The League of Legends World Championship kicks off in earnest with a bunch of best-of-one games on Wednesday. Our first look at the teams to back from the first day of the Worlds.
Clutch Gaming (1.33)
Clutch completed a stellar season in the North American Championship with a tight 3-2 win against TSM, ending a period in which they won seven of their previous nine matches. Their only defeats in that run were against Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming, both 3-2. Led by Huni and Lira, who have been with the franchise since late 2017, Clutch should come out refreshed and ready for the challenge from Russia-based UoL.
The quality of the European LCS, where Splyce have plied their trade for years, and the Rift Rivals, where Isurus have participated, is vastly different. While Splyce’s form in the EU LCS has been middling (five wins in their last 10 games), they have been part of a superior competition. They registered best-of-five wins against Origen in the quarter-finals and against Schalke 04 in the semi-finals before losing to Fnatic in the final. Yet, there’s plenty of confidence to hold them for the group stages of the Worlds.
Unicorns of Love (1.46)
UoL completely revamped their roster earlier this year, and immediately found success in the Russian LoL Continental League (LCL). Such has been their dominance in the LCL that they’ve lost just three of their last 20 games, spanning back a few months. While the superiority of Clutch may be too good for them, UoL certainly have the edge in this one against Mammoth, who have lost three of their last 10 games at the OPL.
Detonation FocusMe (2.14)
While form has been a worry for Detonation, they have plenty of experience at the Worlds. Last year, in five matches, they managed just one win (against Kabum! Esports). However, that’s more experience than their opponents Isurus, who might face a challenge with the pace of the World Championship.
Detonation also placed first in this year’s spring and summer editions of LJL after also winning LJL Summer 2018. That success should ensure confidence isn’t bare come the big stage. Considering all these factors, it might be prudent to back the team with the bigger payout.