The top-two seeds in group D had to be decided in the very last game of the day. Top Esports has been the clear favorites all along until they stumbled against FlyQuest. The LCS third seed managed to take down the tournament favorites after an impressive team effort, which should be considered the biggest upset of the group stage so far.
FlyQuest managed to expose some of Top Esports’ weaknesses and proved that the Chinese overlords are not impossible to beat. This put Top Esports in a vulnerable position against DRX, both fighting to advance as the first seed.
It was clear that both teams had a lot on the line. It took over 20 minutes before the first blood was drawn and both teams wanted to play for late game. DRX didn’t mind that as they got their hands on a strong composition with Ornn, Kindred, and Galio, so they were ready for the big fights.
As the game went on, DRX seemed to crawl slightly ahead until Top Esports mid lane star Zhuo “Knight” Ding pulled off one of the best Command: Shockwaves at this event on Orianna. The ultimate alone granted Top Esports three kills and Baron Buff. From that point, Top Esports was allowed to play in their desired tempo and control the map all the way to victory.
Even though Top Esports got the first seed for the quarterfinals, they did show some weakness. Their second game against FlyQuest was clear evidence that they can be beaten through strong lanes and coordinated team fighting.
FlyQuest managed to draft comfort picks and match Top Esports’ strong individuals in the laning phase. This meant that FlyQuest could get an early lead and snowball off of that. Going even with Top Esport in lane will most likely result in a loss and FlyQuest knew that. They continued to pressure Top Esports and ended up outperforming them in macro play and team fights.
Top Esports has also shown some weaknesses in champion select. Their last game against DRX ended in a victory, but they didn’t come out on top with the draft. DRX had an overall better composition, but Knight and the rest of Top Esports were too strong.
Other teams might be able to take advantage of this in the playoffs stage and prove further that Top Esports is not unbeatable.
DRX got to show that they might be the biggest dark horse for the Worlds playoffs, going toe-to-toe with Top Esports in the battle for first place in group D. DRX still needs to show a bit more skill in team fights to be a true contender for the title, but they seem to be improving from game to game.
Mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and jungler Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon have been the best performing members of the team and their teamwork can be enough to win games on its own. Going into the quarterfinals, DRX finally gets to show their versatility over a best-of-five series and could end up upsetting some big teams.