Day 3 has wrapped up at the League of Legends World Championship, and the junglers stole the show. And baron. They also stole baron.
Junglers stealing headlines and barons
FunPlus Phoenix (1-1) avoided a second major upset overcoming a first tower take by Splyce (1-1) and a 3.5k gold deficit to move to .500 in Group B. Splyce was previously 6-1 when taking first tower in international games. The game turned on the back of a clutch baron steal by Gao "Tian" Tian-liang's Lee Sin and was finish off by Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang's Ryze, who finished with a 5/0/9 KDA. Lee Sin has turned into one of the tournament's best picks, improving to 17-7 including play-ins.
In Group D action, Jake Kevin "Xmithie" Puchero turned a heavily favored position for ahq e-Sports Club (0-3) into a win for Team Liquid (2-1) by stealing the baron just after the 36th minute. Team Liquid turned a 7.4K gold deficit into a 2.4K surplus in the span of five minutes on the back of that baron.
Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong came up big on Renekton (7/2/2), carrying Team Liquid through late-game teamfights. His seven kills on the Renekton were the most kills on the champion since Jang "MaRin" Gyeong-hwan (SKT) had 10 in the 2015 group stage.
Meanwhile AHQ's Chen "Ziv" Yi had another bad luck game on Rumble. His team lost despite him putting up 35.1k damage and a 6/3/9 KDA line. His six kills were the most kills on Rumble at worlds in a loss, and the most outright since Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho (ROX Tigers) had seven in the 2016 worlds semifinals. Ziv is now 1-4 on Rumble despite having a positive KDA in all but one of those games.
Damwon Gaming (2-1) evened out Group D by handing former World Champions Invictus Gaming (2-1) its first loss at worlds since Game 4 of the 2018 quarterfinals. Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu (3/3/10 on Taliyah) took over the early game assisting with first blood. He now has a 7.8 KDA on the champion over four games throughout this tournament. Damwon was also put Heo "ShowMaker" Su (4/1/9) on Kayle, making Taliyah and Kayle the two champions with the best win percentage at this tournament (83%, minimum five games played).
With teams tied atop Group D at 2-1, Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's group stage history comes into question. Four times in his career he's been able to start off group stage 2-1, yet he has never been able to advance to the knockout round.
Racing for Kills
Cloud9 (1-1) subbed out veteran jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen just before the start of its game in favor of his aggressive counterpart Robert "Blaber" Huang, signaling Cloud9 was ready to fight G2 Esports (2-0). G2 Esports responded winning in 24:37, the fastest game of group stage thusfar. Its 26 team kills was a team record for kills in an international game. Furthermore, its 1.06 kills per minute was the highest since Fnatic had 1.18 in 2015 group stage (also against Cloud9).
Rasmus "Caps" Winther (6/0/10 on Zoe) earned a personal best KDA in an international game.
In the first Group A game of the day, Hong Kong Attitude (0-2) came out fast, taking first blood 43 seconds into the game and getting three kills before the first minute. It was the second fastest First Blood at worlds since 2014 (Royal Club, 2014 Semifinal, 39 seconds).
It was all for nothing, as Griffin (1-1) slowly came back thanks to the first mid-lane Ezreal pick at worlds since 2013 group stage by Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon (3/0/8), and Choi "Sword" Sung-won (7/2/4) earning the most kills on Jayce at worlds since Lee "CuVee" Seong-jin (Samsung Galaxy) had eight in the 2016 semifinals.
GAM Esports (1-1) also took down J Team (1-1) for Vietnam's third win over a LMS team in international games. Tran "Kiaya" Duy Sang (5/1/10) took Kled into the middle lane and amassed 15 kills plus assists for the most ever in an international game on the champion.