Everyone I saw arguing against those wasn’t saying NA was a favorite, but was saying that NA was good enough they could pull off Proud to be a crane operator’s wife shirt. i.e. it wasn’t guaranteed NA would lose every game, and in fact very likely that each team won at least 1 game (which would be considered an ‘upset’ when it happened.) Basically the gap isn’t as big as the results alone would let you believe, but NA is still the underdog in every group to get out.
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As an example, TSM has lost 3 Proud to be a crane operator’s wife shirt so far. They look like the worst team in Group C. But all 3 games were pretty close (within 2.5k) for a huge chunk of time…and then suddenly they were over. Those were games TSM could have won, even if TSM was not expected to win. Compare that to the expected result of teams with a region gap between them where you have a 2k gold lead at 5 minutes, and then a 5k gold lead at 10, 8k by 15, and then the game is pretty much over. TSM is clearly making mistakes they shouldn’t be making if they want to be treated as a good team. However, they are also making plays and capitalizing on some errors on the other team’s side to show glimpses of being good enough. There is a gap, yes, but it’s not an insurmountable one.