Alright! SKT has secured their role in the finals. Their opponents will be decided between Fnatic and the KOO Tigers. Will it be the first all-Korean finals or will it be a face-off between Europe and Korea? Most people believe that the FNC would win the series and advance on. Well, it would really be exciting to watch two former World Champions battle it out for their second Summoner's Cup.
Game 1 featured some interesting picks from both teams. Fnatic once again brought out Hecarim on the top lane and the team captain, Yellowstar, picked Nautilus for their support champion. The KOO Tigers, on the other hand, picked Zac for their Jungle, surprising everyone, as his first appearance throughout the competition.
Early game was full of tower dives from both teams and ended up with equal kills around 20 minutes in. A group fight could potential disturb this balance; there was no room for error. Sadly, KOO seemed better at avoiding mistakes than FNC, always coming on top after clashes. While all there was a lot of fighting, KOO took a commanding lead on the dragon. They took all four for themselves. Fnatic had to contest them for the fifth one or get ready to face the Aspect of the Dragon.Â They were able to steal the dragon but Febiven, their main damage dealer, got caught at a bad position and got taken out immediately. With the rest of the team stuck in the dragon pit, there was little they could do against KOO. They got aced and KOO rushed into their base, breaking their turrets, inhibitors and ultimately, their nexus. First game goes to the Tigers.
For Game 2, the KOO Tigers brought back their top-jungle duo, Fiora and Zac, from the previous game. They added the Yordle mage, Veigar, in the mid lane and the positioning Kalista-Tahm Kench combo in the bot lane. Fnatic goes a bit experimental and a bit safe with their composition for this game. Huni got his Riven, Febiven got Azir and Yellowstar got his Alistar. Meanwhile, Reignover showed a bit of diversity with his Skarner pick and Rekkles brought out Ashe, a champion he hasn't used frequently. Early game pretty much revolved around the mid lane. Both teams invested so much on helping their mid laners out. KOO showed an amazing play by using both their Teleports on a single ward. This gave an illusion that there is only one extra champion coming and it threw off FNC's timing on countering the play. This particular play really caught FNC off guard and they seemed to be a bit fazed by it. A few minutes later, KOO secured Baron and scored another ace. They continued to break two turrets and get another dragon. The next fights just went in the Koreans' favor and they were able to break all inhibitors. FNC, keeping their composure, was able to secure the next Baron and killed Veigar. They broke some turrets and positioned once again to get the next Baron. KOO saw that they were preparing and performed an excellent flank. They were able to kill all except one but instead of rushing Baron, they went straight to the exposed FNC nexus. KOO took the second game and the lead in this series.
Game 3: crunch time for Fnatic. Being on the blue side, they get to ban Tahm Kench and Veigar while grabbing Rek'sai first for their jungle. They also brought out Rekkles' Sivir and Huni's Riven, once again. To match FNC's top lane, KOO takes Hecarim then continued to get some of their comfort picks such as Lee Sin and Ashe; PraY is known for his Enchanted Crystal Arrows that seem to always hit a target. For the early game, efforts seem to be focused on the top and getting Smeb going on Hecarim. Sadly for FNC, after the first two kills were on Huni, their top laner seemed to be performing worse than what his team needed. The European team did get their opponents at a chokehold but amazingly, KOO was able to wiggle out of danger through patience and coordination. Ashe's arrow was always on point, Lulu's Wild Growth boosted either Hecarim's or Alistar's already phenomenal defense. After 24 minutes, they were able to grab Baron and break two turrets. A few moments later, they aced FNC and just went all the way to victory. They sweep the series, 3-0. An unexpected turn of events!
This semifinals series truly surprised everyone. The community looked to Fnatic to make a sweep or at least drop one game in this series, but I guess the KOO Tigers had other plans. FNC appeared to be going for the aggressive plays but, as KOO keep maneuvering around them, they were forced to be more passive. As seen in Game 3, they were leading in cs most of the time, yet they could not win the team fights. KOO did a good job in maintaining their coordination especially when one of them gets caught out the beginning of fights. You could how much experience can help in playing out a best of five series on an international stage. Fnatic is a relatively young group. Team captain Yellowstar is the most experienced in performing internationally. You can see how well he handled the loss at the end of the match. He held his teammates firmly as emotions overflowed on stage.
With this, we now have our two teams who will be facing in the Finals for the shot to grab the title of this year's Worlds Champion. It's going to be an all-Korean fight, a first for the finals of this competition. So, will SKTelecom T1 get their hands on another Summoner's Cup? Or will the KOO Tigers be able to break their winning streak and claim their first World Championship? Tune in on October 31 (4:00 am PDT/ 12:00pm CET) to witness an epic clash of legends!