Photo Credit: Youtube (From LCK Spring 2016)
“The gap is closing” has been used by fans of non-Korean regions referring to the fact that there are now teams that are capable of competing with the premier League of Legends region. However, as Korea has shown once again, this is not the case, as the crushing defeat of H2K at the hands of Samsung was a far cry from the exciting series between SKT and ROX Tigers. Added on, Samsung is supposedly the third best team from Korea goes to show how far the LCK is ahead of everyone else.
SKT vs ROX
The highly anticipated match-up between the top two Korean teams delivered in every aspect. This series was a rematch of last year’s finals, so it was a bit unfortunate that both of these teams were drawn into the same side of the bracket. After watching the game, there was no doubt that these two teams were miles ahead of everyone else. Every small mistake was capitalized on both teams played well.
The first game began with SKT winning heavily in the laning phase and despite giving up two early kills, they still held a slight advantage. That bit of a lead was enough to drive home a major team fight victory to take the first game of the series. ROX bounced back in Games 2 and 3 with two hard fought victories. SKT almost pulled a comeback in both games, but ROX pushed through. Game 4 was a one-sided victory for SKT as early solo kill from Faker on Kuro helped SKT grow a significant lead that they never relinquished. This tied the series at 2-2 and set the stage for an exciting Game 5. For the first 20 minutes of the final game, the lead swung back and forth several times. It wasn’t until a poorly judged Baron that SKT was able to blow away 4 of ROX’s members and secure a foothold in the finals. The excellent shot-calling allowed SKT to pick off objectives after objectives while giving little opportunity for ROX to come back into the game. Eventually, SKT walked in through the front door of ROX’s base and grabbed their spot in the finals at 42:28.
SSG vs H2K
There’s not too much to say in this series as Samsung showed the vast difference between Korea and the rest of the world. To H2K’s credit, they did play SSG close in several of the games, but it was not even close to enough as they failed to take every a single one. In particular, Crown performed extremely well for Samsung and rarely gave up any deaths while grabbing the most kills of anyone on his team. Jankos from H2K had good numbers also, but it wasn’t enough to carry his team to a victory over the Koreans. With Samsung’s win, the 2016 Worlds finals is once again between two Korean teams. SSG have a huge hill to climb as they face two-time world champions, SKT, and the god of League of Legends, Faker.