The final day of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship Group Stage is completed. The victors from Group B, Group A and Group C have been decided and today Group D followed suit. The race to Quarterfinals between ahq e-Sports Club, Team Liquid, Damwon Gaming and Invictus Gaming was intense, but inevitably, only two advanced.
ahq e-Sports Club ("AHQ") vs Invictus Gaming ("IG")
The first match of the day was quite a high stakes one, as AHQ had to win to keep their Quarterfinal dreams alive. Unfortunately for them, the former World Champions in IG killed those dreams ruthlessly. IG was clean in their victory, but AHQ did manage to crack a few dents in IG's armor. Alex ganked mid to kill Rookie for First Blood and traded one-for-one in a bot side skirmish. But IG wouldn't be outdone, as they relentlessly focused Ziv's Gangplank, killing him multiple times under his own tower. Because of this, TheShy was huge and destroyed the First Tower himself.
IG also took the Herald shortly after, which helped IG to knock down the second top tower and even Inhibitor Tower at only 17 minutes. This wasn't all, IG pushed towers all over the map, and as such, AHQ was choked out of vision. As a result, IG was able to pick off Alex, take the Baron, and demolish some more towers. But AHQ picked off TheShy and prematurely ended IG's Baron siege before any Inhibitors fell. Despite this, IG was still able to destroy the top and middle Inhibitors before the second Baron spawned. Once again, IG picked off Alex and secured the Baron at 30 minutes. Immediately, IG pushed down bot, took that Inhibitor then easily pushed past AHQ and won the game.
- Time: 32:32
- Kills: 5-10
- Turrets: 2-11
- Gold: 52.4k-62.7k
- Dragons: 2-3
- Barons: 0-2
Team Liquid ("TL") vs Damwon Gaming ("DWG")
Every game mattered in this close race for the top and this was no exception. With a fairly dominant win, Korea's DWG brought themselves one step ahead of NA's TL. Though TL completely threw DWG through a loop in the opening minutes with a lane swap, they made a crucial mistake at minute five. Here, TL went for the Ocean Dragon but DWG contested it, stole the dragon away and won the ensuing team fight four-for-one. This was devastating for TL, and from here, they were never able to recover.
Contrary to their typical style, DWG played the game slowly and calculated every move. They weren't fast and loose, instead, they were allowing their incredible scaling carries to reach more and more items. At 17 minutes, TL decided to try to get a foothold in the game with another dragon fight, but once again Canyon won the Smite fight on the Infernal and DWG went up one-for-zero in kills. Along with this, DWG destroyed two middle towers. A few minutes later, DWG outmaneuvered TL to take the Baron and trade kills one-for-one. They blasted two Inhibitors quite quickly and made it look easy. Finally, at 31 minutes, the two teams met to duke it out 5v5. Not surprisingly, DWG won. They Ace'd TL and rampaged through their base to claim their Nexus.
- Time: 32:13
- Kills: 4-12
- Turrets: 2-10
- Gold: 52.0k-65.7k
- Dragons: 0-5
- Barons: 0-1
Team Liquid ("TL") vs ahq e-Sports Club ("AHQ")
Now it was TL's do-or-die moment, but to their relief, they picked up a necessary win against the struggling AHQ. It was worrying for them at three minutes though, as TL tried to fight a skirmish near the bottom side and lost two kills to AHQ, including First Blood. But a few minutes later they redeemed themselves, collapsing on AHQ's bottom lane dive to win the extended fight four-for-one. With this big victory, TL set themselves up to take the First Tower bonus bot and obtained a sizeable lead.
AHQ demonstrated they wouldn't go down quietly though. At 16 and 17 minutes, AHQ picked off Xmithie twice and took a couple of objectives. This proved insufficient to close the gap at 24 minutes, when TL forced a fight at the dragon pit. Here, they killed one from AHQ and secured the Mountain Dragon. Up until this point, TL had yet to find that game-breaking moment, but it soon came. At 27 minutes TL executed a mid-lane team fight perfectly to pick up four kills and a Baron. After a quick reset, TL began their siege. Tower after tower fell, and relatively quickly two Inhibitors lie in ruin. But TL continued to push into AHQ's base. AHQ looked paralyzed, unable to defend their final structures, and ended up forfeiting their Nexus to TL.
- Time: 30:52
- Kills: 12-6
- Turrets: 9-1
- Gold: 58.7k-47.2k
- Dragons: 3-0
- Barons: 1-0
Damwon Gaming ("DWG") vs Invictus Gaming ("IG")
All the games are important, but this one in particular essentially decided the first-place team in the group. It was an action-packed game for sure, with DWG emerging victorious. The action started before the timer hit 60 seconds, as Baolan roamed to the top lane before minions spawned and caught out Nuguri, setting TheShy up to get First Blood on his opponent. Because of this, IG was incredibly top side favored, but Canyon ganked bottom a couple of times to get Nuclear a sizeable lead.
But a 3v3 top changed this trend. Here, IG used a lot of cooldowns and health bars to kill Nuguri, but Showmaker came up huge, assassinating three IG members to pick up a Triple Kill. After this DWG seemed to have a solid grip on the game, as they won multiple skirmishes and procured a host of objectives. IG wasn't out of it though, as they did scrape together a skirmish win themselves and kept bullying Nuguri.
The critical moment for this game started at 27 minutes when DWG started the Baron. IG contested and pushed DWG away from the pit, but Canyon flew back in an secured it with Smite. The team fight was bloody, but DWG came out narrowly ahead with five-to-four kills. Upon their first push mid, a 5v5 fight erupted, but this time DWG obliterated IG. They Ace'd the defending World Champions and swiftly pushed through their base to smash their Nexus.
- Time: 32:00
- Kills: 22-13
- Turrets: 7-2
- Gold: 62.1k-56.1k
- Dragons: 3-1
- Barons: 1-0
Damwon Gaming ("DWG") vs ahq e-Sports Club ("AHQ")
This match wasn't quite as hype as many others today, but did allow DWG to secure first seed in Group D with a win. It was their game throughout as they dominated AHQ and sent them home winless. Canyon kicked it off by ganking top to get First Blood on Ziv. He then moved bottom to take a Cloud Dragon, then back top for the Rift Herald. A 2v2 occurred in the top lane that appeared good for AHQ at first, but DWG turned it around to get a kill. In addition to all of this, DWG obtained an Ocean Dragon and the First Tower bonus top.
In all honesty, AHQ had no avenue back into the game now. Emboldened, DWG continued to fight AHQ and forced them back every time. A skirmish at 19 minutes went in DWG's favor one-for-zero and another one at 21 minutes went their way four-for-zero. The latter one gave them free reign to take the Baron and spelled the end for AHQ. Equipped with the Baron buff, DWG met AHQ in the mid lane to engage yet another fight. They smashed four AHQ champions into the dirt, rampaged through the bottom lane and finished off AHQ's final Nexus.
- Time: 29:26
- Kills: 22-13
- Turrets: 7-2
- Gold: 62.1k-56.1k
- Dragons: 3-1
- Barons: 1-0
Invictus Gaming ("IG") vs Team Liquid ("TL")
The final match of the day was a battle between tournament life or death for both of these teams. TL had high hopes coming into today as NA's last hope, but the defending World Champions IG absolutely crushed them. Overall, it was a disgustingly one-sided game for IG. Rookie solo killed Jensen for First Blood at four minutes, then pushed his lead by ganking Impact top and killing Impact. Impact was focused again when Ning ganked top at 10 minutes to get a kill for TheShy's Vladimir.
IG furthered their lead to new heights by taking the First Tower bonus top, while all TL could do was go even in a couple of skirmishes and take two dragons. This was nowhere near sufficient. Every time that IG engaged on TL, TL instantly crumbled. Kills dropped left and right in favor of IG, and TL was reeling. After TheShy solo killed Impact bottom, his team was able to join him and push down two towers and the Inhibitor. A minute later, a team fight erupted in the middle lane, where IG of course won. TL's second Inhibitor fell as a result, then pushed on. More TL champions were put on death timer as IG blasted through their base and quickly smashed their Nexus.
- Time: 24:02
- Kills: 18-4
- Turrets: 9-2
- Gold: 46.7k-36.6k
- Dragons: 1-2
- Barons: 0-0
Quarterfinal Matchup Draws
- Damwon Gaming (LCK) vs G2 Esports (LEC)
- SKT Telecom T1 (LCK) vs Splyce (LEC)
- Griffin (LCK) vs Invictus Gaming (LPL)
- FunPlus Phoenix (LPL) vs Fnatic (LEC)
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