Ashley Crocker ‘15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Last Friday, eight League of Legends teams from across the globe met in Katowice, Poland for the World Championship of the Intel Extreme Masters. The eight teams were: Chinese Team WE, Chinese Invictus Gaming, Fnatic, Millenium, Gambit Gaming, Taiwanese Taipei Assassians, South Korean KT Rolster Bullets, and North American Cloud 9 Hyperx.
The Group Stage saw some incredibly well-played games. South Korean KT Bullets and European team Fnatic dominated Group A. Meanwhile, in group B, Gambit and Cloud 9 were the two teams to beat. The other teams struggled against these four powerhouses. Millenium, Team WE, and Invictus lost both of their games and were eliminated very early in the series. The Taipei Assassins had a strong start but fell off later into the competition. It was no surprise that the KT Bullets, Fnatic, Gambit, and Cloud 9 all advanced to the semifinal bracket stage, a best-of-three series.
Repeating their match-up from last season’s League of Legends World Championship, Fnatic and Cloud 9 played three incredibly good games. Although Cloud 9 showed that they had improved drastically since last October, Fnatic controlled the field with good positioning and objective control. One memorable moment from the games was Xpeke’s escape from the full Cloud 9 team, which led to Cloud 9’s defeat. Fnatic won 2-1.
The KT Bullets had an easier time against Gambit Gaming, taking them in a 2-0 sweep, but they were no less intense. Both games lasted over forty minutes, and similar to Fnatic in their match, the KT Bullets had an obvious dominance. In the second game, the KT Bullets pulled off a risky, but game-winning, full-team back door, securing their victory in the semifinals.
The Grand Finals were a best-of-five series between KT Bullets and Fnatic Gaming. The KT Bullets won the match with a 3-0 victory. Although Fnatic played excellently, the KT Bullets continued their strong map and objective control. While these were great games, they were also very one-sided. It was a well-deserved win by the KT Bullets, and it reaffirmed South Korea’s dominance in the League of Legends competitive scene.
With the League of Legends All-Stars series fast approaching in May, Katowice gives us a sneak peak at the strength of the regions. North America has made it into the semifinals; with any luck, there may be some hope yet for North American fans. European teams are still going strong, and of course, the Asian Circuit is still controlling the League of Legends scene with South Korea as the reigning All-Star Champion.