(Photo from LoLEsports)
I still remember the days when I was watching League of Legends World Championship 2015 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Here I am again, after five years of stepping away from the game, watching the Worlds with my old teammates from college but with everything online instead. That Ezriel action figure is still sitting on my desk. The feeling is very complicated - I am never a great player and there were so many times that I uninstalled the game because of the toxic players (Thanks Rito). But I started playing the game again because of the quarantine, still as a support main just like five years ago. It is always an important game and brings back so many good memories of my college life.
The day has come again. One of the best Esport Events happening every year, League of Legends World Championship, is coming to closure for this year's tournament at Pudong Football Stadium of Shanghai. LCK representative, DAMWON Gaming, has won against LPL representative, SN Gaming. LCK has not been reaching the top of the Worlds for two years, and the trophy finally goes back to their hands after so much hard work. Just like what they said before, they still remember the moment when Faker cried on stage, and they promised to bring the trophy back to Korea. They surely did.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is incredibly complicated for the Worlds to happen. Thanks to Riot, around 6000 fans had the chance to enter the venue and witness the exciting moment of the winner's birth, following the local government's rules. They all get to enter a lottery system happening on the Chinese Twitter, Weibo, and only players with a level 30 accounts are eligible to enter the lottery for a free ticket. And the number of viewers online? Probably more than billions.
The opening ceremony began with Lexie Liu's performance of K/DA's Pop/Stars, following up with K/DA's performance of its new song, MORE with virtual projection. For those of you who have not watched it yet, here it is:
Maintaining its unique style just like before, K/DA welcomes its new member, Seraphine, a new support/ mage champion added to the League champion pool. Her character design is not... very successful and her kit is too much like an existed champion in my opinion (yes, I am talking about Sona). But we all have to admit that the Chinese part of the song is surprisingly stunning and way beyond my expectation. Lexie Liu's vocal has never disappointed us. Well, we all know that Riot is no longer Riot Gaming but Riot Entertainment.
The actual tournament is just like what I have expected. The matches are all very close games. Here is the recap of the final tournament -
DWG - SN: 1-0
DWG won its first match with the hard carry of its mid laner, Showmaker. Although there was never a crazy gold difference and Suning has been very efficiently farming, DWG has always been taking great advantages in team fights. Their front line has been peeling perfectly for their squishies, which gave Ashe (GHOST) and Orianna (Showmaker) perfect chances to play safely with insane damage. Suning's Top laner, Bin, had some great plays in the first several team fights but never had a chance to go to DWG's backline later on. Suning had some fantastic plays at around 27 minutes but did not fully take advantage of its Baron and Elder Dragon. 40 minutes into the game, DWG almost insta-killed SN's Jungle, successfully got Baron buff, and ended the game without hesitation.
DWG - SN: 1-1
SN's Top laner, Bin, is the absolute highlight of this game. Their pick for this round is very surprising. Instead of picking champions that are good for team fights, they focus more on champions that are good at laning and split pushing. Fiora is out of everyone's expectation, but it is the god pick here. DWG has been very patiently farming in the first 25 minutes, and the Evelynn-Ornn combo is a huge threat to SN's backline. But the game completely turned to Suning's side when Bin shutdown and solo-killed Showmaker and interrupted his teleport. 34 minutes into the game, the game ended with Bin's perfect Pentakill with Fiora.
This is also the FIRST Pentakill in Worlds Final.
DWG - SN: 2-1
Suning surprised us again with two Omnistone users on top lane and jungle. Bin has been given so much pressure by Nuguri the entire time - Sword Art's pick of Alistar proved that they gave up on laning phase on bot lane and focused more on countering Kennen. Sword Art did roam a lot to Top lane, but Bin still had a tough time. Different from Kennen, Jax needs to always hard engage at very perfect timing. The gold gap is huge at 20 minutes in the game.
Suning's Angel did have a fantastic play at around 23 minutes outside the Baron. He caught the perfect chance when Showmaker does not have flash so that SN secured Baron buff because of his double kill. We see a slight hope that Suning might come back. However, Suning did not take advantage of Elder Dragon. Sword Art got caught in the jungle, and DWG secured Baron while Angel did not have ultimate at that point. DWG finished the round in one wave and came to its champion point.
DWG - SN: 3-1
Suning's win condition heavily depends on their late-game performance. However, DWG's Support and Jungle collaborated so well in this round and gave so much pressure to Suning's bot lane. Suning should have taken advantage whenever Bin has ultimate. Still, it never succeeded, and Bin has been pressured so much that he could not even farm efficiently. 20 minutes in the game, DWG's Canyon (Kindred) has been fed seven kills with zero death. He never gave SN any chances to shut him down. Suning lost its tempo, and the game ended with no miracles happened.
It is definitely worth it to rewatch those intense games if you missed them. Congratulations again to both teams! It is finally a win for LCK after two years. SN Gaming has also tried its best as a newcomer to the Worlds Final. They will come back next year for sure with better performance.