The 2017 World Championship has started worryingly well for North America’s representatives, that is, if the pattern of the region’s past three tournaments is anything to go by.
Team SoloMid, Immortals and Cloud9 have each ended the opening week of the 2017 World Championship with comfortable 2-1 records, strong positions heading into the decisive second round of group stage fixtures.
The history books suggest that the NA LCS teams should be cautious, however, given that North America has ended the past three opening weeks of World Championship campaigns with a 6-3 record, only to dip significantly in the second week.
Needless to say, the previous three tournaments ended in heartbreak for North America; harrowing omens as the second-week of fixtures prepares to get underway.
The 2014 World Championship saw Team SoloMid, Cloud9 and LMQ travel to Taiwan/South Korea to face the might of Samsung White. Each North American representative achieved solid 2-1 records in the opening week to begin the 6-3 trend.
LMQ soon fell by the wayside and lost each of their second-week matches as they failed to progress from their group, whilst both TSM and C9 progressed from their groups, aided by two infamous EU blunders: KaBuM! e-Sports’ shock victory over Alliance and Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen’s moment of madness to handicap SK Gaming.
Drawn against the two Samsung line-ups in the quarterfinals, the tournament was soon over for the NA LCS representatives.
The 2015 World Championship is a tournament all North American fans would rather forget. Cloud9 emerged as NA’s great hope in Europe, after recording an astonishing 3-0 in the opening week. Meanwhile, Counter Logic Gaming cemented two game wins, whilst Team SoloMid struggled in Group D.
What happened next, few could have predicted. North America recorded an unprecedented 0-10 record during the tournament’s second week, as every representative crashed out in the group stages.
European fans twisted the knife as CLG fell to PaiN Gaming, Team SoloMid looked hopelessly outclassed, Marcus “Dyrus” Hill retired and Cloud9, from topping the group, fell to third after four consecutive losses.
The 2016 World Championship was supposed to be the year that Team SoloMid took the tournament by storm, in defiance of the script, it was Cloud9 who progressed furthest.
Counter Logic Gaming, Team SoloMid and Cloud9 each rested on 2-1 records after the opening week, before each conceded two defeats to their respective group rivals in the second week.
CLG fans watched in horror as wildcard outsiders Albus NoX Luna progressed to the knockout rounds in their place, whilst Team SoloMid fell victim to the ‘Group of Death’ after initially showing signs of fulfilling their potential.
Eventual finalists, Samsung Galaxy, made short work of Cloud9 as the Chicago crowd watched on.
North American fans will be hoping that 2017 is the year that the curse of 6-3 record is broken, with every NA LCS representative poised to make it out of the group stages for the first time in history.