Worlds Play-in Stage Preview: Wildcards Get their Chance

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Riot Games has confirmed the Worlds Play-in stage, and we now know what the Groups will look like.

League of Legends World Championships in China for 2021.

The 10 teams have been split into two groups of 5, with both Groups throwing together some exciting matchups. For European fans, they’ve been given a lucky break. With the Vietnam region pulling out of Worlds, Europe was given a bye to the Group Stage for their third seed, Rogue. This was due to Europe having the highest seeded side, who have three sides at Worlds.

For a full preview of Worlds 2021, including the schedule and full list of attending sides, read our preview here. You can also view our Europe and North America team previews.

With just one side from the LCS or LEC in the tournament, Cloud9 is carrying the weight of Western Play-in hopes on their shoulders

Group A: Minnows to Struggle

Group A consists of pool 1 sides Hanwha Life Esports from the LCK and LNG from the LPL. From the pool 2 sides, Group B has Infinity Esports from LAT, PEACE from OCE, and RED Canids from CBLOL.

Group A will be a lot tougher for sides in the lower seeding, with Hanwha and LNG likely huge favourites. With the LCK and LPL churning out such top-tier talent. The fact one of those regions has won every Worlds, bar the first one (which they did not attend) the region has earned the reputation. It’s always worth remembering that, despite the reputation of the region, these are the fourth-placed sides from those regions. The other teams in the group are the top-seeded side from their respective regions.

Group B: Strength in Depth

Group B consists of pool 1 sides Cloud9 from the LCS and Beyond Gaming from the PCS. From the pool 2 sides, Group B has Unicorns of Love from the LCL, Galatasaray Esports from the TCL, and lastly DETONATION FocusMe from the LJL.

Overall it’s a strong group, much like with Group A. However, this one might be slightly more contested than Group A, without two standout top two sides. For the one LCS side in the bracket, Cloud9 will be looking to progress, with odds on them having a good chance. With their wealth of experience in the form of ADC Zven, and Worlds finalist and MSI winner Perkz in their roster, Cloud9 could spring a surprise.

While they’ll face obvious challenges from Beyond Gaming and DetonatioN FocusMe, it’ll be Galatasaray Esports and Unicorns of Love who could provide the toughest task. UOL featured at Worlds 2020, and really threw a spanner in the work, almost making it to Group Stage. Galatasaray from the Turkish league will also be a tough nut to crack for Group B sides, with the region often showing up at Worlds.

Worlds get underway on October 5th, and you’ll find all the odds on MansionBet as we get closer to the start date. Next week we’ll preview the Group Stage, before moving to focus on weekly previews.

David Hollingsworth has written for games media and esports outlets for the last seven years. His work has appeared in websites such as Esports Insider, ESTNN, Red Bull and Esports News UK. His focus is mostly on League of Legends and World of Warcraft, the latter of which he’s an advisor for with the British Esports Association. David shares his League of Legends betting tips with readers of the MansionBet blog every week.

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