LCK Domination: Gen.G Pull Off Group D Reversal With Double RNG Triumph
With little more on the line than in what order these two teams ended at the top of Group D, Gen.G emerged victorious in back-to-back games against RNG, ruining the LPL’s chances of their first undefeated group stage run in history. While the first game between the teams remained close, the second was a stomp from the reigning LCK champions, reaffirming to the world why exactly they earned that title and remain a favorite to win it all.
The battle of the world’s best carries
Between Gen.G and RNG, a majority of their game-winning strategies are reliant on their mid laners, Chovy and Xiaohu, who turn leads in the laning phase into map-wide snowballs. The two boast some of the highest KDAs so far in the group stage, at 8.6 and 15, respectively.
Yet for many fans, eyes were on the bot lane in this match.
Gen.G’s bot lane, who were crucial in the team’s success in the LCK Summer Split, have struggled to overcome their lane opponents in the group stage thus far. In their first game against RNG earlier in groups, a strange combination of Senna and Singed for Ruler and Lehends threw momentum into their opponents’ hands almost immediately.
But this time, it was RNG that pulled out a rather unconventional bot lane pairing: Tristana and Blitzcrank. This placed a massive focus on putting the bot lane ahead for RNG, as a single hook from the Great Steam Golem could lead to a quick kill for Gala on nearly any opponent.
Yet, Wei’s attempts to help his bot lane backfired three times within three minutes, giving a quick early lead over to the Gen.G bot lane.
This misplay from RNG allowed Gen.G’s jungler Peanut to focus even more on the bot lane, establishing Ruler as a win condition for the team that could take this lead and snowball it. With Lehends’ Renata Glasc at his side, that is exactly what Ruler did, bringing the teams to a tiebreaker after ending with a KDA of 5/1/10.
One final game for New York fans
In the true final game of groups, there was no room for RNG to try more obscure picks. Instead, they drafted a more meta-centric composition consisting of Sejuani, Lucian, and Nami—as Gen.G eased into the volatility of the Worlds meta with Vi, Camille, and Lulu.
In contrast to the game prior, the early action was almost entirely centered on the mid lane, as trades between Chovy and Xiaohu kept the players’ health bars low. Importantly, these two players both had access to Galio’s ultimate—naturally for Xiaohu and through Sylas for Chovy—which would become game-changing as team fights for objectives began following a slow, methodical laning phase.
Yet the gold between the teams remained relatively even as they focused on completely different ways of accumulating the currency: for Gen.G, kills, and for RNG, objectives. But the kill lead quickly became the winner in this gold fight thanks to the heavy dive composition that Gen.G had drafted.
In the second game, Gen.G successfully toppled RNG, who had entered the day undefeated, now securing their spot at the top of Group D with a 6/1 record.
To Worlds quarterfinals, and beyond
The final match of Group D marks the conclusion of the Worlds 2022 group stage in its entirety, having now determined the eight teams that will be advancing to the quarterfinals in New York City next weekend.
From Group A, the LCK’s second seed T1, as well as the LPL’s second seed and reigning world champions EDG, will be advancing to yet another quarterfinals. Representing Group B is the LPL’s first seed JDG and LCK’s third seed DWG KIA, both of whom ended with a 5-1 group stage records.
Group C consists of the only western representative advancing to the quarterfinals in the LEC’s first seed, Rogue, who will be joined by LCK’s fourth seed DRX. As of today, the LCK Summer champions Gen.G qualifying cements all of the LCK representatives in the next leg of Worlds. Alongside them is RNG, the LPL’s fourth seed.
After suffering a 3-15 record, the LCS will not be sending any of its three teams to the upcoming legs of Worlds. The PCS and VCS also struggled immensely during their group stage runs, though their fans remained strong both in-person and across social media, applauding them for having contended with both the LPL and LCS.
For the LCK and LPL, this entrance into the quarterfinals is a dream come true. Seven of the eight teams to qualify for Worlds will be progressing to the final stretch of the tournament, increasing the likelihood that one of these regions will once more bring the Summoner’s Cup home.
But, the sole representative of the West, Rogue, got to this point by overcoming challenges from eastern regions and are now even closer to their first world title.
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