Worlds Preview: Group B

Worlds Preview: Group B

The World Championship consists of two groups of five teams, but only two from each group can advance to the bracket stage. Group B features anticipated battles between the best mid laners from North America and Europe.

Samsung Galaxy Ozone

Recently acquired by the South Korean electronics conglomerate, Samsung, Samsung Galaxy Ozone (formerly MVP Ozone) was the winner of OGN The Champions Spring earlier this year. Facing down a field of veteran teams, including both CJ Entus Frost and Blaze, Ozone capitalized and won it all in its second time in OGN. No longer viewed as the new kids on the block, Ozone has made drastic improvements across its entire roster in preparation for the final stretch into Worlds.

With inSec of KT Rolster Bullets no longer a Jungler, the current mantle of best Jungler in Korea has fallen onto DanDy. An expert at isolation play and counterjungling, DanDy highly rates both Elise and Lee Sin and utilized the mobility of both champions to swiftly maneuver across Summoner's Rift and find ample opportunities to gank. Ozone's late game revolves heavily around the devious Imp. Showing time again that his Vayne mechanics is one of the best in the World, imp has found equal success with the early game pressure of Caitlyn and late game damage of Twitch.

Fnatic

The winners of Season 1, Fnatic returns to the grand stage after being absent last year. With a vastly different roster than two years ago, Fnatic's current lineup can be described as aggressive and consistent. True to its region, Fnatic's early and midgame is often dictated by xPeke and sOAZ. Last year at IPL5, Fnatic dominated by using highly mobile and reset based champions in team fights such at Katarina and Kha'Zix. This year, mobility is still key for the team but there is a greater importance placed in team fights as xPeke roams mid lane as Lissandra and Kassadin while sOAZ pressures top lane as Kennen and Shen.

Experience aside, Fnatic's main point of concern is its ADC, puszu. An addition to the team midway through the summer split, puszu has done remarkably well in meshing with YellOwStaR in the bot lane. The pairs' biggest challenge will undoubtedly be Ozone's imp and Mata. If YellOwStaR can stave off Mata and help puszu keep up with imp, Fnatic will have the necessary window to do what they do best in team fights once xPeke and sOAZ join the brawl.

Gambit Gaming

Once the embodiment of ingenuity and clutchness, Gambit Gaming has slowed down since its Moscow 5 days. Diamond continues to be Europe's spark of innovation from the jungle, bringing out the likes of Karma during the regular season. While Alex Ich remains the ever stalwart midlane for Gambit, the team's Worlds success this year will depend on the consistency of both Darien and Genja.

Darien is known for his tanky, solo pushing champions in Shen and Zac. Recently, he has added Aatrox to his repertoire, which provides Gambit another major AD threat in team fights but what Gambit needs most for its top lane is fortitude of mind. A terror when ahead, Darien has a tendency to fall apart when he is setback considerably after laning phase. Regardless of what happens early, Gambit will need Darien to make all the right decisions to come out victorious in the end.

Genja, on the other hand, has gone through a rotation of three different supports this year. Starting with EDward from their Moscow 5 days, Genja had a stint with Darker before finally settling on Voidle. Much like Fnatic, Gambit's bot lane has spent less than a split together and the duo will have to dig deep and coordinate at their utmost when they face some of the best bot lanes the world has to offer.

Vulcun

Consistently the "underdog" even when the record doesn't represent it, Vulcun has improved dramatically from spring to summer split. Recognized for its strong team fighting capabilities, Vulcun relies heavily on the solo lane prowess of Sycho Sid and mandatorycloud to become the playmaking threats the team needs for late game. Like Reginald of TSM, mandatorycloud will have the honor of facing two of Korea's and Europe's best mid lanes with Dade and xPeke. Mandatorycloud effectively used long range AP champions like Lux and Nidalee during the spring split before shifting to assassins in mid lane such as Zed and Ahri. With great flexibility in his champ pools, it remains to be seen what type of champions mandatorycloud will pick to help Vulcun get closer to the quarterfinals.

If NA LCS summer split is any indication, Vulcun will need nothing short of perfection from its bot lane. BloodWater has reliably controlled the game tempo of not only his lane but also in team fights with game-changing ultimates of Zyra and Sona. This means it will come down to Zuna to not get caught out of position and find the right opening to safely dish out DPS without succumbing to the enemy's picks.

Mineski

Much like GamingGear.EU in Group A, Mineski is the dark horse of Group B. Not much is expected of them but if the players play like they did in the SEA Regional Qualifiers, they could very well pull out some upsets during the group stage. Mineski has already defied odds once this year by taking out the SEA favorites, Singapore Sentinels, in two straight games. In those matches, Mineski looked very fluid and relied heavily on the play-making ability of Lee Sin. It should come as no surprise if they pick the Blind Monk several times next week if the opportunity arises.

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