic but I don't see that happening. Eventually the raw mechanical ability will kick in. I also look at this game in terms of team styles. Both of these teams like to create havoc around the map and both team fight exceptionally well. But if it comes down to that I give the edge to the Chinese. I simply think OMG has too much talent to lose this no matter how hard they're slumping.

TL:DR - OMG will eventually overpower their competition with the raw talent of Cool, Ggoing, and Loveling. This trio controls more of the game than their weak bot lane does and will carry them.They go to tiebreakers and win vs Fnatic.

3) Fnatic (3 - 3)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Blue: 0 - 2, vs OMG 1 - 1, vs LMQ 2 - 0, Tiebreak vs OMG 0 - 1

                Fnatic always seem to show up and prove me wrong anytime I doubt them and I hope they do it again. Whatever it is they do in their bootcamps to get their heads straight and prep for big LAN events works. I can't see them losing to LMQ. The individual matchups just favor Fnatic across the board. I can't honestly wager that Fnatic will take a game off Blue but I do think it's possible. So this comes down to OMG. Soaz against Ggoing will be one of the most interesting matchups to watch in this entire tournament. Soaz is capable of playing as well as any top in the world but Ggoing has show time and time again what he is capable of. I think Xpeke is outclassed by Cool and Cyanide is outclassed by Loveling but the bottom lane woes of OMG will come back to haunt them. Rekkles and Yellowstar are the premier western bot lane in this tournament and I see them whooping San and Dada7. While San and Dada7 are by no means considered a good bot lane by Chinese standards we can't ignore the fact that they've been placing well in China while having to play against the likes of NaMei/Fzzf and Uzi/Zero amongst others. This is similar to the Jesiz logic of being able to hold his own against premier mid lane competition in Europe. This series will be lost by xPeke and Cyanide being unable to outplay Cool and Loveling and stop them from snowballing the game so long as San and Dada7 are able to pick safe champions or lane bullies to limit the effectiveness of Rekkless and Yellowstar who prefer to play the lane phase passively.

TL:DR - The bot lane of OMG is weak but the Jungle/Mid/Top duel goes in favor of OMG. It's easier to "not lose" in the bot lane right now if you make safe champion choices. Each team takes a game then OMG wins in tiebreakers to get into the bracket stage.

4) LMQ (0 - 6)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Blue 0 - 2, vs OMG 0 - 2, vs Fnatic 0 - 2

                Unfortunately for LMQ they got placed into a group with teams that do exactly what they do but better. LMQ's strength lies in teamfighting and XiaoWeiXiao's ability to carry games but XWX got placed into a group against Dade, Cool, and Xpeke. Three of the world's best. LMQ is also severely outclassed in every other position. Unfortunately LMQ got placed into an insanely difficult group against teams that they simply cannot compete with "straight up." LMQ haven't really shown that much creativity or versatility in picks/bans or with certain champions and play a predictable style. Opposing teams will simply ban out XWX and likely abuse their advantages elsewhere. It's possible LMQ steals a game off of their Chinese rivals OMG due to how aggressive Vasili and Mor play in the bot lane but even that is a slim chance.

TL:DR - LMQ got placed in the wrong group against teams that simply do what they do better and are outclassed on an individual level across the board.


Cool vs Dade - Two of the best mid laners on the planet will surely be a blast to watch.

Soaz vs Ggoing - I'm putting this matchup here as well due to its potential importance in determining the winner of the Fnatic/OMG tie. I still think this goes to Ggoing but it's much closer than people will think. Soaz is a hell of a player when his head is in the game.

Group C - Summary

                This group is going to be an absolute bloodbath and should be a lot of fun to watch. Every single team relies heavily on their individual talent rather heavily and they all team fight extraordinarily well. There will be tons of fights, lots of kills, and countless outplays to make this group incredibly entertaining. This was a hard one to pick but no matter how it shakes out it will be fun.

Group D Projections

1) Najin White Shield (5 - 1)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Cloud 9 1 - 1, vs Alliance 2 - 0, vs Kabum 2 - 0

                Najin White Shield enter worlds red hot after completely demolishing their competition in the Korean qualifier after going on a 10-1 run in three days. They play the map better than any team in the world and possess some interesting champion selections and team compositions that allow them to completely switch directions during picks and bans. Save is the best top laner in this tournament and I don't really think it's close but the rest of their team aren't nearly as individually talented when compared to their Korean counterparts. Ggoong's champion pool has been a point of criticism for awhile and many of his picks are also top picks for other mid laners which could present a problem in picks/bans that Shield will have to work their way around. Zefa performed quite well during the qualifiers but history would show some suspect decision making and an overall lack of impressive attributes but many of these are remedied by his stellar lane partner Gorilla. Gorilla has grown into one hell of a player, expanding his champion pool and earning bans on multiple support picks. In a region with Madlife and Mata, earning respect at the support position is difficult and he does it. Watch is the other "weakness" of Shield but has been performing incredibly well recently even earning a ban on Lee Sin, a champion he has previously been known to be weak on. Even if Shield doesn't carry any of their qualifier momentum into this tournament I think they just outclass the other teams in this group overall by enough to put them at 5 - 1.

TL:DR - Shield have their weaknesses but they also have strength in the best top laner in the tournament and their ability to play the map better than almost any team in the world. I could see them dropping a game to one of their mismatches (Ggoong, Watch, Zefa) but they will escape this group relatively easily.

2) Cloud 9 (4 - 2)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Shield 1 - 1, vs Alliance 1 - 1, vs Kabum 2 - 0

                I know it's only solo queue, but as of this writing, Hai is the highest rated western player in Korean solo queue. He's on an absolute rampage winning with almost anything he plays. I think his loss and criticism of champion pool have him motivated. In the past he has gone on these rampages and when Hai is feeling good, Cloud 9 is feeling good and often winning. Balls is one of the better top laners in the tournament and the second best in the group only to Save (the best in the tournament). Meteos is likely the best jungler in this group. Hai and Ggoong are similar but Froggen is probably slightly better. Perhaps the biggest strength this season for Cloud 9 was their bot lane Sneaky and LemonNation. Sneaky has grown by leaps and strides and is now an elite ADC and his synergy with all star support and strategist Lemon will provide an anchor on which Cloud 9 can rely. I feel that losing in the finals against TSM was the best thing that could have happened to Cloud 9 who, historically, seem to come back even stronger after losses and remind people who they are. They are well coached, organized, consistent, and have a couple of favorable matchups like Balls vs Wickd and Meteos vs Shook that will propel them over Alliance and allow them to take a game off of the other "master strategists" in the group Najin Shield. I also feel that Cloud 9, more than any other western team, will benefit from extended preparation time and practice in Korean solo queue. They learn, adapt, and attack weaknesses very efficiently. The only way I can see Cloud 9 failing to get out of this group is if teams effectively to attack Hai's champion pool and throw him off his game. If Meteos can "play goalie" (prevent Hai from falling too far behind) and Hai continues on his FU mode rampage like he is then I see Cloud 9 escaping this group as the second western team into the bracket stage.

TL:DR - Extended preparation and practice time combined with a few favorable matchups will propel Cloud 9 over Alliance and into the bracket stage. I even think they'll take a game off of Shield and become the first NA team to beat a Korean in LONG, LONG time.

3) Alliance (3 - 3)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Shield 0 - 2, vs Cloud 9 1 - 1, vs Kabum 2 - 0

                Alliance's strength lies with their superstar mid laner Froggen. We all know this. The question is whether or not the rest of his team can hold their own. I see a lot of the same problems that TSM has in Group B coming into play here in Group D for Alliance. It's easy to shut one player down at this level of competition. It's simply harder for one super star to carry against primarily high quality players (international stage). Just like Bjergsen I see Froggen being held down by his top lane and jungler. The only way I see Alliance escaping this group is through Cloud 9 and it just seems like a rough matchup. Balls simply outclasses Wickd. As does Meteos over Shook in most situations. Froggen is better than Hai but Hai is coming in red hot and dangerous. The bot lane we'll call even. Either the Alliance bot lane overperforms or Froggen takes Hai AND Meteos to school so hard that they'll be begging to drop out. I see the meta moving in Hai's favor and even though it's pretty much impossible to ban out Froggen, I think Hai will hold his own and prevent Alliance from advancing.

TL:DR - Wickd and Shook are simply outclassed by Balls and Meteos so badly that unless Froggen goes Super Saiyan I can't see Alliance beating Cloud 9 more than once.

4) Kabum E-Sports (0 - 6)
                - Record Breakdown: vs Shield 0 - 2, vs Cloud 9 0 - 2, vs Alliance 0 - 2

                The Brazilian's simply don't stand a chance in this group and while I do feel the quality of the international wild card teams has improved this year they're just not ready for the world stage yet. The level of competition they play against just isn't high enough and they are outclassed in just about every way possible. Although they've technically beaten Koreans already (neither Korean-owning team in Brazil advanced to the finals).....

TL:DR - Unless the Brazilians whip out some premium quality Limburger cheese,  I can't see them winning a single game in this group. Hold your "huehuehue"s until next year guys.


Balls vs Save - Two of the best top laners in the tournament going at it!

Froggen vs Hai - This will be a huge factor in whether or not Alliance can escape groups. Froggen will have to severely outplay Hai in order for his team to have a shot.           

Group D - Summary
                This group will be defined by the battle of the best teams from Europe and North America. Even if this ends up with two 3 - 3 records and going to a tiebreaker, I don't see Alliance beating Cloud 9. Another fun one to watch both for this and to see just how much momentum Shield has as well as whether or not Ggoong's champion pool has some spicey new additions.

Comments on the Samsung "Fixing" Potential:
                The way the brackets lay out there is a high probability that the Samsung teams meet each other in the semi finals. Now theoretically one of them could throw a game to become the second seed in their group to avoid meeting each other until the finals and maybe decide to split the winnings at that point. There was a situation this year during the OGN Spring playoffs where Samsung Blue, who had already clinched a spot at worlds, could have allowed their sister team to defeat them in semi finals in order for White to also clinch a spot at worlds. But they didn't. Blue convincingly 3 -1'd them and White then went on to defeat CJ Blaze for 3rd place honors. Now there are about a million ($$$) reasons why it could be different this time but I just don't see this happening and sincerely hope it doesn't even though it would put the two best teams in the finals (which I am always in favor of).

                Those are my predictions for the group stage! I'll be doing another set of predictions once we have the brackets. While all this prognostication is fun just remember, above all else, to enjoy the world championships this year. I feel as if, for the first time, we have the strongest teams from each individual region actually going to worlds this year and hopefully the competition is fierce and entertaining. ENJOY IT!