Mid Seasonal Invitational: SK Telecom Victorious
The Mid Season Invitational Europe saw South Korea reassert its traditional dominance of League of Legends once again, with SK Telecom T1 sweeping through the tournament in impressive style.
The South Korean masters stormed to an 8-2 record in the group stage of the event, before turning in more dominant performances in the semi-finals. Taiwanese challengers Flash Wolves felt the full force of Telecom’s power in the semi, being almost contemptuously swept aside 3-0. SK Telecom were in similarly devastating form in the final, overcoming European outfit G2 Esports 3-1 in the final.
An entire month had been dedicated to the tournament, which took place in Brazil. Appropriately enough, Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo Fenômeno presented the medals to the winning team. Ronaldo has previously invested in Brazilian LoL team CNB, so was a fitting choice.
Certainly, their star players Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok and Han ‘Peanut’ Wang-ho turned in some world-class displays during the event. But while Faker has long been considered one of the best players on the LoL circuit, if not the best, Peanut’s performances came as more of a surprise, even to seasoned esports fans.
Peanut played as part of a brutally effective SK machine in the final rounds of the tournament, but it was his early-round displays which really impressed observers. The match against GIGABYTE Marines was particularly stunning.
That was when Peanut claimed the record for most kills in a professional game before the 15-minite mark. He ended that game with a 15-2-5 record, but 14 of those kills were in the first 12 minutes!
But LoL is not all about South Korea, despite SK Telecom’s success. We have got the EU Summer Split on the immediate horizon, with changes to both the European and North American line-ups for the event from last year.
Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas have purchased the last two available spots in the EU event, while, in North America, teams have been recruiting in earnest.
Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has been signed by TeamSoloMid, and will be in action with his new team in the Summer Split.
Team Liquid also look to be taking the North American event seriously, and have reinstated their roster from the Spring Split.
Other teams who will be looking for a strong performance in the event are Immortals and CLG. These two teams swapped two key players with each other recently, in the shape of Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero and Josh ‘Dardoch’ Hartnett.
Both players are junglers, but there, in many ways, the similarities end. It will be interesting to see how Xmithie’s more team-focused approach fits with Immortals. Dardoch is much more of an individual, and spectators will be keen to see whether or not CLG can rein in his more extravagant solo flurries.
Other news comes from China, where the LPL tournament is set to take a leaf out of Europe’s book, and use the EU LCS method of setting groups for the group stage of the event. Now, the highest ranked teams will take turns deciding which teams will join the opponents’ group.
All in all, the summer looks set to be filled with more thrills and spills for LoL fans, with a host of fascinating matches sure to keep us all entertained. There should be plenty of scope for keen bettors to win some cash too!