To no one’s surprise, two Korean teams are the favorites to win the 2017 League of Legends World Championships. Both SK Telecom T1 and Longzhu Gaming looked dominant in the first week of action, with SKT posting a 5-1 record in Group a while Longzhu was the only team to finish the Group Stage unscathed at 6-0. Unfortunately, random luck threw a kink into Longzhu’s luck as they got matched with the other Korean giant as their Quarterfinals opponent.
League of Legends World Championships To Win Outright Betting Odds
SK Telecom T1 +150
Longzhu Gaming +162
Royal Never Give Up +600
World Elite +1400
Samsung Galaxy +1400
SK Telecom T1 remains the favorite based on pedigree and the easiest Quarterfinals draw. SKT has won three of the last four World Championships and has an all-star cast of players. Everyone knows about Faker in the mid lane, but the bottom lane of Wolf and Bang is almost as important. Wolf is especially important as his play helped SKT come back on Edward Gaming and knocked the Chinese champions out of the tournament.
SKT does have some weaknesses, but only the Korean teams and perhaps World Elite can exploit them effectively. Top laner Huni can overextend in an effort to be aggressive and Peanut has been erratic with his jungle play.
Longzhu has been an unstoppable juggernaut since the summer. After a disappointing Spring Split, the team changed tack everywhere but the bottom lane, and has reaped the rewards.
BDD has emerged as one of the best mid laners in the world and is not just a KDA specialist. He has an extremely deep champion pool and has shown that he can star on both assassins and team fighting specialists. Paired with a carry like Khan in the top lane, it’s dangerous when this team makes selections like Jayce or Galio because either player can use the champion.
Longzhu should probably be the favorite, but bettors are afraid because this team is such a newcomer. Additionally, they do have to get past last year’s runner-up Samsung Galaxy.
TEAMS WITH A CHANCE
Chinese fans have got to be loving the play of Royal Never Give Up. Although they had a lapse against G2, they have already beat Samsung Galaxy twice and look like one of the top teams in the world. Uzi is playing well in the bottom lane and Xiaohu has been able to carry the load in the mid lane too. RNGU have a relatively easy draw against a tough Fnatic team, but there’s a chance Fnatic could pull off the upset.
Team World Elite is looking for some success during the knockout rounds this time around. Team WE looked great in the Group Stage at the Mid-Season Invitational, but were obliterated by G2 then. This team once again looked dominant during the second leg of the Group Stage and won Group D at 5-1. Although they have a tougher matchup than RNGU, they are probably the favorite to go farther.
You can’t count out Samsung Galaxy until the very end. Samsung may not have been able to knock off RNGU, and will certainly be an underdog to Longzhu, but this team famously thumped KT Rolster two months ago to make it here. The big question is whether or not to go with Haru or Ambition in the jungle. Haru is the younger, more aggressive player, but Ambition is the soul of the team and is usually fantastic in late game team fights.
looked to have the talent to make a run at Worlds, but they really looked bad through the first part of the Group Stage. In any other group, Fnatic would have been sent home, but they outlasted Immortals and GIGABYTE Marines in a three-way playoff. Rekkles gets the attention, but Caps was seen as one of the best young mid laners recently, and Soaz is solid up top.
Cloud9 have a very tough matchup against Team WE, but at least have a shot to win. As long as Jensen outplays xiye in the mid lane, Cloud9 can hang around and possibly win some crucial team fights late. That’s easier said than done though as Team WE is one of the best team fighting squads in the world.
Finally, we have Misfits. They shouldn’t have got here, but were the beneficiaries of a Team SoloMid collapse in Group D. Misfits don’t have much outside of PowerOfEvil in the mid lane and will likely get swept by SKT.
Check out our sports videos to get the latest news and game analysis, don't forget to like and subscribe.