The final two teams to play in the League of Legends 2019 World Championship knock-out stage have been decided. Group D has completed its second round robin, sending DAMWON and Invictus Gaming to the top of the leaderboard. LCS champions and MSI runners-up Team Liquid have been eliminated, ending North America’s hopes of a World Championship title.
LCK third seed DAMWON began their Worlds run in the play-in stage, topping their group over Royal Youth and Flamengo Esports. They later bested Lowkey Esports to advance to the Worlds group stage, where they were placed in Group D with NA’s best, Team Liquid, and the reigning world champions, Invictus Gaming. The Korean squad kicked off their Worlds group stage with a loss to Liquid, which was quickly answered back with strong wins over Ahq Esports and iG. They stood tied with Invictus and Liquid, the group now wide open for anyone’s taking. The second round robin began, and a reinvigorated DAMWON locked in the top seed with a 3-0 sweep.
Reigning world champions Invictus Gaming came into Worlds 2019 as the LPL’s second seed. A favorite in Group D, the Chinese-Korean squad began their Worlds journey with a victory over Ahq Esports. The following win over Team Liquid fulfilled their revenge for the Mid-Season Invitational semi-finals, in which TL beat out iG for a spot in the Grand Final. The second round robin seemed to repeat history, as iG cruised past Ahq before taking a second consecutive loss to DAMWON. With just one game left, both Invictus and Team Liquid stood at three wins, two losses. The winner of their final match-up would advance to the quarter-finals, while the loser would be sent home. In suffocating fashion, Invictus Gaming ended North America’s hopes of a Worlds title in just under twenty-five minutes.
After the addition of Danish mid-laner Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, North American juggernaut Team Liquid won both LCS Spring and LCS Summer. They defeated world champions Invictus Gaming to make a Grand Final appearance at the Mid-Season Invitational in May of this year. Many expected them to advance to the play-offs at the World Championship, though their run has now been cut short. With Team Liquid’s elimination, this marks the first time that there will be no North American teams competing in the Worlds play-offs since 2015.
The 2019 League of Legends World Championship knock-out stage will begin on October 26th. The first quarter-final will see Invictus Gaming take on Griffin to decide the first semi-finalist.