Day three of the League of Legends 2017 World Championship was a frustrating, emotional, exhausting mess of a tournament, but it’s without a doubt that it was equally as exciting. Today put Groups C and D into the Rift, and the standings are as follows: Team Wins Losses Young Generation 0 2 Kaos Latin Gamers 1 1 Fnatic 2 0 Hong Kong Attitude 1 1 Rampage 0 2 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor 2 0 Young Generation v. Kaos Latin Gamers Young Generation: Renekton, Gragas, Syndra, Xayah, Braum Kaos Latin Gamers: Cho’gath, Sajuani, Orianna, Tristana, Lulu At a glance, it looked like Young Generation had established their control over the map rather early into the game, from drawing first blood to setting up vision faster than their opponents. Kaos Latin Gamers were able to snag the Infernal Drake, though, and their numerical lead wasn’t exactly a substantial one (as compared to Cloud9’s performances from days one and two). In the end, it was their inability to stand their ground in fights that proved to be their downfall. Despite Young Generation’s attempt to steal it, with only three of their members left after a nasty team fight, Kaos Latin Gamers took the Baron at 27 minutes and immediately started to roll with the momentum if gave them. With the first tier three turret down, followed soon by the top lane Inhibitor, Young Generation was starting to feel the pressure. They were able to seize the Ocean Drake, yes, but it was Kaos Latin Gamers that took a second Baron at 35 minutes with a 5k gold advantage. With the Baron buff active, they swooped in to take the bottom lane tier two and three Turret, and the Inhibitor they guarded. At 38 minutes, all three Inhibitors had been destroyed and Kaos Latin Gamers brought in two waves on minions that would overwhelm Young Generation. Rampage v. Hong Kong Attitude Rampage: Maokai, Sejuani, Orianna, Tristana, Soraka Hong Kong Attitude: Galio, Jarvan IV, Syndra, Xayah, Rakan Despite a quick burst of action at three minutes, when M1ssion drew first blood from Ramune’s Orianna, Hong Kong Attitude and Rampage were more than content with playing a very patient laning phase. It took 10 minutes for either team to fully negage one another, when HKA jumped Rampage’s Tussle, YutoriMoyasi, and Dara in the top lane for three easy kills. It also gave them the first Turret of the game, and a 4k gold lead, and an opening to get the Rift Herald a minute later. With no vision, and little confidence to run out into the Rift blind, Rampage could do nothing while Hong Kong Attitude took the first Cloud Drake of the game. They had yet to get a single kill by 20 minutes, and hadn’t even looked at an enemy turret as the game spiraled more and more out of their control. Hong Kong Attitude still allowed their opponents the respect they deserved for being on the international stage, never underestimating Rampage by making risky plays. When it came time to slay the Baron Nashor, after killing both Evi and Nara in the jungle, Hong Kong Attitude was quick to follow it up by getting the second Cloud Drake before Rampage could try to steal it. From then on, it was a pretty steady end to the game. Rampage was trapped in their base, having lost any ground they may have had left before the 23 minute mark, and a double kill from Godkwai opened them up for the Ace before HKA closed out the game. Though, not before YutoriMoyasi ruined their perfect game by taking out Unified at the very last second. Fnatic v. Kaos Latin Gamers Fnatic: Galio, Rek’Sai, Ryze, Xayah, Rakan Kaos Latin Gamers: Shen, Elise, Cassiopeia, Tristana, Alistar Fnatic was going into their first game of Worlds with a solid draft that all but promised the laning phase to them, but Kaos Latin Gamers were still riding the momentum of an efficient victory. Three minutes in, it was Fnatic who would take first blood on Plugo and Tierwulf, reminding KLG that they were playing one of the most dominant teams in the EU. Plugo was able to get revenge when he caught Broxah in the jungle at six minutes, putting Kaos Latin Gamers on the board, but it wasn’t without forfeiting his Cassiopeia in the process. After a team fight in the River at eight minutes, Fnatic chased Kaos Latin Gamers through the jungle to get four kills off of their opponents in a blatant show of dominance. Fnatic snagged three more kills in the bottom lane at 10 minutes, and you could see that Kaos Latin Gamers was starting to feel the pressure that Fnatic was prepared to bury them under. They did nothing to attempt to stop Broxah from solo killing both the Infernal Drake and the Cloud Drake, and they allowed Fnatic take the Rift Herald for free. When it came time for the Baron to spawn, Fnatic had a 10k gold lead, had destroyed five Turrets, and were ahead by nine player kills. The entire game was stacked in their favor, even before they took the Baron, and it was a total reversal from Kaos Latin Gamers’ first game, where they had absolute control over the map. With four kills in the bag at 24 minutes, Fnatic tore their way through KLG’s base to end the game. Hong Kong Attitude v. 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor Hong Kong Attitude: Maokai, Rek’Sai, Corki, Xayah, Janna 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor: Galio, Gragas, Syndra, Tristana, Rakan There was a very, very slow start to the fourth game of the day. Both 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor and Kong Kong Attitude were more intent on farming than puffing their chests, having established 18k and 17k gold, respectively, in the first 11 minutes of the game without drawing first blood. In fact, it wasn’t until the timer started creeping into 12 minutes that M1ssion, manning Corki, finally landed the first kill of the game on Frozen’s Syndra. Things quickly tapered off, after that, as the players returned to farming. Hong Kong Attitude also bagged the first Turret kill of the game at 15 minutes, which gave them a 3k gold advantage at 28k, and they soon moved in for an easy Cloud Drake kill. While both teams were playing very safely, it was clear that HKA was the team that was playing more efficiently. Well, until Riris practically handed himself over to FB on a platter in a vain attempt at stopping them from taking the tier one and two towers at 19 minutes. It was a sloppy play, but it was a sloppy play that was soon forgotten when both teams moved in for the base-cracking push at the same time. At 20 minutes, the teams were caught in a game of chicken while they destroyed each others’ tier three Turrets. 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor was the first to flinch, and gave up on their attempt of destroying the bottom lane Inhibitor to run back to their base in time for Hong Kong Gaming to take their top lane Inhibitor. A bloody team fight at 23 minutes finally started racking up kills when 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor slaughtered Hong Kong Gaming at the Baron Pit and forced them back to their base. They were closing the gap, putting the kills at 3-5 in their favor and bringing the gold deficit to just 1k. It’s worth noting how both of the teams were starting to crawl towards 55k gold, and had destroyed five and four Turrets, while only a total of eight player kills had been claimed between the two in the 30 minutes that the game had spanned. These are two teams that are expert farmers, with more restraint and self control than most other players we’ve seen at Worlds, with enormous respect for the game and their opponents. At 31 minutes, it was 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor to take the Infernal Drake, but it wasn’t enough for them to jump right over to the Baron. It took a few minutes of brief skirmishes around the river for 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor to get an Ace (largely thanks to Padden’s quadrakill) that allowed them to run down mid to deal more structural damage, too hurt to attack Baron, just yet. When both teams had recovered, they closed in on the pit, but it took several attempts before FB was able to steal Baron Nashor in the midst of a 5 v 5 at 37 minutes that cost them Crash and Japone. A lot happened, after that. HKA ran it down mid to crack open 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor’s base. It looked like FB might falter, but they were able to hold it together just long enough for Hong Kong Gaming to have to make a retreat. Then, HKA took the Elder Dragon while FB waited for respawns and heals. From there, 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor destroyed the last of HKA’s tier two Turrets. Then… A pause. Not a lull in gameplay, but an actual game pause from 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor. It was a breath of fresh air as I scrambled to translate the non-stop action into something that resembled a coherent game summary, but it only caused the sudden tension to become palpable. What had, at first, seemed to be a game that would surely end in Hong Kong Gaming’s favor, could now swing in either direction. All we needed was one good team fight, one clean play, and the game would be over. 20 minutes later, and the game was restarted for the finale. Hong Kong Gaming and 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor were waiting for the second Baron to spawn. Again, the game of patience continued even after Baron appeared in the river, both teams looking to establish vision and wait for someone to finally commit. At 48 minutes, Hong Kong Gaming cracked. They engaged the Baron, and lost it. Frozen stole the Baron for FB right from under their noses. A 5 v 5 ensued, and both teams knew that this would be the one that decided the game. Hong Kong Gaming lost, Unified and Katwing left on their own, and FB, who were beaten and bloody and barely standing on their shaking legs, couldn’t waste their opening. They ran through the top lane and cleared out Hong Kong Gaming’s base, without hesitation. At 50 minutes, they closed out the game and took their first win of the League of Legends 2017 World Championship. Young Generation v. Fnatic Young Generation: Gragas, Nidalee, Syndra, Draven, Thresh Fnatic: Shen, Sejuani, Leblanc, Varus, Rakan Fnatic was running into their second match with surprisingly little damage in their draft, a surprising decision with their play style in mind. There was also an immediate, extended pause to the start of the game due to an audio issue, so things were a little… Clunky. Once the game got started, Fnatic felt much less ferocious than before. It took nine minutes for first blood, claimed by Naul’s Syndra when he caught Caps alone in the mid lane. Meanwhile, in terms of farming, the two were very neck in neck. At 14 minutes, Fnatic failed to stop Young Generation from taking the Mountain Drake. They were able to get a second kill off of BigKoro, but it was at the cost of their mid lane tier two Turret. Meanwhile, Fnatic was eyeing a free Rift Herald. It was an early game of trades, and it didn’t seem like either team could get an upper hand over the other. Fnatic was able to get the Infernal Drake at the 21 minute mark, and it instigated a 5 v 5 fight in the mid lane as Young Generation caught them on the way out. Fnatic lost Broxah, then sOAZ, but were ready to fight Young Generation when they moved in for the Baron. Baron Nashor fell to Young Generation, but it was at the cost of Palette, BigKoro, and Venus. Again, the game was moving at an insufferably even pace. The teams were even at five player kills, even at three Turret kills, and even at 41k gold at 22 minutes. That equilibrium was seemingly broken at 24 minutes when Fnatic lost their middle Inhibitor, and Young Generation was starting to play with a newfound fervor while Fnatic was beginning to stumble. There was another pause, due to connectivity issues, for several minutes. When it was over, it didn’t look like the reprieve did Fnatic any favors. Young Generation continued to move in for objectives, destroying a seventh tower and claiming the Cloud Drake. They were jumped by Fnatic on their way into the mid lane, but the surprise attack backfired and sent Fnatic fleeing. At 29 minutes, though, Young Generation was torn apart just enough for Fnatic to have their opening for the Baron Nashor, which they took for themselves once Young Generation retreated. The Baron didn’t do them much good, it turned out. A gank from Naul on Caps allowed Young Generation to run down mid for a free Inhibitor, and Fnatic’s Baron buff ran out before they could make any proper use of it. They did take the second Mountain Drake, and tried to push into YG’s base, but they were chased back to their base just as quickly as they had knocked on the door. As Fnatic retreated, scrambling into position within the safety of their base, Young Generation engaged, ready to go in for the kill – ‘BigKoro left the game’ It was frustrating, to say the least. This many connectivity issues at a LAN event, a LAN event that happened to be one of the biggest esports events of the year, was leaving fans bitter and anxious – we could only imagine how stressful it must have been for the players, themselves. There was no time to get their bearings about them when the game unpaused. Young Generation quickly disengaged, no longer in the mindset to successfully pull off a team fight against Fnatic. They were caught Fnatic in the mid lane for a team fight, but a whiffed combo from Ren allowed Young Generation enough time to get away. They soon bounced back, and both teams closed in on the Baron. Fnatic committed and YG’s Venus tried to steal it, but couldn’t get in the pit in time. Fnatic got the Baron buff, and fought Young Generation for the Elder Dragon. Young Generation couldn’t get away from a buffed Fnatic in time to avoid losing Naul in a brief fight, and Fnatic didn’t waste the advantage they had been granted. They ran down mid, took the first Inhibitor, destroyed the second, and then backed off as Naul respawned. With Fnatic’s middle Inhibitor back in action, there was a very clear power imbalance between the two teams. Young Generation didn’t have much left to defend, and Fnatic prowled along the border of their base to keep them herded together like sheep until the third Baron of the game spawned. Once they had the buff, Fnatic returned to push in and take out the final Inhibitor while their minions were already getting to work on the Nexus Turrets. YG’s bottom Inhibitor was given time to respawn, which slowed Fnatic’s efforts, but a critical error from Fnatic resulted in Rekkles dying in the middle of the team fight. Caps threw himself into the Nexus in a last-ditch effort at getting them that much closer to victory, and two players down was a green light in Young Generation’s eyes. Desperate, they ran down mid and took the Inhibitor. Instead of taking the small victory and backing off while they could, though, they overextended and were forced to scramble to safety once the death timers for Rekkles and Caps ran out. With Young Generation sent back on their heels, Fnatic closed in on their base and tore through the remaining structures to finally win an exhausting game. Rampage v. 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor Rampage: Gnar, Rek’Sai, Corki, Tristana, Alistar 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor: Maokai, Gragas, Syndra, Kog’Maw, Lulu Look, I was exhausted by the time the final game of the day rolled around. And it was boring. Rampage and 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor were all about early game farming, a whopping three kills having been claimed between the two over the span of 18 minutes. FB stayed slightly ahead of the game with a marginal gold advantage, the Infernal Drake, and two of the three player kills, but there weren’t any nail-biting moments during any part of the game. Around the 19 minute mark, though, 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor had gotten brave and waltzed down the bottom lane to start dealing damage to the Inhibitor. Rampage attempted to clap back, but FB wasn’t about to give them any ground and were herding them back to their base before they had a chance to do any real structural damage to their tier two mid Turret. Then, at 22 minutes, Rampage tried to swoop in for the Baron, but FB interfered and Padden got the pentakill off of them before they took the Baron for their own. 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor had their momentum, and they weren’t about to lose it. With the buff on their side, and Rampage mentally recovering from such a disastrous Baron engagement, FB destroyed the middle Inhibitor at 24 minutes. Padden was looking for a second pentakill as they moved in for the Nexus just a minute later, but they had closed out the game before it could happen.