League of Legends All-Star Event this weekend

Jess Carruthers Roar Guru

By Jess Carruthers, Jess Carruthers is a Roar Guru

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    There were some stunning results in the LCS this week. (CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

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    With all the recent roster excitement, it’s almost been easy to forget that the premier off-season League of Legends event is on this weekend.

    I looked at the teams very briefly a month ago, but as a refresher, players from around the world voted for their top five players from eight regions. They will now come together this weekend to form regional superteams.

    While this tournament has no bearing on regular seasons or other international tournaments, it’s so much fun, and considering no full teams are attending it’s almost a better way of bringing regions together than Worlds.

    There are four days of games to be played over the weekend, with both a series of team games and a 1-vs-1 tournament. Being both a short event and not ultimately affecting the rest of the season, the format is a little funky.

    For the team games, the eight attendees have been split into two groups; Brazil, North America, China and South East Asia, and Korea, Europe, Turkey and Taiwan. Each of these groups will play a single round robin, with the top two teams proceeding to the bo3 semifinals and the winners of those moving into bo5 finals.

    The 1-vs-1 tournament is even more cutthroat. There are no second chances: the 16 participants (two from each team, chosen by the coach) are playing a straight up bracket in bo1s for the round of 16 and the quarterfinals, moving onto bo3s in the semis and the finals. This tournament will be go hard or go home.

    With the format such that it is, it’s incredibly difficult to assess who will win where – even the best teams drop single games sometimes. Adding in that it’s so hard to assess which teams will be the best when synergy will be so hard to come by, any opinions of who is better than who else is going to be based at least as much on guesswork as analysis.

    Even if we look to the 1-vs-1 tournament, so much rides on how well-practised the participants are. We’ve seen in past years that the even the best players drop like flies in 1-vs-1 matches if they don’t come well-prepared.

    Finally, adding to all the complexity here is the rune rework. The only other tournament since the preseason update was last weekend’s KeSPA cup, and there were tons of unusual picks trying to take advantage of the chaos and change. There is less than a week between the two tournaments, and although I’m sure that everyone involved in All-Stars will have paid attention to it, the only team I would really expect to have seriously benefited from it would be the Koreans involved.

    In fact, the Korean team is probably the only real safe bet this tournament, even moreso than usual. All the players played at least five games during the KeSPA Cup; by the end of the round robins, they will have spent almost three times as long on this patch than their opponents.

    There is of course the caveat that their group is arguably the more challenging one, with both the EU LCS and LMS. While I do think the LMS has looked less strong over the past few years (relatively speaking), they still mustn’t be underestimated. The EU LCS team, meanwhile, definitely has some of the strongest individual talent (outside of the notably absent G2 Esports players).

    Regardless, Korea is incredibly likely to beat at least one, if not both of these teams. Remember, the top two are proceeding to the semifinals; it would be a huge surprise if they were not able to proceed one way or another. But which of the EU and LMS teams makes it out is anyone’s guess (sorry TCL).

    It’s also likely that China and NA will emerge from the other bracket, simply because they have a lot of experience (and, in the case of China, Uzi), but the GPL and CBLOL teams do both have a shot considering how much of these games will come down to in-the-moment play, and synergy between those teammates that do get through. I wouldn’t be game to make a call one way or another here.

    Faker and PraY have advantages in the 1-vs-1 for the same reason as the rest of their team. As primary carries for SKT and Longzhu respectively, they will have had at least some time to play around with high-damage runes and which champions they can work on. I’m sure the other 1-vs-1 players will have tested their options, but there’s nothing quite like a real competition for testing the theories.

    All together, this is going to be a short sharp tournament, but it should be a great taster for how the game might look when we come back into split 1 in mid-January. We can’t set any store in the outcomes of these matches, but we can absolutely enjoy them for what they are!

    Who do you expect to see victorious in each format this weekend?

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