The battle for first place in group D included tournament favorites Top Esports and the Korean jokers from DRX. Both teams dominated its opening game of the group stage, so this match was going to decide a lot.
DRX went with a ballsy draft by picking Quinn for the top lane and Draven down bot. It was the first time that Quinn was played at the Worlds group stage. Picking it to counter Renekton, in this case, seemed like a smart move by DRX.
DRX was looking to get an early lead and shut down the Chinese overlords by split pushing in the late game. DRX jungler Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon put all his focus towards the top lane and succeeded with an early game gank to get Quinn ahead.
As the teams entered the mid game, both DRX Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon on Quinn and Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon on Twisted Fate started to build a solid lead for themselves. The two players were the key for a successful split push in the late game.
Unfortunately for DRX, Top Esports kept answering back by diving onto the DRX bot lane. Top Esports mid laner Zhuo “Knight” Ding on Nocturne was the key engagement tool and it worked out great for getting picks.
In the end, it was Top Esports who prevailed with better macro play and individual performances. Knight succeeded with his Nocturne mid, while Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo was a rock for the team on Senna. Top Esports secures themselves the top position in the group, while DRX will be sitting at second.
Nocturne in the mid lane is not seen very often, but Knight managed to pull it off in this case. It was picked to counter Twisted Fate specifically, both in and out of lane. Twisted Fate likes to split push, but with a Nocturne on the opposing team that can be hard.
Knight managed to use his ultimate in the side lanes as much as possible, shutting down both Twisted Fate and Quinn in their split pushing.
Knight still had a few plays that went wrong, but the overall performance was world-class. Knight is showing why he is considered the best player in the world, not just because of his individual skill, but also for his strong champion pool.
Top Esports managed to shut down a perfect split pushing composition through the draft and great map awareness. With two Teleports and a semi-global Nocturne ult, Top Esports was always ready to shut down the split pushers from DRX when they got too close to killing towers.
Knight especially managed to get a lot of great picks on his Nocturne, constantly shutting down the map pressure from DRX. Ultimately, Top Esports could force fights around objectives that DRX had to opt into.
Top Esports still looks like one of the tournament favorites and has a real chance of going undefeated in the group stage.