Brandon Sturak

Brandon Sturak

Brandon is a Niagara University graduate with a passion for esports. He writes about League of Legends and esports, with analysis and commentary on both. He is a founding member Niagara University Esports and the previous mid laner/coach for the NU Esports LoL team. Twitter @GhandiLoL

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League of Legends: Worlds 2019 | Play-In Groups Day Three Recap

LoL Worlds 2019 Play Ins Day Three
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Unicorns of Love vs Clutch Gaming

LoL Worlds 2019 Play In Groups UOL CG

The 2019 World Championship Play-In Group Stage for Groups A and B concluded today. This part of the tournament is always quiote volatile, with interesting results all over, and none more surprising than the first match of the day. Here, Unicorns of Love ("UOL") defeated Clutch Gaming ("CG") for the second time. This was despite CG's massive early lead, where Lira and his team bullied Ahahacik in his own jungle in the opening minutes. The UOL jungler was level one until nearly minute four, which should've been a major advantage.

But this advantage Lira had was wasted. CG decision making, especially from Lira himself, was downright atrocious and the team quickly threw their lead. For example, UOL killed three at the predictable CG 10-minute Rift Herald and later Boss won a 1v3. On the other hand, UOL perfectly capitalized on CG mistakes and captured many neutral objectives. They stayed as a group and forced CG to team fight them, where they inevitably won. It took them a little longer than it should've, but after two Baron and multiple Inhibitor takes, UOL crushed CG's Nexus.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 38:48
  • Kills: 14-4
  • Turrets: 11-4
  • Gold: 70.6k-64.2k
  • Dragons: 4-1
  • Barons: 2-0

Splyce vs DetonatioN FocusMe

LoL Worlds 2019 Play In Groups SPY DFM

The second match of the game was nearly as shocking as the first. In it, DetonatioN FocusMe ("DFM") upset group favorites Splyce ("SPY"). It all started with a seven-minute gank from Steal onto the bottom lane, where he got First Blood for Gaeng. Though SPY won a 2v2 in the mid lane, Evi furthered DFM's lead by solo killing Vizicsacsi in the top lane. In addition, he ended up taking the first tower bonus by himself at 16 minutes.

At this point, all DFM had to do was group and force engages. The fights were quite even at first, as the teams equally traded in kills during the 21 and 26 minute team fights. But DFM found an opportunity to pick off Vizicsacsi at 27 minutes, which led to another team fight. DFM won this three-for-zero and secured the Baron right after. Equipped with the Baron's buff, DFM swiftly destroyed the middle Inhibitor. With their backs against the wall, SPY tried to force a fight in the top lane, but ended up getting Ace'd. As a result, DFM were free to claim their first Nexus of the tournament.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 33:35
  • Kills: 8-18
  • Turrets: 8-9
  • Gold: 54.4k-63.0k
  • Dragons: 2-2
  • Barons: 0-1

Unicorns of Love vs MAMMOTH

LoL Worlds 2019 Play Ins Day Three UOL MMM

Even the third game of the day featured another upset! With MAMMOTH ("MMM") bringing down UOL, Group A suddenly became anyone's game. But to their victory wasn't easy, as their composition required them to scale into the late game. UOL took decent advantage of this early on and had a sizeable gold lead through picks onto Babip and Fudge. They took two Infernal Dragons and the First Tower bonus too. At this point, UOL had full control of the map and needed to push their lead further.

They did manage to get the bottom Inhibitor at 29 minutes through a pick onto Fudge and good macro. But a minute later disaster struck the UOL squad. K1ng's Xayah completed her Infinity Edge and the teams squared up in MMM's jungle. MMM obliterated UOL at this late-game stage and they killed four before securing Baron Nashor. In the following couple of minutes, both teams found picks, but MMM eventually claimed the Elder Dragon too. The only thing MMM needed now was to win one more fight three-for-one, then run it down mid and blast UOL's Nexus.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 41:05
  • Kills: 10-16
  • Turrets: 9-7
  • Gold: 67.8k-74.2k
  • Dragons: 4-2
  • Barons: 0-1

Isurus Gaming vs DetonatioN FocusMe

LoL Worlds 2019 Play In Day 3 ISG DFM

DFM's backs were against the wall this game, as a loss meant elimination from the 2019 World Championship. But, in the end, they fell to Isurus Gaming ("ISG"). It was an incredibly close game that surpassed an hour of in-game time. ISG did control the early game though, as they got kills all over the map and secured a bunch of objectives. But moving into the mid-game, the game stalled out for a long time. This gave DFM time to scale and lessen the gold lead.

This resulted in DFM finding the opportunity to win a team fight at 36 minutes and claim the first Baron Nashor. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't do enough damage to bring ISG down. The next thirty minutes were full of extremely close fights and major objectives takes. Overall, both teams claimed two Barons and Elder Dragons each. Being this late in the game, everyone knew it would come down to one decisive fight. And it did. At 62 minutes, ISG contested DFM's Elder Dragon attempt, and due to incredible combos from Buggax and Seiya, along with a great Teleport from Warangelus, they Ace'd DFM. The death timers were too long and DFM had to watch with grey screens as ISG destroyed their Nexus and sent them home.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 63:22
  • Kills: 21-16
  • Turrets: 11-6
  • Gold: 112.7k-104.0k
  • Dragons: 4-4
  • Barons: 2-2

Clutch Gaming vs MAMMOTH

LoL Worlds 2019 Play Ins Day Three CG MMM

Like DFM, CG needed to win this game to stay in Worlds and cause two tiebreakers for seeding in Group A. Unlike DFM though, they pulled off the victory. It was a dominant one too as CG absolutely crushed MMM. Despite it being very one-sided at the end, the early game was actually very even and quiet. The only thing to happen in the opening 15 minutes was two Ocean Dragon kills for CG. At this 15 minute mark, CG finally secured First Blood by diving Fudge under his side lane tower.

At 18 minutes, MMM engaged a great fight in the middle lane to get two kills. They looked good at this point, but that perception quickly changed as CG Ace'd MMM in a top river team fight. Immediately after that, CG secured the Baron buff too. Empowered, CG pushed the middle and bottom lanes. After they picked off Triple's LeBlanc, they knocked down the Inhibitors in both of these lanes. Satisfied, CG recalled and regrouped top to push there too. They pushed quite far, diving into MMM's base and slaughtering all five MMM members before claiming their Nexus.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 24:31
  • Kills: 13-5
  • Turrets: 10-0
  • Gold: 49.5k-37.5k
  • Dragons: 2-1
  • Barons: 1-0

Isurus Gaming vs Splyce

LoL Worlds 2019 Play In Day Three ISG SPY

It wasn't necessarily a clean win, but in the last, regularly scheduled game of the game SPY brought down ISG. Both teams had specific advantages that made this an interesting game to watch unfold. Buggax on the Quinn pick was given First Blood with the help of Oddie at five minutes. But SPY's Xerxe clapped back by getting two kills for Kobbe in the bottom lane. Then, SPY moved top as a unit to dive and kill Buggax. The two teams also traded objectives that made it a relatively even game.

Though there were multiple picks in the mid-game, there wasn't much ground gained by either team during this period. If anything, ISG clawed themselves forward a tad with a skirmish win at 23 minutes. The decisive moment of this match came at 31 minutes. Here, SPY rushed the Baron and secured it before ISG could get close. After this, they killed four from ISG and knocked down another tower. Next, SPY backed and turned towards the top lane, where they won another team fight and demolished an Inhibitor and both Nexus towers. ISG stalled out the game a bit longer because they killed a few SPY champions, but couldn't stop them after SPY took a second Baron and got three more kills. With this one last Nexus kill, SPY procured the first seed in Group B.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 38:52
  • Kills: 17-20
  • Turrets: 4-9
  • Gold: 68.8k-76.6k
  • Dragons: 2-2
  • Barons: 0-2

Tiebreaker #1: MAMMOTH vs Unicorns of Love

LoL Worlds 2019 Play Ins Day Three Tiebreaker MMM UOL

Because all of the teams in Group A ended the double round-robin with 2-2 records, two tiebreakers were played at the end of the day. In this first one, UOL ensured their spot in the Play-In Knockout Stage by defeating MMM. This was expected to be a very close game, but UOL honestly dominated MMM. Nomanz's famous Vladimir received First Blood when he helped his team dive top. Two minutes later, UOL won a huge team fight in the bottom lane to kill four MMM members.

At that point, the game was essentially over. UOL controlled the map and had a huge team fight edge over their opponents. Every time MMM tried to make a play, UOL collapsed with more members and turned it around. At 20 minutes, UOL picked off Triple before baiting the Baron to get another kill. Afterward, UOL slew an Infernal Dragon and set up for a fight. This fight netted UOL one kill and the Baron buff. Under this immense pressure, MMM couldn't defend their base against the UOL onslaught. UOL cut down four from MMM, blasted their Nexus and set themselves up for another game versus CG.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 28:18
  • Kills: 2-15
  • Turrets: 2-7
  • Gold: 42.2k-52.6k
  • Dragons: 1-3
  • Barons: 0-1

Tiebreaker #2: Clutch Gaming vs Unicorns of Love

LoL Worlds 2019 Play In Day Three Tiebreakers UOL CG

Finally, we come to the second tiebreaker for Group A. UOL consistently beat CG in the previous two games, but in this crucial moment, CG turned it around and took the win. This was very different from their previous games against UOL because of how clean they looked in the early game. Huni outplayed Boss and Ahahacik twice and, with the help of Lira and Damonte, killed the two twice. A skirmish in the bottom lane secured them two more kills and multiple picks bloated their gold lead further.

After CG won a team fight at 15 minutes, the game stalled for a bit. It was at 23 minutes when CG chose to make their move, and it was a devastating one. They collapsed on a top lane ambush on Damonte and killed four. Right after, they obtained the Baron buff. The buff didn't do much, but it didn't stop CG from taking two Inhibitors after it dissipated. It looked like it was the end, but Nomanz's Vladimir started popping off and eviscerating CG. He won two fights practically all by himself and secured the Baron at 30 minutes. But that didn't matter because Huni Teleported into UOL's base and back-doored their Nexus before anyone could stop him. With this, CG claimed the first seed in Group A.

QUICK STATS:

  • Time: 30:58
  • Kills: 27-11
  • Turrets: 11-0
  • Gold: 64.4k-52.2k
  • Dragons: 4-0
  • Barons: 1-1

Watch the 2019 World Championship here at ESTNN TV. For more information on the tournament, teams, standings, and players, visit www.lolesports.com. Stay tuned here at ESTNN and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more League of Legends news, articles, opinions and more.

Images via LoL Esports.

Featured image via LoL Esports Flickr.

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