The finale to the round-robin portion of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship Play-In Stage was one to remember. There were upsets, there were tiebreakers, and amid the chaos, there was still some calm to be found. Here is everything important that happened on Day 3 of Worlds 2021.
DetonatioN FocusMe bring new region to Group Stage
Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe came into 2021 with hope. With so-called League of Legends Japan League Exodia-team finally assembled, DFM easily qualified for the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational — but they could only bring four of their five starters. Even with the team at 80% power, DFM came to play and took the defending world champs, DWG KIA, to the brink. Their best result, though, was a win against Cloud9. And while C9 got their revenge earlier in the Worlds Play-In Stage, they also fulfilled DFM’s wish for another game to further their budding rivalry.
When C9 dropped their last round-robin game of play-ins to underdogs Unicorns of Love, both DFM and C9 found themselves at 3-1. This meant they would have to play another best of one to determine the Group B winner and the team to automatically qualify for the Group Stage.
In a game with plenty of blows exchanged back and forth, DFM showed they had what it takes to make history. With the win, DFM become the first-ever LJL representative to make it into the Group Stage at Worlds.
C9 will now have to play through the Knockout Stage to keep their tournament run alive. But with seemingly easier opponents ahead, C9 still look like a favorite to move onto the Group Stage. However, being the favorite didn’t work out for them on Day 3 of Worlds 2021.
Beyond Gaming barely stays alive
Heading into the Play-In Stage, the Pacific Championship Series second seed, Beyond Gaming, were hyped up excessively. Perhaps this was due to their performance in their regional playoffs, where they sent the even more hyped PSG Talon to the losers bracket before eventually finishing in second place. As a pool one team for the play-in group draw, the moment they were selected for Group B, their spot in the group stage was already looking locked up. But as Group B unfolded, BYG proved the opposite true.
In their four games, BYG looked bad. In their first two games against Cloud9 and Galatasaray Esports, BYG were outclassed. Although they picked up a quick win against the CIS reps, Unicorns of Love, BYG failed their biggest test of their play-ins as Japan’s DetonatatioN FocusMe embarrassed them. After the four-game round-robin, BYG finished 1-3.
After UOL managed a huge upset against Cloud9 with their backs against the wall, UOL and BYG both ended 1-3, triggering a tiebreaker elimination match. But in the end, UOL’s heroics were cut short with BYG taking over the elimination match. Beyond Gaming kept their hopes alive and sent UOL home. They will now crawl their way into a best of five against Galatasaray Esports. A win there will set up a date against Hanwha Life Esports for the final spot in the Group Stage.
LNG does not support the fiesta
After a hectic Day 3 of Worlds 2021, only one team managed to have a boring result. LNG Esports easily locked up first place in Group A after dismantling Infinity Esports. LNG finished the group with a 4-0 record, which automatically qualifies them for the Group stage.
The League of Legends Pro League fourth-seed actually already knows where they are heading. Due to each group only being allowed to have one team per region, LNG will automatically be placed into Group D. But that’s actually the best-case scenario for them, anyway.
LNG draws a group of MAD Lions, Team Liquid and Gen.G. The group is now even more wide open than it was before LNG’s entrance. Each team in the group has what it takes to make it out. This makes Group D the “group of life” at Worlds 2021.
LNG will look to extend their undefeated streak through the group stage, but perhaps they will have more exciting games than they had in the play-ins.