God, SKT. You really scared us for a minute there!
The top Korean League of Legends team SKT Telecom defeated the not-quite-top Korean challenger KOO Tigers today after a bitterly contested four matches. SKT is widely considered to be the strongest League team in the World (and in history), so the end result of today’s finals, and the entire month-long World Championship, isn’t especially surprising. What was surprising was that it seemed like KOO might actually nab the top spot at Worlds from them for roughly an hour of today’s four-hour contest.
The first game went decisively in SKT’s direction. Things took a sharp, sharp turn for the worse in game two. Straight out of the gate, two SKT players straight-up lunged headfirst into KOO’s base and ended up running right into their opponent’s turrets:
It was one of the most embarrassing moments for any team at Worlds this year. Doubly embarrassing for the best team at Worlds.
Despite some bumbling moments in game two, SKT still managed to win thanks to their lightning-speed reaction time to a slight misstep by KOO that brought them straight through KOO’s last line of defenses and straight into the enemy base:
But the weakness that had started to show themselves during game two become more and more glaring in game three. They ended up losing spectacularly to KOO, thanks in large part to a clever split-pushing strategy by KOO that kept SKT perpetually distracted. It didn’t hurt that Smeb, the one doing the distracting, was doing a killer job of it. His marvelous 1-v-2 outplay late in the game pretty much clinched the match for KOO:
I still don’t understand how things suddenly started to go so badly, so quickly for SKT there. I still don’t really believe that it happened. The team’s performance in game four pretty much erased game three from KOO’s memory. The final match was eerily silent and efficient; SKT picked their strongest champions and slowly and steadily pushed KOO further and further back. Eventually KOO didn’t have any more ground to retreat to.
SKT’s win today makes them the first team to ever win two League of Legends World Championships. Previously they’d taken home the grand prize in 2013, though technically Bengi and Faker are the only two players on SKT who are now two-time world champions. To celebrate this monumental achievement, star SKT player Faker ate a stalk of broccoli live on stage:
Ok, fine. The specific reason Faker ate broccoli on stage was because he’d promised a fan that if he won today he would do so. The fan had told Faker that his hair resembled broccoli.
Vegetables, people: They’re the key to success in League of Legends, just like they are in real life.