Worlds: SK Telecom T1 vs KOO Tigers Finals Preview

Fourteen teams have gone home and only two remain in a final battle for the title, “2015 League of Legends World Champion”. For the first time in the history of League of Legends, two Korean teams will face off in the finals. The season 3 champions, SK Telecom T1, are looking to become the first organization to ever win the World Championship twice. Their opponent is the KOO Tigers, who were created less than a year ago. They were the two strongest teams all year long in Korea and have been the two strongest teams at this years World Championship. SKT still remain unbeaten at Worlds and the KOO Tigers still remain under-rated. Let’s dive into each position matchup and see what each team is all about.

Top Lane (Marin vs Smeb)


Marin holds the advantage in this matchup based off his performances so far at this tournament. Smeb is 1b to Marin’s 1a however. They have almost an identical KDA at Worlds, Smeb has a small advantage when it comes to kill participation and damage percentage for his team, but Marin has an advantage in his CS differentials. Ultimately I feel that Marin puts an insane amount of pressure in the top lane that will prevent Smeb from participating in fights with his team. This will swing fights for SKT and the lane for Marin as well. Both player have played Fiora the most at this tournament, so I expect it to be top priority pick in the series tomorrow. It could also be banned in a couple of games. The only other champion that these two have shared at Worlds is Darius. Marin has shown to have the answer for Darius, so I do not think Smeb will be pulling Darius out tomorrow. This top lane battle should be the most exciting matchup on the map, so keep your eyes peeled to the top lane.

Jungle (Bengi vs Hojin)

If you look at statistics, this matchup is probably the most even out of every position. Bengi and Hojin have a very similar KDA as well as having extremely close numbers when it comes to percentage of teams damage and kill participation. Bengi has a slight edge in the CS department, but it really isn’t significant. When it comes to these junglers, their goal tomorrow will be to each find a game changing gank or prevent it from happening. Just as importantly as it is to gank for your lanes, these junglers put a high emphasis on warding the opposing jungle to prevent against ganks. The jungle/support synergy has been an important aspect in Season 5 and we’ll see which team can establish the best synergy tomorrow. Both junglers are excellent on Elise, so expect to see the spider lady on the ban list every game. Rek’Sai will be the most contested champion for these junglers, but Bengi has his Jarvan IV to fall back on and Hojin has his Lee Sin if they miss out on Rek’Sai. Watch for which jungler gets a sightstone first, that team will have the vision advantage and make plays around the map.

Mid Lane (Faker/Easyhoon vs Kuro)


The most lop-sided matchup across the board is definitely in the mid lane. Whether it’s Faker being Faker, or the control mage specialist Easyhoon, Kuro will have a hard time against both of SKT’s mid laners. In the semi-finals, it was Easyhoon that got the starting nod for the first two games. Faker then came in and dominated game 3. Either mid laner can compete on the highest level and help their team succeed. Faker averages a 15 minion lead at the 10 minute mark, while Kuro averages a 8 minion deficit at that time. Faker and Easyhoon also do a great percentage of their teams damage than KOO’s mid laner. If Easyhoon is playing, than the Azir pick becomes a top priority pick for both teams since it is Kuro’s most played champion at Worlds along side Viktor. And nobody knows what exactly Faker is going to pick since he can play any champion in the game at the highest level. I’d like to see Kuro continue to play Viktor and Veigar like he did in the semifinals against Fnatic. His late game team fighting was his best quality in the semis and will have to be top notch against SKT. It can’t be easy preparing for two elite mid laners when they only have to prepare for one.

ADC (Bang vs Pray)

Next to the jungler matchup, the ADC matchup has to be one of the more even matchups in the finals. Bang does have an insane KDA (19.9) at this tournament, but Pray is pretty even when it comes to everything else. Their kill participation percentage, damage participation percentage, and CS differential at 10 are almost identical. There is a big difference in their champion pools at Worlds thus far. Bang’s most played champion is Tristana. He is 5-0 on Tristana while Pray has not even played her once at Worlds. Bang is also 3-0 on Sivir, another champion Pray has not played. Pray has 4 wins with Ashe and 2 wins with Caitlyn, two champions Bang has not played at Worlds. The only contested pick between these two carries is Kalista. It is a big power pick and should either be banned or picked early on much like the Fiora. It will be interesting to see what matchups are played and how they influence each early game.

Support (Wolf vs Gorilla)


I’m not sure who wins in a real fight between a wolf and a gorilla. When it comes to League of Legends, I like Gorilla. I’ve said numerous times over the past month that Gorilla has been the best support in the world this year, and I’ll continue that statement even if KOO loses 0-3. Gorilla is the best enabler at this tournament. He enables his teammates to do what they please as he guides them to success. Whether it’s the 1.45 wards per minute he places or the largest champion pool for a support player, he always does what his team needs. His 76% kill participation at Worlds matches his percentage for the regular season as well. Once again, his opponent is a star too. Wolf does a great job at protecting his team with abilities and vision. Wolf has a higher KDA this tournament, which means he does what he needs to and does it well. Alistar and Tahm Kench are these players two most played champions. I expect some Tahm Kench bans and early Alistar selections. Both players can fall back to Shen, Thresh, Morgana, and many others. This matchup will provide us the biggest diversity I believe. Look forward to a possible 2v2 matchup where both bot lanes will be looking for that big play to get ahead.

So there you have it. Insight to each matchup across the map for this epic final between two Korean powerhouses. The best of five series between these two kick off tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM EST. There will be an opening ceremony starting an hour earlier. The final is taking place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany. The biggest eSports matchup is almost here. The final is expected to bring in millions of viewers from all over the world. Will you be there? I know I will.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin