With the knockout stage's number of upsets, the League of Legends World Championship semifinals will be tough to predict, but given the team's past performances, Fnatic and Invictus Gaming look like the teams most likely to make finals.
Who do you guys think are the favorites now? I'd argue most likely scenario being Fnatic beating iG in the finals seems most likely to me, but all 6 teams are really strong— Kevin "TeeKhay" Bracken (@TLTeeKhay) October 20, 2018
Looking at the rosters, there are several places where the teams seem to differ in individual talent. Invictus Gaming's biggest roster weakness lies with its jungler,
I'll be interested to see how FNC combat C9's early game aggression. They struggled at times versus EDG's early game and C9 looked even better in that phase of the game.— Cody Gerard (@Avin_97) October 21, 2018
The same consistency differences hold true for the second semifinals match between Cloud9 and Fnatic. The European League of Legends team ended both the spring and summer split first in its region, while Cloud9 experienced difficulties when it found itself in tenth at the beginning of the summer split. Likewise, the North American team struggled in play-ins, even being threatened by the smallest region, the Japanese region.
The teams' rosters look fairly similar: impressive rookies in the top lane, impactful junglers, play-making mid laners, and AD Carries that excel in teamfights over laning phase. The biggest difference between the two rosters lies in the bot lane.
Fnatic has the stronger AD Carry in a meta that has revolved around late-game carries. Both Martin "Rekkles" Larsson and Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi have shown weakness in lane while coming online for teamfights, but Rekkles boasts the better mechanical skills both in lane and late-game. The junglers's performances on the team impact this matchup as well;
The matchup in the bot lane will likely be the deciding factor of the series, and if Fnatic can prevent Cloud9 from gaining any early game advantages, it will surely best the North American team.
Invictus Gaming and G2 Esports play Oct. 27 at 4 a.m. ET, while Cloud9 and Fnatic will play the following day at 4 a.m. ET.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games