The LCK regional finals took place against the looming backdrop of the 2017 League of Legends World Championship in China. kt Rolster had more championship points than Samsung Galaxy, but none of that mattered. The third place spot at Worlds always goes to the winner of the Regional Finals.
Rolster Start Brightly
The series began brightly enough for kt Rolster, who took the game to Samsung. Some great ganks by Score set up a solid lead, but it was not to be. Samsung fought their way back into contention in a game that was as crazy as it was long.
Elder Dragons and barons both fell consistently as the fortune of either team rose and fell. In the end, Samsung finished ahead and set themselves up well for game 2.
The second game brought out some phenomenal plays, but it was Ruler who led the way to a dominant performance. An early double kill in the bot lane, reversed a gank by kt Rolster and set up a good platform for Samsung to consolidate a lead. Samsung set up a potential 3 game sweep after winning the game decisively.
Good, But Not Good Enough
The third game saw kt Rolster take an early lead and not let go. They slowly formed a death grip on the map and squeezed the life from Samsung. It looked like there was no way back.
Samsung’s players never gave up, even with their base cracked open, and their inhibitors down. Yet, for fight after fight, they stalled the advance of kt Rolster. A sliver of hope formed for Samsung and they grasped it with both hands.
Whether it was Caitlyn not scaling into the end game, or simply a lapse of judgment, the door had been opened and could not be closed.
It was another epic game, with both teams racking up over 100k gold a piece. In one final team fight, Samsung smashed Rolster and barrelled down mid lane to take their base. Score alone was left to defend. He fell right before the Nexus exploded.
Samsung will advance in dramatic fashion to the World Championships in China. Other teams will have to consider changes for the coming season, while Samsung will be wondering what they can do to topple the two other Korean giants.
A 3-0 series is impressive in any situation, but to do so in the LCK regional finals against kt Rolster lays down a gauntlet and demands that other teams pay attention.
Samsung will want replicate this kind of form and determination. Whether or not that’s possible remains to be seen. One thing is for sure though, with the likes of Longzhu, SKT T1 and Samsung in the World Championships, other leagues will need to be at their very best to topple the Korean giants.