After a week full of memorable plays and historic moments, the group stages of Worlds 2021 has come to an end.
The eight remaining teams will now enter the playoffs, where each one will seek to advance through a series of best-of-fives, for the honour and glory of raising the Summoner’s Cup in Iceland.
Now that we know each of the matches, let's take a look at what awaits us in this final stage, as well as some of our predictions for this final bracket.
Royal Never Give Up vs Edward Gaming
Among all the duels that await us in the quarterfinals, this is undoubtedly the most anticipated as it will bring us a battle between the LPL champions, Edward Gaming, against the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational champions, Royal Never Give Up.
Although the first thing that stands out is that we will have a Chinese team in the semifinals, this series will be by far one of the most even, given the path of both teams from their qualification to Worlds to this point.
Choosing a favourite in this duel is difficult, both teams had identical records in the group stages, although if we take into account the confrontations they had, Edward Gaming should have the advantage on paper by being able to face T1 and almost jeopardize their top spot.
However, Royal Never Give Up is known for their great strategic play in important instances, which has led them to conquer many of their obstacles no matter how tough they are, so we wouldn't be surprised if this series goes all the way to a fifth game.
Gen.G vs Cloud9
Taking into account the results of both organizations, this will be the weakest duel within the quarterfinals facing both Gen.G, who managed to rescue the first place of Group D after an unprecedented four-way tie, against the power of Cloud9's miracle run.
In the face of this battle between Korea's second seed and NA's third, players from both teams openly declared their comfort over this match, with the Koreans being the most confident as to their possible favourable outcome.
But if Cloud9 has taught us something during their runs in Worlds, it’s that we must expect the unexpected from them when they reach important duels. They demonstrated as much in 2018 when they managed to sneak into the semifinals, where they would fall against Fnatic by 3-0.
At first, Gen.G is the clear favourite to take the victory in this series, but we should never underestimate Cloud9 and their aces up their sleeves, commanded by the experienced Perkz and the dominance of Zven.
T1 vs Hanwha Life Esports
This duel can be seen as a rematch after the three-time world champions' victory over HLE in the LCK Regional Finals, which condemned Chovy's team to start their journey in Worlds 2021 from the Play-Ins.
The prognosis regarding this series is more than favourable for the legendary squad led by Faker, who against all expectations managed to advance as Group B’s top seed passing over Edward Gaming, despite many doubts about their consistency as a team.
As seen in all HLE games, the key to victory for either team will be the performance of Chovy, who has proven to be the mainstay of Hanwha since the start of the competition. It’s expected the comps of both squads will be focused on stopping or improving their advantage against Faker.
Leaving this aside, it’s more than evident that T1 is the favourite to take the victory in a somewhat simple way, since, unlike HLE, the synergy demonstrated by their players has been monumental, making it clear that their search for a fourth world title may give some results.
DWG KIA vs MAD Lions
To close out the quarterfinal block, we have what could be one of the most predictable but at the same time most anticipated matchups in Worlds history, with current world and LCK champions DWG KIA taking on two-time European champions, MAD Lions.
If we talk about numbers, the clear favourites to win this confrontation will be the South Korean team, who after finishing undefeated through the group stage, have made it clear they are the rival to beat in this World Championship.
In contrast, MAD Lions had to go through a historic day to earn their place in these Playoffs, since after having a terrible start in the first three days of Worlds, they managed to come back in a great way today, surviving an unprecedented tiebreaker and securing their spot here.
Unfortunately, luck couldn’t give them the best draw for these Playoffs, so with everything to win and fearless of anything, MAD Lions will be tasked with making the biggest upset in recent years, if they want to continue their search for the Cup and the honour of being called world champions.
Worlds 2021 Playoffs schedule and bracket
That said, the quarterfinal matches are set to be held in this schedule:
- Royal Never Give Up vs Edward Gaming: 22nd October, 5 am PT / 11 am BST
- Gen.G vs Cloud9: 23rd October, 5 am PT / 11 am BST
- T1 vs Hanwha Life Esports: 24th October, 5 am PT / 11 am BST
- DWG KIA vs MAD Lions: 25th October, 5 am PT / 11 am BST
You can see the Worlds 2021 Playoffs bracket so far below:
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games and Getty Images