Day six brought viewers coverage of Group A. That covered the teams of Flash Wolves, G2 Esports, Afreeca Freecs and Phong Vu Buffalo. Coming into the day, Flash Wolves were 2-1 and G2 Esports were right on their tail in second place. This was each team’s last push to make it out of the group stages and into the round of eight.
Game One: Afreeca Freecs vs Flash Wolves
Coming into this game, Flash Wolves was clearly favored, coming off the previous games 2-1. Afreeca looked to pick up a win against their biggest rivals in the group by taking out Flash Wolves. All in all, this game was quite even for the majority of the early game. Afreeca was able to play the game at a slower pace and choke out the Flash Wolves.
Flash Wolves looked like they were playing the game scared. For some reason unbeknownst to the viewers, the Flash Wolves were playing as if they forgot how to engage a teamfight. They had a number of tools available to them to actually get meaningful engages, but they did not use them. This softness and their tendency to play scared is what spelled disaster for Flash Wolves.
As the game progressed, Afreeca was able to take more of the base from the Flash Wolves. It wasn’t until a teamfight that broke out thirty minutes into the game that Afreeca was able to kill three and take the game from Flash Wolves.
Game Two: G2 Esports vs Phong Vu Buffalo
This game was very much too close for comfort. Against a better team, three-out-of-four times G2 loses that game. Phong Vu was able to take a huge lead in objectives all throughout the game, which made G2 have to work twice as hard to win this game. Had G2 Esports actually played more for objective control and less for kills, this game would not have taken 47 minutes to end. Altogether, this game was won by G2’s superior teamfights and their coordination. Their deficit in towers was made up for in the gold they were getting for kills and this was fine for G2. They continued to play their aggressive style and secured a Baron and the enemy base off a single won teamfight.
Game Three: Flash Wolves vs G2 Esports
No one would have thought a game between Flash Wolves and G2 Esports would look like a bunch of silver league players in a game. However, that is exactly what it looked like this game. At a number of points, Flash Wolves were ahead in the game, only to throw their lead and let G2 back in to get a handful of kills.
Altogether, this game looked ridiculously sloppy from both sides. There was no finesse, no outplays where one team would simply get a lead and be dominant from that moment on. Watching this game, I got disgusted that all these professional players looked as if they were trolling. There was a large number of mistakes all throughout the game and there was so much greed from both teams.
In the end, a won teamfight from Flash Wolves was enough to signal the end of G2’s game. It was late enough in the game that an Ace would put the whole team out of commission for at least forty seconds or so. G2 Esports played that final fight so poorly. They split their team and made it so that there was no consistent damage coming out of either side. Each of G2’s carries got blown up and had to be saved, either by an ally or their own volition.
This meant that Flash Wolves could get more damage down on the G2 members that weren’t being saved. Then, as the damage dealers who got saved came out of their safe areas, Flash Wolves had only them left to take down. Soon after, the G2 base fell along with the Nexus.
Game Four: Phong Vu Buffalo vs Afreeca Freecs
I’m not sure what Afreeca had for breakfast, but I definitely need some of it, because they came into this game with something to prove. They looked very shaky in their previous games, and even in the win against Flash Wolves earlier on in the day. However, they pulled out a truly aggressive team composition with plenty of engage and decided to take it to Phong Vu Buffalo. This game seemed like their best game of groups.
Afreeca’s superior teamfight composition was what put the nail in the coffin for Phong Vu. Phong Vu had their eyes set on a split-push win, while Afreeca chose to win through fighting. The engage out of Afreeca was enough to whittle down the Phong Vu Buffalo team and sign their death certificate.
Game Five: Flash Wolves vs Phong Vu Buffalo
The Vietnam representatives in Phong Vu Buffalo had done this before, they took down an enemy so that Europe would have a chance at getting out of groups. So, looking at this game in retrospect, it was all written on the wall. Why wouldn’t the team with only a single win take down the favorites to get out of the group as first seed?
Flash Wolves did everything they could to stop the inevitable. They played a traditional composition with good teamfighting and killer engage. They picked a carry in the middle lane and late game insurance in the bottom lane. However, all the preparation in the world could not prepare them for what is written in the stars. Early on in the game, it even looked like Flash Wolves could take down this team helped by fate.
It was all for naught, however, as Phong Vu were constantly getting advantages on the map while Flash Wolves were teamfighting. In the end, ironically, Phong Vu Buffalo got a fantastic teamfight win and ended up winning the game, upsetting Flash Wolves.
Game Six: G2 Esports vs Afreeca Freecs
The winner of this game would be first in Group A. Both of these teams would want this seeding, as the first seed usually gets the weaker opponent in the semifinals. This game started off with Afreeca getting a pair of kills in the bottom lane off a four man roam. Afreeca knew that it was in their best interest to take out the bottom lane of G2 and put them behind.
For a long time in this game, it looked like Afreeca would take the game with ease. However, G2 made a snap decision and went for the Baron. Having two smites on the team due to Tahm Kench’s Summoner Spellbook Rune, G2 was able to take the Baron without much hassle. However, they spent too much on the Baron and the subsequent fight signaled the end of G2’s hopes.
Afreeca was able to win another teamfight minutes later around the Baron pit and get enough of an advantage to take down G2 without an issue. This meant that Afreeca was the first seed in their group and the first Korean team to make it out of groups in Worlds 2018.
Game Seven: Flash Wolves vs G2 Esports (Tiebreaker)
I had thought they would never give G2 Esports the Heimerdinger again after what happened when it was played previously at Worlds. Well, was I wrong. Not only did G2 play Heimerdinger, the Flash Wolves seemed to have an answer to the Heimerdinger in the form of Mordekaiser. What an interesting game to end Group A on.
G2 Esports played this game very well. They seem to play a different way when they have Heimerdinger in the bottom lane and can make advantages in the other lanes. Less resources are needed bottom-side and the rest of the map can open up for G2. As a team, G2 is able to play around the Heimerdinger very well, giving up kills to Flash Wolves only when people are isolated and caught out.
With discipline, the G2 lineup secured the Baron and marched into the base of Flash Wolves, ending the game. This sent G2 Esports into the quarterfinals as the second seed from Group A.
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