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LoL Worlds 2022 Play-In: Fnatic, DRX Move On To Group Stage

Europe’s Fnatic and South Korea’s DRX have emerged as the victors in the play-in stage of the League of Legends World Championship 2022, securing their place in the next stage of the championship.

The play-in stage, which began on September 29, 2022, at LLA Stadium, Mexico City, lasted four days. In this early stage of the league, twelve teams were divided into two groups, A and B, to play a total of thirty-two best-of-one games.

With the completion of the play-in stage, the rest of the teams — save for the bottom two of each group — must now partake in four best-of-five games to qualify for the next stage. This means that group A’s Evil Geniuses, LOUD and DetonatioN FocusMe and group B’s Royal Never Give Up, MAD Lions and Saigon Buffalo still have a chance in this year’s tournament. On the other hand, the bottom two of each group — group A’s Beyond Gaming and Chiefs Esports Club, as well as group B’s Isurus and Istanbul Wildcats — were eliminated.

Play-in stage scramble

DRX established itself as the top dog of group B by winning all its games in the play-in stage, earning it the qualification to proceed to the group stage. Although the team dominated its games, it doesn’t mean that its players didn’t get to face fierce competition. DRX nearly lost a game to Europe’s MAD Lions on the last day of the play-in. MAD Lions asserted the lead position in the game with their number of kills and golds and even managed to take the dragon soul at one point. Much to MAD Lion’s dismay, DRX managed to secure the win by attacking the top lane.

Statistically speaking, DRX’s success was largely due to the help of their two best players — their top laner, Zeka, and their expert marksman, Deft. Their KDA (kills/deaths/assists) ratio shows how excellent these players are. Zeka had a KDA ratio of 37:24:4, while Deft achieved 23:6:40.

While DRX dominated group B, the competition was fierce in group A. The road to Fnatic’s victory in the play-in stage was largely interrupted by its loss to Brazil’s LOUD on the first game of the third day. While Fnatic is known for its superior bot lanes, LOUD proved that it was able to take on Fnatic on that day. Due to Fnatic’s loss to LOUD, some teams in group A were left with no choice but to play extra games in order to break ties.

Fnatic played five games, winning four and losing one, while Evil Geniuses of North America had been forced to play six games, resulting in two losses, including a close-call game against DetonatioN FocusMe of Japan. Ultimately, Fnatic was catapulted as the champion of group B after it demolished Taiwan’s Beyond Gaming.

The upcoming best-of-five games will be monumental for teams other than Fnatic and DRX as they need to earn their qualification if they wish to play in the main event. The next stage of the league will commence on October 7, 2022.