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How we got to Korea v Korea in the LoL Worlds Finals

28 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
How we got to Korea v Korea in the LoL Worlds Finals

SKTelecom T1 and KOO Tigers face off in the eSports equivalent of the Super Bowl and there is a $1m prize at stake

On Saturday, as we celebrate Halloween, every fan in the land will have their eyes glued to the eSports equivalent of the Super Bowl – the LoL Worlds Finals.

A $1m prize and the Summoners Cup is at stake.

With SKTelecom T1 and KOO Tigers facing off after nightmare semi-finals for Fnatic and Origen, we ask the question: what led to the first ever all-Korean Final?

The first team to make it there, SK1, are no surprise package.

SKTelecom T1

Overwhelming pre-tournament favourites, they have lived up to their top billing in some style by becoming the first team ever to get to a Worlds finals undefeated – that’s 12-0, people!

Obviously, once again they are favourites for the match at 9/50.

Not just that, they are 17/10 to win the finals 3-0.

What’s more, while fully accepting that LoL is a team game, there is one player in particular for SK1 that scares any opposition.

Step forward, Faker.

Lee Sang-hyeok, aka Faker, is perhaps the most talented man in eSports right now.

Catapulted to stardom by helping SK1 to victory in the 2014 Worlds at the age of 17, he has matured into the highest ranked League professional in the world and is known simply as ‘God’ to his fans, which gives you some idea of his skill set and the devotion of his following.

If there was one concern for him and his teammates before the semi-final against Origen, it would have been the removal of Gragas.

Thanks to an in-game bug, the ultra-popular champion has had to be disabled for the rest of the tournament.

Having appeared in over 50 per cent of the games at Worlds 2015 so far, how would Faker and his team cope without the versatile jungler?

Ever resourceful, they instead switched to Jarvan IV – a key contributor to top lane carry that swung the day for them.

Despite some early pressure from Origen, Faker was not even needed until Game 3, with top laner and shot-caller, MaRin, leading the charge for SK1.

When ‘God’ was summoned for the final game, he proved his mental dexterity once again to wrap it up for 3-0, as if it was ever in doubt.

It is the ability to think outside the box that worries Lee’s (and SK1’s) opponents.

Perhaps his most famous personal example was earlier in this tournament against Bangkok Titans, when he surprised everyone by putting an overwhelming top lane or jungle champion, Olaf, in the middle lane.

It proved a masterstroke and he cleaned up. Be afraid, KOO, be very afraid.

Koo Tigers

But then again, why should KOO Tigers be afraid?

Everyone loves an underdog, and make no mistake, they are very much the underdogs in this final at 4.25 for the trophy.

What’s more, they have spent the whole tournament proving people wrong.

Created less than a year ago in November 2014, the team are seen as the metaphorical opposites of SKTelecom T1.

Whereas, like all perennial champions, SK1 like to start strong and lead from the front, KOO’s top laner – Kyung-ho ‘Smeb’ Song – describes his team differently.

“We are more passive than aggressive,” he explains. Which would be an issue if they were losing.

Instead, countless teams in this tournament – particularly the heavily fancied Fnatic in the semi-finals, seem to get over-confident by leading early on – only to get caught each time by the late momentum swing from KOO.

The key was how KOO also dealt with the loss of Gragas, shocking the crowd by locking in Zac in the jungle.

It worked a treat, countering Rek’Sai and not allowing Fnatic’s turret sieges to get a foothold in the match. They will need that ‘out of the box’ thinking again for the final.

Fancy them to sneak it? A 3-2 victory to KOO is 63/10.

So what do we have?

Two teams confident in switching up the expected strategies to gain the advantage.

One team strong from the start, the other making devastatingly successful late play pushes.

One team undefeated and confident, the other bearing the scars of earning the right to play in the final.

The only thing we can be certain of? It’s going to be the best League of Legends match of the year. Don’t miss it.

Koo Tigers – SK Telecom T1 K betting