The League of Legends World Championship quarter-finals in London last week produced some excellent series and have set up two mouth-watering semi-finals. Our eSports man in the know, Jack Stewart, previews all four teams looking to make it through to the Grand Finals in Berlin.
The knockouts really have been a tale of two halves so far. After big pre-match favourites Origen and SK Telecom T1 picked up routine wins and romped through to the semi-finals, bettors were rubbing their hands together in anticipation for the weekend.
However, it was the traders who had the last laugh as not one but two upsets occurred over the weekend period. First Fnatic trounced Chinese giants Edward Gaming 3-0, and then KOO Tigers finished things off with a relatively straightforward 3-1 victory over their Korean rivals KT Rolster.
This now leaves us with two widely anticipated Europe vs Korea semi-finals and an SK Telecom T1 side as huge favourites 1.289 to lift the Summoner’s Cup. But as we have already seen so far in this tournament, nothing should be taken for granted.
Origen vs SK Telecom T1 – October 24th
Origen (8.210) have had an excellent tournament and have already exceeded the expectations of many, most didn’t expect them to even qualify from their group. Group D had been labelled as the “group of death” but on home soil the Europeans were able to escape against all the odds.
They then impressively defeated yoe Flash Wolves 3-1 in the quarter-finals at London last week. The team from Taiwan had impressed during the group stages but in the end Origen’s map play was too much to handle.
This was especially evident in the first game. Origen won by drawing Wolves into dragon, only for Niels to backdoor and finish the game. However, things weren’t entirely convincing, they made numerous mistakes throughout the series.
If they want to progress through to the final they will have to iron these mistakes out and they now face the gargantuan task of defeating red-hot favourites SKT T1 (1.090).
SKT have yet to put a foot wrong in the tournament so far and have dominated in all areas. In the quarter-finals they swept AHQ aside 3-0, extending their winning run to nine straight games in doing so.
The Koreans haven’t struggled in any of their games yet and as a result they haven’t had to reveal any of their secret picks or alternative strategies. This gives them a significant edge and makes it hard to predict what they’ll bring out.
Such is the Korean teams dominance, the question isn’t whether they will win, it’s how many will it be by. SKT1 are 2.030 at -2.5 in the handicap market.
Fnatic vs KOO Tigers – October 25th
Fnatic (1.549) haven’t had it easy on the road to the semi-finals, they had to defeat AHQ in their final group stage game to qualify as first seeds. The game went down to the wire, but Fnatic managed to get an ace within their own base and win the game.
The Europeans now look to be in scintillating form after defeating MSI winners Edward Gaming in a perfect 3-0 in the quarter-finals. EDG were one of the favourites to win the tournament but nobody watching the quarter-finals would have guessed as Fnatic remarkably swept them aside.
With the home crowd and advantage and their exciting form, Fnatic look like a force to be reckoned with but Koo are certainly no pushovers.
Koo Tigers (2.540) defeated fellow Korean team KT Rolster 3-1 in the quarter-finals to progress through, despite their opposition being favourites to win that game. Despite starting as undedogs, Koo were by far the stronger team as KT couldn’t handle their early five man roams and crazy teamfights.
Like Fnatic, Koo are in excellent form and don’t be surprised if the Koreans have a few more tricks up their sleeves. They are known for being innovative and creating new strategies. They were the first team to pick up Viktor and are also the reason that teams are now running teleport mid.
Can anyone stop SKT? Will we get an all Korean or all European final? Invest in some of the action by signing-up at Pinnacle, industry leaders in eSports betting.