Although both Group A and Group B matches take place during day 2 of the Worlds 2021 play-in stage, all eyes should be on Group B. The first four games of day 2 feature Group A teams but it’s the final four games containing Group B sides that will be most important, with multiple matches likely deciding the fate of the Group, and the play-in stage entirely. Here are the marquee matches spectators should keep an eye on during day 2.
Beyond Gaming vs Cloud9
Start time: 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET
Cloud9 and Beyond Gaming came into Worlds 2021 as the two “pool one” teams in Group B, meaning seeding-wise, they were expected to be at the top of the standings. Although C9 made it out of day 1 unscathed, BYG had a major setback. The PCS second seed got handled by the Turkey reps, Galatasaray Esports. BYG’s first contest of the event was their last for day 1, as they ended the day at the bottom of the standings with a 0-1 record. C9 also only played one game as they dispatched of Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe to end the day 1-0. Both of these teams have three games remaining but none will be more important than this one.
For BYG, they need to win this game to keep pace for a top-two seed. The play-in group winner automatically gets into the Group Stage, with the second seed getting to fight the Group A third/fourth seed in a best of five. BYG finds themselves in an early hole if they want to acquire one of those two seeds. However, a win against C9 will let them catch right back up. But, a loss here puts BYG at an 0-2 record, which would virtually force them to play in the first round of knockouts. A date against the Korean fourth-seed Hanwha Life Esports would be inevitable in this case.
For C9, a win here during day 2 puts them at a 2-0 record, with a Worlds 2021 lay-up against Unicorns of Love still remaining. Assuming C9 can win that game, a match against Galatasaray can give them the group outright as they look to go undefeated. However, a loss for C9 not only puts a dent in the NA copium machine but could also halt it entirely. With a match against the group leaders on the horizon, two losses will put C9 in a possible third/fourth place matchup. This means they would be the ones fighting Hanwha Life Esports in a best of five for the last Group Stage slot. C9 does not want to go down that path.
Galatasaray Esports vs DetonatioN FocusMe
Start time: 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET
After a hot start during day 1, Turkey’s representatives, Galatasaray Esports, emerged as the early favorite to win Group B. During their first match of Worlds 2021, GS took down one of the favorites, Beyond Gaming, to make it into the Group Stage. Not only did they take down the PCS second-seed, but the game wasn’t even close. GS showed off some cohesive team play across the map. They combined it with some unusual picks like Bard in the support position, as well as the return of Qiyana in the jungle. GS capped off their day with a quick victory over Unicorns of Love to end day 1 at the top of the standings with a 2-0 record.
DetonatioN FocusMe, coming off a good Mid-Season Invitational performance, were tested on day 1. After they also took down UoL, they ran into an MSI rematch with the North American third seed reps, Cloud9. C9 ended up getting the best of them as they exacted their revenge from MSI, with a sub-30 minute victory.
DFM are still very much alive in this wild Group B but their match against GS is critical. A win here will put DFM at a 2-1 record, which would virtually guarantee them at least a knockouts spot. But more importantly, a win would put them in great contention for either winning the group, or at the very least, getting second seed. This would give them the inside track at getting into the Group Stage. A day 2 win for GS at Worlds 2021 all but locks up at least a second seed, which would mean a match against Cloud9 to possibly decide the group winner.