Want to watch the biggest eSports event of the year but haven't been keeping up with the scene? We've got you covered.
This weekend, after a long, long road of seasons, qualifiers and group stages, the final stage of the League of Legends World Championships begins in Korea. Arguably the biggest eSports event of the year, this year's championship brings the best teams of of the world together for a shot at fame, glory, and of course, the $1 million top prize.
The most dedicated eSports fans will already know everything there is to know about the players and teams of the tournament, but what if you're a League of Legends fan but haven't been keeping up with the competitive scene? Well then, you've come to the right place, my friend. Let me break down exactly who the eight teams that competing for the gold are, tell you a bit about their performances in the group stage, and let you know exactly what to watch out for when the first semi-final begins this Friday.
First up, the teams.
Samsung White (Korea):
Samsung White was the only team to go completely undefeated in the group stage, with a score of 6-0. They are the number two Korean seed, and this year, at least so far, they have proven themselves worthy of that ranking. Imp and Mata in particular, the team's AD carry and support, have proven themselves to be a near-unstoppable force of teamwork, and mechanical accuracy.
Team Solo Mid (USA):
If you have even the faintest interest in LoL eSports, you'll have no doubt heard of TSM. Founded back when competitive LoL was still finding its footing, TSM is still going very strong, and have become the American favorites for the tournament (even though only one of their members, Dyrus, is actually American...). TSM is, unfortunately, slated to face Samsung White in the first quarter-final.
Samsung Blue (Korea):
Often living in the shadow of Samsung White, SSB has still managed to make a name for itself, going 5-1 in its own group stage. While they often find themselves stumbling in the early game, SSB's superior team-fight co-ordination means that they always come around in the late game. If midlaner Dade can lift his game, they could prove to be a legitimate challenge to the undefeated SSW.
Cloud 9 (USA):
Placed in the "group of death," Cloud 9 had a very punishing group stage, and at one point it looked like they wouldn't even make it through. However, they managed to overcome European rivals Alliance, and even show Korean favorites Najin White Shield a thing or two, thanks in no small part to Meteos' flawless jungle ganks. While not quite as bad as SSW, it's a shame that they have to face Samsung Blue in the second quarter-final...