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The 2021 League of Legends World Championship starts on October 5th, with 22 of the best teams from across the globe competing for a single title at the biggest League event of the year.
Worlds matches will begin on Tuesday, with play-ins occurring to determine the final team in each group. Prior to seeing the results of play-ins, though, we already have some exciting matchups in groups that deserve some extra attention. This article will focus on one matchup in Group B – that of 100 Thieves versus T1.
Team-wise, a few stats stand out in particular: damage to champions per minute, and solo kills. These two combat-focused statistics appear to strongly favor T1 in this matchup that features two junglers renowned for their aggressive playmaking in Closer and Oner.
The first, damage to champions per minute, shows a striking difference of nearly 400 with 4294 for T1, 3922 for 100T. In a single trade, 400 damage may only be the difference of one or two spells or auto attacks, but over the course of a thirty-minute game would add up to forcing some unfavorable resets out of T1’s opponents or several kills. This difference could also result from a disparity in the pace of games, suggesting that T1 may close their games out more quickly on average, which they do just slightly. T1’s average game time was 33:09 while 100T’s was 33:20. Interestingly, though, T1 does fall behind slightly when it comes to average damage in teamfights, at 1000 compared to 1150 for 100 Thieves.
T1 also possesses extraordinary individual skill in its players, as the team boasts an outlier of 1.12 solo kills per game. 100 Thieves averages 0.65 solo kills per game, suggesting (alongside the previous teamfight damage stat) that their strengths may lie in team play instead.
Another conversation that must take place in any comparison of these two teams is team synergy. 100 Thieves, at the beginning of the 2021 season, picked up several members from the former established squad of Golden Guardians. Closer, FBI, and huhi will have played together for more than two years at this point, whereas T1 has struggled this past year after frequent use of substitutes and roster swaps. T1 currently fields a 10-player roster, with one substitute in each role, and has not hesitated to play both Cuzz and Oner in the jungle, as well as switching between Teddy and Gumayusi in the botlane.
In a discussion of player matchups to watch for, the jungle and midlane matchups are clear standouts. Closer and Faker have led their teams to victory during the regular season and command respect in their respective roles.
Closer, with the most kills and highest KDA in the LCS, is heralded as a leader and the key to 100T’s 3-0 victory against Team Liquid in the LCS finals. Faker, being a 3-time world champion whose name is ubiquitously associated with success in competitive League, may just be the kind of veteran player who can lead T1’s roster to victory despite their aforementioned setbacks. He’s often the T1 player with the most resources, demonstrated by his having the highest average gold on the team at 19554 (100T’s gold leader is FBI, with 14160).
Of course, outside of this matchup, Group B has a serious contender for winning it all in China’s EDward Gaming. Championing the LPL with a 3-1 victory against FunPlus Phoenix in Summer finals, EDG dominated a match that many speculated FPX was favored to win.
All data used for this article was gathered right here, on Factor. You can catch the 100T vs. T1 games on October 13th, at 2pm Eastern, and on October 16, at 9am Eastern.