The 2021 League of Legends World Championship Play-ins, also known as Worlds 2021, ended on 10 Oct with the big players emerging such as LNG Esports (LNG), Detonation FocusMe (DFM), Hanhwa Life Esports (HLE) and Cloud9 (C9) battling out amongst 10 teams. This will see teams from across the regions with LNG from China, DFM from Japan, HLE from South Korea and C9 from Europe.
LNG and DFM stormed to the top of their respective groups which helped them progress automatically to the next stage and they can rest early while the rest of the teams will have to continue with the second set of Play-ins. This is the first time a team from Japan has qualified for the Group Stages. They had a good start defeating Unicorns of Love but succumbed to C9. However, they bounced back from their first lost by beating Galatasaray Esports and Beyond Gaming subsequently before securing their spot in the qualifiers, beating C9 in the exciting tiebreaker round.
LNG topped Group A swiftly by obtaining all wins against their opponents in their Group. The closest battle LNG has was with HLE but LNG’s Tarzan fought back and climbed back from the deficit to a surprising win. LNG then subsequently defeated their other opponents, RED Canids Kalunga, PEACE and Infinity Esports to reach top of the table.
Unfortunately for Infinity Esports and Unicorns of Love, they were not able to progress to the next part of the championship as they were end their games at the bottom of the groups. The rest of the teams will proceed with Round 2.
Round started with a bang as it was the knockout stage. It became a very contested battle in a best-of-give. Galatasaray Esports had high hopes when they were leading the match 2-0. An unprecedented sweep from Beyond Gaming surprisingly fought back with a reverse sweep winning back 3-2 to win a spot to the qualification round. On the other hand, PEACE and RED has a thrilling match play as they were many intense brawls to fight for their place. PEACE eventually triumphed from the bloodshed and proceeded to the qualification with 3-2 victory.
However, just hours after Beyond Gaming advance to the qualification round, Riot Games announced a competitive ruling to suspend mid laner Chien “Maoan” Mao-An. According to Tom Martell, Riot Games’ LoL Esports Director of Operations, Maoan violated Rule 9.3 of the 2021 World Championship that “prohibits association with gambling”. A leaked evidence showed a chat conversation between Maoan and the gamblers revealing BYG’s picks and ban draft plans by stating that the odds of picking Sylas and Orianna were very high. However, the gamblers sold Maoan after they realised that none of the champions were picked eventually in the matches against GS.
With their mid-laner suspended, BYG did not have a mid-lane substitute for their next match with HLE. They eventually had to swap in their roster with Hsieh “PK” Yu-Ting and lost badly to HLE, which cleaned sweep with a 3-0.
On the other hand, C9 won with a landslide 3-0 victory over PEACE. With a very experienced team, C9 cruised smoothly in the qualification and will proceed to the Group Stages together with HLE. This meant that LNG, DFM, HLE and C9 will join 12 other teams who had direct seeds towards the Group Stages.
The next stage of the tournament will begin from 11 Oct.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 9, 2021