Top 5 All-Stars 2016 highlights
All-Stars 2016 was a blast this year and the perfect way to cap off Season 6. There were way too many highlights to cover them all, but we can at least run down the top 5.
#5: Seeing pros play on the preseason patch
The preseason changes shook up a lot of what we knew about League of Legends, but until now, we haven’t been able to see just how far-reaching the consequences were. All-Stars this year gave us our first look into how the competitive scene has changed, and what we can expect when the regular season starts up again.
And while some things have stayed the same – Poppy and Jayce being strong, for example – some things have changed. Vayne is back in the meta, as is LeBlanc following her rework. Plants aren’t entirely worthless, as many claimed they’d be, and look to have a serious impact on how the game is played. And finally, even though we only saw them in Team Fire/Team Ice matches, Ivern, Katarina, and Kled all look to be fairly strong champions. All-Stars was just a taste of the games that lie ahead, and the 2017 season looks to be one of the most interesting yet.
#4: Team Ice crushed Team Fire
While Fire may have melted away Ice in last year’s All-Star tournament, they couldn’t do it again this year. Fire managed to split most of the team matches with Ice, but Ice’s players absolutely dominated the 1v1 Tournament, securing their victory before the final three games could even be played.
Even more impressive was the fact that Team Fire had both the NA LCS and LCK all-stars, which ostensibly should’ve given them an easy time of it. Instead, Team Ice played cool and collected and proved their superiority at random game modes, allowing them to take home an upset victory.
#3: Uzi beats Maple for the 1v1 title
Mages were supposed to be the strongest picks for the 1v1 tournament, but Uzi proved just how wrong we were with his stellar marksman play. Maple almost had the victory in game 1, but Uzi’s Kalista had already farmed up enough of a CS lead that he could ignore Maple’s Kennen and finish last-hitting to secure the win. In game 2, Maple tried using Uzi’s Varus against him, but Uzi absolutely dominated the match with flawless Lucian play. Two full Cullings to the face will generally win you a 1v1, as it turns out.
Though Uzi won in two games, both matches were equally tense and fraught with near misses. It was the most exciting 1v1 final in memory, and certainly was a match to remember.
#2: xPeke’s mid Garen double kill
Garen mid was already weird enough, but I don’t think ANYONE expected it to do well. Xpeke swiftly proved the world wrong, taking a solo kill onto Faker’s Galio at barely 4 minutes into the game, and then finishing off Bengi’s Olaf with a little assistance from Mithy. That’s right – xPeke scored an early double kill against two of the best players in the world, while playing Garen mid. That play’s going to make so many highlight reels.
#1: Fire and Ice both random it up
It wasn’t actually random, but the final three matches between Teams Fire and Ice certainly felt like it. Shaco top? Master Yi jungle? Syndra support? Teemo anything? That and more were picked in the final games of All-Stars, which led to some amazingly fun games to watch. Ice clinching the win earlier in the day meant that nobody really needed to try hard, allowing all of the pros to bring out their secret picks.
Part of the fun was that some of the unique champion picks seemed fairly viable in regular games. While Rengar will probably never see professional play as a support, other options – like Sion and Kled – showed up big in their respective games. Will we see them again? Maybe not. But even seeing them in those last few, frantic games, was excellent.