In the end all the wildcard hopefuls and hometown NA / EU heroes fall to the eSports juggernaut that is South Korea. League of Legends’ top prize will once again be decided by two Korean teams, Samsung Galaxy and SK Telecom T1. If Samsung take it, it will be the second time a team under their sponsorship has taken top honors after the triumph of Samsung Galaxy White in 2014. For SK Telecom T1, they’re looking for the first back-to-back titles from any team, as well as their third win - solidifying themselves as the best team to ever play.
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It’s some fairly high stakes. Only Faker has maintained through all three SKT1 teams, as arguably the best League of Legends player in the world. Wolf and Bang both took part last year, while coach Poohmandu was a part of the 2013 winning squad. It’s rare we’ve seen dominance on this scale in any eSport, beyond fighting games with singular experts, though SKT came close themselves in the Brood War days.
In the way of their legendary status stands Samsung Galaxy, similar in name only to their 2014 winning team. They’re definitely on the back foot here, having had an easier time of these brackets facing only non-Korean teams. They came fourth in the LCK last split and sixth the split before that, scraping into Worlds via qualifiers and taking out KT Rolster. As far as the omni-dominant region goes, this is the closest they have to an underdog, if that’s the sort of thing you like supporting.
It all kicks off at 5pm, Saturday PDT / 1am, Sunday BST from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Expect Riot to pull out all the stops for their main show, and an enthusiastic crowd ready to watch some great League of Legends. Those watching from EU might be better off tuning into a redbroadcast the next day than waiting for those games to finish, but that’s up to your sleep schedule.