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2017 World Championship Play-In Stage: Tier list

It’s time for the Tier list for the 2017 World Championship Play-In Stage!

This year’s Play-In Stage will definitely be interesting especially with a lot of newbies at Worlds. If you missed the draw results, visit our article on it here.

Because there will be no inter-group play, we’ve decided to only include one team per group in each of the three tiers (top, mid, bottom). Think of this as a fearless forecast of the teams and their placements in their respective groups.

 

Top tier

Team WE

First in the top tier list is the Chinese team, Team WE. We’ve seen the strength of Team WE in 2017 Mid-Season Invitational despite finishing in 3rd/4th.

In the Play-In Stage they share a group with Gambit Esports and Lyon Gaming. Despite it looking to be the most challenging group of Round 1 of the Play-In Stage, Team WE’s strength and talent is still most likely to shine. Their ability to play different styles is one of their strengths. Even if teams are able to deal with the solo laners, their AD Carry Jin “Mystic” Seongjun has developed into one of the best fighting AD Carries.

Unless they put themselves in a disadvantage in the draft or try to do so much, they should make it through the Play-In Stage and even impress against the South Korean teams.

 

Fnatic

The season 1 World Champions are back in the World Championship stage after a disappointing 2016. Their new roster which included three veterans, Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, and Jesse “Jesiz” Le, struggled through the Spring Split but after Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen was introduced the team worked.

Their performance during the regular Summer Split proved this but clearly Fnatic had more things to figure out as they faltered in the Rift Rivals and in their Semifinals loss against Misfits. But they seemed to have figured out their mistakes as they looked strong against H2k-Gaming in the Regional Qualifiers.

They will be facing Southeast Asian second seed, Young Generation and Latin America South’s Kaos Latin Gamers. Their ability to control a game early will put the pressure on the teams in their Group. Even if they fall behind, Fnatic has shown to understand what to do to get back in the game and close it out.

 

Hong Kong Attitude

Being the first third seed from the League of Legends Master Series, Hong Kong Attitude is quite the interesting team. They finished fifth in the local league but also had wins against ahq e-Sports Club, Flash Wolves, and J Team. Ultimately it was their wins against J Team and Raise Gaming in the Regional Qualifiers secured their debut in Worlds.

Hong Kong Attitude team chemistry is top notch and will look to use this to secure their place in the Group Stage. All eyes will be on their AD Carry, Wong “Unified” Chun Kit who looked impressive throughout the Regional Qualifiers.

They were drawn with 1907 Fenerbahçe and Rampage in Group D. Unless either team has an answer for the synergy of Hong Kong Attitude and pressure the bottom lane, Hong Kong Attitude may just plow through Round 1.

 

Cloud9

The 3rd seed of North America is a team we’ve seen time and time again in the World Championship stage ever since 2013. After being the only North American squad that survived the Group Stage in the 2016 World Championship, many had hoped that things would be better for the team but 2017 had been shaky.

Despite this, they just barely made out of the Regional Qualifiers to make it to Worlds in an epic best of five series against Counter Logic Gaming. The team has shown that they can perform under pressure and the Play-In Stage should be the same for the experienced North American squad.

They were drawn into a group with Worlds rookies Team oNe eSports and Dire Wolves. If anything, it’s their experience performing on a massive stage like the 2017 World Championship that can get them into the Group Stage.

 

Mid tier

1907 Fenerbahçe e-Spor

Professional Turkish football club 1907 Fenerbahçe e-Spor extended into esports as they acquired the Turkish Championship League spot of SupperMassive TNG. They made their name known as they dominated in the inaugural 2017 Rift Rivals – Green. Despite falling to 3rd-4th in the Winter Split Playoffs, they seemed to settle down as they would take the TCL by storm in the Summer Split and were crowned champions.

Their play is built around their Korean mid laner, Kim “Frozen” Tae-il who has seen support from both top and bottom lane along with their jungler. Their jungler Kang “Move” Min-su has also proven to be a crucial part of their strategic prowess. The LCS veteran has also had his hand in helping their star mid laner.

The Turkish teams have always surprised and impressed at Worlds, and it doesn’t seem so different this year.

 

Gambit Esports

Gambit Esports has had an interesting history to the team. After going back to the CIS/Russia region after a downward spiral in European League of Legends Championship Series, they struggled through the 2016 Summer Split and 2017 Spring Split which prompted a roster change that left Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov. Soon after, support Edward “Edward” Abgaryan joined his former teammate. Former Albus NoX Luna members Alexander “PvPStejos” Glazkov and Mykhailo “Kira” Harmash followed to make an already promising roster.

This roster worked as they topped the League of Legends Continental League regular Sumer Split and went on to be the LCL Summer Split champions.

In a group with Team WE, it looks to be rough for the CIS/Russia veterans. Kira will look to push the mid lane while Edward will look to hold hands with Diamondprox to help around the map. They will have to fortify the top lane as PvPStejos struggled even against the other LCL top laners. They a second seed wouldn’t be too surprising for the CIS/Russian team.

 

Team oNe eSports

Team oNe is one of the Cinderella stories of the 2017 World Championship. After they acquired the Circuito Brasileiro de League of Legends spot and roster of INTZ Genesis, Team oNe eSports impressed. They finished third in CBLoL Stage 2 regular season before continuing where they left off in the Playoffs where they took down RED Canids in five games and paiN Gaming in four.

Locally, they are one of the most mechanically strong teams. Without a star player, they are able to adapt their playstyle as needed. As one of the many rookies in the 2017 World Championship, it will be interesting to see if they can execute their macro play against the best of the other regions.

 

Young Generation

For the first time Southeast Asia has a second seed, thanks to a spectacular run from the GIGABYTE Marines’s run at 2017 Mid-Season Invitational. Following the footsteps of their fellow Vietnamese team, Young Generation looks to impress as their young roster looks to impress at 2017 World Championship.

Young Generation play around their mid laner, Võ “Naul” Thành Luân who has proven he could hold his ground. His massive plays in their series against Ascension Gaming booked their ticket to China.

In a group with Fnatic and Kaos Latin Gamers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see YG and Kaos Latin Gamers fight for the second seed. A farcry from the GIGABYTE Marines, seeing them survive Round 2 is hard to see.

 

 

Bottom Tier

Lyon Gaming

Lyon Gaming has had an interesting history with Worlds, more specifically International Wildcard Qualifier/Invitational. They were favored to win the 2016 International Wildcard Qualifier after having the best that Latin America North talent. But they fell to Albus NoX Luna who would surprise the world after being the first Wildcard team to make it out of the Group Stage.

Not much has changed for the team since. They still dominate locally but struggle internationally. In one of the toughest group of the Play-In Stage, it’s hard to see them survive even Round 1.

 

Dire Wolves

2017 has been a good year for the Dire Wolves. They were finally able to sit on top of the Oceanic Pro League in back-to-back Splits. During the Summer Split, they took down long standing dominant team of their reigon, Chiefs eSports Club, 3-1.

This success came after their addition of their aggressive jungler Shern “Shernfire” Tai. Because of this, the team prefers to track and pressure the enemy jungler.

The bout between Dire Wolves and Team oNe eSports will surely be interesting.

 

Rampage

Rampage has had a similar Spring and Summer Split, finishing second in the regular Split before taking down DetonatioN FocusMe in the Playoffs to claim the championship.

The Japanese squad plays around their star Korean jungler Lee “Tussle” Moon-yong paired with wonderful roams from their support, Jeon “Dara” Jeong-hoon.

Their wins at Rift Rivals will surely help their confidence but they were drawn in a group with Hong Kong Attitude and 1907 Fenerbahçe e-Spor, two teams that will surely capitalize on their over aggression. Because of this, it’s hard to see them survive Round 1.

 

Kaos Latin Gamers

Another World Championship rookie, Kaos Latin Gamers have competed against the best in the minor regions in 2015 Wild Card Invitational and 2016 International Wildcard Qualifiers.

Having survived the 2017 Circuito de Leyendas Sur Closing Cup Promotions, Kaos Latin Gamers found their groove and found themselves at the top of the 2017 CLS Closing Cup regular Split. They continued this in the Playoffs where they took down Isurus Gaming in 4 games.

They play around their AD Carry Nicolas “Fix” Sayago and look to him to snowball and carry hard for the team. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against Fnatic’s Rekkles. They may be able to surprise especially against fellow rookies Young Generation.

 

 

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