It comes down to this. One, final series remains in the 2016 League of Legends World Championship. Two familiar foes, both previous World Champions and both hailing from the same country, will battle it out one last time to see who will be crowned World Champions and earn the $1 million prize.
<h3>SK Telecom T1’s and Samsung Galaxy’s Journey to World’s</h3>
SKT is here to extend their dynasty and add to Faker’s legacy, having already claimed two World Championships (the only team to win twice) with a chance at a third. A win at Worlds would mean three out of the last four World Championships were won by SKT.
SKT had a much tougher road to get to this stage of the tournament, facing off against ROX Tigers in the semifinals. ROX Tigers actually won the Summer Finals in Korea this year.
Samsung enters the finals having won their past 10 games at Worlds. While that’s an amazing feat, this has come against less than stellar competition compared to SKT’s side of the bracket. Nonetheless, they’ve done what they needed in impressive fashion to get to this stage of the tournament.
<h3>2016 League of Legend’s World Championship Preview<h3>
These two teams have a rich history, and we can look at their most recent season for perhaps a glimpse into how this matchup may go. SKT is playing at a championship level right now, and they also swept Samsung (4-0 during the LCK Summer Split). In particular, Faker went 17-6-27 in those four games, compared to Samsung’s mid laner, Crown, who went 6-15-10.
Crown has seemed to gain confidence as the World Championship has progressed, and it’s clear he’s playing at a different level now. He’s statistically been a top three midlaner, posting the third highest KDA.
SKT will most certainly first pick away or ban Viktor in every game this series. A rush on mid lane bans would significantly hurt Crown, as we’ve seen Faker’s champion pool is nearly unlimited.
The one area that Samsung Galaxy may find an advantage in is the jungle position. SKT had issues against ROX Tigers when Kang “Blank” Sun-gu was in the game, but seemed to have much better cohesion with Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung (Faker’s longtime jungle).
Despite Bengi’s instrumental plays in helping SKT beat ROX Tigers, his play has declined in 2016 compared to past World experiences.
The emergence of Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in as the support player for Samsung, a former NA LCS ADC for Team Dignitas before they were relegated, has also helped this team reach their full potential here at Worlds. His Zyra has actually received target bans in this tournament.
Of course, facing the juggernaut that is SKT immediately makes any team extreme underdogs in the Finals of an international tournament. Samsung Galaxy will be fighting for recognition here and a chance at pulling off one of the biggest upsets in World’s history.
But SKT isn’t here to prove themselves anymore. They are the de facto best team in the World, and they’re here to establish a dynasty. The potential for three wins in four years most certainly sounds like a budding dynasty to me.
SKT makes history here, going 3-1 against Samsung and repeating as World Champions. SKT is too battle tested, too resilient, and just too good for any other team to beat them in a best of five series.