At the start, Group B had been dubbed “The Group of Death.” With two western teams locked in with China’s RNG, the favorite to win Worlds, and GenG, the defending champion, EU and NA fans alike had resigned any hopes of their respective teams making it to the quarterfinals.
However, GenG has failed to perform after taking that championship title. During the 2018 Spring Split as KSV eSports, the defending champions finished the regular season and playoffs in only fifth place. Perhaps hoping a name change would invigorate their spirits, GenG looked to the summer but still finished in only fourth place in the regular season and in fifth place in playoffs. It was only through the regional qualifier that GenG was able to make it to Worlds.
The past several years of League of Legends have displayed the dominance of an LCK dynasty. Teams like Samsung Galaxy and SK Telecom T1 stood at the top, uncontested. But 2018 has proven to be a new era in League of Legends esports. Not only have SKT not made it to Worlds while GenG is eliminated in groups, there’s also been significant improvement to Western play. In previous years, the West was considered a non-factor in Worlds competition, but teams like Cloud9 and Fnatic have stepped up to the plate, taking strong positions in their respective groups.
We may see a resurgence from GenG in the future, but for now the stage is set for the NA LCS, EU LCS, and the LPL.