With the best of 1 format being introduced for the first week of worlds there’s been a lot of emphasis on which teams are doing well based purely on who wins over who, for example it’s like paper rock scissors. Lets say for instance TSM loses to RNG, then RNG loses to team SamSung, people then expect TSM to lose to SamSung. However this wasn’t the case, what ends up happening is that people then recognize a teams strength and weakness and realizes what type of team play archetype that they’d lose to. If you ignore this and instead play into whatever you’d like there’s a higher chance for you to lose and many will walk away feeling you lost due to disrespecting the other team.
Expanding upon the disrespect that some teams may show the other, by disrespect I don’t mean to show BM(bad manners), disrespecting a team can merely be taking them for granted. For example the picks above is one such example, G2 is one of the strongest European teams in the tournament while they’re opponent is the Russian wildcard team Albus Nox. Their support player Likrit is known for playing an champion that’s not a conventional support character, that instead focuses on the burst damage style that’s typical of mages. Yet his performance of it is strong enough that it’s a common ban against them, and their midlaner also got a signature champion that they have a strong performance with. The result being that these picks are a strong contender in the reason that ANX ended up putting a strong performance against G2. So why? One possible reason is that G2 underestimated them for the simple fact that ANX is a wildcard team.
Wildcard teams as a whole have gotten a lot stronger, the shining example of which being Albus Nox Luna, I think a large majority of players (me included) kind of put them at the wayside. They’ve been very vocal among the community about how things such as setting up practice games against pro players were very hard to get, reducing the amount of good practice games they could play. Yet they’ve become a shining example of how the “gap” that everyone refers to isn’t only referring to the difference between North American and Korean teams, but as the quality of League of Legends teams as a whole.