23 Oct Worlds Semi-Finals
League of Legends’ World Championships have always been full of action and crowd-pleasing moments, and this year’s is no different. We are approaching the semi-finals of the tournament and it has been an exciting road up to this point. Upsets, Unique strategies, and Unreal moments have been the talk of the town, with viewers from all over the world tuning in. We have four teams on their way to being immortalized in LoL lore, and it’s anyone’s game. I’m going to be going over each team’s roster and road to the semi-finals of arguably one of the most intense “Worlds” yet:
The Kings of Europe
First up, we have Fnatic, a power house coming out of the EU LCS. Coming off of back-to-back EU LCS regular season titles and having the 2018 Summer Split MVP, Rasmus “Caps” Winther, in the mid lane, Fnatic looks to advance to the finals, where they will be competing for their second World Championship. Fnatic were able to claim the very first World Championship title back in 2011, but have failed to reach the finals stage ever since. This doesn’t stop them from setting their sights on the top now. They fought aggressively in both the group stages and against EDG(Edward Gaming) in the quater-finals, propelling them to the semis. Veteran leadership from ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Top Laner Paul “sOAZ” Boyer should help establish strategical control against their North American opponents, Cloud 9. Does Fnatic have the talent and prowess to surpass this the opposition and claim their second title?
“NA’s Last Hope”
Cloud 9 has been a dominant team ever since their induction into the NA LCS in season 3, which is why this year was quite confusing. Coming off a crushing defeat in the Spring Split finals, a drastic roster change was made that inevitably caused Cloud 9’s record to drop to 3-7, the worst in the league. The roster change was quickly reversed and the team went undefeated the rest of the Split, giving them a 1st-place bye going into the Summer Split finals. Losing in the finals to Team Liquid 3-0 and having to advance through the regional gauntlet wasn’t the plan for Cloud 9, but it worked out in the end, with the team earning the 3rd seed from North America going into Worlds. They fought hard in the group stage, settling at the 2nd seed, and after securing a dominant 3-0 series victory against the Afreeca Freecs, Cloud 9 look to become the first North American team to advance to the World Championship finals.
Invictus Gaming were in a group that was pretty much up for grabs. Teams such as Fnatic and 100 Thieves of NA were in attendance, with lesser known G-Rex squirming their way in. Invictus would stroll right into the 2nd place position, only dropping 2 games the whole group stage. What Invictus didn’t want however, was to be put against a powerhouse team in the quarter finals. Sadly, their wish would not be granted, as they were put against the #1 seed from Korea, kt Rolster. In a thrilling 5 game series, Invictus was able to take down kt, stunning the whole world. No one expected the best Korean team to lose to the 3rd seed from China, but on the World’s stage, anything can happen. The organization has had trouble on the international stage in the past, many years even failing to get to it in the first place. However, Invictus looks to staple their name in the record books and be the second Chinese team to claim the Summoner’s Cup.
“Former” Kings of Europe
G2 were the undisputed best team in the EU LCS in 2016-2017. Earning three consecutive first place regular season finishes, no one could touch them. A change in their bot lane would bring a lesser, but still impressive performance out of them in the 2018 splits. Falling behind Fnatic in the Spring Split made it difficult for the team to come back. G2 would eventually have to advance through the regional gauntlet, beating out FC Schalke 04 to claim the 3rd seed from Europe. Following terrible performances at previous Worlds, G2 would look to finally show that they were still a squad of great European talent. G2’s victory over RNG(Royal Never Give Up) was another upset that stunned the world, as RNG were favorites to win Worlds from the very start. G2 is looking to ride this wave of hype all the way to the top, where they look to claim the West’s second World Championship.
This year’s Worlds tournament has been full of upsets and big plays alike, but no one could’ve predicted this semi finals. Two European teams, one North American squad, and one Chinese crew all look to immortalize themselves in LoL history, earning themselves a large prize pool as well as a permanent in-game skin. Despite who you picked to win it all, one thing is for sure: That this year’s Worlds will be remembered for years to come.