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Worlds: Samsung stuns SKT, wins 3-0

LoL Michael “Zechs_” Radford

A mouthwatering final laid in wait for League fans this morning, but nobody could have expected such a dominant performance from the underdogs.

In such a high stakes match - the grand final - SK Telecom and Samsung Galaxy could be forgiven for a slow, tentative start. Apart from a few summoner spells here and there, Samsung picking up first tower 13 minutes in was the first bit of action for either team. They followed it up with a second soon after, as well as a second mountain drake and a 2.5k gold lead. Towers then started to fall left and right, extending Samsung’s lead without either team picking up a single kill. First blood eventually came after the baron - which was stolen by Peanut’s Gragas - but four kills went the way of Samsung at the cost of zero deaths. The game slowed down until a second baron went down in no time, uncontested, and the game looked to be swinging Samsung’s way. Indeed, it ended soon after, with just three more kills, all for Samsung, and just the one tower kill for the SKT.

The underdogs had made game one look easy and in game two the teams locked in seven of the same champions as in game one. Huni picking up Yasuo was the biggest change and he helped to secure a three-buff start for Peanut’s Gragas. He went on to assist in first blood, too, much earlier than in game one, handing it over to Faker’s Ryze. Skirmishes were far more prevalent this time out, but kills remained scarce. The second one went to Faker as well, leading to first tower for SKT and a significant gold advantage. But as SKT took down their second mountain drake, the game flipped on its head. Samsung aced the ensuing teamfight, conceding a single kill, picking up multiple towers and a baron buff in the aftermath. A second baron cemented Samsung's lead and SKT had no answer to the disciplined finishing power of their opponents.

Both teams switched up the pick/ban phase in game three, though the subbed-in Blank still ended up on Gragas. It was his early gank that put SKT ever so slightly ahead, giving Huni’s Trundle a great start. Crown was next to fall as Blank set-up Faker’s Karma for a second kill, leading to first tower gold for the defending champions and a 2k lead within eight minutes. SKT looked strong again in the early game, and this time they even won the first skirmish around the dragon pit, pushing the tempo and going up 5-0 in kills. Samsung answered with a couple of kills of their own, equalising the tower game at two each, but SKT maintained a decent lead going into the mid game. That lead exploded once baron spawned: SKT won a three for zero team fight and secured the buff, asserting their dominance on the third game of the series.

Just when SKT looked to be back in the series, though, Samsung won a miracle teamfight that their opponents would have been proud of. Ambition secured the buff and his team pushed into the enemy base. With two players dead, SKT narrowly avoided a 3-0 sweep as the game descended into madness. Scrappy fighting resulted in multiple kills back and forth, but Samsung was forced back, gifting SKT the elder drake and some breathing room. The respite didn't last, however. Yet another AD Carry flashing forward made his mark on the tournament, but this time it was Ruler doing it in a positive fashion. His Varus ultimate secured a kill onto Faker and SKT was unable to defend their naked nexus. Samsung had done it. They had claimed an unexpected victory, and in shockingly dominant fashion over the three-time champions.

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Michael “Zechs_” Radford

Michael "Zechs" Radford is an esports veteran and has been writing about professional gaming for longer than he cares to remember. He currently lives in Leeds and is hoping his upcoming offspring will be talented enough to play esports professionally rather than just write about other people doing it.

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