Team WE wasted little time closing out the 2017 World Championship Play-in stage on Friday, blasting Young Generation in a 3-0 sweep in Wuhan, China.
It's easy to look at the 3-0 scoreline and the average game time for this series and dismiss Young Generation as a weak team, but there were some positives to take away from from YG's performance in this drubbing. Mid laner Vo "Naul" Thanh Luan looked great throughout the series, YG was able to find early advantages with surprising consistency, and the squad worked hard to group up early to try and brute force early objective leads. Unfortunately, that's about all one can say for YG; WE showed the international world just how dangerous it can be.
After drafting a comfort strategy in Game 1, Team WE snowballed hard in the midgame, thanks to jungler Xiang "Condi" Ren-Jie's Jarvan IV. Bombarding YG with heavy crowd control and damage coming out of AD carry Jin "Mystic" Seong-bin's Kog'Maw, Team WE built up a 5,000-gold lead by 20 minutes, even before taking a 23-minute Baron. In one fell swoop, WE pushed into YG's base and closed out Game 1 in just 25 minutes, looking terrifyingly comfortable with surrendering early leads.
WE's early nerves were tested in Game 2, though, as Naul's Syndra got Young Generation rolling early on. Securing several kills and punching through WE's weak frontline, it appeared as though YG would take at least one game as it held a respectable gold lead going into a 21-minute Baron attempt. Luckily for WE and its fans, though, Condi's Ezreal managed to steal the Baron kill, opening a window of opportunity for WE to push back into the game. Suddenly, YG was on the clock with its previously solid gold lead crumbling and Team WE's Janna-empowered triple marksmen composition scaling into the late game. WE fought hard to pull the gold to as close to even as possible, but YG still maintained control heading into its second Baron attempt until Condi stole Baron again. With "Son of Baron" taking his second Baron buff of the game at 31 minutes along with Mystic's Tristana picking up a triple kill to close out the game, WE completed a hard-fought comeback in 31 minutes, effectively crushing YG's spirits.
YG was resigned to simply trying its best in Game 3, but, once again, Condi and Mystic took over the game with spectacular performances. In particular, Mystic used Game 3 to remind the rest of the world that his Xayah should be feared, blowing YG up with massive damage and timely roots from Bladecaller. Closing out the final game of the series in 26 minutes, for a combined total game time of just under an hour and a half, Team WE made a statement as it advanced to the group stage, where it got placed into Group D alongside Flash Wolves, Team SoloMid, and Misfits.