For the first time in League of Legends history, a team has won their second World Championship and Summoner’s Cup.
The 2015 League of Legends Worlds Finals Season 5 concluded today in Berlin, Germany, with two Korean teams battling for top spot: SK Telecom T1 and KOO Tigers.
SKT T1, already former Worlds champions in Season 3, accomplished a feat no one has ever done before when they dispatched KOO Tigers in a 3-1 series in front of 17,000 screaming fans in Berlin: become two-time world champions.
While SKT T1 were heavy favorites leading up to the match, fans were shocked when KOO Tigers displayed an equally impressive performance, managing to take one game off of their fellow Koreans and tarnishing what could have been an undefeated run to the championship for SKT T1.
For winning the Summoner’s Cup, Midlaner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, jungler Bae “Bengi” Seong-ung and coach Kim “KkOma” Jeony-gyun became the first three people to ever win the Summoner’s Cup twice.
SKT T1 will hold the distinction as the League’s first ever two-time World Champions on top of their already dazzling achievements as Four-time South Korea Champions, All-Stars tournament champion, Mid-Season Invitation Runner-up and OGN Masters Runner-up.
In Game 1, SKT T1’s other prodigy, Top lanerJang “MaRin” Gyeong-hwan put on a show after he went on an unstoppable 7/0/10 KDA line on Rumble to dominate KOO’s star-player and Top laner Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho.
Despite repeated attempts to help Smeb prevail against MaRin, the SKT T1 Top lane prodigy managed to dodge and prevail through the skirmishes and, through the use of some carefully placed Equalizer ultimates, managed to turn around every fight he was involved in in favor for SKT T1.
Game 2 saw a strategy change for KOO, as they abandoned their late game teamfighting playbook that has served them so well in the tournament in order to pressure SKT T1 in the early game.
Their new, aggressive strategy saw early success as they managed to box in SKT T1 in the early goings of game 2, placing the former Worlds champions in a 5-1 kill deficit and a 3,800 gold lead in favor of KOO in the first 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, Faker’s Lulu midlane came online at just the right spot, saving key targets with his protective spells and reversing KOO’s early game advantage. Eventually, Faker’s 7/0/7 KDA performance propelled SKT T1 to victory and a 2-0 lead in the series.
It was in Game 3 that KOO managed to make the unstoppable SKT T1 bleed. An early ace at the four minute mark snowballed into an insurmountable lead for KOO.
KOO employed the same high-aggression style they used in game 2 but with a different focus: the team set their sights on shutting down Faker early and often, causing four deaths for the SKT T1 leader in the first 10 minutes of the game.
In the end, KOO put away SKT T1 with a comfortable 29-13 kill score.
The final game of the night featured a classic performance for SKT T1: a controlled, methodical early game executed with clockwork precision…and an inspired show put on by one of the game’s legendary figures.
Faker picked his signature Ryze, a champion Faker made popular in his debut year. Faker was simply unmatched on Ryze, posting a 9/0/4 KDA with the champion. He was also present for each and every single one of SKT’s 13 kills.
Despite KOO’s best efforts to place Faker and his Ryze in unfavorable situations, Faker would end up surviving two-man ambushes, turning around skirmishes and solo killing key targets from KOO. He punctuated the Worlds tournament and Season 5 with a final triple kill to secure a SKT T1 victory in Berlin.
While many speculated that this year’s finals would see lower viewership numbers owing to the all-Korean finals, Season 5’s World Championship managed to put up over 1 million viewers on Twitch and 300,000 more on YouTube’s streaming service.
In the Philippines, the event would mark a milestone in media and broadcasting history as the 2015 Worlds Championship would be the first televised eSports tournament from start to finish on mainstream TV, courtesy of Sports5 in partnership with Riot Games and Garena Philippines.
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All told, over 3,000 Filipino gaming fans watched the event live from multiple viewing parties across the nation, with hundreds of thousands more watching from the comfort of their homes.
With the win, this ends League of Legends fifth professional season. It was a historic day in for the game and eSports: on October 31, 2015, a true gaming dynasty was born.
Congratulations to SKT T1 for winning the 2015 Worlds Championship!
Banner photo by LoL eSports on Flickr. SKT T1 image by LoLeSports on Instagram. Video rights owned by their respective owners.