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Worlds 2021 Play-In: Group B Preview and Predictions

This time around, the Play-In’s Group B will be one of the hardest to predict, as many of its teams have a lot of potentials to advance.
Worlds 2021 Play-In: Group B Preview and Predictions

Everything is now set up for the start of the Worlds 2021 Play-In, the stage where all summer champions from the minor regions will battle against the lower seeds of the major ones, for the last four spots to the Group Stage.

So, as we get ready for the kickoff of this epic fight in the Summoner’s Rift, it’s our turn to make our predictions around who will survive this entire journey, and join the best of the best in the next round of the 2021 World Championship.

Worlds 2021 Play In Groups
Worlds 2021 Play-In Groups. (Picture: Riot Games)

Of the two groups that make up the Play-Ins, Group B is by far one of the most even that have been seen in a long time, having the third seed of NA and the second of the PCS, Cloud9 and Beyond Gaming, facing against the CIS, Turkey and Japan champions, Unicorns of Love, Galatasaray Esports, and DetonatioN FocusMe.

While this may make Group B seem less attractive, this increases the potential to see some upsets at this stage of the competition, by having teams of almost equal level (at least on paper) fighting for two of the four remaining Groups seeds.

PCS #2: Beyond Gaming

Worlds 2021 Play In Beyond Gaming
PCS 2021 Summer Split runner-up, Beyond Gaming. (Picture: Riot Games)
  • Best scenario: 1st place
  • Worst scenario: 4th place

The evolution of the PCS has been more than evident in recent international events, where they have managed to stand better than the LCS representative at MSI 2021, as well as demonstrate good performance in their international debut during Worlds 2020.

This time around, the aggressive style of the Southeast Asian runner-up may just be what it takes to deliver a bigger thrust, leaving Cloud9 on the canvas and taking the direct ticket to Groups, just like PSG Talon last year.

However, they shouldn’t underestimate their other opponents, as the CIS and Turkey squads already have experience dealing with teams from this region, as well as putting a lot of interest in their duel against their Japanese counterpart, which could give a lot to talk about.

LCS #3: Cloud9

Worlds 2021 Play In Cloud9
LCS 2021 Championship 3rd place, Cloud9. (Picture: Riot Games)
  • Best scenario: 1st place
  • Worst scenario: 3rd place

It’s almost obvious the LCS team will be one of the favourites to advance directly to Groups, and even more considering the experience that Cloud9 has within the Play-In.

In past years, this legendary squad began its adventure from this stage, and as has been seen, no wildcard region has been able to beat them in terms of experience and strategic play, so we wouldn’t worry that with an almost perfect run, this team could access the main event.

The biggest problem would be if they stumbled against some of their rivals, as this would put them in a position where they could finish in 2nd or 3rd place, having to face one of the wildcards in Group A, or in the worst case, to the teams from China and Korea.

LCL #1: Unicorns of Love

Worlds 2021 Play In Unicorns of Love
LCL 2021 Summer Split champions, Unicorns of Love. (Picture: Riot Games)
  • Best scenario: 2nd place
  • Worst scenario: 4th place

Unicorns of Love arrives at the Play-In with many doubts about its possible performance, after its disappointing journey through the MSI 2021 Group Stage, where the Oceania champions Pentanet.GG managed to pass over them, qualifying for the next phase for the first time in its history.

Worlds 2021 will be their stage to redeem themselves and try to recover from that stumble, and while we don’t see them taking first place in the group, the Unicorns may have great potential to secure second place, leaving a possible duel against the third or fourth place of Group A.

However, sometimes CIS teams are prone to mechanical errors or bad game closings, as has been the case with squads like Gambit Esports in 2017 and 2018, and the same Unicorns in 2019.

TCL #1: Galatasaray Esports

Worlds 2021 Play In Galatasaray Esports
TCL 2021 Summer Split champions, Galatasaray Esports. (Picture: Riot Games)
  • Best scenario: 3rd place
  • Worst scenario: 5th place

One of the debutants in international tournaments, Galatasaray Esports managed to qualify for the Play-In after passing over all the TCL teams, finishing in first place of the regular season and winning both series of their playoffs with two convincing 3-0.

The power of this emerging squad may be what the Turkish league needs to rediscover the path of victory, after many participations in which although they have shown a good performance, they have failed to replicate their previous results where they reached the Group Stage.

The only disadvantage this team has is also their biggest advantage: it’s their first appearance in Worlds. This can bring many factors to take into account such as mental and pressure on some of their players, who will try to do their best to give a good show and not disappoint their fans.

LJL #1: DetonatioN FocusMe

Worlds 2021 Play In DetonatioN FocusMe
LJL 2021 Summer Split champions, DetonatioN FocusMe. (Picture: Riot Games)
  • Best scenario: 3rd place
  • Worst scenario: 5th place

To close Group B, we have a squad more than known for representing Japan in almost all international tournaments. DetonatioN FocusMe has gone through many phases, where its evolution and results have improved over the years.

As a team that has much to gain and nothing to lose, the LJL champions have the table set to show their aggressive style and topple many who doubt the power of the Japanese league.

However, the fact the team is based in one of the weakest regions in League’s competitive puts them in a more than disadvantageous position. Much of this may change with what their Korean signings can demonstrate, who have given the breed to lift the organization and lead them to the glory again.

And with this, we close our predictions section of Group B of the Worlds 2021 Play-In. You can check more information about this year's World Championships, as well as how to watch it in the link below.

Also, don’t forget to check out our League of Legends dedicated section for more news, guides, updates, and esports coverage.

Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.