LoL: Worlds 2021 Play-ins Day Three Recap

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LoL: Worlds 2021 Play-ins Day Three Recap

We head into the final day of Play-Ins Group Stage action, and it’s all to play for.

After a wild two days, it’s time to head into the final day of the Play-Ins Group Stage ahead of a weekend of Knockout series. With just four series left, and everything still to play for, it’s set to be a massive day. With two guaranteed spots in the Group Stage, and two teams set to go home, it all hangs in the balance.

LNG Esports vs Infinity Esports

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Play-ins broadcast, showing the drafts between LNG Esports and Infinity Esports with a shot of the Worlds 2021 stage in the middle.

In the do-or-die match, it was the start INF did not want as a 1v1 in the top lane went the way of LNG. With SolidSnake roaming top side to defend his top laner, LNG dove his tower to secure a second kill. That was quickly followed up by a mid-lane 1v1 going in LNG’s favor too as things went all wrong for INF. INF finally got on the board in the mid lane, but it was traded back two-for-one. LNG moved 3k ahead before the 10-minute mark.

Things just kept getting worse for INF. After attempting more plays, they continued to be shut down across the Rift and INF found themselves 6k down. LNG continued to turn the screw, and despite INF’s best efforts, they continued to fall behind. With Baron spawning, LNG had amassed a 10k lead with the game all but over. But it looked like LNG had no interest in the Baron. Instead, after picking up a drake, they turned it in two mores kills before knocking down the INF bot lane Inhibitor.

INF tried to counter as LNG retreated, but LNG was more than equal to it. They crushed INF underfoot and closed in to take the Nexus. With this, LNG moved to 4-0, going undefeated and joining their LPL brothers in the Worlds Group Stage. Meanwhile, INF will sadly be going home winless.

Quick Stats:

  • Time: 23:22
  • Kills: 21-3
  • Turrets: 9-1
  • Gold: 49.7k – 33.6k
  • Dragons: 2-1
  • Barons: 0-0

PEACE vs RED Canids

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Play-ins broadcast, showing the drafts between PEACE and RED Canids with a shot of the Worlds 2021 stage in the middle.

The first fight of the game was a scrappy one, and it went the way of PCE in a 5v4 fight in their jungle. Picking up two massive kills, they managed to overturn a small deficit that they’d picked up in the early game. Afterward, PCE turned that into two more kills and a Rift Herald while RED looked shell-shocked. PCE continued to go through the motions, and though RED fought back to get on the board, PCE just about managed to extend their lead.

Finally, RED started to come into the game via the top side, when they picked up a kill onto Vizicsacsi. That said, with two-for-two on drakes, PCE still continued to extend their lead with RED holding on. A little later, another team fight broke out, but it’s PCE that once again came out on top as RED failed to make it count. However, in a fit of desperation, RED made a massive play to pick up the Baron buff while PCE wasn’t aware. While the buff was secured, PCE collapsed for the fight. RED completely failed in the team fight, losing everyone, and as a result, lost all the Baron buffs and every outer tower they had left.

With the resets on the board, PCE came back to the RED base, knocking down the bot lane Inhibitor and taking down three members of RED. With that, they steamrolled through the base and took the won. PCE pulled the trigger and gave themselves the higher seeding into the Knockouts. Both of these teams will be heading into a best-of-five series tomorrow as they look to keep their Worlds Group Stage dream alive.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: PCE-RED
  • Time: 28:00
  • Kills: 25-9
  • Turrets: 903
  • Gold: 59.6k – 51.1k
  • Dragons: 2-2
  • Barons: 0-1

DetonatioN FocusMe vs Beyond Gaming

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Play-ins broadcast, showing the drafts between DetonatioN FocusMe and Beyond Gaming with a shot of DFM Yutapon in the middle.

With high stakes on the line, it was the perfect start for DFM, picking up two early kills as BYG was set far behind already. Not too long after, it was another play, another two kills for DFM as they continued to assert their dominance on the Rift. DFM was unrelenting by the 15-minute mark, picking up six kills in total and growing their gold lead to 5k. Honestly, the game looked out of sight already for BYG.

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Moving into the mid game, there was another pair of kills for DFM as they brought their lead to close to 10k. The only thing keeping BYG in the match was time. Then there were another three kills for DFM, however, BYG did manage to pick up their own kills in return as they finally make it onto the board. Once it spawned, DFM baited a Baron take, and once BYG inevitably responded, again turned that into yet more kills for themselves. With multiple BYG members dead, DFM secured the Baron and looked to close out the game.

Empowered by the Baron buff, DFM was easily able to secure the bottom side Inhibitor of the BYG base and take down most of their members before recalling for one last fight. With members resetting, DFM sweep through the BYG base and secure the victory. That win secures at least a second-place spot for DFM, while BYG will need Cloud9 to beat Unicorns of Love to guarantee they stay in Worlds.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: DFM-BYG
  • Time: 32:05
  • Kills: 22-6
  • Turrets: 8-0
  • Gold: 63.4k – 48k
  • Dragons: 3-1
  • Barons: 1-0

Cloud9 vs Unicorns of Love

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Play-ins broadcast, showing the drafts between Cloud9 and Unicorns of Love with a shot of C9 Perkz in the middle.

With a flawless Play-ins in their eyes, it was not the start C9 needed. Blaber failed a Smite steal, then Fudge was then caught out in a 2v1, giving First Blood over to UOL. The Rift Herald fight saw another fight go the way of UOL, after C9 picked up the first kill UOL was able to secure two more kills to move to 1k ahead. C9 finally got a play that went their way at first, picking up a kill on the top side but they stayed around far too long. They lost some kills as UOL turned up, while the drake was also picked up by UOL.

By the 18-minute mark, UOL had picked up their third drake of the game and set themselves up to secure a Soul win condition. The fight after this third drake went the way of UOL of course, with C9 losing three members for just one in return. As a result, UOL extended their lead to 3k as C9 looked desperate to get back into the game. To try and do so, C9 forced a drake fight. They secured it and stopped the Soul, but the tail-end of the fight ended badly for them. Trading initially two-for-two, UOL was able to knock down a third member of C9. For C9, however, taking the Soul Drake off the board keeps them alive for at least another five minutes, though UOL moved to 3k ahead.

Getting later in the game, UOL forced another play, diving C9 under the mid-lane tower and taking down four members. They pushed into the mid lane Inhibitor as they looked to force victory. With relative ease, they brushed past the C9 base and that’s it, UOL stays alive at Worlds while C9 fails to secure instant promotion.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: C9-UOL
  • Time: 25:37
  • Kills: 11-19
  • Turrets: 2-7
  • Gold: 42.9k – 48.5k
  • Dragons: 1-3
  • Barons: 0-0

Tiebreaker: Unicorns of Love vs Beyond Gaming

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Play-ins broadcast, showing the drafts between Beyond Gaming and Unicorns of Love with a shot of the teams on the Worlds 2021 stage in the middle.

The match started very slow, with both teams playing defensive in the early game. Beyond Gaming secured the first dragon of the match and teamed up in the top to get First Blood on the enemy Jayce. Next, Kino's Rakan took a bad engage under his tower which led to an easy kill for BYG as Draven gets his stacks cashed. Then, Unicorns of Love initiated a gank in the top lane on Liang, however, he outplayed them under the tower and got two kills for himself. After that, Maoan’s Ryze overextended a bit into his jungle and was punished by the enemy jungler to secure UOL’s first kill of the match.

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Meanwhile, BYG secured the second dragon of the match. BYG looked to dive once more in the bottom lane while cracking the outer turret, however, UOL retaliated and secured two kills for themselves. While UOL managed to get another kill, the next major team fight took place in the top lane where both the teams lost the same amount of players in a messy fight and it equaled the kill score.

BYG and UOL hanging by a thread

After that, BYG maintained their objective control and got the third dragon of the match. Beyond Gaming started pressuring the side-lanes, and took a great team fight in the mid lane forcing UOL to retreat and, seeing an opportunity, started the Baron. However, they couldn’t finish the Baron in time as Unicorns of Love came in rushing to steal the objective and come back into the match. Then, they secured the next dragon for themselves to delay the Soul dragon.

It seemed that UOL found their footing now. They won the next team fight as well, although BYG rushed to dragon after their respawns to secure the Soul for the team. After that, BYG pushed all the waves and quickly killed the Baron to come back into the match and pressure the side lanes. As a result, UOL was spread thin across the map and BYG pushed through the mid lane and forced team fights. While BYG couldn’t outright win the fight, they did manage to take down key members which allowed them to end the game and send UOL home.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: UOL-BYG
  • Time: 36:32
  • Kills: 14-19
  • Turrets: 2-11
  • Gold: 61.6k-71.8k
  • Dragons: 1-4
  • Barons: 1-1

Tiebreaker: Cloud9 vs DetonatioN FocusMe

A screenshot from the 2021 World Championship Play-ins broadcast, showing the drafts between DetonatioN FocusMe and Cloud9 with a shot of DFM and C9 on the Worlds 2021 stage in the middle.

Riding high on the hopes of their regions, DFM and C9 were ready to settle it on the Rift for a direct pass to the Main Stage. It all started with DFM though, as the DFM bottom lane duo killed Vulcan for First Blood in the 2v2. A few minutes later, DFM moved four bottom to once again kill Vulcan, and this time, Zven too. However, C9 wasn't going to simply lie down and die. They took a dragon, a Rift Herald, and dove Aria under his tower to kill him off.

A messy team fight broke out in the top lane at 12 minutes, where kills were traded back and forth for about a minute, where C9 came out slightly ahead. Shortly after that, C9 grew their lead with a third dragon after slaying three from DFM. A few minutes passed, then the teams met for the potential Infernal Soul dragon for C9. Crucially, DFM found a winning team fight at this point and claimed the dragon for themselves, stopping the Soul.

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Once again, the game stalled as the teams waited for the next dragon. Inevitably, the teams clashed, but this time DFM smashed C9, cleaning up three C9 members while losing none of their own. Although, the two remaining C9 members secured the Infernal Soul as DFM opted for Baron. Unfortunately, DFM couldn't get much done with this first Baron, so it came down to a 33 minute team fight around the Elder Dragon.

C9 had the setup on the objective and tried to leverage their poke, but DFM wasn't afraid. They marched right in and engaged a fateful team fight, where they obliterated C9 off the map, taking down three from C9, then the Elder Dragon, then the Baron too. With the Baron buff, DFM was a rushing tide, sweeping over the bottom lane and diving into C9's base at the Inhibitor. Against the force of DFM, C9 was helpless, and lost several members in their base while DFM rampaged through and destroyed their Nexus.

After this incredible win, DFM has claimed their spot in the Worlds 2021 Main Stage and are the first team to do so in the Japanese LJL's history. Meanwhile, C9, who looked to strong before today, must fight in the Play-in Knockouts to make their way there.

Quick Stats:

  • Teams: DFM-C9
  • Time: 36:41
  • Kills: 20-12
  • Turrets: 8-4
  • Gold: 71.0k-62.8k
  • Dragons: 2-4
  • Barons: 2-0
LoL: Worlds 2021 Play-ins 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.