LoL: Worlds 2021 Group Stage – Day Three Recap

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LoL: Worlds 2021 Group Stage – Day Three Recap

It’s the final day of the mixed group days of play, as every team plays their remaining group opponent.

With every team set to play their third opponent today, we’ll move into the full group days on Friday through Monday. So by the end of the day, every team will have played each other once, and we’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Going into the final day, three teams remained unbeaten. DWG KIA, Edward Gaming, and RNG. Meanwhile, Cloud9, DFM, and Fnatic were winless. One of the biggest stories from today will be Group D. A group we previewed as a surprise group finds itself with all four teams at 1-1 records, so keep an eye out for those games in particular.

Royal Never Give Up vs Hanwha Life Esports

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between Royal Never Give Up and Hanwha Life Esports with a shot of HLE jungler Willer above.

Jumping right into the action, it was the First Blood for HLE, which was quickly traded back to RNG. HLE took down another two members as a mid lane brawl got this game off to a frantic start. RNG bounced back in the top side next but once again HLE were stronger in the small skirmishes and came out on top in kills. That was quickly met with HLE picking up two kills in a 2v2 in the bot side, with an amazing outplay by Vsta to secure his side the kills.

HLE moved into the mid-game with the same level of aggression that they showed in the early game by chasing RNG under their tower. Ultimately, it led to a one-for-one trade. But as a result of losing their tower, HLE had lost their lead. And by the 17-minute mark, RNG moved to 1k ahead. The game had quietly gone the way of RNG, with a 26-minute Baron attempt, RNG had moved to 3k ahead. The Baron was left for the time being, as RNG chased a retreating HLE. With a fight in the HLE jungle, RNG lost their top laner and were forced to reset. HLE delayed the Baron and gained valuable vision control around the objective.

HLE hangs on by a thread

At the 31-minute mark, there was a big team fight that broke out and it’s HLE that took it two-for-zero. Afterward, HLE took the Baron and the gold was drawn even. The next fight kicked off at the drake, but while HLE claimed the Drake to prevent the Soul Drake from going to RNG, they lost three members. After resetting and respawning, a top lane fight was next up, and this time HLE are the winners. They took down two members of RNG as the first game of the day entered the late-late game.

Suddenly, HLE forced down the Baron with RNG nowhere in sight to stop it. While Baron was secured, HLE lost all but one member as RNG pushed into the mid lane. RNG couldn’t be stopped, as despite picking up two Barons, HLE failed to win the match. With another win here, RNG marched up the Group C standings.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: RNG v HLE
  • Time: 40:19
  • Kills: 19-16
  • Turrets: 9-5
  • Gold: 73.6k – 70.1k
  • Dragons: 3-2
  • Barons: 0-2

MAD Lions vs LNG Esports

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between MAD Lions and LNG Esports with a shot of MAD and LNG on the Worlds 2021 stage above.

It’s First Blood for LNG, and it’s the sort of start MAD certainly did not need. Not too long after, MAD finally got the kill returned, but it cost them and they needed three members diving under the tier-two tower to do it. As they retreated, LNG cut them off to secure a kill. Ultimately, both sides wasted a lot of Summoner Spells for very little reward. After that, LNG tried to spring a 2v1 onto Armut but he’s able to take them down. LNG did pick up one on the return but MAD won out in the end.

Then, there was another good series of plays by LNG in the bot side. They secured two kills right away before taking down another member in the mid lane too. Despite that, the gold lead remained even. More fighting broke out across the map, and despite LNG coming away ahead in kills, they only moved 500g ahead as we hit the 20-minute mark. The next fight is at the third drake, where MAD picked up the first kill but LNG won out in the follow-up. They claimed the drake and took down four members of MAD before claiming a Baron buff to boot.

With the Baron buff empowering them, LNG found a game-winning fight. A 5v5 started in the MAD jungle, where LNG rampaged through the MAD base to claim an important victory in their quest to make it out of Group D. The group that continued to thrill, has thrown up yet another fantastic Bo1.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: MAD – LNG
  • Time: 26:18
  • Kills: 6-21
  • Turrets: 3-7
  • Gold: 43k – 51.3k
  • Dragons: 0-3
  • Barons: 0-1

FunPlus Phoenix vs Rogue

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between FunPlus Phoenix and Rogue with a shot of RGE top laner Odoamne above.

The game started in disaster for RGE, as FPX claims First Blood in the bottom lane. After finding that initial kill, Rift Herald is the objective next fought for, where FPX is able to secure it and take two kills in the process. RGE managed to get some kills on the board, picking up a kill on the top side and a kill on the bottom side as they closed the gold gap. It was an active early game, which saw FPX take a 2k lead, but RGE continued to look for fights, though often coming out second best.

The first major 5v5 team fight was another win for FPX as they moved to 3.5k ahead. RGE managed to get one kill but there was far too much damage from FPX. After that, there a big push in the top side for RGE at the 23-minute mark. They picked up a kill onto Nuguri, but decided not to move to Baron, instead opting to secure the area. With FPX stacking drakes and getting close to Soul, the next fight inevitably happened at the drake. While RGE managed to secure it to stop the Soul Drake, they lost three members and FPX claimed an open Baron. They stopped the Soul but it could cost RGE the game.

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FPX were able to claim the top lane Inhibitor as the Baron buff wore off. To their credit, RGE did manage to defend and FPX retreated for the time being. With 33 minutes on the clock and another Soul Drake spawning, RGE had their work cut out for them. RGE tried to make a play around the drake but they completely fluffed their lines and FPX took it easily. Four members of RGE dropped in the subsequent fight and FPX seized the opportunity to take the Nexus and move to 2-1 in the group.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: FPX – RGE
  • Time: 34:17
  • Kills: 18-5
  • Turrets: 9-2
  • Gold: 64.7k – 53k
  • Dragons: 4-1
  • Barons: 1-0

PSG Talon vs Fnatic

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between PSG.Talon and Fnatic with a shot of PSG players and coaches on stage above.

The opening minutes were quiet in-game, but soon disaster struck for FNC. After claiming the Rift Herald at the 8:30 point, they completely threw away the advantage by opting into a foolish fight, where they lost three members to PSG. The next fight was a one-for-one, and though FNC got onto the scoreboard with a kill, PSG claimed the second drake. Eventually, FNC finally managed to get some kills without reply, picking up a total of three as PSG faltered.

The first 5v5 fight started in the mid lane. The initial engagement saw nobody fall, though both sides postured. FNC finally made the play happen as they picked up two kills and claimed a drake of their own. By the 20-minute mark, FNC had clawed back the deficit to be 1k ahead themselves, with the Baron now in play. Seeing a potential opportunity, Bwipo forced another play in the mid lane, but this time FNC are the ones that are punished. Two members of FNC fell as PSG moved to the Baron. They disengaged as the remaining members of FNC contest to stall it out. However, shortly after there was another team fight victory for PSG. Again with Baron in play, FNC lost two members. But once more, PSG invested too much chasing FNC so the Baron was left alive.

Back and forth and back again

All of a sudden, FNC decided to rush the Baron while PSG was not aware. PSG were busy on the bot side of the map, so FNC easily secured the Baron. But with a Soul on the table, a massive fight erupted around the drake pit. FNC tried desperately to claim it but failed to do so. PSG took down three members and denied the drake, taking a FNC win condition off the table. Afterward, PSG moved to the Baron as they claimed the second Baron of the game at the 35-minute mark.  That wasn't the end of it though, as there was another Soul drake fight five minutes later. This time FNC did manage to get an early kill and finally claim the Ocean Soul.

The game stalled for a while but FNC found a big pick on the bot side of the map. Though it wasn't the best. Sending so many members allowed PSG to claim an uncontested Baron buff as the game moved into the 42-minute mark. With it, PSG claimed the mid lane Inhibitor as FNC lost Hylissang to an early engagement. PSG continued the push onto the FNC Nexus, however, FNC managed to knock down one member with one traded back. FNC managed to hold their base as the game continued.

The stalemate didn't last forever. Eventually, PSG found a fight in their own jungle, and in a frantic 5v5, PSG managed to come out on top. PSG lost one member but took down three from FNC. They used the opportunity to finish off FNC's base and Nexus as FNC slumps to an 0-3 start. For PSG, they moved to 2-1 and continue to control their own destiny.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: PSG – FNC
  • Time: 46:05
  • Kills: 20-12
  • Turrets: 8-6
  • Gold: 84k – 80k
  • Dragons: 3-4
  • Barons: 2-1

Gen.G vs Team Liquid

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between Gen.G and Team Liquid with a shot of TL jungler Santorin above.

From draft, it was clear how both teams wanted to play this game. GEN had the wombo-combo bot lane while TL had the strong Jax counter pick top. However, it was Clid who made the first move top, where he ganked at level two to kill Alphari for First Blood. TL answered back with a pick onto Life a couple of minutes later, but GEN started to ramp up the pressure. They won a mid lane skirmish one-for-zero in kills, and though TL got one back by killing Burdol, GEN went bot lane at eight minutes to grab two more kills and the First Tower bonus.

Moving into the mid game, GEN started pulling ahead more and more. At 13 minutes, they pulled the trigger on two decisive plays. In the top lane, GEN started a team fight, which ended up going four-for-two in GEN's favor, and when Tactical tried to Teleport there to help his team, he was solo killed by Ruler. After this, GEN propelled forward, taking towers and objectives, even cracking open the mid Inhibitor tower. But this is where they made their mistake. Instead of simply destroying the mid Inhibitor, GEN went for an unnecessary dive bot lane. Here, TL fully capitalized on the GEN overaggression and won the ensuing team fight four-for-one in kills.

With this crucial fight, TL stayed in the game that previously looked pretty doomed. At this point, the teams were closer to even and it was all up to TL to force their way back in. They tried on multiple occasions, as there were a few dragon and Baron fights, but GEN always stayed one step ahead of them. To be fair though, TL managed to defend their base time and time again, meaning both teams were locked in the game. Finally, at 37 minutes in the game, after taking Baron GEN was able to win a 2v2 in the bottom lane to get a man advantage, then pushed straight into the TL base to claim more kills, and ultimately, the Nexus.

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Quick Stats:

  • Teams: GEN-TL
  • Time: 38:22
  • Kills: 23-15
  • Turrets: 11-2
  • Gold: 75.6k-65.7k
  • Dragons: 3-2
  • Barons: 2-1

DAMWON KIA vs Cloud9

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between DAMWON KIA and Cloud9 with a shot of C9 top laner Fudge above.

Wanting to go undefeated in the first round-robin, DK was eager to smack C9 down. And Blaber made that all the easier when he face-checked a bush at level one to give over an easy First Blood to Khan. The next spot of action was in the bottom lane, where the teams traded one-for-one, but DK got the gold on their ADC while C9's support secured the kill gold, making it DK favored overall. At five minutes, C9 found their first positive play in the bottom lane, where they used four members to claim a much-needed kill.

From here, DK slowly started to gain more and more control. Khan was destroying Fudge in the top lane and took a number of plates early on. Meanwhile, DK slew Rift Herald and used it in the mid lane for plates before turning towards the bottom river to find a one-for-zero skirmish win. At 12 minutes, Khan cashed in on the First Tower bonus solo, making him a mencace. Knowing this, C9 four-man dove him under his own tower a couple of minutes later, but it was too little, too late.

In typical C9 fashion though, they never stopped looking for a way back in. Because of this, C9 did find a ray of hope at 16 minutes, when they won a two-for-zero team fight. However, the reigning World Champions DK were too strong. For the next 10 minutes, they chipped away at C9's base, backing off to solidfy their lead with Barons and dragons alike. They won fight after fight, and took their time cleanly dismantling C9. Eventually, at 31 minutes, DK took all of the C9 Inhibitors and only needed one final fight to cut down C9 and demolish their Nexus. With this clinical win, DK stays undefeated while C9 remains winless.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: DK-C9
  • Time: 32:21
  • Kills: 15-7
  • Turrets: 11-1
  • Gold: 64.4k-51.0k
  • Dragons: 4-0
  • Barons: 2-0

Edward Gaming vs DetonatioN FocusMe

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between Edward Gaming and DetonatioN FocusMe with a shot of EDG and DFM on the Worlds 2021 stage above.

In what was expected to be a fairly one-sided match, the Japanese hopefuls DFM came out of the gate swinging. The First Blood was taken by them in a sudden mid lane skirmish, which helped them get pressure to take the Rift Herald at eight minutes. Then, at 10 minutes, a 2v2 broke out in the mid lane, where Steal and Aria outplayed the EDG duo to get a kill. After that, they used the Herald to take some plates then invade the EDG jungle. EDG opted in to fight for their camps but lost the skirmish, dropping two more kills to DFM. With this lead, as well as a nice Steal solo kill onto Flandre, DFM looked like they were capable of making this huge upset happen.

However, DFM lost some steam in the mid game. EDG was able to get on the board by killing Evi in the top lane, and while DFM did take some more towers, EDG traded tower takes of their own. It is interesting to note that EDG was drawing back the gold lead due to better individual laning, even though they were behind on kills. This slow shift became more noticeable when the gold was much more even. This made it possible for EDG to win the first real 5v5 at 22 minutes, going up one kill for none traded back.

At this point, the game was slipping away from DFM. They didn't find any plays anywhere really, meaning the EDG team fighting would soon shine. And shine it did at 24 minutes, when EDG turned around a DFM engage to commandingly win a team fight, Ace DFM and secure a Baron. Empowered with the Baron buff, EDG set to work knocking down towers and Inhibitors inside and outside of DFM's base. With their backs against the wall, DFM desperately went for one last fight and managed to stall, but as expected, EDG regrouped and eventually pushed DFM into their Fountain and took their Nexus.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: EDG-DFM
  • Time: 31:54
  • Kills: 15-8
  • Turrets: 11-2
  • Gold: 62.9k-49.7k
  • Dragons: 1-2
  • Barons: 1-0

100 Thieves vs T1

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Main Event Group Stage broadcast, showing the champion drafts between 100 Thieves and T1 with a shot of 100T and T1 on the Worlds 2021 stage above.

As EDG was undefeated, and DFM was winless, this match was a big indicator for who would probably take second place in the group. With an interesting Poppy jungle pick, Oner made his presence known early by ganking bot lane to kill FBI for First Blood. A few minutes after this, T1 secured a Rift Herald and took it to the bottom lane, where they busted some plates. However, they walked too far up and 100T was able to collapse and pick up a kill. Not too long after this, T1 capitalized on the earlier investment and claimed the First Tower bonus bot. When they did, another team fight broke out, where T1 snagged three kills and a Cloud Dragon without losing a single member.

At this point, the game already looked pretty bad for 100T. And it only got worse, as T1 rotated around the map to knock down towers left and right. Though they managed to find a pick onto Faker at 18 minutes, 100T just couldn't find a real way to strike back at T1. Because of this, things got worse and worse. It even got so bad that Canna dove Ssumday and solo killed him under his Inhibitor Tower.

Having the pressure, T1 went to Baron and started it. Knowing it, 100T moved to contest and somehow Closer walked right into the pit and stole it away! It was a miracle moment but 100T still faced a tall hill to climb. After the slip-up, T1 refocused and went to work methodically picking apart 100T. It all came to a head at 27 minutes as 100T tried to find a good fight in the top side of the map. At first, it didn't look too bad, but a devastating Canna Kennen ultimate ripped 100T apart. This let them take one Inhibitor, and all T1 needed was one more easy team fight to sweep 100T aside and finish off their Nexus.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: 100T-T1
  • Time: 29:44
  • Kills: 3-17
  • Turrets: 1-10
  • Gold: 44.5k-56.1k
  • Dragons: 0-3
  • Barons: 1-0
LoL: Worlds 2021 Group Stage – Day Three Recap
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last ten years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist. David later became Editor at ESTNN and now leads the current team.