More than 40,000 fans descended on the World Cup Stadium in Seoul to watch South Korea’s Samsung White claim their first League of Legends World Championship victory. White had arrived at the season 4 final having only dropped a single game since the group stages. In fact, a lot of the people I chatted to thought their opponents – Star Horn Royal Club – might be subject to a total stomp. The question wasn’t so much “Who was going to win?” but “How long would Royal Club be able to hold out?” They weren’t wrong.
Game one saw White’s DanDy take first blood in the first minute. Frankly, Royal Club never recovered. A series of confident tower dives pushed them further and further behind, corn and Cola got focused and Royal started losing vision. 24 and a half minutes was all it took for White to mash their opponents’ nexus into a fine paste.
The second game got off to a better start, with Royal Club seeming more able to keep White at bay. 9 minutes in neither team had scored a kill while Royal Club were actually nursing a 500 gold advantage. That situation ended up falling apart in short order. A teamfight turned into an absolute bloodbath which ultimately favoured White as it ended 5-4 in their favour. With 16 minutes on the clock White had pulled ahead by almost 7k gold and top laner Looper (the only person to survive that initial kill-fest) was 6 kills to 0 deaths. Another swift defeat followed for Royal Club.
As the sun set in the stadium, Royal Club found firmer footing with their third outing and managed to translate early resistance to White into something meaningful. There was a hairy moment for Royal as they got baited by White on the steps to the latter’s base but ultimately they were able to claim a victory. As well as being a positive for the team it was good news for the atmosphere in the stadium as many had feared a rather frictionless 3-0 stomp from White. Fun fact: game three also saw Royal pick up Rammus, cue obligatory explosion of “OK” all over Twitter and Twitch.
Game four… y’know what? When Samsung White ace you at 16 minutes and then sit there with a 6k gold advantage your prospects aren’t great. From that point it just felt like a matter of time until Samsung White brought home their deserved Worlds victory.