The 2017 World Championship is down to its final two teams. SK Telecom T1 vs Samsung Galaxy. Jonas, Corey and Viktor talked expectations, memories and more about the Finals and the 2017 World Championship overall
Q: Who do you think will win and why?
Jonas: SKT should be able to take this one 3-2. After watching Samsung annihilate Longzhu and take down Team WE, I think they can take SKT to five games like they did last year, but SKT definitely look too strong to be defeated in a best of five. Of course, as a Samsung fan, I hope I’m wrong.
Corey: I believe Samsung will win the finals (3-2). They have seemed to be communicating better than previous stretches this year, and this is on top of pushing SKT to five games last year. Going to game 5 last year has nothing to do directly with how they will perform this year, but returning the exact same roster that has gone the distance before means a lack of surprises for them as a unit. Plus, this is just a more fun prediction to make. It’s not an easy one.
Viktor: My money is on Samsung Galaxy. Their Group Stage performance was shaky but ever since then, they’ve been really dominant. Their wins have been far more convincing than SKT’s wins. I know everyone puts a lot of stock into SKT’s clutch factor but I think it’s not gonna be enough this time around. Samsung are here to win and their play shows it. Whereas SKT is barely squeaking out wins. I say Samsung wins the series 3-1 or 3-2.
Q: Who do you think will be the series MVP and why?
Jonas: SKT are going to win off the back of Faker yet again. He will always be their MVP.
Corey: Crown, hands down. If Samsung wins, it will be largely due to this veteran shutting down the best player in League history. There are other equally core members of Samsung when considering the team in a vacuum, but none with as daunting a task. But it is one that he is familiar with, and has completed multiple times.
Viktor: I would have to say Ambition. He’s the backbone behind this team and I’m sure even he knows this. While CuVee can neutralize Huni for sure, Ambition can make sure the other two lanes win and provide Samsung with the advantages they’ll need into mid to late game.
Q: What can your predicted losing team do to upset and win the match?
Jonas: I think if Samsung can out-draft SKT and keep Faker occupied and unable to make plays, Samsung can win through botlane.
Corey: It wouldn’t be an upset, so let’s not kid ourselves. SKT can win this match simply by being themselves. They have the individual skill as well as the world-best mid-game decision making to win it easily if Samsung makes any mistake. Any punishment for poor judgement SKT can dish out after about 15 minutes could make the game for them, and they do this routinely. The only thing that makes it harder is the relatively small number of mistakes Samsung make.
Viktor: I expect SKT to lose and when it comes to SKT they always have a chance of winning. This year more than ever before it seems like their main win condition is Faker fixing things across the map and helping out everyone. I don’t expect Samsung to give him Galio five times in a row like RNG did so I don’t think he’s going to be able to carry like he did in the semifinals. However if SKT do win this series, it’ll come down to Faker carrying them across the finish line.
Q: What are your hopes or expectations for the finals?
Jonas: I really hope we get to see Crown’s Viktor go against Faker on a play-making champion and not Galio 5 times. These are two really mechanically gifted mid-laners, and they deserve better than what they’ve been playing. I also just hope Samsung can pull off a win here.
Corey: Another game 5. After last year (and I say this a lot), and less than a full set would be a disappointment. The only other expectations are for no glaring draft mistakes, Faker to not play the same champion five times, and at least one completely surprise pick.
Viktor: I really hope we won’t see Galio picked by Faker so much or we’ll see Crown taking it from him and doing well on it. Galio is a strong champion but he’s not the most fun to watch in my opinion. Other than that I just want to see a competitive match. Even if SKT does win and captures yet another title, I want them to earn it by showing good performances in more than one way, rather than Faker just carrying the entire team.
What is your favorite memory from the tournament over all?
Jonas: Cody’sDone’s Tristana ult for the loss against Fnatic is the play that will stick with all of us and haunt Cody, so it’s one of my favorites. But on a more serious note, the entire SKT-Misfits series was amazing.
Corey: SKT-Misfits still, for me. It was just so unexpected in a way that the semifinal with Royal Never Give Up was not. Even though it ended in a familiar way, it still captured viewers’ attention in a way that can’t be forgotten, much the way that Albus Nox Luna and Kabum! have done in years past.
Viktor: My personal favorite moment was when RNG picked a pretty bad team comp in Game 3 against SKT but still managed to completely dominate them and close out the game in about 23 minutes. The crowd went nuts for it and the electricity I felt from that win even just by watching from home was incredible. Honorable mention to Hauntzer’s five man Gnar ultimate which also made the crowd pop pretty hard. Quite a good showing from Hauntzer at this Worlds even though TSM as a team failed.
Q: Do you think SKT winning a fourth title would good for the professional League of Legends ecosystem?
Corey: I don’t think it’s good for fan interest necessarily, but if League stands the test of time, it will be great for looking back on as history.
Viktor: Yes and no. There’s always going to be two kinds of fans. The ones that don’t mind a team being dominant and building up their legacy. And those that want to see new fresh storylines and all sorts of winners. Whether SKT wins or not, not all fans will be pleased with the result. There will always be fans that aren’t happy with who won. With that being said however just by looking it from a competitive standpoint, SKT winning another Worlds in the condition they are with Faker carrying so many games on his own really speaks to how most teams’ structure is just not good enough. The reason why SKT is so dominant in my opinion is because they know how to structure their team. From strategies, to training regimen and even everyday life. This organization knows how to set up its players for success while most other organizations don’t. Even within South Korea. So in a way SKT winning Worlds does hurt the ecosystem because it only shows how flawed most teams’ approach towards the game is.
Jonas: I hope Samsung pull through, and let’s get this match started!
Corey: There isn’t anything left to say at this point, except let it be Saturday already!
Viktor: It’s been great talking about this World Championship and discussing everything involving it. I’m looking forward to next year’s season and I just hope we can end this one with one final amazing series!