With the first day of the League of Legends 2021 World Championship Play-Ins having drawn to a close, the Group B table looks perhaps a little different to what many may have predicted. PCS second seed Beyond Gaming slumped to a surprise defeat to Galatasaray Esports, which finished day one of Worlds Play-Ins at the top of the standings.
Interestingly enough, across all eight games played during the first day, assassin junglers reigned supreme in every game they were matched against a jungler from a different class. Picks such as Qiyana, Talon, and Zed have rapidly risen to prominence throughout this year’s soloq boot camp, and have already been piloted to devastating effect on the Rift.
While there are of course other variables affecting the outcomes of each game asides from picking dominant meta picks, day one does show why having a good early read of the meta can be the difference between making it through to the Group Stage or boarding an early flight home.
Talking to The Loadout after a rough 0-2 day, Unicorns of Love midlaner Lev ‘Nomanz’ Yakshin says that much of his team’s misfortune was the result of not properly preparing assassin jungle picks.
Looks like we end the day with two defeats 😪
GGWP @GSEsports – a well deserved win💪
— Unicorns of Love🦄❤️#Worlds2021 (@UnicornsOfLove) October 5, 2021
“Today showed that they [assassin junglers] are strong,” Nomanz says. “In the scrims we played we didn’t really see how strong assassins were, so we didn’t practice with them. But for tomorrow we should be playing them.”
Meanwhile, Galatasaray’s triumphant jungler, Berk ‘Mojito’ Kocaman, reaped the benefits of already having prior experience on Qiyana, and has also been spamming Talon in soloq to get his proficiency on the champion up to scratch.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 5, 2021
“I already have a lot of practice on Qiyana from when she was meta like two years ago,” Mojito tells The Loadout, “so I didn’t really need to focus on her. But Talon is a new jungle champion, so I have to practice him a lot to make him as perfect as my Qiyana.”
Having already chalked up over 30 games on Talon since arriving in Iceland, Mojito – a carry-oriented jungler by trade – has certainly savoured the latest spice that’s been seasoning the meta hot pot.
“I really like to play assassins because you can show the gap between yourself and the enemy jungler,” Mojito says. “With carry junglers [like assassins], I feel like I am the leader of the game.”
As the LoL Worlds Play-Ins progress, we’ll be keen to see just how quickly teams adapt, and whether or not picks that no longer work as well as they did during the Summer will fall out of the draft.