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League of Legends World Championship Final preview

Jack Stewart
Jack Stewart

The time has come to crown the 10th League of Legends World Champion.

Korean teams previously dominated international LoL with five consecutive champions hailing from the country yet the region has struggled in recent years. Yet, for the first time in three years, a team from the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) will compete in the final thanks to DAMWON Gaming (1.45).

Standing in their way are Suning Gaming (2.72) from China's League of Legends Pro League (LPL), the competition that has produced the last two Worlds winners. Suning will have a home advantage as, unlike the rest of the tournament, the final will have a small crowd in Shanghai.

Both teams have been incredible throughout the tournament but only one will lift the Summoner's Cup on Saturday. Ahead of the historic clash, here is everything you need to know about both teams and how they match up.

DAMWON Gaming (1.45)

The LCK champions have been the most dominant team at the tournament. They were supposed to have the toughest group but finished first with relative ease before dominating LCK second seeds DRX 3-0 and defeating European champions and last year's Worlds finalists G2 Esports 3-1.

The team was keen to make a statement against the latter who knocked them out of Worlds last year and did just that by finishing the final game in 19 minutes and three seconds - breaking the record for the fastest game in the 10-year history of Worlds.

DWG have looked like the most impressive team throughout the tournament with their oppressive early-game, clean macro and superb individual talent. They're extremely hard to catch out which is why three of their players are in the top five for highest KDAs at the tournament.

DWG are certainly the favourites heading into this series.

Suning Gaming (2.72)

Suning won't mind being the underdogs in the Final as that's been the case for them throughout the entire tournament.

The LPL third seeds appear to have peeked at just the right time and have looked increasingly impressive as the tournament has gone on. In fact, should they win the World Championships they will have accomplished one of the greatest runs in competitive LoL history.

The team have defeated the majority of the Worlds favourites. Last year's runners-up G2 were bested by Suning in the Groups and the first and second seed LPL teams, JD Gaming and Top Esports, lost 3-1 to Suning during the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals in two surprise results.

It might just be the greatest underdog story the game has seen since the Taipai Assassins' triumph back in 2012. And considering China's recent success on the international stage, we could see Suning go all the way.

Head to head

Stylistically, this could be quite the fascinating clash. Suning have shown superb ability in team fights and thrive as the game goes on but in order for that to work they'll have to wrestle away early-game control from the oppressive side of DWG.

DWG crushed G2 in lane, racking up a ridiculous average gold lead of 2671 at 15 minutes in the series. Suning will have to be creative and clinical in their decision making otherwise DWG will never let them into the game.

Which is why the crucial battle will be between the junglers. Kim "Canyon" Geon-bu has dominated the stats of junglers with the highest KDA  (8.1), average assists (6.3), cs per-minute (7.2) gold per minute (417), damage per minute (470), gold difference at 15 minutes (558), cs difference at 15 minutes (12) and xp difference at 15 minutes (767).

There's no doubt that Canyon has adapted best to the carry-jungler meta but he still won't have it easy. Stats do not do justice to how important Lê "SofM" Quang Duy is to Suning. His creativity, his playmaking and his team-fight prowess have turned the LPL team into a potent force. Both junglers are tied for the most solo-kills at the tournament with six apiece so we should expect this match-up to get bloody.

The other important contest will be the bot-lane. DWG's bot-lane were superb against G2 as Cho "BeryL" Geon-hee was awarded the player of the series while ADC Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun continued his impressive form which has earned him the second-highest KDA (7.9) and gold difference at 15 minutes (575) of all players at the tournament.

But they will have to be even stronger to deal with Suning's duo who have become the team's main weapon. Experienced support Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh, who has the highest average assists (9.4), has done a superb job of setting up rookie ADC Tang "huanfeng" Huan-Feng for success. The 19-year-old bot-laner has had a spectacular showing with the highest cs-per-minute (9.6) and gold per-minute (454) at the tournament as well as more multikills than any other participant with a quadra-kill, two triple-kills and four double-kills.

Both teams have incredible individual players and have mastered their own playstyles as teams. This game will likely come down to minor differences on the day which should make for a breath-taking series.