Griffin versus Cloud9 was one of the most anticipated matches in the main event group stage, with its outcome likely to determine the second seed of the star-studded Group A.
Because it was such an important match, the teams made interesting decisions during the picks and bans phase. C9 drafted Sona and Tahm Kench while Griffin responded with Garen and Yuumi.
Both of these combinations are considered unorthodox bottom lanes, despite offering high sustainability in team fights and carry potential. As expected, the early game was slower than usual. The teams took time to farm, waiting for the bottom lanes to complete their support item quests.
Around 12 minutes, C9 kicked off the action with a Rift Herald play in the mid lane and took control from there. The North American team played a four-one strategy with Eric “Licorice” Ritchie on Fiora pushing the side lanes.
C9 could’ve won the game off of Licorice’s side push if Griffin just played a little more passively. Instead, the Korean team reached important power spikes and started looking to fight. That change forced Licorice to group with the rest of his team, and required Cloud9 to play more honestly.
Griffin took control of the Baron and the game entered a chaotic state. Both squads had burst damage and healing, so kills were somewhat difficult to secure.
The key difference came down to Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon having more mobility with Leblanc than Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer did on Zoe. This allowed him to poke at enemies and dive onto Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi when the opportunity presented itself, which allowed Griffin to swing the game during team fights.
Griffin spent the final minutes of the game trying to access the exposed enemy nexus. In the end, Griffin aced C9 inside their base and took the victory.
Cloud9 can still get into position to advance to the Knockout Stage. Group A will return to the stage on October 17.