Going into LoL Worlds 2017 many considered Team WE to be the team to beat and the shadow lurking in the play-ins ready to dethrone many of those blessed with a pass over it. But having gone from a powerhouse at the Mid Season Invitaional 2017 and Rift Rivals, WE placed 3rd in the LPL Summer Split after a rough series against RNG in the playoffs. Yet, many consider their woes at the end of the season to be purely a hiccup as they are considered one of the strongest teams of World’s that isn’t from Korea.
Why shouldn’t people consider them a powerful team to be feared? Xiye has been an absolute menace out of the mid lane and can rely on Condi to play the tank initiate junglers well and Mystic to be an ADC to fall back on. But even with the talent, they find themselves in the play-ins. This could mean that the LPL is truly on its way to usurp LCK for the top spot in the World or possibly that WE is being over hyped and can’t seem to handle the pressures that have mounted upon them.
LoL Worlds 2017 Play-ins Performance So Far
This is the best way to scale the level to which WE is expected to perform for the rest of the tournament. When you see how they can handle teams that would be considered on the lower end of the tournament, you should expect a top team to be able to handedly demolish almost every team they face until they get to the groups. When they were placed against Gambit Gaming, this was exactly the case.
The CIS representatives seemed more like a challenger team than a World’s contender. Especially against WE, GMB were completely outclassed. While Kira was a hyped mid, Xiye proved to the world why he has been placed on many top lists for players attending. Both games against GMB, Xiye was able to get over 10 kills while Condi was allowed to carry in the second match with Graves. Throughout the series, everyone seemed to be what we wanted from WE.
However, Lyon Gaming, the underdog we highlight in a previous article here, proved to be a far stronger adversary than many critics had first pegged them to be. But that might also be a bit on WE, who were supposed to be too strong to be in the play-ins. While WE didn’t drop any games to LYN, the games were both far closer than would have been expected prior to the tournament. The first game of all of Worlds was a 47 minute battle that showed that WE can make faulty calls around baron just like many others. Thankfully for them, LYN didn’t have the macro rotations that WE proved they could do to delay the game until they got another baron to win.
Looking Forward For WE
If teams are looking at WE so far, they can see a trend that they like to play a bit more fast and loose. Had LYN had better macro, there is a good chance that that the first game could have gone the way of LLN and not LPL. But in the second game, WE weren’t ready to allow LYN to have an easier chance to jump back into the game with a good fight around baron. Granted that LYN were able to get a gold lead early, they had one bad fight over baron, lost it, and WE showed that they can play the objective game cleanly if they need to.
The WE that played against GMB in both games and the one that came in after the baron calls in LYN, they are the ones that should be expected to do great things later in the tournament. However, if they play like they did against LYN in matches facing teams like Fenerbahce, Fnatic, or, if we look to the groups, Longzhu Gaming.
But before they get there, they have to still beat another team in the play-ins. Honestly, there aren’t that many teams that look strong enough from the second place of any group to be able to at this moment. Whether they face oNe, KLG, YG, or HKA, there don’t seem to be any that are that close to their first seed to be able to take down WE. However, when WE does make it to the groups, they need to shore up some of their clear mistakes around the mid game if they want to keep their dreams alive.