The 2017 League of Legends World Championships kicked off in style in Wuhan, China on Saturday with a flurry of action-packed games. Some teams punched well above their weight, while some fell flat on their face on the international stage. Here's how Day 1 of the Play-In stage went down.
The night started off a little shakey for Chinese hometown heroes Team WE, as it struggled to take a win over Latin America's Lyon Gaming. WE's objective control was dominant throughout the game, but Lyon found an encouraging number of teamfight wins off the backs of mid laner Edgar "Seiya" Bracamontes on Syndra and AD carry Mattias "WhiteLotus" Musso on Kog'Maw, both of whom went nearly the entire game without dying. The upset was not meant to be, however, as WE stablaized itself and demonstrated superior decision making in the late game to end the match in 47 minutes.
North America's Cloud9 had no such trouble taking down Brazil's Team oNe. Mid laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen demonstrated his trademark lane dominance on LeBlanc, and C9 closed out the game in only half an hour. Afterwards, Lyon Gaming doubled down on its impressive showing from earlier, taking an easy win over CIS' Gambit Gaming. This was a letdown for Gambit fans, seeing as previous Worlds experience on four of its five players easily makes Gambit the biggest veteran presence of the minor-region teams.
Game 4 on the day saw Cloud9 face off with Oceania's Dire Wolves; to the surprise of no one, the North American squad continued its dominance of the group. This time, C9's win was largely due to the early jungle success of Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia on Nidalee, who had a 4/0/1 KDA (kills/deaths/assists) after C9's first five kills. By the time Cloud9 took Baron at 24 minutes, it was up nearly 10,000 gold, leading to C9 knocking down Dire Wolves' Nexus in quick fashion. Gambit Gaming tried for an upset of its own in Game 3 against WE, and briefly seemed to be up to the task with legacy jungler Danil "Diamondprox" Reshetnikov helping find early kills mid and bot as Kayn. Gambit's dreams were even more short lived than those of Lyon earlier, however, as WE quickly retook the lead to go 2-0 on the day.
Finally, in arguably the least exciting matchup of the night, the Dire Wolves and Team oNe faced off in an effort to put a win on the board in Group B. The Australian Dire Wolves claimed an easy victory, but, while one of these teams must make it out of groups, early indications appear to point to neither making a splash anywhere else at Worlds. With the possible exception of Gambit Gaming not living up to expectations, Saturday's games went entirely as predicted. There's still plenty of room for upsets, however, as the Play-in stage has only just begun.