A dramatic Day 1 is a hard act to follow, and Day 2 didn’t disappoint. Now that first impressions have been established, the real work begins: leads must be defended, setbacks must be turned around, and every team is now carefully studying the others for perceived weaknesses and strengths to be mitigated.
Day 2 is foremost a test of each team's adaptability, and SK gaming's disrupted roster lends a greater urgency to their test more than any other. But the hometown heroes among the Taipei Assassins have their own plans.
TAIPEI ASSASSINS VS. SK GAMING – PSYCHE!
To SK Gaming’s jungle substitute Gilius' credit, his Jarvan on Day 2 was significantly more impactful than the somewhat tepid performance he demonstrated a day prior. His control over Dragon put SK ahead, frustrating the Assassins with timely ganks and pushes. But their counter-aggression over Baron Nashor was SK's undoing: Fredy122 was burned low during an attempt on Baron 39 minutes in while the Assassins feigned a rush at SK’s mid inhibitor, leaving SK Gaming trapped between a rock and a hard place. They abandoned Baron in an attempt to stave off the Assassins' mid lane rush – playing right into their hands. The Assassins immediately reversed course and took the game-winning Baron in their stead.
DARK PASSAGE VS. SAMSUNG WHITE – PERFECTION
Dark Passage was forced to confront a hard and merciless truth: while each team might represent the best of their region, not all regions are equal. South Korea's Samsung White exhibited both individual and team wide excellence at a level that the Turkish representatives had never experienced back home. Imp's 23 minute pentakill was the cap-off of a thoroughly perfect game: zero deaths, zero turrets lost, zero mistakes.
TSM VS. TAIPEI ASSASSINS – TRANSPACIFIC THROWDOWN
Though they will have a chance at a rematch very, very soon, the first game between TSM and TPA was nonetheless hotly anticipated. Both were behind Star Horn Royal Club for the second Group B seed, and both had much to prove and gain by securing it. Unfortunately for TPA, North America's top representatives were better-prepared: Winds' attempt to take an early Dragon was fatally turned around by Bjergsen's Rite of the Arcane, while Achie's simultaneous misplays against Dyrus top lane led to a morale-crushing teamwide ace across the map.
Each team has now faced everyone in their group once, and a definite pattern has resulted. Thus far, each region's respective reputations hold fast – the Chinese teams' relentless pursuit of opportunities have paid off, whilst Samsung White's general excellence leaves everybody else in their shadows. But none of that is guaranteed to hold true now that everybody's played their hands.
Thus far, the brackets are as follows:
Group A Samsung White: 3-0 AHQ Esports Club: 1-2 Dark Passage: 0-3 Edward Gaming: 2-1
Group B Star Horn Royal Club: 3-0 Team Solomid: 2-1 SK Gaming: 0-3 Taipei Assassins: 1-2
The A and B group stages continue with Samsung White and Dark Passage's rematch, starting at 2 AM PDT/11AM CEST.