On October 31, South Korean professional gaming team SKT T1 won the 2015 League of Legends World Championship at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin.
For those of you who do not know, League of Legends is a free to play game defined as a MOBA; a multiplayer online battle arena. It was created by Riot Games, Inc for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The video game pits two, 5-player teams against each other in the effort to destroy each other’s’ nexus; a unique structure located at the heart of each team’s base. Each player takes control of a “champion”, a unique character with special abilities and powers, who takes assigned roles in the game. This consist of a “mid laner,” “top laner,” “jungler,” “support,” and an “ attack damage carry (adc).”
The game has an extremely large fan base; according to Riot Games, “ League of Legends by player numbers: 67 million playing every month, 27 million playing every day, and over 7.5 million playing at the same time during each day’s peak play time.”
Since the game’s release back in 2009, developer Riot Games has held their annual League Championship Series(LCS), in which, professional teams throughout North America, Europe and Asia compete for the title of World Champions. Locations for each match vary every year. For example, the 2014 LCS finals was held in Seoul, Korea, while the 2013 LCS finals were held at the Los Angeles Staple Center. First place winners were awarded $1,000,000 dollars, second place winners were awarded $250,000, and third place winners were awarded $150,000.
In this year’s League Championship Series, matches were held through 4 locations across Europe. The group stage began in Paris, France; the quarterfinals in London, England; semifinals in Brussels, Belgium; and finals at Berlin, Germany. In this year’s final the top Korean team, SK Telecom T1, won a decisive 3-1 victory over rival KOO Tigers. The team included mid laner Lee Sang-hyeok(Faker), support Lee Jae-wan( MaRin), top laner Jang Gyeong-Hwan(bengi), jungler Bae Seong-ung, and attack damage carry Bae Jun-sik(Bang). SKT’s win made them the world’s first two-time world champions of League of Legends.
As a celebration for their victory, the entire team held the special summoner’s cup in a momentous occasion of joy and happiness. Star mid-laner Faker, widely considered to be the best player in the world stated, “Thank you [to all the fans] for cheering and always loving me”. Congratulations to SKT T1 and stay tuned to the upcoming all-star game in December.