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Welcome to our Worlds 2021 match ratings, as we move on to Day 1 of the group stage. 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 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.

It’s the first day of the group stage at the League of Legends World Championship, as things kick off with an anticipated matchup between FunPlus Phoenix and DAMWON KIA.

Without further ado, here are my match ratings for Day 1 of the group stage at Worlds 2021.

FunPlus Phoenix vs. DWG KIA

** 1/2 stars

The 2019 world champions vs. 2020 world champions as the start of the Worlds 2021 group stage automatically gives this game two stars even before it starts.

Aside from the narrative and big names, however, this wasn’t the epic that fans were hoping for. Instead, this was more of DWG KIA using FPX as their personal punching bag, in control from the laning phase to their final touches on the enemy Nexus.

The reigning world champions used this opener to make a statement that the quest for the back-to-back title is officially on.

PSG Talon vs. Royal Never Give Up

** 3/4 stars

What looked to be a one-star match for the first half turned into a barn burner following some overextensions by RNG. Yet, the Mid-Season Invitational champions won in the end, despite PSG’s best efforts with their almost-unkillable Tryndamere.

Hanwha Life Esports vs. Fnatic

** 3/4 stars

This clash between European and South Korean teams was filled with action from start to finish.

What appeared to be a strong early game by Fnatic was chipped away by superior laning from Hanwha. Fnatic did their best to cause disarray to try and unsettle the South Koreans, but once the game stabilized and Kim “Willer” Jeong-hyeon could find his bearings in the jungle, this game was over.

An overall team difference by HLE was present, from the lanes to teamfighting. Kudos at least to Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau for his individual performance and for being the silver lining in the early-game during a relatively shaky opener from Fnatic.

Gen.G Esports vs. LNG Esports

** 1/2 stars

This one is for the Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong doubters out there. He’s one of the best mid players in the world, especially on Zoe.

Detonation FocusMe vs. T1

* star

This game was one of the biggest stomps in not only the world championship this year but one of the bigger blowouts in Worlds history. Japan’s first match on the main event stage went as badly as my 6th grade spelling bee when I lost in the first round and proceeded to cry while my peers mocked me in the crowd. Somehow, this felt worse for DFM. If you’re looking for a competitive, interesting League of Legends match, skip this as the one-star review advises. But, if you love watching a pro team absolutely embarrass and style on a fellow professional squad, this one might be five stars for you.

Edward Gaming vs. 100 Thieves

** 1/4 stars

The day of one-sided games continues. No, this wasn’t as bad as the previous game between DFM and T1, but once EDG secured a free Rift Herald, it felt as if the Thieves were in desperation mode. There were a few positives the North Americans can take from the loss, though there is no question who the superior team is at the end of this one.

Team Liquid vs. MAD Lions

*** 3/4 stars

Finally, a banger! The first good game of the day comes from NA vs. Europe. Team Liquid play one of their best games of the year with impressive performances around the map and synchronized teamfighting to seal the deal.

Cloud9 vs. Rogue

** 1/2 stars

A day filled with the promise of classics turned into a parade of shellacking. What seemed to be a close match between equal sides torpedoed into a blowout following inexcusable errors by Cloud9.

C9 had a few nice engages to extend a game that should have been over at 25 minutes, but Rogue stayed the course to take a comfortable victory.

* Match ratings will update throughout the first group stage day at Worlds 2021

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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