This version of EG looked like a night-and-day different team from the one that lost to DFM earlier in the day.
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Far from safe regardless, North America’s third seed brushed aside DetonatioN FocusMe tonight and injected a dose of confidence with their play into their fans ahead of a crucial showdown with LOUD for their Worlds 2022 play-in group’s second seed thanks to jojopyun and Impact’s monstrous performances.
In their loss to DFM earlier in the day, it wasn’t the early game that did EG in. Rather, it was getting caught out on flanks before crucial late-game teamfights. Usually, the culprit was Impact on Aatrox, and little by little, EG had let the LJL champions back into a game before ultimately succumbing to a loss to a Japanese team that felt very reminiscent of the past few international League of Legends tournaments for NA.
By virtue of having the shorter average win time over the course of their three victories, EG had side selection in the first tiebreaker and chose the blue side. They came into the matchup 3-0 on the blue side.
Aatrox, the highest win rate champion at Worlds so far besides Amumu, was picked immediately for EG top laner Impact. Thresh and Aphelios were selected for Vulcan and Kaori, respectively, which they had used to slaughter Beyond Gaming earlier in the week, and Akali for jojopyun and Trundle for Inspired rounded out a confident, comfortable composition for EG. DFM opted for full dive with Hecarim, Vex, Kai’Sa, and support Sett.
With a level two gank and a solo kill later each for Impact and jojopyun, EG’s domination over the early game rang out to the tune of a 2,000 gold lead. It wasn’t a commanding lead, and as mentioned above, it could all evaporate if EG went back to old bad habits.
Instead, the North American representatives’ solo laners grabbed DFM by the scruff of their collective neck and stuffed them into the ground.
The youngest and oldest players at the play-ins, jojopyun and Impact, respectively, looked like they were in a trance on the Rift, individually outplaying their opponents in lane and beyond, all while being completely in sync with the rest of their squad. It was a microcosm of their team as Inspired, Kaori, and especially Vulcan on Thresh looked almost alarmingly comfortable in the victory.
Thanks to this win over DFM, EG will take on LOUD immediately, the winner of which will dodge a best-of-five against reigning MSI champions RNG and instead await the winner of tomorrow’s series between MAD Lions and Saigon Buffalo. DetonatioN FocusMe will play the loser of the upcoming contest between EG and LOUD in a best-of-five series at 6pm CT for a date with RNG to play for a spot in the Worlds group stage.