China’s LPL has once again proven themselves as the world’s leading League of Legends region. At the recent Rift Rivals tournament, the LPL teams were facing off against the LCK teams in order to determine who would be the champion between the LPL, LCK, and LMS.
The Rift Rivals finals was a best of 5 series that featured two different teams facing off against each other every single match. This made the finals an incredibly interesting series to watch as it was not just 1 dominating team versus weaker teams. Rather, it showed how the two regions as a whole stack up against each other. Despite the LPL’s victory over the LCK, the two regions are honestly quite similar in skill at the moment.
The first game featured KT Rolster versus Invictus Gaming, which was a landslide victory for KT. They continued to impress many fans with their extremely strong early game macro, which resulted in a quick lead over their opponents. After getting the upper hand, they never gave IG a single chance to get back in the game leading to a fast 1-0 for the LCK teams.
Royal Never Give Up faced off against SKT for the second game of the finals and RNG quickly evened out the score 1-1. Despite the 22 minute loss, SKT put up quite a fight but had to go for an all or nothing baron play. Unfortunately for them, they lost the baron to RNG who then quickly collapsed on SKT’s base to destroy the nexus.
After two games where one team was clearly dominating, the Afreeca Freecs versus Edward Gaming came as a nice surprise. The game was incredibly close with a lot of back and forths. In the end, it was Afreeca Freecs’ dominating play around vision control that gave them the edge over EDG in order to bring the LCK to match point.
This fourth game should have been the decider match. Kingzone DragonX, one of Korea’s strongest teams was taking on Rogue Warriors, a relatively weak team in the LPL. This should have been an easy win for Kingzone, but once again they managed to disappoint on the international stage. Kingzone drafted a strong early game team but never managed to get ahead far enough to close out the game. Once the late game arrived, Rogue Warriors easily managed to completely stomp Kingzone’s weak late game team.
For the final match, Afreeca Freecs were facing off against RNG. It wasn’t surprising that the LPL picked RNG to play in the final game, however, the LCK picking the Afreeca Freecs was quite unexpected, as KT has shown a far more dominant performance at the tournament. Unsurprisingly, the Afreeca Freecs were no match for RNG who quite quickly and easily obliterated the Afreeca Freecs, crowning the LPL the champions of the tournament.
The LPL has no claimed two international titles back to back to prove their dominance over the LCK. Although Worlds is the ultimate stage for the LPL to dethrone the LCK, the future for the Chinese region is certainly looking bright.