With the 10th anniversary of League’s World Championship and Worlds 2020 coming right around the corner, let’s take a quick look back at how the final match-ups of the past Worlds finals came to an end and how some of these teams were able to take the Summoner’s Cup and reign as ‘World Champions’.
Possibly the start of League of Legends’ real rise to the main stage in terms of popularity, this final battle boasted 14 million concurrent viewers from all over the world. This season came down to two of LCK’s strongest competitors, SKT Telecom T1 and KOO Tigers. KOO’s line-up of Smeb, Hojin, KurO, PraY and Gorilla went against the formidable SKT line-up of MaRin, Bengi, Faker, Bang and Wolf, who went 12-0 during the tournament until the day of the final match. The spotlight was definitely watching the top lane match up of MaRin and Smeb. KOO was able to take Game 3 when the focus was finally moved towards the other lanes as jungle player, Hojin, was able to set himself up for an early lead which helped mid-laner, KurO. With Faker’s incredible performance in Game 4, SKT was able to secure the win and officially became the first team to hold 2 ‘Worlds’ championships.
2016 Worlds – SK Telecom T1 vs Samsung Galaxy (3-2)
This season has proven LCK’s great strength on the world stage with both finalists coming from the region. As the previous year’s champion, SKT, with Faker’s lead, has continued their showmanship at the championship stage. But SKT’s fights weren’t always easy-breezy. Their semi-final match-up also led them to a match point, winning at Game 5. During the finals, Samsung’s veteran jungler, Ambition, provided his team with good momentum to win rounds against their opponent. However, with the combined skills of the Faker-Bengi duo, Ambition’s push wasn’t enough to sweep a 3rd win in Game 5. SKT’s control over the pacing of the game has always been their strongest expertise: dodging fights they don’t need and enforcing battles when they can see it leaning in their favor. Worlds 2016 officially secured SKT T1’s 3rd championship title.
2017 Worlds – Samsung Galaxy vs SK Telecom T1 (3-0)
And we’re back! The Worlds 2017 Finals was yet again populated by LCK’s 2 strongest contenders, but this time it’s different. Held in Beijing, this finals match-up boasted jaw-dropping plays. Previously before the Worlds, fans started seeing a shaky SKT compared to their usual dominance and Samsung’s ability to make it even to Worlds, and all the way to the finals. Season MVP, Samsung’s Ruler, was in his element as he played his role as AD Carry with prowess. Samsung showed off ‘no-deaths’ stats on their games, quite rare in a game of League of Legends and in the World Championships to be exact. CoreJJ, Samsung’s support, of course put in a great amount of effort to assist his lane partner. Best bot lane duo? Possibly. Many paid more attention to SKT’s loss and the end of Faker’s reign but we cannot deny the fact that Samsung Galaxy has stepped up their game since their previous appearance. Chasing SKT’s title of most championship wins, 2017 Worlds marks Samsung’s 2nd Worlds championship win.
2018 Worlds – Invictus Gaming vs Fnatic (3-0)
2018 brought fans new names in the finals stage. The final match-up was between LPL’s second seed Invictus Gaming and, first-ever champions, EU LCS’s Fnatic. With nearly a million viewers, 2018 Worlds’ prize pool increased three times at about $6.5 million dollars. Walking out of the group stage, both teams were tied at a 5-1 score. Many expected the finals to be a close game, as both teams played each other prior to the finals in which it was a constant back-and-forth with Fnatic actually proving triumphant. Since then, iG went on a rampage defeating LCK’s first seed and fans’s expected winner, kt Rolster. Eventually doing the same to G2 Esports and Fnatic. iG’s jungler, Ning, was named tournament MVP from his outstanding game play with no deaths on Game 1 and 2. Western League fans were anticipating this season’s finals with hopes of a Non-Asian team finally taking the ‘cup’. All games lasted than 33 minutes, making it a quick sweep for Invictus Gaming. A new organization has finally taken the title from SKT, and Samsung and marks the LPL’s first ‘Worlds Champions’ win.
2019 Worlds – FunPlus Phoenix vs G2 Esports (3-0)
This year’s Worlds finals was held in Paris, France. It is the first appearance of both teams in the final stage of League’s well-esteemed international tournament. FPX and G2 entered the finals with about equal strengths, beating both their semi-final opponents with a 3-1 win. However, G2 was slightly favorited because of their win at an earlier tournament, 2019 MSI, in addition to their LEC Spring and Summer Split victories. This is the second consecutive year where the final battle is between an LPL and EU LCS team. Dubbed as the new “Kings of China”, FPX beat both of 2018’s finalists, Invictus Gaming and Fnatic, on their way to the finals. Fans in Paris cheered for their region’s team but this did not affect FPX’s quick game play. By Game 3, fans excitement was wary. Though G2 was able to look better and re-group in Game 3 with mid-laner Caps being able to buff up, it was not enough to take a win and possibly reverse the whole game. FPX’s jungler, Tian, was named MVP for the tournament to his shock as he measures his performance about average-tiered. 2019 seals LPL’s current strength in League of Legends and as the region to look-out-for at the moment.
We’ve had 9 years of stunning esports entertainment and we are brimming with excitement hoping that 2020 Worlds will bring us more awesome game play to look back to. Happy 10th anniversary, League of Legends World Championship!
What was your favorite Worlds moment? And, who do you think will be the 2020 Worlds Finalists?
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