The reigning LoL World Champions, Gen.G Esports, have been eliminated in the group stages of this year’s Worlds.
A day of stunning upsets concluded Group B of the 2018 World Championship, which saw Gen.G, who won the tournament in 2017 as Samsung Galaxy, finish in last place.
The result is also the first time that a South Korean team has failed to make it out of the group stage at a World Championship since 2013, and the first time ever in the four-group format that has been used since 2014.
After a slow start to the tournament in week one, Gen.G faced the task of climbing back from a 1-2 record as the second round-robin of the group played out on October 14. Unfortunately, the day started off with a loss to Cloud9, who were the only team Gen.G beat in week one, before suffering another defeat at the hands of Vitality, mathematically eliminating them from the tournament.
Though Gen.G certainly underwhelmed, they weren’t the only team to suffer upsets. In what was undoubtedly the most spectacular day of the event so far, MSI champions and tournament favorites Royal Never Give Up also fell to both Vitality and Cloud9, ultimately having to fight a tie-breaker with C9 to claim first place.
Gen.G looked likely to miss out on Worlds altogether this year, after a slightly underwhelming season saw them finish fifth in LCK Summer. An inspired gauntlet run saw them claim the third seed from South Korea, however, becoming only the second team to get a chance at defending their title after SK Telecom T1.
Fellow South Korean squad Afreeca Freecs are next up to battle for a playoff spot in a Group A that also looks likely to be hard-fought. This year’s tournament has already proved the most vulnerable that the LCK representatives have looked at a World Championship since their ascent to dominance in Season Three.