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Welcome to the daily Worlds 2021 match ratings. Every day, I, your designated guinea pig and critic, will watch all of the world championship games so you don’t have to. I will be here to dish out star ratings for every game (and then series once we hit the best-of-five matches) and let you know if I recommend the slew of fights that day at worlds.

My rating scale is from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) stars. Here’s what each star rating means in layman’s terms:

* = Boring. Utterly skippable and something no one will remember by tomorrow.

** = Watchable. Possibly recommended based on your rooting interests.

*** = Good. Something I’d recommend checking out, even if you’re not a fan of either team.

**** = Must-watch. A game or series that you need to watch if you have any interest in League of Legends.

***** = An all-time classic. This perfect rating is only achievable if a game or match is at the highest level of entertainment, gameplay and will go down in the lexicon as a moment no League of Legends fan will ever forget.

Without further ado, here are my match ratings for Day 2 of play-ins at Worlds 2021.

Hanwha Life Esports vs. PEACE

* 1/2 stars

This game was the equivalent of Shaquille O’Neal in his prime playing against a high schooler looking to make his high school basketball team. While both sides had fun and some laughs, you knew in your heart that, if Shaq wanted to, he could dunk on the kid and destroy his soul at any time.

For our European readers who don’t like basketball, replace Shaq with Lionel Messi and the word “dunk” with nutmeg for this analogy. I woke up at 3 a.m. for this, by the way.

On the plus side, PEACE has beautiful uniforms. They beat HLE in that department.

RED Canids vs. LNG Esports

*** stars

This is what I want, Worlds 2021! Enough of these snoozefests and barely watchable games where half the time I’m crafting an overly imaginative analogy rather than paying attention to the actual game.

The classic world championship story of a heavy underdog from a minor region facing off with a Goliath from one of the strongest domestic leagues. Although most of the time the story ends with little friction, sometimes you get an entertaining game where the underdog slaps the favorite in the mouth and forces them out of their comfort zone.

Though the game became one-sided as it went on, bringing the rating down, I’m happy to give out my first three-star review of the tournament.

Infinity vs. PEACE

*** stars

If these match ratings were based solely off game quality, would this be three stars? No, of course not.

But this was a delight to watch. A true fiesta between two teams in a do-or-die situation where the loser is all but eliminated from Worlds 2021. With their backs against the wall, both teams came out throwing haymakers looking for a quick knockout.

This was junk food in the form of a League of Legends game and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Pass the cheeseburger and the clown wig because I love a good slugfest.

Hanwha Life Esports vs. RED Canids

** 3/4 stars

We’ve entered the Clown Fiesta zone. Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride while moving. To your right, there is a greasy cheeseburger. To your left, there is a red nose and a rainbow wig to fully immerse yourself in the festivities.

Oh, and just so you don’t forget, Chovy won in CS. That’s what is most important of all.

Cloud9 vs. Beyond Gaming

*** 1/4

The day of fun, light games continue on. A match between two of the better teams in the play-ins, we were treated to two unique compositions thrown at each other with brawls from start to finish. The winning team continually tested their limits and led to a bunch of entertaining outplays and free-flowing duels.

This was a blast to watch and, maybe more importantly, we got to see Malphite. Any time I get to see my favorite chonky rock boy slice through the air and solo an AD carry, I’m happy.

Detonation FocusMe vs. Galatasaray

* 1/4

This was a game of League of Legends,  I guess. Only watch this game if you’re an Urgot enthusiast or a fan of the winning team. A complete and utter shellacking.

Beyond Gaming vs. Unicorns of Love

* star

After a series of exciting and relatively close games, we’ve been handed two one-star snoozeworthy stomps in a row. Even for a game with spaghetti flying everywhere, it wasn’t entertaining. I will never watch this game again in my life.

Cloud9 vs. Galatasaray

** 1/2

We end the day with another game where there was an obvious leader and the opposing side was forced to play catch up the entire way. The winning team had a few judgement lapses to extend the game.

Overall, nothing to write home about, but the winning team should feel confident moving into their next games. While not the best climax to end the day, I can say that Day 2 far outshined the opening day in terms of match quality and entertainment. If things continue on this trajectory, with all the assassins and other funky champion picks coming through, we’re in for a stellar rest of the tournament.

Closing recap

Number of * matches: 4

Number of ** matches: 9

Number of *** matches: 3

Number of **** matches: 0

Number of ***** matches: 0

Match of the day: C9 vs. BYG (*** 1/4)

Tyler Erzberger is entering a decade of covering esports. When not traveling around the world telling stories about people shouting over video games, he’s probably arguing with an anime avatar on Twitter about North American esports.
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