The 2019 League of Legends World Championship will take off on Saturday, October 12 with a fixture between the home favourites Fnatic and three-times world champions SKT T1 at Verti Music Hall in Berlin, Germany.
We have already covered our outright predictions for the group stage, meaning it’s time to turn our focus to the individual games on the first day of the main card.
Fnatic vs SK Telecom T1
Saturday, October 12 – 14:00 CEST
SKT T1 (-222.22) will look to hit the ground running on Saturday, and what better way to do so that with a win against Europe’s second-best squad.
Having a strong start will be crucial for SKT, who will not settle for anything less than a Worlds title this season, however, there are many teams in their way, and Fnatic will be their obstacle SKT needs to jump over.
Fnatic (+171) are understandably huge underdogs, but they have an ace up their sleeve, that is their experience in competing in a best-of-one (Bo1) fixtures, which is something SKT T1 lack.
Bo1 series are always perfect for upset wins and knowing how strong Fnatic can be in a Bo1, and how poorly can SKT T1 perform in the same scenario, we could imagine seeing the EU juggernauts come out ahead and upset the Koreans.
Fnatic to win – +171 at BetOnline
Royal Never Give Up vs Clutch Gaming
Saturday, October 12 – 15:00 CEST
RNG (-384.62) will enter the fixture against Clutch Gaming (+278) as a massive favourite and we can’t argue with that logic.
The skill and quality gap between these two sides is massive, and it goes without saying the scale is in RNG’s favour.
The only thing, working in Clutch Gaming’s favour is the fact they have Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon on their roster. Former SKT T1 member has proven he can be a very potent top laner, and is arguably better compared to RNG’s Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying, who is at the same time the weakest link of the Chinese roster.
That being said, we can’t see Clutch Gaming winning this one through the top lane alone, considering RNG outclasses them in all other positions on top of having far more experienced roster.
Royal Never Give Up to win – -384.62 at BetOnline
Invictus Gaming vs ahq e-Sports Club
Saturday, October 12 – 16:00 CEST
Invictus Gaming (-588.24) will clash with ahq e-Sports Club (+394) in the third fixture of the Worlds group stage in what should be a match that can only end one way.
The reigning World Champions, Invictus Gaming do not look nearly as dominant as they did last year, however, they are still miles ahead of ahq e-Sports Club in terms of overall quality and experience when it comes to competing on the big stage.
Invictus Gaming to win – -588.24 at BetOnline
DAMWON Gaming vs Team Liquid
Saturday, October 12 – 17:00 CEST
This one could be much closer than the odds suggest, and while we can agree with DAMWON (-158.73) being the favourites side here, Team Liquid (+122) should not be underestimated.
The biggest concern with DAMWON is their mediocre bottom lane which looked very flawed in the play-in stage. On the other side, Team Liquid’s bottom lane looks solid and if they can take advantage of the Korean’s flaws, Team Liquid could produce an upset here.
Team Liquid to win – +122 at BetOnline
J-Team vs FanPlus Phoenix
Saturday, October 12 – 18:00 CEST
The J Team v FanPlus Phoenix (-714.29) is possibly the biggest mismatch of the day, seeing how one of the strongest teams in the world will take on J team (+431).
There is not a lot going for the Taiwanese squad here, who will need more than a miracle to walk away with anything in their hands.
Bo1 fixtures, as mentioned before, tend to produce a handful of upset wins, however, the quality difference here is so immense, we wouldn’t feel comfortable betting against the Chinese champions.
FunPlus Phoenix to win – -714.29 at BetOnline
GAM Esports vs Splyce
Saturday, October 12 – 19:00 CET
GAM Esports (+117) will clash with Splyce (-153.85) in the last fixture of the day, where sparks are bound to fly.
The European number three seed are considered as favourites to win, which we could agree with if they hadn’t looked so beatable in the play-in stage.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Splyce and their chances to achieve something here, but from what we have seen, we are not impressed by this roster. Inconsistency and lack of depth in their champion pool are two factors that will turn around and bite them in the group stage.
GAM Esports are the perfect team to show just how easily Splyce can fall. With their aggressive playstyle and their tendency to force a very fast tempo of the game, we believe GAM have a legitimate chance to show the European side they are not ready for Worlds just yet.
GAM Esports to win – +117 at BetOnline