League of Legends World Championship Season 6: Finals
If you are behind on coverage for the League of Legends World Championships, check out my last article covering the Semi-Finals.
Greetings, Summoners, from the Fields of Valoran! Season 6 is coming to an end, with reigning champions SKTelecom T1 defending their right to the Summoner’s Cup against challengers Samsung Galaxy. Months of competition have brought us here, whittling down to the top two teams in the World. Now, a Best of Five will crown our 2016 World Champions.
Both teams started fairly standard with building and laning. Teams danced around each other, but damage was not significant enough to fell anyone. At 5:50, SSG’s Ambition almost managed to gank SKT Bengi, but Bengi had just enough health to make it to back-up. SKT almost turned the fight around, but Ambition used his Flash to escape.
The Jungle exchange set the stage for more significant fights in the lanes. After close encounters on both sides, SSG Ambition was taken down by SKT Bengi for First Blood just before SSG Crown killed Bengi in turn.
Bengi continually invaded SSG’s jungle, taking Blue for himself to deny Ambition the buff. Crown made an impressive showing in Mid, Solo-killing Faker just past the 10:30 mark.
Minute 11 saw SSG Ambition gank SKT Wolf before Bengi arrived. SKT Bengi took down Ambition and CoreJJ for revenge, ending the exchange in SKT’s favor. SSG Ambition took the first Cloud Drake for his team just before 24. After Faker and Bengi took out Crown and Ambition, they rotated bottom to siege the turret, but CuVee’s arrival shoved them away.
The teams disengaged before Bengi returned bottom to help push the turret; this time they chased away CoreJJ and Ruler before SKT claimed both the outer mid and bot turrets. SKT made a move for Infernal Drake just before 20, claiming their first dragon and expanding their Gold lead.
SSG CuVee and Ambition sat up a gank for SKT Duke at 21, but Duke’s Trundle had massive damage and health. He fought them off long enough for Bengi to arrive, chasing away the challengers. It was almost a turnaround, but CuVee’s Poppy was defensive enough to open an escape for the SSG duo. SKT spent the next several minutes bullying SSG and setting up ganks, though no more Kills or Objectives were taken for a while longer.
At 27:50, SKT moved for a second Infernal, but SSG Ambition jumped in to steal for SSG.
32 minutes into the game SKT turned their sights on Baron Nashor, claiming him uncontested. They rotated down a couple minutes later, taking down a Mountain Drake to add to their team buffs. SSG played defensive, only letting SKT claim one turret despite their Baron Buff and Drake boosts. SKT did claim a second turret just after the buff timed out.
As SKT started moving on SSG’s base, CuVee set up a play in bottom that allowed Ruler to take down Wolf. SKT quickly backed off, avoiding further casualties. Duke then found himself caught between three members of SSG. As he fell, his Guardian Angel went off, but his attackers waited out the activation before taking him down for real. SSG pushed out to take down two of SKT’s turrets. SKT then ran up to the Baron pit at 40, practically melting the jungle beast for a second Baron buff. They rotated down the River once more, taking down the Elder Drake as well.
SKT moved to shove down the middle lane and then the top, pushing right up to the edge of SSG’s base before gaining access in the top lane. SSG chased them away from the inhibitor, but lost their mid base turret in exchange.
After dancing around each other, SKT pushed forward to take down mid inhibitor before SSG Ruler was taken down by SKT. SSG shoved SKT away from the nexus to engage, with Crown earning a Double Kill. With one nexus turret standing, SSG pushed SKT out of their base. SKT made another push in the bottom just before 46, whittling down the base turret while SSG worked to poke them away. SSG engaged in the bottom lane, taking down Bang and Faker for a Double Kill for Ruler; Ambition quickly recalled to the nexus in an effort to clear minions, but the waves were so built up that they took down the second nexus turret before he was done.
SSG then shoved into the River to secure their first Baron, building up anticipation for the turnaround despite an exposed nexus. SSG started pushing lanes in an effort to even the field, defending long enough that both of their inhibitors were able to respawn. A fight in mid saw Wolf escape with a fraction of his health bar left; SSG took advantage to push right up to the base in mid lane, but they disengaged before SKT could turn the fight around.
At 51:25, SKT pushed into the river to take an Elder Dragon. SSG backed off to avoid a 4v5, letting SKT take the Elder. SKT pushed right up to the SSG base, with the teams exchanging damage. AT 54, SKT made their move, taking down Crown, Ruler, and CoreJJ in exchange for Faker and Bengi. They took down the mid inhibitor before shoving up to the nexus and bringing it down for their first victory.
Victory: SKTelecom T1
For the first time in Worlds, SKT Faker was able to claim Ryze in Season 6 Worlds. It would be his first competitive game with the champion since the rework. To add to the amusement, he wore the SKT championship skin to taunt SSG.
Another first for Worlds was Ambition taking Kindred as his jungle champion. The teams started with a standard laning phase again, exchanging damage but not taking any Kills. Ambition and Bengi both moved bottom just after 9 minutes, with Ambition claiming First Blood taking down Bengi.
SKT Faker’s answer was to take down CoreJJ. SSG rotated to river and took Mountain Drake while Crown kept Bang and Wolf busy in the bottom lane. Faker took down CuVee to help catch up in Gold. Ambition and CuVee rotated bottom at 12:38, taking down Bang and Wolf, but Faker and Duke’s arrival saw Crown and Ambition call in exchange. Around 14, Ruler flashed in for an engage only to fall shortly before Ambition was ambushed and taken down in the jungle for two more SKT Kills.
CoreJJ fell soon after when he pushed too far in lane. SSG moved to take a second Mountain Drake. Faker and Bengi moved to take down Ambition, but a good dodge saved his life. Faker then rotated top to take on CuVee with Duke. SKT then took down the first turret of the game.
Within a few moments, SSG answered by taking down bot and mid outer turrets. A third Mountain Drake at 22:50 fell to SKT for their first drake of the game. 26:40 saw SKT move for their first Baron Nashor of Game 2.
By 29, they pushed right up to SSG’s base before disengaging and backing off. Faker rotated to river, taking down a Cloud Drake. An altercation in the lanes saw Ambition and CuVee fall to SKT before rotating top to take down the last three and claim an Ace. SKT took the bottom inhibitor turret and inhibitor before pushing the nexus. SSG worked to defend as they respawned, but SKT took them down time and again before rushing the nexus for victory number two.
Victory: SKTelecom T1
Match point for SKT, do-or-die for SSG. Would SKT take their third Worlds in four years, or would SSG attempt to mount a comeback?
Ruler left his favored Caitlyn, his confidence down after a few poor games, and chose instead to take Ezreal to the Rift. Crown gambled with an Aurelion Sol debut in answer to Faker’s Orianna, given that the SKT mid-laner was bereft of Ryze yet again after SKT had chosen to ban the champion to keep him away from SSG.
Once again, the teams started with standard laning phases, focusing on farming minions for Gold and exchanging the occasional blows or wards. Crown rotated down just before 9, but SKT’s Bengi had similar ideas. Crown fell to the defending champions’ ADC Bang for First Blood.
Crown answered by taking the first Infernal Drake once he was back on the map. Bengi and Ambition both rotated mid to join their laners, exchanging blows before all four disengaged. While there were no casualties, Crown lost progress in his lane when he had to recall and heal. SKT Faker’s Orianna also kept Crown from roaming the map, working to keep ASol in-lane on the defensive.
SKT Bengi rotated top to help Duke take down CuVee, but Ambition arrived shortly after Bengi left to keep the top turret defended. Faker had a close call to both Crown and Ambition in the mid, but he survived to go heal at the SKT fountain before returning to contest the lane again. Crown worked to take him down in a 1-v-1 later, but Faker danced around the damage—even dodging an ult from Ruler’s Ezreal—to walk away alive.
Faker would then work to take down SSG’s mid outer turret at 19 for the first turret of the game. SKT was on the top of their game; they chose to cede their bottom tower in order to make a play top for another turret and a Kill on CuVee.
The only thing going in SSG’s favor was Drake control, with the team claiming three—on each of Infernal, Ocean, and Cloud. SKT remained 6K Gold in the lead, however, dominating the map.
25 minutes saw SKT sieging the mid-lane inner turret, taking down Ruler in the process. SSG got their first Kill of the game by taking down Wolf during a jungle fight, but SKT took Crown down in turn and chased them off. SKT started grouping up around Baron Nashor’s pit around 28, but CuVee made a good play to take down Bang for SSG’s second kill.
SSG then took their fourth drake, an Infernal. SKT’s answer was to move for Baron. But SSG rushed the river to take down Wolf, Faker, and Bengi before moving to take Baron for themselves.
With the buff in play, SSG moved to push down turrets and even out the map. SKT’s 10K Gold lead fell to a 4K lead by 32 minutes. SSG took four turrets, pushing right up to SKT’s base in the mid lane, before pushing bottom. A flank behind the turret saw Ambition set up Faker’s death once again before his team pushed up to the bottom inhibitor turret.
The last bottom push proved to be an over-extension, with Ruler falling while Crown and CoreJJ barely escaped alive. 35:20 saw the first Elder Drake spawn in the river. With four elemental Drakes, an Elder could prove to be the last push SSG needed for their first win.
Neither team made a move right away, with SKT Duke split-pushing in top while SKT worked to regain the map. SKT did move for Elder, taking the dragon before SSG could make a move. They then rotated up the river to scope out Baron. With SSG grouping in the jungle, both teams elected to back off and regroup.
Ruler was caught out by a Curtain Call, giving SKT the opening they wanted to initiate Baron. SSG still managed to chase SKT away from the pit, with Wolf falling to rival Support CoreJJ. SSG moved for Baron after a regroup, but SKT met them this time. Faker fell to SSG, but SKT still managed to stop SSG from taking Baron. SSG rotated straight back after healing to initiate on Baron again, but once more SKT chased them away.
Teams took a break to push lanes and farm before once again meeting outside the Baron pit. Neither team claimed a Kill, simply managing to push each other away from the river. SSG once more moved for Baron , but they didn’t fully commit and peeled away at first sign of SKT.
47 minutes saw Elder Drake respawn as well, tossing in a second giant objective for the teams to contest. SKT moved to secure Elder, just avoiding an ult from Ruler’s Ezreal. SKT rotated up to once again challenge the Baron pit. SKT finally managed to claim Baron before SSG jumped in to fight. Faker fell before Crown was downed in exchange. Bang was the next target before Ruler also took down Duke for the Double Kill.
SSG moved to shove up the middle lane with the advantage, exposing SKT’s base and taking the first inhibitor. They pushed for the bottom inhibitor as well, barely claiming it before backing away. SKT worked to defend while Duke pushed out the bottom lane.
Five members of SSG collapsed on Faker in the river, taking him down and Duke with the top-laner came to help. SSG pushed for SKT’s base, but Bang’s Curtain Call held them back. SSG regrouped before pushing top to take the turret and inhibitor. The teams then disengaged, with SSG escaping while SKT worked to clear their base of minions and reset.
SSG moved for Baron at 57 minutes; SKT contested, but SSG claimed the buff. Both teams engaged before Faker took down CoreJJ. Duke then slayed Crown’s ASol. Ambition took down Bang before Ruler fell to SKT. Duke took down CuVee for a 4-for-1 fight in their favor.
SKT then moved to take down Elder; SSG scurried around in the jungle to watch for a steal opportunity. Both teams chased each other away, with neither claiming the Elder. SSG came back to the dragon pit, but SKT’s poke kept them back. The teams danced around, each watching for an opening, before Crown peeled off to push bottom. Bang was ambushed in the jungle, but SKT turned it around to take down Ambition. Faker then took down Ruler for a Double Kill. Wolf and Bengi did fall in the fight before SKT pulled back to clear their base of minions.
While Crown was top pushing minions, SKT moved towards Elder once more. Crown’s arrival caused them to pull away, with neither team committing to the pit. 66 minutes saw SKT move for Elder again. CuVee teleported in and knocked away three of SKT, but the ensuing team fight led to neither team taking the Drake. SKT made another push for Elder, but Ambition showed up for the steal.
Both teams then rushed for the Baron pit to contest each other once more. SKT defended Baron against a quadra-Elder team without taking a single casualty. The next engage did see Samsung take the Baron. SSG once more moved for SKT’s base, taking down all three inhibitors before moving for the nexus.
At 70 minutes, SKT was there to defend, but it proved not enough against the Quadra-Elder and Baron-Buffed SSG. At 72, SSG officially completed their comeback to take their first victory. The game was the longest of Worlds 2016, falling a measly 14 seconds short of the record for longest World Championship game ever.
Victory: Samsung Galaxy
Game 4 saw Blank subbed in to jungle for SKT in Bengi’s place. The surprises continued with Blank choosing Zac for his champion. An early gank at 4:20 saw Faker barely escaping with his life, but First Blood was denied. Ambition counter-jungled hard, keeping Blank on his toes and taking the lead in jungle camps and creep score. SSG put the pressure on early, taking an overall Gold and creep lead—though Bang was outdoing Ruler in the bot lane.
SKT pushed for Infernal Drake at 10:30, but SSG showed up to contest, leading to both teams peeling away. 13 minutes saw SSG take Infernal, with Crown moving down while Faker was at base to help secure. Despite losing the Drake, SKT evened out the Gold score. 15:40 saw a party in mid lane, with both junglers and mid-laners clashing. SKT’s support joined the party, but no one died. Meanwhile up in top, CuVee solo-killed Duke for First Blood.
Within a minute, SSG had their second Kill with Crown, Ruler, and CoreJJ teaming up to take down Faker. SSG then took first turret up top. Wolf took down Crown for SKT’s first kill while Duke cleaned up the objective. CuVee made a significant escape, barely making it out with his life.
SSG added Mountain Drake to their accomplishments as they continued to dominate the map. A fight broke out in mid-lane at 25 with one casualty on each side; another fight at 26:40 saw Duke take down SSG Crown.
SKT put themselves on the Drake map by taking an Ocean Drake. A good Shockwave by Faker led to Blank taking down Ambition around 28:30. A team fight around 32 led to SSG taking down three members of SKT and claiming a Baron. Ruler scored a Double Kill while Crown took down Faker. CuVee had a great flank, teleporting behind as Kennen and catching SKT off guard.
Running on momentum, SSG rotated to take an Ocean Drake. They pushed up to the base, taking down the turret and inhibitor in both the bottom and mid lanes. A fight just before 36 saw SKT punish Ambition and take down CoreJJ as a bonus. CuVee’s answer was to come back at 37 and take down Duke. A well-timed bounce from Blank saw Ambition fall to Bang, but SSG pushed top to take down the turret and inhibitor.
SSG pushed for Baron again just before 40 minutes. SKT contested, but SSG pushed through to take the buff. Even so, Bang scored a Double Kill before Ruler went on a Rampage.
The sub of Blank was beginning to make less and less sense, as the jungler’s misplays continued to give SSG the advantage. Even so, CuVee and his team's amazing plays earned the victory.
At 43:40, SSG moved for Elder. SKT arrived to contest, taking down CuVee but losing Wolf. Ruler then took down Duke and Bang before SSG shoved to SKT’s base once more. Blank moved to wipe minion waves, hoping to keep SSG from reaching the base, but Faker fell to SKT and lost the top inhibitor. CuVee’s arrival saw Blank go down. Bang and Wolf were back up to defend, but they had a task ahead of them.
SSG shoved forward, taking down first one nexus turret, then another. SSG then melted the nexus for their second victory, forcing Game 5.
Victory: Samsung Galaxy
The Pick/Ban surprises continued. Bengi was back in for SKT while SSG picked Tahm Kench to counter SKT’s Ashe. SKT answered by picking Braum. The other picks were standard for the Worlds Meta. SSG had Olaf, Poppy, Tahm Kench, Jhin, and Cassiopeia. SKT took Ashe, Viktor, Lee Sin, Trundle, and Braum. The picks answered themselves when Bengi rotated bottom to help SKT Wolf claim First Blood by taking down CoreJJ’s Tahm Kench.
Within a minute, SKT had taken down Crown and Ambition as well, while SSG Crown managed to take down Faker.
Bengi went for an invade, but at 8:30 it backfired and led to his death. At 9:30, SKT claimed the first Drake— Cloud—for their team. 11:30 saw CoreJJ and Ruler shove up bottom to take down Bang and Wolf to siege and take first turret of the game.
In a 14-minute mark party at top, Faker took down CoreJJ. SKT took a second Cloud Drake while SSG had the Kill and Gold lead. Bengi, Wolf, and Duke rotated bot to take a turret for their team and claim the Gold Lead as their 3 downed turrets overtook SSG’s 2.
21:41 saw both teams clash in mid, exchanging damage before disengaging. Another clash in mid saw SSG take down Faker, Duke, and a turret. While SKT Wolf recalled to heal, SSG rotated down to take a Cloud Drake for themselves.
30 minutes saw Ambition get caught out in the jungle as SKT made a move for the Infernal Drake. CoreJJ arrived to carry Ambition to safety, but SKT claimed the Drake with no contest. SSG made a two-man Baron play, but SKT caught them and chased them away.
At 33:30, CoreJJ and Ambition were in the pit again to take down wards, but an initiated fight with SKT led to Baron taking swipes at them. As they fled from the pit, Bang’s Ashe Arrow caught CoreJJ and led to his demise. 35:40 saw another initiation in mid, where teams traded junglers and ults. Ruler got greedy, however, pushing out and getting caught by SKT. CoreJJ devoured him to carry him away, but he fell to SKT before SKT moved for Baron. With the buff in place, Faker took down Crown.
SKT moved for the drake pit, claiming an Elder Drake on top of their other buffs. After backing away to group up and heal, SKT made a play for mid. They pushed through to the base while Duke split push top. SSG kept SKT at the edge of their base, working for defense. SKT committed to the mid turret around 39, taking it down to a third health before disengaging and peeling back.
Baron went live once more just shy of 44, with SKT moving to take it. SSG tried to push in for the steal, but SKT secured the buff with ease. SKT then shoved mid again, taking the turret and the inhibitor. They rotated top next, claiming that turret and inhibitor as well. With their successes, they disengaged and backed away to regroup and spend some Gold.
With a minute left on the Baron buff, SKT moved for the bottom lane. Duke worked on wiping minions top and mid to keep the base infested while his team took the bottom inhibitor. SKT rotated to Elder while SSG defended their turrets, claiming another Elder Drake bonus. SKT shoved up the mid lane, buying time for their minions to catch up while taking down CuVee and Crown. Ambition fell next before SKT turned their attention to the turrets, melting them and the nexus to claim their third World Championship and the Summoner’s Cup.
Final Victory: SKTelecom T1
The first time a defending champion appeared in Worlds.
Faker and Bengi three times world champion.
Wolf and Bang two times world champions.
SKT's third World Championship in four years.
With Season 6 over, League of Legends fans have a break to wait for the Pre-Season to lead into Season 7. In the meantime, we’ll take a look at some of the recent metas and changes that Riot Games have launched and how they affect gameplay. If you have any questions or champions, items, or builds you would like to see highlighted, let me know in the comments!
I’ll see you on the Rift!