The first day of the Worlds 2022 Play-In stage is over: if you were looking for upsets, Worlds got you covered already. From Evil Geniuses’ disappointing start to DRX’s unexpected performance against Royal Never Give Up, let’s take a look at the first day of Worlds 2022 and what to expect from the following days.
Europe had the perfect start with two 2-0 teams, Fnatic and MAD Lions found it easy to get an advantage on the first day of Worlds 2022. Turkish champions Istanbul Wildcats is the only 0-2 team after their first games while their rival Brazilian champion LOUD managed to take down DetonatioN FocusMe in Group A to start 1-1.
The first day at Worlds 2022
The delays left their mark on the first day of this amazing event: many players, including MAD Lions’ UNF0RGIVEN, Istanbul Wildcats’ HolyPhoenix, and several players from Fnatic and Chiefs Esports Club tested positive for Covid-19. Thus, Riot Games had to arrange isolation rooms for these players, which delayed the start of the first two games by approximately one and a half hours in total.
Especially for people in different time zones than North America, it was a total nightmare. The event started with a strong MAD Lions victory over Isurus where the Latin American representatives managed to find some good team fights but couldn’t overpower MAD in the end. At least, we didn’t have to wait too long for Fnatic vs Evil Geniuses.
As Fnatic played with their substitute support Rhuckz, many expected EG to outclass their European rivals. However, Fnatic looked solid and Rhuckz was my MVP for the game undoubtedly. At the end of the day, Rhuckz had the best KDA in Worlds 2022 with 22. EG and North America are 0-7 against Europe in 2022, with EG’s 0-6 performance against G2 Esports at MSI 2022.
Brazilian representatives LOUD entered the stage against Beyond Gaming the next game, where Pacific #2 BYG stomped their enemy and secured the victory. MAD Lions played against Istanbul Wildcats after that: seven Turkish players entered the Rift in the same game. After a strong MAD start, IW managed to turn it around to take control of the game but not for long. Besides Serin and HolyPhoenix, they were utterly outclassed.
Fnatic expectedly crushed Chiefs Esports Club, handing Oceania their first loss of the tournament and finishing the day 4-0 for Europe. LOUD entered the stage for the second time of the day following that, and although Yaharong’s DetonatioN FocusMe was my favourite, LOUD managed to defy expectations and secure the win with a strong performance on #RobsDay.
Vietnamese Saigon Buffalo faced Istanbul Wildcats and kept Vietnam’s dominance over the remaining minor regions. IW fought back as they did against MAD, but SGB proved to be too strong, virtually killing IW’s chances of making it to Worlds 2022 Main Event. RNG vs DRX was the day's final game, and the matches were delayed so long that Korean fans that slept through the night could wake up and watch the game.
Xiaohu played LeBlanc while Zeka played Akali: it was the clash of the mid laners at RNG vs DRX. Although RNG managed to take the early advantage, DRX was the better team in the mid game, taking back the objectives and the control of the game. After several close team fights and numerous amazing plays, Pyosik stole the dragon soul and won the team fight for his team, deciding the fate of the game and winning it for DRX.
The Worlds 2022 Play-In stage will continue tonight, and you can find the schedule and betting odds below. Make sure to visit Luckbox to find the live streams and the latest news about Worlds 2022. Sign up now to claim your 100% bonus before placing your bets.
Schedule and betting odds
Check out the schedule below:
Saturday, October 1
Saigon Buffalo (1.32) vs Isurus (3.10) - 00:00 CEST
DetonatioN FocusMe (1.58) vs Chiefs Esports Club (2.25) - 01:00 CEST
Evil Geniuses (1.40) vs Beyond Gaming (2.70) - 02:00 CEST
DRX (1.12) vs Saigon Buffalo (5.50) - 03:00 CEST
MAD Lions (4.50) vs Royal Never Give Up (1.17) - 04:00 CEST
Istanbul Wildcats (6.60) vs DRX (1.08) - 05:00 CEST
Europe’s representatives Fnatic and MAD Lions will play only one game tonight. FNC faces a weak-looking DFM and Hylissang will probably make it to Mexico. They are the clear favourite. However, although RNG looked vulnerable against DRX, MAD Lions has a very tough job against them. RNG could still crush MAD with the individual differences alone
North America’s Evil Geniuses looked weak on the first day, but I think they will get back up and take down LOUD and Beyond to secure second place in the group. Saigon Buffalo looked strong individually against IW. They should be able to take down Isurus and stay on top of the minor regions in their group. However, DRX is too strong of an opponent for them: even Pyosik looks unstoppable.
DetonatioN FocusMe started with an unexpected loss against LOUD: the Japanese representatives were incredible at international tournaments recently and I trusted them to be the best minor region in their group. They should still outclass Oceania, but the chances of advancing to the next stage are very low for them. Istanbul Wildcats didn’t look terrible either. However, defeating DRX seems impossible, and their chances of surviving the group aren’t high.