This weekend, the LCS will crown two League of Legends champions in Europe and North America, but they arent the only regions in the world nearing the end of their playoffs. Across the Pacific, all three major League of Legends leaguesthe LCK in Korea, the LPL in China, and the LMS in Taiwanare in the midst of their playoffs, with big matches completing last night in all three leagues.
In Korea, the current world champions SK Telecom T1 showed they may be ready to put a middling season behind them. The team placed third in the league with a 12-6 record, but their convincing 3-1 win over Jin Air Green Wings last night now has them in the semifinals against KT Rolster scheduled for tonight at 5am ET.
SKT traded the first two games against the Green Wings, but a dominating third game where SKT gave up zero kills and just one tower set the stage for them to close out the series with an impressive 9/2/4 Twisted Fate performance by Lee Faker Sang-hyeok.
The battle against KT Rolster, though, will be a much stiffer challenge. Ten days ago, KT Rolster beat SKT 2-0 in the final week of the season, with second place in the league on the line.
Tonights match between SKT and KT Rolster will be a historic one for OGN, the network thats broadcast esports in Korea for nearly two decades; its the last game that will be played at their current studio before moving to their new impressive e-Stadium. Check out pictures of the new digs on Korean news site Naver.
In China, two of the nations international challengers, EDward Gaming and Team WE, advanced into the semifinals after victories over Vici Gaming and Snake.
On paper, its hard to claim Team WE would be favored against a team like Vici Gaming, who made headlines in the offseason when they signed former SKT mid laner Lee Easyhoon Ji-hoon with a lucrative offer. That brought him into a team with another world champion and the best jungler of 2014, Choi DanDy In-kyu, giving Vici Gaming one of the best one-two combination of Korean imports in China.
But based off regular season results, the 10-6 Team WE were favorites over the 8-8 Vici Gaming, and played like it. After dropping the first game in the series, Team WE stormed back to win three straight, thanks in large part to their Korean bottom lane completely outplaying Vici Gamings duo.
The favored EDward Gaming dispatched Snake with ease in the other quarterfinal. Superstar AD carry Kim Deft Hyuk-kyu showed hes still in top form, posting a 17/2/19 KDA through the three game sweep, including a ridiculous first game where he dealt 43.2 percent of his teams damage.
EDG hopes Deft maintains that form in the semifinals as they face Qiao Gu Reapers, a team featuring their own superstar AD carry Jian Uzi Zi-Hao. Team WE will battle the leagues top team, Royal Never Give Up. The winners will battle for the league title and a spot at the Midseason Invitational on April 23.
Last and perhaps leastbased off their international results and size of the scenecomes Taiwan, who started its playoffs last night. Longtime international challengers and former world champions, Taipei Assassins, fell in the opening bout to surprise underdog Machi E-Sports in a close 3-2 series. To win the title theyll need to beat two more teams who have made an impact on the international stage starting with Flash Wolves. Waiting in the finals are ahq e-Sports Club, who dominated the league with a roster similar to the one they took to MSI and Worlds last year.
So while Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming clash in Las Vegas, and G2 eSports seeks a title in their first split against Origen, theres plenty of other playoff action coming to a head across the globe.
Image via Riot Games (Public Domain)