Things get set up for a China vs. Korea grand final in this year’s League of Legends World Championships.
Last time we checked in on this year’s League of Legends‘ World Championships, I gave you a brief run-down of the teams, and my predictions for the quarterfinals. Now that the quarterfinals are over and we have our four semifinalists, I’d like to give you a summary of each match, and who I think will be moving forward to the grand final.
In the first round, we saw North America’s sweetheart Team Solo Mid face off against Korea’s undefeated Samsung White. While TSM put up a very good fight, and even managed to tarnish SSW’s hopes of a “perfect” World Championship by taking a game off them, SSW, as expected, manage to knock out the Americans.
Next up, SSW’s sister team, Samsung Blue, faced off against another North American team: Cloud 9. Unlike TSM, Cloud 9 started their quarterfinal series swinging, taking a decisive win from SSB in the first game. Unfortunately, though the second game was still very close, C9 couldn’t secure a second win, and things went downhill from there, with SSB taking the third and forth games with ease.
For the third quarterfinal, we saw both Star Horn Royal Club and Edward Gaming bring their A-game, with both teams trying desperately to put an end to the long-standing nationalistic rivalry between them. The only series to go to five games, the fifth and final game in particular was one of the most carefully played LoL games I’ve ever seen, with neither team giving the other so much as an inch for the first 20 minutes of the game. SHRC did manage to finally break through and defeat their rivals, in no small part due to some impressive plays and positioning by their AD carry, Uzi.
Lastly, in stark contrast to the SHRC/EDG series, Chinese OMG completely wiped the floor with Korean Najin White Shield, shattering my prior prediction with the only 3-0 clean sweep of the quarterfinals. Subbing out support DaDa777 for Cloud acted as a huge morale boost for the team, and thanks to some amazing Ryze play by top laner GoGoing, OMG managed to surprise everyone again.
This performance by both the Korean and Chinese teams means that no matter what happens in the next stage of the tournament, we have been set up for a China vs. Korea grand final. Nonetheless, lets have a look at who will be facing who in the two semifinal matches.[page]
First up we have Samsung White and Samsung Blue. Two Korean favorites enter, one leaves. I’m expecting this series to be as intense as the SHRC/EDG series we saw in the quarterfinals, as both teams know the ins and outs of each other, and are both desperate to prove themselves as the best Korean team.
Looking at their performance in the quarterfinals, both teams managed to win 3-1, though SSB had a noticeably harder time. Some may take this as meaning that SSW is the stronger team, but I disagree. I feel that C9 is a much stronger team than TSM, and is why SSB had a harder time defeating them. Furthermore, SSW has a big problem with overconfidence (particularly in Champion select) which is ultimately what led to the single round they dropped against TSM.
If SSW can solve its overconfidence problem and really take this series seriously, they will win, otherwise, SSB might just take the grand final spot out from under them. Really tough one to call, but I’m going to go with SSW.
As for the other semifinal between Star Horn Royal Club and OMG… geeze. Before that last quarterfinal, I would have been sure that SHRC would defeat either Najin White Sheild or OMG with ease and go on to the grand final, but now I’m not so sure. OMG was like a completely different team in its series against NWS, not letting the Koreans relax for even a second.
This will certainly be a lot “uglier” of a semifinal than SSW/SSB. While the Koreans favor clean and methodical team fights, the Chinese players have these heavy brawls, often playing with split teams and trying to catch out single players.
In the end, I’m actually going to give this one to OMG. They are just a team that is completely full of surprises, and I think they will continue to surprise us.
So, if everything goes to plan, we will be looking at Samsung White and OMG in the grand final of this year’s League of Legends World Championships.
Just as a reminder, the first semifinal match begins this Saturday morning at 1:15 AM EDT, with the second match being held on Sunday at the same time.
Tune in next week when we check in on the two grand finalists ahead of the final stage of the tournament, and always, be sure to check out Riot Game’s official League of Legends eSports page.