The teams at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship are entering the second round-robin of the group stage, meaning that the first teams qualifying for the knockout stage will soon be decided.
The first group to be decided will be group A, where the defending world champion DWG KIA is looking to top the group while the LCS’ Cloud9 will need a miracle run to advance to the next stage.
DWG KIA will enter the last group stage day with a clean 3-0 record while C9 is at the bottom of the group without a win thus far. DWG KIA has showcased a high level of team play while C9 is struggling to find much beyond a solid early game. While the North American team has been close, the players have not been able to perform in those close situations to snag a victory.
For C9 to advance, it will have to perform on the last day and DWG KIA could potentially be what stands in the way of a miracle run. If that is going to happen, C9 will have to put up its best performance so far this year and have each player show up.
As has been seen this whole season, DWG KIA is playing like a well-oiled machine with each player knowing what needs to be done on the map. Playing against a synergized squad like DWG KIA, C9 will need to look for weaknesses to exploit and that could be in the early game. DWG KIA isn’t known as a hyper-aggressive team in the early stages but will instead try to play to a tempo that suits them.
To interrupt that flow, C9 jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang should be put on a champion that can win in early skirmishes and get some successful ganks off. This could give C9 the early-game edge needed to potentially snowball the game. DWG KIA’s biggest weakness seems to be the bot lane and this could potentially be abused.
Even if C9 manages to get an early lead, it’s not certain that it can win from there. As soon as DWG KIA gets to play the map and team fight, the squad is a completely different beast that can turn the game on its head if given even a slight advantage. This has already been showcased in the group stage so far, so C9 will need to pull out a clean game from a macro perspective.
The fact that C9 is likely facing elimination is no surprise in this group stage. According to esports stock exchange website Fandex, Cloud9 only had a 13% chance to advance to the quarterfinals when entering the Worlds group stage. On the other hand, DWG KIA had a whopping 77% according to the Fandex predictions which only showcase the different strengths between these two teams.
This is also reflected in the two team’s stock prices on Fandex, where DWG KIA has been steadily climbing since the start of the group stage. Before the second round-robin, the DWG KIA share is worth $12.6. Meanwhile, the C9 share has dropped since the group stage started despite performing very well throughout the play-in stage.
DWG KIA roster:
After beating C9 once at the Worlds 2021 group stage, it’s expected that DWG KIA will do it again in the second round-robin match. DWG KIA is currently full of confidence after remaining undefeated at the event while C9 is starting to look like a team that isn’t believing in itself anymore. This means that DWG KIA will be huge favorites going into this match, and even if there is nothing left to play for, it will likely be DWG KIA that takes the win.
From an individual and team perspective, DWG KIA is simply looking better in every role and that will make it hard for C9 to accomplish anything on the map. The greatest hope for C9 is for the team to play without pressure and do something unexpected right from champion select and the ensuing early levels. By doing that, C9 could pull out some surprises and upset DWG KIA.
A win for DWG KIA will only give slight odds of 1.12 while a win for C9 gives huge odds of 5.35. By looking at the odds there isn’t much value to gain with a bet unless it’s on a C9 upset. A better opportunity might be to bet on a lot of kills as this match could potentially have no meaning in the final standings, leading to a loose approach from both teams.
The last match between DWG KIA and C9 at this Worlds event will kick off on Friday, October 15.