After an exciting groups stage, the League of Legends World Championship continued with the eight qualifying teams going against each other. Match ups were decided through a draw conducted on October 11. The result is shown below:
The quarterfinals marks the beginning of the competition's Knockout Stage. It was held over four days featuring one match per day. Teams pitted against each other had to win a best-of-five series in order to move on to the semifinals.
Day 1: Origen vs Flash Wolves
The first match of the quarterfinals was between Europe's Origen and Taiwan's Flash Wolves. Both came out from the Group Stage with amazing performances, especially in the top lane with Steak and sOAz dominating their opponents. Flash Wolves may have had a shaky start but after a couple of games in Group A, they seemed to have found themselves adjusted to the international stage, finishing the rest of the games with "Victory" on their screens. Origen, on the other hand, with the French crowd cheering them on, showed how deserving they are to be on an international competition, dropping only two of the six games as well. With the two teams poised to take the semifinal slot, it was expected to be an interesting first match to open the Knockout Stage.
Game 1 started well for Origen. They dominated the early game and gained a little over 2,000 gold lead until 22 minutes into the game. After a kill on both the top laner and mid laner, this gold advantage quickly went over to the Flash Wolves. The Taiwanese team held on to this lead for around 10 minutes until major objectives were achieved by their opponents. Â This includes a Baron fight that ended with a Pentakill on sOAz' Darius. Both teams struggled through the next minutes but Origen comes out on top with an old-fashioned backdoor finish. Looks like the veterans sOAz and xPeke have taught their rookie ADC, Niels, the ropes.
For Game 2, the Flash Wolves goes for their double threat composition with Viktor and Jinx as the damage dealers. Meanwhile, Origen brings out their Kalista-Tahm Kench bot combo. The game was slanted towards the European team for most of the game; their opponents gaining a gold lead for a few minutes before the Baron buff empowered finish. Niels' performance on Kalista was truly amazing, carrying his team through fights, throwing spears from the back as they protect him. It is also worthy to mention Maple's damage on his Viktor. Despite having the same number of kills, Viktor dealt more damage in the game than Kalista.
In Game 3, after reflecting on their previous performance, the Flash Wolves opted into the Viktor again but with Caitlyn to replace the ADC Jinx. Origen answered with an Oriana pick against the Viktor and they secure Jinx for themselves with Tahm Kench as their support. FW's decision to change their ADC seemed to pay off. Â NL performed so much better in this game compared to the first two. He had the most number of kills and the highest damage dealt. But this game was not just about him, Karsa on Rek'sai came out big with an epic Baron steal that helped push the game fully into his team's favor. The struggle may have been long but finally, the Flash Wolves got to claim a victory over Origen.
The matched continued to Game 4 with Origen only one win away from securing the place in the semifinals. The teams can feel the pressure as this game was the "make or break" point in the match. OG goes into this game choosing almost the same champions as the previous but now with Morgana in Mithy's hands for support. Flash Wolves stays true with their Viktor-Caitlyn composition with an addition of Irelia for the top lane. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," right? Apparently, Origen can and did break that composition. After a big team fight 19 minutes into the game with OG taking away 4 kills to FW's 2, the rest of the game just went uphill for OG. They maintained their gold lead and rocketed (literally, because of Jinx' Fishbones) their way to victory. This was thanks to another dominating performance by rookie Niels. He contributed half of his team's kills, therefore getting the most number of kills, and dealt the most damage in the game. Origen secured the first spot on the semifinal round.
Overall, this series was pretty exciting to watch. There were instances of great struggle between the two teams in the beginning, showing just how much they want that semifinal spot. Most League fans thought that this series would be a 3-0 sweep by Origen but the Flash Wolves proved that they truly deserve to be in this competition and was even able to take a victory. In the end, Origen demonstrated both individual skills and great teamwork in order to pull ahead of the competition.