What a Night!
Tonight, South Korea’s ROX Tigers faced SK Telecom T1 in an epic rematch of the 2015 grand finals and the hype surrounding this match could not have been any higher. So many questions surrounded this match as the summoners took their seats on the stage of New York’s Madison Square Garden in front of a sold out crowd. SKT was easily the more favored of the teams, but there was still some questions given some of the lopsided lane matchups between the two teams. In the midlane, SKT’s Faker was heavily favored over ROX’s Kuro, but at the same time ROX’s Peanut had the highest number of kills in the entirety of Worlds as a JUNGLER.
One of the first Bo5 to actually go to game 5 in a long time, and one of the most epic series I have ever seen. Please, please, please do yourself a favor and watch this match! Seriously, go ahead. I will wait. Ready? Good.
I have seen my share of competitive League play, but this match tonight had me shouting at my computer! The hype and the excitement was well beyond my expectations. So enough of that, lets get right into it.
Picks and bans were fairly normal. During the laning phase, SKT was pulling away by 1.4k gold at the 13 minute mark. ROX quickly turned when they caught both Faker and Bengi.
Though they gave up first blood, SKT would stick to their slow, methodical control and continuously build on a gold lead that would snowball into a huge team fight around Elder Dragon. The result would be an SKT win with a gold lead of over 12k at the 43:32 minute mark.
Game two provided something I have never seen on the stage before: a Miss Fortune support! Before I could recover from the shock first blood occurred in the top lane when Duke fell to Peanut and Smeb.
The game was much closer than the first with ROX gaining a 4k gold lead. The magor turning point in the game occurred around the 27 minutes mark with ROX started the Baron and SKT challenged.
It looked like it was all over for SKT, when ROX used the Baron buff to take two inhibitors, but SKT had other plans.
SKT rallied to push down mid to take an inhibitor of there own, but then this…
At this point I am going bananas. Did you see that arrow? What in the world could happen next? Once again we are delighted to see the support MF. SKT attempted to adapt to the MF support with a Caitlyn AD carry, and picked lanes with better odds of success.
Using their gold lead created by the baron buff, ROX would ace SKT in a 2v4 around 33 minutes and go on to take the game.
ROX has SKT on match point, and the support MF is going crazy for ROX. If you was are SKT, what do you do? You drop the banhammer on her! Also, the Zilean pick was a little questionable, but if anyone could make it work it was Faker.
Five minutes in, my fears over the Zilean pick will be earased.
The game will carry on with SKT picking off a ROX member now and again, but the gold lead was only about 5k at most despite being about 6 kills. The game is decided beginning at the 37 minute mark, and it was so epic it has to be showing in two clips.
Duke’s cancelled teleport was absolutely genius, and it was at this point I was cheering at my computer screen. We’re going to game 5 baby! Faker, I am sorry I ever doubted your Zilean.
The picks and bans of Game 5 finally banned out the Olaf causing the Junglers to return to Elise and Lee Sin. SKT traded a Nidalee ban for a Jayce pick, a champion that had been banned for each game previously. So in truth, no one was sure what was about to happen given how closely all the other picks and bans had resembled one another.
The action started just after 4 minutes when a wild Peanut appears!
The game remained essentially tied until the 22 minute mark. SKT starts the Baron, but Smeb comes up clutch with a steal but it costs 4 ROX members.
I don’t know about you, but after all of these games I was thrilled and exhausted. ROX and SKT put on an outstanding show of skill, and it is a shame that one of them had to go home in the semi-finals. One thing is for sure, whoever faces SKT in the finals has a hard fight ahead of them as SKT will be the heavy favorite.
Did you miss Pro Rivalry League’s 1v1 Rocket League tournament last night? Get the recap here!