(Image: Lolesports/Riot Games)
Whew. Day 2 of IEM Katowice is over, and we have our semifinalists.
Out of Group B, we’ve got SK Telecom T1, who went 2-0 on the day, and Fnatic, who had a slightly tougher time making their way through the group stages. These two will face off against Team SoloMid and Royal Never Give Up, respectively.
But before the action starts on Sunday, let’s break down some of the things we learned from Saturday’s games.
Yup, SKT is still the favorite
I know, I know, we didn’t give SK Telecom T1 the title of “favorite” in our IEM Katowice preview.
We were wrong.
After just two games on the IEM stage, they made their presence known. AD carry Bang is playing out of his mind, crushing everyone that dares to come anywhere near him. He abused CLG’s bottom lane in their first game of the day with a spectacular Ezreal, then absolutely demolished Uzi and the rest of Qiao Gu on their way to an easy 2-0 and advancement to the semifinals.
Oh, and Faker showed off his LeBlanc once again, proving that he’s still got serious chops with the assassin. Up next, they’ve got Team SoloMid in the semifinals. If they keep playing like they did on Day 2, the North Americans shouldn’t be a problem.
(Image: Riot Games)
Jhin can be a strong competitive pick
It can take a while for any new champion to become a priority pick in competitive play, but Jhin is taking a particularly long time. Whereas some new champs have immediate effects (hi, Rek’Sai), Jhin seems to have given players serious hesitation.
Well, no more, particularly after Rekkles’ performance. Fnatic is 4-0 when Rekkles gets his hands on Jhin, showing what the Virtuoso can do. Now officially known as a Kalista counter, his ability to blow up squishies is near unparalleled in the ADC space, and the crazy long range root on Deadly Flourish is great for picking off that one victim who thinks they’ve gotten away.
Granted, we haven’t seen anyone play Jhin at the same level as Rekkles in his four games, but expect ADCs around the world to get practicing on him after this weekend.
(Image: Lolesports/Riot Games)
Febiven is really, really good
Febiven made himself known to the world when he solo killed SKT’s Faker twice in a single game at the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational, and continued to prove that he could play with the best of the best at the World Championship later that year.
When Fnatic lost their first match of the day against QG, he had a poor showing on Ahri. When they lost against CLG, he had an equally weak game on Corki. It looked like the young European star was going to have a rough weekend.
He got himself Quinn in the second game of Fnatic’s best-of-3 series against CLG, and though he died a few times to Huhi’s Pantheon, they won that one. Then, it was off to the races. An amazing Lulu, an attempt to carry on LeBlanc, a slaughtering with Quinn, and a ridiculous game on Zed later, they were on to the semifinals. Whether it’s the more supportive style of Lulu or the in-your-face destruction of Zed, Febiven can play it right now. But can he push his middle-of-the-pack EU squad to beat the rampaging Royal Never Give Up on Sunday? I can’t wait to find out.
Taylor Cocke wonders what Febiven will do if he gets another shot at Faker. You can follow him on Twitter @taylorcocke to watch his reaction.